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Gear Review: The North Face Phoenix 2 Tent

With The North Face's new Drywall tent fabric and external clips, you can pitch the Phoenix 2 in the middle of a downpour without spilling a drop on the tent floor.
  • New for 2011, the Phoenix 2 is an ultralight, single-wall 3-season shelter featuring The North Face's new proprietary Drywall fabric.  Since there's no need for a separate fly, the minimum weight is reduced to a Lilliputian 3 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Excluding the poles, the tent packs up to about the size of a football.  Ergo, I didn't have any trouble finding a volunteer to assist with testing, and he was happy to report that it was the lightest and most compact tent he's ever had in his pack.
  • This tent pitches extremely quickly.  Just clip in the two crossing poles and a brow pole, and you're done.  Bonus: The external clips mean you can pitch it in a storm while keeping the interior dry, and the freestanding design is extremely stable.
  • The swift pitch came in handy prior to a surprise summer storm in Zion, as we had to work quickly to beat the deluge.  I didn't have a chance to seam seal (which I do for all tents) before I left, and the Drywall kept the interior completely dry.
  • Though headroom is plentiful (39"), width (52"), and length (85") feel slightly pinched. I wasn't uncomfortable sleeping head to toe with a buddy, but I'm 6' and my feet and head brushed the end walls. That's the price you pay for such a light shelter.
  • Each side has its own door and vestibule, the latter of which provides just enough space for a mid-sized pack and pair of boots without denying egress.
  • I appreciated the niceties--like glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls and a window on each door--and experienced zero condensation during my testing.
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 10 oz. (poles, tent, stuffsack) $299  <A HREF="http://thenorthface.com" TARGET="_blank">thenorthface.com</a>
New for 2011, the Phoenix 2 is an ultralight, single-wall 3-season shelter featuring The North Face's new proprietary Drywall fabric.  Since there's no need for a separate fly, the minimum weight is reduced to a Lilliputian 3 lbs. 10 oz.
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New for 2011, the Phoenix 2 is an ultralight, single-wall 3-season shelter featuring The North Face's new proprietary Drywall fabric. Since there's no need for a separate fly, the minimum weight is reduced to a Lilliputian 3 lbs. 10 oz.

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