CAMPING & HIKING

Winter Camping Tents: The Best of Them to Keep You Comfy

winter camping tent fire
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Camping is for summertime, right? Not so fast—some of us love camping so much we are not willing to accept we can only do it for a few months out of the year. But if you live in an area with harsh winters, your typical gear probably won’t cut it.

Luckily, there are plenty of winter camping tents available out there to help you enjoy this wonderful pastime anytime of the year.  Not all tents are created equal and finding the right one can be the difference between an awesome camping experience and one that ends early because you weren’t prepared to withstand the elements.

To help you turn camping into a year round activity, we have looked at some of the leading cold weather tents available to help you find the best one. We’ve considered lots of different features so that you can find the perfect tent for you and never have to resist the urge to go camping because it’s too cold out.

Of course, you should always exercise caution and not try to survive in extreme conditions, but the right gear will have you prepared for any situation.

Product NameWeightMaterialInner Tent AreaNumber of PeopleForm FactorPrice
Hilleberg Jannu 2 Person7.5 lbsKerlon 120034.4 ft22DomeCheck price on Amazon
Hilleberg Tarra 2 Person7.75 lbsKerlon 180030.1 ft22DomeCheck price on Amazon
Hilleberg Nammatj 2 Person7 lbsKerlon 180030.1 ft22TunelCheck price on Amazon
Mountain Hardware Trango 2 Person9 lbs70D Nylon40 ft22DomeCheck price on Amazon
North Face Mountain 257.75 lbs70D Nylon32.5 ft22DomeCheck price on Amazon
Mountain Hardware EV25.2 lbs30D Nylon33 ft22DomeCheck price on Amazon
Hilleberg Kaitum 3 GT9 lbsKerlon 120040.9 ft23TunelCheck price on Amazon
Eureka Alpenlite 2XT7.4 lbs70D Nylon31 ft22A-frameCheck price on Amazon

What To Look For In A Winter Tent

If you’re going to be heading out to camp in harsh conditions, you need to make sure your gear is up to snuff. There are lots of different factors you should consider to make sure you will be properly prepated. Before purchasing a tent, consider the following:

Size

This can refer to a number of different things. One of the most important is how many people can fit inside. Most cold-weather tents will sleep no more than two or three people since it would be hard to maintain temperatures in larger tents.

Apart from this, you’ll also want to look at the area of the tent floor, the size of the vestibule area outside the entrance where you’ll store your gear and also the weight of the tent. You’ll be carrying it with you, so try not to go for anything you won’t be willing to have in you’re pack

Setup Requirements

The last thing you want to do when making camp in the winter is stuggle for an hour with poles and materials. Many winter tents will come with easy setup mechanisms so that you can put them together in a short period of time.

setting up a tent in the snow

Try to find something you are familiar with so that you can build your shelter quickly and get cover from the conditions.

Materials

This is perhaps one of the most important features of any tent you will find. The materials need to be strong enough to withstand heavy winds, rain, snow and whatever else Mother Nature can throw your way. Some of the most common materials you will find in tents are:

  • Nylon. A common materia found in many tents. Look for the denier (D) rating, as this indicates its strength. The higher the D number, the stronger the fabric.
  • Polyester. Not as strong as nylon, but effective. Typically cheaper than other fabrics, it might not be the best for camping in high-wind conditions.
  • Kerlon. A rather strong type of nylon, this is probanly one of the most durable materials out there. It will likely be more expensive, but you can expect the higher price tag to come with much higher quality.

Ventilation

Ventilating a tent that is supposed to keep you warm seems counterproductive, no? Well, if you’ve ever sat in a car full of people without the air on or hidden under a heavy blanket, you know heat can create condensation.

Winter-tent-ventilation

If this happens and you get wet, you’ll get cold. Make sure the tent you buy has an effective ventilation system to keep air flowing so that you stay dry as well as warm inside.

Price

One thing you should keep in mind is heavy-duty tents of this nature are not cheap. These is serious equipment for serious campers. If you’re reading this article, you likely fall into this category, but remember that a $50 tent will likely not be made of materials sufficiently strong to protect you from harsh conditions.

Expect to pay a price ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. When it comes to preventing frostbite or worse, it’s worth it.

Warranties

If you’re going to invest in a cold-weather tent, make sure you are getting a quality product. One surefire way to tell if what you are getting is worth its heft price tag is how willing the manufacturer is willing to stand by its product.

yellow tent on the snow

Lifetime warranties are a good sign you are getting something that will protect you and that you will have for a long time.

These are the most important factors to kee in mind before purchasing a winter camping tent. Some additional features to look out for are: the number of doors and windows, the presence of storage pockets as well, the size of the awning/vestibule, and the tent’s accessories.

