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

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

TITLE Sawtooths 37
Large Agnes Tiger Wall vs. NEMO Hornet OSMO vs. MSR FreeLite 23

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a light-weight backpacking shelter that blends consolation, user-friendly design, and wonderful 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 mix that has made them extra widespread than ever in recent times. Due to a easy pole construction, semi-freestanding tents are quick and simple to pitch. They provide inside conveniences like sensible pockets and additional headroom, options which can be usually lacking in single-wall, non-freestanding alternate 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 necessary method for backcountry adventures. They’re extraordinarily mild, extremely purposeful, and easy to make use of. That’s why every of those tents ranks on our record of the Greatest Backpacking Tents

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

Glacier 23 104
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

How We Examined

Our crew at CleverHiker has used the 2-Particular person 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 sizzling wind of Bryce Canyon, Utah to the chilly, moist storms of Olympic Nationwide Park, and relied on them for robust, multi-day adventures to a months-long thru-hike of the CDT.

Most just lately, we put these three tents by means of 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 numerous situations have allowed us to evaluate and scrutinize each ingredient of those tents in real-life backcountry eventualities the place reliability, sturdiness, and luxury matter probably the most.

Sawtooths 28
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 a lot of the execs/cons stay the identical for the 3P fashions. If you happen to often backpack with a associate and like a bit extra inside area in your shelters, the 3-person variations of every of those tents are additionally wonderful and are nonetheless very mild.

Sawtooths 35
Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)
Product Worth Weight Dimensions (LxWxH) Sort Flooring Space Vestibule Space Pockets Packed Measurement

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 best rating wins.

Eagle Cap 23 034
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 reasonably priced double-wall tents in the marketplace, 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 cloth like Dyneema Composite Cloth (DCF). These three semi-freestanding tents land within the center for pricing, however are nonetheless impressively mild, straightforward to make use of, and supply excellent climate safety.

Take a look at the worth comparability desk in our Greatest Backpacking Tents Information to see how these tents stack up towards the opposite high shelters in the marketplace. 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, think about specializing in which tent options are an important to you. On the finish of the day, an additional $20 can be cash properly spent if the tent matches your wants higher in the long term.

Glacier 23 027

Packaged Weight

These tents are impressively mild. Check out the burden comparability desk in our Greatest 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 Greatest Backpacking Tents Information or Greatest Ultralight Tents Information: they’re straightforward to hold for prolonged intervals.

To match tents, we use their packaged weight. Packaged weight is the overall mass of the tent because it’s bought by the producer. That quantity often contains 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 the case of backpacking gear weight, and that might issue into your shopping for determination. Nonetheless, remember that three ounces is only a bit extra weight than a snack bar, so selecting a tent with the options you need might simply be extra necessary.

Eagle Cap 23 127
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Inside House

We expect 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. If you happen to’re backpacking with a associate or a canine, we suggest sizing as much as the 3-person variations of any of those tents for extra room.

Inside area of the tents is measured as follows: L x W [head / foot] x H [peak]). Word that the Tiger Wall and Hornet each are wider on the head and extra slim on the toes, 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 area of the three tents. It has the longest forehead pole, which attracts the edges of the inside mesh almost vertical. Which means you’ll have considerably extra headroom than the FreeLite or the Hornet to take a seat 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 individuals. It’s nonetheless a decent area to share, however we discovered it was the least cramped of the three tents, particularly if customers are on the shorter or smaller aspect. For extra space, think about sizing as much as the 3-Particular person model of the Tiger Wall.

MSR FreeLite – 84 x 50 x 39 in. 

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

Nonetheless, the FreeLite’s forehead pole is shorter than the one on the Tiger Wall (though longer than the Hornet). Which means the FreeLite’s partitions slant inward, slicing out valuable headroom that two individuals want for livable area in a shared shelter.

For that cause, the FreeLite is extra comfy as a solo shelter, relatively than sharing with a associate. It will work properly for 2 smaller or shorter hikers who’re okay with much less headroom, and it’s a superb tent alternative for solo use. 

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

NEMO’s Hornet has the least inside area 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 slim and are available almost to some extent on the ceiling. This design eliminates a lot of the potential headroom that the Tiger Wall and FreeLite supply.

The Hornet’s ground space is the biggest of the three tents, which is ok while you’re mendacity down. Nonetheless, we discovered the slim partitions made it robust for 2 individuals to take a seat up with out brushing the aspect of the tent or bumping into the opposite particular person. You possibly can match two individuals in a pinch, however it’s tight.

