It was May when I decided to take my entire family camping for the Fourth of July. It would be the first time that the four of us — my wife, six-year-old son, three-year-old daughter, and our two dogs – would sleep in a tent together. However, it was more than just an opportunity to create family memories. It was a chance to finally test out the Nemo Equipment Wagontop 8-Person Tent.
The Nemo Wagontop
When the Nemo Wagontop was introduced in 2016, the company called the series “the pinnacle in luxury camp tents” and said it was “designed for an intuitive setup, palatial standing-room comfort, and impeccable weather protection.” In layman’s terms, it’s a freestanding, three-season tent with models available to fit four, six, and eight people.
Out of the box, the Nemo Wagontop is ready to hit the road. It comes in a compact zipper-topped carry bag, which you can slide in and out fairly easily. In addition to the zipper, the bag itself features heavy plastic clips that can be cinched down making for a small package.
The tent itself features a truly unique pole configuration. With a total of three poles, it expands into a truly standing-height tent. Although the kids didn’t have any problems whatsoever, I found myself enjoying the extra height (I’m 6-foot-3) and could maneuver around the tent with ease.
The interior space was more than roomy enough for the people and the dogs. Inside, I set up both a pair of Disc-O-Beds as well as a set of Kid-O-Bunks inside – and everyone had plenty of room to move around.
One of the features that I found most appealing, especially on a buggy mid-July weekend was the oversized screened-in front “porch.” This area of the tent actually serves a dual purpose, with its own incorporated rain fly. You have the choice of either enjoying the open air or expanding the size of the tent for more living space. We chose the latter – which left plenty of room for our children to play before bed.
The Wagontop features large screen windows on all four sides of the tent, which made for excellent cross-ventilation at night. On the second night, we decided to close up all of the windows, as there was a chance of heavy rain overnight. My wife went out of her way to comment about how dry the tent was the next morning, as it hadn’t succumbed to the typical damp interior of our other tents.
The NEMO Wagontop tent looks cool. The tent’s namesake definitely says it all, with a rounded arch holding the canopy on both ends. The tent’s lack of pitch is what provides the standing height feature that I mentioned above. The three-pole construction makes for a tent that is truly unique, and easy to find at a dark campground!
From the seams to the poles, the Nemo Wagontop tent is really well-built. To be honest, I was even impressed with the stakes that the tent came with directly out of the box. A lot of attention to detail went into both the design and construction of this tent. A tent should be an investment – poorly built tents that are falling apart after a few uses aren’t an investment – they’re a liability. The Nemo Wagontop 8p is built for years of enjoyable use.
Overall, if you’re looking for a large family tent, the Nemo Equipment Wagontop 8p is an excellent choice. It offers plenty of space, it looks cool, and it’s easy to use and pack. Although Nemo discontinued production, it’s still available at a variety of stores, including Moosejaw. With that said, it also now costs a couple of hundred dollars less than MSRP.
This review originally published July 13, 2016 and has since been updated.