Reviews of the 8 Best Winter Camping Tents

Now that we have established the criteria you must take into consideration before buying a winter camping tent, let us dwell directly into a list of choices which will satisfy all or most of your needs.

Hilleberg Jannu 2 Person Tenthilleberg jannu tent

Price:  Approximately $930

Weight: 7.5 lbs

Floor area: 36.6 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 92 x 51 x 39 inches

Specific features: A 2 person tent, outer fabric made of Kerlon 1200 with 9mm poles, outer wall extends to the ground and adjustable fabric panels back up the mesh areas, has a dome construction with many pole crossing points with a single entrance and a single vestibule

Best use: Suitable for alpine climbing and mountaineering at high altitudes

The Hilleburg Jannu 2 Person Tent is both lightweight and durable, making it an excellent option for even the most extreme conditions.

Kerlon 1200 is one of the toughest materials out there, so you won’t need to worry about it getting damaged due to high winds, heavy rains or snow. Also, all the stress points are reenforced well, which helps to make it even stronger.

The dome-shaped design together with the multiple crossing means it can handle being covered with snow and will cause extra weight to slide right off.

You can easily get in and store your stuff thanks to a single entrance and single vestibule design. The outer tent extends all the way down to the ground providing even more protection from the cold.

Some might say this tent is a little too light, making it a challenge to secure in severe conditions. Additionally, it is advertised as a 4-season tent, but the thick material and dome design might make it rather warm in the summer.

The zippers are a little small, which could be a challenge when your fingers are cold or if you’re wearing gloves. Overall, though, this is a quality winter tent that will protect you well and won’t weigh you down.

PROS:

  • Extremely durable
  • Spacious vestibule for gear storage
  • Capable of withstanding heavy loads

CONS:

  • Almost too warm
  • Zippers difficult to manage

Related: The Hilleburg Jannu Footprint is a good accessory to consider. It will give you extra protection against the cold ground and will help to protect the base of the tent.

Check the price on Amazon

Hilleberg Tarra 2 Person Tenthilleberg tara tent

Price: Approximatley $1,100

Weight: 8 lbs 6 oz.

Floor area: 30 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 168 x 55 x 41 inches

Specific features: 2 person tent, the outer fabric is Kerlon 1800 with 10 mm poles, has an all seasons construction tent wall which can be extended to the ground together with adjustable fabric panels which back up the mesh areas, a dome construction that has many crossing pole points for unmatched stability in snow-load handling.

Best use: Suitable for camping in open and harsh terrains

The Hilleberg Tarra 2 Person Tent is Hilleberg’s most versatile winter camping tent with a design that is both sturdy and stable. It is easy to set it up and thus it’s suitable for use in places with abrupt weather changes, as one person or two can comfortably set it up quickly.

What is more is that you don’t need pegs to pitch it due to its self-supporting dome design. The dome construction and many crossing pole points offer you unmatched snow loading capabilities. There are two entrances and a vestibule for storage.

The outer tent and the inner tent can be used separately depending on the conditions. In order for you to use the inner tent alone, you might need optional pole holders. The design makes it be a durable 4 season camping tent that can be used in the harshest of environments.

The cost and its weight considering it is a two person tent are what makes this winter tent to be out of reach to many. But it’s an appropriate model for an all season serious outdoor camper.

PROS:

  • Larger than most two person tents
  • Made from Kerlon 1800—one of the most durable materials out there
  • Option for inner or outer tent depending on space

CONS:

  • Heavier than some other similar models
  • Ventilation can be tricky

Check the price on Amazon

Hilleberg Nammatj 2 Person Tenthilleberg nammatj tent

Price: Approximatley $750

Weight: 6 lbs 9 oz

Floor area: 30.1 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 52 x 87 x 38 inches

Specific features: Kerlon 1800 outer tent fabric with 10mm poles. Extremely strong Spectra guy lines attached to both the vestibule and back wall. A  roomy interior as well as full sitting in the inner tent. A single entrance and vestibule with lots of storage space. Multi-slider zipper door that could be opened from the side, bottom or top

Best use: Backpacking and mountaineering

The Hilleberg Nammatj 2 Person Tent is an appropriate model for low and high altitudes. It’s easy to set up and carry around due to its lightweight materials and design.

It is a durable 4-season camping tent with a desirable weight to height ratio. The tunnel shape of this tent creates plenty of space for 2 people as well as the gear that they carrying along, and helps to make it especially resistant to strong winds.

The outer and inner tent can be conveniently pitched simultaneously. This tent comes with a footprint so that you can cover the entire area of the outer tent if you want. What is more is that you can replace the inner tent with a Nammatj mesh Inner tent, but this has to be bought separately.

You need to be less worried during poor conditions since the guy lines on the vestibule vent hoods, as well as the looped guy lines, increase the stability of each pole. The large flaps that come with it protect its zippers from the rain and the ground water will be kept off due to the high bathtub floor.

