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North Face Mountain 25 Review

   

Four Season Tents

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: March 3, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $539 - $550 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Strong, great pockets, reflective guy lines, strong zippers, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, Kevlar guylines with camming adjusters.
Cons:  Fly attaches with grommets and comes undone, poor vestibule design, noisy and annoying vestibule fly flaps.
Best Uses:  Mountaineeing, base camping.
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  80% of reviewers (4/5) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   The North Face
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 19, 2013  
Overview
The North Face Mountain 25 has been a staple in mountaineering circles for years. The tent performs very well and offers a great value for use in extreme conditions.

Though significantly inferior in many ways to the Hilleberg Jannu and Hilleberg Tarra, the Mountain 25 is lighter than the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 due to its smaller size. Choosing between these two models can be tricky. We prefer the Trango for three reasons: (1) because its outer tent clips to the pole structure in 32 places, rather than the Mountain's 20 attachments. This creates a more secure connection and tightens up the entire system better, which increases resistance to high winds and distributes snow loading more evenly. (2) We also prefer the Trango 2 to the Mountain 25 because it is considerably larger (9 sq. ft.) and can comfortably fit a third person, thereby increasing versatility by allowing you to use one tent for 2 and 3 person trips as well as making the tent more comfortable for basecamping and for general car camping. The Trango is also considerably more comfortable to sit up in than the Mountain 25. (3) Finally, the pole sleeves on the Mountain 25 contribute to a bomber pitch but are notorious for snapping poles when you're trying to insert them in high winds.

For us, these benefits are worth the Trango's extra pound. But we know how important it is to save weight and, if that's more important to you, we recommend the Mountain 25.

Check out our complete Four Season Tent Review to compare all of the tents tested. Also consider a floorless tent—our testers' favorite type of shelter for 99% of fast and light trips—found in our Ultralight Tent Review.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
Ease of Setup
The inner tent pitches with a combination of mostly pole sleeves and a few clips. Our testers have snapped several poles while trying to pitch the Mountain 25 in high winds. The problem with pole sleeves on a dome tent is they can turn the inner tent into a sail in high winds. You have to hold onto the poles really well to male sure they don't break. The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 addresses this problem by using pole clips that do not bend the poles as much and are easier to control. Hilleberg dome tents like the Jannu and Tarra address this problem by using short pole sleeves at the bottom and pole clips for everything else!! In high winds the Mountain 25 is a pain in the ass to setup!!

The best design for pitching in high winds is found on the SlingFin Hardshell, a 3-4 person dome tent.

Weather Resistance
This is an extreme conditions tent that has been proven in some absolutely heinous conditions. As described above, we find that the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2's mechanism for attaching the fly to the inner tent is more secure and increase strength by distributing force more evenly across the tent. But the difference is slight and only likely to be significant if you are in really high winds or leave the tent for a long time and lots of snow piles up on it.

The Mountain 25's fabics are good, but nowhere near as strong as those found on Hilleberg, SingFin, and Crux tents. They could be equally strong and lighter.

Click to enlarge
North Face Mountain tents, Denali.
Credit: Max Neale
Livability
It's super cush inside. However, the Trango 2 offers an additional 9 sq. ft. that further increases cushiness—all of that extra space for about 1 lb. more.

Durability
It's altra bomber but still not as tough as the Hilleberg Tarra. The interior PU coating on the fabric is considerably more prone to hydrolysis (chemical breakup) than silnylon fabrics that might last twice as long in wet conditions.

The 3-4 person SlingFin Hardshell also blows the Mountain 25 away in terms of durability and strength.

Weight/Packed Size
We love that the Mountain 25 weighs a pound less than the Trango 2. This weight savings can be huge when you're huffing and puffing trying to suck in thin air.

But there are lighter tents that offer comparable strength. Though smaller, the Hilleberg Jannu weighs only 6 lb. 1 oz.!!!

Adaptability
Unlike Hilleberg tents the Mountain 25 cannot be pitched in a strong floorless configuration. This is a bummer because going floorless can be great if you want to go fast and light, or want to use the tent as cook tent by digging down into the snow.

Best Application
High altitude mountaineering and basecamping.

