Nemo Dragonfly Tent Review: Bikepacking Without Back Pain

Nemo Dragonfly

The trail, awash in equinox light, begs for headlamps and pants, wool in warming layers, followed by hot showers and hotter tea. Some “outdoorsy types” pack away the camp gear once this cool precipitation starts, while the rest gear up for bonfires that require a little more time and attention than the summer affords. 

Whether you’re waiting for spring or camping year round, this little Nemo Dragonfly Bikepack tent covers as many bases as we can expect a hyper technical swatch of fabric and featherweight poles to cover. 

Designing ultralight bikepacking tents can’t be a simple task. They have to be uber light, waterproofable, wind resistant, breathable, fast drying, odor resistant, cleanable, anti-bacterial, somewhat durable, good looking, unique, and feature-packed with a thoughtful user interface. This one-person Dragonfire smells like a fire, appropriately, and it covers most of those variables really well for $399.95. The Footprint is an additional $39.95, and you’ll need that sucker if you plan to camp in the rain. There’s also a two-sleeper option for $449.95. 

Nemo Dragonfly tent specs

Packing the Nemo Dragonfly single-human tent around is about as comfortable as a folded shelter can get. It fits between the brake levers when strapped to my 770mm-wide bars, and the featherweight — 1,350g including rain fly and stakes — doesn’t take long to adjust to. It also straps nicely to the base of a pack while pedaling if you prefer to keep the bike unbound. A couple of gear straps are all you need to attach it to the bars, or you can affix it to a waterproof roll-bag like those from Apidura and other brands to keep the Dragonfly dry.   

I’m easily confused by tent assembly, and this one is fortunately color-coded for just such a user. You can have the house built and ready to fill with feathers in less time than it takes to blow up a sleeping pad. The rain fly stakes in place just as fast to get you inside and out of the elements. I pressed the stakes in with my foot and not one of them has bent to a horseshoe yet, which seems surprising for such a feathery tent. 

I slept in this tent without the fly in the summer and it made a fantastic mosquito net. Most of the upper material is mesh netting, making it a fantastic stargazing pod. With the rain-fly installed, there is good space between the main material and the fly, allowing for a relatively solid burier between you and precipitation. Just don’t touch the walls. I did wake with condensation and a little general sogginess on wet outings, which is difficult to avoid with tiny tents. Overall, rain performance in the Dragonfly is similar to most shelters in its class.      

Not touching the fabric walls is a task for mummies, as this tent is tight inside. That space efficiency is part of what makes it so lightweight. I’m roughly 5’9” and I can lay in the Nemo Dragonfly without being cramped, but if I were much taller I would have to bend at the knees. Laying on my back, hands clasped on my torso, there’s just enough space to sleep. It’s the perfect setup for camping in drier weather when your shoes and pack can sit outside or hide from bears high in a tree. 

There are three pockets to stash necessities indoors while sleeping. The peak pocket is large enough to holster keys, phone, flashlight, and a book. Another pouch near the head of the tent makes a good spot for glasses or anything you don’t want getting scratched by your other gear. Finally, a small pouch at head height could be another good place to store a flashlight or anything you want to keep immediately available. 

Zero tears or signs of abrasion showed up during my time with this tent, and the material, zippers, and fasteners all seem as built-to-last as ultralight gear can be. The main tent material is thin enough that it gets caught in the zippers fairly easy, but it’s been easy enough to liberate without tearing anything. I wouldn’t pitch this thing anywhere near a sparking fire, as it would likely fill with holes faster than you could take note.   

In summation, the Dragonfly Bikepack tent is a fantastic piece of lightweight gear to lighten your adventure setup. The price is on par with other tents of this quality, and it should last a long while to stretch the dollars-per-sleep equation out over several seasons. 

What’s included? Tent body, poles and repair cylinder, stakes, vestibule. Footprint sold separately. 

Party laps

  • Super lightweight
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Clean construction

Pros and cons of the Nemo Dragonfly bikepacking tent.

Dirt naps

  • No space inside for gear
  • Thin material can catch in zippers
  • Featherweight tents are less waterproof