The North Face Westwind
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One of the lightest quality expedition tents available the Westwind stands up well to serious expedition use and severe winter conditions. Sleeps two. Three hoop tunnel construction 9 guy points provide unparalleled support in extreme conditions. Colour-coded pole sleeves ensures easy pitching. Reflective guy lines guy-line loops and zipper pulls. Super wind-resistant profile can withstand winds of up to 80mph. Dual doors provide easy accessibility and venting options. Large vestibule for storage and sheltered cooking
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The North Face Westwind Reviews
Reviewed by N Johnston (Aberdeen) on 2006-01-20:
General comments: An excellent all-round tent for 4-season expeditions. Although the North Face Westwind uses a design originating in the 1980s, the performance in all the important areas is up there with the best of them. The unusual, and not particularly attractive, shape is actually quite practical with plenty room to stretch out, or sit up. Although a 2-man tent, the Westwind is sufficiently light to be used on 1-man trips, as the poles are really well engineered out of light but strong shock-corded aluminium alloy. The pegs are also very light and both easy to shove in to hard ground and pretty tenacious. With its bright yellow colour, you will never miss it in the mist. Fluorescent zip handles and reflective strip in the guy ropes are handy touches when stumbling around in the dark after nature has just called!
Pros: Well-made, still around after 20+ years so North Face must have got it right by now. Good size to weight ratio. Big porch. Water tight but well ventilated. Pretty bullet proof, with internal bracing possible when it gets really wild. Good value for money.
Cons: Not the easist to put up in a dark & windy night. 3 hoops to make through the inner tent, before you put the fly-sheet over. Not exactly prettty.
Reviewed by Paul Smith (Cannock) on 2006-02-21:
General comments: I have used my North Face Westwind since i purchased it in 1997 with part of my Student loan. I have used it in a whole range of weather conditions in both the Uk and europe. The design stands up well in very strong winds as long as it is pitched facing into the wind, and i personally have been inside it during a rough night wild camping in wales with 70 mph winds and ok there was a lot of movement but it didn't break, unlike all the tents we walked past the following morning.
Pros: Light weight, strong tent thats ideal for wild camping trips. Easy to pitch.
Cons: Thin ground sheet (but what do you expect on a light weight tent). Lack of porch space.
|This review has 3 comment(s):|
Joshua Joseph Hanson responded : With your student loan you bastard! I was down pit paying for that in 1997. (2011-03-08)
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Reviewed by Damon Ritchie (Perthshire) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: I am in 2 minds about this tent. I bought it for £325 as my first tent and a serious lack of knowledge of mountaineering tents. Unfortunatly the condensation was so bad on the front door and rear ventilation area inc. the bucket groundsheet that I contacted TNF who said because it was coated in silicone. (not the groundsheet). In its defence, it is super sturdy, spacious, quite light and packs down quites small (about a third of the original stuffsack size). Although, you will require 4 extra pegs, I lke the idea that the guylines (5 pairs) whch should be staked by one peg, can be staked individually when the wind gets up that few mph. Pithing is simple and quick (although I have stuck a marking on the longer pole as I kept sticking tit hrough the front sleave, as the are quite similar in length. Space is very good, with two internal side mesh pockets that stay tight and don't sag but I am not sure if 2 persons kit would fit in the porch. I am won of these walkers where the extra space is for my pooch yet he still crams me to one side to suck on the condensation. I lke the pegs for grip on wet and dry ground but the stuffsack, same as the pole stuffsack, it feels the tie with push button closure has been waxed making it difficult to push the nylon around the tie (very minor niggle of course, although I have changed them). Not sure wether to be embarresed by the colour, on a mountain slope covered in snow with a beautifel lochan in rear, you feel like your an alpinist tackling one of the greats, then pitching on a campsite, minus folding table and chair, you feel a bit....er..overdressed. Great reflective guy lines that caught my headtorch from quite far away when searching for it on Glenshiel's North Ridge. The thing that niggles me every time is that it never stays taught unless ure on a lush, level pitch, the front portion always seems to sag a bit and akin to finding the perfect pitch, I like my tent to be, and look perfectly taught with no saggy bits and creases.
Pros: Solid as a semi detched, Packs down fairly small, Internal space, Internal woven in loops at each point to string a strap around for a drying line or hanging odds and ends. Pegging is solid, Poles are very strong, lightweight and show no sign of deteriating.
