North Face Stormbreak 2
The North Face Stormbreak 2 offers a balance between features and stability. Though it is heavier than some tents in the class, the five-pound, five-ounce tent is designed better than the majority of the two-person tents that sell for less than $200.
The Stormbreak 2 has details usually found in backpacking tents that are more expensive such as large dual gear vestibules, and optional gear loft, and fully taped seams. For a lighter setup, the footprint and rain fly can be used on their own to shave off one and a half pounds in weight and still have a shelter that functions. Regardless of the configuration used, Stormbreak 2 is an affordable and comfortable alternative to high-priced two-person hiking tents. The North Face Stormbreak 2 has an intuitive and straightforward pole structure.
The poles snap together easily. They are attached to the tent with simple hook clips. A classic X-shaped configuration allows the four-pole design to be set up, with little instruction, in minutes. The Stormbreak 2 is perfect for camping novices and anyone wanting a quick pitch shelter to be used for short outings like spending the day at the beach
- 9.78 sq. ft. of gear storage in each of the two vestibules
- Intuitive and quick, easy pitch design
- Large tent doors
- Plenty of headroom created by simple pole structure
- Stakes are not made of high-quality material
Traveling is possible. The accessories assembly quickly and provide a lightweight shelter. Those who need more gear storage are asked to consider the gear loft offered by the North Face. It clips snugly to the roof of the tent.
A tentertainment center is available for rainy days. The accessory can be used as a gear loft. On one side is a see-through tablet holder for movies and a checkers or chess board is printed on the other side.
Two people can sleep comfortably in the Stormbreak 2. All two-person tents make that claim, but often usable floor space is lacking inside these tents. Tall hikers or their partners enjoy the use of a wider sleeping pad.
The Stormbreak 2 is better than quite a few ultralight tents. At 87 inches long and 50 inches wide, there is sufficient room for bags or a canine companion. With plenty of elbow room and a 43-inch center height, the user has ample room inside the tent for getting dressed.
The Stormbreak 2 has a unique four-pole design in which the interior walls are nearly vertical. An adult cannot stand erect in the tent, but the interior spaces are among the tallest of any in the class.
Like many two-person tents, the North Face Stormbreak 2 is equipped with two entry doors. It allows for better ventilation. There is no need to crawl over the other occupant during nighttime trips to the bathroom. Technically, Stormbreak 2 is a freestanding tent. No staking out or guy lines are necessary to be stable. More room will be made in the vestibule if they are used.
The tent does an excellent job of shedding moisture. Thanks to the many mesh sections, condensation is not an issue even though the walls are nearly vertical. The bathtub style bottom also has a polyurethane coating to prevent seepage through the floor.
It is heavier by several pounds than many lightweight two-person backpacking tents. It weighs three pounds, 14 ounces when the lightest rain fly and footprint configuration is used. Packed weight is five pounds, five ounces when the optional accessories such as the gear loft, and footprint are excluded. Its most obvious downside is its weight.
The tent compares favorably with inexpensive two-person tents made for backyard slumber parties or out of car camping. It is almost twice the weight of more expensive two-person tents explicitly designed for backpacking. Serious individuals or hikers are likely to search for a tent that is lighter.
The tent has two trapezoidal vestibules. Setting it up is easy. Stormbreak 2 has various features that make it a comfortable, livable tent. Storage pockets, pole configuration, vestibules, and doors make it an excellent option for hanging around the camp for a day or two.
The pole structure makes more headroom than many backpacking tents. It is 53 inches wide and 87 inches long. Those dimensions are average budget backpacking tent dimensions. They are adequate for two people.
The peak height is the area in which the tent excels. The dual cross poles create a space at the top that maintains a 43-inch peak all around rather than one spot. The doors can be stored in side pockets.
Four large pockets are located on each corner of the tent. The trapezoidal vestibules offer space for boots and a pack, which leaves more room on the inside for the user. A small complaint is the large square panel made of white fabric used at the top instead of mesh.
It does shield the eyes from the sun when lounging during the day if the fly is not attached, but it obstructs stargazing at night. There are more poles than most models, but the setup is still straightforward. A standard X-pole design is used.
