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The North Face Assault 2

rated 1.0 of 5 stars
photo: The North Face Assault 2 four-season tent

You must have not experienced any rain. I did. The tent IS NOT WATERPROOF. All my things inside were soaked. Water poured down inside the tent walls and collected on the floor.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND BUYING IT!

Pros

  • Very light

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Hard to set up

This is not an all-season tent. It is NOT waterproof. Few hours rain in summer in Scandinavia was enough to get our sleeping mats, bags, clothes completely soaked.

DON'T WASTE MONEY ON IT, DON'T BUY IT.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 399 GBP

Super bad value. Looks great, pitches easily, very light ONE-person tent with gear.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Pitches easily
  • Very light
  • Feels robust

Cons

  • Terrible condensation in dry, dripping in your face or ear. BUT does stick the midgies too.
  • NOT WATERPROOF—literally filled with water and soaks you and your gear. A tarp was required to stop rain. Would not dream of going up a Scottish mountain in this in summer let alone winter.
  • The detachable vestibule is barely attachable and would not rate its chances in anything beyond a breeze.
  • Expensive and rubbish and I got mine for free as replacement for their rubbish Tadpole 2, which literally dissolved in rain with tape hanging down in the morning.

Famous name and high price for something that delivers a poor camping experience in benign conditions.

In wet, you could be in a lot of bother with soaking gear, clothes, and sleeping bag. Do NOT touch with a tent pole. For the sake of a few pounds, I'd rather go up with a heavier two skin than risk hypothermia in this waste of money.

North Face, you should be utterly ashamed to put your name on such an appalling excuse for a tent. 

Experience

30 years camping. Worst tent ever.

Source: North Face gave it free to replace a defective tent

Super lightweight tent that is very liveable, and weighs under 1.5 kgs without the optional vestibule. It's definitely an alpine tent, but still a great versatile choice for bivvying or lightweight trips.

Pros

  • Incredibly light
  • All the extras are included
  • Good value
  • Tough
  • Good ventilation

Cons

  • Not a all purpose tent
  • Hard to setup
  • NOT WATERPROOF

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I picked up the Assault 2 to replace a MEC TGV 2 that I had purchased. I live in the Canadian Rockies, and do a fair bit of mountaineering, bivying, and winter camping. So far I've used this tent a couple times and as it stands I'm fairly impressed.

Getting the tent set up and taking it down always feels like an eye will be lost. It's getting easier, but jamming the poles into a place is always a big challenge as it requires a lot of pushing, and the extreme tension when releasing it is a little scary. Overall it's really solid once it's in, but it takes a lot of effort and it's impossible to do with gloves or cold hands. This is kinda a big drawback for a cold weather tent. 


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Once the tent is set up it's incredibly roomy considering its weight, especially when it's guyed out well. There is plenty of room for two average adult males. It's felt like I had enough room for my head and feet (5'10"). Compared to the Rab Latok Summit, or the BD Firstlight this guy is way bigger. There is good headroom, and it's easy to move about. The vestibule that's included is optional, but makes gear storage a breeze if you need it.


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There are three ventilation ports that you can operate from inside and one in the door, and they are covered by mosquito netting that I would say is quite unnecessary. There is fourth ventilation port in the door. In the alpine with a gentle breeze they seem to work well enough and the 360° vents make condensation only a minor issue on the upper parts of the tent.

The overall build is solid and weatherproof. The floor is tough enough to take boots, and I can't say I have any concerns about wind performance, though it hasn't been thoroughly tested yet.

The tent is light enough that it makes it worthwhile over a bivvy bag, as it's slightly lighter or the same weight, but way more comfortable.

Subalpine though this tent doesn't perform so well. I've only used it on a fairly chilly night, about 6 or 4 Celsius, but when we woke in the morning the upper part of the tent was soaked. There hadn't been any wind, so the condensation had built up considerably. The whole upper part of the tent was thoroughly soaked. When taking it down droplets went everywhere and I had towel it down after turning it inside out and giving it a good shake.

In the alpine with a light breeze it was terrific. No condensation at all. When the winds kicked up to about 30 km/h the tent didn't seem to notice. We'd guyed the sides down well, and it withstood everything just fine. It was quieter in the wind then many other tents I'd experienced. 

For the small packed weight and size, this tent can't be beat in the alpine. It's definitely a colder, windier weather choice, but that's what it's designed for. 

Edit 8/2016:

Recently I took it out in some decent rain. The tent didn't leak. It seeped. All night long water flowed through the fabric, creating a huge puddle on the floor. By the time I properly woke up in the morning the tent floor was filled with water.  

I looked up the rating on their website and they claimed it was waterproof to 3000mm of pressure. Well apparently that means moderate rain will seep right through. Or my best guess is that someone in the manufacturing process forgot to apply the membrane.

I've contacted warranty about this, and the final rating will be based on the results. 

Source: bought via a "pro deal"

Great tent for beginner mountaineers before investing in a far more expensive tent. Better used for summits or snow, out of sight of rain.

We backpacked South America. The cold, perfect. Warmer weather, there is not enough ventilation for air to circulate unless front and back are open, but the rain getting in is the next problem.

Use this tent to "assault" a mountain, quick and fast set up and down. Don't expect to live in it in all four seasons in one place for a couple of days. A bare minimum use tent for a backpack to move quickly.

Pros

  • Strength against elements
  • Ample ventilation for cold
  • Easy setup for beginner mountaineers
  • Lightweight, one-person setup

Cons

  • 4-season tent that isn't water tight
  • Too less ventilation for warmer regions
  • Front vestibule doesn't seal on tent entirely

Serious mountaineers, stick to the Mountain 25.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $480 Aus

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Weighing in at less than five pounds, this single-walled tent not only packs light for a two-person outing, but it’s manufactured with a high-tech breathable and tear-resistant Drywall fabric that will keep you and your expedition partner safe from the elements. The canopy and floor are made of 50-denier polyester ripstop, while the floor features a 3000 mm polyurethane water-resistant coating. The rainfly is a 33-denier nylon with a 1500 mm polyurethane/silicone-based coating to slough off dirt, debris, and even gropple. Imagine all the freed-up floor space thanks to the built-in gear loft and body and vestibule hang loops. Two 9 mm DAC Featherlight aluminum poles provide a solid frame. A removable vestibule can be left behind during a summit assault or for lighter travel.

Features:

  • Drywall proprietary single skin
  • Removable 33D siliconated nylon vestibule
  • Drop door with upper mesh zip
  • Reflective Kevlar guylines and glow-in-the-dark zip pulls
  • 4 fabric snow stakes

Specs

Price MSRP: $449.00
Historic Range: $299.95-$800.00
Use Expedition
Trail Weight 3 lbs 4 oz / 1.47 kg
Total Weight 4 lbs 15 oz / 2.24 Kkg
Floor Area 27.3 sq ft / 2.5 sq m
Vestibules Area 10 sq ft / 1 sq m
Vestibules 1
Peak Height 42 In / 107 cm
Stuffsack Size 7 x 22 in / 17.8 x 55.9 cm
Sleeping Capacity 2
Number Of Doors 1
Product Details from The North Face »

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