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.
The North Face Triarch 2 Review
Cons: Narrow interior width, bulkier
Manufacturer: The North Face
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The North Face Triarch 2
|Price||$378.95 at Backcountry||$389.90 at Amazon||$294.97 at Amazon|
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|$330.61 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Weather-beating, easy-access doors, lightweight||Excellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibules||Two large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of space and weight||Lightweight, good lateral headroom, large side doors, large overhead pocket||Lightweight, can be pitched in freestanding mode, large 'rainy day' entryway|
|Cons||Narrow interior width, bulkier||Tapered foot, pockets are high up||Delicate fabrics require special treatment, expensive||small vestibules, tapered footprint reduces interior space||Low 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|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (10%)|
|Packed Size (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|
|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.
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.
Each side features a 7-square-foot vestibule which offered space to cook in and then later shelter packs and boots from rainy weather.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch