The North Face Solo 12
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 200 dollars
The tent is really ultralight and easy to set up. I have no complaints about it because I enjoyed the space and the dryness inside even when it rained the way it rains here in the Philippines. But that was only during the first two or three times that I used it overnight.
- Easy to set up
- Rain water comes in through the sides
I don't know why for the last two times that I used it and it rained on both occasions, water came in through the sides. What may be the reason?
Design: 2/3 three season 2 pole.
Ease of Setup: Very quick & easy
Weight: 1 kilo
Price Paid: £85 (thanks e-bay!)
I'd been after this light-weight tent for a while and picked up a bargian earlier this year on e-bay. The Solo has the quality and features that you'd expect from North Face. I've used it a number of times whilst wildcamping in Cornwall and The Lakes this summer. If you get hold of one I'd advise that you also buy the footprint for it too. This single skin, 2-3 season tent is good but it's not perfect.
It's good, quality kit and is well made using high-spec materials considering its price. This tent is light - around 1 kilo and packs down small easily fitting into or under most rucksacks (I use a Berghaus 50L Freeflow). It's a stable little tent, especially when you consider it uses only two poles and a couple of guy ropes. I've found the Solo is easily to throw up, even in a bit of a breeze or in the dark. I call it my 'posh bivvi' and it's nice that you can sit up in it. There's plenty of space inside for you and all of your kit and I expect two people could cram in at a push.
On the down side . . . Some of the hype about the Solo is that its venting prevents a build up of condensation. I've found that this only works about half of the time. You won't wake up soaking, just a little damp in places! When it does work you'll find yourself tucked up in your sleeping bag with a mild breeze blowing across your face all night!
It's a shame the door doesn't have a mozzie net and it could do with an additional loop to tie it back but with this would come a few extra g of weight I suppose.
You lack any sort of porch so lack storage / cooking space and when you open up you're straight out into the elements - a pain if it's throwing it down. One final, minor niggle is that there are no internal pockets, I'd have been happy with just one to stow my torch or watch.
Overall I'm happy with it, no doubt it works better in a bit of a breeze and it's a good little tent to do a night or two wildcamping in the summer.
Design: 3? season superlight
Ease of Setup: extremely easy, simple, no guys, 2 poles, 7 pegs
Weight: see the spec sheets
Price Paid: £150
Recently used in gale force winds in the Cairngorms, Scotland, as first real test. Very strong! Wobbles and shudders in large gusts but didn't buckle, amazing for something with no guylines. Love the small pack size, light weight and rapid pitch.
Couple of minor niggles, stuff sack with large webbing and buckles just adds pack weight for no reason and the door zip has a tendency to catch the storm flaps where it curves from the vertical to horizontal. I'm 5 foot 8 and fits like a glove without being too claustrophobic but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone much bigger.
Venting better than expected, yet it's not as draughty as say Mtn Hardwear's 2 skin PCT1 which used mesh inner. Highly recommend if you can cope with cooking outdoors, if not buy a Hilleberg Akto.
Where to Buy
The North Face Solo 12 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Incredibly light, the single-walled Solo 12 from The North Face uses external poles and high-low venting to move air through the shelter while keeping the weight low.
- Mountain Gear
Gossamer light fabrics yet sturdy pole design make this one-person tent stand up to rough winds and rain, yet you barely know it's in your pack. It's so compact and light. -Greg Child, The North Face Athlete, Rock ClimberOut lightest one-man tent withstood winds of 95 mph at our testing facility at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. A proven wind-tested shelter for one, this tent is easy to pitch and disassemble so athletes can quickly resume exploring after a night's rest.
- The North Face
Boasting a max weight of just 2 pounds and 10 ounces, The North Face? offers 17 square feet of floor space for a single sleeper.
This super lightweight one person two-pole tent has been tested in 95 mph wind tunnel tests, and it is easy to pitch.
- Rocky Mountain Trail