Thursday, December 8, 2011

NEMO Asashi Tent: Big on Design, Big on Function

"Design like you give a damn," it says in the Nemo Catalog.  Music to my ears.  All your stuff should be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.  There should be no ugly stuff, period, even your rugged gear should look good to you.  I always say,  just spend the money and get the quality thing that you love, that way you'll take great care of it and have it forever and it's way better than having to go through several mediocre things when you could have had the one good thing all along.   In the end it saves you time and money and it's better for the earth. I think Nemo is one such brand that combines high quality and good looks to create things you hang on to forever.

Nemo is an exciting new company to me, though they've been around since 2002.  I love their philosophy to protect the people and places that make adventure possible.  Nemo allows their employees an off-day each month for community service as part of their Green Re-thinking program.  They have heart and they have brains for great design--it's not an accident that their tents are bad ass and beautiful.  Look at this gorgeous Nemo Four Person Asashi Tent.  It looks like a work of art, but one touch and you can feel the quality materials, and it's loaded with little details that make it function like a dream.
The fly doubles as a beach shelter when paired with the optional footprint.  I always recommend a footprint when they are available because they help to keep your tent in good shape.  It's also very convenient to have a footprint--when you're done with your camping trip, you can just fold up your tent, nice and clean and worry about the footprint when you get home to hose it off.  For the inside of the tent, Nemo offers the optional Pawprint which lines the inside of your tent for added comfort.

This tent has light diffusers--this is something I've never seen before.  You put your head lamps in the four corners and it makes for some nice lighting.  Small flashlights work too.  There are four stash pockets (one for each person) and they all have integrated drink holders.  There's a vestibule with a built in window to store gear.  If you need extra storage room, there is an optional Garage.

I set this tent up myself in under ten minutes without looking at any directions.  It's very straight forward and simple with features that make it all come together seamlessly, like the Jake's Feet corner anchor system which locks the poles into place, and the fly fastens with adjustable clips to get it nice and tight.  It couldn't have been easier.

The carry bag is the nicest I've ever seen with a tent, with pockets and zippers for each thing.  It even has a little diagram of constellations on the inside--how cool is that?  Seriously, it's romantic.  The care that went into this and that artful touch, you just don't find it every day.  Tom Freidman (Hot, Flat and Crowded) was saying recently that in the old days, people put their stamp on things they made, their seal.  They put so much thought into what they did they were proud to put their name on it, they took pride.   Nemo seems to be doing this, in a modern sense, that's what I thought when I saw the constellation patch. He also said that only the companies who do take great care will move forward in our evolving world.  I hope he's right because I'd really like to see more of this.

The Asashi is spacious and very comfortable.  My six year old can stand up in this tent with plenty of room, and though, at 5'5, I can't stand completely, I find it roomy and easy to maneuver in.  I like to size up with tents, so this is great for one to four people.  Why not?  If you're car camping, you can afford that extra luxury.  This tent is too heavy for backpacking, though I'd love to see what Nemo has in store for that type of camping.  This tent would make a super awesome gift for the holidays.  Find it HERE.