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10 Best Cold Weather Tents: 4 Season Tents for Year-Round Adventures

Just because the temperature drops, doesn’t mean you need to put your tent away for the season. I’ve spent a total of 40+ days camping in freezing temperatures and I’ve tested a variety of different methods.

There’s nothing more valuable than the best winter tent for cold weather camping. In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the best 4 season tents, winter tents, and subzero temperature tents to help keep you warm no matter what.

Best Overall: Samaya 2.0

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight at just under 3 lbs
  • Dyneema composite floor and removable roof are durable and abrasion-resistant
  • 3-layer Nanovent walls are highly breathable and waterproof
  • Fully seam sealed for weatherproofing
  • Reflective guylines secure tent in storms

Cons:

  • No vestibule
  • Hefty price tag

Main Features:

  • Aluminum poles for quick and easy setup
  • YKK zippered vent for airflow
  • 10,000mm waterproof rating

Winter Rating: 9/10

The Samaya 2.0 is the ultimate lightweight 4-season tent. Its premium materials like Dyneema composite and Nanovent fabric make it durable enough for the harshest alpine conditions while keeping the packed weight under 3 lbs. 

The tent’s breathable single-wall construction prevents condensation buildup. This is something that a lot of beginners don’t think about enough. Just because a tent is lightweight and breathable, doesn’t mean it lacks serious cold-weather potential. 

The more breathable the fabric, the less moisture you’re going to deal with inside when your body heat warms up the interior of the tent. This prevents your sleeping bags, clothes, and other items from becoming wet which is the real killer in serious cold weather camping. 

This is the best tent for winter camping in small groups or solo if you plan to encounter some gnarly winter storms. 

Best 4 Season Tent – 6 Person: AYAMAYA 10 Person Tent

Pros:

  • Spacious tent with solid headroom
  • Waterproof polyester roof and UV-protected polyester fly
  • 4 large mesh windows and 2 doors for ventilation
  • Electric cord ports to run electricity inside
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Approximately 20lbs in weight 
  • Low 2,000mm waterproof rating

Main Features:

  • Fits six people comfortably (more will be tight)
  • Polyester roof and rainfly
  • Plenty of ventilation 
  • 2 doors with porches
  • Ability to separate tent inside

Winter Rating: 8/10

You get what you pay for and while this tent won’t exceed your expectations in terms of winter capabilities, it offers a lot of space for an affordable price tag. With the right steps, you could use this as a winter camping tent. 

With 2 doors, 4 large windows, and electric cord ports, you can comfortably fit a big group with their gear. The polyester materials withstand rain and wind but keep in mind it only has a 2,000mm waterproof rating which means it can withstand 2,000mm of rainfall in a single day without giving into the moisture. 

Also, when you see that the manufacturer claims that a tent fits 10 people, I recommend knocking a few off because that’s never the case. 10 adult men or women will not be comfortable in this tent. I say it’s more like six. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 8 Essential Cold Weather Survival Skills for Winter Recreation and Travel before you head out on your adventure.

Best 4 Season Tent – 4 Person: Camp Pros 6 Person Camping Tent

Pros:

  • Spacious ceiling height of 6ft+
  • Coated polyester rainfly resists water
  • Full mesh ceiling for stargazing
  • Interior gear lofts keep items organized
  • Reflective guylines and pole clips

Cons:

  • Single-wall construction is not the best for winter
  • Still a bit heavy at 13.4lbs

Main Features:

  • Fits 3-4 comfortably (claims to fit 6)
  • Single wall design with plenty of ventilation
  • Durable polyester rainfly and flooring
  • 1,000mm waterproof rating

Winter Rating: 6/10

The Camp Pros 6-person tent balances weight and space with its single-wall design. The polyester rainfly shields against rain and wind. With 2 doors, 3 windows, and a full mesh roof, you get ample ventilation to prevent condensation. 

I still wish this tent was a bit lighter. It’s around 13 lbs which is too heavy for backpacking and it lacks a higher moisture and winter rating too so it’s closer to a three-season tent than some of the other options. 

That said, I did put this tent to the test during a rather unexpected hailstorm and its durability and weather-protective seams kept all moisture out of the tent despite its shortcomings. 

I wouldn’t take this tent on anything extreme but for a small group looking to do some (light) cold weather camping, this might be the best four-season tent for it. 

