The Espri 2P is a nice three season tent. It's great for backpacking because of the size and weight, and ease of set up and take down. When I first took it out of the box I found the packed length (at around 20 inches) a bit unwieldy, but that's only because of the tent I looked at before (the Meta2, which is roughly the size of a cantaloupe when packed but doesn't come with poles). If you take the poles out of the tent bag it does compress to roughly the size of a cantaloupe. One small oversight by Nemo is not making the tent bag a compression sac. I used third party straps to keep the bag as small as possible.
With the tent compressed, I could get both my 20º down sleeping bag and the Nemo tent in the bottom of my backpack. This is a huge improvement over tents I have used in the past that generally take over the outside of my backpack.
When you take the poles out of their bag the first thing you realize is the two poles are attached in the middle. If you just throw the poles out and shake them for a bit and they almost find their way together. One side of the poles is slightly more bent than the other and shaded with a darker grey. I didn't have the instructions, but I quickly found that the poles only fit when installed in one direction. The more bent, darker ends are the back. After a few wrong turns it's easy to determine which side is which, even in the dark. The lightweight but extremely sturdy poles snap naturally into place at the corners of the tent; Nemo used a ball and socket joint that is extremely intuitive and terribly hard to mess up. The center piece on the poles connects to a corresponding plastic button on the tent. Once the poles are in place and the center of the tent is attached, popping the rest of the plastic tent connectors onto the poles is a breeze and the mesh tent is up. This would be great for a warm summer night, allowing tons of air to flow freely through the tent.
The fly easily attaches, also connecting to the corners of the tent with a simple snap-on mechanism. It doesn't cover the entire tent but covers all of the essential mesh areas. The fly has a built-in vent to keep condensation to a minimum. The detachable vestibule provides additional space to store your gear outside of the tent but away from the rain. An optional trekking-pole vestibule gives you even more space, but it was unavailable for me to test.
|A double rainbow in the fjords of southern Patagonia.|