The Mountain 25 now comes with an included footprint. We link to this version with the footprint above.April 2019
The North Face Mountain 25 Review
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The North Face Mountain 25
|Price||$690 List||$900 List|
$799.95 at Backcountry
|$759.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$500 List||$449 List|
$449.00 at REI
|Pros||Super strong, livable design, above average versatility, great pockets, reflective Kevlar guylines with camming adjusters||Bomber, great durability, compact footprint, lighter than average weight, fantastic balance of strength, weight, and livability, ample guy points||Versatile, lightweight, double wall design works far better in rain than single wall models, handles condensation well, big vestibules, easy to pitch||Versatile, handles moderate snow loads well, giant vestibule, roomy interior, easy to set-up, the vestibule is removable and can be left behind to save weight, handles condensation well||Lightweight for a double wall tent, inexpensive, versatile, easy set-up, interior fabric handles condensation well, and longer-than-average dimensions make this a better option for taller people|
|Cons||Not as light as other models, pole sleeves aren't as quick to set up, more care must be taken while pitching the tent||Poor ventilation, slightly tricky setup, insufficient guy lines included||Isn't as strong as other 4-season models, offers a good but not excellent packed size||Respectable size and weight for how spacious it is||Tiny vestibule, one of the weakest 3(.5)-pole designs in our review, only one door|
|Bottom Line||A popular pick among climbing circles, this model performs well and won't entirely break the bank||All-around uses are this model's forte, but it's still robust enough for when the weather turns gnar||The ski and summer mountaineering focused design perfect for almost any trip you can dream up||It converts nicely in both 3-season and 4-season conditions, and has a huge vestibule and spacious dimensions||A solid 4-season shelter at an excellent price. Great for summertime mountaineering or winter camping near treeline|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Moun...||Black Diamond Eldorado||MSR Access 2||Sierra Designs Conv...||REI Arete ASL 2|
|Weather/Storm Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Set-up (10%)|
|Specs||The North Face Moun...||Black Diamond Eldorado||MSR Access 2||Sierra Designs Conv...||REI Arete ASL 2|
|Minimum Weight (only tent, fly & poles)||7.87 lbs||4.5 lbs||3.80 lbs||5.88 lbs||5.75 lbs|
|Floor Dimensions||86" x 54 in||87" x 51 in||84 x 50 in||84" x 55 in. (at head) x 49 in. (at feet)||88 x 57/60/44 in|
|Peak Height||41 in||43 in||42 in||43 in||43 in|
|Measured Weight, with tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag||8.5 lbs||4.9 lbs||4.1 lbs||4.1 lbs||6.25 lbs|
|Type||Double Wall||Single Wall||Double Wall||Double Wall||Double Wall|
|Packed Size||7" x 24 in||7" x 19 in||18 x 6 in||7" x 15.75 in.||6 x 6 x 20 in|
|Floor Area||32 sq ft||31 sq ft||29 sq ft||30.3 sq. ft.||32.9 sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||11 sq ft||9 sq ft (optional)||17.5 sq ft||16.4 sq. ft.||8.7 sq ft|
|Number of Doors||2||1||2||0.32 in.||1|
|Number of Poles||5||2||2||1||4|
|Pole Diameter||9.5 - 13 mm||8 mm||9.3 mm||9 mm|
|Number of Pockets||Side: 6 Ceiling: 2||Side: 4 Ceiling: 0||Side: 2 Ceiling: 0||Side: 2 Ceiling: 0||Side: 2 Ceiling: 2|
|Pole Material||DAC Featherlite NSL||Easton Aluminum 7075-E9||Easton Syclone||Yunan UL Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Rainfly Fabric||75D PU coated polyester||3 layer ToddTex||20D nylon ripstop||20D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU||Nylon ripstop|
|Floor Fabric||70D PU coated nylon||Unknown||30D nylon ripstop||68D 210T Poly Ripstop DWR/2000MM PeU||Nylon taffeta|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The North Face Mountain 25 is a top-notch expedition and winter camping tent that is one of the most robust models in our review. It's best for applications where storm-worthiness, versatility, and ample livable space are appreciated, and its heavier-than-average weight is less of a big deal. Its lighter than several other of the most classic expedition models like the Tarra, but heavier than the Hilleberg Jannu or the Black Diamond Fitzroy (the Mountain 25 is also more spacious and livable than either of those models and costs less).
