If it were made of steel and pressurized, The North Face Docking Station would be orbiting the earth right now.
This is it, folks: the mother ship of group camping accommodations. The North Face Docking Station 6-Person Family Tent is set to house a gaggle of climbers, car campers, and beach-goers in total and complete comfort. This is the shelter that will change the way your group plays and sleeps in spring, summer, and fall. This main section sleeps up to six adults or acts as the community area that can easily fit a picnic table, and four doors provide access to docking pods for privacy (additional docking tents sold separately)
- Separate two-person docking tent on each side and one four-person dock on the back—increases capacity to 14 persons (each dock sold separately)
- Breathable, single-wall construction eliminates the need for a separate fly
- Four, full-coverage walls roll up to create a fully-ventilated shade or open accommodation when all three docks are attached
- External Fushion pitch frame features twist-clips for quick assembly and take-down
- Color-coded pitch is comprehensive to each dock section and poles to expedite assembly
- Duffle-style storage sack makes transport easy
- Heavy-duty steel stakes ensure strength when anchored
- Tent also compatible with The North Face Docking Station Mesh Room (sold separately)
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Share your thoughts
I have put the Docking Station to use about 8 different times now, in a variety of configurations and have had nothing but comfortable nights sleep and plenty of space!!
On the beach, it is an awesome shade structure that can withstand some serious winds. I leave the sturdy, steel stakes behind and use sand to cover the corners and base of Docking Station for a floor-less spot to relax out of the sun.
In the mountains, I have set the Docking Station up with Mesh Room and experienced some significant rain & wind, but remained dry on the interior (8/26/11). Some bugs do accumulate between Mesh Room and Docking Station canopy/fly, but that also tends to happen on smaller tents as well.
I feel the Docking Station really shines in the desert however. It has provided me with some excellent lodging when setting up camp for a few days in a row and using it as a base camp.
I have come to prefer utilizing the Docking Station and 4-Person Sleeping Dock as my go to set-up. The main Docking Station remains floorless and can withstand serious winds when fully staked out and maybe a cooler, tool box or some water jugs on the interior corners for added weight & wind security. With each of the 4 doors ability to be rolled up, fully dropped, half up, and partially zipped, the options for airflow, visibility, and shade are plenty.
The 4-Person Sleeping Dock connects to the larger doors and provides plenty of headspace and floor room to sleep in either direction with a full length pad. The Sleeping Docks provide a bug/sand free environment with full zip doors and mesh screen windows that can be closed or opened for privacy.
The ability to customize your sleeping structure and base camp needs with the Docking Station, Mesh Room & Sleeping Docks based upon the environment and number of people keep this item quick to grab when heading out with a crowd!!
Is it free standing?
Yes it is a free standing tent....
I recently purchased the North Face Docking Tent with the 4 and 2 person docks and the mesh insert. Up to the point I inserted the mesh insert this was an excellent tent. However, once the mesh was inserted this tent became just an average tent. I think the mesh design significantly reduces the overall interior space and the floor could have been better aligned next the side walls. I think North Face could have better designed the tent if they would have separated out the mesh insert into a traditional floor insert and used a traditional mesh door cover. The bathtub floor could have used zippers attached to the interior side walls. With a little modification by NF this tent could have been awesome meeting the needs of two different groups - one that wants a covered space for recreational use and does not mind no floor covering and the other group that wants more of a traditional tent with floor and mesh walls. If you are not interested in the mesh insert, I would give this tent a 5 however, if the mesh insert is important to you, it gets a 3.
any idea about how this holds up to wind and rain? My nephew (17) wants to go to D-Day paintball in Oklahoma with five buddies. I cringe to think of them walking around in my nice floored tent without removing shoes...hey, they're men, right? :) Rain, hail, and high winds are to be expected. I don't' want to buy them a tent that's going to collapse on them. I'm thinking of buying them this and the four man and two man docking station. Does anyone have any experience at all with this tent?
Just come back from 4 weeks in france using this tent. It has gone back to TNF. The main hub doors only toggle shut, no zips so any breeze with rain and the rain can get in. There is not enough of an overlap between the pods and the main tent towards the bottom so rain can get in there also. It runs onto the skirt inside the tent and sits there or runs onto the ground sheet protector and sits like a water bed between the groundsheet protector and the floor of the meshroom. The tent uses external clip poles on the main tent. When it rains the rain runs down the clips, down the material that attaches the clips to the main tent, through the tent fabric where the tabs are stiched in and into the tent. This is worst at the points where the elastic to hold open the internal doors are also stitched into the main fabric of the tent. It is my guess that the tent was not tested properly as these issues would have forced TNF to modify or completely change the design. On the plus side the tent is roomy, holds up to the wind and looks good but when you are spending this much on a tent you would at least expect it to keep the water out.