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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Large Agnes Tiger Wall vs. NEMO Hornet OSMO vs. MSR FreeLite

In case you’re in search of a light-weight backpacking shelter that blends consolation, user-friendly design, and glorious climate safety, a semi-freestanding tent is the perfect alternative.

Semi-freestanding tents supply decrease weight with out sacrificing the consolation and ease of double-wall tents – a mixture that has made them extra fashionable than ever in recent times. Because of a easy pole construction, semi-freestanding tents are quick and simple to pitch. They provide inside conveniences like sensible pockets and further headroom, options which are typically lacking in single-wall, non-freestanding options like trekking pole tents.

Within the semi-freestanding class, three tents steal the highlight: the Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO  2, and MSR FreeLite 2. These shelters are on the high of their class and excel in each essential manner for backcountry adventures. They’re extraordinarily gentle, extremely useful, and easy to make use of. That’s why every of those tents ranks on our record of the Finest Backpacking Tents

After completely testing every tent in diverse backcountry situations, we assembled this information to check their strengths and weaknesses. Learn on to seek out out which tent got here out on high and why.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

How We Examined

Our workforce at CleverHiker has used the 2-Individual fashions of the Large Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents for greater than half a decade in very rugged path situations. We’ve pushed the bounds of those tents from the dry warmth and scorching wind of Bryce Canyon, Utah to the chilly, moist storms of Olympic Nationwide Park, and relied on them for powerful, multi-day adventures to a months-long thru-hike of the CDT.

Most lately, we put these three tents by the wringer on a five-day expedition within the difficult Sawtooth Wilderness. We encountered late September rain, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. Years of expertise and testing in these various situations have allowed us to evaluate and scrutinize each component of those tents in real-life backcountry situations the place reliability, sturdiness, and luxury matter probably the most.

Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Fashions We Examined

We’ve additionally examined – and actually like – the 3-person variations of those tents. This information focuses on the favored 2-person variations, however many of the execs/cons stay the identical for the 3P fashions. In case you normally backpack with a companion and like a bit extra inside house in your shelters, the 3-person variations of every of those tents are additionally glorious and are nonetheless very gentle.

Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)
Product Value Weight Dimensions (LxWxH) Kind Flooring Space Vestibule Space Pockets Packed Dimension

Large Agnes Tiger Wall 2

View at REI

View at Amazon

$450 2 lb. 8 oz. 86 x 52/42 x 39 in. (wider at head, narrower at foot) Semi-freestanding 28 sq. ft. 8 + 8 sq. ft. 4 18 x 5.5 in.

MSR FreeLite 2

View at REI

View at Amazon

$450 2 lb. 5 oz. 84 x 50 x 39 in. Semi-freestanding 29 sq. ft. 7.5 + 7.5 sq. ft. 3 18 x 4.5 in.

NEMO Hornet OSMO 2

View at REI

$430 2 lb. 8 oz. 85 x 51/43 x 39 in. (wider at head, narrower at foot) Semi-freestanding 27.5 sq. ft. 7.1 + 7.1 sq. ft. 2 12.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 in.


We ranked the Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 based mostly on a easy scoring system:

  • 1 level for each part the tent wins
  • 1 level for all tents if there’s a 3-way tie

The tent with the very best rating wins.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 symbolize phenomenal worth for ultralight user-friendly shelters. These tents cater to hikers planning a protracted trek or thru-hike however aren’t able to half with the comforts and middle-tier pricing of a double-wall tent.

There are extra inexpensive double-wall tents available on the market, however they are usually fairly a bit heavier. There are additionally lighter shelters on the market, however they are usually single-wall non-freestanding tents that always use costly material like Dyneema Composite Cloth (DCF). These three semi-freestanding tents land within the center for pricing, however are nonetheless impressively gentle, straightforward to make use of, and supply very good climate safety.

Try the value comparability desk in our Finest Backpacking Tents Information to see how these tents stack up towards the opposite high shelters available on the market. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are priced within the mid to low 400s, which locations them slightly below common for worth. They’re cost-effective for being so light-weight and feature-rich.


  1. NEMO Hornet OSMO – $430
  2. MSR FreeLite – $450
  3. Large Agnes Tiger Wall – $450

Winner: NEMO Hornet OSMO

The NEMO Hornet OSMO wins this class by $20, with a tie for second place. However we wouldn’t suggest making your alternative based mostly on worth alone. As a result of these tent costs are so shut, contemplate specializing in which tent options are crucial to you. On the finish of the day, an additional $20 will probably be cash properly spent if the tent matches your wants higher in the long term.


Packaged Weight

These tents are impressively gentle. Check out the burden comparability desk in our Finest Backpacking Tents Information to see how they examine to our different high picks. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, MSR FreeLite 2, and NEMO Hornet OSMO 2 are close to the entrance of the pack for weight. That’s why every one earns a spot in our Finest Backpacking Tents Information or Finest Ultralight Tents Information: they’re straightforward to hold for prolonged intervals.

