User Review: The North Face Tadpole 23
Design: some kind of modified dome
Ease of Setup: damn easy
Weight: less than 5 pounds
Price Paid: $180
I purchased this tent two years ago as "last season's" model, saving some money over the usual price. It is super light, and packs super small. The first time I set it up, it seemed small, especially compared to other "backpacking" tents I'd used. But after a single night with the tent, it proved to be more than enough for sleeping, changing clothes, and lounging. On solo trips, I keep gear in the tent, but otherwise the vestibule is plenty big enough to hold two people's gear.
The tent sets up quick, even faster if two people are working together. I've never had any problems with its construction. I highly recommend a groundcloth to keep the tent floor clean and dry. The rain fly will collect condensation, particularly when it's cooler outside, or with two people in the tent. This hasn't been a real problem, as it dries quickly. The fly does an excellent job of keeping the tent dry in the rain.
You can pitch the rainfly and the ground cloth together like a tarp tent, but at less than 5 pounds, you'd have to be desperate to lose weight by giving up the true tent.
Glow in the dark zipper pulls are probably my favorite luxury, adding no extra weight but immensely functional. The mesh cargo pockets inside the tent are located in the perfect spots, allow for damp clothes to dry, and keeps flashlights and other items close by during the night. The mesh top and side panels give you a great view on clear nights without the rain fly attached.