Review: The North Face Nebula Tent [ 2-man, 4-season Tent ]

Review: The North Face Nebula Tent [ 2-man, 4-season Tent ]
Product Description
Polyester ripstop fly sheet is UV resistant and low absorbent plus seam-taped and polyurethane-coated for waterproofness. Nylon ripstop fabric is lightweight and breathable with soothing color and partial translucence for long-term user satisfaction. Durable nylon taffeta floor with multipass PU coating resists the abuse of camp life. Fully continuous pole sleeves increase structural integrity and ease pitching. Easton 7075-E9 aluminum poles are the strongest, lightest alloy available for the ultimate in tent performance. Equal-sized poles eliminate confusion when pitching. High and low venting from mesh canopy, fly sheet cone vents and protected vestibules assures airflow and simplifies climate control. Cone vents in vestibules work with doors and other vents to provide cross-drafting and climate control choices. Color-coding of tent poles to pole sleeves/pole sleeve binding and canopy webbing to fly sheet webbing eases pitching and ensures correct set-up the first time. Dual doors provide easy accessibility and venting options.

Retail: $379.



Reviewed by: Dan M, a Backpacker from Washington, DC
Date Reviewed: 8/23/2002 6:09:46 AM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've had this tent for over 5 years now, and its held up through all kinds of weather. I seam sealed it to be on the safe side, and it has remained bone-dry during several multi-day storms in West Virginia. This tent ventilates well on warm nights, and seals up nice and snug on cold ones. In addition, there's plenty of room for me (6' 2", 180 lbs) my wife, and our dog. Plus, the 2 vestibules provide a lot of storage space. Sure, its a little heavy, but in exchange you get a bomb-proof shelter that will stand up to any weather your likely to see below 10,000 feet in the lower 48.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Johan, a Mountaineer from Vancouver B.C.
Date Reviewed: 7/20/2002 1:12:13 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I just recently purchased the Nebula so I have only had the chance to use it twice so far. I did not bother using any seam sealer or anything else to add to it's waterproofness before heading out. It rained very hard and relentlessly for the three days that I was out. I constantly checked all of the seams for leakage and discovered nothing, not even a single drop made it through. The fly remained tight the entire time as well. This tent is very well made!!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Patrick, a Climber from Nevada
Date Reviewed: 6/10/2002 6:00:44 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I bought the tent more as a car camping tent than anything else, but I am now using it for all my backpacking and climbing trips as well. The tent is large (2+) so my Siberian fits in it with my wife and I easily. It's not that heavy when broken down between the three of us (Haiku carries the poles and Stakes). There must be some inconsistencies in the manufacturing because I have camped several days in the rain, and some tremendous downpours with no leakage or trouble. There is adequate ventilation so there is no condensation. Makes for an excelent 3 seasoner if all the doors and top window are left open.

Similar Products Tried:
Sierra designs, Mountain Hardware, and Other TNF tents
 

 
  Reviewed by: Peter Papiewski, a Mountaineer from New York
Date Reviewed: 2/27/2002 10:42:57 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have traveled through out the Island last summer, carrying with me Nebula North Face Tent. The sealing seemed imperfectly design and started to soak and leak after few hours of heavy rain. We had problem keeping it dry inside due to constantly seeping floor.
It is a poorly design tent with some major problems specially in a seam area. Don't ever purchase a green tent-it has its depressing illumination inside.The zippers require both hands and cause a lot of problems since the floor is not secured by stakes. Not a sufficiently design tent. Seemed heavy for back-packing tent.

