Are you a lover of the great outdoors, a traveler at heart, a camping enthusiast in need of a tent for cold weather conditions?
Camping is a passion and a way of life for many. If you’re planning on taking a trip and you’re not sure what to bring, we’re here to tell you that one of the most important items on your packing list should be a cold weather tent. If you need to know more about the best cold weather tents and where to find them, then look no further.
Your average tents are not going to be sturdy enough to manage the adverse weather conditions. You risk not only discomfort and material damage, but your physical health – it can be dangerous to camp in the cold without being properly prepared.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by choices or don’t know where to start in your search, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a list of the best tents you can find to make the cold temperatures manageable. Whether you’re looking to buy on a budget, need something family-friendly, or are taking on an alpine expedition, we have tents for all occasions.
At the end of this article, we’ve put together some considerations to make when choosing your cold-weather tent, as well as some frequently asked questions to make sure that you’re in the know before making your purchase.
Types of cold weather tents
There are many types of cold weather tents, and choosing the right one all comes down to what exactly you need it for and what your priorities are. Check out this list for the top types of tents!
Winter tents are the obvious choice if you plan on camping in more extreme conditions. Typically they are designed to be both lightweight and comfortable.
A top tip to consider when choosing winter tents is to find the right balance between weight and comfort: if your tent is too lightweight then it may not be double-walled or properly insulated. This can lead to some chilly nights! You should look for winter tents with high levels of water resistance: these tents are the most likely to be weatherproof and able to withstand extreme conditions.
Lightweight mountaineering tents
Lightweight mountaineering tents are ideal for alpine climbers and mountaineers. They are typically easy to carry, and the best ones will be freestanding so that they can be pitched nearly anywhere. Climbers often have to settle for the night in small and awkward spaces, making smaller and easy-to-assemble tents preferable.
A lightweight mountaineering tent is designed to keep you warm whilst staying compact. At times, this can mean that some features are compromised. In order to be sure that your tent can withstand the cold weather, look for one with good water resistance technology and insulation.
Family tents are larger and heavier than most other options for cold weather tents. This is because they are usually not carried for large periods of time or used on more extreme terrains. Family tents are ideal for car camping, base camping, or for small groups who prefer a luxury experience.
It is more than possible to find tents for all 4 seasons within a budget! Not only that, you can find value for money tents that are able to fit families or groups. Take a look at our list below to find the most for your money.
A budget tent is the smartest option for those who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars only for periodical usage. If you don’t plan on undertaking multiple winter expeditions a year, then a budget tent can provide you with everything that you need for a good price.
Cold Weather Tents With Stoves
Tents that are compatible with a stove can provide campers with additional comfort and ease, but it requires some consideration before purchasing. This kind of tent is suitable for car campers, those who are comfortable carrying more gear, and even for backpackers as some lightweight tents are compatible with stoves.
If you want a more luxurious and comfortable experience, then purchasing a cold-weather tent with a stove is the choice for you.
Top 15 Best Cold Weather Tents
1. Mountain Hardwear Unisex Trango 2 Tent
Max Occupancy: 2 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
First up is the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 person tent. This model has been around since 1995 and has a good reputation amongst professionals as a reliable expedition tent.
This tent measures up at 40 square feet, meaning it can comfortably fit two inside or one person with gear. The Mountain Hardwear Trango is a good choice for those who don’t want to compromise on the quality of their winter tents. It comes at a premium price but has remained a popular choice for decades because of its solid and smart design, making it well worth the investment.
2. Coleman Galileo 5 Tent
Max Occupancy: 5 People | Water Resistance Technology: 3,000 millimeters | Seasons: 3
The Coleman Galileo 5 is the ideal family tent. It won’t break the bank, but it is still an excellent choice for a family of adventurers!
There is a roomy living area and the option to divide up the sleeping area for added privacy. What’s more, this tent can be expanded to include a porch area, which is ideal for a family with children who want to expand their space.
The Galileo 5 is a fool-proof option for groups and families who enjoy winter camping. The design uses excellent water resistance technology and a tunnel structure which allows for an easy setup. It is important to note that this tent is most suited for base and car winter camping due to it being larger and therefore heavier.
