NEMO’s Chogori combines the weight savings and easy setup of a single-wall tent with a double-wall’s versatility and weather protection. The result is a seriously capable alpine shelter.
The best mountaineering tents aren’t one-trick ponies. Traditional single-wall tents might not be be versatile enough to keep climbers comfortable and dry during the long haul. Conditions change dramatically from approach to high camp. This is where heavier, burlier, and more weatherproof double-wall tents shine.
Enter NEMO’s Chogori Mountaineering Tent. The brand released it last month in two- and three-person options, both designed to stand up to harsher and more variable conditions. But an integrated fly design provides double-wall strength without sacrificing the simplicity and weight savings of single-wall mountaineering standards.
We put NEMO’s two-person Chogori to the test through harsh winds and snow along the shoulders of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker for this review.
In short: An external pole structure, combined with a one-piece body and fly, made the Chogori 2P easy to set up in wind and snow. It resisted all forms of precipitation and proved roomy and comfortable enough to lounge in, all without spine-cracking weight on the uphill.
NEMO Chogori Tent Review
Unlike a traditional double-wall tent, the Chogori ($700) doesn’t require the process of setting up the body, laying the fly on top, and sandwiching poles in between. NEMO affixed the fly directly to the body with small nylon tethers. DAC’s Featherlite aluminum poles snap onto the outside of the fly, raising the whole thing at once.
Overall, the construction is fairly simple. However, there’s one caveat: The tent uses four body poles and one vestibule pole, but the body poles are two different lengths and not marked or color coded (we tested a pre-release sample, and according to NEMO the poles in the 3P are labeled). For me, this required the extra step of comparing the poles before connecting them to the body. After that, setup was a breeze, even above 10,000 feet at Mount Rainier’s Camp Muir.
There, in increasingly rough conditions, the design’s benefits became most apparent. A stiff wind and snow would have proven difficult to fight with a traditional double-wall setup, but the Chogori had no problem. It set up as quickly and easily as a single-wall tent. It never exposed the inside of the tent to the elements, as is often the case with double-wall tents.
Running the Weather Gauntlet
In a rain and wet snow mix at Mount Baker’s Artists Point, the silicone-treated 30-denier silnylon ripstop fly (rated to 1,500 mm) sealed out the precipitation. And a breathable 20-denier nylon ripstop body canopy kept it from getting overly frosty on cooler nights, or damp during warmer nights near Snoqualmie Pass.
Meanwhile, the vents on the very top open and close from within the tent, creating some extra airflow. In buffeting winds, the external poles kept the tent drum-tight and, without a separately flapping fly, relatively quiet. But reflective guy-outs all around the exterior allow for extra tension should conditions deteriorate.
Lightening the Load
NEMO boasts the integrated fly design and lighter materials cut the tent’s weight by up to 20 percent compared to double-wall tents with similar architecture (e.g., Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 and The North Face Mountain 25). The Chogori 2P comes in as much as 1 pound lighter when packed, at 7 pounds 7 ounces.
At the same time, the Chogori 2P’s 36.3 square feet of floor space felt roomy for a two-person tent. And the slightly bowed-out sides created plenty of room for gear and other items. The 39-inch ceiling let my partner and I (both around 6 feet tall) sit completely upright to play cards during a storm.
Plus, the 11.7-square-foot front vestibule includes a window and is plenty big enough to stay dry and boot up inside. To truly enjoy the comfort and space, though, you’ll need to find (or dig) a slightly larger tent platform. But for me, it was worth the extra effort.
Final Word: The Ideal Mountain Siege Shelter
The Chogori isn’t designed for light-and-fast alpine strikes where encountering weather is an unfortunate suffer-fest. It also might not fit on tiny alpine ledges or pack as small or light as any other four-season tent.
But for climbs in questionable weather, or when a little more comfort is preferred, its double-wall design vastly increases waterproofing and breathability.
And at $700, the Chogori sits at nearly the same price as similar tents. It’s comparable to the best double-wall tents with its relatively light weight, simple design, and superior setup in adverse conditions. NEMO’s Chogori is an extremely capable, versatile, all-around mountaineering and expedition tent.