 

 
  Reviewed by: Matt, a Backpacker from Birmingham,AL USA
Date Reviewed: 9/25/2001 6:25:36 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I think my expectations of this tent may have been a little to high after reading all of the great reviews. I have used the tent twice. The first time was at the beach and the ventilation was superb. I have felt inclined to write my review to inform others of the other occasion that I used the tent. I went last weekend to the highest point in my state (2407 ft) and spent one night. A terrible thunderstorm blew through and I was pounded for about 45 min. I was continually checking the seems for leakage. I found that 2 of the corners and both of the center placed polls leaked down near the floor. The leakage was very minimal and really didn't worry me to much. I fell asleep after the light rain came and woke up to a soggy floor. I wasn't swimming but the floor was wet. I am very disappointed in the tent because of this leakage. I was looking for a good expedition tent or a tent that could withstand multiple days of bad weather and I just don't think this is it. I read one other review by a guy who said he made his own footprint for a similar problem. For close to $400, I shouldn't have to do that (or carry the extra weight!) I like the design, the vents, and the fly was perfect but the water ruined it for me. Note: temp was about 70F, no standing water to speak of (in case you were wondering) no rips, and I used no third party water sealant (yet). Hope that helps.

Similar Products Tried:
None
 

 
  Reviewed by: Matt Rice, a Backpacker from Clemson, SC, US
Date Reviewed: 9/18/2001 11:46:29 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent has worked flawless for me and my girlfriend for over 2 years. I have taken it from the balmy sticky climates of the south to the bitter cold climates of North Dakota. This tent is a must have in your aresonal of shelters. Other amenities include the 3+ season ability, great sealing, good ventalation, and heat retention. This tent will lavish you with extras that you will want in every tent you buy. A great all weather tent that is well worth the money and weight.

Similar Products Tried:
Mt Hardware Skyview 2
REI Nitelite
Eureka Timberlite
North Face Pebble
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff Sprague, a Day Hiker from Rochester, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: 8/18/2001 5:32:27 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Great tent, lots of room for two people plus some gear by your feet if it is raining too hard. Had to seal the wall/floor seam after I tryed it in the back yard, this tent doesn't have a true bathtub construct. The floor seeped water from the damp grass but this was solved by buying some cheap 4mm plastic drop cloth and making my own footprint. I had no trouble setting up the tent on my first try and the fly can be easily tightened down by using the tent pole attachment points. By stepping on the stake down tabs between the tent and the pole and pulling up on the slack straps, you can make the fly drum tight. The fly never became lose in the last storm I was in and I didn't even use the extra tie down points.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Will Aramony, a Backpacker from Alexandria, VA USA
Date Reviewed: 7/19/2001 7:53:01 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is wonderful. It is extremely spacious for a two person. It would be a mansion for one. I spent 10 consecutive nights in it, at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmarron New Mexico this summer. The tent held up great. It rained 9 out of the 10 days, hailed 4 separate times, and the tent was bone dry. It is fairly easy to set up with some practice. It is somewhat heavy, but I'd rather carry the extra weight than have to use another tent. It's worth the price and the weight.

Similar Products Tried:
Coleman Peak 1
 

 
  Reviewed by: Brian, a Backpacker from Exeter
Date Reviewed: 6/14/2001 2:31:08 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I found this tent very comfortable for two people and even managed three whilst comleting ten tors. The roof vent provides excellent ventilation even when its narly outside. I purchased the tent cheaper as it was not sealed when i bought it but using the excellent seam sealer was no problem and i have not had any leaks. It pitches well and can be done by one person. My nebula is the '99 model and does not come with a vent panel on the front door so it is good to see that TNF
have made this improvement. It is very light between two people and it is very strong and reliable. This is a great tent and i am glad that it is mine.

Customer Service:
Iphoned the hotline to get a brochure but they were all out of them. As soon as they had a new batch in i recieved one through the post (very impressed).

Similar Products Tried:
I have used tera nova tents such as the Hyperspace and they are good but my advice is to stick with TNF.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Nicco, a Backpacker from Germantown, MD, 20874
Date Reviewed: 5/2/2001 2:00:15 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have used this tent only a few times and I am very happy with it. I needed a 2+ tent and this one is absolutely the right size. very roomy inside. I did have to assemble it a couple of times before I could set up in the dark. Still a little tricky for one person to set it up. A little heavy for one person, but perfect for two people. When the tent is well staked out, it can withstand a storm.

Overall, this is a very well designed tent and a great value

Customer Service:
have not had a reason to contact them yet

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka ??
 

