There are many things that you can do to make a summer tent work in cold conditions, but it’s often better to just invest in a good cold weather tent so that you don’t have to constantly worry about the state of your shelter. Cold weather tents have a number of innovations and features that tents intended for the other three seasons of the year just don’t have, and while this tends to add to the weight of the tent, it also makes it so that your tent wont start leaking on you, or collapse in the middle of the night.
Cold Weather TentsWhat to look for when you're looking for cold weather tents.
- Poles – One of the main threats of cold, winter weather for a tent is wind. Winds tend to be worse in the winter, though this does depend quite a bit on where you are. But generally, cold weather tents come with more poles, so that they are stronger and better able to weather strong gusts of wind.
- Profile – Cold weather tents also tend to have a relatively low, or sloping profile. This helps when snow starts falling, so that it doesn’t pile up, but even more so, it helps to deflect wind. A traditional family dome tent has a much larger profile, and will get battered around a lot more by even mild winds.
Best Cold Weather TentsA few of the better cold weather tents on the market.
- Black Diamond Fitzroy Tent - If what you want is a good, solid cold weather tent, the Fitzroy is an excellent choice. It has just 4 poles, but they intersect an impressive 7 times, which adds quite a bit of strength for surviving winter winds. It's a roomy 2 person tent and can fit 3, though it might be a bit cramped with that third person. Still, that's not necessarily a bad thing when camping in cold temperatures. Beyond that it has 2 doors, for good ventilation, and weighs 6 pounds 5 ounces, which is 2.86 kilograms. Not a bad weight for a cold weather tent.
- REI Mountain 2 Tent - If you would prefer something a little cheaper for winter camping, the Mountain 2 from REI is ideal. It has room for 2, and all the standard features, like 2 doors and 5 poles, that you would expect to find on a cold weather tent. And while the price is still high, it's lower than most other four season tents that you'll find. But it isn't especially lightweight, at 8 pounds, or 3.63 kilograms.
- MSR Twin Sisters Shelter - If you don't mind something a little different, the Twin Sisters is a fantastic choice that sleeps 2 for winter campers and backpackers. This is actually a tarp, meaning it has no floor. That said, it is rated for four season use, and has some impressive snow flaps that will keep wind and blowing snow out down at the ground level. Obviously it's a single wall design, but does have two doors, plus ventilation at either peak, to keep you dry at night. What really sets it apart, however, is that you can use trekking poles or ski poles as the poles for the tent, which helps to cut down on weight. And at 2 pounds 3 ounces, or 1.1 kilograms, this is by far the lightest option on this list.