The North Face Tadpole FL Review
The Tadpole by The North Face has long been a staple in the TNF tent line. I had my first tadpole tent about 10 years ago and took that tent everywhere with me. The Tadpole line was built for the camper that loves to get out and enjoy everything the great outdoors to offer. The line offers the superiority of quality and design The North Face has long been known for at a price point that is manageable for many campers. In this review, I’ll be talking in detail about The North Face Tadpole FL tent which is a spacious and lightweight tent for backpacking and car camping.
The North Face Tadpole FL Design
When buying a tent, there are hundreds of options out there. You can go to Walmart and pick up a 2 person tent for $49.99 which is great if you are on a budget and you don’t expect to run into any weather such as wind or rain. If that doesn’t fit your situation and you have a little money to spend on a high quality tent that can stand up to rain, snow, and wind, The North Face Tadpole FL is an excellent choice.
One of the unique features the designers plugged into the making a tent formula in the Tadpole FL tent is space. Many times in a lightweight 2 person tent, space is often cramped because they are often trying to trim weight and cut down on tent material. One of the ways in which The North Face Tadpole FL tent is able to get that extra space is by using a semi-circle pole design near the opening that pulls out the sides of the tent which bows out the tent and creates additional space inside. Speaking of the tent poles, there is a little different design in with this tent compared to other 2 person tents in the market. As you can see in the photo, there are two poles that run the length of the tent crossing the semi circle to the front of the tent. The first time setting the tent up, it took an extra minute to setup, but after my first trial run in my yard, setting up The North Face Tadpole FL was a breeze.
To match up tent poles with where they are supposed to go, there is color coded webbing that helps you match up the poles to the holes where they are supposed to go. The attachments that clips the poles to the tent body were well thought out. It definitely shows that the TNF tent designers were looking at the ways to maximize space while providing stability and structure.
I’ve been using TNF tents for many years now and have always been very satisfied with the durability of the tents I have used. When a brand has been around for a long time, I typically have 70% confidence in that they will continue to make a good product. The good news is that the Tadpole FL fits into that 70% confidence because the quality and durability has been great so far. To keep water out, the seems on the tent floor and vestibule are taped. While the tent floor is plenty durable in most situations, I like to use a footprint which is available for The North Face Tadpole FL for $35. When camping in this tent while on a 4 day rafting trip, we ran into 3 days of rain and through 2 nights of solid rain and one night of on and off again rain, the tent held up very nicely and kept all the rain and wind out. We also had the opportunity to test this tent in the Rocky Mountain of Colorado and ran into some nice wind storms. While The North Face FL tent has plenty of room on the inside, it has a sleek design that keeps it from getting caught in the wind.
The zippers on the tent never snagged on the tent body and they always flowed very nicely. This is one of the differences you will notice when you use a higher end tent vs. a cheaper tent from Wally World. The North Face Tadpole FL uses DAC tent poles which has become standard with high end tents, but none the less are extremely reliable and durable. In addition to the DAC tent poles, the Tadpole FL has guy lines that connect to the tent and can help provide more tension to the tent fly which helps against rain and wind.
The North Face Tadpole FL only has one door, so depending on whether your tent mate gets up a lot at night, this could or could not be a deal breaker. While having two doors in a tent are nice, it is not a deal breaker to have one. The vestibule of this tent is big enough to fit two full size backpacking packs in case you like your space which is always nice to have some extra room to staff your gear.
Overall, I am extremely happy with The North Face Tadpole FL 2 person tent. This tent is perfect for the backpacker that takes their backpacking serious, but also offers plenty of tent for the weekend car camper. For more information, please visit TheNorthFace.com