 
  Reviewed by: Joseph M. Vinson, a Backpacker from Amarillo Tx.
Date Reviewed: 4/18/2001 6:14:34 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I tested this tent in the backyard first before a 4 day trip to Lost Lake New Mexico in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. No leaks from the water sprinkler or from the lake that formed in the yard. Remained very tight. On the trip it did not rain on us (that is odd) but the most severe wind blew thru the area off Wheeler Peak. We were camping at Lost Lake elev. 11500. Branches from trees were lying around, but the tent held well. Aside from seeing the top of the tent and the windward side sway, you would not know the wind was blowing except for the occasional snap of a tree limb. The doulble doors are excellent except the zippers require both hands since the floor is not secured by stakes in this area. Very roomy for me ( 6'2" 220 #) and my son ( 4'8" 65#) My wife would have easily fit in with us (5'4" ----#) I do not think 3 men of my size could stay in it for long. The vestubles are of good size but the fly sits a little too high so gear will get wet if the wind blows hard or a lake forms.
It has been used at several Boy Scout outtings in the Summer and ventilates well.
I am very pleased with the tent, especially since I got it on sale.

Similar Products Tried:
Coleman
 

 
  Reviewed by: MOC, a Backpacker from WI
Date Reviewed: 3/27/2001 1:35:15 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Spent four days recently in snow country with this tent. Sets up easily(10 minutes). Pitched it over four feet of snow and couldn't stake out the fly. It is an overstatement to call this more than a two man. Only shortcoming I saw was the fly zipper is really a two handed job. Trying to use one hand it snagged every time... A little heavy but solid quality.

 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff Johannsen, a Backpacker from Grayslake, Il, USA
Date Reviewed: 3/24/2001 9:39:15 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
My Nebula is a '97 model and has been see duty on the east coast, the midwest and the pacific northwest. Although a lttle on the heavy side, it has stood up to a great deal of abuse from my wife and I. It has never leaked any water either. Set up is quick and easy. I like the fact that it has two large mesh entries and a large mesh ceiling vent as well. This makes it work good in four seasons. Those interested in mountaineering should probably look at something a little heavier though. Overall, I am pretty happy with the Nebula.
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Snyder, a Backpacker from Eastern Virginia
Date Reviewed: 2/23/2001 4:32:31 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a great little tent. Very well designed except for one little thing: If you attach the fly loops to the pole ends like the instructions tell you to, it is impossible to get the fly tought. However, if you simply stake out the fly loops, there is no problem. The tent is WAY to weighty for a single backpacker but isn't too rough for two. The best way to divide the tent is poles and stakes with one person and fly and body with the other. The ultra-light option is pretty cool but takes a little practice to set up. First you must stake down the footprint. Then turn the fly upside-down and velcro the poles in. Then insert the poles into their respective places in the footprint and then stake down the fly. This option is great in the summer because the full tent setup is not as well ventilated as a pure three season tent. Some reviews say that it leaks but this may be on older models. My '99 has not let a drop in. Lots of guy lines make this a very secure little shelter. Little really isn't the right word because really this tent is pretty big. It is labeled as a 2+ person but it can fit four in a pinch. One in the front vestibule and three packed in the main body. I love this tent.

Customer Service:
The North Face is the best in Customer Service. Period.