To check tents, we use their packaged weight. Packaged weight is the overall mass of the tent because it’s bought by the producer. That quantity normally consists of the tent, rainfly, stakes, and guylines. 

  1. MSR FreeLite – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 5 oz.
  2. NEMO Hornet OSMO – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 8 oz.
  3. Large Agnes Tiger Wall – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 8 oz.

Winner: MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite wins this class by three ounces, with a tie for second place. Three ounces isn’t nothing in terms of backpacking gear weight, and that would issue into your shopping for determination. Nonetheless, needless to say three ounces is only a bit extra weight than a snack bar, so selecting a tent with the options you need may simply be extra essential.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Inside Area

We predict the Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 usually work higher as solo shelters. As a result of all three tents prioritize low weight, we discovered their interiors have been small for 2 average-sized adults. In case you’re backpacking with a companion or a canine, we suggest sizing as much as the 3-person variations of any of those tents for extra room.

Inside house of the tents is measured as follows: L x W [head / foot] x H [peak]). Be aware that the Tiger Wall and Hornet each are wider on the head and extra slender on the ft, in order that they have two width measurements. The FreeLite is rectangular, so it has one.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – 86 x 52/42 x 39 in.

The Tiger Wall presents probably the most inside house of the three tents. It has the longest forehead pole, which pulls the edges of the inside mesh practically vertical. Meaning you’ll have considerably extra headroom than the FreeLite or the Hornet to sit down up and transfer round. 

Due to this spacious headroom, the Tiger Wall is the one tent on this record we expect is cheap for 2 folks. It’s nonetheless a decent house to share, however we discovered it was the least cramped of the three tents, particularly if customers are on the shorter or smaller facet. For more room, contemplate sizing as much as the 3-Individual model of the Tiger Wall.

MSR FreeLite – 84 x 50 x 39 in. 

The MSR FreeLite has extra inside house than the Hornet, however not as a lot because the Tiger Wall. One key distinction of the FreeLite is its totally rectangular ground, which presents more room than the Tiger Wall or Hornet when mendacity down subsequent to a companion. We discovered the ground house of the FreeLite was much like heavier freestanding, 2-person backpacking tents. This design additionally provides more room for inside gear storage.

Nonetheless, the FreeLite’s forehead pole is shorter than the one on the Tiger Wall (though longer than the Hornet). Meaning the FreeLite’s partitions slant inward, reducing out treasured headroom that two folks want for livable house in a shared shelter.

For that motive, the FreeLite is extra comfy as a solo shelter, moderately than sharing with a companion. It might work properly for 2 smaller or shorter hikers who’re okay with much less headroom, and it’s a wonderful tent alternative for solo use. 

NEMO Hornet OMSO – 85 x 51/43 x 39 in. 

NEMO’s Hornet has the least inside house in comparison with the Tiger Wall and the FreeLite. NEMO makes use of quick forehead clips as an alternative of an extended forehead pole, so the partitions are slender and are available practically to some extent on the ceiling. This design eliminates many of the potential headroom that the Tiger Wall and FreeLite supply.

The Hornet’s ground space is the most important of the three tents, which is okay once you’re mendacity down. Nonetheless, we discovered the slender partitions made it powerful for 2 folks to sit down up with out brushing the facet of the tent or bumping into the opposite individual. You could possibly match two folks in a pinch, however it’s tight.

Additionally, the Hornet will not be nice for backpackers over six ft tall. Our tallest hiker was 6’2”, and so they discovered the 2-person Hornet was too slender for consolation over an prolonged time, at the same time as a solo shelter.

We extremely suggest the 2-person Hornet for solo backpackers which are underneath 6 ft tall. For taller hikers, we recommend the 3-person model of this tent. In actual fact, we just like the 3-person NEMO Hornet OSMO a lot that we favor it over the 3-person FreeLite or the 3-person Tiger Wall. 

Winner: Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall is the clear winner of this part. Its longer forehead pole creates an even bigger inside house and presents considerably extra headroom than the opposite two shelters. The FreeLite is available in second place with a usable however narrower inside, and the Hornet is available in third as a result of a scarcity of headroom for 2 folks.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Flooring Space

Flooring dimensions alone are usually not a good way to measure how roomy a tent is. The construction of the tent poles defines how a lot headroom there will probably be. Nonetheless, the quantity of ground house remains to be essential. A beneficiant tent ground will present extra room for 2 folks when mendacity down, and as a bonus presents additional inside house for storing gear. 

To seek out the sq. footage of every tent’s ground, multiply the size of the ground by the width. The Tiger Wall and Hornet have a tapered ground form, which means they’re wider on the head and extra slender on the ft. The FreeLite is rectangular.

