User Review: NEMO Morpho 1P
Source: I had reviewed the Morpho 2P for Trailspace and wanted to see what the differences were in the 1P. NEMO supplied the tent that had been used a number of times as a demo, and let me keep it afterwards.
I've used this tent in a variety of conditions over more than thirty days. Those conditions included a trip with light summer rains, a fall canoe expedition with heavy cold rain, and even though this is a three season tent, I put it through its paces on a winter overnight in heavy snow. Overall, I like this tent for its ease of set up and spaciousness. It is most suited to conditions where constant rain and/or cold weather are not factors, due the non breathable single wall construction which can produce a lot of condensation.
- Because there are no rigid poles, the tent compresses for good packability
- Air supported technology is easy to use
- Foot pump is efficient and inflates the bladders in a few minutes
- Spacious interior for one person
- Condensation in very wet and/or cold conditions
- In heavy rain, only the side vents are usable, as the ends slope preventing better ventilation
- Air bladders, pump and tent's size, add weight
Setup: This tent is one of the easiest to set up of any I have used. Simply stake it out and inflate the bladders with the foot pump. It is not a self supporting tent, so the ends must be staked. With no fly, gear can be tossed inside even before inflating the supports. Footprint is simple and effective. Because the tent is tapered at both ends, though not a mirror image, getting the footprint backwards, front to back can occur when it is dark or you are in a hurry.
Stability: This tent is very stable. The air beams that support the tent have a degree of flex in them that allows the tent to withstand high winds. Though it is a three season tent and not intended for heavy snow, I used it in such conditions and the tent stood up well even with two inches of snow on top.
Weather Resistance: This tent is constructed of non breathable material, so rain does not penetrate the material.
Ventilation: Here is where this tent, as with other non breathable, single wall, waterproof tents have difficulty. The problem is complex, as good ventilation is important in keeping the condensation level inside the tent, to a minimum.
The team at NEMO have attempted to rectify this by adding a breathable panel on the inside top of the tent and large side vents. The effect is that any condensation is supposed to be trapped above the breathable panel and then run down the side wall and exit the tent. This works, though in my opinion, the low side wall vents restrict airflow somewhat.
There is a large window in the rear of the tent that can be opened to a mesh panel. This works well for ventilating the tent, except in rain, as the rear of the tent is sloped and any rain can enter the tent through the mesh panel. The front of the tent is sloped in a similar fashion with a large screened vestibule inside the waterproof outer, that is provided with a large clear plastic window. However, because it is sloped as the rear, the vestibule must be closed in rain.
Here is where a brim or short canopy would be handy, as it would allow the door to be opened leaving just the mesh and ventilation would be much improved.
Room and Storage: This is a roomy tent for one person, with plenty of leg room. Although the highest point near the front of the tent is not higher than other similar tents, it is high enough to allow a six footer to sit up easily. Pockets around the interior are useful for storing a headlamp, gloves, socks, etc. Clips on the inside at the air beams can be used to run a small drying line.
Packability: Although not the smallest packed solo tent I have used(doubtless due to the bulk of the air beams and pump, the Morpho 1P is easily packed into its well designed stuff sack.
Ease of Use: Once the pump and valve system are understood, the system works quite well. The first time I encountered the air supported technology, I was setting up a Morpho 2P in the dark. I had read the directions, but not practiced with it (my fault). However, I had no problems getting that tent up very quickly.
Features: The air supported beams instead of rigid poles, are the unique part of this tent. NEMO's founder, Cam Bresinger got the idea from working on space suits for NASA. They work well, and though there is the chance that they will leak, I have had no problems with mine. On one extended trip, I did experience a leak in the foot pump, which I was able to fix with sealant and duct tape.
Construction and Durability: The construction is first rate and all of NEMO's tents are made here in the U.S. Though I did experience a leak in my foot pump, I have had no other problems with this tent. I will note that because it is supported by air beams, leaks can occur and there is the possibility that you might wake up with a deflated tent. Spare air beams are available. Additionally, the tent could be erected with guys from the peaks to convenient trees or boulders, should the need arise.
Conditions: As I noted in the summary, I have used this tent in a variety of conditions. While I would not recommend it for areas likely to experience heavy rain for days on end, for a single wall tent it performs quite well. To be fair, I have used double wall tents in similar heavy rain and cold days (Venus Exped) and found like amounts of condensation forming on the underside of the fly, which can then enter the tent.