The North Face Sequoia 4 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sequoia 4 is a spacious warmer-weather tent that's straightforward to pitch after getting the hang of it. The rainfly offers cool features, including two side windows, two vents, side guyline attachments, and door clips. And, if you bring your trekking poles, you can make an awning with them. Lots of mesh makes for good views and air circulation, though this lessens privacy considerably. While not the best in inclement weather, this 4-person tent is open, well built, has a clever and useful rainfly, and would make a great addition to anyone's camping gear.
Space and Comfort
The Sequoia 4 feels spacious. A 6'3" height profile and a larger than normal vestibule make the 58.1 sq ft footprint feel grand. And when you prop up the awning, it feels even better. However, the tent's dimensions don't allow for much more than a full and twin air mattress, leaving only a foot or so for standing. If you plan to pack a family of four in this tent, be sure to pack light and leave the dogs in the vestibule. You can find nine pockets inside the tent; two are quite large and are found above the back door. The included footprint also has an extended area that extends past the door, a perfect place to take off your shoes before entering.
Part of being comfortable is privacy, and while you will have plenty of privacy with the rainfly on, the large mesh front leaves everything exposed once it's removed. If you are car camping in hot weather near other folks, this is something to keep in mind.
The Sequoia 4 is a hot weather machine. Even with the rainfly on, you have two vents and can roll up the sides to expose two large windows. With the rainfly off, you are free to stare into the sky and enjoy an evening breeze. This tent will need to be fully staked and guy-lined when the weather turns. This is true for all tents, but with the Sequoia, the large side profile tends to catch more wind than it deflects. Additionally, you can feel the wind coming inside because the rainfly only comes down partially on the sides.
Rain is also another factor to watch out for. Though the material used on the Sequoia is exceptional, there isn't enough rainfly coverage over the mesh to avoid some moisture sneaking in with heavy winds. To put it bluntly, if you are looking for a bad weather tent, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a breathable, shade-happy tent, the Sequoia 4 is hard to top.
Ease of Use
Color-coded poles and large sleeves make setting up the Sequoia 4 fairly straightforward. The fly is a bit harder to figure out due to its odd shape and tight connection points, but the tent still pitches in a little over nine minutes — on the longer side than other options in our review, but still mostly frustration-free.
The teardown is much faster than setup, though the tent does hold air while getting rolled up, and stuffing it into the included bag is a little tight. As seen with other North Face tents, the bag is more of a tote than a proper tent bag. The Sequoia weighs in at 13 pounds, and its packed size will leave plenty of room in the trunk for other essentials.
For a 4-person tent, the Sequoia is pretty large. The tent's height makes changing easy, though privacy is non-existent without the fly on. The included footprint with attached doormat is a nice clean touch, and if your camp spot doesn't include shade, the awning feature will keep everyone cool. With the awning down and sealed, the vestibule is fairly large and can cook a snack if you are caught in a storm.
The storage options in the Sequoia 4 are plentiful. With nine storage pockets, every house member can have their own. The large vestibule allows for extra gear storage. The extra back door is a nice addition though it is fairly small and renders the three pockets on the door useless.
The North Face makes exceptional tents, and the Sequoia is no different. Most of the materials are high quality; the poles are aluminum, the mesh and windows are 40D polyester, the rainfly is 75D polyester, and the floor is 150D. All of the interior seams are sealed and appear well made. On the flip side, the generic stakes are weak (we bent them on our first pitch), and many of the pole tips pop out during tear down.
Should You Buy The North Face Sequoia 4?
The North Face Sequoia 4 is a good 4-person tent, perfect for warm weather and lots of sun. It's tall, roomy, and capable of housing a family comfortably. If the rainfly covered the windows just a bit more and the shape was less vertical, this tent would be more intriguing. Add in the cheaper stakes, strange door storage, odd bag, and poles that pop out of place, and it falls just a little short.
What Other Camping Tents Should You Consider?
The price point on this tent is a little steep for what you get and is only a bit cheaper than its much bigger sister, the Wawona 6. Larger families will likely find more value in the larger Kelty Wireless 6.
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