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The Art Of Choosing a Tent

tent set up

The tent that you will take on your next camping trip will either help or complicate your outdoor experience. It is important to analyze your needs before buying this piece of equipment to find the tent that meets your specific needs. At the beginning of your search, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What seasons of the year will the tent be used for?
  • How many people will be sleeping in the tent? Do you prefer sleeping two people in a three person tent to have extra space for gear inside? Or do you like to camp ultra-light and squeeze two of you into a very small and light tent?
  • Is weight an important factor? Will you be carrying the tent every day? Are you carrying the tent solo or will you be splitting up the weight between team members?
  • What is your budget?
  • How often will you use the tent? For example, you could get an entry level tent for occasional weekend trips, or invest in a high end model if you plan many multi-day expeditions throughout the year.

After having answered these questions, you will have a pretty good idea of your priorities when seeking a tent, based on the usage that you foresee. At The North Face there are many different collections of tents to meet your needs.

The North Face Collections

Homestead Collection :

Are you looking for a simple "base camp" for your summer holidays? The Homestead Roomy 2 is a spacious, funky coloured, 2-person tent that is easy to set up and perfect for the weekend user. With a shelter for your picnic table, this affordable collection is ideal for car-camping.

Homestead Roomy 2
Homestead Roomy 2

Stormbreak Collection:

The Stormbreak collection features affordable one, two, or three person models that are simple to set up and resistant to three-season weather. With these entry-level models, the backcountry becomes available to you without emptying your bank account. Simple, sturdy, and accessible.

stormbreak 1

Stormbreak 1

stormbreak 2

Stormbreak 2


Kaiju Collection:

Are you planning a family camping trip? Having a well-ventilated, spacious, and sturdy tent is key. The Kaiju Collection features tents with a tall roof for 4-6 people that fulfill all of the above.
kaiju 4
Kaiju 4

Triarch Collection:

The weight of a tent is an important factor. The high-end Triarch collection for 2 or 3 people is designed to maximize the interior space while minimizing weight. If you need a versatile tent for sleeping one night by the car and another in the mountains, these tents will deliver!

 triarch 2
Triarch 2

Talus Collection:

The Talus collection features tents for 2-4 people that are affordable yet accessible to multi-purpose use. Sleeping in the mountains or simple at the trailhead, this functional and resistant tent will be your best friend.

Talus 2

Mica/O2 Collection:

Are you looking for the lightest of the light? For long through-hikes where every gram is counted, this minimalist, lightweight, simple collection is easy to set up and perfect for 1-2 people on a mission.

Mica FL 2

Summit Collection:

Are you headed winter camping or on an expedition? Do you want to challenge the elements no matter the conditions? In the Summit collection you will find the most durable, lightweight, reinforced materials for the most extreme adventures. Available in 1-4 people and more.

assault 2
Assault 2

 mountain 25

Mountain 25

ve 25

VE 25


Choosing a tent that is the appropriate size can be more difficult than you may imagine. If you are using the tent solely for sleeping, the manufacturer's suggested number of people should be sufficient. However, if you want to spend more time inside the tent in a family situation, for example, it may be recommended to pick a bigger size. It is worth considering the added weight of a larger tent and weighing your priorities vs space.

The are two main tent categories: three season and expedition.

  1. Three season tents:

  • A three season tent is an ideal choice for spring, summer, and fall. It is not build to withstand winter conditions like snow and heavy winds.
  • The design is well ventilated and the material is designed to reduce condensation.
  • Advantages: versatility, lightness, and compressibility.
  • The vertical angle of the walls increases interior "living space," helps to stop the accumulation of snow or rain, and accelerates the drying time of the tent (interior and exterior.)
  • Mesh windows, walls, doors, and two-way zippers help to fine-tune the desired amount of ventilation.
  • Colour coded poles help an easy setup.
  • Light colour choices like blue, yellow, or beige offer better ambient lighting inside the tent and prevent overheating.
Stormbreak 3
Stormbreak 3
  1. Expedition Tents

  • Four or five aluminium poles offer extra free-standing stability.
  • Vertical walls shed snow efficiently.
  • Two doors with vestibules for easy access and maximum storage space.
  • Vestibules have an extra pole to give more space and support. Some even have a chimney so that you can cook inside safely when the bad weather hits.
  • Internal anchor point to solidify the tent with the help of cords. In case of extreme conditions.
  • Offers ideal protection from extreme weather.
  • Used mostly for winter camping or mountaineering.
  • Stronger materials make for a heavier tent, reducing the versatility (for summer use for example.)
  • Thick waterproof coating from 5000-10000mm.
  • Less ventilation because in the winter you must conserve interior heat.
Assault 3
Assault 3


If you are always carrying your equipment on your back, the weight of your tent becomes a significant factor. With this type of usage, an ultralight tent is an ideal choice. On the other hand, a heavier tent might be a better choice for car-camping use or for only occasional walks. It is important to remember that the weight of a tent can often be split up between members on a trip, helping to share the load more evenly.


