/ Anyone used a North Face Tadpole 23 tent?
I paid £157.60 (RRP £230) for it in a sale + loyalty discount but have the option of returning it. At 2.37kg it's not the lightest tent for its size and just doesn't seem to be quite as well designed as my boyfriend's several-year-old Vaude Hogan which I used in Chamonix this summer. But, it seems the design has sold well for the past 20 years, so are my doubts unfounded? Also, people seem to have had problems with the flysheet becoming sticky and degrading.
I can't speak from personal experience, it getting a straw poll from reviews may help...
My mate has one which we used lots of times in the lakes. I remember it being a bit of a bugger to get the fly sitting right and we struggled to vent the tent when it was raining.
But we sat through a lot of rain and storms without getting wet in it.
I've got one that I've used quite a lot, mainly on long backpacking walks. I'd agree with you that rain can drip in but this is easily solved by pulling the fly zip down 30cm or so. Also, I think if your fly sits high off the ground then you've pitched it too 'tall' maybe. Certainly the fly on mine comes down almost to the ground - have you tried experimenting with the three holes in each pole insertion/pegging point? There are certainly faults with the tent, the main one that I fear (but as yet haven't encountered) is that it looks as if it won't shed snow as there is a largish flat area on top.
This tent is bomber, I've used one for about 7 years. Flysheet was replaced at 6 years due to degradation/leaking but I think that is not unreasonable. This tent will not leak in the worst of weather.
Very stable in wind and easy to put up, no issue with the flysheet as mentioned in other posts, I get it right to the floor. Porch is a good size.
Cons: Bugger to put up in the rain as inner pitches first. Could be lighter, but then maybe not as bomber? Rain can come in to the inner if the outer door is unzipped to get out, just be quick.
Overall in terms of value for money I would say excellent, given that you can nearly always get them on sale somewhere, as you have.
Depends what you want it for, general backpacking, fine. Anything more the flysheet sits high so water can enter, the amount of mesh means it is a cold tent and its not particularly light or spacious.
I think you could get better for £150 if you shopped around or considered a barely used ebay purchase. Such as a TN voyager or a vaude.
As others have noted, if you open the door in the rain, lots of water drips straight into the inner. Has kept me dry aside from that though. I find the interior height a little annoying as I can not quite sit up straight in it.
I only paid 73GBP for it though!
On a side note, my 8-year-old Eurohike 265-TS (2-man predecessor to the Avon) has lasted very well! It's not suited to harsher conditions, e.g. Alpine, and it does sway and flap somewhat alarmingly in strong winds, but it lives on. The annoying design flaw that it shares with the Tadpole is that rain/dew drips/runs inside when the door is open, only it's into the porch rather than the inner.
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