Light, small, easy and fast, The Nemo Spike Storm is a good choice for the traveler looking for quality practical shelter at a cost they can live with.
words and photos by Brandon Mathis
We’ve slept in a bivy (short for bivouac: a tiny, mummy style one person tent) one too many times. They’re great in a pinch and have their moments, but they have no place if you need some room to sit up. We wanted something small, but big enough to actually do stuff in, like organize our pack and clean our contacts. It had to be minimal, it had to be light and it had to be affordable. Enter the Nemo Spike Storm. With nearly 20 square feet of floor space, it’s roomy enough for some downtime before lights out.
And with a 42-inch peak height, it’s tall. At about 22 ounces it’s plenty light. Now, it is not super ultra light, but it’s not super ultra expensive either, coming in at about one-third the cost of some featherweight options.
Using a hiking pole for set up, it’s a minimalist design. It has an all mesh door and a small but prized built-in five-square foot vestibule. It also has a swallow-shaped tail that can be supported upright. We use our other pole or fashion the perfect stick.
Made with a tough, silicone-treated nylon that’s strong and durable, it’s not 100 percent waterproof but it does provide good shelter from weather.
This tent is made to set up, take down and move on. Because it is not freestanding, it can be a little finicky, especially in soft soil or sand. We don’t love messing with guylines forever to get the tension of the walls just right, and there is only one vent other than the mesh door. The pole used to hold it all up is also in the middle of the door way. But that’s OK because if we’re using this, we’re not doing so to appreciate tent ambiance. Plus we love the price. We also love that it has a floor, plenty of wiggle room, a giant mesh door and it goes up pretty easily. We’ve even used it to roll out and lay on with a pad and quilt. When you’re done, it rolls up to about the size of cantaloupe.