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The North Face Talus 33

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

The Talus 33 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2021.

photo: The North Face Talus 33 three-season tent


Price Historic Range: $159.95-$229.99
Reviewers Paid: $99.00-$200.00


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

Solid, dependable tent.


  • Lightweight, tough side fabric
  • So few parts that it's almost impossible to set it up wrong
  • 15 years of use and still going!!!


  • Zipper seams in the fly are a bit awkwardly located near the poles
  • Once-simple setup has been superseded by newer models which are even simpler
  • Original stakes are lame
  • Inadequate airflow in humid climates with fly installed unless you're careful to position tent on a bit of a knoll

I bought this model of the Talus in 2000 (different color). It has only ever served as a 3-season tent for me (lower fabric is not suitable for snow). 

It survived in a hot attic for a couple years when I wasn't backpacking — the seams on the fly de-laminated and the elastics in the poles became increasingly less elastic, but neither failure was catastrophic. The tent itself was unaffected. I have incurred some damage on the pole sleeves (mostly by poking the poles too hard). but am still using the same shell and footprint as in 2000.  

Ultimately the poles (from which I eventually removed the failed elastic) began to splinter, at which time I mailed the poles and the de-laminated fly to North Face, which CHOSE to replace them for me with new parts (they took care to mark up the rain fly with permanent marker so that it wouldn't be saleable).

So...I'm still using the damn thing, usually as an over-spacious solo tent while summer backpacking.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99


Welcome to Trailspace, zinj. Do you have any pictures of your 15yo tent? I'm thrilled to hear it is still working for you.

5 years ago

Welcome to Trailspace, zinj! I also love to hear about gear that has been working for the long haul.

5 years ago

This is an incredible value if you only have to have one smallish tent. Not comfortable for more than 2 persons, but a camping rock for 1-2 people.


  • Easy pitch
  • Not too heavy
  • Excellent quality
  • Easy to accessorize
  • Dependable protection


  • Gets a bit of condensation inside
  • Smallish vestibules

I purchased an older (original) version of this tent when my oldest son was a Boy Scout. He had his tent and this one was mine. During those years, I slept in the tent everywhere from the back yard to trail camping on the AT. I have been able to use accessories (gear lofts, etc.) from other brands seamlessly.

That purchase was made 17 years ago and it is still quite usable today. I have only had to replace the footprint and the rainfly.  And like all other tents the OEM stakes are crap and replaced with MSR aluminum stakes and reflective guy lines.

There are other 2-3 person models out there that are quite appealing. But for now, or until it fails me, I am sticking with my Talus. If you can find one of these original ones they are great. I can't speak for the newer version(s). I keep waiting for something on it to fail, but it just doesn't! I have had to re-shock cord the poles a couple of time, but no pole or canopy failures. After 15 years of use the coating on the rainfly finally began to peel off. I purchased a new one from TNF; it was from the newer version of the tent but fit nicely.

In conclusion, this has been a wonderful piece of camping gear. It can be trusted to protect you in all kinds of weather on many types of terrain.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200

Very nice tent overall. I've been using this tent as a 4-season tent and have been very happy. Very comfortable for 2, a bit tight for 3. This tent was used as a shelter in a snowstorm when temp went down to -35F with 30 mph wind and 8 inches of snow fell. I snored through the storm. The tent is very solid when using the 3 guylines.

It can be warm in the summer, but by being ingenious with the way you pitch the rainfly, like using a collapsed trekking poles to lift the front and back of it, you can get a good draft under it. One of my biggest complaint are the material the doors are made of, doesn't give much ventilation. You can see a bit through it from the inside, but people outside can't see a thing, so it is good for privacy. Also, the option of pitching the tent with rainfly and footprint only is very time consuming if you're on your own.

Design: Three-season, freestanding, 2 doors, 3 poles
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Easy.... see text about rainfly/footprint setup
Weight: about 6 lbs
Price Paid: 250 Cdn

This is a very dependable tent. It can handle the worst storms and anything that the weather may throw at it. I have been in the worst rain/wind storms, and this is the most durable and strong tent that you can get for backpacking.

Design: three-season, three person, freestanding tent
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: it takes about 4-5 minutes, if you know what your doing
Weight: 11 lbs.
Price Paid: $200

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