Cons: The price I paid, MOST DEFINATELY CONDENSATION. all 3 stuffsacks (although the tent stuffsack is good for throwing in your smalls when visiting the laundrette, plus you look cool). External door area when you unzip it, any snow or water falls on the internal front door because of the angle it lies (although designed to create more space I guess). Rear ventilation area - never use it as when its open for ventilation, say halfway, you can really feel the cold air wafting through and I generally like to 'batton doon the hatches'
Reviewed by John (Somewhere) on 2006-03-19:
General comments: I got this North Face Westwind tent as a present and I have been very happy with it. I have used it in both full winter conditions and warm wet conditions. The tent takes some time to learn to pitch correctly, but nothing an afternoon in the garden wonít sort out. Once familiar however this tent goes up very quickly, and with the help of another the job is even easier. I usually end up pitching the tent in the dark, usually in strong winds or rain and I have never really experienced trouble. All the glow in the dark and reflective features are a real bonus. The tent is quite heavy, but the weight shared between two people is almost nothing and if the poles are strapped to the outside of your bag the rest of the tent packs away to almost nothing. I have found the tent to be durable and when pitched correctly very secure. I have had many good nights sleep in it. The main issue is condensation, it has been a problem on some occasions, but pitching the tail into the wind and learning to use the vents almost completely solves this. Worth the money though, particularly the deal prices available.Comment on this review...
Pros: Strong when pitched, light weight when shared between two people
Cons: Not a subtle colour, condensation, price
Reviewed by chris (glasgow) on 2006-05-24:
General comments: Had my TNF Westwind about a year now and have no complaints yet. In general American tents are not a waterproof as there British counterparts especially on the ground sheet but this one its tops. Very strong in the wind because of the three hoop design and is lighter than a geodesic tent because of this design as well less poles and less pole sleeves. The yellow colour is a little off putting being so conspicuous in the hills no stealth camping here and also wakes you up very early as it is so bright when the sun hits it but does make It look nicer outside than it really is not sure if thatís a good thing or not. Big enough for two with it and has a nice big porch as well really useful. Lots of head room for a mountain tent and im 6ft so that is loads. Pegs you get with is are really good as well strong and light proper mountain stakes not like the normal crap ones you get. Glow in the dark tabs is a nice touch as well good for returning from the pub, also reflective guy lines so no more tripping over them either. Generally a really nice tent.
Pros: good size
Cons: colour too bright
Reviewed by John (Somewhere) on 2006-06-05:
General comments: Since my last review, see above, there have been some developments regarding my tent which may be of interest to people. The tent has now been discontinued in Europe and replaced with the fortress tents but this comment relates to customer service. My ground sheet has never been very waterproof and has taken to absorbing water. I sent the tent back as a result and was told that it would be repaired free of charge. At this point I was very happy that I would get my tent back with a new ground sheet and it would all be ok.
When the tent was returned to me it still suffered from the same water absorption problem. Equally, some rubbish I had accidentally left in the tent inner was still in the tent. This item was an old chocolate bar wrapper, clearly litter. This led me to question whether the tent inner had been repaired at all. To be fair however the broken guy line had been sorted. I am not sure if any attempt had been made to fix the inner, but I do know that north face are now reluctant to refund me my money for what is clearly an unsuitable tent.Comment on this review...
Reviewed by SEA KAYAKER (Northern Ireland) on 2006-07-21:
General comments: I have now owned my North Face Westwind for around 18 years. It is one of the older models with the grey flysheet but it does have the entrance on both sides of the bell which was a new feature when I bought it. It cost around £299.
This is tent has been quite simply fantastic. It has been a reliable and pleasant home over this period including a six week expedition in Northern Iceland and 6 weeks in Arctic Norway. I use the tent on average 8-10 nights a month during the summer and around one weekend a month during the winter. When I was a student I worked out that two years in a row the total nights spent in it added up to 3 months of each year. I hope this illustrates that in addition to the age of this tent it has been well used. Almost all of this use has been wild camping from a rucsac, kayak or canoe.
When camping with others I always find that I can put this tent up as quickly as any other model even those that pitch inner and outer together. The tent is bombproof in wind if properly pitched / guyed and the lightweight pegs do the job well and are kind to your hands.
I tend to pack the tent in a drybag for kayakaing and without the poles and pegs it stuffs easily into less than half the space of a 10l dry bag. I haven't seen a true expedition tent that packs smaller or that is lighter. Inside the tent is very light and airy, on a few occasions I have been storm bound in it for upto three days and there is plenty of room to move about and get dressed. In particular it seems to be higher than other expedition tents and has good sitting room.
I regularly use this tent solo (is not much heavier than 1 person designs) or share it with a partner. In fact the tent is so light I have used it on a number of Mountain Marathons and Adventure Races.
Despite all this the tent has a relatively small footprint and it isn't usually a problem to find somewhere to put it up.
The poles are very strong but over the years I have replaced around 5 sections which had become chipped - my local outdoor shop had some spare. Recently I have found the poles are starting to split at the ends - I priced a new set but this was the same price as a new tent - gaffer tape has fixed the problem nicely. My model had no pole identification so I added some coloured tape to avoid confusion at the end of long days.
I had originally wanted a tent with a door at each end but this hasn't been a problem. The bell is a good size but due to the angle of the fly it i
Pros: Good Points..
Small Pack Size
Pitches quickly and with no baggy bits
Good Internal storage
Good sized bell
Cons: Bad Points
Terrible groundsheet but an acceptible compromise for me
Poles can chip at the ends
Reviewed by Steve Loughran (Bristol) on 2006-08-26:
General comments: I've had this tent since 1993, used it in the dolomites, patagonia, up and down the US west coast mountain ranges, and near pubs in the peak district. Mine was the cheery blue version, not the yellow version, which is the only colour they do now.