Additionally, the Hornet shouldn’t be nice for backpackers over six toes tall. Our tallest hiker was 6’2”, they usually discovered the 2-person Hornet was too slim for consolation over an prolonged time, whilst a solo shelter.

We extremely suggest the 2-person Hornet for solo backpackers which can be beneath 6 toes tall. For taller hikers, we advise the 3-person model of this tent. In truth, we just like the 3-person NEMO Hornet OSMO a lot that we choose 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 a much bigger inside area 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 consequence of a scarcity of headroom for 2 individuals.

Glacier 23 083
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Flooring Space

Flooring dimensions alone should not a good way to measure how roomy a tent is. The construction of the tent poles defines how a lot headroom there can be. Nonetheless, the quantity of ground area continues to be necessary. A beneficiant tent ground will present extra room for 2 individuals when mendacity down, and as a bonus presents additional inside area 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 slim on the toes. 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 the case of ground space. At 29 sq. toes, 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 offers it a bit extra room than the opposite two, which taper from wider on the head to extra slim on the toes. Nonetheless, it is a small quantity of additional ground area and wouldn’t be sufficient to persuade us to decide on the FreeLite over the opposite tents.

Eagle Cap 23 148
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 pungent sneakers, 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 could possibly present further seating, act as a personal area to alter 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 biggest vestibule space of the three tents, with virtually a sq. foot greater than the Hornet in third place. Though the Hornet’s vestibule area felt extra slim, these tents are all inside 6 to 12 sq. inches of one another. General, these tents supply average-sized vestibules for backpacking tents. We didn’t have bother discovering area to retailer our gear. The Tiger Wall’s s additional vestibule area is sweet, however the barely smaller vestibules of the opposite tents wouldn’t be a dealbreaker in our purchasing determination.

Sawtooths 69
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)


Shelter storage and group are important when tenting. Properly-designed tent pockets ought to fluctuate in measurement and be strategically positioned all through the tent that can assist you keep organized. Pockets make it straightforward to rapidly entry necessities while you want them, whether or not it’s a multitool or a map, and might preserve your shelter clutter-free whereas maximizing area. 

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, excellent for storing necessities like a headlamp or chapstick. It additionally has a large overhead storage pocket useful for storing objects 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 take a seat up, so we discovered this vast, 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 preserve shut. The triangle pockets have a handy function: 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 objects. Nonetheless, for those who want extra room, the Freelite additionally has two generously sized overhead pockets which can be sensible for stashing bulkier issues like mild layers or stuff sacks. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet presents simply 2 medium overhead pockets. It doesn’t have low aspect pockets like the opposite tents supply, so that you’ll have to search out elsewhere to place your sun shades, earplugs, and toiletries. As a substitute, the 2 small overhead pockets supply the one storage within the tent, however they’re simply inside arm’s attain. These pockets are product of a particular light-dispersing materials to transform your headlamp into an ambient tent lamp. We discovered this minimal pocket design offered 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 structure 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 purposeful and useful, however in third place, the Hornet was missing. Its minimalist storage choices left us wanting extra.

Glacier 23 044
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Climate Resistance

You’re certain to run into unpredictable and difficult climate when backpacking. Nonetheless, these tents will preserve you as secure and dry from the rain, wind, and even mild snow as any heavier freestanding shelter.

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

Semi-freestanding tents produced from nylon do have some downsides. They’re extra vulnerable 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. Basically, 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 seemingly 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 due to its full-coverage fly and lengthy forehead pole. The place the Hornet and FreeLite each have one aspect the place the rainfly is lower out, the Tiger Wall’s fly extends to the bottom on all sides, making certain moisture is stored at bay. The Tiger Wall additionally has six guylines, two greater than the others, for much more stability and resistance to sturdy winds. Due to Large Agnes’ distinctive dying strategies, the Tiger Wall is UV resistant and gained’t lose shade as rapidly because the Hornet or FreeLite.

We discovered the fabric of the Tiger Wall sagged a lot 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 holding out moisture, wind, and the weather, however you could want to regulate the stress 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 cloth mix, known 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 slim forehead clips on the high of the tent don’t present a lot protection from rain when getting out and in of the tent. Which means 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 holding 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 lower out, turning simply the foot space right into a single-wall tent. We discovered this was a uncommon problem and the tent dried rapidly, 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 is able to 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 function. In observe, 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 lower out to save lots of weight. We discovered this space gathered extra condensation than the remainder of the tent, nevertheless it wasn’t a major problem. The FreeLite stored out rain and blocked wind.

Winner: Three-Approach Tie

It is 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 cause: 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 stored us reliably dry, and our gear protected within the vestibules, it doesn’t matter what the situations have been exterior.

