While the North Face Evolution 45 has been discontinued, I am still recommending it as an excellent 3 man tent for those who need expedition tent quality. The North Face Himalayan 47 is still being produced of course, and is North Face’s replacement for the venerable Himalayan Hotel. The availability of the Evolution 45 will obviously be limited, so let me just say that if you can use, or need an excellent expedition tent that will handle 3 men easily at 12 pounds, this is a great tent if you can find one. I bought both of the tents I own off of E Bay for under $325 each brand new. If I had any complaints about these tents, and the same will go for the larger Himalayan 47 it is probably the annoyance of needing to latch all the Velcro closures on the fly to the tent poles, but this does keep the fly where it needs to be. As for weight, the Evolution 45 is heavy for a one man deal! Any idiot can figure this out, but I don’t see it as an issue for two guys, and certainly not for three. Both models of tents have excellent ventilation with spacers that keep the fly from contacting the body of the tent proper, and the adjustable guy out lines are a very nice feature, and placed very well. Both tents look similar, but the Evolution 45 actually has a square cut floor with 51 sq. ft. of space, whereas the larger Himalayan is more of a classic dome shape (65 sq. ft.), which does tend to waste some theoretical space. I say theoretical, because if you had a square cut floor, you could easily get six adult men in the tent I am sure, but as it stands we put five adults across the width of the tent with heads toward the rear door, and feet toward the front, and this left close to a 3 ft. space on each side of the outer person which was convenient for storing whatever needed to be inside. Although a 15 pound of tent is way more than what I want to haul in sheep country for 2 men, the same tent for three guys provides comfort that can really be enjoyed in the worst of conditions. This tent is routinely used at Everest base camps, and I find it quite spacious after years of being in much tighter spaces. The overall workmanship on the tents is as good as I have found, poles are top notch, bathtub floor is great, and the number of pockets, and windows is more than adequate. I haven’t experienced any severe storms in any of these tents at this time (nothing over 50 mph), so I can’t personally say how they would perform in 100 mph winds, but I feel they will stand up to the task with anything else of this shape or size on the market. I purchased the Himalayan 47 from E Bay (in June of 2004) brand new at $566 including shipping, but the normal retail price is $699. Overall I can’t really find anything worth complaining about with these two tents, but to be fair, I will say that there are a few things that bug me.
The Velcro attachments to the fly, while useful, are not really something you want to fool with during setup in frigid wind chills on a dark mountainside. North Face sells gear lofts and footprints separately and I thinks this is ridiculous, since they should be included for the price of these tents. Entering and exiting the doorway through the front vestibule is more difficult than what I like, and quite a few of my clients seem to struggle with this, but low profile vestibules tend to suffer in this fashion. We had some condensation build up in vestibule up front, but this is to be expected. apart from these little bugs, I really can’t find anything to complain about.Back to Gear Reviews