4-Season tents are a game-changer for winter camping. Don’t confuse “all-season” for “4-season”, it makes a big deal in comfort and weight. Winter camping tent season is around the corner whether you like it or not, and it’s time to determine what winter camping tent works well in a cold environment. We’ve done the research, scoured the best sellers, and are proud to offer up to you our top 10 tents for winter camping.
Winter Camping Tents
When it comes to winter camping tents, Let’s first determine what you are getting and where you will use your winter camping tent. This will greatly influence your purchase decision. Winter camping is awesome. The crowds are non-existent, the scenery is outstanding and nothing beats hot cocoa in a natural winter wonderland.
Camping is an outdoor activity. When you put your self in the outdoors, you put yourself at the mercy of the weather surrounding you. Most tents you see when you are tent shopping are geared to the summer seasons, these are referred to as a 3-Seasn tent. 3-Season tents are built for Spring, Summer, and Fall, not the winter.
They are made of a thinner material and not equipped to handle the temperature drops the winter camping tents can manage. Traditional tents are equipped to handle standard elements such as light wind, rain, and an overall operation between you and the outside.
Once you start winter camping, you will realize a winter camping tent is an essential way to create an effective barrier between you and the winter elements of snow, sleet, and lower temperatures.
When Do You Need a Camping Winter Tent?
Your standard tent often referred to as a 3-Season Tent, is equipped to deal with mild temperatures and wind below 25MPH. Additionally, a 3-Season is capable of handling light snow.
Once you cross over mild temperatures (under 32 Degrees Fahrenheit) and increased wind speeds, its time to consider the 4-Season tent. Keep in mind, however, that snow has a weight factor that must be considered. If you are expecting anything over 1-2 inches of snow, its time to look for the 4-Season Tent for your winter camping.
Winter Tent Materials
A standard 3-Season tent is composed of a lighter material that lends itself well to packing into smaller, lighter scenarios. Backpackers often go with lightweight tents to reduce the physical fatigue associated with heavier packed items. Many 3-Season tents, on average, come with a material such as Denier Polyester with an associated thickness rating. Many in the 3-Season tent range have Denier Polyester ratings of under 25D or 25 Denier. This is effective at dealing with light rain, wind, and snow.
On the other hand, a winter camping tent will come equipped with much heavier Denier fabric such as a 40D or even 75D ripstop variation. Because of this, the tent will handle much harsher conditions of rain, wind, and heavier snow.
Camping Environment For a Winter Tent
One final consideration that will heavily narrow your choices is your environment. If you live in Florida, chances are you will not need a 4-Season tent. On the other hand, if you live in Alaska, you will definitely need a 4-Season tent. Do some research on average winter temperatures in your area and this will help you decide how far you go with your winter camping tent.
Top 10 Winter Camping Tents
Sierra Designs Convert 3
- Weight: 6lbs
- Packed Dimension: 16 x 7.5 inches
- Floor Area: 40.3 Square Feet
The North Face VE25
- Weight: 9lbs 8oz
- Packed Dimension: 24 x 9 inches
- Floor Area: 48 Square Feet
Check it out here.
Name: Black Diamond First Light 3P
- Weight: 3lbs 7oz
- Packed Dimension: 7 x 9 inches
- Floor Area: 33 Square Feet
- Link to Check it out here.
Name: Eureka K2 XT
- Weight: 11lb
- Packed Dimension: 7.5 x 25 inches
- Floor Area: 52 Square Feet
- Loaded with extreme weather performance features, the four-season Eureka! K2 XT freestanding standing tent offers a roomy interior for two to three sleepers (52 square feet).
- Waterproof StormShield rain fly coating effectively keeps rain and snow out and creates large 18 square foot storage vestibule with cold-weather polyurethane window to brighten up the tent.
- Zippered High/Low tent vents (two each in the roof and side walls) and two scoop vents in the fly (accessible via zippers in the tent roof) provide year-round comfort.
- Packed full of gear storing features including a 14-pocket organizer wall, four gear loft loops, and one flashlight loop.
- Tent has an interior height of 4 feet, weighs 11 pounds, 12 ounces, packs down to 7.5 by 25 inches; includes tent body and fly, poles, stakes, and guylines.
- Eureka! found its humble beginnings in 1895 and today their camping gear gives you the freedom to have fun - from tents to cooking systems, and sleeping bags to camp furniture - reliable, easy-to-use, and packed with features campers care abo
Name: GEERTOP Ultralight Tent
- Weight: 6lb 4oz
- Packed Dimension: 17 x 6 inches
Name: Nemo Chogori Mountaineering Tent
- Weight: 8lb 7oz
- Packed Dimension: 9 x 18.9 inches
- Floor Area: 44.3 Square Feet
- Link to Check out More, Here.
Name: Black Diamond Fitzroy
- Weight: 6lb 4oz
- Packed Dimension: 9 x 19 inches
- Floor Area: 36 Square Feet
- Link to Check out more, here.
Name: Mountain Hardware ACI
- Weight: 8lb 4oz
- Packed Dimension: 8 x 25 inches
- Floor Area: 45.8 Square Feet
- Link to check it out here.
Name: MSR Access 3
- Weight: 4lb 6oz
- Packed Dimension: 7 x 21 inches
- Floor Area: 41 Square Feet
- Ultralight, 4-season, 3-person tent with hubbed poles make tent quick and easy to set up in cold environments
- Tent has 2 doors, 41 sq. feet of floor area with an interior peak height of 47 inches, plus 17.5 sq. feet of vestibule area
- Made of aerospace composite materials, Easton Syclone poles resist breaking in severe conditions; limited mesh on the tent body keeps in warmth on cold nights
- Rainfly vents reduce condensation; Xtreme Shield waterproof coating for long-term durability; two doors; two internal pockets; multiple guy-out points
- Floor Dimensions: 84 x 70 in; Packed Size: 21 x 7 in; Minimum Weight: 4 lb 6 oz / Packaged Weight: 5 lb 1 oz; manufacturer’s 3-year limited warranty
- Care Instructions: Hand W
- Name: Black Diamond HiLight Tent
- Weight: 3lb 15oz
- Packed Dimension: 7 x 10 inches
- Floor Area: 34.3
- Link to check it out here.
Winter Camping is a blast but needs to be done right, which starts with winter camping tents. Depending on your environment, a 4 season tent may be the right choice to keep you protected from the harsher elements in the cold season. Any of the choices above are a good choice and are from name brands that can be trusted with years of quality outdoor gear.
Additionally, in winter, the days are shorter and night comes quicker. You may not have thought about it much lately, but the camping lantern industry has really evolved. Check out our write-up on the latest camping lanterns here, you might be as surprised as we were when we researched it. There you have it! you’re all gamed up on what tent you need for winter camping. Now, go GET OUTSIDE!
Mike is a Colorado resident, a combat veteran, and a former Police Officer, and an avid outdoorsman. Mike has camped, hiked, and Overlanded all over the United States. From backpack Elk Hunts on Public Land, solo truck camping to Multi-week Overlanding adventures with his family, Mike is very familiar with these outdoor topics.