The North Face Starlight
The Starlight has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-4 season convertible tents for 2024.
This tent is an older model, I think '97. I bought it brand new on the internet. I use this tent for four-season backpacking. the design and quality make this tent very dependable in rough weather. the tent is snug, but two backpackers can sleep comfortably, only there is not much room to move around and adjust when two people are in it. the tent is ideal for backpacking in three season to moderate winter weather. add a high grade sleeping bag and I'd say that this tent could handle a rough winter storm. the low profile and handy guylines make this tent bombproof.
one flaw I noticed was that the little window at the foot of the tent does not zip completely, there's about a 1/2 inch gap. this allows water to seep in when the fly is off, or condensation from the fly to leak in. this however is not much of a flaw compared to the overall protection and comfort it offers. Me and a buddy once woke up with snow all around us and the tent kept us warm and dry during the 5-hour storm.
Design: 3-4 season convertible
Ease of Setup: simple with practice.
Weight: 5.5 lbs min.
Price Paid: $275
The tent has a large flapped mesh door, and a rather small (18") flapped window at the feet. As such, it's made for mild cold temps, and the ground-hugging shape should withstand more wind than I've encountered. I've been using it for BP trips in the Adirondacks. The full-coverage fly stifles ventilation, but with the fly off it's just fine. The impressive thing about TNF tents is the brute thickness of the coating on the floor and fly. I wouldn't hesitate to take this tent on mild winter trips. Space is tight: I would share this tent only with someone I found really fascinating. But it shines on prepared-for-anything solo trips.
Design: 3-4 Season Modified Dome
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 5lb 10oz
Price Paid: $150 on sale
So far this has been a very good tent. It's big enough for me, but I don't think I'd want to have to share it with anyone. The rainfly is very thick and does an excellent job keeping rain out, but it also kills the ventilation. Anytime I put the rainfly on, there's heavy condensation on the walls in the morning. Other than that it has performed very well on several trips. The three pole construction makes setup easy in almost any condition, and the rainfly can be put on very quickly.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: you have to be pretty dumb to mess it up
Weight: fairly light
Price Paid: ?
The tent is definitly capable of handling all but the most extreme weather. It has a very thick floor coating (165 psi) and a fairly good waterproof rain fly. My only qualm with it is the size. I'm a larger camper (6'3") and I found that the 28 square feet was highly restrictive. My head or feet would hit either end of the tent when sleeping. I highly recommend it for solo trips or camping with somebody you would want to sleep close to.
Design: 3+ season
Ease of Setup: very easy, hard to mess up
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Price Paid: $220 (on sale)
I enjoyed this tent a few times when I got it back in 1998. It was packed in its stuff sack for three years until this weekend. I pulled it out, set it up, and left the material stretch for a bit. So far, no leaks, no weak spots. I have some slight discoloration on the tent roof, but no mildew. The flysheet seems strong, and I got no rain inside the tent after Saturday's storm. However, I think I'm going to seal the seams and spray on some waterproofing. All in all, I am amazed at the durability and quality of the tent.
Design: Freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 5 lbs 4 oz.
Price Paid: $180
This is probably a good tent for a tall person who wants plenty of ceiling height and length, but doesn't care that the footprint is long, the ceiling is high, and it's heavy.
There is not much internal pocket storage, usable ceiling space, ventilation or visibility. The tent is longer than my tarp or space blanket, so the foot area tents to collect water.
This tent is one of the best equipment I've ever had. It's light, easy to carry for it is very light.
Don't be fooled with those slinky poles, for they are made from Easton aircraft aluminum (really strong material), and has withstood typhoons and kept me dry and cozy. And the 'No-Hitch-Pitch' design is awesome. Just throw your tent up the air, and you'll see those poles snap into action.
For 12 years now, it's still rock solid.
Price Paid: $175 U.S.
This was the first tent I bought and it has served me well. I've use it in New Mexico and the White Mountains for long stretchs of time. The drawback is the narrow space at the foot. It gives plenty of headroom. The tent gives plenty of space in the vestibule for your gear. All in all it was one my best buys.
Design: 3 season plus modfied dome
Ease of Setup: easy to set up under windy condishions
Weight: 5 lb, 6 oz
Price Paid: $276
I have had this tent for about three years and the only problems I have with it are the size and the condensation that builds up on the inside sometimes. It has held up to many very windy nights and hard rain and snow. The walls stay very tight and have shed everything nature has thrown at it.
Design: three-season freestanding
Ease of Setup: easy to set up
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Reviewers Paid: $150.00-$276.00