NEMO Kodiak 2P Tent Review

NEMO Kodiak 2P Hunting Tent Review

The NEMO Kodiak 2P is a 4-season freestanding double-wall tent colored with FirstLite’s hunting color schemes. The thing that distinguishes the Kodiak from other 4-season tents are its side screened windows and the added ventilation they provide. These windows are a fairly radical departure compared to other 4 season mountaineering tents that usually have solid side-walls. But it means that you use one lightweight tent, the Kodiak 2P, across a very wide range of temperatures and locales, from the snow-packed Rockies to the hot dry deserts of the Southwest. That really simplifies the packing involved in getting ready for a weeklong hunt.

Specs at a Glance

  • Seasons: 4 Season
  • People: 2
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Type: Double-Wall
  • Color: Field/Cipher
  • Min Trail Weight: 4 lb. / 1.81 kg
  • Packed Weight: 4 lb. 3 oz. / 1.9 kg
  • Doors: 1
  • Windows: 3
  • Floor dimensions: 82″ x 50″/41″
  • Peak height: 44″
  • Materials:
    • DAC Featherlite NSL 9mm aluminum poles,
    • 20D Polyester Ripstop/No-See-Um Mesh Canopy
    • 30D PeU Nylon Ripstop 3000mm Floor,
    • 15D Sil/PeU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm) Rain Fly

Tent Set-Up

The Kodiak 2P is a freestanding exoskeleton-style tent so pitching it is extremely straightforward. It has two aluminum DAC featherlite main poles that are connected by a central hub and cross over the tent body. The poles are color-coded to the tent, making reference and set up very easy.

Zippered mesh windows in the door, sidewalls, and end of the tent offer versatility for a true all season use
Zippered mesh windows in the door, sidewalls, and end of the tent offer versatility for a true all-season use

There are multiple zippered mesh windows along the interior wall that work in combination with vents at both ends of the tent.  The mesh windows are backed by solid zippered panels so you can close them up completely if it’s cold or open them partway for additional ventilation. Struts installed into the fly allow the vents to be held open for increased airflow, ventilation, and condensation control.

Zippered mesh windows offer ventilation for warm sunny days
Zippered mesh windows offer ventilation for warm sunny days.

An additional brow pole increases headroom at the tent door and provides extra height in the vestibule. Tent clips secure the tent to the poles and help to evenly distribute the stress on the frame during high winds.

There are four reflective guy-lines attached to the tent that pass through the rain fly for extra support, making the tent a veritable fortress in high winds.  Having the four lines pass through the fly secures the tent well, and there are multiple attachment points at key areas on the fly. However, I would have appreciated at least two more guy-lines and a couple more stakes to have been included with this tent. I’d recommend adding them to your kit for field use, especially when camping in open terrain and high wind.

The zippered mesh windows along the interior wall that work in combination with vents at both ends of the tent
The zippered mesh windows along the interior wall that work in combination with vents at both ends of the tent.

The compact design of this tent also increases resistance to high winds and heavy snow loads. The 15d nylon ripstop rainfly is reinforced with silicone to increase durability and provide reliable weather protection. It was very easy to toss over the tent and attach to the same four-pole ends that the tent uses in each corner.

This Kodiak comes stored in a segmented ‘Divvy’ stuff sack that easily compresses when the poles are removed. This allows an individual to have options for carrying the poles and tent separately within a pack on a solo trip, or dividing it if you are adventuring with a friend. One person could carry the tent body and fly and the other could carry the tent poles and stakes.

An additional brow pole to increases head room
An additional brow pole to increases head room.

Otherwise, the stuff sack is a generous size, which means you don’t have to have an advanced degree in origami to fold up the tent and get it back into the bag. An additional nice touch is that the assembly instructions and a map of popular constellations is printed on a glow-in-the-dark panel and sewn into the seam on the inside of the stuff sack.

