The following are some of the best tents for winter that can keep you warm and sane while dealing with the low temperatures!
Backcountry trips are fun. But they are more special if you do them during winter. The snowy, white heaven produced by this season yields special magic, regardless if you have seen them countless times.
However, camping and backpacking in the frigid zone will require the best tents for winter. These tents have the capacity to shield you from the low temperatures, as well as the elements that accompany the cold air.
In choosing an ideal tent for winter, make sure that you prioritize the seasonality of the tent. Specifically, 4-season tents work for winter, but a 3- 4- tent could also provide a comfortable shelter for you.
Before we discuss those things, let's check out the most recommended winter tents on the market today.
Here are some of our recommendations for the best winter tents:
|Season||Capacity||Where to Buy|
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent
Exped Orion III Tent
Coleman PEAK1 4-Person Dome Tent
The North Face Assault 2 FUTURELIGHT Tent
Sea to Summit Telos TR3 Plus Tent
Hillman 3- 4-Season Tent
96 in. x 94 in.
57 sq. ft.
16 sq. ft.
Aluminum DAC Featherlite
40-denier ripstop nylon
70-denier nylon taffeta
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent Review
The Mountain Hardwear Trango is a durable tent that can withstand harsh conditions. Its fabrics and poles are made from rugged materials but never too heavy or bulky.
This one has an intuitive assembly; there's a direct connection between the frame, tent body, and fly so that you can connect these three parts comfortably. Dual canopy/mesh doors are installed on this tent, each with oversized vestibules. Internal poles for more headroom and storage space then support these vestibules.
Furthermore, the Mountain Hardwear Trango is designed to be impervious to the elements. The seams on its perimeter have been taped while its corners are welded. Hence, it is a fully watertight shelter. Notably, it comes with internal tension shelves that improve the structural integrity of the tent during harsh conditions.
Ventilation is also great, thanks to its canopy-zippered through vents. It prevents condensation, allowing you to sleep without having a damp interior.
Can withstand strong winds and cold conditions
|No notable drawbacks|
90.5 in. x 63 in.
39.6 sq. ft.
11.8 sq. ft. (2)
30-denier ripstop nylon
70-denier PU-coated nylon taffeta
Exped Orion III Tent Review
Exped is known for its tested-and-tried outdoor equipment. It also prides itself as a manufacturer of 4-season tents, such as the Orion. Rugged and sturdy, this tent is known for its insulating capabilities.
Interestingly, it comes with different modes: Storm, Breeze-Way, and Party. So if you are going to camp during the winter, you might want to switch between the Storm Mode and Breeze-Way mode to balance insulation and ventilation.
It includes three poles, which simplifies its assembly and disassembly. These poles also create freestanding vestibules. And while doing so, the poles ensure maximum interior space. When stowed, the fly can still be attached to the tent. You can also set the fly independently or tie it with a footprint.
Both of its vestibules have eyelids over their doors. You can close these eyelids in cold conditions or open them if you want some air circulation. Meanwhile, the door has mosquito-netting windows. Aside from preventing the entry of insects, it also helps retain heat in low-temperature situations.
Excellent ventilation mechanisms
Watertight and snowproof construction
94 in x 94 in.
61.3 sq. ft.
Coleman PEAK1 4-Person Dome Tent Review
Coleman PEAK1 is a desirable tent for campers who want to head out regardless of the temperature. It is spacious, durable, and can withstand the elements.
As a 4-person tent, this one offers a roomy interior. Even its vertical height is quite generous, so it doesn't feel so cramped. The tent has a star-view window that you can unzip / zip from the inside. Aside from giving an unobstructed view of the sky, it also helps provide ventilation to the tent--effectively preventing condensation.
It has an oversized vestibule and a wide door for easier movement and storage. There are two roof vents, as well, for guaranteed air circulation.
However, the most notable aspect of the Coleman PEAK1 is its WeatherTec Plus system. This includes a waterproof fabric, having a 2000-mm Waterhead rating. It also has taped seams to prevent water entry. A tub-style floor also prevents moisture and snow from seeping in.
|Offers excellent defense against rain and snow|
Provides a roomy interior for storage
Can be assembled and disassembled quickly
82 in. x 48 in.
26.8 sq. ft.
Carbon-fiber Easton Syclone
20-denier FUTURELIGHT recycled nylon
40-denier ripstop nylon with PU-coated finish
The North Face Assault 2 Review
The North Face is no stranger when it comes to outdoor equipment. It is more than just a brand; it is synonymous with high-quality equipment. Its Assault Tent is proof that this brand is not just for show.
