Nemo Equipment Obi 1-Person Tent

Stealthy Nemo Obi 1P Tent

Nemo Obi 1P Tent

The Nemo Obi 1P single person, double-walled tent is spacious, simple, and quite lightweight, weighing just under 3 pounds. With a built-in vestibule, it is suitable for 3+ season camping and backpacking in good weather and bad, with ample external tie-downs to improve its stability in high winds and foul weather. But the thing that sets the Obi 1P from other double-walled tents in its class is the design. There’s nothing accidental about the way the Obi 1p functions and its adaptability in different conditions. I think Nemo has done a brilliant job here, and I love that green! Read on.

Components

The Obi 1P is a double walled tent with a separate inner mesh tent and exterior rain fly, including one multi-segmented DAC Featherlite aluminum pole and 6 tent stakes. The inner tent walls are made using no-seeum mesh and 20d PU nylon, with a seam-taped 30d PU nylon floor. The rain fly/vestibule is also made with 20d PU nylon.

The total weight of the Obi 1P is 2 pounds 15.8 ounces, broken down as follows:

  • Tent Sack: 2.9 ounces
  • Stack Sack: 1.1 ounces
  • Cord: 0.5 ounces
  • Pole Sack: 0.8 ounces
  • Inner Tent: 16.8 ounces
  • Rain Fly: 11.9 ounces
  • Tent Pegs: 2.5 ounces
  • Tent Poles: 11.3 ounces

In addition to the standard configuration reviewed below, the Obi 1P can be set up without the rain fly in dry conditions or without the inner tent in an ultralight configuration which includes the rain fly and a special footprint, sold separately. This latter tarp-like configuration is offered by several other manufacturers and it’s a nice trend to see in mainstream commercial tents because it extends the utility of an existing tent, without requiring the purchase of a separate ultralight tarp.

Obi 1P Inner Tent

Obi 1P Inner Tent

Pitching the Tent

The Obi 1p is built around a hybrid center ridgepole design, with Y shaped forks at the ends to prevent the inner tent from collapsing onto the occupant. While the ends of the Y shaped forks snap into Jakes feet connectors sewn to the corners of the inner tent, it is still necessary to stake the corners to pull the floor of the inner as wide as possible, and helps firm up the overall pitch.

Once the corners are snapped in place, the inner tent is easily hung from the center poles using hooks sewn to the outside of the inner tent. In dry weather, one could easily sleep in the inner tent to keep the bugs away, without using the exterior rain fly at all.

Obi 1P Rain Fly

Obi 1P Rain Fly - Note Air Gap under Rain Fly

To add the rain fly, simply drape it over the ridge pole and snap in into the Jakes feet connectors at the corners of the tent. Next, pull out the front vestibule and stake it down, and do the same with the back vent, which pulls away from the inner tent by about a foot to improve ventilation. That’s all there is too it – this tent is a fast pitch and requires very little tweaking once it’s standing.

Inner tent

The Inner Tent on the Obi 1p feels quite roomy inside, with steeply angled inner walls and large mesh panels contributing to the spaciousness. There is one side door facing the vestibule which is easy to get in and out of and provides convenient access to the vestibule zippers from within the tent. The floor seams of the inner are taped to keep out moisture and high nylon walls help keep out cross breezes or rain that can blow under the edges of the vestibule and the rain fly vents.

Nemo Obi 1p Inner Tent

Nemo Obi 1p Inner Tent

Sizewise, the interior or the tent is high enough that you can sit fully up, and while there are ample overhead gear loops for hanging items from the ceiling, you’ll need a triangular shaped gear loft if you want to use one. Width-wise, there is ample space to lay out a 20″ sleeping pad and still have extra room on the sides, although the length of the inner can still feel a bit cramped if you’re excessively tall or want to store some gear behind your head at night.

Rain Fly and Vestibule

Spacious Vestibule

Spacious Vestibule

The Obi 1p has a spacious vestibule with ample space to stow a full backpack, even with one of the door panels rolled back. The doors are joined by a single zipper or velcro tabs, presumably to promote partial opening and better airflow. The bottoms of the vestibule doors do not touch the ground but are raised a few inches in an arc, also to promote better airflow and to reduce internal condensation.

Air Gap between Inner and Outer Tent

Air Gap between Inner and Outer Tent

Venting and Condensation System

While there are many reason to like the Obi 1P, one of the things that impressed me the most was the venting system and how the tent design works to defeat internal condensation. It the Achilles heel of many double-walled shelters, but I think Nemo has done a fine job of mitigating it with this design.

First off, there is an very large gap between the inner tent and the rain fly on the Obi 1p, which facilitates air movement and moisture venting. In addition, there are air vents cut into the rain fly at the front and back of the tent that direct breezes and air flow under the fly. The bottom edges of the vestibule panels are also curved and don’t touch the ground, allowing more air to blow under them and carry moisture out, especially if they need to be battened down in bad weather.

