Nemo Mayfly OSMO 2P | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Nemo Mayfly OSMO 2P | Review

A spacious but still light backpacking tent that utilises a hugely impressive fabric

The Nemo Mayfly OSMO 2P tent ticks a lot of boxes and is a total shoo-in for our top 10 list of the best tents for two people. With its minimum packed weight of 1.33kg , bucket loads of space for two people and a robust and sturdy construction, it’s a very handy option for long distance backpackers and casual weekend campers alike.

At $400, it’s also fairly reasonably priced. OK, there are certainly much cheaper tents out there, but I’d say $400 is pretty decent considering the quality and performance. I’ve been using this in the hills of Wales, including on backpacking trips in the Preseli Hills and in Y Bannau and I’ve really enjoyed using it.


The Mayfly OSMO is a semi-freestanding, inner pitched first design. The flysheet, which is fixed over the top of the inner, cannot be used by itself.

Our team using the Nemo Mayfly OSMO 2P in the hills of Wales. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

It has two poles: a main hooped one which is forked at one end and then a top widthways pole that adds width to the ceiling and creates steep-sided walls. Each pole end goes into a metal pole dock which the flysheet also fastens onto via tiny t-shaped locking hooks. This design, along with the colour coordination, makes setting up this tent a total breeze.

The Mayfly OSMO 2P has two large porches, each of them easily big enough for storing a 60-litre backpack and boots and with enough space leftover for sheltered cooking too.

The sleeping area is tapered and slightly lower at one end. I found that there was plenty of space for two tapered sleeping mats within this and I also found that I could comfortably use two rectangular mats alongside each other. I’m 5 foot 10 and, for me, there’s plenty of clearance above my head when sitting up inside the Mayfly – even when on a 3-inch mat.

Each door has a two-way zip and a little prop at the top so you can form a vent. The flysheet is also cut quite high so you get bundles of airflow at the base of the tent too.

Inside the tent there’s one big stash pocket on the ceiling which is big enough for a down jacket or a Nalgene bottle. Either side of it, there are smaller mesh pockets that have light diffusing fabric, so you can pop a headtorch in each one to create a nice warm glow throughout the tent.


The flysheet uses Nemo’s OSMO fabric which is made from a PFC-free blend of 100% recycled polyester and nylon. It’s impressive stuff from my experience. It feels light but it’s still durable and it also has an amazing water resistance. In fact, Nemo say that it has 4x more water repellency than standard tent fabrics and 3x less stretch – that means it can keep its structure when it gets wet and doesn’t end up sagging. I found this genuinely does what it says on the tin. On one occasion, using this at a campsite, I left the tent out in the rain for a day and came back to find the flysheet still perfectly taut with now re-pegging needed.

The floor of the inner feels quite light, but not in a flimsy way. I was sent this with an extra groundsheet/footprint to accompany the tent (these can be purchased separately) but I didn’t feel I needed to use it – at least not on the grassy moorlands I’ve camped on in this.


I found this very easy to pitch the first time I used it, largely thanks to the colour coded poles. I love the pole docks and the way the flysheet fastens onto these – it’s a really neat little design detail.

On one occasion using this, I decided I’d pitch quite high up in the Brecon Beacons to get a good view of the sunrise in the morning. I was a little wary that I could be in for a windy night but, with the many guylines this comes with all pegged down, I found my concerns weren’t necessary. On this occasion I actually brought some extra pegs with me as the Mayfly only comes with 9 – something to bear in mind.

Still, the Mayfly is just a three-season design and not something that’s designed for really fierce conditions. On very windy trips, I’d prefer to have something with a few more crossing poles and/or a lower profile.

If you want something that’s a bit hardier and made to withstand windier conditions, it’s worth looking into the Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P. That’s not much heavier than the Nemo Mayfly but its freestanding design and forked ends make it a sturdier option.

I like the fact that this comes with ‘divy cubes’ too. That means you can conveniently split the weight of the tent up between you and your hiking buddy. Fortunately, these divy cubes are sized well so packing the tent into them doesn’t require lots of effort or careful folding.

And as for condensation management, that all-important aspect for UK camping, I’ve found this seems to perform well on that front. I might’ve just had a few lucky nights, granted, but the high cut fly and the top vents create loads of airflow and do give me a lot of confidence in the Mayfly’s ability in that regard.

Its Competition

It’s possible to find these at some retailers for below £350 at the moment. OK that’s still not as cheap as some tents out there, like the Forclaz Dome Trekking Tent or the Vango Banshee 200, but it’s still a great price considering its excellent OSMO fabric, its space-to-weight ratio and neat design details. There are higher spec tents out there that offer more durability and a better space-to-weight ratio, but I can’t think of any that will come at a better price than this.

What I liked: excellent space-to-weight ratio, easy to pitch, OSMO fabric is impressive.
What I didn’t like: high flysheet does expose the inner to high winds, only pitches inner first.

Nemo Mayfly OSMO 2P

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Sping/Summer 2024 guide
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