User Review: The North Face VE 25
I have a good friend who has a VE 25 TNF tent. I have a Eureka K2 XT. After six years of going out with him and our buddies (five and six of us at a time, sharing tent space between us), I can say that for the money the TNF VE 25 is no better tent than my Eureka K2 XT. Mine never gives any problems, but his VE 25 sure does. I have also personally experienced the problems he had with dealing with TNF customer service. Most unpleasant.
Before I purchased my Eureka K2 XT, I invested numerous hours researching Eureka, The North Face, Marmot, Helsport, and various other tent manufacturers - looking into all the info they had to offer in respect to exactly what, where, and by whom their tents and tent materials were made by. I came to discover that all of the 4-season tents offered in the American market were made entirely in Asia from Asian parts and materials. The only exception to this was Helsport, which was made and assembled entirely in Europe (and may still be).
In fact, I also came to find out that another of the big tent names used precisely the same factories in China and elsewhere across Asia, and exactly the same materials (made by the same manufacturers) to make its top end 4-season tents as did/does Eureka for theirs. What other tents you might ask? Turn your face to the north and ask that question again.
Regardless, this Eureka K2 XT tent really is a wonderful piece of equipment - and I would choose it over a VE 25 any day. If you can only have one tent for two people, and expect the tent to stand up to pretty much any climate, any weather, and to last for many years even under heavy use - get this tent. However, please do be aware that it is not the lightest of shelters what that can be had, which is where dividing it up between two people's backpacks is the way to go. This is the price you pay for maximum duty materials and a spacious floor plan (the tent will sleep three adults without discomfort).
It would be nice, however, if Eureka (and others) would be so nice as to offer either choices of tent rain fly colors (the K2 XT is sun yellow, as are most tents of its 4 season nature) making available perhaps a snow field white fly and a camouflauge fly; or else if kits could be offered to alter or elsewise jazz-up one's rain fly on the tent.
But anyway, if you do make a smart choice and purchase a K2 XT tent, go ahead and get a net gear loft for the tent, a good foot print, and purchase some strong tent pegs, with an eye for good deals on titanium pegs on eBay.
You can spend more for a VE 25 if you are intent on throwing away $$$ on brand name hype. Be smart, buy a K2 XT from Eureka and invest the money you save into a nice titanium cookset or something. Don't waste it on TNF VE 25.