It’s been about 10 years since I first met my wife – that meeting, though, spelled doom for my old tent. It was an aging model from The North Face; it was so old that I can’t even remember the model. But it had room for three, a main door and two sphincter-like hatches your could escape from should a bear attack the front door (I’m presuming that’s why there were there) … and the grimy funk of more than a decade of teenage/twenty-ish male flatulation, sweat and abuse.
Anyway, I loaned my then-girlfriend my tent for an expedition to the Grand Canyon with her friends. The first night they pitched it, said grimy funk angrily awakened from its tent tomb like Elvis might’ve after hearing that the late Michael Jackson married his daughter.
“Does your dude smell like that?” one of the campers pointedly asked.
My wife-to-be defended my hygiene, but spent the next few years jabbing withering insults at my beloved tent, which was less than portable shelter and more a repository of memories.
I eventually wound up at the late, fairly great Popular Outdoor. There, I scored a deal on a more modern tent – this one The North Face Rock 22 tent.
Over the past few years, I’ve had some chances to use The North Face Rock 22 tent in a variety of places and weather conditions. And I can’t help being even more pleased with it than I was with its smelly predecessor. It’s been nearly blown aloft by strong winds in Prescott, Ariz. It’s been subjected to freezing temperatures in the high desert. It’s been pelted by rain in the Landmannalaugar highlands of Iceland.
Not a drop of water has leaked into it. No pole has broken. There’s not a rip or tear anywhere. And it can endure being compressed to a size small enough to fit into a pack loaded for two weeks of mixed backpacking and civilized vacationing.
That makes The North Face Rock 22 tent pretty impressive. Even better, it only needs two poles. That’s fewer things to lose or break. It goes up in moments, which is really nice when you want nothing more that to dive into a comfy sleeping bag for a good night of sleep.
If I my Rock 22 disappeared or met some horrible fate that made it as smelly as my original tent, I’d buy another one in a second. According to The North Face Web site, it’s going for $189.
That makes The North Face Rock 22 tent a good buy for two adults who don’t camp in the snow. Pair it with quality sleeping bags, and you’ll still be able to use it when he temperatures plummet.