  1. MSR FreeLite – 29 sq. ft.
  2. Large Agnes Tiger Wall – 28 sq. ft.
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 27.5 sq. ft.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite is the champion in terms of ground space. At 29 sq. ft, the FreeLite is a sq. foot greater than the Tiger Wall in second place, and a foot and a half greater than the Hornet in third place. The FreeLite’s rectangular ground form provides it a bit extra room than the opposite two, which taper from wider on the head to extra slender on the ft. Nonetheless, it is a small quantity of additional ground house and wouldn’t be sufficient to persuade us to decide on the FreeLite over the opposite tents.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Vestibule Space

The vestibule of a tent helps it really feel extra comfy and livable. Vestibules present a dry designated place to retailer smelly footwear, tools, and ponderous backpacks. It’s additionally important for offering climate safety by blocking wind, solar, and rain. A roomy vestibule lends extra versatility to a tent as properly: it might present extra seating, act as a non-public house to vary garments and supply shelter when cooking and consuming.

  1. Large Agnes Tiger Wall – 8 + 8 sq. ft.
  2. MSR FreeLite- 7.5 + 7.5 sq. ft.
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 7.1 + 7.1 sq. ft.

Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall wins for the largest vestibule. It has the most important vestibule space of the three tents, with nearly a sq. foot greater than the Hornet in third place. Despite the fact that the Hornet’s vestibule house felt extra slender, these tents are all inside 6 to 12 sq. inches of one another. Total, these tents supply average-sized vestibules for backpacking tents. We didn’t have bother discovering house to retailer our gear. The Tiger Wall’s s additional vestibule house is sweet, however the barely smaller vestibules of the opposite tents wouldn’t be a dealbreaker in our purchasing determination.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


Shelter storage and group are important when tenting. Properly-designed tent pockets ought to fluctuate in dimension and be strategically positioned all through the tent that will help you keep organized. Pockets make it straightforward to shortly entry necessities once you want them, whether or not it’s a multitool or a map, and may hold your shelter clutter-free whereas maximizing house. 

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall has 4 whole pockets, probably the most of all three tents. It options two handy rectangular pockets close to the top of the tent, good for storing necessities like a headlamp or chapstick. It additionally has a large overhead storage pocket helpful for storing gadgets like a hat or telephone.

What makes the Tiger Wall distinctive is the spacious loft pocket on the foot of the tent. It’s the one tent of the three that provides a pocket this large and on this location. The loft pocket is positioned within the foot space that isn’t used to sit down up, so we discovered this extensive, stretchy storage is ideal for stashing jackets or different garments with out leaving them piled on the ground or in a vestibule. 

MSR Freelite – The Freelite has 3 pockets. It options two distinctive triangular pockets on the head of the tent for neatly storing gear you wish to hold shut. The triangle pockets have a handy characteristic: a gap on the backside to run a charging twine out of your energy financial institution to your telephone. We discovered the pockets have been simply sufficiently big to stash the vast majority of our small important gadgets. Nonetheless, in case you want extra room, the Freelite additionally has two generously sized overhead pockets which are sensible for stashing bulkier issues like gentle layers or stuff sacks. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet presents simply 2 medium overhead pockets. It doesn’t have low facet pockets like the opposite tents supply, so that you’ll have to seek out some place else to place your sun shades, earplugs, and toiletries. As an alternative, the 2 small overhead pockets supply the one storage within the tent, however they’re simply inside arm’s attain. These pockets are fabricated from a particular light-dispersing materials to transform your headlamp into an ambient tent lamp. We discovered this minimal pocket design supplied restricted room for a handful of things, however nothing else. 

Winner: Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall wins first place for a considerate pocket format that we discovered very handy and helpful. With 4 pockets of various sizes, the storage within the Tiger Wall assured we might have ample room for organizing gear. We particularly appreciated the massive loft pocket to maintain jackets off the ground. MSR’s FreeLite pockets have been additionally useful and useful, however in third place, the Hornet was missing. Its minimalist storage choices left us wanting extra.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Climate Resistance

You’re sure to run into unpredictable and difficult climate when backpacking. Nonetheless, these tents will hold you as protected and dry from the rain, wind, and even gentle snow as any heavier freestanding shelter.

All three tents are constructed with ripstop, water resistant nylon blends and embody guylines to safe your shelter in excessive winds. All of them embody an extra therapy of DWR, silicone, and/or polyurethane to shed water.

Semi-freestanding tents constructed from nylon do have some downsides. They’re extra inclined to excessive wind due to the minimal pole construction. As well as, all three tents are inclined to sag in chilly and moist climate due to their nylon development. Generally, nylon doesn’t maintain form in addition to a DCF shelter, sil-nylon, or a thicker, extra sturdy materials. As a result of the nylon utilized in these three tents is thinner and the foot of the tent is staked out, you’ll doubtless have to re-tension your guylines and re-stake your tent as inclement climate strikes in and the fabric sags.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall excels in climate safety because of its full-coverage fly and lengthy forehead pole. The place the Hornet and FreeLite each have one facet the place the rainfly is minimize out, the Tiger Wall’s fly extends to the bottom on all sides, guaranteeing moisture is saved at bay. The Tiger Wall additionally has six guylines, two greater than the others, for much more stability and resistance to robust winds. Due to Large Agnes’ distinctive dying strategies, the Tiger Wall is UV resistant and gained’t lose coloration as shortly because the Hornet or FreeLite.

