Friday, March 27, 2009

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

North Face Mountain 25 Tent Without Fly
So, I bought a new tent ... A North Face Mountain tent, and right away I am going to complain about it. One obvious thing is that it's pretty heavy. At 9 lbs. 6 oz. it is heavier than it's specifications and too heavy for one person to comfortably carry. Winter solo travel will be a bit compromised with 10 pounds of extra tent and snowshoes or skis, add additional clothing and the pack total goes up to about 60 pounds.

Another thing is that it's hard to set up, especially the first time. It's not really that intuitive. It will require solid anchors to be really effective. If you happen to purchase this tent I would definitely recommend setting it up at home before going out, especially if you're headed into bad weather.

Mountain 25 with Fly

It has 2 Pockets

Roomy Vestibule

Finger Pull
The finger pull at the end of the topmost pole is a consistent with the kind of thoughtful quality found in most of the North Face top of the line stuff. The topmost pole provides for two vents found at the very top oy the fly. This should help eliminate the need to carry a Canary™ along when expecting heavy snows.

One exit

Second Exit

Fly with Door Open

Two Vents

Once it is set up it looks to be really solid, with snow flaps on one end and two exits and vents, plus a roomy interior, it looks like it would be pretty comfy for an extended stay in ... say ... a blizzard. I noticed that it is quite warm inside and I a thinking it might not be the right choice for a summer adventure into Death Valley.

One area that I might be a bit concerned about, is the center section of the tent, where it tends to want to bunch together, and will possible allow the fly to contact the tent on the sides, or flap excessively in a good breeze. Solidly pegging down the tent should help to counteract this tendency, but might be more than difficult in sandy or muddy conditions.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Awesome review. I'm a Vango fan, but recently came across the 25. In your opinion... would you recommend it? Any chance you could post up some pic's & further reviews if you take it into high winds?

shawnkielty said...


I often come back and report again on gear after a consequential trip. Perhaps during deer season or this winter ai might encounter some windy conditions. The last real wind I got into was a dust storm in the canyonlands.

I am pretty convinced this tent will be bulletproof, but I haven't really been out in it yet. As for recommendations, I would probably recommend it to any one willing to carry it into extreme conditions.

shawnkielty said...

Anonymous said...

I also notice that this tent needs solid pegging to reach its full potential. as can be expected with a 4 season tent designed for extreme conditions i suppose.

shawnkielty said...

As for nailing it down, it seems that it might be interesting to consider the environment. The stock stakes are really lightweight material and strong, so driving them in with a rock is not damaging or difficult.

To the standard gear I added a set of snow anchors (smc - t-anchors).

Since this tent is really up for the most extreme winter environments ( like hurricane force winds or blizzards), do what ever it takes to secure or protect it. Ice and snow anchoring techniques are all good, deadmen, ice screws, burying snowshoes, skis and poles, tree branches, whatever. Trenching and piling up snow barricades to offer protection may be good ideas too. Or setting up down wind of a natural feature.

Trurh -- Haven't been out into anything too nasty yet ... but there's stil time.