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The North Face Stormbreak 2 Review

A spacious tent with large vestibules that provide a lot of flexibility for the weather
The North Face Stormbreak 2
Credit: The North Face
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $185 List | $184.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Excellent headroom, storage pockets, versatile vestibule
Cons:  Heavy, cheap stakes
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 30, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 25% 4.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8.0
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 9.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0
  • Packed Size - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The North Face Stormbreak 2 offers excellent comfort and protection for camping adventures. Its interior space and headroom are some of the best in the category. This tent has ample storage pockets and flexible vestibule configurations that make it a good option for hunkering down in foul (or fantastic!) weather. It's a hefty bundle for sure, but it is one of our favorites for activities like car camping or paddling, where weight isn't as much of a concern. Its materials are thick and durable, giving us confidence that it has the ability to be a reliable partner for years to come.

Editor's Note: On August 30, 2022, we published our review on the updated Stormbreak 2.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $184.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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$159 List$80 List
$72.99 at Amazon
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Pros Excellent headroom, storage pockets, versatile vestibuleTwo side doors, easy to pitch, large vestibulesGreat headroom, large vestibule, easy to pitchSetup with fly attached, flexible vestibule configuration, below average priceInexpensive, double doors, two vestibules
Cons Heavy, cheap stakesHeavy, not so stable in high windPoles pinch together under fly tensionSingle door, can't remove fly while keeping tent pitchedMinimal storage, delicate pole sleeves, cheap material
Bottom Line A spacious tent with large vestibules that provide a lot of flexibility for the weatherA straightforward, easy to set up tent with good comfort featuresThis inexpensive budget tent is an excellent option for one personThe unique design and really reasonable price of this tent have us finding new ways to enjoy it again and againA low-priced tent that will work in a pinch for front country camping
Rating Categories The North Face Stor... REI Co-op Passage 2 REI Co-op Passage 1 Slumberjack Nightfa... BISINNA 2
Comfort (25%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (25%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Ease of Set-up (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Packed Size (10%)
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Specs The North Face Stor... REI Co-op Passage 2 REI Co-op Passage 1 Slumberjack Nightfa... BISINNA 2
Measured Packaged Weight 6.33 lbs 5.23 lbs 4.21 lbs 5.68 lbs 4.76 lbs
Floor Area 30.6 sq ft 31 sq ft 20 sq ft 31.4 sq ft 31.6 sq ft
Packed Size 7 x 22 in 8 x 18 in 7.5 x 17 in 6.5 x 21 in 5.9 x 16.9 in
Dimensions 87 x 50 x 43 in 88 x 52 x 40 in 88 x 36 x 40 in 85 x 52 x 39.5 in 82.7 x 55 x 47.2 in
Vestibule Area (Total) 9.78 sq ft 19 sq ft 9.5 sq ft 9.3 sq ft 13.6 sq ft
Peak Height 43 in 40 in 40 in 39.5 in 47.2 in
Number of Doors 2 2 1 1 2
Number of Poles 4 2 2 3 2
Pole Diameter Not provided 8.5 mm 8.5 mm Not provided Not provided
Number of Pockets 4 2 1 2 2
Gear Loft No No No No No
Pole Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum 7001 aluminum Aluminum
Guy Points 4 4 4 4 2
Rain Fly Material 75D polyester Polyester Polyester 68D polyester 190T Polyester Taffeta
Inner Tent Material 75D polyester taffeta Polyester Polyester 40D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh 190T Polyester Taffeta+B3 No-see-um Mesh
Type Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding

Our Analysis and Test Results

The North Face Stormbreak 2 is a unique combination of comfortable, spacious, and durable. The 75D polyester taffeta floor and fly are sturdy and the four large storage pockets mean that you can really make the most of the floor space.

Performance Comparison


The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - the north face stormbreak 2 has fabulous features that make it one...
The North Face Stormbreak 2 has fabulous features that make it one of our favorite budget backpacking tents.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


The Stormbreak shines when it comes to comfort. The vertical sidewalls ensure that the tent has maximum shoulder space. The two horizontal cross poles at the top also create a significant amount of headroom in the canopy. This makes it really easy for two people to sit up at the same time and both have enough room to move around without bumping into the sides or each other.


Its floor dimensions of 87 inches long and 50 inches wide don't immediately stand out amongst the crowd, but somehow this tent really feels spacious. Two large side doors allow each person to have their own entry and exit. Though they aren't the biggest doors, they do open all the way around — almost a full 360 degrees — which is somewhat unique. We also love the four large storage pockets which can easily hold flashlights, journals, maps, gloves, or any other items that you want to keep close by. If the weather and bugs allow it, the doors also stash easily in the side pockets.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - black cross poles maximize interior volume at head height making it...
Black cross poles maximize interior volume at head height making it easy for campers to sit up in this tent.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The privacy panels aren't super high but the green mesh provides some privacy if you want to keep the fly off on a stuffy day. This tent has a uniform width at both ends so it has the flexibility to sleep campers head-to-toe or head-to-head. One of the only features that we aren't so fond of is the solid cloth panel at the pinnacle of the canopy which obscures skyward views.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - two large circular doors eliminate climbing over the other person to...
Two large circular doors eliminate climbing over the other person to get in and out of the tent.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


The Stormbreak performs at the very top of the category in most metrics, except for its weight. It weighs 6.33 pounds, which includes the tent, poles, fly, and stakes. At this weight, it is one of the heaviest in this review. There are many regular backpacking tents that weigh half as much, meaning that even split between two people, each person is potentially carrying the weight of an entire tent.