We discovered the fabric of the Tiger Wall sagged many of the three tents when it got here to chilly and moist situations. We have been by no means involved that the fabric would fail, and the tent was superior at protecting out moisture, wind, and the weather, however it’s possible you’ll want to regulate the strain of the guylines as temperatures drop and the rain picks up. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet’s tent materials sagged the least. We discovered NEMO’s polyester and nylon material mix, referred to as OSMO, didn’t droop as a lot because the others in rain, snow, wind, or below-freezing temperatures. Just like the FreeLite, it presents 4 guy-out factors.

Sadly, the slender forehead clips on the high of the tent don’t present a lot protection from rain when getting out and in of the tent. Meaning the vestibules and inside tent are liable to getting sprinkled when doorways are open throughout a storm. The 4 guyline attachment factors are useful for protecting moisture out.

One other draw back is that just like the FreeLite, the Hornet has a single-wall part on the head of the tent the place the rainfly is minimize out, turning simply the foot space right into a single-wall tent. We discovered this was a uncommon concern and the tent dried shortly, however in moist and chilly climate, this lack of rainfly protection drew extra condensation than the remainder of the tent. 

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite makes use of “rain gutters” on the rainfly. These are flaps positioned subsequent to the zippers that run from the highest of the tent to the underside of the rainfly to assist information moisture away. This may be particularly useful when opening the tent after a storm since water nonetheless on the rainfly doorways would roll in direction of the zipper and into the vestibule. 

On paper, it is a nice characteristic. In follow, we didn’t discover that the rain gutter was any extra environment friendly at shedding water than the Tiger Wall or Hornet.

Just like the Hornet, the FreeLite additionally has 4 guy-out factors and a single-wall part on the foot of the tent the place the rainfly is minimize out to save lots of weight. We discovered this space gathered extra condensation than the remainder of the tent, but it surely wasn’t a major concern. The FreeLite saved out rain and blocked wind.

Winner: Three-Method Tie

This can be a three-way tie. We discovered all three tents have been comparable and really dependable in rain and wind. They every stand out for a distinct motive: the Tiger Wall has a full-coverage rainfly, the Hornet sags much less in chilly and moist climate, and the Freelight provides a gutter designed to assist shed water. These tents have saved us reliably dry, and our gear protected within the vestibules, it doesn’t matter what the situations have been outdoors.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


These tents prioritize low weight over sturdiness. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are usually not burly by design: they use slim aluminum poles and skinny material to supply main weight financial savings for ounce-conscious backpackers. 

Denier is a strategy to measure not solely how thick or dense a material is, however how robust will probably be. When a denier quantity is excessive the tent material is stronger, more durable to see by, and heavier. At decrease denier values, material is lighter, extra clear, and fewer sturdy.

All three tents use 10 and 15 denier ripstop nylon (or a coated nylon mix) for the ground and rainfly, and polyester for the mesh. 15D is barely barely extra sturdy than 10D, however each are ultralight and impressively weather-resistant. It’s value noting these supplies are as gentle and skinny as you’ll be able to presumably go with out sacrificing all sturdiness, and 10D and 15 materials are normal on most ultralight tents.

It’s true {that a} motivated critter may chew by the fabric on any of those tents to succeed in a late-night snack in your shelter. We’ve additionally discovered {that a} rogue department or sharp rock can do some actual harm in case you don’t choose a transparent campsite. We extremely suggest buying the coordinating footprint or a sheet of Tyvek residence wrap for all three fashions so as to add an additional layer of safety between you and muddy, moist, or tough terrain. In case you’re onerous in your gear or in search of a brilliant sturdy backcountry shelter, these tents will fall quick. 

Nonetheless, we’ve discovered that with common upkeep and preventative care, all three tents can and can final a few years. To increase the lifetime of your shelter, see our information How To Care For Your Tent: Cleansing, Restore, & Storage Ideas.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite felt safe in all climate because of a thicker tent materials. Just like the Tiger Wall, it makes use of 15-denier nylon for all elements of the tent:  rainfly, partitions, and ground. That is an incremental distinction in materials thickness that provides a bit extra sturdiness.

