The North Face Assault 2
Weighing in at less than five pounds, this single-walled tent not only packs light for a two-person outing, but it’s manufactured with a high-tech breathable and tear-resistant Drywall fabric that will keep you and your expedition partner safe from the elements. The canopy and floor are made of 50-denier polyester ripstop, while the floor features a 3000 mm polyurethane water-resistant coating. The rainfly is a 33-denier nylon with a 1500 mm polyurethane/silicone-based coating to slough off dirt, debris, and even gropple. Imagine all the freed-up floor space thanks to the built-in gear loft and body and vestibule hang loops. Two 9 mm DAC Featherlight aluminum poles provide a solid frame. A removable vestibule can be left behind during a summit assault or for lighter travel.
- Drywall proprietary single skin
- Removable 33D siliconated nylon vestibule
- Drop door with upper mesh zip
- Reflective Kevlar guylines and glow-in-the-dark zip pulls
- 4 fabric snow stakes
4 lb 11 oz / 2.14 g
5 lb 4 oz / 2.38 g
26 sq ft / 2.4 sq m
6.8 sq ft / 0.7 sq m
44 in / 111.8 cm
Super lightweight tent that is very liveable, and…
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Super lightweight tent that is very liveable, and weighs under 1.5 kgs without the optional vestibule. It's definitely an alpine tent, but still a great versatile choice for bivvying or lightweight trips.
- Incredibly light
- All the extras are included
- Good value
- Good ventilation
- Not a all purpose tent
- Hard to setup
I picked up the Assault 2 to replace a MEC TGV 2 that I had purchased. I live in the Canadian Rockies, and do a fair bit of mountaineering, bivying, and winter camping. So far I've used this tent a couple times and as it stands I'm fairly impressed.
Getting the tent set up and taking it down always feels like an eye will be lost. It's getting easier, but jamming the poles into a place is always a big challenge as it requires a lot of pushing, and the extreme tension when releasing it is a little scary. Overall it's really solid once it's in, but it takes a lot of effort and it's impossible to do with gloves or cold hands. This is kinda a big drawback for a cold weather tent.
Once the tent is set up it's incredibly roomy considering its weight, especially when it's guyed out well. There is plenty of room for two average adult males. It's felt like I had enough room for my head and feet (5'10"). Compared to the Rab Latok Summit, or the BD Firstlight this guy is way bigger. There is good headroom, and it's easy to move about. The vestibule that's included is optional, but makes gear storage a breeze if you need it.
There are three ventilation ports that you can operate from inside and one in the door, and they are covered by mosquito netting that I would say is quite unnecessary. There is fourth ventilation port in the door. In the alpine with a gentle breeze they seem to work well enough and the 360° vents make condensation only a minor issue on the upper parts of the tent.
The overall build is solid and weatherproof. The floor is tough enough to take boots, and I can't say I have any concerns about wind performance, though it hasn't been thoroughly tested yet.
The tent is light enough that it makes it worthwhile over a bivvy bag, as it's slightly lighter or the same weight, but way more comfortable.
Subalpine though this tent doesn't perform so well. I've only used it on a fairly chilly night, about 6 or 4 Celsius, but when we woke in the morning the upper part of the tent was soaked. There hadn't been any wind, so the condensation had built up considerably. The whole upper part of the tent was thoroughly soaked. When taking it down droplets went everywhere and I had towel it down after turning it inside out and giving it a good shake.
In the alpine with a light breeze it was terrific. No condensation at all. When the winds kicked up to about 30 km/h the tent didn't seem to notice. We'd guyed the sides down well, and it withstood everything just fine. It was quieter in the wind then many other tents I'd experienced.
For the small packed weight and size, this tent can't be beat in the alpine. It's definitely a colder, windier weather choice, but that's what it's designed for.