Gear

Field Tested: Nemo Chogori Tent

Basics

The Nemo Chogori is a four-season tent that comes in both two- and three-person sizes. The Chogori’s big innovation is the built-in tent-fly—that is, the tent itself and the rainfly are not two component pieces but come pre-attached.


Pros

Built-in fly makes setup quick // Good balance between weight/durability

Cons

Built-in fly means you can’t go fly-less on warmer nights // Built-in fly makes drying and tent repair more difficult


Our Thoughts

The innovation of the integrated fly in the Chogori is a game-changer in terms of assembly. Combined with the external-pole structure, this makes set up lightning fast—and every minute saved can be crucial on wind-scoured glaciers. The two-person model could fit three people in a pinch: The main compartment is 89 inches long and 65 inches wide at the middle, tapering to 50 inches wide at the doors. The tent walls are made of 20D ripstop nylon, the fly of 30D ripstop nylon, and the tent floor of super-durable 70D polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon. These materials all add up to a good balance of weight, breathability, and durability, making the tent well suited for cold basecamps in Alaska, the Andes, or the Himalayas. But the Chogori was also equally at home on the mountain—at 7 lbs, 1 oz, it proved light enough for a multi-day mountaineering ascent. The biggest drawback is related to its biggest asset: The built-in fly can be limiting in terms of portability, packability, repairs, and drying.


Size Reviewed

Two-Person

Weight

7 lbs, 1 oz

Price

$750

Brand

Nemo


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The Nemo Chogori has an external pole structure and an innovative integrated tent-fly design. (Photo: Courtesy Nemo Equipment)

Quick and Painless Setup with the Integrated Fly

The first time I pulled the Nemo Chogori tent out of its bag, I was confused, having already forgotten the finer points of its design since I’d ordered it: Where was the fly? It took me longer than I care to admit, but I finally dredged from the recesses of my mind the product’s main selling point: The fly is pre-connected to the tent body itself.

After my Zoolander moment (“The files are in the computer?”), I erected the tent in my front yard—poles, stakes, and all—by myself, in under 10 minutes. 10 minutes?! That felt remarkably fast for a first dry run. I’ve taken twice that long to get other tents standing, and that’s after already knowing how to set them up and with a partner helping.In ideal scenarios—i.e., nice weather, with a partner, on firm ground—that time inched down toward five minutes with the Chogori if we were hustling.

The combination of the integrated fly and the four-pole external design make setting up the Chogori quick and painless. On a monthlong expedition to Peru, I came to appreciate this all the more. As my partner and I crested a col at 18,000 feet late one afternoon, the winds were picking up and the temps were dropping. The ability to get the Chogori standing and bomb-proofed as quick as we did was clutch. (Albeit on a windy glacier any tent setup takes longer than in a front yard—staking out a tent in hard ice is never a gimme.)

The author emerging from the Nemo Chogori at his team’s advanced basecamp (18,000 feet), prior to an attempt on Alpamayo —the mountain looming in the background. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

An Ideal Featherweight Tent for Basecamp and Mountaineering

The Chogori is built for mountain climbing, whether as a basecamp shelter or on route for something like the West Buttress of Denali, i.e., something where you’re not going ridiculously fast and light and/or that isn’t too technical. The 36.3 square feet of floorspace in the two-person model is spacious enough for two grown individuals plus plenty of gear, or could fit a third person if need be. The 11.7-square-foot vestibule, which has its own semi-circular pole, is a good cooking or pre-climb staging area. Altogether, the tent weighs 7 pounds, 1 ounce, so it’s lighter than some other really beefy high-alpine tents out there, but not the flyweight of the bunch—call the Chogori a featherweight. That being said, the tent felt no less sturdy than heavier offerings: As gusts reached 50 mph at that 18,000-foot col, the 30D ripstop nylon fly and the 20D ripstop nylon tent walls, pitched as taut as we could get them, held up well as they rippled in the wind. We had rigged up the guy lines that came with the tent and battened down the hatches, ready for the worst the Andes could throw at us.

While the integrated fly saves weight and makes setup a cinch, it has certain drawbacks. I like to divvy up tent materials with my partner—fly for me, tent for them; poles for me, stakes for them. Or something like that. The integrated fly makes this harder to do—you have to carry it all as one unit. Also, patching holes or mending scuffs is trickier if the blights are on the tent body itself, as it requires getting in between the two layers. If you have a balmier dry night, one in which you don’t want to use the fly, well, you’re out of luck. It’s all or nothing. Finally, for drying the tent, we kept it erected and opened all the doors on a bright, sunny day. This worked fine, but was not as quick as a removable fly spread on a warm rock.

Given its roominess, the Chogori is a great choice for a basecamp tent for a short expedition. Seen here at Alpamayo basecamp (14,000 feet), Peru. (Photo: Levi Harrell)

Other Features

The Chogori’s other features are all industry standard and performed well. The long interior sides each hold three mesh organizer pockets for stuffing headlamps, gloves, hats, socks, meds, snacks, etc. The roof has two small zippered window vents—and the fly has corresponding zippered slits—replete with little stands to keep them propped open. These helped keep air flowing on warmer nights. The stuff sack, should you choose to use it, isn’t ridiculously small, as it is for some tents. Another cool feature, albeit one I haven’t had the opportunity to test, is the ability to zip two Nemo tents together to create a long tunnel-esque tent. But if I happen to have two Nemo Chogori tents with me on my next expedition, I’ll report back.