As someone who has had to sleep in a bent and broken tent through a winter storm, I can tell you that having a good four season tent that you can rely on is crucial for both enjoying yourself in the outdoors and also staying safe.
Winter Tent FeaturesThere are a few features that you should look for on your next winter tent purchase.
- Low Profile - Wind is always going to be a problem in winter conditions, and you will want an all-season tent that has a low profile. Of course there are exceptions to this (see the MSR Dragontail below) get generally, you want something low to the ground with heavily sloped sides.
- Robust Pole Structure - In the summer you can easily get by with just one pole on a lightweight tent, but in winter you want sufficient poles that your tent wont turn in to a pancake at the first gust. And related to this, poles that snap on, rather than thread through, are often easier to set up when the wind is really blowing.
- Waterproof - This almost goes without saying, but a tent intended for winter user should be waterproof. This does not mean, however, that you should ignore all single wall tents. A waterproof single wall tent, properly ventilated, can offer everything that two walls can, at half the weight.
Winter Tent ReviewsHere are a few cold weather tents to consider for your next outdoor adventure in cold temperatures. Check out even more tents at the lightweight tents list.
- Black Diamond HiLight - This is a spacious one person tent or a very cozy two person tent. It's a lightweight four season tent, but it is still strong in all the right places, and get's good marks in user reviews for its ability to handle wind, rain and snow. So if you're looking for a small and light tent, the HiLight might be just right for you.
- MSR Dragontail - The Dragontail from MSR is a two man tent with a unique, barrel shaped design that will shed wind, rain and show but provide you with ample sitting room inside for when things get nasty outside. A single wall design helps to cut down on weight, and a well thought out ventilation system will keep the interior free of condensation. An all around great cold weather tent.
- Mountain Hardwear EV 2 - The EV 2 from Mountain Hardwear is for serious winter excursions where you know there's a good chance the weather wont play nice. It has a good guy-line system to increase stability in wind, a single wall design and good ventilation. It also has a simple pole clip system which makes it easy to set up in bad weather. If you need a cold weather tent that is dependable in any and all weather, something beefy like the EV 2 would make a good choice.
- Marmot Alpinist - At 2240 grams, or 79 ounces, this is not the lightest of tents to take with you in the winter months. It is, however, extremely sturdy, and has a good, low profile for shedding excess wind on those nights when you are caught out in the open. It's also a four season tent popular with reviewers, and another to consider for your next winter camping or backpacking trip.