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When conditions get so bad that even the rocks go rolling for cover, hole up in The North Face VE 25 3-Person 4-Season Tent. The VE is a full-on expedition shelter designed for long alpine missions, with a super-solid construction that's built to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and serious exposure. Its classic two-wall design provides killer weatherproofing while keeping things breathable and reasonably fresh when the weather clears, and the PU coatings on the fly and floor stop water from seeping through even prolonged exposure to moisture.
So you're not climbing over your companions and driving each other nuts during a long stay, The North Face decked the VE out with dual doors, each boasting a bombproof vestibule. High-low venting keeps some fresh air moving through the VE, so it doesn't smell like ski boots, sweaty socks, and freeze-dried mac 'n' cheese farts. A PU port window lets you check on the storm, and reflective guylines make sure you won't trip on your tent when you head outside during a quick break in the weather. The guylines are also made from no-stretch Kevlar, the DAC stakes have pull cords for easy battening of the hatches, and there are also fabric snow stakes for security when you're setting up camp in soft snow.
- Nylon taffeta floor with 10,000mm PU coating
- Nylon ripstop fly with 1500mm PU coating
- Polyester no-see-um mesh canopy
- Dual doors with a poled front vestibule and rear vestibule
- High-low venting
- PU port window
- DAC pull-cord stakes and fabric snow stakes
- Reflective no-stretch Kevlar guylines
- Glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls
- Item #TNF02BC
- Q & A
So far so good.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
So far I like it. It's my first TNF tent and my first trip was to my local CCC camp. I managed to set up the tent in time to avoid a fairly heavy rain and it held up nicely. Set up was quick and intuitive. Find the red tape and match them up. Easy peasy. I was a little worried that it would drip considering the Fly was touching the interior wall (where they used to have some sponge thing to prevent this) but it didn't. I'll tie it out a little tighter next time. The deer flies (a june/july sort of problem) were insane so my dog and I were actually forced to spend a considerable amount of time inside it this trip. Very very warm tent. Make sure all the ventilation is open especially in summer and look for a spot in the shade. I got the tent with a very deep discount but it was still very expensive. I'll put it to further use this fall during deer season and again in February for the coyotes. Probably a few trips in-between as well. It's a bit big for a single person and his dog. Could easily fit 2 plus a dog or even a family of 3-4 with small children. I'm 6'4" and have plenty of room to lay down or kneel without touching the wall/roof. The vestibules are convenient. I like the pockets. Very easy to sort things out and keep things handy. Not impressed with the color of the fly, the yellow looks slick and on a mountain top or during deer season is sure to be useful but if TNF could offer a simple forest green fly or maybe even a camouflage fly that would be nice and considerably less intrusive. It packs nicely thanks to the straps on the side of the bag but it's heavy to carry. Not a backpackers tent but it'll easily go on every canoe, dirt bike, snowmobile, or car trip I take. I suppose if you split it up between two people it'd be fine for backpacking. I wish I'd had this when I still had sled dogs and a trap line. So far overall I'm impressed. I hope to get many years of good use out of this tent.
Good design, but poor warranty
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I have owned the VE 25 for many years. Recently the coating on the rain fly failed and became very tacky adhering to itself. I was told by North Face that the Lifetime Warranty does not cover the rain fly on their tents. It is a nice tent for mountaineering, but you might think twice given the warranty exception.
The Bomb!...and bomb proof
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Wow what can you say about this tent other than it is just incredible. I use the tent about 3 weeks out the year hiking the national parks and doing a few mountaineering trips. The tent has always performed superbly. Although the tent is rated for 3 people, for 2 people the amount of room you have is unbelievable...near luxurious. My wife and I have plenty of room to sit up and stretch out in this tent. All of our gear (two backpacks, snowshoes, stove, poles, etc) easily fit in the larger vestible. The smaller vestible is useful but definitely smaller. 3 people with gear will fit but it would definitely reduce that luxurious feeling. I've had mine for about 16 years now and it is still going strong. I was a bit apprehensive about the price when I made this purchase, but given the durability of the tent I would say it was well worth the up front cost. We've used the tent doing winter climbs of Mt Harvard/Mt Columbia and other 14ers in Colorado. All I can say is winter bivouacing at 12300ft during a winter storm is not for the feint of heart. Waking up the next morning our tent was nearly buried in snow but the the VE-25 was definitely up for the challenge. Love this tent. The only downsides would be the weight (over 10lbs packed complete) and the breathability. The lack breathability makes it a great alpine tent but for the summer months we use a lighter 3 season tent. Our latest trip was an early November four-day kayaking trip along the Outer Banks/Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore. The tent again held up to the tail end of hurricane season without breaking a sweat...and I didn't have to carry it in a backpack this time. If cool, cold, or extreme frigid temperatures are in the forecast you simply cannot go wrong with this tent.
Can this tent be set up in the rain without the inside of the tent getting wet - i.e. is the tent material itself water resistant enough to get the tent up and fly on, before it starts letting water through?
In order to pitch the tent as quickly as possible without rain getting inside, you'll want to also purchase the footprint that is compatible with this tent. That way there's no where for the water to get through. Let me help by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org