The North Face Stormbreak 1

Reviews

3

Good all around value for a three-season solo tent.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 129 CDN

Summary

Good all around value for a three-season solo tent.

Pros

  • Good value
  • 3 Lb weight
  • Good headroom 34"w x 34"h
  • Freestanding (!)
  • Easy setup with really obvious colour coding

Cons

  • Inside loops for a gear hammock would be good
  • Footprint not included
  • Small vestibule (my 40L pack fits ok)
  • Extremely narrow at foot of tent (26")

I shopped around for a 3lb solo tent for quite awhile, and then happened to see this one. The price and weight looked great, and I trusted the brand to be a quality tent. After using it this summer and fall I found that I really like it.

I joked with my camping buddy that I would be sleeping in a coffin, as the tent has very tiny dimensions set up. I thought it might be claustrophobic, but with the good headroom and side entry I have found it very comfortable. Not much room for anything but me in there. (I'm 6'1" and 205) The footprint is VERY tapered and you would likely want to use a 3/4 sleeping pad or tapered pad and a mummy or semi-mummy bag instead of rectangular gear.

The ventilation is great, but would work against it in snowy or blowy conditions. Adjusting the fly just right would be important there.  I swapped out the pegs for aluminum stakes similar to the MSR Groundhogs as well.

All in all I'm very happy with it for three-season use, and for pack weight. For rainy or unknown weather, it's much nicer than a bivy bag.

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Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Kevin! Thanks for sharing your helpful gear reviews with us, and for the pictures above of your tent. I especially like the first one.


10 months ago
2

The Stormbreak 1 tent is a good value if you are looking…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new

Summary

The Stormbreak 1 tent is a good value if you are looking to reduce your pack weight at a reasonable price. It is constructed using quality materials and will keep you dry.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Weather resistant
  • Good price for the weight
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Not enough tent stakes are included and they are too heavy
  • Vestibule is too small for a backpack
  • The footprint is the same size as a sleeping pad.

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The North Face Stormbreak 1 tent is a good quality tent and is an excellent value for the price.

The tent is very easy to set up using the two lightweight aluminum poles. It is free standing and really only needs to be staked out to pull the rain fly away from the tent body and to keep it from blowing away. The tent poles put tension on the tent and keep it tautly pitched.

I have only used the tent in a rainy night one time and it was water tight with no water splashing into the tent. The rain fly is a little small and care needs to be taken that it is positioned as close to the ground as possible during stormy conditions to prevent back splash.

The tent is small and I did notice a lot of condensation. However, it did not drip inside the tent. I did have to let the fly dry a little to avoid putting it into my pack sopping wet.

The tent is very small and this is both a positive and a negative. The small size allows for durable materials at a relatively light weight. It is roomy enough to sit up in, but that is about all. The dimensions from side to side are the same as my sleeping pad. My biggest complaint is the small size of the vestibule. It is too small to fit a pack in to keep it out of the weather.

The tent packs up into a very small size and fits into the storage bag easily. Tent stakes are included, but they are heavy and not enough are included to fully stake out the fly. I replaced mine with lighter weight stakes and replaced the guy lines with some that are lighter and reflective.

I have owned this tent for a year and have used it on numerous trips. Yes, lighter weight tents are available, but at many times the cost.

G00SE MODERATOR

Thanks for the review, Robert. Do you have any pictures of your tent?


7 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing your TNF tent review, Robert. I'd also be curious to see some pictures of your tent.


7 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the pictures, Robert!


7 months ago
1

This North Face Stormbreak 1-person tent been my go-to…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130

Summary

This North Face Stormbreak 1-person tent been my go-to tent for the past two years and has reliably stood up to some serious abuse on multi-day backpacking trips: the West Coast Trail, fierce Patagonia winds, multiple trips into the Grand Canyon, and weeks of continual use in the provincial parks of Ontario.

It is by no means an ultralight tent, but if you are looking for a dependable tent that will give you a good bang for your buck, you can't beat this (especially if you are on the taller side like myself).

Pros

  • Ideal for tall people given its length (I'm 6'2")
  • Very lightweight given its economical price point
  • Dead simple to set up and take down in a hurry
  • Reliable in bad weather (and can take good amount of abuse)

Cons

  • Mesh part of the inner tent isn't completely taut and can graze your head (for taller people over 6'2")
  • Footprint isn't taut enough to stay on when picking up the entire tent and relocating it
  • Comes with heavy cheap steel pegs which I replaced immediately with higher quality ones
  • Tent fly has velcro attachments to fix the poles which when guying out in severe weather won't stay fixed

I bought the Storm Break 1 after considerable research. I wasn't ready to spend $400 on an ultralight tent, but wanted something that didn't weight a ton. Being over 6 feet tall, it was also important to me that the tent was long enough (with a little bit of extra room at my feet and head).

