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EMS North Star Tent

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The North Star Tent has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2024.

photo: EMS North Star Tent three-season tent

This hand-me-down from my brother is a gem. Yes, it's a bit on the heavier side (hence -.5), but serves me right for carrying a two-man for myself. But this is offset by the awesome vestibules, strong -water resistant construction, and the fact that I cary all 3: tent, rain fly, and footprint.

I share this tent with no one, so the extra weight is offset by the fact I'm spoiled in my shelter. It has more than made up for my own mistakes (read on...)

Single-frame construction makes this a breeze to put up quick, which has saved me when once I had a downpour and I needed to put this thing up pronto. During that massive storm I had heavy wind gusts as I was at the top of a 1500ft hill. One of my first trips, big rookie mistake, but this tent handled it like a charm so I owe my life to it. No rain came inside and it stood up the the wind just fine. Coldest I've slept in was 24F and there was no frost inside. Footprint provides minimal insulation, but does keep the floor dry.

Going back to the size, my first experience was during my very first backpacking trip, I didn't have a tent, and my bro let me sleep in this with him. He's 6'2" about 225, I'm 5'10" about 195. We fit our boots in the vestibules on either side, Big Agnes bags and insulated core pads without any problems (big internal square footage!) and we slept fine.

When you need a one man shelter a two-man is a bit exaggerated, but I love having the room inside to put my pack, shoes, setup a light an read at night, sit up straight, etc. It's great knowing it also provides for when I need to share the space with someone comfortably. One tent that packs up tight in the pack, this tent more than meets the need.

Next tent I purchase may be a one man, to go even lighter and smaller, or to hammock camping. But I'm planning to keep this tent for the long haul.

Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: about 5 minutes really easy and sturdy
Weight: feels like 5lbs. packed.
Price Paid: Inherited

North Star has performed brilliantly for me the last 6 yrs through avid backcountry camping; the superior ventilation has kept condensation off during damp mornings & the low design has kept us dry during high horizontal winds off the Great Lakes. Simple set-up design has allow quick emergency setup under stress-environments (& emotional breakdowns)! Large vestibules for stashing gear & light colour fly has helped keep visibility during overcast days. The perfect summer tent.

Cons? The low profile of the design makes getting in/out awkward at times. Not a favourite for people over 5'6" but lighter-weight design is forgiving for the vertically challenged tripper. The all-mesh doors (with no nylon zip)makes makes me feel like I must treat the doors delicately - although no tears/pulls in the mesh have ever occurred. The low ceiling height prevents extensive use of gear lofts.

Overall, the North Star is a brilliant summer tent; perfect for hot humid or windy rainy outings. However, lack of nylon zips would help this tent be more insulating during spring and fall season trips.

Design: 2-season freestanding dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy

Can anyone look up the model number of this tent?

It's the best tent I've owned, but unfortunately, due to a well-meaning but clumsy friend, I have a broken pole, and no idea how/where to replace the poles for this particular tent.


  • Size
  • Construction
  • Very waterproof


  • None I can think of

Source: bought it new

Great tent - long life.

My backpacking experience is limited to Mid-Atlantic USA (PA, NY, NJ, DE, WV), but I have camped year round and this tent is a stalwart companion. It's well ventilated in the sun, yet offers enough protection to keep out most downpours. 

A seriously driving rain will get through, but I have yet to encounter a tent that will prevent that. The elastic cords inside the poles wore out after about 8 years but they were easily replaced with aftermarket cord I bought on Amazon. 

This tent is light, dependable and extremely easy to set up. Tent, fly, two poles and stakes. 5-7min setup time for the experienced camper — cake.  If you can get one, buy it.

This is THE best tent ever. I think I've had mine for 10 years, and it's still in almost perfect condition through all kinds of camping conditions, raging storms, backpacking trips, etc. I never want to use anyone else's tent on trips b/c i absolutely love this tent.

I lent it to my brother once for a month and a half long trip and when he got back he immediately bought the same tent for himself. It's the easiest set up ever, it's light, the mesh is perfect, having 2 doors is perfect, the rainfly with the vestibules is perfect. I don't think I would ever want to buy another tent design. Ever.

Price Paid: ??

I have owned this tent for five years. This is the best tent ever...light...easy well with the fly or without. I've camped in this tent in very cold weather and extremely hot...heavy rains...performed excellent in all conditions. Ventilation is great if you have dogs. Highly recommended if you want a quality product without the steep prices.

Design: Nothstar
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: setup is very easy
Weight: 3-4 lbs
Price Paid: $140

I've had this tent for 10+ years now. Backpacking, kayak camping, car camping, 3 month tour of Europe.....this tent has yet to fail me. From -5 to 90, driving rain to star gazing, it works.

Buying a single wall now to cut down on pack size and weight but this staple tent will stay in the stables.

Price Paid: Can't remember

I own this tent. I want another. Can anyone help me find this tent?

Design: i
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Very Easy

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Price Historic Range: $134.98-$159.00
Reviewers Paid: $140.00

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