Best Tent for Extreme Temperatures: Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian Two-Person Tent

Pros:

  • Withstands heavy winds up to 70+ mph
  • Keeps you warm and dry in freezing temperatures
  • Lightweight and compact for backpacking
  • Mesh windows allow for good airflow

Cons:

  • Vestibules are pretty small
  • Not the easiest to get in and out of 

Main Features:

  • Only 7.9lbs
  • 1500mm coating
  • Easy to assemble snap-in poles

Winter Rating: 9/10

If you’re looking to brave frigid alpine conditions, the Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian tent has proven itself against brutal winds and sub-freezing temperatures.

This lightweight 1-2 person tent will help you stay warm with its double-layered exterior fly and UV-resistant exterior. The poles used to set it up are easy to snap into place and they’re durable enough to withstand extreme winds. 

All in all, whether you’re trekking the continental divide or scaling the Appalachians, this tent is the perfect choice for a budget-friendly winter campout. 

Best Winter Tent for Families: Whiteduck Regatta

Pros:

  • Roomy interior with space to stand up
  • Mesh ceiling for stargazing on clear nights
  • Great option for long-term camping trips
  • Stove option

Cons:

  • Definitely takes a village to set it up
  • Up to 66lbs

Main Features:

  • Fits up to eight people comfortably
  • Extremely durable 100% cotton and duck canvas
  • Includes a stove jack so you can build a fire indoors

Winter Rating: 9/10

Do I have any serious campers out there? I know you’re out there. Think of this tent as an investment in your future adventures. 

When you’ve got the whole family along for a winter camping trip, you need a tent with ample space. The Whiteduck Regatta provides enough room for 4-5 adults and 2-3 kids to sleep comfortably with your gear.

Expect to spend some time setting this up but I recommend it as a choice for long-term camping situations where you plan on roughing it for a few days up to a week. 

The materials are 100% cotton and Army duck canvas so nothing is going to move this tent once it’s set up. There’s even plenty of room for a tent heater!

Galvanized steel poles and heavy duty lining hold the whole thing together making it one of the strongest tents I’ve ever seen. It comes in multiple sizes with plenty of head room in the middle and all around. I highly recommend this Yurt style tent for families who take their camping seriously. 

Best 4 Season Backpacking Tent: Eureka Mountain Pass Tent

Pros:

  • Durable, waterproof construction
  • Breathable mesh walls reduce condensation
  • Lightweight aluminum poles
  • Removable side vents for ventilation control

Cons:

  • Tight quarters for two people plus gear

Main Features:

  • 2 person, 4 season backpacking tent
  • Ripstop polyester rainfly and floor
  • Hooped pole design for strength
  • Weighs 5.5 lbs packed

Winter Rating: 9/10

Backpackers, I haven’t forgotten about you. You need a lightweight tent that can withstand the wind and rain without weighing you down. This is the one. 

At 5.5 lbs packed weight, it’s light enough for multi-day winter missions. Just know that fitting 2 people and gear makes for very cozy quarters. 

The ripstop polyester rainfly keeps wind and precipitation out while the mesh walls allow moisture to escape rather than pooling inside your tent. 

One major gripe I have is that the rainfly isn’t long enough to cover the entire exterior from top to bottom. So, if you have windy conditions and you’re surrounded by snow, the snow drift that piles up against your tent can seep inside causing excess moisture. 

Overall, this is the best 4 season backpacking tent I’ve ever encountered so I highly recommend it. 

Budget Option: UNP 2 Person

Pros:

  • Affordable at less than $50
  • Lightweight at 5 lbs trail weight
  • Quick setup with color-coded poles
  • Interior mesh storage pockets

Cons:

  • Not meant for heavy snow loads
  • Condensation build up inside

Main Features:

  • 2 person backpacking tent
  • Polyester rainfly and floor
  • Aluminum poles
  • 2 doors and 2 vestibules

Winter Rating: 5/10

As I’ve said, I’m a big believer in getting what you pay for. If you plan on paying less than $50 for a tent, don’t expect to get the best cold weather tent out there. 

That said, the UNP 2-person tent provides ample space at a wallet-friendly price. The quick setup uses color-coded poles and clips. While it holds up all right in light snow and rain, the single wall leads to interior condensation. But packing light at 5 lbs and under $50 makes this a solid starter option for winter camping newbies.

3 More Great Cold Weather Tents To Consider:

1. Mountain Hardware Trango 2

Pros:

  • Boasting serious winter camping features
  • Withstands heavy winds and snowloads
  • Breathable mesh walls prevent condensation
  • DAC Featherlite aluminum poles for easy setup
  • Large vestibule for protected storage

Cons:

  • Expensive price tag
  • Tight quarters for 2 people

Main Features:

  • 2 person mountaineering tent
  • Made using all ripstop nylon on the floor and walls
  • Durable aluminum poles
  • Welded corners and guy clip anchors for hardcore mountain camping

Winter Rating: 9/10

Engineered for rugged alpine conditions, the Trango 2 shelter keeps 2 climbers warm and dry in the harshest winter storms. The ripstop nylon construction stands up to heavy snow and the breathable mesh walls prevent interior moisture buildup. 

