The North Face Alpine Guide 3

8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = ( score (8.5)/10

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
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The North Face Alpine Guide 3 Review Facts

The North Face Alpine Gude 3 gives backpackers and mountaineers the peace of mind knowing when they get to their campsite they will have their tent pitched in a matter of minutes. Only after a few minutes of setup, you will be able to unload the rest of your pack and get everything set up in no time. This tent is also lightweight enough that you will barely notice it in your pack and it will not break your back.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Attached fly
  • Large vestibule
  • Multiple access points
  • Easy setup
  • Built-in storage compartments
  • Lightweight
  • Escape hatch
  • The vestibule walls do not go all the way down to the ground, potentially causing snow to blow onto gear
  • Only room for persons sleeping, not for gear
  • Snow collects on the roof of the tent
  • Some build up of condensation

Key Features

-Hybrid tent for high alpine to low elevation environments
-Waterproof, lightweight, and breathable material
-Super-durable and comfortable in the harshest conditions
-Space for all your gear in the large vestibule located in the front of the tent
-Ventilation and easy access to the outside through the back door escape hatch located at the rear of the tent
-Increased breathability through a dual top vents
-Designed for an easy setup
-DAC stakes
-DAC NSL Featherlite poles


The North Face Alpine Guide 3 is a four season tent and it can withstand the fridged winter temperatures to the April rains. The tent is constructed and designed to withstand strong winds while remaining stable and it can also withstand hurricane force rains. If you are looking for an all-purpose tent that provides stability, durability and comfort the Guide 3 fits. The Guide 3 will fit easily in a pack or in a sidecar of a motorcycle. The Guide 3 has been a top choice among adventure goers because of the lightweight, packed compact size, ease of setup, and comfort.


The North Face Alpine Guide 3 is designed for three people. The total floor area of the tent is 38.4 square feet with the vestibule area measuring in at 27.5 square feet. The tent provides enough spaces for mates, sleeping bags and all your gear. It also has enough head space to sit up comfortably when just relaxing to get away from the elements. This tent features three main windows which are two part. This first part has mesh and the second part is a covered material that keeps out the elements. The windows are easy to adjust, unzipper the cover leaving the mesh zipped up for airflow or unzip both to have access to the outside. One of the three windows is large than the rest, which makes it exit hatch for easy access the outside or reaching in for quick assess to gear on the inside.

The vestibule on this tent provides adequate space, there is actually enough space in this area where you can comfortably sit and make a meal or your morning coffee. The vestibule also has two doors making the transition from the outside in easy. When inside the tent you will notice there are storage pockets to keep all your organized and easily accessible either by reaching in through the hatch door or when laying in your sleeping bag.


The North Face Alpine Guide 3 is designed for backpackers and mountaineers due to the lightweight and construction. The tent weights on average of 7 pounds 8 ounces on the trail, and that is a low average weight compared to other backpacking tents. The Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian 3 Tent has a similar design and construction as the Alpine Guide 3 but it weighs 9 pounds 4 ounces. When packing all your gear in your hiking backpack you need to be mindful of the weight of each item you place in the pack because each ounce counts. When comparing the two tents the almost 2 pounds difference could make all the difference when you have to carry everything else you need.


The North Face Alpine Guide 3 is designed and constructed with high-quality material. The fly material is made up of 30 denier nylon ripstop with 1500 mm polyurethane coating. The polyurethane coating is applied to the surface of the material to provide needed protection. Polyurethane coating protects base material from weathering, abrasion, corrosion and other elements that could degrade material over a period of time. When looking at the 1500mm it means the fabric of the tent can withstand 1500mm or 5 feet column of water over a minute before a drop of water might enter the fabric of the tent. So basically 1500 mm is strong enough to withstand rain from entering the tent in a hurricane-force storm with 75 mph winds. By combining the 1500mm and the polyurethane coating, this optimizes the strength and waterproofness of the tent while still making it lightweight.

The tent’s floor material is constructed of 40 denier nylon and 3000 Polyurethane coating. This material on the floor provides strength and waterproofing to prevent water from leaking in from the ground. The canopy is constructed of 30 denier nylon ripstop material. Ripstop material provides reinforcement to help improve the resistance to ripping and tearing. Ripstop material is designed by weaving a strong thread which forms a crosshatching with a visible grid pattern in the fabric. With this stitching, it improves the strength of the material and also makes any holes or tears less likely to become bigger by preventing the ability to spread. The tent mesh is also constructed of 15 denier nylon.

Ease of Use

The Alpine Guide 3, is designed for easy set up with the fly being attached directly to the tent. This feature is also convenient because if you find yourself in some extreme weather when it is time to set up camp, you can ensure dryness of the inside of the tent during set up. With the fly being attached to the top, you will not have to worry about rain or snow entering the tent. The tent is only has a few poles making setup easy and it can be done without trouble with just one person.


