There are many tents out there that will hand fall, summer and spring weather just fine. But winter often packs a punch that can damage or at least show the faults of a lesser 3 season tent. So for winter camping, a 4 season tent is required. 4 season tents are typically built to withstand the wind and snow that often accompanies winter camping or backpacking. They have better fabric, and crucially, a more robust pole structure. They also tend to weigh a bit more, which cant really be helped, since the objective is a more weatherproof tent.
4 Season TentFeatures to try and find on a new 4 Season Tent.
- Pole Structure – Make sure that any 4 season tent you get has several poles, so that the structure of the tent has some strength, and wont be blown around easily. It’s also worth trying to get a tent with sleeves for the poles, rather than clips, which are easier to set up, but also run the risk of becoming unclipped in severe weather.
- Profile – To shed wind effectively, you want a 4 season tent with a low profile. There are some exceptions to this, but generally these tents will shed wind better, and will not be as susceptible to damage.
Best 4 Season TentA few of the very best 4 season tents that you will find out there on the market.
- The North Face Mountain 25 Tent - First up, a well built, 2 person tent from The North Face. This certainly isn't the lightest 2 person tent, at 8 pounds 8 ounces, or 3.86 kilograms, but then weight shouldn't be your chief concern when shopping for a 4 season tent, your chief concern should be how well the tent can survive winter conditions. With 5 poles, an internal guyout system, and a low profile, the Mountain 25 survives exceptionally well. And with thoughtful features like plenty of ventilation, 2 doors and plenty of pocket space inside, you will be able to ride out bad weather in comfort.
- Black Diamond Bombshelter Tent - A bigger tent, with room for 4, this thing survives wind and snow with relative ease. Only 4 poles, but they intersect a total of 7 times, so you can expect only a minimal amount of bending and flexing. The 2 doors is ideal for 4 people, and the weight is also relatively light, at 8 pounds 13 ounces, or 4 kilograms, which is only slightly heavier than the much smaller Mountain 25 above.
- MSR Twin Sisters Shelter - This is something a bit different. It's actually a tarp, meaning that it has no floor, but has a snow shield around the bottom of the tent to keep out blowing wind and snow. And while you can use poles, it works equally well with trekking poles or ski poles as supports, making it a fantastic lightweight option for 2 people. At just 2 pounds 1 ounce, or 940 grams, it's significantly lighter than either of the tents above.