The North Face Starburst
The Starburst has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-4 season convertible tents for 2024.
In 25 years use never let me down, has never ripped, leaked, broke, or been cold. I feel sorry for people buying a new tent today because they are not of this standard. I have been in heavy rain/storms, hail, strong winds, mist, and heat. Can't fault this tent at all after 25 years. Still all the stitching and condition is A1+. Big ups, North Face!
- strong dual wall
- brilliant design
- awesome pole design ensures no weak points
- not crappy flynet interior
- tough floor
- incredibly stable by design
- 2.2kgs and front entry—that's it. No flaws. Totally recommend. Buy it if you can get it.
The front vestibule is really large and protects the entrance well when entering or exiting in rain. The pole design is incredibly strong and stable and doesn't use the short struts on the roof most contemporary tents use, which are a weak point in strong winds for sure because there creating a point with no support.
The Starburst uses full poles curved and strong triangle structures with no weak points in strong winds for the fabric to be pushed against a single point (as with many contemporary lightweight tents, which are only saving weight by cutting corners structurally).
This tent has remained in its pack sac for 25 years apart from when I use it and it's still totally raintight. I'm just thinking about a dwr treatment on the outer fly. But hey, that's 25 years on.
So easy to set up and you can set it up so it ventilates.
100% A1+ plus tent. Full ups to North Face as I really don't rave about a product, but this has truly earned it because North Face design is totally brilliant for a reason. They think way ahead of the rest who only copy them, which must make it hard for them continually being ripped off by cheaper companies that can only steal their ideas as they have none of their own to offer.
I have had it for over 25 years. I use it about 5 to 6 times a year, hike in and set up. It has been through every condition apart from snow. It has brilliantly shone through them all. Never experienced 1 leak, tear, or flaw in this tent. Compared to current lightweight tents this craps all over them. The front vestibule is an awesome size for your kit. Much bigger than what's available now.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $500
This is a tent for cold climates because the inner tent is closed, only a tiny vent at your feet lets little air get inside (you can close it). It's a three-pole design, which makes it stand like a house. For one person it's a good living space, but two?!
My problem in the Pyrenee was the condensation and the heat inside, like a sauna! But up high in the mountains it was comfortable sitting inside while winds slammed against it with no result. And yes, the vestibule is great for cooking even when it rains. But the vestibule was not waterproof because of the "buttons" where you attach your door if you roll it up. Have to seal those on the outside and maybe then it's 100% waterproof.
Other minus it's not made for tall people (I'm 1,83m and my feet and head were against the fabric!). The inner door is round, looks cool, and is easy to enter. The outer doors (you can make two but in rain you use one) are good to enter in rainy weather.
Design: 4-Season Cold Climate Hybrid
Ease of Setup: Quick and really easy!
Price Paid: $400
Excellent build quality. Have sat out many a storm in this one. Nice and roomy inside and vestibule in front is excellent for storage and foul weather cooking etc.
Ventilation is a breeze with extra options at foot of tent and circular door on inner tent is just great.
Uses strong clips to attach fly to inner, which is much better than velcro and is therefore much stronger this way.
Design: Three pole semi-geo
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: 2.2
Hello all fellow dwarves out there! This is surely the tent designed to fit us vertically challenged.
OK—joke, but you shouldn't buy it if you're taller than 1.75m.
Design: 3-4 season convertible
Ease of Setup: Easy
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Reviewers Paid: $400.00-$500.00