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The Northface Slickrock--owner's review

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  • Peggy Dodson
    Slickrock Tent--owner s review (5/30/02) by Peggy Dodson When looking for a new tent this spring, my partner and I had several criteria in mind. Being a
    Message 1 of 2 , May 30, 2002
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      Slickrock Tent--owner's review (5/30/02)

      by Peggy Dodson

      When looking for a new tent this spring, my
      partner and I had several criteria in mind. Being a
      couple, we naturally wanted a tent that would
      comfortably sleep two people. We also wanted a little
      extra space for stowing gear. Our old tent was only
      big enough if we left the packs outside, and after a
      couple of rodent incidents, we decided it was best to
      bring our valuable equipment inside away from gnawing
      teeth. We also wanted a freestanding tent since we
      frequently camp in areas where it is impossible to use
      tent stakes. Since we wanted this tent primarily for
      backpacking, it needed to be lightweight and compact,
      too. After thorough researching and playing with a
      floor model at REI, we decided that The North Face
      Slickrock provided the best in all of these areas.

      After using the tent regularly for over two
      months, I have been able to assess how well this tent
      fits our needs. The floor dimensions are 50" by 72",
      which is just the right size to accommodate our two
      Camprest mattresses. We zip our mummy bags together,
      which leaves plenty of room on either side of our legs
      to stow the packs. Even with all the gear inside,
      we've found that we sleep comfortably in the space
      provided. Thus, we are no longer providing late night
      munchies to the rodents. This tent is provided with
      lightweight aluminum stakes; however, it is completely
      freestanding once the poles are inserted. As long as
      there is something inside to hold it down when the
      wind blows, the stakes are completely optional. As
      for weight, even with all of the components included
      (poles, stakes, tent, rain fly & stuff sack), the
      Slickrock is only 4 lb, 5 oz. The tent itself
      saves on weight by using mesh over roughly a third of
      the wall space. The rain fly saves on weight by only
      covering the mesh third of the tent. The rest of
      walls are made of a waterproof fabric which makes a
      fly unnecessary for those portions. The stuff sack
      has three compression straps which aid in making the
      tent a more compact bundle. The two end straps cinch
      in the
      opposite direction of the middle one. This allows
      even more compression potential.

      Regular use of the Slickrock has familiarized me
      with al ot of other little "bonuses" in it's
      construction. The large mesh "window" that I
      mentioned earlier provides maximum ventilation on warm
      nights. If it's a cold one, then the fly can be
      secured over that part of the tent to keep in body
      heat. There are small triangle shaped vents that can
      be opened to increase air circulation when the fly is
      on. Each vent has a rigid rectangle in it that props
      the vents open. The tent is incredibly easy to set
      up; it requires only two poles to do so. The poles
      themselves are threaded with shock cording so they
      practically assemble themselves. Some other perks
      include pockets in the corners for stashing small
      items, doors on both sides of the tent and
      glow-in-the-dark zippers pulls. These last two are
      especially convenient for those late night calls of

      We have used the tent in all different weather
      conditions including wind, snow and rain. The tent is
      so lightweight that wind can be a real issue. It must
      be weighted or staked down. It flies quite well if
      this isn't done. We have found that it sheds snow
      and rain equally well. Under cold conditions,
      condensation tends to collect on the inside of the
      tent, making it necessary to dry it out in the morning
      before packing it. The vents don't appear to provide
      enough air flow to prevent this.

      So far, I've been really pleased with this
      purchase. One thing that I do find lacking in it is
      headroom. Being a dome shaped tent, it is only
      possible for me to sit up straight if I'm in the very
      center of the tent. I am only 5'4" so I can see this
      being an even greater issue for taller folk. I have
      found it necessary to be quite creative about
      wriggling into clothes in the morning with the low
      ceiling. Other than that, we've found it suits our
      needs quite well. Obviously, there are trade-offs to
      be made in exchange for a lightweight, compact
      product. We have found that durability is not
      something that has been sacrificed in the construction
      of The North Face Slickrock. After more than two
      months of regular use, we have found no structural
      flaws. The zippers, mesh and fabric are all holding
      up nicely so far.

      Biographical Information For Peggy Dodson
      as of 5/30/02

      Weight--250 lb.
      Location--Missoula, MT, USA
      Backpacking experience--I have been hiking and
      camping for the past 24 years. My father was a scout
      master when I was young so I went on a lot of trips
      with his scout troop from age 4 on up. My family also
      visited Yellowstone, Glacier and The Grand Teton
      National Parks regularly when I was growing up, which
      always entailed camp outs and day hikes. Every summer
      we went on several camping trips and did plenty of
      hiking--primarily in Montana, Wyoming and the
      Pacific Northwest. I started backpacking a year ago
      and have gradually been working on increasing the
      distance and elevation gain of my trips. I have
      backpacked all over Western Montana in the past year,
      with a higher concentration of trips in the areas
      within an hour or two of Missoula. Nearly all of
      these trips have been at elevations greater than 4000
      ft with elevation gains of 500 ft or greater over the
      course of the hike. I take a couple of backpacking
      trips each month. I also take regular car camping
      trips and hike nearly every weekend. All this gives
      me ample opportunity to test my gear. So far my gear
      testing experience is limited to two beta tests for
      Cascade Designs; however, I have excellent writing
      skills and good analytical capabilities. I look
      forward to doing more gear testing in conjunction with
      this list.

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    • Andrew Priest
      Hi Peggy Thanks for the review. One typo I picked up needs correcting. In the third paragraph you have Regular use of the Slickrock has familiarized me with
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 2, 2002
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        Hi Peggy

        Thanks for the review. One typo I picked up needs correcting. In the
        third paragraph you have "Regular use of the Slickrock has familiarized me
        with al ot of other little "bonuses" in it's construction." I assume that
        this should read "Regular use of the Slickrock has familiarized me with ALL
        of THE other little "bonuses" in it's construction."

        I also notice that your report does not include the details required in the
        "Product Information" section of the BGT Survival Guide. Could you please
        include this information before uploading your report to the appropriate
        folder - TNF Sliprock in the |Files |Shelters |Tents section of the
        website. You can find the BGT Survival Guide at

        Regards Andrew Priest Group Monitor

        At 11:37 AM 31/05/2002, you wrote: Slickrock Tent--owner's review (5/30/02)
        Aushiker - Hiking in Western Australia - http://aushiker.cjb.net
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