Ease of Set-Up
The inner tent pitches with a combination of pole sleeves and a few clips on the lower sections of two of the poles. This sleeve design is ultra bomber once the entire tent is set up, but does require slightly more caution when setting up in high winds so that you don't bend or break the poles in the process. The problem with pole sleeves on a dome tent is they can turn the inner tent into a sail in strong winds while erecting the tent. If it is very windy, you'll have to hold onto the poles securely to support them, making sure they don't bend or break.
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.
The poles of the Mountain 25 fit securely into grommets, while the fly attaches via the same grommets underneath the main body. We think attaching the fly to the body in this manner is incredibly easy and secure. This tent has 16 much nicer-than-average DAC aluminum stakes and four snow parachutes - something our testing team found to be an excellent extra touch.
As a whole, this contender's performance was average when it came to ease of set-up, though it does become a bomber shelter once pitched. We do think the Hillberg Jannu is easier to set up in general, especially in windier conditions. Most people will still find the Mountain 25 easier to set up than the BD Fitzroy, which is comparable in strength but sets up with poles on the inside.
This is where the Mountain 25 excels; it is an extreme conditions tent that has been proven to offer high performance in absolutely atrocious conditions. It excels in nearly all-mountain conditions, as it features a bomber pole design, a nice tight pitch, and several strong guy points that make it one of the strongest tents in our review.
Compared to most of the 4 season tents in our review, with nearly all of the tents offering limited ventilation options, this tent's inner fabric handles moisture and condensation better than most. Some moisture would be present if we zipped it up in cold and dry environments, but the Mountain 25 gets noticeably less condensation than the BD Fitzroy.
It has snow flaps on the vestibule, which create a tight seal; this can help keep new snow out when buried. This not only made the tent more secure but also minimized the amount of spindrift that would enter during a storm.
Offering 32 square feet of floor space, it feels super cush inside and is a great option for expedition style climbing and base camping use.
It's one of the more comfortable and livable two-person 4 season tents we tested. If you are looking for a base camp style tent for Alaska, Patagonian, or Himalayan living, then it should be near the top of your list.
For comfort and livability, our testers loved all the mesh pockets, and spacious (eight square foot) hooped front vestibule; the vestibule easily fit two packs and still has enough room to get in and out of the tent while shedding wet layers before entering the central part of the tent. We cooked over two dozen nights in the vestibule, and we made extensive use of the snow flaps. They helped create a nice secure place that also helped anchor the entire tent. The smaller three square foot vestibule was big enough to store boots or one to two mostly empty packs, but only if you leaned them against the main wall of the inner tent.
Overall, this is a pretty bomber tent that is one of the burlier options in our review. The latest version uses a different fly than the older one. While technically thinner, it should hold up better over time in several ways. The new fly features 40D nylon and 1500 mm PU/silicone coating, which offers superior longevity and will hold its water-resistance longer than the previous polyester fly. The previous fly was considerably more prone to hydrolysis (chemical breakup) than silnylon fabrics (now featured on the current version) that might last twice as long in wet conditions. It uses high-quality DAC poles that are an industry standard. Beyond most company warranties, our testers found the newest model to be above average for construction quality, and we even felt like it was better than the previous model.
We love that this tent tips the scales at around eight and a half pounds. This weight savings can be huge when you're huffing and puffing, trying to suck in thin air. For folks not looking for as much of an expedition focused tent, it is easy to get a tent that is still just as versatile, maybe only a little bit smaller, but several pounds lighter.
The design allows the tent to excel in a wider range of conditions and seasons than nearly all of the lighter single wall tents and many of the double-wall tents in our review. The Mountain 25 is a better choice for most three-season low elevation camping endeavors because of its above-average ability to handle moisture and condensation.
The Mountain 25 is a decent value if you need an expedition tent. It is cheaper than the similarly designed but single-walled Black Diamond Fitzroy. It's also comparable to the Hilleberg models, many of which cost much more.
The North Face Mountain 25 is a sweet expedition and winter camping tent. It is light enough that it's serviceable for other applications like general mountaineering in the lower 48. However, if you see yourself mostly mountaineering in the lower 48, we'd recommend something a little lighter and more packable.
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