Reviews praise the well-built The North Face Trailhead 8 three-room cabin tent for its excellent ventilation and full-coverage rainfly. Well-protected vestibules cover both doors and add space for gear. Owners say it withstands high winds and driving rain and is easy to pitch and later pack up again. The main drawback is that the zippers tend to snag on the storm flaps that keep rain from leaking through them. Ventilation is a source of some contention; users both praise the Trailhead for its vented rainfly and complain that the tent can get hot. If you don't need three rooms, consider the better-ventilated Big Agnes Big House 6 (*Est. $360), which also gets good reviews and costs less.
Big family tents are rarely included in comparison tests at Backpacker or Outside magazines, so we rely primarily on owner-written reviews. We found owner-written reviews of The North Face Trailhead 8 at Trailspace.com, Moosejaw.com, Backcountry.com and OutdoorReview.com. An editor at ConsumerGuide.com reviews and rates the smaller six-person tent, but without documenting any field tests.
The handful of users reviewing the Trailhead 8 tent here confirm that it's easy to set up, even in the pouring rain, provides plenty of space and stays dry. One reviewer notes that the side rooms have low ceilings. Four families also give mostly positive reviews here to the smaller Trailhead 6.
Review: The North Face Trailhead 8, Contributors to Trailspace.com
Just a few owners review the Trailhead 8 at this retailer site, enthusiastically praising its rain and wind resistance -- no sand blowing in -- plus the fact that the ample carrying bag makes it very easy to repack.
Review: The North Face Trailhead 8, Contributors to Moosejaw.com
Most of the owners reviewing the smaller six-person version of The North Face Trailhead praise its wind and rain resistance, but one notes that it can get very hot.
Review: The North Face Trailhead 6, Contributors to Backcountry.com
This long forum discussion about the smaller Trailhead 6 includes comments from a camper who reports that it has excellent ventilation, even with the fly on, stays dry and that the light color helps keep it cool. However, the zippers tend to snag in their storm flaps.
Review: The North Face Trailhead 6, Contributors to OutdoorReview.com
This brief single-product review praises the smaller Trailhead 6 tent for its sturdy construction, but gives it only an overall rating of "average," judging it relatively heavy and expensive.
Review: The North Face Trailhead 6 Family Tent Review, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, June 22, 2006