North Face

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New The North Face TOPAZ 3 Tent Footprint Tarp
New The North Face TOPAZ 3 Tent Footprint Tarp
$25.00
Time Remaining: 22d 16h 22m
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Tyvek tent footprint w 4 Ultralight Grommet Tabs fits North Face Stormbreak 3
$12.99
Time Remaining: 8d 17h 54m
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New The North Face Dyad 22 Tent Footprint Tarp
$22.00
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The North Face Vestibule Corner Pocket Tent Accessory
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Time Remaining: 24d 18h 33m
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New The North Face Madraque 23 Tent Footprint Tarp
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New The North Face Madraque 33 Tent Footprint Tarp
New The North Face Madraque 33 Tent Footprint Tarp
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The North Face FP Mica FL1 Footprint C Tent Tarp MSRP 6000
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The North Face TNF Mica 2Tent Footprint Tarp
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New The North Face Topaz 2 Tent Footprint Tarp
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The North Face Madraque 23 Tent Ultimate low profile dessert tent
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The North Face Tent Footprint Vario 23
The North Face Tent Footprint Vario 23
$28.00
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Tyvek tent footprint KIT w 4 UL Grommet Tabs for North Face Stormbreak 1 solo
Tyvek tent footprint KIT w 4 UL Grommet Tabs for North Face Stormbreak 1 solo
$11.99
Time Remaining: 5d 16h 44m
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North Face

Review: North Face Tadpole 2 DL

The Tadpole's design has been so successful The North Face have used it as a starting point for the Meso, Mica, Big Fat Frog and Rock series. It is no surprise, that twenty five years after the original Tadpole, The North Face have released a number of updated versions, the latest being the Tadpole 2 and Tadpole 2 DL series released this summer.

What is the difference between the Tadpole 2 & Tadpole 2DL?

The Tadpole 2 and 2 DLs are 3 season Semi-Geodesic tents, sleeping 2 adults, with a side opening porch. Both tents weigh-in fully packed around 2.4kg.

The Tadpole 2 DL is noticeably taller (10cm's) than the standard Tadpole 2 and its steeper sides give what feels like significantly more spacious, as well as more usable area. In addition to the subtle changes in the tent's structure the main difference can be seen in the fabric of the tent inner, the Tadpole 2 DL has been designed for camping in the UK & European climate which is wetter and windier than Americas, as a result the inner tent has less mesh than the standard Tadpole 2, increasing warmth and wind resistance.

The Tadpole 2 DL has undergone a make-over since the 23 DL, the Citronelle Green has vanished and in its place is a much more subtle Bamboo Green, this is a great improvement as the tent doesn't stand out as much, indeed the new colour should appeal more to wild campers and those who like to fit in with nature.

Extra Ventilation

One thing that the guys at The North Face are excited about is their work on ventilation in this series, and it is probably one of the Tadpole 2 DL's best features.

With condensation a likely buying concern, ventilation is key. Whilst no tent can claim to completely be free of the issue, the Tadpole 2 & 2 DL series do go further than most tents towards the ultimate goal. The tent has an extremely useful zipper-able air vent in the tent inner, which can be opened and closed to increase/decrease airflow or temperature. This when combined with the fixed open vent on the fly means that whilst you can have ultimate control inside the tent, the space between the fly and inner will (hopefully) remain condensation free!.

The Tadpole 2 DL's inner door has been designed with improved ventilation and operates in the same way as the inner vent, the door has two layers, where one layer can be removed to leave a mesh door which increases ventilation and light or can be used as two layers which will increase warmth.

View the North Face Tadpole 2 DL here - http://bit.ly/tadpole2dl

Sleeping Arrangements?

Being taller and having steeper sides means that inside the Tadpole 2 DL is much more roomy than many rival tents. The tent will happily sleep two 6ft-ers, though it will be a tad cosy should you be in sharing for more than a few nights. However with the bathtub style floor rocks won't be too much of an issue. Let me be clear, this tent really isn't for those wanting a basecamp tent or a slightly larger than normal ultralight tent... it's a light weight, compact and durable 2 man tent ... it weighs in at around 2.45kg and this is pretty good for this type of tent.