Well-designed for functional alpine use, and the tight quarters are more of a purposeful design than anything when you’re dealing with freezing temperatures. 

The bathtub-style nylon floor provides the best possible weather protection to help keep you and your gear dry and the two vestibules ensure all wet items stay out of your sleeping area. 

From front to back and top to bottom, this tent was designed for serious alpine camping. 

2. Big Agnes Copper Spur

Pros:

  • Ultralight packed weight under 3 lbs
  • Nylon ripstop fabric resists tears
  • Mesh ceiling for stargazing
  • Two large vestibules

Cons:

  • Low ceiling height
  • Expensive for solo use

Main Features:

  • Freestanding design
  • Top to bottom ripstop fabric
  • Only 5.5lbs in weight
  • 10,000mm waterproof flooring

Winter Rating: 8/10

I gave this an 8/10 winter rating but one thing I should note before I even dive in is that this tent is not designed for heavy winds. The freestanding bomber design is meant for easy assembly but it lacks durability because the poles are not meant to hold up against heavy winds. 

That said, the Big Agnes Copper Spur hits the sweet spot of low weight versus interior space.The ripstop nylon stands up to wind and snow, while the mesh roof gives panoramic summit views. Generously sized vestibules carry bulky gear. The simple setup and great moisture protection make it a solid choice for winter camping. 

3. Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

Pros:

  • Spacious enough to stand up in
  • Breathable mesh roof and giant window
  • Large gear vestibule
  • Stands up to heavy snow and winds

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy at 24lbs packed
  • Condensation gets in due to single-layer wall

Main Features:

  • 2-4 person winter camping tent
  • Snow-shedding roof shape
  • Single wall construction
  • Hybrid pole system

Winter Rating: 8/10

I am a huge fan of this tent because it provides a ton of space and a lot more headroom than the traditional winter camping tent. With room to stretch for people 6-foot and taller, this spacious tent offers tear-resistant fabric, and a vestibule that converts into an awning for four season enjoyment. 

Another reason I chose this as one of the best all season tents is because of the hybrid design. The poles allow you to build this tent in various ways that can either raise or lower the overall height and width. 

For example, if you’re dealing with higher elevations and more wind, you’d want a tent that is lower to the ground so the wind can blow over it. If you’re camping in more comfortable and dry conditions where you may be going in and out more often, you’ll want a higher ceiling and you can have that too. 

The Snow Peak Alpha is a versatile four season tent with a lot to offer and a price tag that meets us right in the middle. 

Top 5 Best Extreme Cold Weather Tents || Best Tent for Winter Camping

Choosing the Best 4 Season Tents

While on the quest for the best cold weather tents, you may discover that some features are more important to you than others. In my decades of outdoor camping, I’ve encountered quite a few things that I think are non-negotiables. 

If we’re speaking on winter camping in particular, there are some features that I believe you need to have to stay safe and comfortable. Let’s talk about it. 

Material

Tent fabrics need to be waterproof, wind resistant, and breathable. Look for coatings like polyurethane or silicone to repel moisture from the rainfly and floor. Ripstop nylon and polyester are strong, lightweight, and won’t sag when wet. 

The best cold weather tents will have mesh walls to allow ventilation and reduce condensation. Steer clear of cheap, thin materials that can rip easily.

The most important thing you need to understand about the tent structure itself is that you need to allow some type of cross-ventilation otherwise you will wake up wet in the morning. 

Quick Setup

Fumbling with tricky tent poles while your fingers freeze in subzero temps is the worst! Look for color coded poles and clips so you can pitch your tent quickly. Dome styles with just a few interconnected poles are simpler than cabin styles. 

Freestanding tents that don’t require staking out to stay upright are also easier to set up in rocky or frozen terrain but just keep in mind that they’re less durable and not designed for heavy winds. 

Insulation

4 season tents have ratings for withstanding wind, snowloads, and minimum temperatures. For example, a tent rated at 20D nylon with 2,000mm polyurethane coating can handle 20mph winds and 2,000mm of rain in a day. 

Some lightweight 3 season tents can work for milder winter camping around 30°F, but sturdy mountaineering tents handle subzero temps down to -20°F in high winds and deep snow.

