The North Face Stormbreak 2
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Comfortable, roomy tent for two for most three-season…
Source: received it as a personal gift
Comfortable, roomy tent for two for most three-season (plus?) adventures. Recommended for backpackers, car-campers.
- Sturdy in wind
- Lots of headroom
- Easy to setup
- Good value for $$
- Polyester fly
- Door design lets rain in off fly when opening
- Lighter PU coatings
This was our tent of choice, my partner and I, for our Iceland trip last summer. I own a number of tents (yes, I have a problem!), yet we ultimately chose to take the Stormbreak 2 for its combination of:
- Livable space: the double arch/ spreader pole gives a lot of headroom
- Double doors: ease of entry/ exit, and we'd be living in it for two weeks nonstop, and so didn't want to crawl over one another all the time
- Weather Resistance: It has a full coverage rainfly, and the tent body itself has a good balance of fabric and mesh (ie. not all mesh) to block out some of the Icelandic wind
- Pole config: The wind is such that a 4-season tent is warranted, yet we didn't want to carry that weight. This configuration gave an octagonal footprint with the fly on, and the double arc/ spreader poles at the top mean wind load gets distributed more evenly across the poles (yes I consider things like that; I am that much of a tent geek)
We weren't disappointed. In general, we found it super easy to set up and take down every day and comfortable, if not palatial inside, for two people. When backpacking overseas I find I tend to take less and so everything fit inside, with packs and boots relegated to the two vestibules on either side. Getting in and out is a breeze with the squarish zippered doors both in the fly and tent itself and no contortionist moves were necessary.
One downside of this though is the fact that the sidewalls on the tent body are not completely vertical, and the fly doesn't extend far enough out and over them, meaning that rain does drip into the tent when you fully open the fly. We got around this by shaking the tent first and then not completely unzipping the fly door when getting out.
The fly is a very durable polyester fly, which is always my preference due to polyester's hydrophobic nature and increased UV resistance. It doesn't get as wet as quickly as nylon, and it doesn't stretch and sag like nylon when it does get wet. You're able to shake off more of the water, pack a drier fly, and in the wind we had, it was dry again within about 15mins of setting it up at the next campsite.
We'd heard (and seen in videos) much about the wind you can get in Iceland, so this was a bit of a concern for me at first. And as I mentioned above, the combination of fabric and mesh for the tent body worked well for this environment as it stopped some of this wind from chilling us inside at night.
I was amazed though at how well the Stormbreak 2 did in wind once it was all staked and guyed out (solid Easton aluminum pegs — your guylines are only as good as what holds them in the ground). The tent seemed to shed it almost entirely, and the one morning we were camped in a gully and woke up with insane gusts flattening tents all around us, the Stormbreak repeatedly bent over almost in half and then popped up again without a dent. We didn't let it endure much of this of course before taking it down and moving on for the day, but I was still pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't be surprised if this tent could take a fair snow load if it had to.
All this comes at a bit of a cost in weight, and the Stormbreak 2 is definitely a bit heavier than other similar tents in its class. The fabrics are heavier, and there is the extra arch pole which adds weight. TNF advertises trail weight at 5lb 5oz, and given I used to carry this much weight myself with my old Moss Outland before it finally died <moment of silence>, it was fine dividing this between the two of us.
TL;DR: Amazing value for the money in a very solid, weather-worthy 3-season tent for backpackers and car-campers alike.
Price vs performance = excellent. I have approximately…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 120$ in Norway at XXL
Price vs performance = excellent.
- Basically a very good tent for this price
- For this price, basically none
- The guidelines are a bit...cheap, but they work
I have approximately 25 days during a year in tent, every month, in Norway, which has all kind of weather, spanning from 20 degrees Celsius to minus 20°C in the winter.
I own three other tents from Hilleberg, Black Diamond, MSR , all MUCH more expensive. For down to maybe 1/5 for price of these other tents, it works nicely. Stay dry in heavy rain (tested one time in 18 hours constantly rain), works fine in wind (not tested in really heavy wind), nice space, OK weight.