The North Face Triarch 1
- Lots of head space thanks to steep, high walls
- Long for tall hikers
- Under two pounds
- Second lowest in set on floor area
- High profile catches wind
The biggest draw of the North Face Triarch 1 is its sub-two-pound trail weight with a roomy vestibule and vertical interior thanks to the near vertical walls. Although those walls are the cause of its biggest limitation—its high profile is susceptible to catching the wind. It also has a relatively tight footprint in the main body.
The Triarch has 9.3 square feet of vestibule area, which is the biggest by far in this test set (the next-biggest vestibule area is 7 square feet). The walls of the body are steep, which makes for good headroom, but the overall interior floor area is the second smallest in the set, with only 16.9 square feet. The height-to-width ratio tends towards the tall, which will be good for some hikers and will leave others pushing every possible item out into the vestibule.
The North Face Triarch has a trail weight of 1 pound 15 ounces, which makes it one of the four tents in this test set that weighs less than two pounds. It is the heaviest among these ultralight tents, and makes up for its heavier weight with strong weather resistance (when oriented with the wind), and living area. The tent rolls up into a small cylinder that is easy to pack.
First time setup for our tester took 6:00, which sets it firmly among the slower tents of the test set. There is one aluminum H-style pole set and one small pole that props up the zenith of the ridgeline and adds headspace but also increases the wind profile. Getting the fly oriented can slow down setup. The corners of the fly attach firmly with a thin but durable tie-down.
The Triarch’s H-style main pole and smaller zenith pole give the tent a relatively high wind profile. This vulnerability is addressed with sturdy guy-lines on all four sides. When the corners, sides, and guy lines are all properly used, this is a very weatherproof tent, perhaps the most weatherproof among the sub-two pound tents.
The Triarch comes with tent, pole, and stake bags that are sturdy and have a small-gauge string cinch. Above the door there is a ventilation hoop, which can provide a small amount of extra ventilation even when it’s storming. The body is essentially all mesh, which makes it for great stargazing potential on cloudless-but-buggy nights. There is a small vestibule area on the back side.
Additional Product Specifications
Minimum Trail Weight: 1 lb 15 oz
Max / Packaged Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz
Interior Floor Area: 16.9 sq ft
Vestibule Area: 9.3 sq ft
Peak Interior Height: 38 in
How We Tested It
The tents in this test were used throughout the spring of 2017, mostly on a multi-week mountaineering trip that began at Mount Shasta and ended on Mount Olympus and hit Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier in between. Testing also took place in the central Sierra Nevada. The length and intensity of the trip allowed a close look at the performance of each tent, with a strong appreciation of the consequences of that performance.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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