3. Black Diamond Eldorado Tent
Max Occupancy: 2 People | Water Resistance Technology: 7,000 millimeters | Seasons: 4
This tent needs little introduction. The Black Diamond Eldorado is revered by professionals and camping enthusiasts alike. It is suitable in any kind of environment or terrain due to its classic mountaineering design.
This is not one for those shopping on a budget, but if you’re looking to make an investment and are a keen winter camper, then this is definitely the choice for you. There is an optional vestibule if you need storage, its bright color makes it easily identifiable, and its structure means it can easily fit into small spaces.
Don’t be fooled by the simple appearance of the Black Diamond Eldorado: it’s an incredibly sturdy four-season tent and is able to withstand heavy snow and rain, high winds, and freezing temperatures.
4. ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent
Max Occupancy: 2 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
Again, this is an expedition tent well-known amongst campers and professionals. ALPS has an excellent reputation for designing efficient and well-made tents for mountaineers, and the Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-person is no exception.
For a solo traveler or a couple, this is the ideal expedition tent due to its easy assembly and freestanding structure. It’s also lightweight and compact, meaning that it should not cause any issues during an expedition.
Not only this, but the ALPS Tasmanian is excellent value for money! It’s very much a budget option, but unlike other low-cost tents, this does not mean that it has compromised on quality.
5. Snow Peak Tent Amenity Dome
Max Occupancy: 4 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,800 millimeters | Seasons: 3
The Snow Peak Dome tent is another excellent family camping option. It can comfortably sleep four, with smaller and larger options available. Whilst this tent may not be suitable for all terrains due to its size, it can be used for easier expeditions and could also sleep two with a lot of gear.
This is a beginner-friendly option due to its very easy assembly and dismantling. It uses a cross pole design and comes with ultra-light color-coded poles for ease of use.
The options for the Snow Peak are endless! It is a high quality, durable piece of equipment designed to withstand most winter conditions.
6. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent Deluxe
Max Occupancy: 8 People | Water Resistance Technology: millimeters unknown | Seasons: 4
If you’re looking for a high-quality choice, then this is the one for you. The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent easily fits eight, which is a rarity even with family tents and can be assembled by one person without difficulty after it has been staked out.
The Kodiak uses the latest in camping technology, such as a Hydra-Shield 100% cotton canvas and a silicon finish to prevent condensation or mugginess occurring inside the tent. There are extra measures implemented to ensure a comfortable experience even with a large number of people such as a large awning, a 6″1 ceiling height, and a customizable gear storage system.
As you can see, this is not a tent to skimp on quality. Everything about the Kodiak Canvas is designed to ensure the utmost comfort during your winter camping experience.
7. MSR H.U.B. 8 Tent
Max Occupancy: 8+ People | Water Resistance Technology: 3,000 millimeters | Seasons: 4
Another excellent group camping option, the MSR H.U.B tent can fit 8+ people in it, making it ideal for large parties, or even smaller groups who carry a lot of gear. This option is most commonly used as a base camp tent by alpinists. If you are after a consumer-grade family tent then check out our other options!
H.U.B. stands for High Altitude Utility Base Camp, meaning that this tent has been designed for professionals and experienced climbers in particular. The MSR is able to withstand strong winds, heavy snow and rainfall, and plummeting temperatures with ease. Professional alpinists have endorsed this cold weather tent and it has been used in expeditions across the Himalayas and Antarctica.
The MSR H.U.B. includes large pockets for storing gear, removable door panels, reflective guy points, and two large entrances. For the professional alpinist, there is no better choice!
8. Vango Skye 500 5 Person Tent
Max Occupancy: 5 People | Water Resistance Technology: 3,000 millimeters | Seasons: 4
Vango makes excellent budget camping technology. This Skye 500 5 person tent is no exception! Despite being a lower price than other large winter tents, there is no issue with its quality or design.
The clear windows of the Vango Skye 500 give increased light during the daytime, whilst the light out bedroom area will make sleeping easy for everyone and create a calming atmosphere.
Its three-pole tunnel structure makes it both easy to assemble and allows for ample space. The Skye 500 can sleep five with extra room for luggage and has a pitching time of only 15 minutes, leaving you free to settle in and enjoy family time!
9. ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3-Person Tent
Max Occupancy: 3 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
If you scroll up a little, you’ll see the 2-person edition of this tent. Ranked just as highly, the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3-person is larger and more spacious but boasts all the same features as its smaller counterpart.
