Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P hiking tent: Tested

By Mark Watson 24 July 2023
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Nemo has a reputation for robust and innovative outdoor shelters. Does its new Dagger OSMO retain that? We head bush to find out.

The trusty two person hiking tent sits upt here in the must-have list for those in search of a more comfortable modern-day version of the iconic Australian walkabout. Five key items always adorn the top of any trekking list; Fitted backpack, lightweight tent, comfortable sleeping pad, warm sleeping bag and reliable stove. Often, it’s the ‘little things’ that place a certain favourite on that must-have list and the new planet-friendly three-season Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P has so many ‘little things’ that it has quickly become a ‘big thing’ here at Australian Geographic Adventure. It’s most certainly a contender to be on our everyday list.


We are fans of sustainable materials and quality designs in outdoor kit, especially when bundled with smart features, and the Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P tent ticks all such boxes. From the secure jakes-foot pole-anchors and blue-light reducing diffuser headlamp pocket, to the one-handed gatekeeper door clips, the new Dagger OSMO delivers on smart design and smart materials. Stuffed away, the compact three-season tent measures 50x16x9 centimetres, but with poles separated into the planet-friendly, un-dyed, 100% recycled Repreve pole bag, the inner and fly can be squished (tech term) much smaller.

At 1.86 kilograms (or 1.52kg stripped trail weight) the Dagger OSMO slots nicely in the pointy end of the ‘lightweight’ category for dual-walled two-person tents.  Pre-bent DAC Featherlite NSL poles (colour-coded) make up a hubbed pole set with colour-matched webbing. Proprietary OSMO poly-nylon ripstop fabric combines with this to help deliver impressive weight advantages and amazing usability alongside increased durability. Nemo is confident enough in the tent’s construction to offer a lifetime warranty.

Nemo tech boffins have put their heads together to create OSMO, a composite fabric of 100% recycled polyester and nylon, promoted as 20% stronger, and a claimed four times better water repellency, with three times less stretch (when wet) than traditional tent fabrics. Both the fly and tent base offer a 2000mm hydrostatic head water repellency. A single hubbed pole (dual-Y plus ridge pole and cross member) with 229x127cm footprint and 106cm peak height makes for a spacious interior with plenty of sit-up room for two occupants and once pegged out delivers a sturdy, freestanding, aerodynamic three-season dome with dual 1.1 square-metre trapezoid vestibules for kit.

In the field

The Dagger OSMO is not for those with a super slim wallet, however buyers who stretch the budget are rewarded with an exceptionally high quality build that will last years of multi-seasonal use. It is immediately apparent Nemo has hit the nail on the hydrostatic-head (see what I did there), with its new OSMO fabric, presenting as super strong and ‘sillily light’ (another tech term) in this Dagger 2P. It is both flame-retardant and 2000mm water repellant without the use of toxic PFC or PFAS chemicals such as the commonly-used bioaccumulating environmental pollutant C6 DWR. We did not test the OSMO fabric on a molecular level, because we’d rather go camping (and we don’t have the lab), but can assure hikers the Dagger OSMO sits taught, doesn’t sag when wet, vents well and keeps the elements out… We love it.

Double-walled construction (an outer fly and separate inner) is best suited to Australian conditions. The Dagger OSMO’s large vestibules and doors make for plenty of storage space (on top of the six internal pockets) and easy entry/exit for two adults.

The easy set-up with the jakes-feet (ball and socket pole mount) and hubbed pole design leads to a sub-five minute set-up and the one-handed gatekeeper clips on the fly-doors allow for easy drawing back of the fly sheet for ventilation. In fact, the fly sheet, whilst easily clipped to the inner in seconds, can double-draw-back on both sides of the tent to reveal two-thirds of the over-sized dual side doors where the large No-See-Um Mesh areas of the inner combined with the high-cut fly-sheet offers vast ventilation.

The double-wall (inner and fly) is tried, tested and proven for great waterproofness and breathability and we found near-zero condensation during our testing in an Australian autumn. The Dagger OSMO 2P offers greater internal space than many alternate lightweight 2P tents and the large floor area combined with steep sidewalls allowed this testers 188cm frame to both sit up and lie flat, without a face full of fabric, all whilst delivering copious of room for a second occupant.

The bathtub floor keeps water and rubbish out, but we’d recommend adding a lightweight footprint as well, to up the tent’s durability further.

The six internal pockets of varying size worked a treat for kit and the yellow headlamp diffuser pocket is a bonus. The lightweight OSMO bathtub floor provides solid waterproofness but is certainly best with a groundsheet (if you can afford the extra weight) to aid longevity. The Landing Zone (a mini clip-in triangular vestibule groundsheet) is a great addition, adding a second waterproof area in the vestibule, but does add a little bit of weight; for weight-weenies this may be an issue, but for us regular walkers, it’s still worth packing for a hike.

The final word on the Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P

The Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P’s quickly proved to be a favourite in our lightweight, all-round hiking-tent category (I may have just made this category up). It’s easy to pitch but sturdy, is weather resistant but vents well, and is made of high quality materials with exceptionally well considered features. It is by no means a cheap shelter, but it does right in the price bracket of other comparative high-end two person hiking tents, and will no doubt become a favourite for many who venture off the beaten path.

RRP: $950 (Note: online pricing ranges from $765 up). See Nemo Equipment for more info on this and other gear.