NF VE23 Tent

11:41 a.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

I have an old North Face VE 23 tent. I bought it new and used it a few times canoe camping with my sons. It has been stored for many, many years in a closet in my house so it's always been heated or air conditioned for storage temperature. I have two questions about this tent. 1st - it looks new. I know that sounds crazy but it really does. Even the bottom is clean as a new tent but how long does the waterproof coating last on these tents? I don't see it coming off or anything anywhere. Do any of you have a North Face tent this old that is still useable - meaning waterproof in a rain storm? I know, I should set it up and get the hose out and test it but I thought first I would seek informed opinions on how long these tents stay useful? 2nd - what's the used value of one of these tents in mint condition? I doubt it's very much as tent prices have dropped so much over the years. The label on the tent says, "Made In The USA" - and the tent is about 25 years old (best guess). Thanks.

2:59 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

All I could find was information on the VE25. It is a 3 man 4 season. Cost $500. It would be best to set it up and post a few pictures of it. Many of these tents are sought after.


TNF VE25

5:19 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

That tent is a classic! I had the VE24 for 28 years till a bear in the Gros Ventre Range in Wyoming tore it up for me. They (the VE23 and VE24) had two round storm extrance ways. Tho I never used them when I wintered camped with mine in Yosemites high country Jan to May in 1980.

I bought my VE 24 in 1979. The VE23 is older, one of the first geodesic domes. They are designed for extreme mountaineering like climbing the big mountains. The VE24 was warrented to withstand 25 mph winds and 2 feet of snow on top. Very good tent, would last you a life time or one noisy bear, which ever came first.

My VE24 cost me $300 in 1979, that was pretty expensive back then. Now TNF has a tent called the 2 meter dome which costs $5000. Not so much a camping tent but made for basecamp and sleeps 8 people

The waterproofing should last a long time. Maybe you could take it to a North Face gear dealer and let them check it out.

6:50 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

I hate to differ with Gary, but the VE-23 is a bit different design than the VE-24, although they had similar floor square footage--the VE-23 has 3 intersecting poles to form its geodesic shape instead of the four that the VE-24 used, and the VE-23 had one entrance with two zip windows for ventilation, whereas the VE-24 had a main entrance with two smaller tunnel vents that could be used as a 'tight' entrance or for ventilation (the snow tunnels increased in diameter in later models). The VE-24 had a full flysheet that covered the tent to the floor, with 2 short poles that held the fly away from the entrance--VE-23 had one pole above the entrance & the fly did not extend all the way to the floor. TNF advertised the VE-24 as a four season tent, the VE-23 as a three season tent. TNF also made a all mosquito-netting upper fabric version of the VE-23 called the Skeeter 23--quite rare!

7:33 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

I hate to differ with Gary, but the VE-23 is a bit different design than the VE-24, although they had similar floor square footage--the VE-23 has 3 intersecting poles to form its geodesic shape instead of the four that the VE-24 used, and the VE-23 had one entrance with two zip windows for ventilation, whereas the VE-24 had a main entrance with two smaller tunnel vents that could be used as a 'tight' entrance or for ventilation (the snow tunnels increased in diameter in later models). The VE-24 had a full flysheet that covered the tent to the floor, with 2 short poles that held the fly away from the entrance--VE-23 had one pole above the entrance & the fly did not extend all the way to the floor. TNF advertised the VE-24 as a four season tent, the VE-23 as a three season tent. TNF also made a all mosquito-netting upper fabric version of the VE-23 called the Skeeter 23--quite rare!

Well, its been 32 years since I remember the VE models first coming out. And I have not had my VE24 since the bear destroyed it about 4 years ago I was playing by memories that I guess are't correct.

9:00 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

I really appreciate all the replies! karmantra is correct in that the VE23 is a three pole three season tent. Mine is not the Skeeter 23. It was large enough to sleep me and my two sons when they were eight and twelve years old. As a three season tent it does not have a vestibule. The VE23 has an odd little aspect - there is a short single aluminum pole that inserts into a leather circular mounting point that is located right over the center of the tent door. This pole extends and holds a portion of the tent over the door so you can leave the door open and not get rain in the tent. Of course you would not do that in wind blown heavy rain. I have read about old tents having the waterproofing material peel or flake away from the tent fabric as they age but I can't find any sign of that on this tent. I am amazed at how well it has aged and I also think the storage location - temperature controlled (especially not in a hot attic or storage location) is key in the condition of the waterproofing. I am going to set it up, photograph it, and try to sell it. In mint condition does anyone know what a fair price would be? I also have another NF tent from that time period that I don't even know the name of - it's a smaller two pole, two person tent and due to more use than my VE23 it's not in mint condition. Thanks again - to all!