This tent has a reputation amongst professional alpinists as an excellent winter tent. It can withstand virtually all weather conditions and its freestanding and compact design means it can be pitched nearly anywhere.
There are no ventilation or insulation issues with an ALPS Tasmanian tent either. There are two doors and zippered mesh windows meaning that airflow will never be a problem. Its eye-catching orange color is also an attractive feature as it means your shelter will always be easy to find, even in adverse conditions.
10. GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person
Max Occupancy: 2 People | Water Resistance Technology: 3,000 millimeters | Seasons: 4
If you’re just starting out on your cold-weather camping journey, then this is the perfect tent for you. the GEERTOP 2-person Backpacking tent is easy to carry, simple to assemble, and is an affordable choice.
The premium features of this tent make it a real find for its price. It has been designed with high-quality anti-tear polyester to ensure durability and has a 3,000mm water-resistant finish. The GEERTOP is a cold-weather tent, but its inner layer can be used by itself in warmer temperatures, making it a smart choice.
Camping should be for everyone, and GEERTOP has designed a tent that means aspiring mountaineers and climbers can begin their journey.
11. Nemo Chogori 2-Person Mountaineering Tent
Max Occupancy: 2 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
In the market for a luxurious yet professional winter tent? Then look no further. The Nemo Chogori is a slick and modern design with an emphasis on innovation and style. It’s on the expensive side, but for many, this is made worth it by the features and structure of the tent.
The set-up time is minimal due to the ingenious pole structure and the silicone-treated fabrics mean that the Nemo Chogori is incredibly lightweight, compact, and therefore easy to carry.
Choosing a tent like this one eliminates many concerns about warmth, ease, comfort, and allows you to focus solely on what’s important: having an adventure.
12. MoKo Waterproof Family Camping Tent
Max Occupancy: 3 People | Water Resistance Technology: 2,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
A great budget option, the MoKo Family Camping tent is an amazing choice for under $200. Whilst it may not be the biggest family tent, it can still comfortably sleep three with space leftover.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a winter tent for this price and at this high a level of quality. Unlike many of its competitors, the MoKo has excellent weatherproofing and can withstand very harsh winter conditions. What’s more, it comes with two doors, windows for ventilation, and a three-foot vestibule for storage.
This tent is versatile, affordable, and suitable for beginners. What more could you want?
13. Camppal 3-4 Person Tent for Camping
Max Occupancy: 4 People | Water Resistance Technology: 3,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
This is a tried and tested winter tent that has been designed to withstand winter conditions. The Camppal 3-4 Person tent can fit up to four at a time, or fewer with space left over for luggage. The aluminum poles make it sturdy and able to adapt to sudden environmental changes.
A key feature of the Camppal tents is the included porch space. This is perfect for kids to play in, or for an additional living space. During cold temperatures, the porch can be used to store gear.
For those looking for a tent suited for families or the cold weather, this is a perfect choice.
14. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-Person Tent
Max Occupancy: 4 People | Water Resistance Technology: 1,500 millimeters | Seasons: 4
We’ve already talked about the ALPS 2 and 3 person tents, but there is also an even larger option. The ALPS Mountaineering Taurus 4-person tent is specifically designed for those traveling in groups or with large amounts of gear in mind.
It manages to include all necessities (plus extra!) for a mountaineering tent at an incredibly reasonable price. Despite being bigger, it still has a freestanding structure, making it suitable for diverse terrains. To maximize indoor space, there is loft storage and zippered mesh windows for ventilation purposes.
ALPS tents are the ideal choice for the mountaineer on a budget. No matter what size tent you need, they can provide the best quality for the best price!
Considerations When Choosing Cold Weather Tents
There are many aspects to consider when you’re choosing your cold weather tent.
You have to think about budget, what amenities you need for your tent, what your tent will be used for, how often you’ll be using it – but don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of things you should consider when choosing your cold weather tent, just keep reading to find out more.
Camping in the cold weather can be a beautiful experience…the snowy landscapes, the crisp air, the peacefulness. However, there are added practicalities to think about. The most important consideration is ensuring that your tent is weatherproof.
