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Gear Review: Nemo Chogori P2 Tent

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MotoNews

Published in: Gear

Chogri-intro.jpg

I’m kind of a tent fanatic and have owned, at one time or another, at least 50 different types for various purposes. Those experiences have taught many a lesson—not just in what to look for, given a specific need, but also what to avoid.

Although any topic associated with adventure motorcycling must include the word “compromise,” companies like Nemo are approaching the ideal by leading the way in innovative design, price/performance and quality. And their new Chogori P2, categorized as a four-season mountaineering tent, is the subject of this review.

For quite some time most in our community have gone with two- or three-season backpacking tents. I’ve found them okay for short hauls and when motels are an option if the weather gets out of hand, but they generally don’t hold up for those who are out there for months at a time. With a backpacking tent, you have the advantages of light weight and compact size, but usually not comfort, warmth, longevity nor the ability to withstand Mother Nature’s temper tantrums.

The Nemo Chogri P2 Tent

If you’ve ever experienced a flooded tent due to a poorly designed, too thin or leaky “tub,” or battled keeping it on the ground during high winds, you’ll appreciate a good mountaineering tent. And let’s not forget that the super-lightweight material used in most backpacking tents tends to become brittle with prolonged exposure to UV, making their fabrics more prone to ripping or tearing. It’s not a matter of getting what you pay for, it’s that we’ve been favoring a tent style that isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Experience has also shown that these packable “homes” must have a tough exoskeleton superstructure that not only allows for a fast assembly on any surface (or weather condition) but holds up to repeated abuse. Camp around enough and you’ll have to deal with just about every kind of surface imaginable. It’s not uncommon to discover ground that’s too hard to get a peg into, or too soft to hold one; I’ve even duct-taped a freestanding tent to the metal hull of a long-distance ferry, where it rained constantly in a howling wind.

Mountaineering tents like the Chogori come with guy lines that not only anchor it in high winds but also can be used as an alternative method to hold it down when surface conditions don’t permit pegs. You can tie them to objects like trees or your motorcycle, or anchor them using heavy rocks. If you’re in a situation where the surface is far from ideal, but you have no choice, these options can be a lifesaver.

It didn’t take more than a couple nights and variable conditions to realize that the Chogori is a well thought-out design. With doors on both ends, a detachable vestibule and collapsible upper vents, it’s equally suited for the desert or the mountains. And, it packs down to a small enough size to fit most rigs. I lash the poles separately to the bike, or inside a large pannier or dry bag, and use a compression bag for the tent itself, which squashes it considerably. And, at just over six pounds, the “extra” weight is negligible.

Set-up time is quick when not deploying the guy lines and has been running a casual 3–5 minutes, max, and I’m sure it could be done faster. The only trick is that there are two different pole lengths, and getting them mixed up will obviously slow you down.

So far the removable vestibule has remained attached because it’s a handy place to stow gear from dew and prying eyes. But there’s a hidden feature: you can connect another Chogori to where the vestibule would otherwise go, doubling the length of accommodations.

I didn’t read all the instructions until after several outings with the Chogori, but there was something different—no noxious chemical odor! It turns out that the Chogori is made from silicone-treated fabrics that make it significantly stronger and with NO toxic fire retardants*—a feature that may or may not be to your liking. If your sniffer is like mine, a wee bit too sensitive (not to mention the potential health risks of breathing that stuff), then you’ll settle for the compromise. I can’t speak for the safety aspect; however, I haven’t yet burned down a tent.

Nemo is one of the rock stars of the ADVMoto community, and we’re huge fans. The next time you need a tent for your travels, put some serious thought into purchasing the mountaineering-style Chogori P2; it’s proven one heck of a durable and comfortable tent that’s perfect for adventure motorcycling.

MSRP: $695.99—for the P2 (two-person version) | Weight: 6 lb., 12 oz.

NemoEquipment.com

PROS:

  • No noxious odor
  • Weather bulletproofed and tough fabric
  • Relatively compact and lightweight
  • Great ventilation

CONS:

  • Lacks fire retardants
  • No matching ground mat available
  • When vestibule is in place, it’s a tight fit getting into the tent

*Restrictions in several states prevent shipping this tent due to lack of fire-retardant coatings.

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