Top 10 Best Winter Tents For This Season? | 2018-19

In Buyers Guide, Tents by J. PenneyLeave a Comment

So you want to go camping but the weather is not in your favor? Fear not, fellow campers, for 4 season tents are made in your favor! Let us help you find the best winter tents!

Winter tents, a.k.a. 4 season tents, are basically a studier, more durable version of 3 season tents. Specifically, they are designed to tolerate high winds and bear the weight of snow, with strong poles and resilient pole formations. The fabric will also be more waterproof, and of a thicker, warmer material.

However, there are other things to bear in mind when choosing the perfect winter tent:

-For example, it is highly likely that you will be entering and exiting the tent while it is raining/snowing. So, an easy access tent will make you less likely to bring the weather in with you and result in a soaked sleeping bag. Depending on the number of people sleeping in the tent, more than one entrance can be beneficial.

-Storage pockets are also a surprisingly important asset when camping in wet weather, as organization of your gear inside the tent can help to keep damp items separate from dry items and ensure that all of your possessions don’t end up in the same damp category.

-For the same reason, the nature of the vestibule is also important. The vestibule is essentially the gap between the fly sheet and the tent inner which creates a storage space for gear that you may not have space for in the tent inner. It can also double as a sheltered place for cooking in bad weather. So, the size and accessibility of the vestibule can be make or break for your winter camping experience.

-If you want to use your winter tent for hiking or mountaineering expeditions, then the weight will also be important. Winter tents are often heavier than 3 season tents due to their sturdier design, it’s unavoidable. However, some are lighter than others.

-Some winter tents are also a little larger owing to the expectation that you will likely be waiting out a storm at some point and will appreciate a decent living space. For this reason you will also want to have well placed vents to make sure you have a steady supply of fresh air and avoid the build-up of condensation.





So, to summarize, the most important factors to look for when choosing your winter tent:
  • The strength of the poles
  • The strength of the pole formation
  • How waterproof and durable the material is
  • The weight of the tent
  • Ease of access and number of entrances
  • Number of pockets for storage inside the tent
  • The size and ease of access of the vestibule
  • The number of people it sleeps/size of living area
  • The quality of the ventilation system

I’ll admit, it is a lot to bear in mind. But, the list below provides some fantastic options for 4 season tents. Whether you want to spend a week in a forest or a few nights on a mountain, there will be something for you to choose from.


TentWinter RatingRead MorePrice

Mountain Hardware Trango 2
9.8/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Alps Tasmanian 2
9.0/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Hilleberg Jannu
9.8/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Black Diamond Eldorado
8.9/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

North Face Mountain 25
9.7/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Hilleberg Allak 2
9.7/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Big Agnes Shield 2
9.3/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

MSR Access 2
8.9/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Nemo Kunai 2
8.5/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price
REI Co-op Arete ASL 2<8.9/10Jump To ReviewClick To See Price

Top 10 Best Winter Tents for the Upcoming Season

  1. Mountain Hardware Trango 2
  2. Alps Tasmanian 2
  3. Hilleberg Jannu
  4. Black Diamond Eldorado
  5. North Face Mountain 25
  6. Hilleberg Allak 2
  7. Big Agnes Shield 2
  8. MSR Access 2
  9. Nemo Kunai 2
  10. REI Co-op Arete ASL 2




Mountain Hardware Trango 2

  • 9 lbs 13 oz packed weight, 8 lbs 15 oz trail weight
  • Sleeps 2, 40 sq. ft. floor area
  • 2 vestibules, 12 sq. ft. total area
  • 2 doors
  • Double walled

The Trango is likely to be the best mountaineering/expedition tent out there. It has stood the test of time, remaining popular for years, and ticking all of the boxes for durability and liveability. With 2 doors and vestibules, multiple storage pockets, durable material and reliable pole set up, the Trango will stand up to all weather conditions and keep you safe and dry. It is not an extremely lightweight tent, but any lighter and it wouldn’t be as weatherproof, so it’s all about balance. The doors have a revolutionary new design, rolling up rather than zipping from the side, resulting in slightly more weatherproof access. A small compromise is the slightly lower peak height inside which may reduce comfort marginally, but not enough to counter all of the other fantastic assets of this tent.