Similar Products Tried:
Mountain Hardwear Solitude--the definitive solo tent

Walrus Micro Swift--great tent for the buck
 

 
  Reviewed by: HoyaJedi, a Backpacker from New Orleans, Louisiana
Date Reviewed: 2/22/2001 8:41:54 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I just spent a three day weekend living out of this tent in the Shenandoahs. Enter sixty mile per hour winds, freezing rain, snow, and a muddy gravel pit for a campsite. Now enter my Nebula. Set up in the rain...no problem. Stake out the fly...tight as a drum...no problem. Water standing two inches up the side of the bathtub floor..no problem. With the extreme winds, the rain blowing horizontally with the force of a million tiny daggers flying with the intent to destroy your mountain fun, and a temperature of about 20 degrees, wind chill factor of negative ten, it should have been a miserable time, but the tent worked miracles. Myself and two other full grown guys fit snugly inside the tent, no overlapping sleeping pads or anything...we put two of our packs under the rear vestibule and one under the front one by the bigger door. No problem, everything was dry as a bone as long as we had it sitting on rocks to keep it out of the standing water we pitched the tent into. We had the gear loft packed full of cameras, flashlights, candle lanterns, contact lens supplies, gloves, and anything else we could find, and the tent stayed as solid as a boulder in the unbelievable winds all night long. I couldn't belive it when i woke up and saw how much it had rained, but there we were, a green three pole island in the middle of a muddy gravelly lake at 3500 feet, the wind whipping slower now at about thirty miles per hour, the fly still tight enough to bounce a roll of quarters off of without it touching the roof. All I have to say is that this thing is absolutely phenomenal if you stake and guy it down correctly, no matter what kind of conditions you face. With all the talk about North Face going too commercial to keep the quality high, I admit I was skeptical, but this experience redeemed the company for me. My Mountain Light Jacket was a lifesaver too, but that's another review. They should call it a three person tent for those who don't need to live in a galaxy-sized shelter. For two people it is big enough to swallow a black hole. For being a nebula, this tent sure performs like a star. If I could have given it a rating of six I would have.

Customer Service:
Never needed to call for any reason.

Similar Products Tried:
Kelty backpacking tent...different intended use, but it does what it's supposed to for a good price.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Chad Carlson, a Mountaineer from Glasgow, MT USA
Date Reviewed: 1/26/2001 10:57:05 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is an amazing tent. i've used it on my last three trips, putting it through some very harsh conditions. It stood strong after a 3 foot dumping of snow settled on it, and it stayed dry and comfortable after a 4 day downpour. This tent is very roomy and very strong. Great tent for the full time backpacker and occasional mountaneer.

Customer Service:
This tent has a life time warranty, and North Face has always been easy to work with.

Similar Products Tried:
Mountain tent from the north face.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Andy, a Mountaineer from Alaska
Date Reviewed: 1/24/2001 7:03:28 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is awsome. I went backpacking in the appalachian mtns this weekend and it snowed about a foot the tent was wonderfull. It preformed flawless. Very strong in high winds.

Customer Service:
Customer service is Great!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeremy Osguthorpe, a Mountaineer from Olympia, WA, US
Date Reviewed: 1/15/2001 4:49:40 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
My tent isn't actually the Nebula, it is the Polaris, which is the same tent in a little bit smaller design (2+ is nebula, 2 is polaris). I like the tent, it ventilates good, keeps you dry, and is full of features. The double vestibules/doors is especially nice. It works just as good as any other 3 season tent, and if you want to use it for a 4 season you can. I got mine for 195 at NMS.

Customer Service:
TNF customer service is good
 

 
  Reviewed by: Stephane Dorval, a Backpacker from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date Reviewed: 1/15/2001 12:06:58 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is awesome:lots of gear space, that's what you need! Whit practice you can set it up pretty fast alone. I've been in the Canadian Rockies a number of time and this tent gave me the luxury a home when I hit bad weather... Spacious enough for two, a condo for one. Well ventilated, no condensation water inside in the morning. The two doors are a MUST. I've managed to stake out the main door whit walking poles into a cooking area when the rain is too cold to whitstand... The only small drawback is the imagination you need to make the tent taut like a drum! I've used it in my country severe winter weather, it's a four season tent. Yes! but don't use it below -10C and in a snowstorm, the tent won't love you. It is good for early winter conditions. It is a bit too heavy for solitaire trekking, but it's a very light four season tent.
Buy it if you need excellent gargo space, if you need a totaly waterproof tent whit good ventilation, if you are weight concious (4seasons) and if you like North Face gear quality!

Customer Service:
Customer service is flawless.

Similar Products Tried:
North face coriolis (wow! 3season)
Mountain Hardwear solitude (cannot compare it is a
2.5lbs solo tent)
Eureka glacier 2 (no match!)

