The North Face Trailhead 6
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About 600 euros
This tent has been a grave disappointment. It cost a lot of money and we have thrown it away after 5 years because of the constant problems.
- "Relatively" easy to erect
- Numerous - see text
Forced to buy a footprint after one year's use because the floor leaked wherever anything was stood down on it — it was reproofed under guarantee but we didn't trust it.
Very draughty in cold weather: I expect a 3-season tent to go down close to freezing without excessive discomfort but this one didn't. Regular re-proofing failed to stop intermittent leaks and this is a tent on which water sits for hours and takes ages to dry. The vestibule sides sit too high off the ground and rain splashes with mud anything stored there. I agree that the colour is drab.
Worst of all, last week when we put it up the flysheet must have snagged on something (perhaps a pole not totally pushed together) and when we tightened it it tore, a tear that then ran for about ten inches. We had repair tape with us which did a temporary job but this May (2013) is the coldest and wettest in Italy for 200 years and the repair remained a weak point for leaks. It also leaked in other places although we re-proofed it last summer.
So on our 8th successive annual May camping trip to Tuscany and Umbria we dumped the tent, saving a few useful bits like the floor, which we cut out for use in the new Italian tent, a Nova Mistral 5, which we bought in Tuscany last weekend on a day of 24-hour rain. It's brilliant, with useful space, sealed and draught-free bedrooms and a fabric from which water runs off and dries rapidly. It's a three-hoop tunnel tent, like the little Swedish Hilleberg tent weighing just over a kilogram (the Mistral is of course much heavier) that we use for trekking.
We said goodbye to the Trailhead with no regrets!
Source: bought it new
I've camped my whole life and this is by far the best tent I've used. It has held up in high winds and rain storms without any problems. It easily accommodates my family of four.
Design: three season
Ease of Setup: harder than I thought
Last year after searching just about every tent on the internet, I decided to purchase a North Face Trailhead 6 man tent. I was very happy to have made the purchase at first especially because it was a North Face tent.
After I set the tent up at a campground in Northern Quebec Canada, I must say I was very disappointed at the color which was a sand color. When I was in the tent I didn’t feel like I wanted to be in it just because of the drab color. It actually was depressing even on a sunny day. I must say that if I had the choice I would return the tent and buy one that is more cheerful in color. I should have looked into the color more carefully before my purchase but unfortunately it was marked down (I know why) and was not returnable.
I have been camping for many years now (car/canoe) and have been in previous tents which I felt happy in. I know that I am not alone when commenting about this as friends have also mentioned it. My suggestion would be to provide a more cheerful color as stupid as that may sound for 2009. I spent almost 500 Canadian dollars on a tent I don’t want to be in.
Other than the color,the tent seems to be fine. Why can’t The North Face design this tent in a nice blue or brighter color other than the two drab colors available?
Design: 3 season family dome
Ease of Setup: easy, clearly marked poles/sleeves
Weight: 28 lbs
Price Paid: $350
I have to say I'm a bit nonplussed by the other reviews here so far. I've owned a North Face Nebula for 10 years and the overall quality is very high for both tents. The floor material is exactly the same in both Nebula and T6 and I've never had a problem with my dogs (large lab and small terrier) ripping the floor in either one. I can only assume that user was unlucky.
I'm not sure if they mentioned using the footprint or not, but like most tents the floor is only a heavy proofed nylon and always needs something else underneath it. I don't use manufacturer footprints myself, finding them to be expensive for what they are. Instead I buy a good heavy duty tarp and cut it down - much stronger. Yes its heavy, but the T6 is only ever going to be a car camper.
As for the design, I have no issues with the color. In fact I have to say it makes a nice change. Its visible but not obnoxious and not too hot on a summer morning. I like the pass through doors, great for ventilation, and the design is such that its easy to get in and out in the rain without dribbling water off your jacket into the inner tent.
The tent also goes up so fast, even in the rain its not a big problem and I can put it up solo while my wife keeps the toddlers busy "helping" with other things. The poles/sleeves are clearly marked. We love the dividers and the kids (3 and 5) love having their "own room".
Space is excellent, but it comes with a price - you need a big area to set this sucker up. A concern for future trips is that we'll get to a campground and find the designated platform is too small, but we have yet to have that happen. The size also means the tent is quite heavy, but the packaging design is superb - everything fits easily into a specially designed duffle bag, much better than fighting it into those too-small sausage bags.
We've only had the tent 3 months so I can't say much about longterm durability, but I give this one very high marks for utility and design. I'm hoping that it will be as reliable and durable as our trusty pre-children Nebula has been and I see nothing to suggest otherwise.
This is a great family camping tent, I'd buy it again even if it was bright pink (although my daughter would prefer that!) and I had to pay full price (we got this one from REI using a 20% off coupon).
Ease of Setup: possible with one person, but two recommended
Price Paid: $250
Setup is easy, and matching footprint fits together very nicely. The interior space is awesome for a 6 man tent; It will sleep 6 people comfortably. Ventilation is good across the doors, but with the rail fly on and not taught via the additional guy ropes, ventilation via the side windows is blocked. The rain fly blocks sunlight very well, which keeps the tent cooler in the morning rising sun. The vestibules are very well designed, and can be rolled up very easily.
The big problem in my case: the interior floor tore during first, and last, use. It was most likely the dog, but then the dog has been in 3 other tents and never ripped the floor. So, I have to conclude that the floor on this tent is a severe weakness.
Design: 3-season freestanding, 5poles
Ease of Setup: set up easy when floor left without pegs while pitching
Weight: over 20 pounds with pegs and poles
Price Paid: $300
Tough fabric, rainproof, excellent stitching, classy room dividers, lots of ventilation, good headroom for averaged sized adult even in front vestibule, big enough to sleep six, lots of storage and hooks, poles average strength (bent some in high winds), pegs provided too short for many soils, dull greenish tan color inside, nicer light tan color for the full coverage fly, four guy ropes (could have more because tent catches lots of wind).
Where to Buy
The North Face Trailhead 6 is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these The North Face retailers:
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Retailers: Do you sell this product? List your site here.