James Krasucki sends in our first tent review for the #harfangatang competition. The Nemo Gogo Elite – Minimalist 1 Person Shelter.
The Nemo Gogo Elite is the bridge between a bivvy bag and a tent, in fact it can be utilised for either purpose. You may recognise this tent from the Longboarding Longtreks series; Adam, Paul and Aaron used the Gogo LE which is very similar and recently Adam Colton used this tent for his solo China trip. Through these videos I discovered this tent, and after more research, decided to buy one for myself. Since then, I’ve had the Gogo Elite for about a year and have used it on a multiple range of trips.
The Gogo is a single layer shelter that utilises an ergonomic shape and an airbeam to ensure a comfortable but extremely light tent. Like a mummy sleeping bag, this tent is designed around your body shape to minimise excess material. This means there is little space for manoeuvre inside, but just enough room to sit up and perform minor activities. The hugging design, means that your sleeping bag may make contact with the walls of the tent but unless you’re a restless sleeper this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Nemo’s ‘Osmo Elite’ fabric is very thin and breathable to prevent the build up of condensation. For the most part this works, especially when the door is left open with the mosquito net closed. However, on rainy nights where this isn’t an option condensation can build up quite seriously. This isn’t too much of a problem but packing away a wet tent is never fun. I try to keep the door open a little to promote ventilation.
One of the most interesting part of the Gogo and Nemo is their utilisation of airbeams instead of tent poles. The Gogo features a single arching airbeam that can be inflated using a pump in a matter of seconds that accelerates the air you blow into it. These airbeams are very sturdy and can take high wind speeds. While the thin outer fabric could be susceptible to tears, the beam has a healthy robust feel and I’ve never had a problem with it. Just in case though, a repair kit is supplied for emergencies.
Set up time for the Gogo is a very quick, five pegs are needed to lay out the tent, and then it’s ready to be blown up. One thing to note is Nemo only provides five pegs, which is just about enough to set it up, but using seven will ensure the tent is fully grounded. Also, the swallow tail can be propped up using a stick to keep it off the end of your sleeping bag. Personally, I carry an old drum stick just in case I can’t find the right one on site.
The Nemo Gogo has a minimum pack weight of about 600g and a pack size of about 15cm x 15cm making it extremely good for minimalist adventurers. It sets up and packs down in minutes and you can cook from within it too. It’s not as comfortable as a larger shelter, the condensation can be annoying, but the sacrifices you make while asleep are more than made up for on the trail or on the road where it really counts.
Cheers for the review James! The competition has now closed. We are posting up the remaining reviews and will announce the winner this week!