Venting is still required

Venting is still required

While I still experienced condensation using the Obi 1p when I had the vestibule closed, I experienced a lot less than other similar double walled tents that I’ve tested. With the vestibule open part way, internal condensation is further reduced, and unless it’s raining you’ll want to keep at least half of the vestibule area open. With both doors rolled back, there’s hardly any condensation, as would be expected in a tent with this much mesh ventilation.

When internal condensation does occur in the Obi 1p, it occurs on the nylon panel just above the sleepers head as a result of moist exhalations. While the amount of condensation is minor, it would be nice if Nemo ran the mesh above the sleeper’s head a bit lower than it is to vent more moisture, but that’s the only change I see being needed to this otherwise exceptional tent.

Recommendation

If you’ve got your heart set on a double-walled solo tent, I think the Nemo Obi 1p is a good choice. This is a really well made, well thought out, and versatile tent with a lot of different pitching and venting options. It’s easy to set up, packs down small, and is lightweight enough that it could be used very successfully for lightweight or ultralight backpacking. Hat’s off to Nemo on this one – I’m impressed.

Likes

  • Roomy interior
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Lightweight – just under 3 pounds
  • Easy to pitch
  • Small bundle to pack

Dislikes

  • Plastic Jakes Feet are a single point of failure
  • Multi-segmented ridgeline pole is a bit awkward to fold and store

Manufacturer Specifications

  • Packaged Weight: 3 pounds 3 ounces
  • Floor: 87″ x 39″ (221 x 99 cm)
  • Floor Area: 21 sq ft (2 sq meters)
  • Vestibule Area: 9 sq ft (0.o sq meters)
  • Interior Height: 40″ (102 cm)
  • Packed Size: 6.5″ x 6″ diameter (16 x 15 cm)
  • Fully Seam Taped and Waterproof
  • 1 DAC featherlite 8.5 mm Green Aluminum Pole
  • Tent Shell fabric: No seeum mesh and 20d PU Nylon
  • Fly Vestibule Fabric: 20d PU Nylon
  • Floor fabric: 30d PU Nylon

 Disclosure: SectionHiker.com owns this tent and purchased it tent with their own funds.

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24 Responses to Nemo Equipment Obi 1-Person Tent

  1. PaulO December 14, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    Thanks for the thorough review. I've been considering something for solo trips and the 3+ season rating makes it an even better choice!

  2. Earlylite December 14, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    If you look at the photos you'll see frost around the base near the vents where water vapor froze and fell to the ground. I tested the Obi 1P down to the teens in Crawford Notch (White Mountains) for two consecutive nights and was quite comfortable. The pole system makes it nearly free-standing making it easy to pitch, but like I said, you still need to stake it down.

  3. jarra December 14, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    The feature I like the most is the large vestibule, which is a rarity on a lightweight tent.

  4. jarra December 14, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Looking at the Nemo website, I see the "elite" version of this tent, which is 9 oz lighter. Is there a reason you didn't get this one? Saving 9 oz by spending $50 extra seems like a good deal.

  5. Earlylite December 14, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I was going to tell you about the Elite but you beat me to it. I think you can only get that version of the tent direct from Nemo and the place where I bought mine didn't carry it.

  6. jarra December 14, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Well they are out of stock on the Elite right now, but it will definitely go on my wishlist. Thanks for bringing this to my attention with your thorough review.

  7. Debbie December 14, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Any particular reason why you chose the Nemo over the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1? The BA tent is lighter, larger, with a bigger vestibule and sells at the same price.

  8. Earlylite December 14, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Deb – I just haven't gotten to it yet, but plan to eventually review all of the lighter weight double-walled tents available on the market. As for the Copper Spur, which I hear is pretty nice, Big Agnes has at least 1 new UL tent coming out this spring, which I believe is sub 2 pounds. I'm going to be meeting with their product folks next month and will update everyone then.

  9. JJ Mathes December 14, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Philip- I looked at this tent at Trail Days this year, very nice indeed.

  10. LuckyWavingTree December 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    After reading your review I looked into similar mesh tents and realized the industry has changed its definition of these types of tents from 2 season to 3 season tent over the past 5 years or so. You mentioned battened down in bad weather, does the fly drop to the ground or close off the inner mesh when the temp drops or the snow starts?

  11. Earlylite December 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    As soon as you mention snow, I think what you're really describing is 4 season adaptability (imho). While you can pitch the Obi 1P fly to the ground by cranking on the guylines and there are numerous tieouts on the fly for staking it down in wind, there is a tradeoff on this tent between ventilation and warmth because the rain fly cut outs at the ends of the tent can't be closed.

    If you want total control of ventilation and warmth management, I'd suggest you look at a Hilleberg Atko which lets you close it's end vents or open them, has a big side vestibule, and comes with either a summer or winter (less mesh) inner tent. Of course it costs a lot more than the Obi 1p, but it is a 4 season, light weight tent. 3 pounds 5 ounces or something like that.