It is crucial during winter camping that your shelter is able to withstand extreme weather conditions as well as be suitable in the milder summer months. If you are on a budget and 3 season tents feel more feasible, it is possible to insulate a tent to make it weatherproof. However, we advise choosing a 4 season tent with a heavy-duty insulation system. This usually looks like inner and outer layers, good water resistance technology, and high-quality materials such as Hydra Shield or silicon-treated fabrics.
The maximum capacity that you require for your tent will, of course, depend on how many people you’re traveling with and how much luggage you have.
Some small groups or solo travelers prefer to choose high maximum capacity shelters with a large tent area, and use the extra space for storage or simply for comfort. This is an important consideration when choosing your winter tent: if you’re planning alpine expeditions or climbing trips, your gear will take up a lot of room, so a larger tent makes more sense in terms of practicality and comfort.
We’ve included options for the solo traveler, for those with a lot of gear, and for large or small families and groups.
Size and Weight
Winter tents are able to be small and lightweight as well as suitable for adverse weather conditions. Choosing your tent will require considerations about what size and weight are right for you.
Different features of cold weather tents can impact the size and weight. For example, more heavy-duty tents with vestibules are useful for mountaineering when storage space is needed, but this can add extra weight. If you plan on purchasing a 4 season tent, then be aware that this will probably come with heavier poles due to the fact that they need to be stronger to withstand high winds.
A 3 season tent is more likely to be single layer and therefore lightweight, but this comes with its downsides as it means that it is no longer appropriate for use in extreme weather. We recommend choosing a winter tent that strikes the right balance between practicality and comfort – it is more than possible to find a winter tent that is compact when packed and not strenuous to carry.
Ease of Use
Having a tent that is simple to assemble and take down is important for many. If you’re a first-time buyer, we recommend purchasing a tent which is suitable for beginners because it will have clear instructions. Some tents which are more geared towards professionals will come without assembly instructions, instead of relying on the users’ experience with camping technology.
Ease of use is a particularly key consideration if you’re planning on buying a larger or less conventional tent because you will need to factor in how difficult and lengthy pitching and taking down will be. Typical structures include the dome tent or a tunnel type tent structure, both of which are simple to assemble and pack up.
Can you Survive Winter in a Tent?
The short answer is yes if you have the right tent. However, we don’t recommend this unless you have a proper winter tent which can withstand all weather conditions.
4 season tents are the only choice for efficient and reliable winter tents. Not only does this option act as a cold weather tent but it can also be used in the summer months. 4 season tents are also typically equipped with a high waterproof rating, which is essential when camping in conditions likely to see rain or snow.
There are certain necessities that a winter tent must have in order to make it suitable to survive in. Insulation is key: without this, you run the risk of getting dangerously cold and causing harm to yourself. Ventilation is also important as it prevents mugginess or condensation.
What is the Best All Weather Tent?
The best all weather tent is, of course, dependent on personal preferences. Considerations like budget, amenities, size, and weight are all factored in.
Having said that, the best all weather tent will be good value for money and able to defend you against the elements. An all weather tent comes with the promise that it can withstand all four seasons, and be stronger and sturdier than its 3-season counterparts. This means that the structure will use only the highest quality materials such as aluminum poles and silicone-treated fabric on the floor area and flysheet.
All weather tents, or all season tents, are designed to not only keep out the extreme cold but to also be useable in the warm weather. Options with two doors and two or more windows are optimal, as they can increase airflow which will prevent overheating in the summer.
From our list above, there are multiple 4 season tents that stand out as the best. The ALPS mountaineering range is an excellent choice for solo travelers or small groups, and the VANGO Skye 500 is an ideal option for families or larger groups.
How Can I Keep my Tent Warm in Cold Weather?
We would recommend purchasing a tent that is prepared and suited for cold weather so that additional facilities to keep your tent warm are not as necessary. However, there are ways to keep your tent warm if this is necessary. It is always a good idea to pack smart: this means lots of thermal clothing, a large hot water bottle, sleeping bag liners, disposable heat packs, and down insulation.
Another obvious way to keep tents warm through the cold weather is to buy a tent-safe heater for them. The purpose of these heaters is to be used inside the tent, but make sure that you do your research beforehand and find one that is made specifically for a tent. Also, ensure not to leave your heater on overnight or for long periods of time where you won’t be in the tent as this could be a serious health and safety hazard.
All of these things are somewhat of an investment in themselves, so it can be a better idea instead to invest in the right tent initially in order to avoid too many extra expenses.