Most of us are fair-weather campers and camping doesn’t usually come to mind until the sun has come out, the flowers are in bloom, and its generally a little warmer. This is not the case for everyone though. There are some of us who love to camp all year round, no matter the weather, and even some who prefer winter camping.
At A Glance: Our Top Three 4 Season Tents
If you’ve got the right gear, winter camping offers some amazing opportunities to be in the outdoors without anyone around. You can gaze over snowy mountains with your morning coffee in absolute peace, knowing that you’re one of the few who’s ventured into the wild on a snowy weekend.
As we’ve already mentioned, to be able to enjoy the great outdoors all year round, you’ll have to own the right gear. Top of the list is a 4 season tent. Four season tents (compared to 3 season tents) are designed to keep you warm and dry no matter the weather. If you’re new to winter camping or simply need to refresh your gear, bury your eyes in this review as we take you through some of the best 4 season tents on the market.
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The GEERTOP Backpacking Tent is a great choice when it comes to versatility and price, especially in the 4 season tent market. It comes with a double-layered construction so that you can switch it from a winter tent to a summer one, with just one sheet. How handy is that!
In terms of space, you’ll ve able to fit two of you quite snuggly in this two-man tent with a bit of storage space for your gear in the vestibules. It’s quick and easy to pitch, taking between 5 and 10 minutes, once you have done it a few times you’ll get down to under 5.
The tent is made from rugged 210T anti-tear checkered polyester that stands up well against wear and abrasions, so you won’t have to worry if you clip a branch or something sharp while pitching. The outer sheet is rated to 3000mm water-resistance to keep you dry and the bright yellow color means you’ll be found easily if the worst were to happen.
The tent is quite light as far as 4 season tents go, weighing 5.73lbs. You could quite easily trek with it, especially if you were to split the load with a camping buddy. The only drawbacks are that the zippers can catch and, on rare occasions, fail. The storage pack is also a bit thin and wears out quickly.
Overall, this is a great tent for the price and ideal if you plan on winter camping a few times a year. If you’re planning on camping a lot in winter, then we’d recommend looking at something a bit better and more expensive.
Eureka has been making outdoor gear since 1895 and with over 100 years of experience in the business, you can trust that you’re getting a quality product.
The Alpenlite XT Two-Person Tent is an ideal winter tent. To start with, it’s bright yellow so you can be seen from miles away in a rescue situation. The outer layer is a Stormshield rain fly that will keep you warm and dry in heavy snow or rainfall.
It’s very easy to pitch, even in heavy weather, and once set up, the a-frame design is made to handle strong winds. Once you’re inside, you’ll be surrounded with storage options and views through the clear windows.
The vestibules do offer a small amount of storage space, but that is made up for by the two gear lofts, six gear pockets, and two flashlight loops. In winter, you’ll probably want to keep a lot of your gear inside the tent to ensure it doesn’t freeze or get damaged by the heavy weather. Being able to store your key things inside it quite important.
While being able to handle the heavy side of winter, this tent is still quite light at 7.7lbs. If you share the load with your buddy, this tent won’t add much weight when hiking around the moutains.
Overall a great tent with a pretty good price for the quality.
The Snugpak Scorpion Tent is an excellent 4 season tent when it comes to extreme weather. Many a camper has used this tent in below-freezing weather, snowfall, heavy rain, strong winds, and the tent has survived and been bone dry inside.
This tent is for 3 people, ideally two people plus their gear. It’s ideal if you like to camp with your outdoor buddy and at 6.46lbs, you could take it as a spacious solo tent as its not too heavy for your backpack.
One thing that does stand out about this tent is the ventilation, it’s excellent. You’ll experience next to no condensation while sleeping in this. The tent is quick and easy to set up and comes with one door and one vestibule.
The vestibule is large at the front for gear storage and once you’re inside there are 10 gear pockets to choose from and handing loops for headlamps. Ideal for getting back to your tent after a long hike and unpacking your valuable into the gear pockets and leaving the main bag in the spacious vestibule.
It’s, the sheets, inner mesh, and tent poles are made from high-quality materials that will last a long time and handle adverse weather very well. The only drawbacks are the storage sack is thin and could wear out fast and it’s a bit pricey.
If you are looking for the ultimate backpacking or alpine 4 season tent then Black Diamond is a company worth checking out. The Black Diamond FirstLight 3 person tent (there is also a 2 person option) is one of the simplest tents you will ever see!
Black Diamond has designed this tent to be used in any conditions, but excels as a winter tent. It has a single wall design that is super fast to set up and also freestanding. This means you don’t have to rely on guy ropes or tent stakes to keep it up, which is great when the ground is frozen.
