Why we like it This freestanding shelter fits a whole family—on a family budget. But space is best for parents with young kids, not teens.
Protection The Talus repelled steady showers in Alaska’s Chugach Range, and a protective drip line kept rain from sneaking in the door during exits. Minimal staking achieves a taut pitch that shimmied but held fast in gusts topping 40 mph.
livability Headroom and the 50-square-foot floor are adequate for two adults and two small kids. Two doors make exits easy, but the 9-square-foot vestibules store little more than boots and jackets (packs placed there blocked doors).
Ventilation “Airflow is incredible,” reports a tester who experienced no condensation in humid, 30°F weather. Credit two vestibules vents and ample space between the fly and canopy.
Durability The rugged, 70-denier nylon floor is durable enough for careless kids, dogs, and abrasive rocks. And the 75-denier polyester fly is also tougher than average (and helps keep cost down).
Fave feature Setup is so straightforward—thanks to three individual poles that are easily intuited—that a 10-year-old won’t need adult help.
$299; 6 lbs. 11 oz.; thenorthface.com