The North Face Cirrus
Design: 3 season, free standing
Sleeps: 1+ (2 if you're close friends)
Ease of Setup: 3 minute set up, includes the footprint
Weight: about 6 lbs (with footprint)
Price Paid: $199
I've had this tent over a year now. It's phenomenal. Factory-taped seams keep the tent interior dry. Seam-seal the velcro seams and the zippers on the fly and you'll have one waterproof, bombproof tent. I use it in the Pacific Northwest (which means, constant rain) and even the stuff in the vestibule stays dry. Set-up is a breeze even in the dark because all the poles are the same length and there are poles sleeves--no silly little clips to thread the poles through. Steep walls mean you can use every bit of the floor space and there's plenty of room to sit upright. Ventilation is so good, you forget it's an issue.
In really cold weather, the lightweight tent fabric means this tent may be a bit chilly. Wear another pair of socks or snuggle up to your tentmate.
Cirrus (and its sisters Nimbus and Cumulus) is admittedly a bit heavier than other tents, but folded pole length is shorter, and the diameter of the pack is skinnier than many tents, so it's easy to strap to the sides of your pack.
Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, this is one of the best tents you can buy.
Design: 3 Season so they say but easily a light 4 season
Ease of Setup: Not as easy as everyone says, but not too hard either
Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz.
Price Paid: $275
This is my fourth tent that I have bought this year. I am just addicted to gear. I have a big four season that I love, but let's face it, you don't always need to haul an eight pound bomb shelter if it's gonna be sunshine and stars. I have a one person that weighs 3 pounds and a bivy at just over a pound, but can't bring those if my girlfriend comes, so I set out for a lighter but durable 2-person summer tent. I settled on the Cirrus.
As a matter of habit, I pitched it the first night I got it in the backyard. Somewhat tedious the first time with the three-pole sleeve design, but I think its strength makes up for that. This thing is sturdy I tell you. Luckily a storm blew in that night and I couldn't resist sleeping in it (plus I got a new bag and that needed testing too). Taped seams on the fly kept the water out. Anytime a company tapes the seams on the fly you know they care about making a good tent. Mountain Hardwear's Room w/ a View is a beautiful tent, but they leave it up to you to tape the seams. Why? Large vestibule is nice for dry enrty/exit and also necessary since the door is excessively large.
Overall I was impressed. I still would prefer my Scorpion for harsh weather but the Cirrus can handle anything. I think this tent should be considered a 4-season tent with the 3-pole design, multiple guy outs, and full coverage taped fly, but because of the door design I think North Face decided to play it safe.
It packed down quite well once I separated the poles. I will definitely enjoy it this summer since the entire top of the tent is no-see-um mesh and excellent for star gazing.
Check it out.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: a breeze
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Price Paid: $370 can.
This is a wonderful little tent. I am 6'2" and have a problem with the length in most tents, I do not like inhaling the side walls of a tent. The floor space in this tent is perfect for 2 therma-rest ultra light long sleeping pads. Headroom is very ample due to the excellent design of this tent, the door is huge for easy entry/exits and the three-pole configuration makes this tent super sturdy due to the continuous pole sleeves that I really liked over the clip system that alot of competitive tents use.
I do want to mention that I returned a Mountain Hardwear Skylight in favor of this tent. In my opinion for $385 can. the Skylight did not impress me when compared to this tent. Considering the price, weight and size is similiar to the Cirrus, the North Face product quality was substantially higher, the tent was easier to set up, alot more sturdy, more headroom, did not sag like the clip tents will, and easily handled 6 inches of wet snow dumped on me while on a high pass in Kananaskis.
The one nice touch that I was originally drawn to about the Mountain Hardwear tent was the clear picture film sewn into the flysheet that gave the tent its name, but it easily fogged up with condensation at night with only myself in the tent, so the stargazing I hoped to do was disappointing at best.
it's named the Skylight.
Design: 3 season dome
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 6 lbs or so
Price Paid: under 200 now - they have a new model now
Finally used my Cirrus tent in the rain -- and rain and rain.
I didn't really set it up all that well either -- no guy-lines, rain fly not that taut -- I was out kayaking when the big storms started to hit. I was worried about that tent while out on the river! When we got into camp my tent was dry, and stayed dry all night. I am very pleased. Plenty of room for me, big vestibule for my wet gear. The new model has two doors, even better, but I am not sure what it is called.
If you detest sleeping in wet tents, and find a Cirrus on closeout -- get it.
Design: 3 Season
Sleeps: 3(really 2)
Ease of Setup: This tent has an easy 3-pole setup that, once assembled, acts as a freestanding structure that can easily be moved if need be.
Weight: about 6 pounds
Price Paid: $300
I recently bought this tent for a trip to northern Utah. It performed extremely well. I was pleased with the ease of setup and the ventilation was excellent. The only negative part about this tent is that the door is placed lengthwise along the side so that one occupant must crawl over the other to exit the tent.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: very easy (even in dark)
Weight: 5 and change
Price Paid: $275
I am very happy with this tent's performance. I camped on an exposed peak shortly after purchasing this tent and was very impressed with how it handled high winds. There were gusts of 50 mph that night, and with the rain fly guyed out the tent was quiet in the wind and I slept like a baby.
I have only slept in this tent alone so far, but think it would be great with my girlfriend. I believe that it might be a little cramped with another full sized man in there (I am 6 foot even with broad shoulders). But, I purchased this tent for myself anyway as all of my friends have their own tents. What really impresses me most about the tent is the tension once set up. This thing is tight as a drum.
Also, I am impressed with the fly design. The velcro lashing points inside the fly adjoin the fly to the tent as if were one unit. Then when guyed out, the fly provides awesome stability in high wind situation (extremely quit to). I have not had a chance to sleep in the rain yet, but i am sure that will not be too far away (I live in the NC mountains).
Possibly the best part about this tent is that i got it on sale for $215.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 6 and someting pounds
Price Paid: $275
Very cool tent. TNF really knows what they are doing. I've always been very happy with everything that I have bought from them. The Cirrus is no exception to that. Easy set up, easy to break down. Looks cool, good size vestibule. Very taut.
TNF does the little things that I don't mind paying for, like factory sealing the rain flies (no other company seems to do that). I talked to product info at Mountain Harwear and they said they will be doing it next year. So they must see the advatange in it as well. Unfortunatly for them TNF got my money already.
The only thing I may have issue with is the door runs the length of the tent, so if you are sharing it with someone it makes it hard to get in and out. (This may be a good thing if the person you are sharing it with is someone ya really like.) For me it's perfect as a one-man with lots of room for gear.
Where to Buy
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