North Face Tadpole 2 DL, An Easy Pitcher?

The easy pole clip system is an absolute joy to use, the three poles that make up the Tadpole 2 DL's Semi-Geodesic frame are colour coded, one yellow and two green. They attach into colour coded clips and sockets which enables you to erect the inner tent in a couple of minutes. The erection of this tent is so simple that I was able to put it up without poking out my eye out or breaking anything and without referring to the instructions, which having examined them later may account for their briefness. The fly is also easy to put on, you simply match the single red toggle on the fly sheet with the red toggle on the inner and then simply attach the tent to the frame with two velcro fasteners and 5 other anchors. Be aware though, the North Face logos are printed on the inside of the fly where they are more visible making it is easy to get the fly inside out, as I somehow did on a speed test, something I am still trying to work out how after already putting up the tent!

Compression!

The Tadpole 2 DL has a number of other features which add to its usability and leaves me with a good impression. I have mentioned previously the two layer door and open-able vent, both of these features as with the porch door are stow-able with elasticated toggles which allow them to be tied away when not in use. There are also two mesh storage pockets in the inner tent and compatibility to hang the optional North Face Gear Loft Triangle.

I find the compression sack that comes with this tent to be a huge plus, not only does it make stowing the tent away more easily as you can compact the pack size with the handy straps. You can also easily attach the tent to the outside of rucksack or if cycle touring you panniers which saves space inside your baggage. The compression sack is also very handy if taking you tent on a plane as you can reduce the area it takes up in your bags. It is a feature which would be useful on all smaller-medium sized tents.

A few pegs short of a complete set

Unfortunately, I feel that The North Face have been a little cheeky in including only 8 pegs with the tent, when to peg out the tent and guy-lines you need 11. This is ok if you don't wish to attach the guy-lines and having tested the Tadpole 2 DL in calm conditions this wasn't a major problem. I feel that camping in any other conditions and with the tent's steeper sides guy-lines are a must, especially for my own peace of mind. With all the positive features of the Tadpole 2 DL, for the cost of three extra pegs I feel the North Face have missed a trick. The pegs supplied are the North Face DAC Featherlite NSL™ stakes which are a lightweight peg, again as I am natural worrier and for my own peace of mind I would for blustery conditions upgrade them to pegs with a bigger notch to hold the tent.

I also feel that it is important to point out that whilst the Tadpole 2 DL can be pitched fly only, you need to use the optional ground sheet protector. This is not a major issue as people don't as rule buy a tent to then never use the inner, I would always recommend that you buy your tent's groundsheet protector as it protects you tent, provides a little more insulation from the ground and in the long run I feel it saves money as tent replacements and repairs are cut down.

Conclusion

The Tadpole 2DL I used had an excellent build quality, the various fabrics felt strong, tough and robust, and the zip on the various doors and vents moved well. The tents poles are strong and had to have considerable pressure applied to make them bend and take the tents shape, all this adds to the Tadpole 2 DL's feeling of quality.

Overall the Tadpole 2 DL won't disappoint, the best features of the Tadpole series have been built upon and the increased ventilation adds a great deal more practicality to this tent especially in the British weather where temperatures and humidity are changeable. With an RRP of £300. The Tadpole 2 DL is well priced against its' main competitor the Hubba Hubba HP, which with a RRP of £400 is slightly roomier with the advantage of being lighter. Whether this justifies the price difference is your call.

Buy the North Face Tadpole 2 DL here - http://bit.ly/tadpole2dl

Rating: 4 Stars

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About the Author

Article written by CheapTents - the outdoor specialist - sign up today for the free membership club and save 10% on your first order (t&c's apply)

Published by Andy Kinsey Designs - Design and Marketing Services in Manchester



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