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NEMO GoGo Elite 1-Person Inflatable Bivy Tent Review

The NEMO GoGo Elite is a 1-person minimalist shelter with a front vestibule
The NEMO GoGo Elite is a 1-person minimalist shelter with a front vestibule.

The NEMO GoGo Elite Inflatable Bivy Tent is a 1-person minimalist shelter that’s more spacious and comfortable than a bivy sack, but far more compact than most 1-person tents making it ideal for trips that require carrying a low volume load like adventure racing, fast and light backpacking, or bikepacking. When packed, the GoGo Elite is the size of a Jetboil canister stove and does not require tents poles or trekking poles to set up. The front living area structure is held up by an airbeam that is inflated with a tiny hand pump, while the rear can be propped up with a short twig or tied to a tree.

NEMO GoGo Elite Bivy Tent

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Excellent

The NEMO GoGo Elite is a big step up from high end bivy sacks with more interior space and comfort. Highly compact and lightweight, it's a good shelter for adventure racing, hunting, and bikepacking when you want more protection than a tarp but don't want to carry a tent or tent poles.

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Specs at a Glance

  • Weight: 21.4 ounces including hand pump, but no tent stakes
  • People: 1
  • Minimum number of stakes to set up: 6.
  • Dimensions: 108″ (l) x 41″ (w) x 26″ (h)
  • Poles: none
  • Vestibule and Roof: 10D PeU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm)
  • Floor: 15D PeU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm)

One of the biggest benefits of the GoGo Elite is the small amount of space required to set it up. It’s ideal when you don’t have time to search for the perfect campsite or the terrain you’re traveling through has very limited campsite options available. But be forewarned. The GoGo Elite is not a general purpose camping tent and is best viewed an as improvement over bivy sacks rather than a replacement for an ultralight tent or tarp camping system.

The GoGo's interior space is large enough that you can change your clothes...with a little effort
The GoGo Elite’s interior space is large enough that you can change your clothes…with a little effort.

The biggest difference between the GoGo Elite and a bivy sack is livability. There’s just enough room inside the GoGo to change your clothes (while prone) and store some gear in the front vestibule area, the foot area, or along the sides of a sleeping pad while lying inside. The height under the airbeam that holds up the vestibule is 26″, with 41″ of width at the head end tapering to 24″ wide at the feet. The end-to-end length of the shelter is 108″ (9′) including the front vestibule which is 31 inches deep, providing plenty of length for tall users with room to spare.

The front is screened in like a tent with a small but functional vestibule area that’s big enough to spread out maps to plan the next day’s route or lay back in for star-gazing. One half of the vestibule zips open to form a door, but you need to back into the GoGo feet first to get inside.  You can also roll back the vestibule screen and leave the fly in place but this is a much more involved process and not something you can do while lying inside the shelter.

The GoGo Elite airbeam is inflated with this special hand pump
The GoGo Elite airbeam is inflated with this special hand pump.

Ventilation with the front fly rolled back is just so-so though, because there isn’t a rear vent at the foot end of the shelter. Condensation does collect on the walls in high humidity and when there’s a significant temperature gradient between the inside and outside surfaces. You’re best bet is to use the GoGo Elite in fair weather, arid conditions, or on short trips where any condensation transfer between the walls and your sleep insulation has little long-term consequence.

When setting up the GoGo Elite, four stakes are required at the corners, one at the front of the vestibule, and one at the rear of the tent. The front of the tent is held erect using an inflatable airbeam that you inflate with a small hand-held pump. Besides better packability, the beauty of the airbeam system is that you can erect the GoGo Elite in the pouring rain without getting the interior of the shelter wet.

To inflate the airbeam, you blow into a tube which fills an air bladder in the hand-held pump, which you then squeeze to push the air into the airbeam. The hand-held pump connects to the airbeam with a special fitting that makes it impossible to inflate if you lose or misplace it, so be careful where you put it.

While you can pitch the rear of the tent with a short twig, its best to tie it to a tree or stationary object that won't move at night
While you can pitch the rear of the tent with a short twig, its best to tie it to a tree or stationary object that won’t move at night

The rear of the GoGo Elite does not have an airbeam and must be propped up using a stick or by tying the end guyline to a stationary object like a tree. My advice is to tie the rear guyline to an object which is not going to move at night. It’s way to easy to kick a stick out when you wiggle the shelter at night, causing the foot end of the ceiling to collapse on your sleeping bag or quilt and transfer condensation to it. The GoGo Elite would be so much better if the rear end was also held up by an airbeam arch and a rear vent included in the back wall to facilitate better airflow, but is still quite satisfactory as is.

The GoGo Elite is quite a long shelter, good for tall users
The GoGo Elite is quite a long shelter, good for tall users.

Recommendation

If you like sleeping in a bivy sack and the portability it provides, but crave more space, you should check out the NEMO Equipment GoGo Elite 1-person Bivy Tent. It’s a big step up in comfort over a waterproof/breathable bivy shelter like the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy or a Rab Ridge Raider Bivy Sack. The NEMO GoGo Elite packs up smaller than these other high-end bivy sacks because it has an inflatable air beam architecture and doesn’t require tent poles, it has substantially more interior room, and is much faster to set up even in foul weather.

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Disclosure: The manufacturer provided the author with a sample tent for this review.
Written 2017.

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9 comments

  1. Wow. I would not have guessed the price would be so high.

  2. I can’t quite tell from the photos – is the foot end a solid piece of fabric, and so completely sealed? You mentioned the lack of ventilation…

    Also, you mention 4-season bivy sacks above, but I’m guessing this one is more of a 3-season affair, yes?

    • The back is completely solid.
      I could see using this on a winter trip. I have friends who sleep in bivy sacks on snow and well, this would be infinitely better than what they use. I’d keep the front vestibule uncovered though, most definitely.

  3. You mentioned a couple times how fast it sets up–how long does it take to inflate the air beams?

  4. At this price, I would be hard pressed to purchase. Many other roomier options at the same weight, close to the same packable size and less expensive. Zpacks solplex, Gossamer Gear The One come immediately to mind. I know there’s a place for this in the market but I don’t think it’s right for me, personally.

  5. Oh – thanks for the review!

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