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The North Face Solo 12

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Solo 12 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2024.

photo: The North Face Solo 12 three-season tent

I'd been after this light-weight tent for a while and picked up a bargian earlier this year on e-bay. The Solo has the quality and features that you'd expect from North Face. I've used it a number of times whilst wildcamping in Cornwall and The Lakes this summer. If you get hold of one I'd advise that you also buy the footprint for it too. This single skin, 2-3 season tent is good but it's not perfect.

It's good, quality kit and is well made using high-spec materials considering its price. This tent is light - around 1 kilo and packs down small easily fitting into or under most rucksacks (I use a Berghaus 50L Freeflow). It's a stable little tent, especially when you consider it uses only two poles and a couple of guy ropes. I've found the Solo is easily to throw up, even in a bit of a breeze or in the dark. I call it my 'posh bivvi' and it's nice that you can sit up in it. There's plenty of space inside for you and all of your kit and I expect two people could cram in at a push.

On the down side . . . Some of the hype about the Solo is that its venting prevents a build up of condensation. I've found that this only works about half of the time. You won't wake up soaking, just a little damp in places! When it does work you'll find yourself tucked up in your sleeping bag with a mild breeze blowing across your face all night!

It's a shame the door doesn't have a mozzie net and it could do with an additional loop to tie it back but with this would come a few extra g of weight I suppose.
You lack any sort of porch so lack storage / cooking space and when you open up you're straight out into the elements - a pain if it's throwing it down. One final, minor niggle is that there are no internal pockets, I'd have been happy with just one to stow my torch or watch.

Overall I'm happy with it, no doubt it works better in a bit of a breeze and it's a good little tent to do a night or two wildcamping in the summer.

Design: 2/3 three season 2 pole.
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Very quick & easy
Weight: 1 kilo
Price Paid: £85 (thanks e-bay!)

Recently used in gale force winds in the Cairngorms, Scotland, as first real test. Very strong! Wobbles and shudders in large gusts but didn't buckle, amazing for something with no guylines. Love the small pack size, light weight and rapid pitch.

Couple of minor niggles, stuff sack with large webbing and buckles just adds pack weight for no reason and the door zip has a tendency to catch the storm flaps where it curves from the vertical to horizontal. I'm 5 foot 8 and fits like a glove without being too claustrophobic but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone much bigger.

Venting better than expected, yet it's not as draughty as say Mtn Hardwear's 2 skin PCT1 which used mesh inner. Highly recommend if you can cope with cooking outdoors, if not buy a Hilleberg Akto.

Design: 3? season superlight
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: extremely easy, simple, no guys, 2 poles, 7 pegs
Weight: see the spec sheets
Price Paid: £150

The tent is really ultralight and easy to set up. I have no complaints about it because I enjoyed the space and the dryness inside even when it rained the way it rains here in the Philippines. But that was only during the first two or three times that I used it overnight.


  • Light
  • Spacious
  • Easy to set up


  • Rain water comes in through the sides

I don't know why for the last two times that I used it and it rained on both occasions, water came in through the sides. What may be the reason? 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 200 dollars

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Price MSRP: $199.00
Historic Range: $132.26-$209.00
Reviewers Paid: $200.00
Trail Weight 2 lb 2 oz / 0.97 kg
Total Weight 2 lb 8 oz / 1.12 kg
Floor Fabric 50 Denier, 270T Nylon Taffeta Coated with 3000 mm PU
Stuffed Size 23 in x 5 in / 59 cm x 13 cm
Number of Poles 2
Pole Diameter 8.84 mm
Canopy Fabric 33 Denier, 244T Nylon with Silicone and 1500 mm PU
Capacity 1
Area 18 sq ft / 1.7 sq m

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