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NEMO Galaxi 2P Review 2018

  • Car Camper
  • Wilderness Backpacker

NEMO Galaxi 2P Overview

Few trail-seeking souls restrict themselves to a single type of outdoor activity. Most of us car camp on occasion and many also enjoy a weekend of backpacking when we can make time for it. Why not have a tent that works well for both? The NEMO Galaxi 2P tent makes for a great home away from home, whether you’re pitching in a campground or out on the trail.

The Galaxi 2P offers a generous amount of space for two — it’s practically oversized, so you and your dog and your partner can snuggle with ease. In true NEMO style, the Galaxi has been designed with quality materials that can withstand the harsh elements while keeping you, the awesome outdoor adventurer, in mind. The intuitive freestanding setup is hassle-free, making for a quick pitch, and cool extras like the headlamp Light Pockets add style and comfort that’ll have you feeling like you’re lounging in a backcountry home.

This tent excelled, but our Classic Pick for Wilderness Backpackers who want a double-duty tent remains the REI Half Dome 2 Plus (which I also reviewed!). The Half Dome 2 Plus feels a little roomier, packs a little smaller, and is a bit lighter. But if you enjoy NEMO’s design ascetic, their fancy features, and want a footprint, the Galaxi is definitely worth a look (the footprint is included). We do recommend it for Wilderness Backpackers and Car Campers.

Read our full Nemo Galaxi 2P review below.

NEMO Galaxi 2P Specifications

Feature Type Feature Specs What This Means
Packed Weight 6 lbs. 2oz. (2.78 kg) (includes footprint) A moderately heavy tent for backpacking, but lightweight for car camping. For the size, and with the included footprint, it’s still a decent weight for two people, especially beginners.
Type Freestanding You can set up this tent without staking it down.
Wall Type Double The rain shell and mesh body are separate. This helps increase airflow, and is standard for most general backpacking tents.
No. of Doors 2 The Galaxi 2P has two full doors that are shaped like triangles. Well designed.
Sleeping Capacity 2-person Two 25-inch sleeping pads can fit in here with a bit of room to spare. Plenty of room for two people, and if you’re not both really tall, you can fit a small animal in there too.
Seasons 3-season This tent has durable materials and is built to withstand three seasons. It is not a tent for winter.
Packed Size 19 x 8 in. (48 x 20 cm) Not exactly small. It’s a large 2P tent, so this makes sense, but you’ll notice the size. Size includes footprint.
Floor Dimensions 87.9 x 53.2 in. (223 x 135 cm) Ample dimensions on the floor. Plenty long, and wide enough for two 25-inch width pads, which is already a luxury when backpacking.
Floor Area 32.4 sqft Decent square footage, especially when nightly rent is so low!
Peak Height 38.6 in. (98 cm) Not the highest peak out there, but you can sit up easily. The tent does slope well, so you don’t lose a lot of that height right away.
No. of Vestibules 2 Plenty of space for two to store gear, boots, and cook in the rain if you have to.
Vestibule Area 11 sqft per vestibule Ample space for the above activities.
No. of Poles 1 hubbed pole (prebent) NEMO has a single hubbed pole, which makes setup rather simple. The poles are prebent, which gives the Galaxi it’s turtle-esque appearance, and lessens the chance of them breaking due to over-bending (already pretty unlikely).
Pole Material Aluminum 9.02 mm Not the lightest and bendiest poles on the market, but this is not a premium tent. These are well made and aluminum does not break easily, as opposed to fiberglass.
No. of Interior Pockets 4+ pockets Plenty of pockets on the Galaxi, including two overhead Light Pockets, a clutch design feature from NEMO. You can place a headlamp in these pockets and the material softens and diffuses the light to create a well-lit, lantern-esque environment.
Rain Fly Material 68D PeU Polyester Ripstop (1500 mm) Decent thickness and durability.
Floor Material 75D PeU Polyester (3000 mm) A bit of extra thickness and durability for the floor, always a good idea.
Mesh/Body Material Polyester/NoSeeUm Mesh Keeps the bugs out!
Footprint, Fast Setup? Comes with footprint, On the Go setup The Galaxi comes with a footprint, which helps increase longevity of tent and allows you to set up the tent as a shade shelter without the inner mesh section if you want.
Manufacturer Warranty Limited Lifetime Warranty NEMO warranties all its tents for life. If something breaks on you, or stops working, get in touch.
Retail Price $249.95 Not cheap, not exorbitantly expensive. A solid price for a long-term backpacking and camping tent, and it comes with the footprint!