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Alps Tasmanian 2 (Best Price)

  • 7 lbs 15 oz packed weight, 7 lbs 3 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 34.5 sq. ft. floor area
  • 2 vestibules, 13 sq. ft. total area
  • 2 doors
  • Double walled

Finally, to round off the list and provide a bargain-hunter friendly option, the Alps Tasmanian is a 4 season tree-line tent for those on a budget. Being a truly affordable option at around 1/8 of the price of the top tents on this list, it can be expected to be significantly less durable and weather-proof. However, in moderate winter conditions, the Tasmanian will do its job for a season or 2. Surprisingly spacious while being reasonably lightweight, this tent has a comfortable design with 2 vestibules and 2 doors. While it’s always better to aim to purchase something that will last many years, if a better quality tent is just not in your price range, then the Tasmanian is a great compromise for winter camping below the treeline.

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Hilleberg Jannu
  • 7 lbs 0.8 oz packed weight, 6 lbs 3 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 34.4 sq. ft. floor area
  • 1 vestibule, 12.9 sq. ft. area
  • 1 door
  • Double walled

The Hilleberg Jannu 2 person tent is another winner of the 4 season tents on the market this year and competes with the Trango for top mountaineering tent. The dome style tent is made of an extremely strong material with great ventilation and a resilient pole configuration that is guaranteed to stand up to the most vicious storms and cope with snow loading. Its slightly smaller living area makes it a less comfortable option for long-term liveability, but also allows it to be pitched in areas where flat space is limited. Being another alpine expedition tent in the same class as the Trango, it’s not in the affordable price range for weekend car-campers, but its price reflects its quality and reliability. However, being significantly lighter than the Trango and with the inner and outer tents able to be pitched separately, this is a very versatile tent that would also suit climbers and backpackers all year round, making it the only tent that you would need to own.

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Black Diamond Eldorado
  • 5 lbs 1 oz packed weight, 4 lbs 8 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 30.8 sq. ft. floor area
  • No vestibule, but available as an add-on
  • 1 door
  • Single-walled

The Eldorado is a simple and yet classic, reliable design that easily survives serious alpine conditions. It is exceptionally strong, waterproof, durable, and likely to be a tent that will last a lifetime. Simple and fast to erect, it is the climbing companion that you want with you at the end of day. Not recommended for year-round camping as it is definitely a winter tent, the Eldorado is a failsafe option for mountain expeditions with the additional purchase of the vestibule. Ventilation is compromised slightly by the single-walled design, but only slightly, while its light weight makes it ideal for excursions where weight is a priority. The internal pole set up may take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll learn to appreciate its classic design!

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North Face Mountain 25
  • 9 lbs 15 oz packed weight, 6 lbs 11 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 32.5 sq. ft. floor area
  • 2 vestibules, 11 sq. ft. total area
  • 2 doors
  • Double walled

Another failsafe, mountaineering expedition tent, North Face’s Mountain 25 is a slightly more affordable option when compared to the tents above. Its high-quality materials add up to result in a tent at the heavier end of the scale, but it scores top marks in liveability owing to its multiple doors, vestibules, spacious interior, ample headroom, good ventilation and 8 large pockets for gear organization. The Mountain 25’s floor consists of a fully taped, nylon, bathtub design which ensures a fully weather-proof sleeping area, while a footprint can be purchased separately for added durability.