Eagle Cap 23 088
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 should not burly by design: they use slim aluminum poles and skinny cloth to supply main weight financial savings for ounce-conscious backpackers. 

Denier is a technique to measure not solely how thick or dense a cloth is, however how sturdy it will likely be. When a denier quantity is excessive the tent cloth is stronger, tougher to see by means of, and heavier. At decrease denier values, cloth 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 simply barely extra sturdy than 10D, however each are ultralight and impressively weather-resistant. It’s value noting these supplies are as mild and skinny as you may presumably go with out sacrificing all sturdiness, and 10D and 15 materials are commonplace on most ultralight tents.

It’s true {that a} motivated critter might chew by means of 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 for those who don’t choose a transparent campsite. We extremely suggest buying the coordinating footprint or a sheet of Tyvek dwelling wrap for all three fashions so as to add an additional layer of safety between you and muddy, moist, or tough terrain. If you happen to’re arduous in your gear or on the lookout for an excellent 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 Suggestions.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite felt safe in all climate due to 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 steel 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 ingredient that might add longer life to the FreeLite.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is sturdy due to its proprietary OSMO materials. It is 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 cloth held its form the perfect 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 certain save an incremental quantity of weight, however in idea, plastic is extra more likely to break or deteriorate than steel.

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 needs 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 cloth sagged the a lot of the three tents throughout moist climate. We had considerations that the rainfly – which is nearly see-through – was too skinny, nevertheless it 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 specifically. 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 steel grommets put it forward of the competitors, making certain an extended lifespan within the open air. 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 awesome alternative. Their light-weight design and high-performance supplies should not constructed to final for many years. However the place you sacrifice sturdiness, you acquire portability, and these tents are as mild because it will get.

Eagle Cap 23 087
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 website. 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 purposeful sufficient for backpacking, particularly when splitting the burden with a associate, however feature-rich sufficient for automobile tenting due to 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 virtually 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 recognized to fill with condensation in a single day. Additionally they have a big footprint, since all man strains have to 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 area 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-Approach-Tie

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are designed before everything for light-weight backpacking, however they’re additionally versatile sufficient for the frontcountry. Due to 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.

Eagle Cap 23 157
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Ease of Use

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

Freestanding tents are virtually 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 assist level. Which means the steps to realize the “excellent” pitch with guylines and stress might be complicated and sluggish relying on the slope, obstacles, and area out there.

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 may pitch semi-freestanding tents in additional places due to the smaller footprint. 

Winner – Three-Approach Tie

It is 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 fastidiously, particularly when they’re ultralight like these tents, however their small footprint, easy design, and minimal stakes make them nice for each newbies and seasoned campers.

Eagle Cap 23 112
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Packed Measurement

Having a tent that packs small is essential for portability. The much less area 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 measurement is your high precedence, any of those tents might 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 mountaineering – however not the Hornet. It packs so small, we match all the tent and poles simply inside our backpacks. The whole bundle 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 helpful exterior storage that’s devoted area for the FreeLite and Tiger Wall. This type of measurement 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, nevertheless it’s tied with the Tiger Wall for the size of poles at 18 inches. You possibly can scale 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 measurement 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 inner area used.

Winner – NEMO Hornet OSMO

The NEMO Hornet OSMO handily takes the prize for the smallest packed measurement. We’re impressed with how small the Hornet can get, making it probably the most versatile for carrying in your backpack or storing at dwelling. With poles virtually 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 measurement and would complement most backpacking kits.

Eagle Cap 23 126
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Doorways & Zippers

We choose tents with two doorways. Whether or not mountaineering with a associate or exploring trails solo, tents with two doorways are useful for coping with restricted campsite area, orienting to a particular view, and providing an alternate exit in an emergency. Two doorways may enhance air flow by permitting air to maneuver by means of the tent. Twin entrances make a tent extra livable and versatile for sharing area 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 means of. The medium-sized forehead bar helps preserve 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 purposeful location that preserve the doorways out of the way in which and permit slightly extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet’s massive rainfly doorways additionally function 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 generally causes condensation to drip on us or gear whereas making an attempt to pin the door again. The Hornet’s doorways might 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 measurement of the rainfly doorways for ease of use.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall is available in final place due to the situation of the door tie-backs and clasps: they’re very low on the tent. This uncommon design means for those who’re inside making an attempt to get the rainfly flap out of the way in which 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 fastidiously when getting 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 will help 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 perfect rainfly door. A mix of well-placed tiebacks and sensible design put its massive doorways on the high. The Hornet is available in second, and the Tiger Wall in third.

