THE NORTH FACE ALPINE GUIDE 3

Backpacker - - Camping -

OUR TAKE When you’re hun­kered down in a bl­iz­zard, you’ll want some ex­tra space. For­tu­nately, the Alpine Guide’s enor­mous 27.5-square-foot vestibule fits the bill—and then some. “It was big enough for us to store our gear and still have enough space for a sep­a­rate cook­ing plat­form,” said one tester af­ter two nights in Alaska’s Tal­keetna Moun­tains. But the mas­sive vestibule means some­thing else has to give to keep weight down: The tent’s floor is just 38.4 square feet, and to fit three peo­ple, the mid­dle sleeper has to lie head-to-foot. Good thing there’s an es­cape hatch in the back.

THE DE­TAILS The low pro­file of this tun­nel tent means it sheds wind ad­mirably: “Even with­out the 10 guy­lines de­ployed, it barely shud­dered in 30-mph gusts,” said one Alaska tester af­ter a trip to Wolver­ine Glacier. Sad face: A flat roof col­lects snow and rain. The Alpine Guide’s hy­brid con­struc­tion—sin­gle wall in back and dou­ble wall in front—trims weight, but the tent’s ven­ti­la­tion isn’t per­fect. Con­den­sa­tion col­lected on the sin­gle-wall por­tion dur­ing a 20°F evening in the Chugach, but testers felt the mois­ture was a rea­son­able trade­off for the combo of low weight and large vestibule.

TRAIL CRED “The pole sleeves made for a sim­ple pitch that goes up with­out ex­pos­ing the canopy to pre­cip. I set it up by my­self—even with numb fin­gers—in less than five min­utes,” one tester says. $489; 6 lbs. 13 oz.; thenorth­face.com

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