Value
The Mountain 25 is a fantastic value if you need an expedition tent. However, if you don't need tip-top strength consider the REI Arete ASL 2.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 3, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

80% of 5 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 25%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 25%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 3, 2014 - 02:54pm
Blackwater · Camper · Miami, FL
I am on my second Mountain 25 and getting ready to see how the warranty works. My rainfly has delaminated way to early so I am sending it in, so far they are standing behind their warranty. I store my tents in the bedroom closet dry and loose. I do not have any idea why this thing delaminated so quickly. I've had this tent out in 50+ mph winds, rain, sleet, blizzards, and 80+ degree sunshine. The tent has never failed me. Easy to set up, warm and cozy. Ventilation can be a problem on calm warm nights with the fly on, but I don't know any tent that isn't. She is easy to set up, even in windy conditions. As long as they fix the fly, TNF has a customer for life.

So a revision. TNF will not stand behind their warranty. They received my tent and told me the delamination was due to improper storage. They offered me a new one at 50% cost. Good deal?? Not really. If this was my first tent that I retired I would say yes. This is my second 2nd M25 tent, as stated before delaminated waayyyyy to early!. I keep my tents inside my bedroom closet loose. I asked TNF to tell me a better way to store it.. Anyway, with the change in warranty response I can no longer recommend their products. The physical review remains the same. Awesome tent, just hope you don't have any issues with it. I still have a TNF pack and 2 mountain light parkas from when I was 16… That's 22 YEARS!! and I still use them and they still look and function perfect!!!. So quality of old vs new TNF is definitely present. As sad as it makes me, this will probably be the last purchase from TNF I do… Yes, I did buy the tent at 50% from them. Good luck all!!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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Oct 22, 2012 - 02:32pm
 
Folp · Mountain Biker · Genova, Italy
ooppsss …. I stand corrected .. now the 25 has this form!!!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Oct 22, 2012 - 01:35pm
 
Folp · Mountain Biker · Genova, Italy
Just a clarification. The model in the picture is the mountain 35 not 25 … inpossibile confuse … the 25 is the following:

Click to enlarge
Credit: Folp


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 2, 2012 - 01:13pm
ALEX · Backpacker · aude,southern france.
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Credit: ALEX
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Credit: ALEX
2005 the year i started my adventure with the mountain 25 ,to this day i have great trust and confidance with it.from winter climbing in scotland, england ,canada,france summer treks in alpine valleys to a week on campsite. 2 day storm to which i had to regulary retension the guide lines which i see has been improved my model has velcro to hold the fly to the tent inner,the pitching of inner first has never caused a problem to me even in bad weather .the hillerberg tarra sounds a step ahead, inner outer put up in one ? yes very tempted.
however the mountain 25 does what it said on the tin,always ventilate to the best the weather will allow .would i buy the new version yes!love to try it out compare the new with the old the money saved on the hilleberg tarra would pay for more adventures
good luck which ever route you take.
hotoid=230759]
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Credit: ALEX


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 10, 2011 - 04:17pm
Vulgarian · Climber · Riverside CA
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My Mountain 25 tight as a drum with very little fuss.
Credit: Vulgarian
I used to have a North Face "West Wind" that I retired after about 18 years of duty when I noticed the floor leaking. I was considering getting a Trango for many of the reasons the reviewer states in their review of that fine tent. On a lark, I sent my beloved "Westy" to The North Face who regretebly told me that the tent probably couldn't be saved and they offered me a any new tent for 1/2 off the price which, besides being incredibly generous, then gave me $300 extra to spend on other (read MORE)gear. Of course I said yes and they sent me the Mountain 25. I was instantly impressed with the storage, the spaciousness, the construction and the weight. For a two person (double wall) tent it's relatively light. What compelled me to write this though was the pictures of the tent in the review above that points out difficulty in tensioning. Here's my tent in my front yard. I found the tent fly very easy to tension on the first walk around. In regard to the fly attaching via grommets to the pole I've never found this to be an issue on my West Wind. In my humble opinion, if the tent is tensioned properly the grommet is held in tension against the compression of the pole and very difficult to remove unless loose to begin with. Again, this is my humble opinion. I have had issues with flys coming loose on other tents in extreme winds (a Nemo "Jakes Foot" type fly attachement) and I know what a exciting experience that can be in the middle of the night. All and all I like this tent very much and hope to use it as my home on Denali next year.
Note: the tent shown in the product review header is an older version of the Mountain 25 and not the current offering.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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North Face Mountain 25
Credit: North Face
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