User Review: The North Face Tadpole 23
Design: three season freestanding
Ease of Setup: 14 years of experience makes it pretty simple ;o)
Price Paid: $250
I bought my Tadpole in 1994. It's the only piece of my travelling kit remaining from then. I've cycle toured in S.E. Asia extensively, France, the U.K. and Tasmania. I'm also an avid bushwalker so it's been everywhere from the gails on the west coast of Tasmania to 4,400m up in the Himalayas (without snow of course).
The cord holding the poles together has given way, a rat ate into the backside while I was in the tent (fixed with some seam sealer), I've set alight to the vestibule, pushed snow off the roof as it bent under the weight and it's still going. I've lived for up to 3 months at a time in it while travelling, and with 2 people on the longest stint. I've easily spent 18 months of my life in it. The floor has never leaked, even though I've never used a groundsheet.
To those people who say it leaks, one very important point is to guy out the sides well or you WILL be wet. If you do, you'll be perfectly dry in any downpour.
It's quite cramped with 2, but it's light and strong and I'm 6' 1" and fits me fine, even for sitting up, but only just.
I see there may be drops in quality now from other posts, so I guess some of this may not apply, but I couldn't say for sure.
Unfortunately I lost 1 pole section as a result of the broken elastic. I contacted North Face, who had replaced pole sections free outside of warranty about 8 years ago, but I didn't even get a response this time and I'd be more than happy to pay. I'll try again and hope this is a one off for their customer service.
As you can imagine, this tent is quite dear to my heart as possessions go.