It has plenty of other redeeming qualities that make up for its heft. However, this is definitely not a model to tote around on long-distance backpacking adventures. It is better suited for car camping, paddling, short overnight, or backyard camping.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - the stormbreak 2 is no doubt one of the heaviest in the category...
The Stormbreak 2 is no doubt one of the heaviest in the category making it better-suited for activities other than hiking.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weather Resistance


The Stormbreak 2 has a fly geometry and design that makes it a unique contender and one that is well-suited to wet and windy weather. Each vestibule stakes out at two points which makes it easier to get taut and provides additional stability. It flaps less in the wind and channels precipitation away from the tent.


This vestibule configuration also maximizes the amount of gear that can be stored and protected underneath. Unlike a typical triangular vestibule that leaves backpack straps out in the rain, this one covers it all.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - the fly can be rolled up and secured partway, providing protection...
The fly can be rolled up and secured partway, providing protection in light rain while still allowing for air flow. There are many other configurations as well.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The fly also has several different ways that it can be tied back. Though there aren't any additional vents, the dual-zipper vestibule flaps can be rolled up at several different heights and angles, allowing you to balance ventilation with precipitation protection. The fly zippers have a velcro flap that prevents water from dripping through.

Ease of Set-Up


This tent is easy to set up but has a few extra steps that make it take just a little longer. The two main poles are complemented with two smaller ones that run the width of the tent to increase the headroom. These four poles are straightforward to install, but it might take an extra minute.


We appreciate that the tent and fly each have one red corner to make it simple to orient them up properly. The vestibules require two stakes each instead of the usual single stake, and the stakes themselves bend easily in hard-packed soil, so we found that this sometimes slowed down the set-up process as well. However, one of the great advantages of this vestibule design is that it makes it super simple to tension properly and rarely required additional fidgeting after we got the tent set up.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - the stormbreak 2 uses a traditional x-pole setup plus two more cross...
The Stormbreak 2 uses a traditional X-pole setup plus two more cross poles to increase headroom. The poles slide into grommets at the four corners of the tent and clips on the canopy hold everything in place.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Durability


Though this model weighs a lot, it makes up for it with its durability. The 75D floor and fly are thick and resistant to the wear and tear that comes with repeated use. We also noticed that the fly is more puncture resistant to thorns and branches than more expensive tents made from thinner material.


In our experience, the aluminum poles also don't seem to require as much bending to set them in place, which reduces the likelihood that one of the segments will snap. During testing, we never had any substantive issues with zips, clips, or any of the hardware.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - a lot of fabric and features make this one of the bulkier models to...
A lot of fabric and features make this one of the bulkier models to carry around but we think it's worth it.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Packed Size


Heavy tents are often bulky tents, and the Stormbreak 2 is no exception. Its thick polyester and burly clips and grommets take up a lot of space and don't pack down especially small. The difference between the way this tent packs down versus other models in the category isn't super noticeable, but it also certainly isn't winning any awards based on the strength of its packed size.


Tents this size usually have large stuff sacks. However, we found it surprisingly difficult to pack this tent away in its bag. If you don't end up bringing the stuff sack in the first place, this obviously isn't an issue, but be prepared to spend some time getting it rolled up and stored when you are done with it for the season.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - ten stakes are enough for each of the four corners of the tent, four...
Ten stakes are enough for each of the four corners of the tent, four for the vestibules, and two more for the sides. However, they are very thin and can bend easily.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Should You Buy The Stormbreak 2?


This tent is for the camper who heavily prioritizes headroom and interior space. It provides excellent value and utility for a variety of camping situations. With four large storage pockets and a fly with flexible configurations, it's a great option if you need to hunker down for a while. If keeping weight to a minimum is essential, we recommend looking elsewhere. However, for a roomy tent with quality features and substantial durability, it would be tough to find a better budget option.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 budget backpacking tent - the stormbreak 2 is one of our favorites for roomy camping.
The Stormbreak 2 is one of our favorites for roomy camping.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

What Other Budget Backpacking Tents Should You Consider?


If you like what this tent has to offer but want to maintain a high level of comfort while also slimming down on weight, we suggest the REI Co-Op Passage 2. It secures the highest scoring spot in our fleet and boasts an exceptional price. This tent is also available in a one person version, the REI Co-Op Passage 1.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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