Wrapped and toasty in my Western Moutaineering Carabou there was a storm raging outside my tent. Unlike all of my other tents, my little storm break one had been doing a reasonable job and protecting me from the elements. The popping sound of my aluminum tent pole got my attention. Then there was a horrible ripping of fabric and a waterfall cascading through my new sky light, no extra charge.
I’ve never considered The North Face to be a real manufacturer of outdoor gear. They are more of a hipster niche providing useless gear to those who like to set up thier tents in their backyards or need shelter from the PNW mist running from their Subarus to the front door of the local co-op. They also seem to be a statice symbol around new age colleges with no majors or stated cariculum. Truly a sign of which children are more loved by thier parents.
Why would I choose such a beast you ask? My budget is flatlined more than often and this little tent turned out to be near gem like for almost 100 days before it died a bitter death. That’s actually a 20 year equivalent lifespan for the actual backpacker. At $119.00, and a smidge over 3lbs this was the smallest package I could find. It met all three of my major criteria’s and yes I would recommend it if your on a budget.
A new one is in the mail and my plan B is fully geared and ready to rumble. Within the week my Brompton touring set up will be complete. It all easily fits in my backpack as well but I’ve got bike brain today.
This tent is an oddity as I can almost sit up, but not quite. At 5’10” I hit the average male form but I guess TNF couldn’t figure that one out. It has exactly enough room for me and with a little creativity I can bring my Brompton T-bag in and sort of use it as a backrest/pillow. To easy enough to set up but came with 9 crap tent stakes but the set up calls for 12, go figure. It stood up to days on end of some of the greatest deluges I’ve ever experienced and was ok at keeping the water at bay. Multiple nights of 50 knot winds were no match for this little tent but when the guts hit much higher than that, well…
All around it did an ok job at a good price, we’ll see how it handles the South Pacific later this year. I know no tent can hold out a swarm of a billion fire ants but short of that I consider this to be a good but disposable quality tent. I really want to do the hammock thing but I just can’t warp my brain around those damn things.
Each item is strictly scrutinized, my load is much lighter than the last journey but it’s constantly evolving. I’ve decided to hold off just for a bit on a titanium Brompton even though it’s at the top of my list. My goal is to build the ultimate go anywhere at anytime minimalist set up that can transition from bike to plane in 30 seconds with no hassle. I’m close but still learning all the little nuances of this and that.