Although 4 season tents like this one from Black Diamond are often bad at air flow. the Black Diamond FirstLight has large two mesh openings (doors actually) on either end that you can use to get the air flowing. However, when they are closed you might get some condensation issues, which is always the case in such a well insulated tent.
The overall single wall design is meant for inclement weather such as rain or high winds. The wedge shape of the Black Diamond tent, when pointed into the wind, should help reduce the impact of any storm you get caught in.
It is also reasonably lightweight at 1745 g (3 lb 17 oz) packed weight. The Black Diamond FirstLight is a snap to set up in the dark or quickly in a storm or heavy snow, which is great for those arriving late at camp (while car camping perhaps) or during an unexpected downpour.
If you’re into backpacking through the snow then a lightweight 4 season tent is essential. It’s hard to find a balance between warmth, quality, and weight but we think the Naturehike Cloud-Up Backpacking Tent might have hit the nail on the head.
This tent weighs just 5.7lbs, which for a 4 season tent is pretty good. You’ll be able to attach this to your backpack without any worries and head off into the ice and snow confident that it’ll keep you warm too.
The tent is freestanding, and therefore very easy to pitch. once pitched you have the option in summer to leave the sheet off and have a breezy, cool experience. In winter, simply add the 3000mm polyester fly for excellent weather protection and thermal insulation.
Once you’re inside, there aren’t many storage options but you do have one vestibule to keep your gear in. The tent is a bit of a tight fit for two people but is an ideal size for one person and all their gear.
There are some reports that the tent can leak in heavy weather but these are rare. Overall it’s a great combination of price, insulation and low weight.
The Black Diamond Eldorado is a tough, all-weather four season tent that anyone encountering serious storms is going to love. The single wall design using their ToddTex fabric is waterproof, windproof and breathable. Although it is not great in warm weather, the Black Diamond Eldorado has acceptable breathability for a single wall four season tent.
It is constructed using 2 internal aluminum poles. This makes it a lot easier to set up even when the weather is against you. Black Diamond have also added 2 zippered vents at the top of the tent to help with ventilation. Additionally, they have added a hooded vent over the door and one right at the bottom to help reduce that pesky condensation.
This tent is constructed extra long which is great if you are on the tall side of things, or if you want to use that extra legroom for storage in place of a vestibule. It also has only a single door entry which can be covered to create an external style vestibule, which is not ideal for some items, but good enough in an emergency. This is sold separately if you want it.
Overall, the fabric of the Black Diamond Eldorado is tough and thick which also means it is not the lightest tent on the market. However for the weather you plan to take it in – ideal. It is also quite bulky to pack, but then again, if you are winter camping then you are used to the extra gear you have to contend with.
For me, the North Face is the tent you see whenever you watch a documentary on scaling Everest or a similar kind of peak. So, it is no surprise that they make it onto the list of best 4 season tents.
The North Face Mountain 25 is a classic 4 season tent with a thick single wall construction and a solid design with criss-cross poles that are made to last. North Face know how to make tents that can withstand the elements!
There are all the features you would expect on a great 4 season tent like dual doors and pole-supported vestibules. There are also sturdy pole sleeves and clips, as well as lots of guy ropes, to ensure this thing can handle any storm that comes your way.
With the North Face Mountain 25 you also get those extra features that only a top-notch outdoor company provide. Start with handy color-coded, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, for finding your way around the tent in the dark. Snow stakes are also included, so you wont have to run to the store at the last minute before a trip you hadn’t planned.
There are also lots of vent options in this North Face tent as well as a cold tested plastic window, and lots of places to hand and hide gear once you are set up inside.
All in all, the North Face Mountain 25 is a go-to tent for bad weather as it is designed to handle strong winds and rain without giving in!
If you love to camp all year round but only occasionally venture out in winter then the BaiYouDa Backpacking Tent might be the right choice for you. Rated as a three to four-season tent, it can handle below freezing but it wouldn’t want to try it too often, hence it being ideal for those who only camp out in winter once or twice a year.
One great thing about this tent is how light it is. Weighing just under 6lbs, it’s pretty light for a 4 season tent and would easy to tie on to your backpack while hiking around the mountains.
It’s great in heavy rain, high winds and comes with a snow skirt for those extra cold nights. There are two doors which are very handy for getting in and out of without waking up your buddy. The two doors also give great ventilation and some extra storage space.
Not only does this tent keep you warm in winter but you’ll find it cool in summer too. It’s pretty durable too with double stitched and tape sealed seams, you won’t have to worry about it failing you out in the wild.
The only drawbacks are that it doesn’t have much internal storage but the two vestibules do help with that, and that it’s a tight fit for 2 people.
