User Review: The North Face North Star
Price Paid: a lot
The North Star is a six equal length pole, base camp tent, based on designs of Bucky Fuller. The hemisphere shape of the North Star demonstrates the original geodesic dome principles.
A geodesic sphere shuts in the greatest space, for the least outside surface, making for the highest efficiency in a structure. Looking up from any position, the frame is a five-pointed star. Its early uses were at the North Pole. I am surprised that the North Star name has not been reused.
The shelter had at least two versions, the original was vented at the top with a stove hole, and one without the top vent. Three skeletal poles hold up the structure, three fill out the space over the door and two-screened snow tunnel windows.
Set up is easy, but three poles goes up quicker than six in a deluge. Our quick rain set up technique, was to put the “Star,” up with only three poles, crawl inside, and put the lower poles in later.
I have owned three, the second one new from North Face in the early '80s. Base camp shelters have gotten larger, but still maintain a circular radius on the floor, while expedition tents evolved lower, with more of an oval shape footprint.
The North Star geodesic dome spawned the North Face 2-Meter, Mountain Hardware Space Station type domes, on the base camp side, and merged with the Intention, led to the Himalayan Hotel, Himalayan 47, and their mountain version 4-season tents on the expedition side.
If you want to sell a North Star tent, contact me through this forum.
Update: November 29, 2011