10:06 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

I one time bought a Kelty tent that was from the early 1980s, another dome. But this one tho the owner thought being it had been packed up since sometime in the early 80s, should still be good. I bought it cheap for $30 and tried to set it up when I got it home. I think the last time it had been used was a rainy night as the tent was completely stuck together and smelled like rotten eggs when I took it out of its stuff sack. The poles were in good condition, but it was from the days before shockcording was used. I rinsed it off with a light vinegar and water solution and managed to get it opened up, but when I tried to put the poles into the sleeves they would not open up. I ended up donating it to a second hand store.

I bought another NF tent a Mtn 25 about the same time which was so new, even tho it was 25 years old, it had never been taken out of it plastic factory sealed bag. It was a good tent. But I sold it last year to fund a cycling trip.

10:21 p.m. on July 25, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

I found this while searching for TNF VE23 the link below has many of NF's gear with "Of the Day descriptions"

http://homepage.mac.com/inov8/Compass/northfaceimages.html

7:31 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

GaryPalmer, thanks for the info and the very useful link!

I am going to put my VE23 up on the classifieds for sale for $100. firm plus actual ground shipping charges. The poles look new and all three still have the original shock cord in them. I really have no way to know what it's worth but someone can use it and it's unlikely I would ever use it again. I think that's a fair price. What do you think?

Thanks again!

8:53 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
344 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

And to think I just bought a new to me tent. A
The North Face Canyonlands Tent a one man tent

9:52 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

Yes $100 for a 30 year old tent is resonable. A couple years ago I paid 200 dollars for a NF Oval Intention that was still new in the original plastic bag. The owner had bought it in 1982 and put it away and never even sat it up. I let a friend use it who did'nt understand the concept in those old days of having to self seam seal it. Instead he used some sort of scotchguard on the fabric and ruined it.

2:47 a.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,765 forum posts

Gary, Thanks for the link. I had a roommate years ago who bought a VE-23 which I think we used all of one weekend. A nice summer tent, but obviously nothing like the VE- 25.

$100 sounds pretty fair to me. Where's Alan? He loves this old stuff.

7:20 a.m. on September 4, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

Tent is SOLD.

10:09 a.m. on September 4, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

I just had to throw the "body" of my VE23 away.... but I have the rain fly and stakes if anyone wants them, let me know. I'll sell them for $10.00. You pay for shipping. If anyone is interested, I'll find out how much shipping will cost once I know where it needs to go.

12:12 p.m. on September 4, 2010 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,349 forum posts

Why did you have to throw away the tent body?

1:31 p.m. on September 4, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
50 forum posts

Hello Bonwhardy, I am very intrested in the tent fly and stakes.

I JUST PURCHASED A VE23 SKEETER, LIKE THE VE 23 BUT HAS THE NETTING OVER THE TOP OF THE TENT.

I would love to have the extra fly just in case the other one is lost or ripped. (or I could use both in bad weather conditions)

I sent you a email.. let me know when you get a chance !!! scmschanderl@aol.com

do you still have the poles also ?? what happened to the body of the tent ?

Thanks again...

8:39 a.m. on September 5, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

I'm assuming that I screwed up by storing the tent in my attic where temperatures were extreme during the summer. It's like the coating on the fabric melted or something. ARGH!


Thanks for asking!

3:39 p.m. on September 5, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,765 forum posts

Storing tents, bivy sacks and sleeping bags is critical to keeping them like new, or as close to it as you can. Moisture and heat will cause the coatings to deteriorate quickly. So will constant exposure to UV over a period of time, which is why if you use a tent a lot, the fabric may eventually deteriorate, depending on what type it is.

December 21, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: WANTED:TNF North Face Quantum Nuptse Summit Series jacket 900 LTD Newer: WTB NF 2006 Mountain Light Men's Large in Black
All forums: Older: Guide to Tents Newer: Outdoor Retailer: Petzl, Energizer, SPOT, and Pacsafe