PROS:

  • Built to withstand Antarctic conditions—very wind resistant
  • Tunnel design allows for space maximization
  • Lighter than many other tents—just over 6 lbs
  • Less expensive without sacrificing quality

CONS:

  • Tunnel design makes it a bit smaller when storing gear

Check the price on Amazon

Mountain Hardware Trango 2Person Tentmountain hardwear trango tent

Price: Approximately $650

Weight: 9 lbs 13 oz

Floor area: 40 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 38 x 24 x 8 inches

Specific features: Two doors with a poled front vestibule, Polyurethane port window. This tent has been cold-crack tested to -60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best use: Alpine climbing

This Mountain Hardware Trango 2Person Tent is an expedition companion for those who want a relatively durable and sturdy tent at an affordable cost. You will enjoy more space and vestibule area as compared to other tents in its range. For example, it’s more spacious than the North Face Mountain or the Hilleberg Jannu 2 person tents.

At times, 3 people might squeeze and still fit in this 4 season camping tent. It is considered to be the most livable winter camping tent in its range. It is simple to set it up, though not so much so as the Hilleberg Jannu and Tarra.

The polyurethane used in the windows is vulnerable to damage caused by hydrolysis, but not until after many repeated uses. The Sil nylon coating on the inner tent makes the tent be quite durable. The other downside of this tent is heavy nature compared to other lighter models in its range.

PROS:

  • Less expensive than other models
  • Large inner tent area
  • Suitable for extremely cold temperatures

CONS:

  • A bit heavy for carrying in a backpack
  • Difficult to set up at first, but easy once you learn

Check the price on Amazon

North Face Mountain 25 Tentnorth face 25 tent

Price: Approximatley $645

Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz

Floor area: 32.5 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 86 x 54 inches

Specific features: 2 person tent, dual doors with a pole front vestibule and a polyurethane port window. This tent has been cold-crack tested to -60 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a spacious vestibule area 8 sq. feet.

Best use: Suitable for general camping, as well as high altitude mountaineering, base camping and winter camping.

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent is a favorite among many mountaineers and lifetime campers. It is a highly functional camping tent that can withstand harsh weather elements.

Being relatively lighter than other models in its range, specifically the Mountain Hardware Trango 2 and Hilleberg Tarra, but smaller in size compared to the Trango 2, this tent represents a nice “middle-of-the-road” option. It’s very easy to set up compared to other models. It’s got plenty of room inside, although not as much as say the Trango 2.

The ventilation system allows you to control for condensation when camping the winter and allow for some fresh air to enter the tent in the summer. The tent has matching colors to simplify the process of setting it up, and the big storage pockets inside the tent makes it easy to find space to store your gear.

The downside of this model is its weight’ it’s heavier compared to other. But it is a durable model, preferably a 3 season tent but it can cope well with winter conditions. The North Face is a well-respected brand in the world of outdoor gear, and this tent matches with this reputation.

PROS:

  • Great inside storage
  • Tested for extreme temperatures
  • Lifetime warranty and free returns if you have an issue
  • More affordable

CONS:

  • Heavier than similar models

Check the price on Amazon

Mountain Hardware EV2MH EV2 tent

Price: $550-700

Weight: 5 lbs 3 oz

Floor area: 33.5 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 105 x 35 x 41 inches

Specific features: 2-person, single-wall camping tent. Uses industry-leading DAC Featherlight NSL poles. An integrated vestibule for more space. Five welded adjustable zippered vents and a SVX window for a brighter interior.

Best use: High altitude, as well as general mountaineering

This Mountain Hardware EV2 is best suited for high altitude mountaineering with the appropriate conditions being when temperatures are below zero degrees. It has been considered by many to be the second sturdiest camping tent in its range of models. You can simply pitch it faster from the outside and it offers great space for tall individuals.

Among the single wall tents, it’s a good combination of a low weight, sturdiness as well as the desired comfort. It is a good pick for those who are into high altitude mountain climbing. The EV2 is relatively longer with enhanced strength due to a third pole among the single wall tents.

This tent is, however, poor when it comes to ventilation during calm weather conditions. It is generally a favorable single wall tent for those interested in mountain climbing, preferably used when temperatures are below zero.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight, yet durable
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other models
  • Very sturdy

CONS:

  • Ventilation can be a problem

Check the price on Amazon

Hilleberg Kaitum 3 GThilleberg kaitum tent

Price: Approximatley $1,200

Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz

Floor space: 42 sq. feet

Total Dimensions: 86 x 72 x 41 inches

Specific features: 3 person double wall tent. High strength to weight ratio. High-reliability construction, great usability, and classic Hilleberg design. Inner and outer walls can be simultaneously pitched. There are two color options: red or green.