Was, note not *is*. for reasons I will get to.
the best bit about this tent is its weight; its light enough to carry on your back or in panniers, and the strength. I've used it in patagonian storms and most of the wind went straight over. it was comfy in there, no matter how wet and windy outside.
that is, provided you unzip most of the front door to stop condensation from hell creeping in. Because the entire front and back door were rubber coated, they dont let vapour through. if it gets cold outside, vapour condenses the moment it hits the doors, which then drips onto your head or feet. The only solution is to make the tent colder by going into "mesh mode', letting the vapour out. Ifs the price of storm proofing, I guess.
the other problem is that after 13 years the tent has died on me. I got it out on a campsite after a two year break to discover the that somehow all the rubber had gone sticky. Every bit of the groundsheet sticks to every other bit, same for the walls. I though this was something like pine resin, but no, its the tent itself. I dont know what has happened -heat, some other failure, but the tent isnt usable any more. Still, 13 years for $350 is pretty a good life. If I didnt have a version I'd bought in the TNF outlet, I'd have the lifetime guarantee and could send it back. I suppose I could still just get a new inner...
Pros: -Bombproof -no wind or water gets in.
-divides well into two halves, one for each team member
-fits into bike panniers
Cons: -condensation unless you "run cold"
-only one way in
-pitches inner first
-not easy to move the tent once pitched
-my version didnt have taped flysheet seams, though this has changed now.
Reviewed by Paul Smart (aberdeenshire, scotland) on 2008-06-23:
General comments: I've had the tent for a few years now but this past weekend was the first it had taken any serious abuse by the weather. i pitched it above dundonnell about 500 feet from one of the summits on An Teallach during a howling gale. erection was quick but still very easy. Overnight the weather got worse with gusts of wind which my companion and i guessed ata around 70-80mph while rain battered down. in the morning we discovered we were now in a two inch deep puddle but the only moisture in the tent was from condensation. If thats not a testimony to extreme quality and weatherproofness i realy dont know what is.
i would recommend this tent to anyone who wants quality.Comment on this review...
Pros: excellent quality, light, water and windproof to extreme conditions
and unlike some i love the fact its brightly coloured (yellow/gold)
Cons: it was pricey when i bought it but well worth it. only slight moan is regarding the condensation issue but if you vent it, its not so bad
Reviewed by Angry (Tunbridge Wells) on 2008-06-27:
General comments: any one been paid for their reviews lately?
No money and their contact address is dead.....
Pros: Good reviews
Cons: No money or responses...
|This review has 4 comment(s):|
PAUL SMART responded : AGREED.. NO PAYMENT RECEIVED FOR REVIEWS!! (2008-06-28)
Buachaille.com responded :
Hi Paul & others,
Apologies, we've had some major problems in 2008 with our e-mail addresses being spammed to death hence we did not receive notification of your reviews. Please e-mail the new address by clicking "Contact Us" (at the foot of this page) to arrange payment. Once again, apologies for the inconvenience.
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Reviewed by Gary (Liverpool) on 2010-04-04:
General comments: I have been backpacking with this tent on various occassions , a little bit heavy for a one man backpaker, but well worth it, love the colour, i first slept in one in 1990 in the Cullins in skye, still a great tent.
Pros: Stuffs well in the bottom of your rucksack, great in any season, and worth the money. North Face still top of the range.
Cons: A little bit heavy for a single backpaker.
Reviewed by Jim Butler (Belfast) on 2010-09-13:
General comments: As per another comment above, found after getting tent out from a 2 year hiatus that groundsheet was all sticky as if the treatment had "melted" or something. Anyway I bought my tent 16-17 years ago and returned to original shop who sent it to TNF. TNF were going to charge £120 to replace groundsheet but shop argued on my behalf that it was purchased under lifetime warranty ( in the early 90`s ). TNF replaced sheet with something that, although a bit heavier than original, definitely feels superior. I love using this tent and it has never in the past let me down at all. Mine is an earlier version and is decked out in lovely greys, blues and beige colouration.Comment on this review...
Pros: Very, very resilient piece of kit.
Cons: Bit annoyed that TNF were ready to charge me for a fix BUT it worked out in the end and they have done a stirling job with the repair.
Reviewed by Lukas visin (Somewhere) on 2011-11-25:
General comments: I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find a west wind that was for sale I'm haveing the worst luck on finding one contactif so please contact
Reviewed by DaveP (London) on 2015-01-22:
General comments: I am the biggest unashamed fanboy of this tent. I've used it around the world in all conditions and it can take it all. It's surprisingly airy in heat, with the flysheet off and both ends open. There are scores of them iced into the cliffs of the highest mountains in the world, used as the last base for pushes to the summit. A friend who has climbed K2 says you can still use them.Comment on this review...
Pros: Bomb-proof and lightweight with room enough for your soggy socks and boots at the far end of the inner
Cons: Half a porch
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