The North Face VE 25

Brand: The North Face Gear Reviews

Model: VE 25

Why we like it This redesigned classic cuts more than a pound from the original while remaining impervious to the elements.

Weather protection“Outside it was all blowing snow, sideways sleet, and wind gusts over 40 mph, but inside the tent it was as dry and still as my bedroom at home,” said one tester after spending six nights on the Helheim Glacier in Greenland. He thanked the super-stable geodesic dome design, pole sleeves (way strong), and high-strength guylines. “We got hammered with 24 inches of snow in less than 24 hours, but the tent walls didn’t sag a centimeter under the weight,” he reports.

Livability “There was plenty of room for me to sit up straight while waiting out a storm,” said one tester after six nights in the Cragieburn Range of New Zealand. But despite the 48-square-foot floor (the same dimensions as the original), the dome’s sloping walls limit move-around space when three campers are inside. Also, the front and back vestibules (11- and 5-square-feet, respectively) are on the small side for winter gear for three people. But at least the front vestibule’s window lets you monitor the weather.

Ventilation Two 17-inch roof vents provide adequate airflow for three in most conditions; we experienced only mild condensation on still nights.

$669; 9 lbs. 8 oz.;

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