Best use: Camping in extreme weather

The distinguishing factor of the Hilleberg Kaitum 3 GT is that it can easily fit three people. It is simple to erect, and it uses 4 DAC, V-shaped stakes for enhanced stability. The Kerlon 1200 has been used as a fabric and this guarantees you the desired durability and sturdiness.

What is more is the Kaitum 3 is a lightweight and waterproof camping tent. Pretty convenient, no? In the event you anticipate harsh weather conditions, you have the option of increasing the stability of this tent by running a second set of DAC poles. Be less worried about condensation while using this tent; its ventilation is quite good.

This  camping tent is relatively heavy compared to other models in its range, which can make it hard to hang dry it due to the design. It is a more-than-suitable option for extreme weather conditions, but it does come with a hefty price tag. In this case, you are getting what you pay for.

PROS:

  • Ample space for three people
  • Inner and outer walls can be simultaneously pitched
  • Above standard pole and material stength

CONS:

  • One of the most expensive tents you’ll find
  • Slightly heavy, but this comes with the tent being made for three people

Check the price on Amazon

Eureka Alpenlite 2XT Tenteureka alpenlite tent

Price: Approximatley $250

Weight: 7 lbs 7 oz

Floor area: 31 sq. feet

Total dimensions: 90 x 54 x 40 inches

Specific features: 2 person double wall tent, storm shield Plus Polyester fly, an 11 sq. feet vestibule, bathtub floor, 5 vents and 2 windows

Best use: Mountaineering and winter camping

The Eureka Alpenlite 2XT Tent is a compact and strong winter camping tent that can accommodate 2 people. Its design is a strong A-frame that has steep walls in order to shade you from snow. This is combined with a central hoop to create more interior space.

The tent offers you the best ventilation you will ever enjoy in winter, as well as summer. There is an attached dual-zippered vestibule which will make storing and accessing gear much easier. The visibility of this tent in low light is enhanced by its reflective webbing.

Setting this tent up is simplified by the quick release buckles on its fly. There is plenty of space to keep your extra gear thanks to the 2 mesh storage pockets on the inside of the tent. The Eureka 2XT has been deemed as heavy by some users, and at times condensation can be an issue.

Smaller than other tents, it can be bit tight at times for two people. Generally, though, it is a suitable 4-season, double-wall 2 person camping tent.

PROS:

  • Incredibly easy setup
  • Very affordable option
  • Great ventilation
  • Versatile

CONS:

  • Condensation can be an issue
  • A bit tight on space
  • Somewhat heavy for the amount of space

Check the price on Amazon

Let’S Go Camping

Having the right gear is essential for any camping trip. However, if you decide to make camping a year-round hobby, you need to be extra prepared—it could turn into a matter of life and death—and having a quality, durable and warm tent should be a the top of priority list.

Cold-weather-quality-tent-810x505

We have tried to outline some of the important features to look for when looking at winter tents, and we hope the information provided about the top options on the market will help make your decision process much easier.

Do you have any experience camping in the winter? Any tips about tents we didn’t mention that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Jenny Simpson Smith

    Finding a 4-season tent that doesn’t cost the earth can prove rather challenging and over the years I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on tents only to be left disappointed – and cold.

    When I discovered the Eureka Alpenlite Tent I thought it was too good to be true… A tent that can survive a winter storm for less than $300 had to be too good to be true. I was wrong, this tent is fantastic!

    I’ve had it pitched out in snow storms, sub-zero temperatures, and 30mph winds and it has held up great.

    A small word of warning… the pitching instructions received were rather confusing, in the end, I threw them to one side and decided to rely on good old women’s intuition. Without the instructions, I had the tent up in a snap as all the poles and parts are logically shaped, so with a little common sense, you can see where they ought to be.

    Overall, I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised and pleased with this tent. It will comfortably fit two adults, it’s comfortable, warm and incredibly sturdy. The best in the list for sure.

    • Dennis Owens

      The Eureka Alpenlite is durable and really affordable considering how great its features are. Even the picky backpackers and campers agree that this is a good buy and I’ve seen some of my friends getting this as a holiday present! Definitely worth it.

  • Rob chang

    In the last 10 years I’ve used many tents from countless manufacturers from all corners of the globe, but the Mountain 25 from The North Face, is by far the best one!

    I’ve had the opportunity to use it in various conditions, from the foothills of California to the Gobi desert and it has yet to fail me. It has withstood 30mph winds, sand storms, torrential rain and below-zero temperatures, whilst still proving me with a warm and comfortable nights sleep.

    A must have tent for any winter camper.

    • Dennis Owens

      Nowadays, having a winter camping tent is not just about protecting you from rain or frigid weather. It should be able to sustain the harsh and unpredictable elements. The Mountain 25 is a reasonable choice and it is capable of providing you warmth and safety against the harsh external environment.

0
0
Total
0
Shares