The North Face Guide 3 is a strong and durable tent but if you want extra protection you can purchase The North Face Alpine Guide 3 Footprint. The footprint helps prolong the life of the tent, the footprint protects the tent’s floor from wet and cool or abrasive grounds. The footprint is designed to fit perfectly under the tent and the material is constructed of silicone coated nylon 40 denier. The footprint would be a great accessory to have if you will be tenting in wetter conditions because it will give you additional peace of mind knowing there is no chance water will seep into the tent. The footprint is designed to attach to the bottom of the tent with exact holes for the stakes and poles to ensure it stays secure to the bottom of the tent.


Durability starts with the DAC stakes that are included with the tent. DAC stakes are the perfect and best choice for smaller tents because of the stakes are lightweight, strong and durable because they are constructed of Aluminum TH72N-T6. The DAC stakes can endure light hammering and they are designed for stronger soil. The stakes are like the foundation of the tent. Then comes the tent poles. Combining Featherlite and DAC into a tent a pole provides a durable construction of the tent. The NSL tent pole system permits the tent to have more shape which provides more comfort inside while remaining durable. The NSL tent pole system provides the lowest weight possible for tent poles and which makes it a top choice of most tent designers. The Featherlite pole is expanded on one end and the connecting end is slightly reduced in size to connect each section of the pole. The poles are an aluminum alloy which is strong and is very lightweight. DAC poles are a key quality feature in mountaineering and backpacking tents.


The North Face first introduced the Alpine Guide 2, this tent is designed for two people. The Alpine Guide 2 and 3 are designed almost exactly alike. Both tents are constructed with a single wall on half, attached fly which is a great design because the tents can be put in extreme weather without getting the inside the tent wet or full of snow. The Alpine Guide 2 is designed for two people and while Guide 3 is designed for three people. The vestibule on the Guide 2 is also slightly smaller and the total floor square footage is 35.8 square feet with the vestibule being 10.3 square feet. While the Guide 3 is larger with a total of 38.4 square feet for the floor area with the vestibule measure at 27.5 square feet. The vestibule on the Guide 3 is almost twice the size than the Guide 2. Both the Guide 2 and Guide 3 are excellent tents constructed for the elements and if comes down to how many people will sleeping in the tent and how much gear will have to be put in the tent. The Guide 2 is perfect for 1 or 2 people with an average amount of gear and the Guide 3 is designed for 2-3 people and a lot of gear. When looking at price, the Guide 2 is slightly less than the Guide 3, so with the extra room which provides more comfort may be worth the extra cost.


The North Face Guide 3 is stable, durable and provides comfort. When comparing the Guide 3 to other products on the market you will find the price is very comparable. When comparing one tent to another you need to look at all accepts because each tent on the market provides something a little different compared to another. Comparing the Guide 3 to Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian 3, both tents are constructed for four-season use, have vestibules and designed for backpackers. The two differences are the weight and outside accessibility into the tent. The Tasmanian does provide a lot of the same durability as the Guide 3, but you have to climb into the tent to access your gear if it’s not in the vestibule area and it lacks accessible access to the inside of the tent through the window system. The price of the Guide 3 may be higher than the Tasmanian but you get more with the Alpine Guide 3. When purchasing a backpacking or mountaineering tent, you need to keep in mind that durability and stability should be one of the top features you look for in a tent along with the weight. Finding these three things in a tent, it will ensure you have an enjoyable adventure.


The North Face products are covered by a lifetime warranty to the original owner for manufacturing defects in workmanship and materials for the life of the product. This warranty covers the manufacturing defect in which they will repair the product without charge, or replace it at their discretion. The product must not be altered or modified in any way in order for it to be covered under the warrant. The warranty does not cover damage that was caused by improper care, normal wear, and tear, negligence, or natural breakdown of materials and colors over a long period of use and time. If there is damage that is not covered under warranty the product may be repaired for a reasonable fee. Remember the product lifetime warranty only applies to the original owner for the products lifetime.

Bottom Line

The North Face Alpine Guide 3 is designed by Alpine Ascents International and Peter Athans. The tent uses a hybrid innovative design to succeed in high alpine environments. The Alpine Guide 3 is constructed with a double wall at the front and single wall in the rear. The double wall has a large fly that enhances breathability and weather protection. With the dual wall construction, it helps with reduces packing space and weight without interfering with the weather protection. The fly also creates a spacious vestibule to store hiking gear when the weather outside is bad. So overall, the Alpine Guide 3 is an all-around versatile tent for mountaineers and backpackers.