The materials chosen play an important role in the way that a tent will perform. As always, it is important to choose based on your specific needs. Certain materials are lighter; others are more durable. The two main tent materials are nylon and polyester.

  1. Nylon:

  • Lightweight
  • Compressible
  • More durable than other materials, despite the fact that it can stretch while wet and is sensitive to the UV of the sun.
  • New nylon materials coated with silicone can help prevent the growth of mildew, don't stretch out, and are thinner, offering even better compressibility than regular nylon.
  1.  Polyester:

  • More resistant to UV rays, polyester is usually used for family style tents that will be left set up for long periods of time.
  • Heavier than nylon.
  • Ideal for occasional use.
  • Less sensitive to humidity and condensation.
  • Easier to take care of and more stable than nylon. Does not stretch out.


There are two common types of pole materials used with tents: fiberglass and aluminium. Higher priced tents are usually supplied with aluminium poles by well-known brands like DAC or Easton. They are lightweight, resistant to the cold, and more stable than fiberglass. They are more expensive and more rigid. On the other hand, fiberglass poles are heavier and sensitive to cold temperatures. The are also too soft to hold their form in windy conditions, especially for larger tents. The advantages of fiberglass are the low prices and versatility for 3 season use. The North Face has always designed tents with aluminium poles of a high quality. The poles are colour coded with the tent to make for an easy setup.



The waterproofness of a tent is measured in terms of pressure, tested with a water cylinder. For example, if the waterproofness of a tent is rated at 600mm, that signifies that the material can withstand 600mm of water per minute. To camp comfortably, the minimum waterproof rating of a floor should be around 1000mm, and around 500mm for the fly. If waterproofness is important to you, all of The North Face tents are fully seam sealed and up these standards or higher. Expedition tents will have waterproof floors rated between 5000-10000mm.

The Floor

The shape of the floor plays an important role in the waterproofness of a tent. "Bath" shaped floors are designed with the minimum amount of stitching and come higher up, offering the best protection from the elements. Arc shaped floors are made of a single piece of material that is sewn around the base. Therefore, the stitching never touches the ground and if there is a tear it is easy to replace the entire bottom section. This design also helps to create an arc in the poles when tension is applied.

Another important point: get a footprint. Designed to the exact specifications of your specific tent, the footprint is essentially a second floor designed to protect the base of your tent against tears, sharp objects, abrasion, and overall use. Buy a footprint at the same time as your tent as they can be hard to find in the future if dimensions change or models are discontinued. 
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Comfy-Legs: All-Purpose Pants for Summer

What are the best pants for all-round summer use? I would be tempted to argue for no pants at all, or at least shorts, but sometimes in today's society they are a necessity. 

Kilowatt Pant
Kilowatt Pant

In the summer we are subjected to a wide variety of conditions: heavy, sticky humidity; fake, oppressive air conditioning; dusty, dry winds; scorching sun; monsoon rains; and more.  In Montreal, many of these different climates can hit you over the course of a single day. As a rule, cotton is good to stay away from if you are doing any kind of physical activity, which seriously limits your options! 

For example, we've all experienced jeans in the heat: constricting, sweaty, and uncomfortable, especially on humid or wet days. 

So what are your options? Classic sport/sweat pants are comfortable, but are often highly lacking in terms of style, and are often made of materials that are not great for actually practicing sports. 

The North Face's Kilowatt Pant is a step ahead of the pack when it comes to this particular need. The tightly woven, soft-shell-like, synthetic material is highly breathable, and it excels in all areas. The cut is narrower than sweatpants, allowing for less material flopping around when you are moving, as well as a more appealing look to the eye. The nylon (71%) polyester (17%) elastane (10%) blend allows for durability, moisture wicking, and comfort while moving.  Besides the above benefits, the Kilowatt Pant also boasts a tight weave, giving just enough wind blocking properties for the wind in the summer. If you're planning on being out at night, a reflective logo is the cherry on top.

For training, various sports, or just overall summer comfort, the Kilowatt Pant is a fantastic option.

rockaway Pant
Rockaway Pant

For those of you who prefer something a little heavier and perhaps more "business-like," the Rockaway Pant, also by The North Face, will fulfill many of the same needs as the Kilowatt but with a heavier fabric and more classic cut. For those of you with durability and "classy" as a number one priority, go for the Rockaway.


Kilowatt Pant
Kilowatt Pant: MSRP $99.99           
Rockaway Pant
 Rockaway Pant: MSRP $89.99


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Choosing a Backpack

For a perfect fit, it is important to have the right back length for your backpack, the right shoulder strap sizing, and the right hip belt size. A person's overall height is not important. What matters is the length of a person's torso.

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