Livability

Space is at a premium inside the tent at only 26 square feet, however, the headroom is good for a tent this size, at 42 inches. As with all “two-person” tents, it fits one person comfortably and two people intimately. It’s cozy, and there isn’t a lot of extra room for maneuvering around, but it works. I am not bothered much by the compact design because ultimately for me, I am solely using it as a protected place from weather and as a place to sleep during a hunt. I am often up and gone well before dawn and frequently return well after dark after a full day of pursuing game animals.

Space is at a premium inside the tent.
Space is at a premium inside the tent.

This ultra-snug design was modeled after the NEMO Kunai 2P mountaineering tent, which nearly identical but colored differently. A smaller footprint is more desirable at high elevations with varied terrain, where finding or creating a level spot of real estate is often difficult.

A large mesh gear loft above the door which provides plenty of storage for your camp essentials
A large mesh gear loft above the door provides plenty of storage for your camp essentials.

Inside the tent you will find a large mesh gear loft above the door which provides plenty of storage for your camp essentials. There are also light pockets in the front corners of the tent to hold a phone or headlamp. The slightly opaque mesh is meant to help diffuse the light throughout the whole tent for hands-free illumination. Alternatively, these pockets can also be used to store more gear. Additional pockets on each side of the tent walls are handy for a GPS, wallet, or a midnight snack.

The vestibule is small with just enough space to store backpacks and hiking boots for two people. Additionally, there is a little space at the foot of the tent for extra clothes and other essentials.

The vestibule is small with just enough space to store backpacks and hiking boots
The vestibule is small with just enough space to store backpacks and hiking boots.

The weight of the Kodiak 2P tent is a mere 4 lb. 3 oz. (1.9 kgs) and won’t weigh you down. Arguably, there are single-wall 4 season tents in the 2 lb to 3lb range, and that’s all well and good until the temperature rises or internal condensation sets in. Conversely, the market is flooded with 3 season tents that are lightweight and shed rain beautifully, but once a sustained wind blows or the temperatures start to drop, they leave you with little protection from the elements. This makes the versatility of the Kodiak 2P tent a good alternative for all-season camping.

Recommendation

The NEMO Kodiak 2P tent has a burly design that inspires confidence when changing weather conditions are likely, making late-season camping or hunting trips less of a gamble when it comes to braving the elements. The attention to detail is truly incredible. In the case of a multi-day storm, it may get a bit snug in there for most, but you will definitely be protected from the elements. If you are looking for one tent to do-it-all, this is it. Great for dry, wet, hot, or cold weather, this tent speaks volumes about NEMO’s consistent quest for innovation and its ability to adapt and meet consumer demand. I highly recommend this tent if you spend time in a variety of climates throughout all four seasons.

Disclosure: NEMO provided the author with a sample tent in exchange for an impartial review.

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About the author

Sven Peery is an all-season outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. He is also an experienced hunter and fisherman who is not afraid to wander off the beaten path. His wanderings have led him to hike and explore the vast trails of the High Uinta Wilderness, Wind River Range, and the Frank Church Wilderness in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho respectively. Sven spent 8 years with a county Search and Rescue team in Northern Utah. His training includes man tracking, wilderness survival, backcountry, cave, and high angle rescue. Whether hiking in National Parks with family, rising up to 13,527 feet elevation of Kings Peak, or dipping nearly a mile below the rim to cross the Grand Canyon, he is always ready for the next adventure!

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9 comments

  1. I would be curious to see a comparison to the Slingfin Portal.

  2. The portal has two side doors and is a dome. The Kodiak is more wedge-like and has one front door. They really couldn’t be more different.

    • “The NEMO Kodiak 2P is a 4-season freestanding double-wall tent.”
      The Slingfin Portal is a 4-season freestanding double-wall tent?

  3. Nice one. Those zip windows rock. But what is the difference between this and the Kunai, besides colors ?

    • From what I can tell, they are nearly identical if you compare their specs side by side. I appreciate the Kodiak for it’s more earth tone colors, I tend to like to blend into my environment. Conversely, the Kunai is bright yellow. I have found that these brightly colored tents are helpful in low visibility situations such as a blizzard/white out when locating and navigating to the tent is high priority

      • Strange marketing, but whatever. I do like it a lot. It would be great for those low mileage/long nights in the winter for one person.