The FreeLite additionally options 4 guylines, one for every nook, so as to add stability in excessive winds. Moreover, MSR makes use of metallic grommets for the tent pole ends to nestle, whereas the Hornet and Tiger Wall use plastic. We’ve by no means had a problem with plastic grommets, however it is a small component that would add longer life to the FreeLite.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is sturdy because of its proprietary OSMO materials. This can be a mix of polyester and nylon that outperformed the FreeLite and Tiger Wall in moist and chilly climate. The ten rainfly and 15D inside OSMO material held its form the very best and sagged the least of those three tents, making it really feel extra sturdy and reliable in storms. Just like the FreeLite, the Hornet additionally has 4 guyline attachment factors. Just like the Tiger Wall, it makes use of plastic grommets for the tent poles. Plastic grommets work properly and sure save an incremental quantity of weight, however in principle, plastic is extra more likely to break or deteriorate than metallic.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – We discovered the Tiger Wall’s materials was the least sturdy of the three tents.  Large Agnes makes use of 15D ripstop nylon, which ought to be similar to the FreeLite for efficiency in chilly temperatures and rain. It has 6 guyline attachment factors for additional safety throughout storms. 

However in our expertise, the Large Agnes material sagged the many of the three tents throughout moist climate. We had considerations that the rainfly – which is nearly see-through – was too skinny, but it surely nonetheless carried out properly towards moisture and wind. We’d extremely suggest a floor material or footprint so as to add longevity to the Tiger Wall particularly. Although it nonetheless labored properly in all climate, we query the long-term sturdiness of The Tiger Wall’s materials.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The winner for sturdiness is the MSR FreeLite. Its barely thicker 15D nylon development and use of metallic grommets put it forward of the competitors, guaranteeing an extended lifespan within the outside. The Hornet is in second place and the Tiger Wall is in third.

When it boils all the way down to sturdiness, none of those tents are an excellent alternative. Their light-weight design and high-performance supplies are usually not constructed to final for many years. However the place you sacrifice sturdiness, you achieve portability, and these tents are as gentle because it will get.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


A flexible tent enhances a variety of outside adventures. It’s not straightforward to discover a shelter that retains you simply as comfy within the wild backcountry in a single day as a reserved frontcountry web site. Semi-freestanding tents straddle the road between freestanding and non-freestanding choices on this regard.

Freestanding tents – Freestanding tents are probably the most versatile for sleeping close to an alpine lake or subsequent to your automobile bumper. The burden of most freestanding tents makes them useful sufficient for backpacking, particularly when splitting the burden with a companion, however feature-rich sufficient for automobile tenting because of ease of use and pace of setup.

Non-freestanding tents – Non-freestanding tents are the least versatile. They’re designed so simple as attainable for backpacking, which is precisely what you want for a low base weight. However for tenting nearly anyplace else, you sacrifice comforts like pockets, headroom, and sturdiness. Non-freestanding shelters don’t make sense anyplace besides the backcountry: they’re costly, probably the most time-consuming and difficult to pitch, and are identified to fill with condensation in a single day. Additionally they have a big footprint, since all man strains should be staked out, to allow them to’t be arrange in as many places. 

Semi-freestanding tents – Semi-freestanding tents land in between the 2. Like freestanding tents, their small footprints and few guylines make them straightforward to arrange anyplace there’s room. In frontcountry and automobile tenting conditions, they gained’t present as a lot sturdiness, consolation, or inside house as a typical freestanding tent, however they provide related options like pockets, headroom, and climate resistance for versatility past the backcountry. Semi-freestanding tents are straightforward to make use of due to their easy pole construction, in order that they’re quick to arrange for a first-timer. And like non-freestanding tents, they provide very low weight. 

Winner: Three-Method-Tie

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are designed firstly for light-weight backpacking, however they’re additionally versatile sufficient for the frontcountry. Because of their distinctive mix of low weight, wealthy options, and ease of use, every tent is flexible sufficient to deal with probably the most punishing months-long thru-hike, however would additionally thrive close to a picnic desk and a fireplace pit.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Ease of Use

For ease of use, semi-freestanding tents are the right stability between freestanding tents and trekking pole tents. 

Freestanding tents are nearly all the time the quickest and best to pitch since they are often arrange on most terrains. Freestanding tents use acquainted designs and have handy options like color-coordinated buckles and clips that make the shelter setup a breeze.

Trekking pole tents are probably the most troublesome and time-consuming to arrange. They don’t have a devoted framework of tent poles and depend on your trekking poles because the help level. Meaning the steps to attain the “good” pitch with guylines and rigidity will be complicated and gradual relying on the slope, obstacles, and house accessible.

Semi-freestanding tents are quick to arrange since they require being staked out on the foot of the tent. Like a freestanding tent, the uncomplicated pole construction is straightforward to know, and the rainfly attachments are intuitive for quick setup or tear down. In contrast to Trekking pole tents, you’ll be able to pitch semi-freestanding tents in additional places because of the smaller footprint. 

