Nemo Wagontop 6 Tent
– Price: $699.95
– Weight: 20 lbs (9.1 kg)
– Floor size: 140” x 100” (356cm x 254cm)
– Peak height: 80” (203cm)
– Number of compartments: 2
– Capacities: 6 person / 4 person / 8 person
– Shape: Cabin
– What we like: Massive, high-quality, livability, vestibule space
– What we don’t: Expensive, set-up, not great in heavy wind
The Wise Adventurer’s Verdict
We found the Nemo Wagontop 6 to be the perfect companion for large groups, families with children, or anyone else who can appreciate the majesty of its nearly 7-foot-tall ceilings. Everything about this tent feels premium, from it’s tough-as-nails materials to the panoramic views we enjoyed from its massive windows. This is a versatile shelter with multiple rooms, a screened porch, and (of course) that massive exterior vestibule with all the room you’ll ever need for storing gear out of harm’s way.
Ultimately the only question mark we have for this tent is its weather performance, and although the tent feels incredibly robust, its tall vertical walls simply aren’t ideal for serious winds. As a fairweather shelter, however, few tents shine as brightly as the Wagontop, and it’s unique design is just the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from a company like Nemo. We spent a long weekend in the Nemo Wagontop 6, and put it to the same standards we apply for all our camping tents, evaluating everything from livability to durability in our testing.
Alright, let’s see how the Wagontop stacks up to the competition!
The Nemo Wagontop 6 is in many ways the textbook definition of a proper camping tent (which is a fancy way of saying “it’s huge”), and as such, we evaluated its performance based on all the metrics we feel a good camping tent should have. Below you’ll find our field notes on everything from material quality to weather-protection, as well as our take-aways on bigger picture topics like livability and all-around value for the money.
Space and Comfort
Make no mistake here: The Nemo Wagonton 6 is massive. If space and comfort are your top priority, this is the tent to beat.
We were blown away by the Wagontop’s cavernous interior, and we’re pretty sure we’ve rented apartments with less square footage than the Nemo. There’s a massive door on each end of the Wagontop, two giant windows that run the full length of the main sleeping area, and the ceilings are tall enough to stand up and walk around wall-to-wall.
Storage is fantastic, with plenty of pockets scattered throughout the interior of the Wagontop and a huge exterior vestibule at the front door for stashing bulky items. The tent also features a two-room layout with a privacy divider in the middle, but we typically kept it rolled back to maximize usable floor space.
We found the Wagontop to be ideal for four campers, but there’s plenty of room to spare if you’re actually trying to sleep six. We did note that the second “bedroom” is considerably smaller than the main sleeping area, so we chose to throw some camp furniture inside and use it as a separate screen room instead, but there’s enough space there for one camper on a sleeping pad to have a little privacy if desired.
We’ll also mention here (although admittedly, it’s a bit strange) that for whatever reason, the Wagontop seems like an absolute bug magnet. We’re not sure if it’s the fluorescent colors of the canopy or if insects just want to hang out in the shade, but we lost count of the number of bugs that made their way inside during the 5 minutes we left the doors open for photos. Word to the wise: Keep that screen room zipped up tight.
Weather resistance is the main compromise with the Nemo Wagontop 6, but it’s not all bad news here.
We didn’t experience any serious rain over our long weekend of testing, but the Wagontop’s polyether urethane-coated polyester walls did a great job of shedding moisture, and both doors feature a significant overhang for drip-free entry and exit.
With that being said, the Wagontop definitely wouldn’t be our first choice in bad weather for two reasons: The first is that although Nemo did a great job of adding plenty of overlapping fabric when the windows are buttoned up, they’re still essentially just a sheet of material loosely covering an otherwise wide-open mesh window. We felt these would hold up fine under light rain, but wind-blown rain would be a stretch.
The second concern is that the Wagontop’s vertical walls and tall ceilings are the perfect shape for catching wind. Again, we were lucky enough to experience nothing more serious than a few light gusts throughout the weekend, but even with the tent fully guyed out, we’re not sure how it would fair in heavy wind.
Ease of Set-Up
While many users have expressed frustrations around the Nemo’s unique set-up, we actually don’t have any complaints here. The “two big hoops” design of the Wagontop’s frame is obviously going to feel foreign if you’re used to pitching typical dome-style tents (we certainly are), but after reading the instructions and watching Nemo’s online guide, the process felt straightforward.
There are definitely a few extra steps involved, and shorter campers may struggle clipping in the upper sections of the canopy, but we actually pitched the Wagontop solo on our first attempt in about twelveminutes. Take down was similarly uneventful, and we were surprised to find that the massive Wagontop fit right back into its carry bag without any drama.
They say you get what you pay for, and when it comes to the Nemo Wagontop 6, we expected to get a lot in the durability department. A tent at this price point is the kind of thing we expect to last for years and years, and every aspect of the Wagontop feels built to go the distance.
The most impressive part of this shelter from a durability standpoint is definitely the floor, which, at 300D thickness, feels ready to go for a lifetime of abuse, footprint or not. The floor feels tougher than cotton canvas, and we had zero concerns about setting up a table or camp chairs directly on top of it. Bravo, Nemo.