The end of each pole slides into a corner grommet. Two cross poles are the source of the extra headroom. They can also be attached by sliding them into grommets on the top. The tent and fly have red color-coded corners that make proper orientation easy.
Of ten tents reviewed by testers the North Face, Stormbreak 2 was deemed one of the best for ease of setup. They found staking out and attaching the fly was more straightforward than other models that were hard to tension appropriately all around. It took less than four minutes to pitch the tent.
However, it is worth purchasing the footprint that is sold separately if the user plans to camp in conditions where abrasions are likely such as stony ground. The 68D polyester fly and floor are abrasion resistant.
During testing, the seams were solid. The webbing, grommets, and clips are not as high-quality as more expensive tents, but won’t break or bend easily. High-tension areas are reinforced and spread out, particularly at the corners where cross poles attach to the top.
More than one point is charged with the responsibility for creating upper canopy tension. North Face Stormbreak 2 received the highest durability rating issued by reviewers. Though the stakes are cheap, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to upgrade if lost or bent out of shape. Reviewers were happy with the long-term potential of the Stormbreak 2.
During a sudden storm, set up the rain fly first to offer shelter before setting up the tent. If the stakes and guy lines are used, the tent will remain in place during stormy or windy conditions. The provided stakes are not high-quality stakes but are relatively easy to use them to stake out guy lines and corners in about five minutes.
The Stormbreak 2 is a three-season tent. It performs well when it storms and handles some snow. The tent is not ideal for high-elevation or winter camping. The side doors open nearly all the way around.
It has an incredibly flexible fly configuration that provides options for ventilation. The tent pretty much lives up to the name ‘Stormbreak.’ The easy-to-tension fly and solid pole structure limit the flapping and rattling of the tent’s large surface area.
The fly runs pretty low to the ground. There is minimal splashback at the ends where the rain fly does not go entirely to the ground. In general, the tent holds well in a storm. Reviewers found only two of the ten they tested had a better weather resistance rating.
The fly opens in many configurations. Dependent on how hard it rains, the bottom flap can be kept open to allow air to move through the tent while keeping the tent from getting wet on the inside. There is no roof vent, but the fly has various configurations that minimize condensation.
The tent comes with ten stakes - four for the corners, two on each side, and two for the sides of the fly. Four guy points have a line that is already attached. The stakes are on the cheap side and are easy to bend or lose.
It is easy to spend thousands of dollars. Buying the best equipment is always advised, but there are quality items available for backpackers. The North Face Stormbreak 2 is an example of a tent that is well-made and has features offered on more expensive tents at a lower price.
A heavier weight is the tradeoff. The Stormbreak 2 is not a mediocre tent. It is clear North Face put effort and thought into a tent with a reasonable price tag. The tent can be used in the same situations as expensive two-person hiking tents. The comfortable and roomy interior is a bonus.
The MSRP of $160 is an average price for a budget tent. It is an excellent value due to the headroom it provides and other comfort features. Users get more than they pay for with the tent. The durable 68D polyester fly and tent mean it will last for years to come.
* Center of tent has 43 inches of headroom
* Freestanding, stable four-pole design
* No-see-um mesh wall panels and doors allow for strategic venting
* Two vestibules and two D-shaped doors
The Stormbreak 2 is designed better than nearly all entry-level tents. The spacious tent offers plenty of features and makes the most of the dimensions that have users camping in comfort. With the highest rating being 10, a group of reviewers rated the Stormbreak 2 in the following areas - Comfort 9, Durability 8. Ease of Set-Up 9, Packed Size 5, Weight 5, and Weather Resistance 7.
It is a tent users want when headroom is needed. The North Face Stormbreak 2 won a Best Buy Award with the spacious construction being a contributing factor. It takes very little time to pitch, and users enjoy spending time in it.
The hefty model is not recommended for toting long distances but is a prime tent for car camping at a prime price. The North Face Stormbreak 2 earns points for ease of set up and comfort. It is easy to understand why it received the Best Buy Award.