We LOVE Our Nemo Aurora Highrise – And You Will Too

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on May 2, 2024

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Last year we purchased the new Nemo Highrise camping tent.

We’ve waited some time so we can try out every aspect. And after countless nights in this beauty, we’re ready to share our thoughts.

THIS TENT IS AWESOME.

There aren’t many car camping tents that can check every single box.

Tall enough to stand up in? Check!

Two windows for ventilation, even with the rainfly on? Check!

High quality enough that it will last more than a few seasons? Check!

A great brand and a lifetime warranty? Check!

We’ve loved every aspect of the Aurora Highrise and we think you will too. So let’s break down our favorite features and talk more in-depth about the great, the good, and the not-so-good.

TL;DR – The Nemo Aurora Highrise is the best car camping tent we’ve ever owned. The spacious interior lets you stand upright and the side windows allow for great airflow, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The quality is outstanding and the small details make this tent incredibly well-rounded. It’s a higher price point than your average car camping tent, but the quality is 1000% worth it.

Specs

  • Capacity: 4 people max
  • Comfortable Capacity: 2-3 people
  • Packed Weight: 15 lbs. 14 oz.
  • Peak Height: 75 inches (6 ft. 3 in.)
  • Floor Dimensions: 90 x 100 inches (7.5 ft. x 8.3 ft.)
  • Waterhead Rating:1200-1500mm

The Great

Let’s begin by talking about features that stand above the rest. The aspects that truly blew us away.

This includes:

  • Super easy to set up despite the size of this tent
  • HUGE interior
  • High quality materials are built to last
  • Cross ventilation windows
  • Two sets of doors and two vestibules
  • Thoughtful details make for a well-rounded design

Set-Up

As with any tent, step #1 is getting your tent upright and staked down properly.

And with the Highrise, this process is SO straightforward. Even though this tent is huge (which is the next feature of this tent).

The corners are color-coded – blue straps on the back of the tent and green on the front. See the picture below for the blue straps.

No more setting up your tent and then rotating it to face the right direction. It can go up in the perfect spot every time.

Plus, the finger pull tabs on the crossbar attachment points helped it slide into place – no struggle required. And the rainfly went over the top easily despite the tent’s large size. 

Massive Interior

The inside of this tent is by far our FAVORITE feature of the design.

The peak height inside is 75 inches, which is 6 feet 3 inches.

I’m 5’8 and I can stand upright in almost the entire inside. As you can see in the picture below, I even have head space to spare.

This extra height means I can change clothes without stooping. It means I can pump up my Hest Sleep System without straining my back. It’s a GAME CHANGER.

High Quality Materials & Craftsmanship

We realize there are other tents out there that allow you to stand upright. Some have two doors and big vestibules.

But there are very few that have these features AND a quality build to make them last.

But what exactly do we mean by quality?

The 150-denier floor resists tears (especially with the footprint) and aluminum poles won’t snap or splinter like fiberglass. 

The fabric waterhead rating meets or exceeds the 1200mm rating, meaning you will stay dry even in an outright downpour (yes, we camped in a DOWNPOUR to test it out).

This means we also tested out all the sealed seams. You can tell just by looking at them that every single one is watertight. And not a single drop got inside our tent.

Other tent brands say they can withstand rain and wind, but they aren’t actually as waterproof as they say *cough* Coleman *cough*.

After several nights in wind, rain, and even thunderstorms (and a few calm nights), we can verify that the NEMO Aurora Highrise tent is watertight and built to last.

Cross Ventilation Windows

The windows are one of the features that initially drew us to this new tent. This feature is very unique and has become an absolute favorite of ours.

We used to have to choose between airflow and rain protection in regular tents.

Once the rainfly was on, previously we were sealed inside regardless of whether or not it was too hot. Tent saunas are no fun.

BUT NOT ANYMORE.

There are two side windows on the Nemo Aurora Highrise. And they’re perfectly designed to be kept open at all times, even when it’s raining.

As you can see in the picture below, the rainfly covers the windows. And the contoured lower window sill matches the rainfly coverage so no rain gets inside.