Winner – Three-Method Tie

This can be a three-way tie. We discovered the Large Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents have been remarkably straightforward to pitch. Semi-freestanding tents nonetheless require selecting a campsite rigorously, particularly when they’re ultralight like these tents, however their small footprint, easy design, and minimal stakes make them nice for each freshmen and seasoned campers.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Packed Dimension

Having a tent that packs small is essential for portability. The much less house your tent takes up, the extra room you have got for different necessities. Plus, a smaller backpack profile is extra comfy and maneuverable. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents pack down very small. If packed dimension is your high precedence, any of those tents may work.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – 12.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 in.

The Hornet packs down the smallest. At a mere 12.5 inches, the Hornet’s pole segments fold into considerably smaller sections than the 18-inch poles of the Tiger Wall or FreeLite. Most tent poles are too lengthy to be packed contained in the backpack, so they’re saved on the surface whereas climbing – however not the Hornet. It packs so small, we match all the tent and poles simply within our backpacks. Your entire package deal matches properly horizontally and vertically.

We don’t suggest storing poles inside your bag long run to forestall damaging different gear, however having the choice opened up priceless outdoors storage that’s devoted house for the FreeLite and Tiger Wall. This sort of dimension versatility is exclusive to the Hornet and an enormous benefit for backpackers.

MSR FreeLite – 4.5 x 4.5 x 18 in.

The width of the FreeLite when packed is 4.5 inches, but it surely’s tied with the Tiger Wall for the size of poles at 18 inches. You could possibly cut back it much more with a distinct stuff sack and the poles saved individually.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – 5.5 x 5.5 x 18 in.

The Tiger Wall has the largest packed dimension of the three tents, measuring an inch wider than the FreeLite.  Think about using a distinct compression sack and storing the poles on the surface of your backpacks to scale back the quantity of inside house used.

Winner – NEMO Hornet OSMO

The NEMO Hornet OSMO handily takes the prize for the smallest packed dimension. We’re impressed with how small the Hornet can get, making it probably the most versatile for carrying in your backpack or storing at residence. With poles nearly six inches longer, the FreeLite is available in second, and the Tiger Wall is third as a result of it packs the widest. Nonetheless, we expect all of those tents supply a remarkably small packed dimension and would complement most backpacking kits.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Doorways & Zippers

We favor tents with two doorways. Whether or not climbing with a companion or exploring trails solo, tents with two doorways are useful for coping with restricted campsite house, orienting to a particular view, and providing another exit in an emergency. Two doorways may enhance air flow by permitting air to maneuver by the tent. Twin entrances make a tent extra livable and versatile for sharing house with a tentmate and organizing gear.

For the Doorways and Zippers class, we ranked exterior rainfly doorways and inside tent doorways individually to find out the winner.


MSR FreeLite – We discovered the FreeLite’s rainfly doorways have been straightforward to open with a single zipper and easy to maneuver by. The medium-sized forehead bar helps hold the door flaps off of the inside tent, so lingering rainfly condensation by no means leaves the vestibule. The FreeLite’s rainfly tie-backs are in an intuitive and useful location that hold the doorways out of the best way and permit slightly extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet’s giant rainfly doorways additionally characteristic a single zipper. We like the location of the Hornet’s door tie-backs over the Tiger Wall, however lower than the FreeLite. The tie-backs are positioned low, which typically causes condensation to drip on us or gear whereas making an attempt to pin the door again. The Hornet’s doorways may additionally flap into the vestibule and towards the inside of the tent, a problem when the doorways have been moist with condensation or rain. We just like the triangular form and dimension of the rainfly doorways for ease of use.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall is available in final place due to the placement of the door tie-backs and clasps: they’re very low on the tent. This uncommon design means in case you’re inside making an attempt to get the rainfly flap out of the best way to exit, you’re more likely to brush towards condensation or a soaked rainfly, dousing each you and your gear. We additionally discovered the door design was too low. We needed to duck rigorously when coming into the tent to keep away from brushing or bumping our heads on the tent. The Tiger Wall rainfly doorways have two-way zippers, the one tent of the three that provides this configuration. Two-way zippers can assist with air flow, however this wasn’t sufficient to maneuver the Tiger Wall out of third place.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite wins for the very best rainfly door. A mix of well-placed tiebacks and good design put its giant doorways on the high. The Hornet is available in second, and the Tiger Wall in third.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


Large Agnes Tiger Wall The Tiger Wall has two zippers on inside “L”-shaped doorways. One zipper runs vertically, the opposite runs alongside the bottom, and so they meet on the nook. This design makes for simple, one-hand door opening and offers the flexibleness to entry the vestibule by simply opening the zipper on the backside, even whereas mendacity down. The Tiger Wall additionally has the largest inside doorways. The inside door tieback is about excessive, which retains it utterly out of the best way to make getting out and in straightforward.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite’s inside door is triangular and L-shaped, however the is smaller and at a sharper angle than these of the Tiger Wall. Tiebacks are intuitively positioned in the course of the door and maintain again the tent materials. Just like the Tiger Wall, the FreeLite additionally presents two zippers that meet on the nook for simple open-and-close with one hand or accessing gear outdoors.

