User Review: The North Face Mountain 25
Price Paid: $400
Ok, so TNF are big corporate #$%@holes that make gear cheaply in China to sell to rich urban college kids. And this tent is heavy and bulky.
Get over it and consider each bit of gear for what it is!
Can say from experience that when you are holed up in a raging blizzard this tent is the goods. The tent does what it claims it can, and is a solid and comfortable place to survive a storm. For two big guys well over 6 feet it was comfortable for three days in gale force winds and whiteout. Probably saved our lives.
The design has been refined over years and has some nice little features. Vestible is huge and great to work in for hours melting snow (instructions say not to cook in vestible but they must know everyone will).
Complaints? Well a spindrift collar on the small vestibule would be useful. Somehow in strong gales fine ice can work its way up under the fly and through the internal zipped up zippers in a fine mist but not enough to be of concern.
And I really would like a tent like this to be designed that could be an integrated pitch (fly and inner at once). Setting up in strong winds with numb hands is 'trying' and you may not bother with all the fly to inner attachments when you really just need to get it up and get out of the weather.
However from experience even a rushed, sloppy pitch will survive some pretty nasty weather. The sleeve attachments for the poles are more mucking around than clips, but mean that once up the tent is better pitched regardless of conditions.
If you value lightweight above all else don't get this tent and stay away from areas where the weather can get really nasty. Otherwise, carry something like this - you won't regret it ever once you have experienced your first storm that really needed it.
The TNF Mountain 25 is not the perfect tent for me (none are nor ever will be) but it is very good as a whole and up to everything it is advertised for. +1 to TNF, they still do make some very worthwhile gear.