The Triarch 1 is aimed at those who enjoy their alone time in the mountains. This tent is well suited for multi day hikes, mountaineering or a weekend of car camping with the fellas. A true quiver of one. With several set up options you have the ability to tailor the Triarch for the specific needs of any particular trip. At under 3lbs including fly, tent , poles and footprint all in a small pack size there just isn't really a need to settle for a bivy. Too good to be true? I had three weeks to put it through the paces and here's my take.
The fly only pitch offers plenty of shelter, loads of venting and weight savings.
Tent only pitch.
When choosing the appropriate shelter for an upcoming trip a the major consideration is how much weight do I want to carry? The Triarch has three pitching options for those with a “take what you need” approach to trips. The full weight of the tent, poles, tent stakes , fly and foot print is 1280g, if precipitation isn't an issue you can leave the fly and save some grams at 1100g or alternatively use the fly only pitch at 860g. With the average bivy weighing 400g to 600g having the extra room and protection from the elements at the cost of a few hundred grams is quite appealing. Also Setting up this tent is extremely straight forward and well thought.
All three configurations follow the same basic pitching procedures. The tent poles that form the Triarch are permanently affixed while the second pole is used to widen out the top of the tent for some extra head space. Simply lay the tent out, assemble the poles and clip. The fly sits above the pole assembly and to ensure the fly door lines up with the tent door, line up the single red corner of the tent with the single red corner of the fly for the correct pitch. Pitching the fly only option follows this same process just swap the tent ( leave it at home ) for the footprint and you are done. The one drawback with this pitch is that the second pole doesn't have a proper place to sit. The pole is somewhat wedged into place pushing awkwardly on the fabric of the fly. I found this odd so it is possible that this pitch doesn't include the second pole but at a cost of less usable space and the fly less taught. A simple fabric pocket to sit the pole into could have been an easy solution. Tent only pitch , leave the fly behind. Easy. When using this tent even a slight breeze can relocate your shelter so having the tent stakes in use is almost a requirement. The Northface claims a great strength-to-weight ratio and I found this to be completely accurate. Rocky ground, roots and the blunt end of a camp hatchet posed no issue for the stakes. A notch at the top of the stake sits the guy line firmly and securely in place so your shelter is sure to be exactly where you left it.
Fly only makes for an awkward shape. It's possible it the second pole isn't meant to be included but most of the head space would be lost.
Second pole with the tent only pitch doesn't have a real home. Awkwardly wedged in place.
Tent only, side profile. Best to point this end into the wind.
The main reason to choose a tent over a bivouac for your solo adventures quite simply, is comfort. Not all our adventures are first ascents in remote mountain ranges and sometimes its nice to do a little light reading before turning in. The Triarch does a great job of being surprisingly spacious for such a lightweight offering. The actual tent width is 65cm, actual length is 203cm and the inside stand height is 85cm. The triple arch design maximizes the amount of usable space, as a result the “toe box” and head space is quite generous. While sleeping, the abundant width of the tent meant I could lay flat on my back with room to spare on either side and was plenty of room to spare for my pack. Ventilation is adjusted by widening the fly with the guy lines, obviously there lots of ventilation when the fly is not in use. There are two fair sized built in gear loft pockets and plenty of gear loops available for customizing the interior of the tent. The ample stand height makes it easy to get changed in the privacy of your tent without having your limbs hitting every side of your shelter in the process.
- Lightweight, freestanding architecture
- Single-door side entry
- Vaulted head and footbox for maximum space
- Vertical side walls and dry entry
- Multiple mesh colors provide a little privacy without any extra weight
- Multiple fly configurations so you can tune breathability
- Ample tabs for hanging headlamps, drying lines or gear lofts
- DAC poles and stakes provide an unparalleled strength-to-weight ratio
- Fly only pitch
- High-low venting
- Gear loft and footprint included
Tent pole connections are sturdy and robust.
Pole clip, simple and light, just how we like it.
Permanently affixed pole assembly.
Second pole in use.
Full pitch side profile
Front view with door and vestibule open.
Loads of interior space for one plus gear.
Large built in gear loft.
If you are looking to set out on your next solo adventure whether its bike touring, multi-day hiking or just a simple night away and you prefer a free standing shelter over the idea of sleeping in the dirt the The North Face Triarch 1 Tent makes an excellent fit. With an easy to set up configuration, several pitch options that can be tailored to the specific needs of any trip, to a weight that is pack friendly it's difficult to justify roughing it with the mosquitoes when you can be safe and dry in your tent.
Price: $329 CAD
Weight: 1280g / 2lbs 8oz (Fly only: 880g/ 1lbs 15oz)
Total floor area: 1.6 m² /16.9 ft²
Vestibule area: 0.86 m² / 9.3 ft²
- Versatility. Three pitching options
- Lightweight with the lightest configuration of 880g
- Quick set up under five minutes
- User Friendly
- Ample room in the stuff sack
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Lightweight plus large surface area does catch the wind
- Seems to be missing a pole pocket in the fly only pitch
Interior Space 2/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.