Everything else inside the Nemo’s carry case follows suit here as well: The aluminum poles are thick and robust, the integrated plastic hubs feel absolutely bulletproof, and even the factory tent stakes felt high quality.
Weight and Packed Size
If you’re considering the Nemo Wagontop 6, you already know that you’re getting into a giant camping tent. We generally don’t put much emphasis on either metric for a camping tent, and although the same ethos applies here, you should know that the Wagontop easily took our top honors as the biggest bag in our field test.
Interestingly enough, it isn’t particularly heavy despite its voluptuous dimensions: The whole kit and kaboodle weighs in right around 20 pounds, so while it’s far from spightly, the Nemo Wagontop 6 is an easy one-hand carry.
There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that this is an expensive camping tent. The Wagontop retails for around $700 depending on where you shop, and that will put it well outside the budget of many outdoors enthusiasts.
With that being said, if you’ve got the money to spend and you want an absolute palace for your friends and family, Nemo didn’t cut any corners here in terms of quality or design. We felt that although the Wagontop comes at a premium price, we immediately saw where our investment went from the moment we took it out of the bag.
The materials are all extremely durable and built to last for years. Interior space is incredible, the exterior vestibule is one of the biggest on the market, and we particularly enjoyed all the extra little features Nemo baked into the Wagontop’s price. The panoramic views offered by the tent’s massive windows were the best in our lineup, which is made all the more impressive considering the Wagontop is essentially a singlewall tent with no exterior rainfly to fiddle with.
The only real drawback here from a value standpoint is that the Wagontop is essentially a fair weather tent, which we felt would be plenty safe for unexpected rains, but nowhere near reassuring for a proper downpour with heavy winds.
What We Like
All things considered, we love this tent. You really have to stand inside it to appreciate just how massive it is inside, and even compared to the other large camping tents in our field test, these ceilings take the cake.
Material quality is top-notch everywhere from the bombproof floor we mentioned earlier to the high-tech waterproof fabrics used throughout the Wagontop’s design. We also love Nemo’s attention to detail on all the little things like the stash pockets for the doors, the “screen room” functionality of the front section of the tent, and the “360-degree view” feeling you get from all the extra windows inside the shelter.
Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that massive exterior storage vestibule, which we all agreed added a ton of livability to the design. You can leave it deployed for a shady entrance on sunny days, button it up for weather-protected storage when the weather turns bad, or roll it back completely to soak up the sun from the bugproof screen room.
What We Don’t Like
We all agreed after a weekend of testing (and thoroughly enjoying) the Wagontop that our main sticking point was the price. That’s not to say that the Wagontop isn’t worth its asking price, but with competitive offerings from brands like the North Face and Big Agnes at considerable discounts, you have to really value the space and features of the Wagontop to justify the cost.
Set-up is a minor snag as well, and although we didn’t experience the same confusion or frustration other users have reported, there were definitely some faster pitching tents in our field test. It’s really more a matter of the number of steps required than actual difficulty here though, and we felt that after a few more pitches of the Wagontop, it really wouldn’t even be worth mentioning.
Finally, we all felt that it was a bit of a shame that the Wagontop didn’t feel more weather-worthy. Granted, if you’re shopping for a big family camping tent like this, chances are you’re planning your trips around mostly good weather anyways, but there are definitely more confidence-inspiring shelters out there for the money in terms of weather. It all comes down to how much you’re willing to sacrifice in the name of outright interior space, and if a combination of roominess, comfort, and quality are what you’re after, the Wagontop is a winner.
- The North Face Wawona 6: A properly spacious six person camping tent with an equally impressive front vestibule at a significant discount. Read our full test and review…
- REI Co-op Wonderland 6: Another massive 6 person option for those who don’t need exterior storage. Recent markdowns make this a particularly attractive option on a budget. Read our full test and review…
- Nemo Aurora Highrise 6: If you’re loving Nemo quality but prefer a double-wall design (or a more traditional dome tent), the Highrise delivers quality and space in equal measure. Read our full test and review of the 4-person model…
- REI Co-op Wonderland X: If you’ve got a bottomless budget and truly want to have it all, the Wonderland X gives unrivaled space, storage, and storm-worth weather protection.
The Bottom Line
As an impressively spacious family camping tent, we felt that the Nemo Wagontop 6 was tough to beat. Its combination of outstanding durability, interior space, and added livability from features like the massive storage vestibule and big windows bring a lot to the table. campers will love every minute of it.
The Wagontops versatile interior options allow you to choose between one giant room, a two room palace, or a big camping tent with a screen room, and whether you’re looking for a palace for two adults or a spacious shelter for a family of four and a dog or two, we feel it will serve you well. The Wagontop wouldn’t be our first choice in bad weather, and although we didn’t get a chance to wait out a proper storm inside it, conflicting information from other independent tests and reviews suggest the jury is still out here.
Ultimately, we appreciate the fact that the Wagontop is covered under Nemo’s lifetime warranty, which left us all feeling that we would be willing to take a chance on its high sticker price. It certainly feels every bit as premium as its pricetag suggests, and would make an excellent shelter for the most demanding users.