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The North Face Triarch 2 Review

A good choice for those seeking a sturdy tent for mixed conditions.
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Price:  $379 List | $378.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Weather-beating, easy-access doors, lightweight
Cons:  Narrow interior width, bulkier
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 2, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 7
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Packed Size - 10% 3

Our Verdict

Although the floor space of the The North Face Triarch 2 doesn't stand out from the other tents we tested, it makes the most of what it offers. With a generous peak height and a nuanced pole structure, this tent feels roomy. It weighs in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. for a trail-ready configuration, but at a packed size of 7" x 22", we'd like something smaller for actual backcountry travel. It's a comfortable, weather-resistant choice for casual backpacking and car-camping, but other tents in the review stood out as leaders for longer-duration backcountry trips where space is at a premium.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $378.95 at Backcountry$292.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$299.64 at Amazon
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$333.95 at Amazon
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$299 List
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Pros Weather-beating, easy-access doors, lightweightExcellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibulesTwo large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of space and weightLightweight, good lateral headroom, large side doors, large overhead pocketLightweight, can be pitched in freestanding mode, large 'rainy day' entryway
Cons Narrow interior width, bulkierTapered foot, pockets are high upDelicate fabrics require special treatment, expensivesmall vestibules, tapered footprint reduces interior spaceLow condensation resistance, small doors, tricky learn setup
Bottom Line A good choice for those seeking a sturdy tent for mixed conditions.A superior tent that balances light weight with excellent features.Our favorite tent for all your backpacking needs.A comfortable, lightweight tent great for a weekend or a week.A good choice for all your light and fast backpacking trips for two.
Rating Categories The North Face Triarch 2 NEMO Dragonfly 2 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 Tarptent Double Rainbow
Comfort (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Weight (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weather Resistance (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
Durability (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Packed Size (10%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
Specs The North Face... NEMO Dragonfly 2 Big Agnes Copper... Big Agnes Copper... Tarptent Double...
Packaged Weight 3.75 lbs 3.16 lbs 3.06 lbs 3.81 lbs 2.60 lbs
Floor Area 27.8 sq ft 29 sq ft 29 sq ft 41 sq ft 30.5 sq ft
Packed Size 22 x 7 in 19.5 x 4.5 in 19.5 x 4 in 20 x 4.5 in 18 x 4 in
Dimensions 84 x 50 x 43 in 88 x 50 x 41 in 88 x 52 x 42 in 90 x 70 x 43 in 88 x 52 x 42 in
Vestibule Area (Total) 26.6 sq ft. 20 sq ft 18 sq ft 18 sq ft 15 sq ft
Peak Height 43 in 41 in 42 in 43 in 42 in
Number of Doors 2 2 2 2 2
Number of Poles 4 3 2 3 2
Pole Diameter 9 mm 8.7 mm 8.7 mm 8.7mm 8.6 mm
Number of Pockets 2 3 2 5 2
Gear Loft Yes No Sold separately Sold separately No
Pole Material DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL DAC Featherlite NFL and NSL Aluminum Easton 7075 E9 Aluminum
Guy Points 6 5 9 6 8
Rain Fly Material 20D nylon, 1200 mm PU coating 20D Nylon Ripstop Silicone-treated patterned double ripstop nylon with waterproof polyurethane coating proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating 1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon
Inner Tent Material [Body] 20D nylon, 1200 mm PU coating, 15D nylon mesh
[Floor] 30D nylon ripstop
15D Nylon Ripstop [Body] Patterned double ripstop nylon/polyester mesh
[Floor] Silicone-treated patterned double ripstop nylon with waterproof polyurethane coating
proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating 1.0 oz/yd2 (34 g/m2) no-see-um mesh
Type Two door freestanding Two Door freestanding Two Door Two Door Two Door

Our Analysis and Test Results

Good comfort, weather resistance, and durability bolster the score of this tent.

Performance Comparison


The Triarch 2  set up with fly.
The Triarch 2, set up with fly.

Comfort


A door and corresponding vestibule on each side of the tent offer convenient access and gear storage for two people. It has a roomy feeling when setting up and settling inside. Access in and out of the tent is comfortable — aided by the two triangular doors which extend to the brow pole.

The interior pockets were roomy and offered considerable storage in the Triarch 2.
The interior pockets were roomy and offered considerable storage in the Triarch 2.

Each side features a 7-square-foot vestibule which offered space to cook in and then later shelter packs and boots from rainy weather.

The views offered from the Triarch 2 allow for stargazing.
The views offered from the Triarch 2 allow for stargazing.

All-mesh walls mean airflow is excellent, banishing condensation and encouraging air movement. The fly even features ventilation ports and allows enough space between the inner tent and fly walls for breathability.

We liked the increased height of the sidewall at the head of the Triarch 2.
We liked the increased height of the sidewall at the head of the Triarch 2.

Ease of Set Up


The Triarch 2 did not excel in ease of set-up. Two different testers, both with outdoor industry tech experience, had to reach for the directions while setting up the tent for the first time.

The Triarch 2 without its fly.
The Triarch 2 without its fly.

Weather Resistance


The complex-looking pole geometry in The North Face Triarch 2, while somewhat of a pain to set up, means stability — even during a springtime windstorm. We loved the fact that despite rainy conditions, we and our gear stayed bone-dry, and the included footprint helped insulate and keep things dry from a muddy camping spot. The pole geometry (poles supporting all four corners and the ceiling) increased stability in windy conditions, and we felt confident leaving this tent pitched on a windy day.

Thanks to the heavy-duty-feeling fly and excellent ventilation, we felt like the Triarch 2 holds up well in bad weather. We wish the fly would come down lower to the ground, but the bathtub walls on the inner tent are high enough to prevent splashback. The 15D nylon ripstop fly with a PU coating and silicone finish held up well to drizzly spring days. At the end of the day, we trust the Triarch 2 when the weather turns.

Durability


This tent's fly features a 15D nylon ripstop with both a PU and silicone coating, and we feel confident it would hold up well to repeated use in the field. The 75D nylon taffeta floor felt sturdy and ready for action, and we appreciated the added protection of the PU coating.

Weight & Packed Size


The tent weighs 3 lbs. 12 oz. for a trail-ready configuration, including a gear loft, footprint, and poles. It's a very competitive weight in comparison to the other tents we reviewed, many of which landed in the 4-lb.-something category.

Packed size of the Triarch 2.
Packed size of the Triarch 2.

However, the Triarch feels slightly bulky for its weight, packing down to 7" x 22". As light as this tent is, we'd like to see a smaller packed size for extended backcountry travel. It's not limiting, but we feel perhaps the heavier nylon fabrics inhibited the packed size slightly.

Interior of the Triarch 2.
Interior of the Triarch 2.

Value


We reviewed other tents in the same price range that we felt held more value to the backcountry traveler. If interior space is not at a premium and you're seeking an attractive tent that can stand up to varied weather conditions, the Triarch is worth looking at.

Conclusion


The North Face's Triarch 2's freestanding architecture features vaulted arches at the head and foot box as well as vertical sidewalls for plenty of moving space, helping maximize a smaller interior space. An ample selection of tabs and a large gear loft inside maximize storage space. Large, triangle-spaced double doors offer easy access, and each door features vestibule space for convenient gear storage. Inside. It's a solid, weather-beating choice for backpackers in mixed conditions.

The Triarch 2 set up sans-fly.
The Triarch 2 set up sans-fly.


Ben Applebaum-Bauch