The Assault Tent is a 3- 4-season tent; it is usually recommended for mountaineering, but it can be used in various conditions, especially if you expect cold nights. The material used on its fabric is a recycled 3L laminate, which is watertight and breathable. Meanwhile, its proprietary carbon-fiber Easton Syclone poles are durable yet lightweight.
Pitching the tent is fairly easy, thanks to its X-tent assembly. The internal poles also reduce their pole-sleeve weight. So if you are in a rush to make a shelter, the Assault Tent is an ideal choice.
This North Face tent has a removable vestibule and includes a single front door and back door. Vents are also present on the top for enhanced stability and breathability.
|Lightweight; can be packed compactly|
Can be pitched quickly
Removable vestibule is quite handy
|Interior space is somewhat limiting to tall users|
90.5 in. x 71 in.
40 sq. ft.
21.5 sq. ft.
Aluminum DAC TH72M
20-denier ripstop nylon
30-denier ripstop nylon
Sea to Summit Telos TR3 Plus Tent Review
This Telos Tent from Sea to Summit is an upgraded version of the original Telos. It has similar functionalities but some added features that make it more reliable in cold and wet conditions.
The tent is designed to keep you warm and dry. It has an inner fabric that repels cold drafts. It also includes a thick, waterproof floor to stop water and moisture from entering. Meanwhile, its Tension Ridge architecture features an inverted pole to maximize its interior space and improve its ventilation.
There's a large, proprietary vent placed at the highest portion of the tent. This vent effectively removes warm air and prevents condensation. You can also close it from inside the shelter. There are adjustable vents on its base for better humidity management.
Moreover, the tent comes with tall doors for convenient entry and exit. These doors allow uninterrupted views of your surroundings. The lightweight yet robust stakes can be pinned to the ground, even if the terrain is rough and ragged.
|Excels in moisture regulation|
Simple yet reliable assembly process
Great for tall users
|No notable drawbacks|
31 sq. ft.
210T checkered polyester
PU3000mm water-resistant fabric
Hillman 3- 4-Season Tent Review
The Hillman 3- 4-Season Tent is your chance to experience a winter camping trip without spending big. This one costs less than a hundred bucks, but it has some decent qualities that enable it to sustain you in moderately cold environments.
The tent's canopy is made from durable, waterproof materials, while its floor is watertight and impervious from being breached by the elements. The seams are tapered, while the corners are welded. Its snow skirt ensures that the snow won't accumulate on the roof, causing the tent to collapse.
There are vents placed on the upper portion of this tent that optimize airflow and prevent condensation. Meanwhile, it has a large door for convenient accessibility. While the interior isn't that spacious, it still fits two people comfortably--including their gear.
|Highly ventilated and breathable|
Snow skirt prevents accumulation of snow
Aluminum poles are surprisingly durable
|May not sustain conditions with strong winds|
Many of us are dreaming of exploring the outdoors while it is winter. It is a fun pursuit, if you think of it. As long as you are prepared, the escapade can be memorable and danger-free.
One of the things that people need to prepare is a tent. But unlike other backcountry or camping trips, winter requires different specifications on the gear you need to bring--especially the tent.
Here are some of the recommendations you need to take in when choosing a tent for winter camping.
We always highlight the importance of seasonality when choosing tents.
Seasonality refers to the types of seasons in which a tent can shelter you comfortably (and safely). A 3-season tent would mean that the tent is good for summer, spring, and fall.
Meanwhile, 4-season tents can cover those seasons plus winter. In technicality, this concept actually refers to the capability of the tent to provide insulation, comfort, and element resistance. You can expect that 4-season tents are more durable and temperature-responsive as compared to their counterparts.
If you are not expecting harsh conditions, you may opt for a 3- 4-season tent. This particular tent is the in-between of a 3-season tent and a 4-season tent. It can handle light to moderate snow. But it won't be able to tolerate strong gusts of winds and extremely low temperatures.
In this post, we have recommended 4-season and 3- 4-season tents because of their guaranteed ability to provide insulation and ventilation.
It is also important to consider the capacity of the tent. And it is not just about being conscious of who will go with you.
The capacity of the tent dictates the thermal ability of the shelter. When choosing a tent for winter, ensure it is snug enough for yourself and your items. For example, if you are going to go by yourself, then there's no point in getting a 4-person tent.
Sure, it gives a lot of space. But a lot of space means you will also experience significant heat loss. And in a winter pursuit, heat loss is the last thing you don't want to happen in a winter pursuit.
Of course, you should never get a tent that is too tight. Otherwise, you will not be able to cave in comfortably. At the same time, it prevents you from storing your essentials, such as sleeping pads and heaters.
