For many years The North Face have produced a wide variety of very high quality tents that have been favoured by outdoor enthusiasts. In this range they have always included a well designed model aimed at campers who are looking for a tent to use as a weekend base from where they can enjoy the great outdoors.
In recent years this general purpose tent has been the Rock 2 and 3. But 2014 has seen the launch of two new incarnations which are the Talus 2 EU and Talus 3 EU. Tent aficionados will no doubt be aware that the Talus range has been around in North America under various guises, but 2014 is the European release.
It must be noted that North American specific tents generally have more mesh in the inner than European tents. This is due to the drier American climate which is not necessarily the environment in Germany, France and the U.K. The boffins at The North Face have foreseen this problem and have created a European version of the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU. To avoid confusion they have handily added EU to the name.
In the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU the North Face have moved away from the dome design of the Rock tents and instead they make use of a twin arch construction with bracing pole. This gives the Talus a large amount of internal usable space, more than a dome of the same footprint. Although not as stable a dome tent, I think this is a good comprise made by The North Face as, the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU have not been designed to be used in extreme conditions. Taking that into account these are still sturdy 3 season tents that can stand up to most of the conditions the UK weather can throw at it. The construction of the three DAC Alloy poles allow the tent to be free standing and when pitched using the included guylines it will be able to cope with most winds. The flysheet is PU coated Polyester providing a barrier from the elements.
Pitching is an extremely simple affair. The Talus 2 EU and 3 EU are inner pitch first, with two long poles that provide the shape. These poles are easy to tension with the inner or groundsheet. Then it is a simple case of attaching a third pole which acts as a brace before clipping the inner to the poles. The final element is to add the fly and apply tension. In all it’s less than a five minute job. As they are “traditional pitch” tents, both the Talus 2 and 3 can be pitched fly only, at no extra cost as a groundsheet protector is included with the tent!
I found the Talus tents to be nice and bright, without being overly so as to hamper my sleep. There is plenty of room to sit up inside, with the pole design giving a feeling of space. At over 6 foot there is enough length in both the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU for myself, a sleeping bag and sleeping mat. For me these are important factors as I would prefer to carry a little more weight to gain some additional room, a factor which can often be missing from the lighter weight tents on the market.
In the roof space of the Talus tents is a integral gear loft, combined with the pockets it allows smaller items to be stored easily. Both Talus tents have a large doors with room for easy entrance. The vestibules are large enough to set up a stove and cook when the weather is poor.
Talus 2 EU and 3 EU Differences
The biggest difference between the two tents apart from the obviously size difference, is that the Talus 2 EU has a slightly different design to the Talus 3 EU. The Image below shows that the Talus 3 EU on the right has a symmetrical design this enables the tent to have 2 full size vestibules and entrances. The Talus 2 EU on the other hand only has one entrance and vestibule. You can see as indicated by the arrow on the image that the shaded area is smaller than the corresponding area on the other side of the tent. The smaller area can be used for storage, being accessed from the inner tent by a semi circular “cat flap”.
Improving the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU
If I was asked by The North Face for an improvement in the tent it would be in the construction of the doors.
Both the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU lack a double door, instead they have doors which are half mesh and half fabric. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this as you get light and ventilation. However, there are times when you may want a little more privacy which is gained from a full fabric door. From a practical point of view if the wind was blowing and even with fly shut cold air would still get into the inner tent through the mesh. This is perhaps a remnant of the tent’s original North American origins or is a factor in that has been designed to cover the whole European market as opposed to Northern Europe. Although for the North Face’s targeted audiences I doubt this will be an issue.
As you would expect from The North Face the Talus tents offer excellent value for money at a little over the £200 mark. Which tent out of the two you would go for is a personal choice. I personally favour the Talus 3 EU as a “strapping” six footer the additional length, height and width for me is much more of an advantage than the negative of carrying more weight around, the £20 difference in RRP between the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU isn’t huge and I would pay the extra. It must be said that the Talus 2 EU is in its own right a good sized 2 person tent and has more room than for example the MSR Hubba Hubba NX.
|TNF Talus 2 EU||TNF Talus 3 EU|
|Inner Tent Area (LxWxH):||220x132x101cm||226x160x116cm|
|RRP (Feb 2015):||£210||£230|
The market the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU are in is extremely competitive and there are number of tents at similar weights or prices, including Vango’s Halo 200 and Halo 300, MSR’s Elixir 2 and Elixir 3 and Snugpak’s Scorpion 2 and Scorpion 3 to name a few. Perhaps with this in mind The North Face have included a groundsheet protector and gear loft into the deal. Buying these individually for a tent would cost in the region of £50, so this is a nice extra and, unlike a lot of free gifts are completely usable.
Overall, I think the North Face have done a good job in creating the Talus 2 EU and 3 EU, they are solid, 3 season tents, they look good with a two tone design, are easy to pitch and have plenty of room. They are ideal for people on a budget or for people who want a good quality first tent from one of the outdoor industries’ leading brands.