I’ve entered the Nemo universe, and I couldn’t be happier. The New England based company started back in 2002. The name NEMO is a melding of New England Mountain Equipment and the ingenious Captain Nemo. And ingenious certainly describes the first item I picked up from NEMO – the Dagger Ultralight tent, which has now accompanied me on many trips. From a snowy night in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California, to a backpacking trip on Catalina Island, the tent has proven to be a worthy travel companion.

I decided on the 3 person model of the tent, and with a packed weight of only 4 pounds, 5 ounces, it is perfect for backpacking, with plenty of space for a luxurious stay in the wild. Setting up the tent is about as easy as it gets, taking only a few minutes from unpacking to complete assembly. The longest part of the process is staking the tent, but that’s due to my lack of a proper hammer, something I will remedy in the future. The space inside the tent is generous, and the tent has many features that make camping incredibly pleasant. There are two overhead light pockets at each end of the tent, with a mesh material that spreads the light evenly throughout the space. There are gear pockets at each corner of the tent for easy stowage of your personal equipment. And best of all, there is black mesh at the top of the tent that allows for stargazing at night.

The Dagger also hits the right marks in terms of ventilation. The tent has a mesh on the sides that offers privacy, while allowing for complete airflow. And for stormy conditions, there are strut vents located at the top of the zipper flaps that provide ample ventilation when conditions call for closing up the tent. We used the tent in the Alabama Hills when a strong and cold storm swept through the area in the middle of the night. We blissfully slept through the storm and woke up surprised to find several inches of snow on our tent. It held up perfectly.

One other feature to point out are the large doors on either side of the tent. This is especially important if you do not want to wake up your partner in the middle of the night while heeding nature’s call. The doors are easy to access, and are protected by the rain fly when neccesary. This three season tent also offers up a dual stage stuff sack for splitting the load with a backpacking partner.

I’m enamored with this tent and its thoughtful design which makes it easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to pack. NEMO is at the top of my list for camping needs, and I’ll write more in the future about other products in their lineup, like the Disco sleeping bags. Talk about luxurious sleeping. But that’s for another post. For now, I’ll leave you with a five star recommendation for all things NEMO.