Overall a great value tent, ideal for a solo year-round camper.
If heavy rainfall is one of main concerns then the GEERTOP Portable 2 Person Tent is a great choice. It’s great is adverse weather and has the highest waterproof rating of any of the tents in the review.
The outer rain is made from 20D coated nylon that has a waterproof rating of 8000mm. That’s pretty dam solid but it doesn’t stop there, the floor is rated to 5000mm. If you camp in places that are susceptible to heavy rain, this is a great tent.
It’s also durable thanks to the doube stitched and tape sealed seams, ensuring it lasts and that no rain will get in. It also comes with a snow skirt for serious winter camping. The tent is also pretty light at 6.2lbs and is very easy to set up, even in tough conditions.
In terms of storage, there is one spacious vestibule with two doors that opens up to the tent door. There is enough space to store your backpack and shoes comfortably. Once inside, the space is a little small for two people and we’d recommend it for use by a solo camper plus their gear.
Overall, it’s an extremely solid all-weather tent for a great price.
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 4 season tent is one of the quickest and easiest to pitch and take down out of all the tents in the review. The aluminum freestanding pole system means you can pitch your tent in a matter of minutes, even in adverse weather conditions.
Another great thing about this tent is the access and storage options. With two spacious vestibules and two doors, you’ve ample space to store your backpacks and easy access without having to climb over your camping buddy. Once you’re inside there are a plethora of storage choices including a gear loft and mesh side pockets.
It is a bit heavier than some of the other options out there at 7.3lbs but not so much that it can’t be taken on a backpacking trip.
The tent is made from great materials that will keep you warm and dry in every season. It’s so well made that it’s backed by a lifetime warranty, so if you do buy this, you’re getting a tent for life.
The only negative about the tent is that it’s a bit tricky to get back in the storage sack, but with some practice, it should end up being quite easy.
Price doesn’t mean everything when it comes to a good winter tent and we have included tents from all price brackets in our review to show this. The prices range from $80 up to $500 but every tent in here is a quality purchase.
The things that affect pricing are usually weight and quality. The lighter the tent, the more expensive it’s going to be and the same goes for quality. If you camp in the winter a lot, it’s worth investing in a tent that’s a bit more expensive as it’ll end up lasting a bit longer, be better in cold weather, and will most likely have a lifetime guarantee.
If you like to camp all year round and only camp in the winter a few times a year, you can afford to go for a cheaper option.
Your tent is going to be one of the heaviest pieces of gear in your backpack and a few ounces does make a difference, believe me. The tents in this review range from 5lbs to over 7lbs, but how warm you’ll be is related to how heavy your tent is. A warm tent needs thicker materials and quality pegs (usually heavier) to handle high winds. If you’re on a budget, it’s best to find the weight/price balance which sits at around $180.
If your tent can’t keep you warm and dry, you might as well throw it away. Wet and cold tents are dangerous and you should be careful to buy one that has sufficient protection from the elements. All the tents in the review will keep you warm and dry in all 4 seasons but not all of them are ideal for extreme cold, so be sure to check before you buy.
Quite a lot of light tents labeled for 2 people will only fit one and some gear comfortably. Think about the space you need and I’d recommend always going for one size up from what you actually need.
It’s important your tent is easy to set up and take down. Freestanding tents are by far the easiest and quickest to pitch and as they come with a fixed pole system. Non-freestanding tents need stakes and lines to keep their structure. Once you get to know a tent, you’ll become a master at pitching, taking it down and folding it up in the storage bag.
If you want a tent that’s super fast to pitch, go for a freestanding option, but if you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes on it, then a non-freestanding tent will do just fine.
An ideal tent has two vestibules for storing your gear and two doors for access, this is particularly important if you’re planning on sleeping two or more people in the tent. You’ll have ample storage and avoid people having to climb over each other to get in and out.
Light tents are made from thinner materials in order to keep the weight down. This usually means they’re a bit less durable and more delicate, but if treated with care, they’ll last a long time. You’ll need to be careful with a lightweight tent and if you’re a bit tough on your tent, maybe a heavier weight option might be best.
The best allrounder 4 season tent is the Alpenlite XT. This tent is simple, effective, well made, can handle the weather, not too heavy and the price isn’t bad either.
The best of the best is the Snugpak Scorpion Tent. This is a spacious, durable tent that will keep you safe, warm, and dry no matter the weather. It’s a little expensive but if you love winter camping, it’s well worth the investment.
If you’re on a budget then we would recommend the Luxe Tempo 4 Season Tent. This tent comes in at just $115, is great in bad weather, easy to use, durable, and light enough to take backpacking. You can’t ask for much more than that.