Eagle Cap 23 122
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, they usually 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 ready excessive, which retains it utterly out of the way in which 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 situated 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 exterior.

NEMO Hornet OMSO – We discovered the Hornet’s doorways have been extra cumbersome and fewer purposeful 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 arduous to open with one hand due to their form and the design of the tent. With out utilizing two palms, cloth bunches up and prevents a clean zip. The tiebacks are lengthy and positioned properly to maintain the door out of the way in which when wanted.

Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

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

Glacier 23 022
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Air flow

Basically, 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 restricted as soon as the tent is absolutely 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 significant problem 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 shocking quantity of moisture however dry rapidly within the solar.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall presents two zippers on the rainfly, so you may 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 go away one open for a bit extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – On the foot of the Hornet, the rainfly is lower out. This protects weight, nevertheless it creates a single-wall part on the tent. Though 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.

Sawtooths 23
Picture credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)


The outside trade might be extremely wasteful. Manufacturing tents usually 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 remedies 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 objects we use to benefit from the open air can hurt the surroundings throughout their manufacturing. Firms 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 impression on the native and international surroundings.

Large Agnes Tiger Wall – In 2021, Large Agnes modified the way in which it dyes all of its tents with a way known as resolution dying. It dyes supplies earlier than they’re processed, as an alternative of afterwards. This dying method reduces vitality consumption by 80% and water use by 50%. Which means the Tiger Wall is produced with as few carbon emissions and chemical compounds as attainable. And, its tent poles are absolutely recyclable.

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

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet makes use of OSMO cloth, a mix of polyester and nylon that’s free from eternally chemical compounds like hearth retardants, PFAs, and PFCs. The tent is Blue Signal authorized 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 may restore your tent as an alternative of including it to the landfill. NEMO has launched a variety of 100% recycled and recyclable merchandise. The corporate launched its Limitless Promise Program, which is a dedication by the corporate to make gear extra recyclable and scale back waste with a closed-loop system: recycling, repairing, and reselling supplies and merchandise.

MSR FreeLite – Each the nylon cloth and aluminum of the FreeLite are produced from recyclable supplies.

MSR’s manufacturing and workplace services are powered by a minimal of 25% renewable vitality. All merchandise are freed from BPA, PFAs, and harsh chemical compounds. MSR sources all packaging supplies native to its US-based manufacturing services. 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 charge 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 assets used to supply such a high quality tent, mixed with Large Agnes’ dedication to decreasing emissions throughout all services and merchandise, makes it distinctive. 

However none of those firms are slacking in the case of interested by their environmental footprint. Large Agnes, NEMO, and MSR have all made important strides over the past decade to scale back vitality consumption, give attention to recyclable merchandise, and transition to eco-friendly dyes, chemical compounds, and manufacturing practices. Every firm has its personal instructional initiatives and conservation partnerships. Large Agnes, NEMO, and MSR are on the forefront of the dialog round the best way to reuse or repurpose outside merchandise as an alternative of sending them to the landfill.

Sawtooths 25
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

General Winner – Large Agnes Tiger Wall

Eagle Cap 23 123
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Backside Line

The Large Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents are a number of the finest ultralight tents out there. All three tents are tied for excellent climate safety, versatility, and ease of use. We expect every tent presents a reliably dry and secure shelter in moist climate and excessive winds. They’re exceptionally mild, 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 area issues in a backpacking shelter, and the Tiger Wall presents probably the most headroom. It’s the one possible possibility on this record for 2 campers. The Tiger Wall additionally has the biggest vestibule area 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 cloth 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 could possibly be improved by placing tiebacks in a greater location. It additionally packs the largest of the three tents. Nonetheless, the Tiger Wall presents virtually every thing we would like in a semi-freestanding and ultralight tent, making it the winner.

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

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

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is a wonderful possibility for single hikers beneath 6 toes 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 might stash all the shelter and poles in our backpacks. The Hornet is comfy and units up rapidly. 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 also be probably the most reasonably priced of those three tents.

However the Hornet is available in third place as a consequence of a scarcity of pockets and inside area. 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 area, ground area, and inside of the three tents. The slim headroom and a decent pole construction are small for 2 individuals. Additionally, the inside door form and single zipper should not as straightforward to make use of as the opposite tents.

All three semi-freestanding tents are distinctive, feature-rich shelters. They’re extra reasonably priced 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 Greatest Backpacking Tents Information for the correct causes.

When the competitors is that this stiff, think about your private priorities. Whether or not you’re after the tiniest packed measurement, 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 preserve you secure, dry, and cozy – with out the additional weight.

Eagle Cap 23 145
Picture credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)
Popular posts

Most Popular

Other posts