The North Face’s Coveted Geodome Tent Is Finally Available in the US
It's already big in Japan. Now it's poised to take over US campsites.
In the US, The North Face has a reputation for being a more streetwise alternative to function-first outdoor brands like Patagonia, Arc’teryx and Mountain Hardwear. While their technical garb isn’t quite up to the snuff of some of their rivals, they more than make up for it by cranking out a steady stream of capsule collections with hypebeast-friendly collaborators like Supreme and HAVEN.
Which brings us to Japan. In Japan, The North Face is fashion bedrock, a horizontally integrated brand that dominates not only campsites, but catwalks and sidewalks as well. Consider their collections with designers Kazuki Kuraishi and Junya Watanabe, or the previously exclusive-to-Japan North Face Purple Label, which does couture sendups of flagship items like the Nupse Jacket and Denali Fleece. In other words, Japan essentially has its own, much cooler version of The North Face, and tons of the gear available there never makes it overseas.
The reason behind this is a bit complicated: a Japanese apparel company called Goldwin distributes the North Face in Japan and South Korea, and also owns Purple Label. Before anything exclusive to Japan can make the move abroad, Goldwin needs the blessing of VF, The North Face’s parent company. Needless to say, when the Japanese stuff does come stateside, as Purple Label did earlier this year, teenagers with too much money to spend go apeshit.
And the internet went similarly apeshit this week, when The North Face’s highly coveted Geodome 4 Tent, a longtime Japan and South Korea staple, finally hit US stores.
As you can probably tell from the photos above, the Geodome is not a tent for people who camp outside of retail stores trying to get their hands on highly resellable parkas (though it would certainly work for that). Based on a design by architect Richard Buckminster-Fuller, the expedition-ready rig features 75-denier ripstop fabric that can withstand rain, snow and up to 60-mph winds.
It’s roomy as well: the tent sleeps up to four across its 44 square feet of ground space, with a loft of nearly seven vertical feet. Despite that, it’s fairly portable, weighing just 24 lbs. in carriage, which means you could easily divvy it up with a few buddies on a backpacking trip.
At $2,000, the Geodome won’t come cheap. But as GearJunkie points out, that’s less than half the price of the eight-man 2-Meter Dome Tent, which is probably the closest model that was previously available to U.S. buyers.
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.