 

 
  Reviewed by: Lemons, a Backpacker from Miss.
Date Reviewed: 1/13/2001 8:20:29 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I also use the POLARIS model of this tent. The tent seemed a little hard to set up by myself at first, but after 2 or 3 more times its pretty easy. The tent is a little heavy, but 4 season tents are supposed to be. The double doors are a must have. After using them, I can't imagine doing without now. The vestibules on this tent are very large, definitely big enough for all of your gear. The tent appeared to be factory sealed, but TNF recommended re-sealing certain seams. They even provided the seam-sealant. I would recommend this tent for anyone. I got mine on sale for $200 at Campmor.

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka Mountain Pass
 

 
  Reviewed by: Josh Dillard, a Mountaineer from SC
Date Reviewed: 12/30/2000 8:15:04 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a great tent. It is a little hard to set up though. It is very storng in the wind and water proof defenelty worth $250.

Customer Service:
North face customer service is great.

Similar Products Tried:
Moutain Harwear

 

 
  Reviewed by: Russell, a Backpacker from Anchorage, AK
Date Reviewed: 11/13/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent features all of the standard North Face features--continuous pole sleeves, Easton aluminum poles, etc. The vestibule is enormous (almost as big as the inside of the tent) and stays pretty dry unless you're on a hill. Easy to guy out and tighten once you practice a few times. Once you seam seal it, it'll never leak. I love this tent.

Customer Service:
North Face is one of the best outdoor manufacturers around.

Similar Products Tried:
Some kind of Quest tent. It broke. No surprise.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Todd Kramer, a Backpacker from Davis, CA
Date Reviewed: 10/15/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I use the POLARIS model; identical to the Nebula, just a tad smaller ... still 4 season and plenty of room for storage, and a pound less to carry. Great price, too. Double door, tent and vestibule; give the wife the big door. Good wind and wet protection.

Similar Products Tried:
Sierra Designs Meteor Lite
 

 
  Reviewed by: J.W., a Backpacker from Memphis, TN
Date Reviewed: 9/8/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I find the tent to be a good value for the money. It's dry, sheds a respectable amount of wind, provides good ventilation, and it has plenty of vestibule space for two people. I didn't like backpacking alone with it (weight and setup wise), but with two people, setup and takedown are quick and the weight is easily distributed. If you want a good backpacking tent for two people, you can't go wrong with this tent.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Tom Bizzell, a Backpacker from Austin, Texas
Date Reviewed: 8/24/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
The tent is a good all around tent. It may be a little heavy for backpacking.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Russell, a Backpacker from Anchorage, AK
Date Reviewed: 8/8/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I like this tent--simple as that. I suppose that for $200 more you could get a better tent, but who needs it? This tent is easy to set up (I like the continuous pole sleeves) and very easy to tighten with the guylines. It keeps me dry, and the vestibules are huge!

Similar Products Tried:
Quest (I don't know the model)
 

 
  Reviewed by: anthony, a Backpacker from cambridge
Date Reviewed: 8/7/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
North Face Nebula On the first outing the floor leaked sufficiently to wet books, bags and clothes. Poor quality tent. Returned it. I have noticed several North Face products to be inferior. Time for a Harvard Business School study!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Brian Asch, a Climber from Oakland, California
Date Reviewed: 5/1/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
All I can say is that when you purchase a tent, take it up to Mt. Shasta in the middle of winter, pitch it on the snow with no tarp or footprint and it stays dry, and warm while it continues to snow for the next 2 days, pretty cool tent. I love my North Face Nebula! Pitches fast and easy- no complaints. If I wanted anything more I would nave bought a gore-tex true four-season tent. But I didn't need to!

Customer Service:
My old tent pole broke and I needed it fixed in a hurry so I called up The North Face and took it to them and they fixed it for me and I was on my way in ten minutes. Great customer service!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeremy Bishko, a Climber from Durham, NH
Date Reviewed: 3/26/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is not that great. It leaked in a rainstorm, and is just very loose. It is almost impossible to make this tent taught. TNF really bombed on this. I returned mine and got a SD Tiros Convertable CD. This tent is a rock. Simply amazing.


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