  4. Nice tent, wrong pole attachment design. What if it’s raining or sleeting like hell and you have to set up the interior & poles first? Yep, it all gets wet before the fly can be put on.

    So OK, just TRY to set it up fly first and then clip in the inner tent. Easy? Nope.

    i still prefer my dual vestibule TT SCARP II (and optional crossing poles if heavy snow or winds are expected).

  5. I purchased the Nemo Kunai in December and have used it once so far for a multi-night winter camping trip. Other than the color (and maybe a few extra ounces) the Kodiak is identical to the Kunai. My comments can be useful for both tents.
    I really like this tent but I also have some early concerns.

    Pros:
    – Great livability for one person, the brow pole makes a big difference in the width of the head end. This feels like a tent that is larger than its floor dimensions.
    – Great ventilation for all weather, breathable body fabric
    – Thoughtful and well placed pockets
    – Easy access, the brow pole makes a huge difference in door height.
    – Terrific weight for a 4 season tent, especially a double walled tent.
    – Tough 30 denier floor with high bathtub sides.
    – Vertical side walls that help keep sleeping bags dry.
    – Tiny footprint to set up in small spaces, easy setup.
    – The rear vent opening is perfectly aligned between the tent body and the fly to allow for outside views.
    – Maybe I’m old-school but I really like the zippered interior fabric that covers the side vents. To me the design feature it is worth the few extra ounces.

    Concerns:
    – The brow pole structure creates a ledge effect on the front of the tent when snow falls on the fly. The sides and the top of the tent shed snow well but the brow pole area retains the snow. I have concerns about heavy snow loads there, as well as the area not shedding heavy rain and creating a rain pocket.
    – Not enough stakes are included with the tent, and those that it does have are heavy. Plan on stake replacement.
    – There are no ropes attached to the guyout points on the fly sidewall. Plan on adding them. Failing to pull the fly away from the sidewalls of the tent essentially creates a single walled tent and the condensation inside is noticeable.
    – The corner guyouts are ridiculous and not worthy of Nemo specifically advertising them as being advantageous. For winter camping longer rope is needed for a dead-man. In the warmer months it would be better to have more options for stake placement than two settings. Plan on replacing the corner stake out rope.
    – Nemo has used a nice reflective rope for all tie outs but the rope is heavy, overly flexible, and will absorb water. I have replaced all of mine.
    – The design of the fly lends itself well to creating great ventilation. Although having it that high on the sides of the tent body allows a snow load to develop against the side of the singe wall bathtub floor. There are no guyout points on the tent body to compensate for the side load. Additionally, the snow pressing against the outside transfers cold to anyone who is laying against the fabric on the inside.
    – I have concerns about the foot end wall. Although a portion of the fly can be pulled away from the tent body on the end, a short section of the fly remains pressed against the end wall just under the vent. Having a short section of end wall with no separation between the two fabrics (tent body and fly) essentially creates a single wall and can add to condensation buildup. BTW- plan on purchasing rope and a stake to guy out the end of the tent. They are not included with the tent.
    – The zippers on the side vents are single, not double, and they open from the head end to the foot end. This creates potential drafts on the head. A better design for a cold weather tent would be to have double zippers meet at the top of the vent to allow for better venting options.
    – A short tent for anyone 6 feet and over

    • I was actually coming to say the same as you, that the Nemo Kunai is the same minus color. I recently bought it for my planned AT through hike. I appreciate how in depth you were with your pros and cons, a lot of what you’ve said are problems that I have yet to experience in my tests. What did you mean by adding guylines, are you talking about sewing/gluing on rope/attachment loops? I’ve never heard of someone adding guylines to a tent before. Also, what did you mean by the ropes being heavy and too flexible? Why would that be a problem? Apologies for so many questions, I’ve just had a hard time finding any reviews for my tent.

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