Weight

Weight matters more if you’re backpacking and need to carry your shelter for miles. For 1-2 person backpacking tents, look for under 5lbs packed weight. Family car camping tents are heavier, but still aim for under 10lbs when possible. 

The included tent stakes and footprint add weight, so compare just the packed tent weight if given.

You’ll notice that a lot of the larger tents reviewed in this guide are 20lbs+. I don’t recommend these if you have to walk more than a mile or two from your car with the tent. 

Design/Features

Dome shaped tents handle high winds and shedding snow well. Look for large vestibules to store gear protected from the elements. 

Multiple doors and windows improve ventilation. Loops on the interior let you hang gear, while a gear loft keeps essentials organized. For stormy conditions, reflective guylines and pole clips provide visibility.

Pro Tip: Try and find a tent with a roof net in the vestibule. Wet clothing and boots can dry out much faster if you hang them rather than letting them sit on the wet ground where there is less airflow. 

Capacity

Don’t trust the marketed capacity because no 10-person tent actually fits 10 adults. The number is based on slim children squeezed together. For car camping, reduce the listed capacity by 2-3 people to determine realistic space. 

Even 2 person backpacking tents can be snug with gear. Prioritize floor space over ceiling height for livability.

Woman looking out of tent flap smiling wearing winter hat.

How We Tested

The process of finding the best 4 season tent requires experience, testing, and research. Here’s how I test my cold weather tents when choosing them for my reviews:

Ease of Assembly – There’s a lot of variety in winter tents. Some take 30 seconds to set up while others take 30 minutes. When you’re camping in rough conditions, you need a tent that sets up in a matter of minutes because you never know when a storm will blow through and you need to act quickly. All the tents in this guide are chosen based on this notion. 

Moisture Resistance – The tents I tested for this review range in ratings from 1,000mm to 10,000mm. This means that they can withstand up to that many millimeters of rain per day without allowing any moisture inside. The higher the better of course. 

Durability – All the tents recommended in this guide use durable pole materials like aluminum and the tent fabric contains a minimum of ripstop fabric at the corners and seams. 

Spec Accuracy – If the manufacturer claims that a tent weighs 10lbs and has a ceiling height of 48 inches, is that actually true? I tested each tent to ensure that the specifications match the true measurements. 

7 mistakes EVERY new camper makes in COLD WEATHER🥶

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best 4 Season Tents

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best cold weather tents: 

What is the difference between a winter tent and a 4 season tent?

A winter tent has features specifically designed to help keep you warm but they lack ventilation and bug netting which are things you’ll want when the weather turns. True 4 season tents contain features that appeal to all times of year regardless of temperature. 

Do 4 season tents keep you warmer?

Yes, 4 season tents are better insulated to trap your body heat thanks to the sturdier, coated materials used. The dome structure and fly design also prevent heat loss better.

Do bigger tents get colder?

Not necessarily. More interior space means more area to heat up, but a quality 4 season tent will maintain warmth regardless of size. Dome-shaped tents retain heat better than cabin styles. Make sure to pitch tents out of the wind with a tree or large boulder blocking the wind. 

Should I vent my tent in the winter?

Ventilation is still important to let interior moisture escape so it doesn’t build up into condensation on the tent walls. Most quality cold weather tents have vents on the fly or removable panels to control airflow.

How cold is too cold to sleep in a tent?

It depends on your gear, but most standard 4 season tents can keep you comfortable down to about 0°F and protect you in emergencies down to -20°F or so. Any colder than -10°F starts to become dangerously cold even in winter tents. 

Remember that cold weather sleeping bags are also a required item you should have for winter camping. 

If you’re camping alone or with one other person the Alps Mountaineering tent is another option that works great for extreme cold and windy conditions. 

Final Thoughts

I hope this review is useful and helps keep you warm and dry during your next winter camping adventure. I still think the Samaya 2.0 is the best cold weather tent on the market but it does come with a high price tag. 

Regardless of your need, make sure you get the right tent, and remember that there’s no such thing as overkill when it comes to winter safety. Respect Mother Nature and she’ll respect you!

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person
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coty perry author

MOTM Guest Author: Coty Perry

Outdoors, Tent Camping, and Fishing Expert, Anglers.com

Coty was raised in the muck and mud of Northeastern PA – fishing, hiking, camping, and roughing it as much as possible. For the past 12 years, he’s made it his goal to learn as much as possible about survival. Whether that’s building a river fish trap, growing lettuce in a basement closet, or even stealth camping during a dangerous protest; his goal is to be as adept as possible for when worst comes to worst. He’s made his living for nearly a decade honing his craft and teaching others how to do the same.

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Jordan

Monday 30th of January 2023

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