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Hilleberg Allak 2
  • 7 lbs 3 oz packed weight, 6 lbs 2 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 30.1 sq. ft. floor area
  • 2 vestibules, 19.4 sq. ft. total area
  • 2 doors
  • Double walled

Despite its high price point, another Hilleberg tent makes the list simply because the top quality design and materials used. A Hilleberg tent is an investment, but one you will only have to make once in your lifetime. While the tents above are all mountaineering tents, the Allak is a basecamp tent, meaning it won’t stand up to the most fierce of alpine storms, but will stand you in good stead in a majority of winter weather and likely be better able to handle gusty winds and heavy rain mountaineering specific tents of other brands due to its superior quality. With 2 vestibules and 2 doors with a spacious interior, the Allak ranks highly for liveability while remaining reasonably lightweight. Like the Jannu, the inner and outer tents can be used separately, and the inner can even be replaced with an entirely mesh inner, making it a versatile year-round option.

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Big Agnes Shield 2
  • 4 lbs 5 oz packed weight, 3 lbs 12 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 28 sq. ft. floor area
  • Vestibule sold separately
  • 1 door
  • Single-walled

The Big Agnes Shield 2 is a borderline treeline/mountaineering tent. This means it’s capable of withstanding alpine conditions but not designed for the most extreme winter weather. That being said, it will stand up to all winter conditions below the treeline, and do so with ample ventilation. It is a sturdy single walled tent which is fast to set up and extremely, extremely light. It doesn’t have as much interior space as the tents above, and like the Eldorado, the vestibule is sold separately, so it is not the best value tent on the market. But, if you’re not worried about gear storage and are looking for something guaranteed to be waterproof and lightweight, then this could be a tent worth considering.

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MSR Access 2
  • 4 lbs 1 oz packed weight, 3 lbs 10 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 29 sq. ft. floor area
  • 2 vestibules, 17.5 sq. ft. total area
  • 2 doors
  • Double walled

MSR’s Access 2 is a feat of 4 season engineering. It’s small and compact but incredibly lightweight for a 4 season tent while retaining the convenience of 2 doors and vestibules. It’s not bombproof and is not recommended for extreme alpine conditions, but if some low altitude backcountry backpacking in the winter months is on the agenda, then this is the tent for you. The fly doesn’t fully reach the ground which will result in a less weatherproof experience in more extreme conditions. But unless gale force winds are forecast, you will be warm and dry in this tent, which is still suitably strong to be classed a 4 season.

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Nemo Kunai 2
  • 4 lbs 13 oz packed weight, 3 lbs 15 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 27.6 sq. ft. floor area
  • 1 vestibule, 6.8 sq. ft. area
  • 1 doors
  • Double walled

Similar to MSR’s Access, the Nemo Kunai is a treeline tent, or a sturdier more weather-proof 3 season tent that is not recommended for alpine conditions. It is lightweight compact, waterproof and strong in reasonable winds. Not quite as light weight as the Access, but with a stronger pole configuration, the Kunai is another feat of 4 season engineering. Compromises made for the light weight include just having 1 door and vestibule, few interior pockets and limited overall space. However, the Kunai will stand up to stronger winds than the Access, making it a slightly more resilient winter tent.

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REI Co-op Arete ASL 2
  • 6 lbs 5 oz packed weight, 5 lbs 12 oz minimum weight
  • Sleeps 2, 32.5 sq. ft. floor area
  • 1 vestibule
  • 1 door
  • Double walled

In the same class as the above 2 treeline tents the REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 is little less durable but extremely affordable. It is not an expedition tent but if you’re looking for an affordable shelter that is suitably sturdy for some winter backpacking then this tent could be the way to go. The tent is a little heavier than both the Access and Kunai, but has the advantage of a little more interior space. It is a true year round tent making it even better value as the mesh doors can allow for adequate ventilation in all weather conditions. So if you’re looking for a tent that will keep you snug through low altitude winter trips, with the option of taking it up to alpine environments in the summer, and all while not breaking the bank, then this is your tent.

View on REI


Conclusion

So, there we have it. 10 fantastic options for winter camping for a range of requirements. I hope you find something on this list to suit your needs, or at the very least are now familiar with what you should be looking for when choosing your winter tent!

Thank you for reading and happy camping!

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