Gear Review of the NEMO Galaxi 2P

Origins: Easing You In

The summertime family reunion camping trip — it’s an American tradition. My first expedition with the NEMO Galaxi 2P was a car camping family gathering at Oregon’s Fall Creek Reservoir State Park. It was a fun few days with the gang hiking along Fall Creek, finding heat relief in ice-cold swimming holes, and canoeing across the reservoir.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-broken-top-and-mt-jefferson-in-smoke
Summer days on the reservoir.

Not only did the Galaxi 2P prove to be big enough to fit a twin-sized memory foam mattress for my wife and I (ah, the luxuries of car camping), but we were also able to squeeze in our 55-pound pit-mix pup. “Fit” is the operative term — a smaller dog would be advised. It was a wee bit cramped for all three of us.

A couple weeks later I ventured out on a 24-mile backpacking trip on the Broken Top Loop Route, a series of interconnecting trails that circumnavigates the mountain, skirting between it and South Sister in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Huckleberry the pit-mix joined me, which made it necessary to bring a tent big enough for the two of us.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-campsite
Huckleberry and the NEMO Galaxi 2P.

Together we hiked up the Tam McArthur Rim Trail and journeyed into the Cascade mountains where plenty of lakes and great views were to be found.

Revelation: The Moment I Knew

Everyone has their own camp setup routine. I like to setup my tent, pick the tent-site, and immediately lay out all of my nighttime necessities. I’m also very particular about keeping my shoes, backpack, and any bugs out of the tent, and this can be quite difficult to avoid when I’m trying to bring in all of my sleeping gear one piece at a time.

The NEMO Galaxi 2P tent supported my style quite nicely with its double-zippered angular doorway. The mesh doors are triangle shaped, which is pretty odd at first use, but this allowed me to close the top half while leaving the bottom open enough for my legs to rest in the dirt while I emptied out my backpack piece-by-piece. Did I mention that I don’t like to take my shoes off until I go to bed? Yeah, they stay on my feet and stay out of the tent. It may be that my routine could use a little refining.

2-NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-chilling-2
Huckleberry and me chilling with plenty of room. On the right, you’ll note the triangle door, which is perfectly angled to keep most of the mesh intact while opening a slight gap for my feet.

The Galaxi 2P didn’t mind, though. It seemed crafted for my methods, and I was glad that it kept out the dozens of flies that had congregated on the mesh by nightfall.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-evening-flies-kept-out-by-mesh
The mesh works.

Digging Deeper

The NEMO Galaxi 2P is a fantastic tent for those new to backpacking. The hubbed pole structure makes setup a breeze, and the uniquely pre-bent poles give the Galaxi a boxy shape, which provides ample headroom for sitting or moving around inside the tent.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-poles-and-mesh
Pre-bent poles and a single pole hub makes setup simple.

With 32 square feet of floor space (and a 53-inch width) you and your partner will be able to fit two sleeping pads side by side and have a little bit of wiggle room to spare. If you’re both under six feet tall you’ll also be able to pack in a small-to-medium sized dog, who has room to sleep at your feet, but will probably sleep wherever it pleases. You could also fit a cat, but prepared to sacrifice your inflatable sleeping pad, and potentially your sanity — depending on the cat, of course.

Once inside, you’ll feel as if you’re sleeping in a sturdy trailside bunker. The ripstop rainfly will hold firm against most any foul weather you encounter, and the 75D PeU floor is also quite strong for a backpacking tent. When fully erected the Galaxi looks a bit like a turtle shell.

1-NEMO-Galaxi-2P-1-review-without-rainfly
The Galaxi 2P, with and without rainfly. Sturdy, turtle-shell-esque, and highly livable.

The Galaxi 2P weighs in at six pounds two ounces (with the rainfly), which is fair for the solid protection it provides, though it’s not the lightest backpacking tent on the market by any means. A few neat features — like Light Pockets that turn a headlamp into a tent lantern, a roll-back rainfly perfect for stargazing, and the included footprint give the Galaxi incredible value for the price. It’s also freestanding and has two doors, which some people consider a must-have feature in a tent.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-light-pockets
The Light Pockets diffuse a headlamp beam into nice, even light perfect for late-night reading or games.

