For higher altitudes, the kind of three season tent that you might take out for a camping trip in the forest is definitely not ideal. That’s the kind of tent that may very well end up getting flattened when you take it up to higher altitudes where wind is a much bigger problem. So what you need is an altitude tent, or something that can stand up the more severe weather that you typically experience at higher altitudes. Mountaineering tents and 4 season tents are a good place to start.
Altitude TentWhat to look for in an altitude tent.
- Poles – Poles are the bones of a tent, they’re what give a tent structure. The more poles a tent has, all other things being equal, the better it will be able to stand up to strong winds. Similarly, a tent with low, sloped profile will shed wind better than a bigger tent, and so will be better suited to life at high elevations.
- Single Wall – Many altitude tents are actually a single wall design. Tents with a separate rain fly are good because you can take the rain fly off if the weather is good, but that’s almost never going to be the case at high altitudes. So as long as the tent has ample ventilation, a single wall design does a good job of keeping you dry, and also cuts down on the weight.
Best Altitude TentSome of the very best altitude tents for outdoor adventures.
- Marmot Alpinist - The Alpinist is clearly a tent built for high altitude conditions. It's low to the ground with sloping sides, so that it wont catch any wind. 3 poles provide a good amount of strength, and there is 30 square feet of floor space, which is enough for 2 people. It's also a single wall design, so it will keep you dry from the moisture outside, and adjustable air vents give you complete control of just how much ventilation you get inside. The whole thing weighs 4 pounds 15 ounces, or 2.24 kilograms.
- Black Diamond Fitzroy - The Fitzroy is labeled a 3 person tent, but with just 35 square feet of floor space it's a rather cramped 3 person tent. Besides that, it has 4 poles, so it's plenty strong for those high winds that you get at altitude, and is a single wall design, so you're not carrying any unnecessary weight. There's also plenty of ventilation inside, so you don't have to worry about condensation. The whole thing weighs 6 pounds 5 ounces, or 2.86 kilograms.
- MSR Dragontail - The Dragontail is something a little different. It's actually a tunnel tent, rather than the more common dome tent. The tunnel design doesn't exactly get it out of the wind, but it does add a considerable amount of strength. The Dragontail has 30 square feet of floor space, so enough room for 2 people. It also has three poles, and a single wall design, so again you're not stuck with any excess weight. There's also plenty of ventilation to compliment the single wall design. It weighs 5 pounds 5 ounces, or 2.42 kilograms, and is a great choice if you want an altitude tent that's a little different.