The North Face Trailhead 4
Love it. This review only applies to the 2009 Trailhead…
Design: Freestanding with vestibule
Ease of Setup: Very, two big poles
Price Paid: $350
Love it. This review only applies to the 2009 Trailhead 4 which is a little hard to find right now for some reason.
General description: as good as a basic 4 person tent gets. It doesn't have multiple rooms, cup holders, or other fancy things. It's a box. But, it's a beautiful box. The light color for the 2009 is light and makes the interior of the tent a nice place to read a book. The windows zip up and it has a full coverage fly. For a 6' tall tent, that is as snug and warm as you're going to get. The roomy front vestibule comes with its own pole and really extends the feel of tent (it is so large I put it over a small 3' tree on it's first run), so I had a tree in my tent.
* Very easy to set up, two big poles and 5 minutes
* Warm, most of the other 4 person tents have huge open panels that don't zip up or close. This tent has 2 big doors , two windows and a top vent and all of the side openings can be battened down on cold or rainy nights. I would trust this tent in a windy downpour completely.
* Really well designed front vestibule, makes the tent much larger. Nice rear vestibule for gear.
* Light color (tan?) walls and fly make the tent really bright and nice to be in, not at all cave like
* 6' tall means anyone who doesn't play basketball can stand up to change.
* Fits a queen size bed plus room for gear. Get the gearloft as well for knikknacks (unless your the aforementioned basketball player)
* Roomy for 2 people, comfy for 2 people and a child. Like all 4 person tents, if 4 people are in there that is it.
Cons: None that would make me regret getting it. A couple of minor comments.
Floor: don't fully trust the floor material, although no problems yet. It's heavy duty nylon, while most companies are going with polyesters now that just feel more durable. Definitely get the footprint, I am bringing a hefty tarp to throw under it if the ground is at all sketchy.
Boxy: Throw in a cup holder or the tiniest bit of sex appeal and this would blow some of the new fancy tents off the market. How about putting an optional screen and a floor on the vestibule to create a porch? I would have paid another 50+ bucks for that and it would have basically doubled the size of the tent.
How It Compares, REI Kingdom 4:
I first purchased the new 2009 REI Kingdom 4 Tent. There were a lot of great design features to that like all REI products, but it had two critical flaws 1) the rain fly only extended a couple of inches below the screens 2) none of the huge open panels closed. One night in the Redwoods in Spring of near bone breaking cold (the tent was colder than outside) and with the slightest breeze blowing straight through your soul: I returned that and went for The North Face Trailhead 4.
Note: This review pertains to the 2009 Trailhead 4 Tent, the 2008 is a different (darker) color, so disregard those comments if it's not this year's.
If you are looking for a quality 4 person tent, with…
Design: three season cabin style
Ease of Setup: Very Easy
Weight: 20 lbs
Price Paid: $299
If you are looking for a quality 4 person tent, with 6 foot peak, full rain fly, and roomy vestibule, this is your tent! Perfect for car camping (at 20 lbs too heavy to pack in anywhere). We wanted something nice for two people to stretch out in (with lots of gear and cots), but this would also be very nice for a small family. Vestibule is tall and roomy (my 2 person backpacking tent could be pitched in it).
As a rather short lady, I was able to set it up very quickly by myself. Someone said they had a problem with the fly, not sure why, it could not have been easier to pitch. The quality of this tent is very very nice. Interior pockets under each window are great storage. 2nd door and mini vestibule are also nice. I highly recommend this tent.Not sure why it is not as widely available as the Trailhead 6 and 8, it fits a nice niche in the market.
Good quality product like all North Face equipment.
Design: 3.5 season free-standing dome
Ease of Setup: tent very easy, fly difficult
Weight: 19 lbs
Price Paid: $320
Good quality product like all North Face equipment. Base tent goes up in a snap. The full cover fly is another story. Very cumbersome to erect fly, but once it is up offers great protection from the weather. The vestibule in the fly is good size and offers good protection of your equipment. Six foot height inside this tent is great. You don't ever feel cramped inside. Overall great investment.