Sleep Comfort 

I couldn’t have been more comfortable sleeping outdoors than I was while car camping in the Galaxi 2P with a memory foam mattress, even with a snoring wife at my side and a kicking dog at my feet. On trail, camping with Huckleberry was quite pleasant too. There was plenty of room, convenient interior pockets, and the sturdy structure left me without a concern.

Durability 

Well, I already compared the Galaxi 2P to a bunker and a turtle — it truly is a quality piece of outdoor engineering. It will withstand storms and dirt just fine, maybe even one of those golfball-sized hail storms, though I’d rather not test that. Please don’t make me.

Ease of Setup 

It’s all layers: Lay down the footprint, lay down the tent on top of that, put the hubbed pole system on top of that and hook the tent to it, then lay the rainfly on top of it all. Stake or guyline as needed. It’s all very simple and intuitive once you have the pieces in front of you. All that said, the pole hub is a little clunkier than the one used by the Half Dome 2 Plus.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-pole-hub
A single hubbed pole creates an easy setup.

Space 

Two people fit comfortably in the Galaxi 2P, and a small dog can keep your feet warm if you wish. The vestibules are quite large as well. You’ll have no issue covering up all your backpacking bits.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-vestibule
Spacious vestibules allow for safe storage of gear on the trail.

Vibe 

Great ventilation coupled with plenty of headspace made this a wonderful tent to relax in. The rainfly provided an excellent privacy screen while car camping, creating a nice place to read a book or change clothes. The magnetic door tie-backs are fun to play with. They’re flappy and magnets are just cool.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-fully-staked
A wide, two-person tent. The rainfly rolls back on one half to stargaze.

Grievances

When it comes down it, and coming from an Ultralight Backpacker who has completed the PCT, the packed size and weight are on the heavy side for backpacking. Also, the Galaxi 2P is quite large when bundled in its stuff sack, longer and wider than my own thigh, and would be difficult to fit inside any standard backpacking backpack. I had to strap it to the outside of my pack. There are plenty of lighter options out there, but with them you’ll likely be sacrificing a lot of the strength and room that the Galaxi 2P provides.

NEMO-Galaxi-2P-review-strapped-to-backpack
The NEMO Galaxi 2P is not tiny when packed down. You get durability and space, but be prepared to find room to haul it.

These issues trend the Galaxi 2P to beginners, or those who don’t mind the extra weight and size.

Final Word

Neat features, slick design — the NEMO Galaxi 2P will make you feel at home wherever you decide to pitch it. New backpackers will enjoy the quick setup and roomy interior, experienced adventurers will feel safe weathering rough storms under its sturdy frame, and ultralight backpackers — well, you don’t even need a tent, do you?

Where to Buy NEMO Galaxi 2P

We tested the NEMO Galaxi 2P tent in Earth brown. It also comes in Birch Leaf green, the classic color for NEMO. The tent comes with the footprint, poles, rainfly, mesh body, stakes, repair kit, guy-out cords, and a drawstring stuff sack.

Important accessories for this tent that you could buy are the Gear Loft, which adds some more pockets to the top of the tent (good on long trips), and the Pawprint, NEMO’s dog-protective floor cover that works incredibly well.

Finally, there’s a NEMO Galaxi 3P version as well. This is great if you really need it, but the weight becomes unrealistic for backpacking, unless you have three people to split up all the parts with. It works extremely well for car camping though.

Compare NEMO Galaxi 2P Tent prices below.

arthur mcmahon outdoor gear reviewer

Arthur McMahon

Arthur loves to walk. It's as simple as that. Whether it be in the mountains, on the beach, or along the city streets -- he believes walking is the best way to experience the world. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was his first backpacking foray, and he hasn't stopped since. He and his wife chronicled their journey in their book Adventure and the Pacific Crest Trail. They now regularly travel into the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest seeking new trails to hike. Follow his adventures on Instagram. Arthur also hosts the Better Hiker podcast & blog where he discusses trail wisdom, philosophy, and historic adventures.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.

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