After owning the Storm Break for a little over two years, I have been very happy with the purchase it and would highly recommend it. It has held up admirably in some very challenging weather, and it is still my go-to tent. Over the two years I have probably spent close to 60 nights (and few rainy days) inside of it.

Setup: Getting the Storm Break 1 setup takes no time at all. It comes with two shock corded aluminum poles which are identical in length so there is no confusion. Simply place the ends of the poles into the 4 corners crossed, clip the inner mesh tent to the poles, and you are good to go.

Clipping the inner tent onto the poles vs. having to feed the poles through sewn loops makes a big difference in the ease of setting up and tearing down. I now have a technique down where I can setup this tent in under 2 minutes. Lining up the ground sheet and the fly is made easy by the red colour coding.

You can see in the picture the red pole holder on the bottom left — both the groundsheet and the fly also have red attachment points so it is easy to know that they need to be all on the same corner. Again, a simple, but well thought out design.


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StabilityThe simple alpine cross design gives this tent a lot of stability. I have had my tent pitched in some pretty extreme winds and it has always held up fine (keep in mind I usually guy it down ridiculously tight which pulls the poles a bit off their intended position).

You can see in the pic below I have it guy'd down tight, and it's pulled the fly off the poles since the fly is only fastened to the poles by velcro. Not a huge issue, but something to be aware of.  

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Weather Resistance: I've never had rain come in through the tent. Even with howling winds where the rain is coming horizontal. The fly (as you can see in the pic) covers very close to the ground and the fully taped floor comes up a good ways, so there is coverage. I've pitched this in the winter on top of snow, but haven't had any experience with snow loading on it. I've taken it on the West Coast Trail, which is notorious for its wet conditions, and didn't have any issues. 

Ventilation: I've have no problems with ventilation in this tent. On clear nights, don't pitch the fly, and the mesh inner will feel like you are camping under the stars. Even with the fly on, I've never felt it getting stuffy inside. The vestibule section of the fly can be rolled up while the fly is on to provide air flow through the mesh door if you want.


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Room & Storage: Being a taller guy, this tent isn't exactly spacious, but it is enough to fit my airpad (Therm-a-Rest All Season NeoAir long). I find it just enough room for the airpad, SLR camera, and a dry bag with some clothes. Don't even think about trying to bring your pack inside...there won't be enough room. There is a convenient mesh pocket which I usually put my watch, and miscellaneous items.The vestibule isn't very large, however if I am very careful, I can position my 65L backpack underneath it with my boots on top.

My only gripe is that the mesh section of the inner tent where my head is, isn't completely taut, and with the slope of the inner, the mesh sometimes sags slightly and it grazes my head. I have experimented with attaching clips to the outer mesh with string to pull it back a bit, but have given up...it's not a major issue. I am 6'2" and if I was a couple inches shorter, the slope of the mesh inner is such that the slight sagging wouldn't be a problem.

Packability: The tent packs down well. I usually just stuff it back into the bag, and carry the poles separately in a pouch in my pack. There are no issues here and it is what you would expect.

Ease of Use: As I mentioned before this tent is dead simple to set up and tear down. It is very well designed in that regard.

Features: This tent is pretty basic. Aside from having the mesh storage pouch, it is bare bones. 

Construction and Durability: I've had no complaints with the actual tent. The only issue I have had is with the cheap pegs that it comes with. They are heavy — the first thing I did was by a set of MSR pegs from my local outdoor store.

Other than that, this little guy has been a solid tent. I don't exactly treat my gear lightly, so it puts up with a lot of abuse. It's not made out of ultralight materials, which I have been fine with — I don't need to worry about it getting ripped or torn easily.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great review, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to share it and your pictures with us. I hope you'll consider reviewing some of your other gear when you have the chance.


3 days ago
0

Great tent for the price. Weighs 3.19 lbs. I shave…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $129

Summary

Great tent for the price.

Pros

  • Quality
  • Price

Cons

  • Weight

Weighs 3.19 lbs.

I shave some weight by replacing the stakes with Groundhog stakes.

Decent headroom and alcove for your pack.

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