  12. Philip December 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Thanks for this review! The floor dimensions are quite similar to my treasured Sublite Sil. I'm 6'6" tall, and most of the 1-person tents on the market are waaaay too short for me. The Obi Elite version is a chunk heavier than the Sublite, but it also looks a whole lot sturdier for shoulder season use.

    The only bummer is that Nemo seem to have the tents produced in Taiwan, but at least they have a FAQ on the web page that explains their reasoning for doing so. Thanks for bringing this company to my attention – I never even heard of Nemo before. I'll definitely take a close look at this product once the bottom of my Sublite is completely worn through .. which is about two outings away :)

  13. LuckyWavingTree December 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Yes, you are right….and these days i use mid, trap, bivy, single wall, or mesh body tent and try to keep it under 2 lbs per person, even in snow. Here is how it use to be when talking tents and referencing seasons. But I've noticed it has changed almost everywhere.

    2 Season or Summer = 1/2 of Spring, Summer, 1/2 of Fall

    Mainly tents with mesh bodies or fly's that were higher cut.

    3 Season = Spring, Summer, Fall

    The shoulder parts of Spirng and Fall include cold temp and blowing snow. If these tents had mesh you could close them up in case of freezing temps or light snow.

    4 Season or Winter = Snow loads and high winds 40-60 mph

  14. Debbie December 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Philip, you may also want to consider the Rainbow tent from Henry Shires Tarptent (made in Seattle) if you don't need a true double-wall tent (it's a hybrid single/double wall). It weighs 2 lbs, is incredibly roomy (88" L x 40" W x 43" H) and costs $225. I also bought the extra liner to use for winter conditions. It can be pitched either with stakes or using trekking poles for a free-standing setup, and I've even fit 2 people (not a couple) inside for one night.

  15. Earlylite December 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    The Rainbow is definitely a sweet tent. I saw one up close at a BPL gathering a few months ago. I'm focused on reviewing a bunch of double-walled tents at the moment to 1) get a sense of what the best designs are with the modern lightweight fabrics we have now and 2) because it gives me an excuse to spend a lot of nights sleeping outdoors in them!

    Oops – just realized that your comment wasn't meant for me!

  16. Bojax May 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Check out the British company Terra Nova. Their tents are available in the US through moontrail.com. I bought the Solar Competition. Weighs 2.2 pounds, is double walled, AND has a mostly solid inner tent with only a mesh door and two small mesh windows. Packs down to a truly tiny size!

    • Earlylite May 4, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

      Two or 3 times as expensive and frankly not worth it.

  17. Bojax May 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Well, my Solar Comp 1p was $279 on moontrail, almost $70 cheaper than the nemo. It’s also completely freestanding and weighs about a pound less than the Nemo. Worth every penny in my book!

  18. Andy K September 3, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Is the Jakes foot any more of a point of failure than the grommetted hole use to receive the pole end found on most tents? Seems if the Jakes foot broke you wouldn’t be any worse off than a typical tent. In fact you might be better off since the web strap doesn’t have a ripped out hole in it! And you’ve got a tri-glide to make a little loop in the webbing to grip the pole tip.

    • Earlylite September 3, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I think that really depends on how you broke the Jakes foot. With poles like this, the Jake’s foot has an eye ball like socket that catches the pole. Without it, you’d have a hard time keeping the tension on the pole – the inner would still work like a bivy, but it would collapse on you a bit unless you could bury the end in the ground firmly.

      • Andy K September 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

        That might make an interesting future article. A failure analysis of tents and recovery options as a basis for shelter selection.
        Special hub breaks.
        Special pole with a bend in it breaks.
        Special plastic clips break (bigger risk at cold temps).
        Forget pole bag at the trail head.
        Zipper jams (closed, open, half way).

        Can you overcome any of these failures with duct tape, tree branches, extra p-cord and smooth pebbles. If answer is no then it is a risky tent to use (especially when going solo, especially in winter)

  19. Earlylite September 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Costly though, since I’d probably have to destroy a few tents in the process. Still a very good question if you travel in high risk places/climes where you can’t just walk out or scoot into a friends tent for the night. As a matter if fact, this was on my mind yesterday when I was testing a very similar tent to the Obi 1 that has many of its same failure points.

  20. Sir Falls a Lot September 30, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    I just got this tent brand new on eBay for $200 and it’s amazing. The thing with jake’s feet is that its easily replaceable where as grommets aren’t. If your not ├╝ber conscious about weight, you could order an extra jakes feet for $5 and keep it in your pack as a spare if one decides to fail ( I don’t see it happening since its a very strong plastic but I haven’t had the chance to test it out on the field) its just strapped in, there is a video on YouTube if your curious :)

  21. Wil November 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    The Obi 1p is a great 1 person shelter – have used this tent recently and found it to be the perfect 3 season tent and one I recommend highly to my friends. I agree the pole is a bit difficult to fold up and store away, but I find more likes than dislikes with this piece of gear. Thanks for the review!

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