Open main menu

The North Face Bullfrog 23

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Bullfrog 23 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2021.

photo: The North Face Bullfrog 23 three-season tent


Price Historic Range: $119.95-$289.00
Reviewers Paid: $200.00-$404.78


10 reviews
5-star:   6
4-star:   3
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Get it if you can.


  • Record durability
  • Good in wind
  • Comfortably wide—fits two comfy foam mattresses
  • Waterproofness endured after two summers of sunshine


  • Can be used for backpacking, but rather heavy

My husband lived in this tent for two summers while working on the Alaska Railroad. Camped in it every night. We've gone backpacking with it in Denali, and it's proven light enough to stuff in our plane bags for car-camping in Mexico.

Legendary durability against rain and wind despite heavy wear by the sun, and being thirty years old. Roomy enough to stuff the plush mattresses in. Super spacious, warm enough, little condensation, and still lightweight.

Best all-around tent we've ever found.


I'm an avid backpacker who's worked outdoors since I was 14, and my husband lives in tents in windy, rain AK all summer.

Source: Found at the Fairbanks dump


That sounds like a lucky dump find, Shannon!

27 days ago

Very good tent. Light and easy to use.


  • Lightweight
  • Quality fabric


  • Zippers
  • Limited interior space

I've been using this tent for over 30 years now, and with few waterproof treatments it's still a very good tent. Light, fast, and easy to mount, it never failed me, even when the rain was pouring down!

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (La Cordée, outdoor retailer)


Welcome to Trailspace, S. LaRoche. Sounds like your tent has served you well. I'd love to see some pictures of it in your review.

4 years ago

30 years? That's impressive. What a great prize.

4 years ago

Great freestanding 3-season tent.


  • Easy to set up
  • Great visibility (without the fly)
  • Plenty of room
  • Good in the rain


  • Staking the fly vestibule dependent on the terrain

I've had this tent for years, with no issues.

Easy to set up, only three poles, and once put together, easy to move, or shake out debris.

Without the fly, the mesh is right where you want it for great views, which is nice.

With the fly up, which is straightforward, it has done well in wind, and rain. Staking the vestibule is the only minor challenge, depending on the terrain.

As I said, I've had the tent for years, so durability is good, for me, at least.

Source: bought it new

very 2-person tent for asian sizes, with some room at the sides to store gear within the tent. may even accommodate 3 for those really cold nights!

floor area of vestibule is huge! can even cook while the bags are still there. need to practice crouching while exiting the tent in order to avoid catching the vestibule against your back.

no-see-um mesh blocks some of the water if they get through the rainfly.

door really opens wide!

windows are a great plus!

so far, holds well in wind, assuming proper pitching alignment.

hopefully they added a third mesh pouch at the top of the interior. pitching it without the rainfly contacting the body may require a little change in pitching when it comes to using the grommets and pegs. speaking of pegs, they bend rather easily, so careful when stepping on them or hitting them with rocks when pitching.

shape of compression pouch is impractical when used to pack the tent in a backpack: get a more squarish pouch or plastic bag for this.

Design: 3-season tadpole-style
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: can do it alone; 2 is ideal
Weight: 2
Price Paid: USD 404.78

I owned this tent for about eight months and it provided excellent North Face Quality...sturdy and waterproof. I used it in some parks in Wyoming.

I gave it to my teenage son because I didn't like having to turn around after getting into the tent. This was especially problematic when another was inside already. I purchased a side entrance style with two entrances. Much easier to get in and out of in the middle of the night. It's like having your own room. Thanks.

Design: Three Season, free standing
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Good
Weight: 4.5 lb approx
Price Paid: About $239

I bought this tent in Canada a couple of years ago and it has been terrific. Stands up well to snow and rain with plenty of ventilation. Adequate vestibule and enough room for two with room to spare. Overall a great tent for those looking for light weight and good workmanship. It's a pity they stopped making them, as they are one of the roomiest small tents around.

Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: poles can be a bit hard to get into loops at first
Weight: 4.5lbs
Price Paid: $200

Purchased used for $100 and could not be happier. The tent held up in snow, rain and ice for a 2.5 month trip to the Rockies. Had footprint which helped as well.

Design: dome tent
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 9
Price Paid: $350

Pros: The fly is free-standing even without the tent body, so you can take just the poles and fly for ultra-light camping. Good headroom and built-in vestibule. Three loops inside for a gear sling. Has excellent ventilation, yet has never leaked. Roomy for 2 people.

Cons: Can be annoyingly hard to set up, due to discontinuous and similar-looking pole sleeves. The main hoop also kinked permanently when the tent was hit by a huge storm downdraft (it still works, though). Can be breezy in high winds. Cramped in the foot area for two bags.

Design: 3
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Moderate. Pole sleeves are discontinuous, so threading poles requires several efforts for all three poles.
Weight: 7# w/tent; 3.5# w/o
Price Paid: $200

Wonderful, I used it once a month and on two expeditions through my scouting experiences. It has always been there for me and has never let me down. With a warm sleeping bag you can use this tent for mild winter conditions.

Design: 3
Sleeps: 2 with extra space
Ease of Setup: wonderful in all conditions
Weight: around 6 pounds
Price Paid: around $200 in the 1980s

Similar to North Face Lunarlight and Starfire -- Bullfrog not in production anymore. Tremendous ventilation with mesh on all four sides, also helps keep condensation low with fly on. Many tie downs available with fly combined with low design promote great stability even in high winds. Fabric is strong (I have used in 12 deg F).

No hitch pitch difficult to thread poles in correct spots. However, when poles threaded, easy to take down and pack up with poles still inserted. Extremely quick setup in dark or rain when poles already inserted.

Plenty of room in larger two-person tent, low weight for long backpacking trips. Rate an 8 out of 10.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: No hitch-pitch easy if poles inserted, more difficult when you must thread the poles through the loops.
Weight: 4.8 lbs
Price Paid: $225

You May Like

Recently on Trailspace

Hillsound BTR Stool Review

Yosemite Benson-Matterhorn loop