The material used in the tent's fabric and floor will determine how it would hold in challenging environments. Most of the time, tents are constructed from polyester, and nylon is quite tight. This means that water droplets and moisture won't be able to pass through them easily.
Specifically, nylon is more durable than polyester. However, polyester doesn't absorb as much water as nylon. Furthermore, it is also strong against UV rays.
Furthermore, you should also prioritize tents that have DWR (durable water repellent) treatments. A DWR finish strengthens the resistance of the tent against rain and snow.
The floor of the tent should be thick. Its corners should be welded while the seams are taped. In this way, you can guarantee that ground moisture won't come inside.
Don't go for tents that are too light whenever you want to play in the winter. The weight of the tent is a determinant that is robust and capable of holding off the unpredictable outdoor elements.
If the tent is too light, it might not be able to keep up with the wind. If it snows hard, a lightweight tent might collapse.
It is for this very reason that 4-season and 3-4-season tents are heavier than standard 3-season tents. So don't complain if you are packing heavily for a winter trip. The added weight means that you are prepared to face low temperatures and brazen changes to the environment.
Vestibules are an important feature to look for in a winter tent. The original function of the vestibule is to provide space for items that you can't bring inside the tent (i.e., boots and backpacks).
But in a winter tent, these vestibules add to the weight of the tent, allowing it to hold the ground a little tighter. Some tents have snow flaps that protect the vestibule from snowy gusts.
Many tents have a fly. This is an important feature that provides extra protection against the elements. They also serve as waterproofing structures.
Most 3-season tents have a fly that extends below but only halfway to all sides. This is a good design to cover the tent and its users from the heat of the sun or rain.
But if you are heading on a winter backpacking trip, make sure that the fly of the tent extends directly to the ground. With this design, the snow will not stay on the roof; instead, it will shed off. Furthermore, an extended fly is good for establishing privacy.
It is also integral to assess the quality of the poles and pole assembly of the tent. One of the essential rules in choosing a winter tent is to prioritize stability. Specifically, tents become more stable as more intersections come in.
But at the same time, the number of intersections would mean that you need more poles. And more poles could place an extra burden on your trip. In some winter trips, this extra requirement is something that you need to comply with.
However, some winter trips are so calm and moderate that you need a fully buffed tent. So before you head out, ensure you can assess your campsite's environment and conditions. If you can anticipate the weather, the better.
Aside from picking the best winter tent, it is also important that you know how to pitch one in the snowy terrain. There's a possibility that your campsite is already covered by several layers of snow. So it's better that you possess this skill before heading out.
The layers of snow aren't really the biggest problem in a winter excursion. If you want to pitch your tent safely this season, you need to look for a spot where it is covered by strong winds.
Specifically, you need to avoid places such as ravines, snow-covered slopes, or below cornices. These are the hotspots for avalanches. And most of the time, avalanches are triggered by the wind. So if you are in these areas, a little wind can cause disaster.
Hence, it is recommended that you move to a higher point or somewhere that is flat and not surrounded by any of those terrains. If you can pitch a tent in a place where there's natural shielding against the wind, the better.
In pitching a tent in winter, it's important that you look for a place where you can anchor the tent securely. Don't place the tent in an area where the snow is too thick; otherwise, you will not be able to bury anchors tightly to the ground.
Make sure that you pack the snow on the campsite with your snowshoes and skis. Try to flatten it as much as possible, and let it harden for at least ten minutes. After the snow becomes hard, you can pitch the tent already.
However, make sure that you are using snow pegs, not regular tent pegs. Snow stakes work like your standard pegs, but you can pin them horizontally--similar to T-anchors. Try to bury them tightly; after that, let them stay there for another 10 minutes so that they can freeze. Next, attach the guylines to them.
Once you have set your tent in the ideal location, you can try creating a wall made up of snow. This wall should be at least a meter tall, and its shape should be like an arrowhead. The point of the arrow should be directed to where the wind is blowing. This structure reduces the amount of wind that comes your way.
By the way, the wall should be at least five meters away from the location of your tent. In this way, the snow will not be blown directly into your tent.
Meanwhile, here’s our complete winter camping guide.
The best tents for winter are those that can provide you with adequate protection against the wind, snow, and moisture. As mentioned in the previous sections, these tents have a special construction that enables them to withstand low temperatures and the corresponding elements that come along with them. These tents are needed for every winter expedition, whether you are backpacking, mountaineering, or camping.
All the tents that we listed here are suitable for winter adventures. Still, you must check the Mountain Hardwear Trango before looking at other options. This tent is ultra-durable, weather-resistant, and easy to assemble. These features are highly welcomed to keep you warm and comfortable in cold conditions.