Adventure Anywhere with the Lightweight, Packable NEMO Meta 1P

by May 23, 2013 05/23/13
NEMO Meta 1P Tent

I arrived to my camp site around 2 in the morning. The full moon gave decent light but the drive into Yosemite Valley was completely foggy so I missed out on the scenery.

Searching for a spot to set up my tent, I eventually found one that someone had recently dug out. I wasn’t prepared to clear the hard pack frosted layer of snow so this was perfect.

Even in the dark, setup was a breeze with the Meta 1P. Pitched and  ready for sleeping, I threw my bag in the tent and racked out.

NEMO Meta 1PWhile I was only in California for a few days, I decided to spend them camping and made sure to pack the Meta 1P and a trekking pole. That’s all you need to set it up and it packs down to roughly the size of a cantaloupe.

NEMO was kind enough to send it as a sample to use during the GORUCK Ascent and I’ve used it many other places since then. In fact, I’ve used everywhere from my backyard to almost 12,000 feet in Colorado.

The NEMO Meta 1P has served me well for over a year now. A combination of good looks and ease of use make it easy for me to recommend to others.

 

Important Numbers

  • Capacity 1P
  • Minimum Weight 1 lb, 15 oz / 879 g
  • Trail Weight 2 lbs, 8 oz / 1.1 kg
  • Floor Dimensions 100 x 36 in / 254 x 91 cm
  • Floor Area 26 sq ft / 2.4 sq m
  • Vestibule Area 13 sq ft / 1.2 sq m
  • Interior Height 50 in / 127 cm
  • Number of Doors 1
  • Packed Size 6 x 6 in / 15 x 15 cm
  • Shell and Vesituble Fabric 20D PU Nylon
  • Floor Fabric 30D PU Nylon Ripstop (5000mm)
NEMO Meta 1P Specs

Note: See that graphic on the right part of the image above? NEMO Equipment just introduced new way of illustrating tent height with a tent topographic view. It’s a great new way to give you an idea on the interior space of their tents.

Capacity

This tent is labeled as a one person tent but Bryan and I can vouch for the fact that it can handle two adult males with their gear just fine. To save weight on packing items for the GORUCK Ascent, Bryan and I decided to share one tent. It was a bit tight and didn’t allow for a lot of movement but we weren’t too uncomfortable.

You can sleep two head to toe if you put your gear outside of the tent protected by the vestibule. With the vestibule area around half the size of the interior floor space, I bet you could fit four people total in an emergency situation with two inside and two under the vestibule but I haven’t tested nor do I recommend it if comfort is your goal.

NEMO Meta 1P Interior

Setup

Setting up is extremely simple.nemo-meta-1p-setup

  • Find a level surface for the tent
  • Stake out each anchor point
  • Insert and extend your trekking pole
  • Stop when tent is taught

Comfort

It’s really great to use as intended and when it’s just you and your gear in the tent, the spaciousness and comfort are a perfect marriage. I never feel cramped in the Meta 1P. You may have seen Bryan’s review of the NEMO Gogo LE and while these tents are similar in many ways, they are also very different.

The Gogo is a bivvy style tent that is really only designed for lying down while the Meta 1P provides most people the ability to sit up just fine. When out camping, I like to read and being able to sit upright is a huge benefit for me. You’ll also appreciate the headroom while getting changed or going through your gear.

NEMO Meta 1P head room

Even with a small top vent and one on the back, I never felt that fresh air wasn’t being brought in. Weather permitting, you can also fully roll back both parts of the vestibule to leave the screened interior completely exposed for maximum ventilation.

Weight

The packed weight is 2 lbs. 8 oz. but it can be trimmed down to be as light as 1 lb. 15 oz. That’s even lighter than the GOGO LE that Bryan reviewed which can be only get down to 2 lbs. 2 oz. One way I save weight is by using a Polycryo Ground Cloth from Gossamer Gear. It starts as a large sheet at 3.65 oz. but can be cut to fit your specific tent.

Just as Bryan mentioned in his review, NEMO includes the minimum number of stakes to set up the tent but you’ll benefit from carrying a few more. In this case, having two more to extend guy lines away from the head and the feet will help keep your body or gear from getting damp through condensation.