NEMO Hornet OMSO – We discovered the Hornet’s doorways have been extra cumbersome and fewer useful than the opposite two tents. The Hornet’s inside doorways are a half-circle form and solely have one zipper. We discovered the doorways are onerous to open with one hand due to their form and the design of the tent. With out utilizing two fingers, material bunches up and prevents a clean zip. The tiebacks are lengthy and positioned properly to maintain the door out of the best way when wanted.

Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall has the very best inside doorways of those three tents. They’re large, straightforward to open with one hand, and the 2 zippers are handy and useful. The FreeLite is available in second and the Hornet in third.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Air flow

Generally, semi-freestanding tents don’t supply nice air flow in comparison with freestanding fashions. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 don’t supply luxurious options typical of freestanding tents like kickstand roof vents or adjustable rainfly heights that may assist mitigate condensation even higher. The mesh uppers of the inside tent definitely assist with airflow, however air flow is proscribed as soon as the tent is totally zipped up.

As a result of lack of air flow, condensation can construct up in a single day in all three of those tents, particularly throughout moist and chilly climate. We’ve by no means discovered condensation to be a serious concern as a result of the double wall design manages this moisture properly. In contrast to a non-freestanding tent, the air hole between the inside mesh and the rainfly successfully retains condensation away from you and your gear. These tents are made with skinny efficiency materials that maintain a stunning quantity of moisture however dry shortly within the solar.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall presents two zippers on the rainfly, so you’ll be able to open the highest part of the fly for airflow whereas sustaining some privateness. Nonetheless, this isn’t sensible throughout moist climate. Just like the FreeLite, the inside tent additionally presents two zippers, permitting campers to depart one open for a bit extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – On the foot of the Hornet, the rainfly is minimize out. This protects weight, but it surely creates a single-wall part on the tent. Despite the fact that this space is liable to condensation as a result of it creates a big nylon part as an alternative of mesh, this single-wall part of the tent helps with breathability.

MSR FreeLite – Similar because the Hornet, the FreeLite has a single-wall part on the foot of the tent the place there’s no rainfly. This helps incrementally with air flow. 

Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall’s double zipper on the rainfly and double zipper on the inside tent supply only a bit extra air flow than the FreeLite and Hornet. It’s value noting that it is a small quantity of additional airflow. All three tents use skinny, breathable materials, however are finally missing in air flow options.

Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)


The outside business will be extremely wasteful. Manufacturing tents typically requires uncooked supplies like petroleum to supply artificial materials and aluminum for tent poles. The method of producing textiles is resource-intensive, creating huge quantities of water waste. As well as, Cloth therapies use chemical coatings and sealants that may be dangerous to the surroundings. Transporting merchandise all around the world provides to carbon emissions.

It’s a paradox: the very gadgets we use to benefit from the outside can hurt the surroundings throughout their manufacturing. Corporations that concentrate on sustainable materials sourcing, recycled materials, accountable and humane labor practices, home manufacturing, and utilizing much less vitality and water could make a constructive affect on the native and international surroundings.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – In 2021, Large Agnes modified the best way it dyes all of its tents with a technique referred to as answer dying. It dyes supplies earlier than they’re processed, as an alternative of afterwards. This dying approach reduces vitality consumption by 80% and water use by 50%. Meaning the Tiger Wall is produced with as few carbon emissions and chemical substances as attainable. And, its tent poles are totally recyclable.

Large Agnes amenities run on 100% electrical vitality. The corporate doesn’t use any flame retardants in its merchandise, makes use of licensed Accountable Down Commonplace for sourcing down, and prioritizes 50-100% recycled insulation to be used in its jackets and sleeping luggage. Large Agnes has additionally lowered its variety of poly luggage for gadgets like furnishings and stakes. Try its lengthy record of eco-friendly initiatives.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet makes use of OSMO material, a mix of polyester and nylon that’s free from ceaselessly chemical substances like hearth retardants, PFAs, and PFCs. The tent is Blue Signal accepted and assured freed from poisonous supplies.

NEMO pledges to chop its emissions in half by 2030. Their workplace runs on 100% renewable vitality. NEMO presents a lifetime assure and repairs, so when your Hornet wants a recent zipper or the ground requires greater than only a patch, you’ll be able to restore your tent as an alternative of including it to the landfill. NEMO has launched plenty of 100% recycled and recyclable merchandise. The corporate launched its Countless Promise Program, which is a dedication by the corporate to make gear extra recyclable and cut back waste with a closed-loop system: recycling, repairing, and reselling supplies and merchandise.

MSR FreeLite – Each the nylon material and aluminum of the FreeLite are constructed from recyclable supplies.