This means there’s always a cross breeze. We kept them open pretty much every night and LOVED every second of it.

Two HUGE Doors

We didn’t initially notice the doors in the tech specs and early product descriptions. Then we set up the tent and our jaws practically hit the blue plaid floor.

The “front” door covers almost the entire tent wall. It opens all the way and tucks into a clever little pouch at the base.

But you don’t have to open it all the way if you don’t want to. It can open like a regular D-shaped tent door so you can enter/exit however you like.

Why is this such a cool feature?

It made it SO EASY to throw everything into the tent. Big air mattresses, fluffy sleeping bags, backpacks, and more. 

But it also gives you the option to use it like a regular tent door if you want.

It’s quite a thoughtful design.

And what about the back door?

The back door is like a regular D-shaped tent door so you can enter or exit from either side of the tent.

And Two Vestibules

We LOVE a good tent vestibule. We don’t buy tents without them.

And the Aurora Highrise exceeded our expectations.

Each vestibule is 19.5 square feet. I’ll explain more since a number like that doesn’t mean anything on paper.

To put it into perspective, 4.4 feet by 4.4 feet is 19.36 square feet. That’s like laying down two average 10-year-olds at a 90-degree angle.

And that’s how much space is in EACH vestibule.

There’s enough space to store shoes and packs outside the tent in that weather-protected space.

Thoughtful Details

“There’s no magic in magic, it’s all in the details” – Walt Disney

This tent’s details make it stand out above your average car camping tent. Nemo thought of everything we could possibly need or want.

Here are some of our favorite details:

  • Night Light overhead pocket lets you use a headlamp as a lantern.
  • Huge storage pockets on the side walls are big enough for a puffy jacket and all your loose gear.
  • Included guylines are adjustable and reflective.
  • The poles use a combination of hooks and sleeves. This adds stability to the overall structure of the tent. But the sleeves are continuous so you don’t have to thread a long pole through multiple sleeves.
  • Finger hooks on the attachment points make setup a breeze.

There’s plenty more where that came from. The more nights we spent in the Highrise, the more details we learned to appreciate.

The Not So Good

This tent is AWESOME.

It’s well thought out. The design totally makes sense. The materials are well crafted.

We had a HARD TIME thinking of something wrong with the NEMO Aurora Highrise.

And the only thing we could think of is that the height is like a double-edged sword.

It’s great for moving around inside the tent and it feels so spacious. But this also means the tent’s taller profile catches the wind like a sail.

The higher quality materials (like the aluminum poles) help resist wear and tear on the tent. But we did have a hard time camping up on a ridge in North Carolina.

So for that reason, this tent performs better in a more protected environment like in the photo below. It was still windy that day, so we guyed out the lines just in case.

But we love the spaciousness inside so it’s something we are willing to trade for. If we end up camping above tree line or in an exposed area, we may opt for our backpacking tent instead (or something similar).

Other Opinions

Because we didn’t really have many complaints about this tent, I scoured the internet to see what other people were saying.

And the number one thing they mentioned was one of our favorite features: the windows. 

We LOVED having the windows and slept with them open overnight, even in the rain.

However, lots of users were concerned that the windows wouldn’t keep out sideways rain.

I can’t vouch for true sideways rain, but we did have the windows open during a thunderstorm. It was quite windy and not a single drop of water got inside.

BUT if you consistently camp in wet or windy conditions, you may end up preferring a tent with a full-coverage rainfly. And that could be a valid preference on your part.

For us personally, we don’t normally camp in adverse conditions and have enjoyed having windows for better ventilation.

Conclusion

We’ve had our fair share of tents over the years. They’ve ranged from super cheap brands just to get us outdoors, all the way to expensive castles that cost a pretty penny.

But after all of those, the Nemo Aurora Highrise is our favorite tent we’ve ever owned.

Nemo has managed to think of literally everything when it comes to this tent.

So if you’re considering this tent yourself, we couldn’t recommend it more.

 

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About The Author

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to's based on all the stuff she's learned on her journey. If she isn't writing an article, she's probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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