NEMO Meta 1P and GORUCK GR2

 

GORUCK GR2 [40L volume] shown for size comparison

Critiques

NEMO Meta 1P Ice CondensationIt’s a single wall tent, so you may get some condensation on the inside. One freezing night, I awoke to a thin sheet of ice on the inside of the tent by my head. There were two of us in there sleeping and breathing which may have amounted to more condensation than usual but it’s still something you have to deal with.

This tent uses a single trekking pole as the main support and that may be an issue if you don’t usually camp or hike with trekking poles. NEMO does sell a lightweight (4.8 oz) pole made just for the Meta 1P and if you are really looking to save some money, I bet you can find someone with a broken trekking pole who will give you their second one cheap or even for free.  I have also used a stick before and it worked just fine but I wouldn’t want to rely on it.

Conclusion

What I like most about the Meta 1P is that it feels at home in a variety of situations. Everything from an overnighter in the backyard, a week at a campground for the Muster, or setting up camp at 12,000 feet in Colorado, there isn’t much this tent can’t handle.

There may lighter weight shelter options out there but they are often more expensive and confusing to use. The NEMO Meta 1P is something almost anyone can set up easily if they are looking to camp in a more minimal fashion without sacrificing space and comfort.

NEMO Meta 1P

 Click here to view more photos of the NEMO Meta 1P

Where to Get It


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Steve Buck
Steve Buck

Great write up, I love this tent. My father-in-law has the Meta-2P and though we've heard about the condensation problems, when he and I go he makes a big point of setting it up under a dense pine canopy and we have never had problems. We've also been fortunate to be out in good weather when we go, but I was pleased that I didn't wake up dripping in condensation given that common complaint about it.

I must say though, I was feeling a little cramped with the 2P, it must have been very cramped in the 1P!

Steve Buck
Steve Buck

Great write up, I love this tent. My father-in-law has the Meta-2P and though we've heard about the condensation problems, when he and I go he makes a big point of setting it up under a dense pine canopy and we have never had problems. We've also been fortunate to be out in good weather when we go, but I was pleased that I didn't wake up dripping in condensation given that common complaint about it. I must say though, I was feeling a little cramped with the 2P, it must have been very cramped in the 1P!

niles
niles

Nice review. I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned or reviewed them before, but my personal ultralight shelter solution choice is a hammock. Check out Hennesey Hammocks, which is the one I use. It's an all in one system which incorporates bug netting and a rainfly to keep you dry and comfortable.

The advantages of using a hammock as opposed to a traditional tent or tarp is that you don't need to find level ground or root/rock free ground to set up, just two posts/trees. Also, they're super light, and there are add-ons available to be able to use it year-round in the winter.

Oh, and it's the most comfortable sleep you'll ever have, including your own bed!

You guys should do a review on ultralight backpacking hammocks!

niles
niles

Nice review. I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned or reviewed them before, but my personal ultralight shelter solution choice is a hammock. Check out Hennesey Hammocks, which is the one I use. It's an all in one system which incorporates bug netting and a rainfly to keep you dry and comfortable. The advantages of using a hammock as opposed to a traditional tent or tarp is that you don't need to find level ground or root/rock free ground to set up, just two posts/trees. Also, they're super light, and there are add-ons available to be able to use it year-round in the winter. Oh, and it's the most comfortable sleep you'll ever have, including your own bed! You guys should do a review on ultralight backpacking hammocks!

Dylan
Dylan

I've never purchased a non free standing tent because I always worry about staking it out. I live in CA and often desert camp and I feel like there's a lot of times im not on lush forest floor where it's easy to stake out. Is it easier than Im thinking? Am i missing out on sweet light shelters due to an irrational thought process?

Uri
Uri

Great! Fantastic writeup Mike. I going to have to try this tent. Thanks for the info.

Mike Petrucci
Mike Petrucci

I have an ENO hammock and I really like it. I've only slept out in it twice but the weather was perfect for it and it wasn't really camping. I'll have to talk to Bryan because I know he has the bug netting and rain fly and it sounds like a fun and comfortable way to camp!

Mike Petrucci
Mike Petrucci

If you're camping in a more sandy environment, then traditional stakes may not keep this tent up. There are special stakes out there but I haven't used them personally. So far, I've only used this tent in California once and that was in Yosemite Valley; no issues there though. I would ask someone at your local outdoors store to see what they think. They will probably know your area much better and can give some good input on a tent for it.

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