MSR’s manufacturing and workplace amenities are powered by a minimal of 25% renewable vitality. All merchandise are freed from BPA, PFAs, and harsh chemical substances. MSR sources all packaging supplies native to its US-based manufacturing amenities. Home manufacturing makes their environmental footprint a lot decrease versus producing internationally. It additionally has a strong restore program for its tents, backpacks, and a few garments, and boasts an 85% or larger fee of restore for all merchandise returned to them for fixing. Learn extra about their dedication to sustainability

Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall is the winner for eco-friendliness due to its Resolution-Dyed Cloth. The dramatic discount in sources used to supply such a high quality tent, mixed with Large Agnes’ dedication to decreasing emissions throughout all amenities and merchandise, makes it distinctive. 

However none of those corporations are slacking in terms of interested by their environmental footprint. Large Agnes, NEMO, and MSR have all made important strides during the last decade to scale back vitality consumption, deal with recyclable merchandise, and transition to eco-friendly dyes, chemical substances, and manufacturing practices. Every firm has its personal academic initiatives and conservation partnerships. Large Agnes, NEMO, and MSR are on the forefront of the dialog round find out how to reuse or repurpose outside merchandise as an alternative of sending them to the landfill.

Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)


Our winner within the comparability of the Large Agnes Tiger Wall, MSR FreeLite, and NEMO Hornet OSMO tents is the Large Agnes Tiger Wall.

  1. Large Agnes Tiger Wall – 8 factors
  2. MSR FreeLite – 7 factors
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 5 factors

Total Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Backside Line

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents are a few of the greatest ultralight tents accessible. All three tents are tied for excellent climate safety, versatility, and ease of use. We predict every tent presents a reliably dry and protected shelter in moist climate and excessive winds. They’re exceptionally gentle, easy to arrange, and versatile sufficient for many tenting conditions. 

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall is our favourite tent total due to its roomier dimensions and beneficiant pocket construction. Inside house issues in a backpacking shelter, and the Tiger Wall presents probably the most headroom. It’s the one possible choice on this record for 2 campers. The Tiger Wall additionally has the most important vestibule house and largest inside door, and we like that the rainfly covers all sides of the tent. Its distinctive loft pocket makes it straightforward to stash cumbersome gear like jackets. Large Agnes’ dedication to eco-friendly initiatives is a bonus.

The Tiger Wall’s material doesn’t really feel as sturdy because the Hornet or the FreeLite as a result of it sags probably the most in chilly and moist climate. Its rainfly door design may very well be improved by placing tiebacks in a greater location. It additionally packs the largest of the three tents. Nonetheless, the Tiger Wall presents nearly all the pieces we would like in a semi-freestanding and ultralight tent, making it the winner.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite works greatest as an ultralight solo shelter. It weighs the least of the three tents however nonetheless has handy pockets. It feels probably the most sturdy because of the mix of metallic grommets and 15 nylon materials. We just like the rainfly on the FreeLite due to its intuitively positioned tie-backs that hold the doorways out of the best way. It presents probably the most ground space to unfold out gear and get comfy on its extensive, rectangular ground and stayed in second place amongst these tents for packed dimension, inside house, and vestibule dimension.

The FreeLite has much less headroom than we wish. Its rain gutters are a pleasant characteristic, however they don’t appear to assist shed moisture higher than the opposite tents. We discovered the triangular pockets are useful, however not as spacious or dynamic because the Tiger Wall.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is a superb choice for single hikers underneath 6 ft tall who need an ultra-packable, no-frills tent. We like that the quick pole sections, at ⅔ of the size of the Tiger Wall or FreeLite, make the tent so small that we may stash all the shelter and poles in our backpacks. The Hornet is comfy and units up shortly. We’re impressed that the fabric doesn’t sag as a lot because the FreeLite or the Tiger Wall in chilly and moist climate. The Hornet can be probably the most inexpensive of those three tents.

However the Hornet is available in third place as a result of a scarcity of pockets and inside house. Two ceiling pockets aren’t sufficient to remain organized and declutter the tent, particularly in comparison with the Tiger Wall or FreeLite. The Hornet additionally has the smallest vestibule house, ground house, and inside of the three tents. The slender headroom and a decent pole construction are small for 2 folks. Additionally, the inside door form and single zipper are usually not as straightforward to make use of as the opposite tents.

All three semi-freestanding tents are distinctive, feature-rich shelters. They’re extra inexpensive than a trekking pole shelter however lighter than a freestanding tent. The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL2, MSR FreeLite, and NEMO Hornet OSMO 2 are on our Finest Backpacking Tents Information for the precise causes.

When the competitors is that this stiff, contemplate your private priorities. Whether or not you’re after the tiniest packed dimension, the largest doorways, or probably the most headroom, one in all these tents is tailored in your subsequent backcountry journey. Regardless of the place you’re headed subsequent, these shelters will hold you protected, dry, and comfy – with out the additional weight.

Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

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