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The North Face North Star

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

The North Star has been discontinued. It was replaced by The North Face Northstar 4.

photo: The North Face North Star four-season tent


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

The North Star is a six equal length pole, base camp tent, based on designs of Bucky Fuller.  The hemisphere shape of the North Star demonstrates the original geodesic dome principles.

A geodesic sphere shuts in the greatest space, for the least outside surface, making for the highest efficiency in a structure.  Looking up from any position, the frame is a five-pointed star.  Its early uses were at the North Pole. I am surprised that the North Star name has not been reused.

The shelter had at least two versions, the original was vented at the top with a stove hole, and one without the top vent.  Three skeletal poles hold up the structure, three fill out the space over the door and two-screened snow tunnel windows.

Set up is easy, but three poles goes up quicker than six in a deluge.  Our quick rain set up technique, was to put the “Star,” up with only three poles, crawl inside, and put the lower poles in later. 

I have owned three, the second one new from North Face in the early '80s.  Base camp shelters have gotten larger, but still maintain a circular radius on the floor, while expedition tents evolved lower, with more of an oval shape footprint.

The North Star geodesic dome spawned the North Face 2-Meter, Mountain Hardware Space Station type domes, on the base camp side, and merged with the Intention, led to the Himalayan Hotel, Himalayan 47, and their mountain version 4-season tents on the expedition side.

If you want to sell a North Star tent, contact me through this forum.

Update: November 29, 2011



Price Paid: a lot


I have one of these that I am thinking about selling. I first need to set it up and inspect it. Maybe next week when the weather is better..... It's the 2nd one I have owned. The first one had the pop up vent and this one does not. One of the poles is bent a little and I seem to recall it has a 2" tear in one of the panels (loaned it out to a friend and wellll you knowwww what happens next... :) I have become disabled due to an injury and I will not be using it... wonderful tent.... took it to the Gand Canyon many many times (backpacking)

9 years ago


  • Easy setup
  • Worked as promised


  • Did not find any

Bought the North Star to go mule deer hunting in Wyoming.

Four-season, four person geodesic tent. Easy to pitch / easy to stake-out.

Yes, it was windy, snowy, and cold in camp. Absolutely NO PROBLEM with moisture anywhere. Ventilation was great. In the morning, turn on the gas lantern and watch the frostline come down the inside walls.

Two snow tunnels, fly sheet and roof vent, two stuff sacks, stakes and entrance awning. Equipment, rifles and food stuffs storage . . . no problem. Dedicated stuff sacks, pack and problem.

Unit was used one week hunting in Wyoming.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Lots, plus


Welcome to Trailspace, Gene. To sell used outdoor gear, please feel free to post in the Classifieds forum:

6 years ago

Well, I am going to go slightly one better. Not a Himalayan Hotel but its predecessor the North Face North Star. I bought it in 1979 and it has been used perhaps 300 times and over 4,000 nights in every climate and every topography.

Two generations of children as well as Outward Bound climbers and adventurers. After all that (and I wonder if North Face would honour their lifetime guarantee), I have just had the first stress tears (minor) in the fabric, and the mosquito net zip really needs replacement

Is the Himalayan hotel this good!

Price Paid: £500 in 1979

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