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The Best Four-Season Tents to Bring Warmth to Winter Camping

Camping season doesn’t have to end when snow is in the forecast.

orange 4 season tent pitched in snowy mountains
Getty Images

Camping is one the absolute best ways to enjoy the outdoors. But without fail, even when we try our best to bundle up, we all make that one trip each year that leaves us cold, miserable, and seriously considering heading home early. But we’re happy to report that all changed when we upgraded from a three-season tent to a four-season tent.

Most tents prioritize versatility for variable weather conditions, with breathability, ventilation, and smaller tent footprints. But in order to be comfortable when the wind is whipping, and heavy snow is falling, a four-season tent is the only way to (quite literally) weather the storm. While some tents cater to serious mountaineers on Everest-like expeditions, we selected some more modest (and therefore, more affordable) four-season tents that are lighter in weight (mostly) and will keep you warm and dry in a snowstorm.

Best Four-Season Tents for Winter Camping

What to Consider

Winter camping tents range from light and packable to massive and stove-equipped. All four-season tents are made from waterproof fabrics and are capable of survival in winter conditions, but some are more storm-ready than others. We consider the pole design, style of rainfly, overall weight, and amount of floor space to be the most important factors.

Pole design: These tents have heavier poles and structural designs that are made to withstand high winds and carry the weight of snow, should it start to pile up. But as with any style of tent, some options feature fewer, lighter poles to make them more manageable to carry into the backcountry.

Rainfly style: A true winter camping tent should have a full-coverage rainfly that extends all the way to the ground to limit sideways snow infiltrating your shelter. But some companies have started using a rainfly that falls just short of a full seal at the ground (“treeline” tents), thus improving ventilation and saving weight.

Weight: As with any tent setup, weight is an important factor in your preferred style of camping. For winter backpacking, a lightweight option is a must, but it's often worth the added weight to have a tent with extra comforts when snow is on the horizon.

Floor space: Some tents have a modest amount of floor space in the range of 30 square feet, which is pretty tight for two people with winter gear, but should work for one person and a pup. For couples or climbing partners, look for an option with upwards of 35 square feet of floor space or consider sizing up to a three-person tent.

Check out our picks for the best four-season tents for winter camping, and don't let the cold weather keep you from enjoying the winter sights and sounds of nature ever again. Who knows — you might just have the campsite to yourself!

Note: For the purpose of comparability, we selected almost all two-person models, but many of these tents are also sold in three- and four-person models.

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The Heated, Portable Yurt
White Duck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent with Stove Jack
White Duck amazon.com

When comfort is key and space is unlimited (at the campsite and in your car), a canvas tent with a wood-burning stove is second to none. 

This tent is much different than most others in this review, but it's a tent that we cannot live without for hunting. The four-person Regatta has a sewn-in groundsheet, heavy steel poles with a center support, and is made from a hefty, waterproof canvas. It features a 5-inch diameter stove jack to vent your wood-burning stove (sold separately) and does an excellent job at trapping heat inside when you need it most. 

Weighing over 50 pounds, this winter tent is a real behemoth. But it's one of the most comfortable options for a family, and well worth the setup time if you'll be out for more than a few days.

More: Camping Essentials to Use Year-Round

  • Thick material traps heat
  • Incredibly spacious
  • Adding a wood-burning stove will change your life

  • Very heavy
  • Time consuming to set up
Best Basecamp
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent
Mountain Hardwear rei.com

Setting up basecamp for winter excursions? You'll want a tent that will stand up to high winds and heavy snow, such as the Trango 2. This beast has a double-wall design with five lightweight poles that provide extra protection from the elements (compared to lighter, single wall designs), and it's been updated with a rainfly that connects to both the poles and the tent body.

Weighing in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces, boasting 40 square feet of floor space with two doors and two large vestibules, this tent is significantly roomier than most two-person tents. 

It's heavier than a lot of backcountry-angled tents, but we think the added weight is worth carrying for the extra interior space and peace of mind that you'll stay dry and cozy in below-freezing temps.

  • Incredibly stout
  • Ample space for two humans

  • Heavy for one person to carry
Best for Winter Backpacking
Hilleberg Nammatj 2 Tent

Hilleberg's shelters are a staple among winter campers and mountaineers, and the Nammatj is one of their most popular. 

The Nammatj features thick, 10-millimeter poles that create a low-profile tunnel design that shrugs off high winds with ease and prevents snow loading. The double-wall nylon body is treated with silicone, making it much more durable than most backpacking tents. And the rainfly and vestibule extend all the way to the ground, making it nearly impossible for snow to creep its way inside.

Weighing just 6 pounds, 8 ounces, this tent packs a ton of punch in a lightweight package. It's one of the few tents in this review that is genuinely comfortable in sub-zero, polar conditions yet is still light enough for one person to reasonably carry for long backpacking trips. 

Though 31 square feet of floor space is on the lower end, the high ceilings, nearly vertical walls, and oversized vestibule make this tent feel much larger and more livable than many.

  • Impressive in harsh conditions
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Rainfly extends all the way

  • Only one door and vestibule
Best for Treeline Camping
MSR Access 2 Tent
MSR backcountry.com

“Treeline” tents tow the line between three- and four-season tents. They’re well-equipped to handle cold nights near 11,500 feet and light enough for backpacking in the snow when winds are calm. For calmer winter nights where you’ll be setting up on hard-packed snow at or below treeline, this is the perfect middle ground of weight savings, price, and comfort.

With a packed weight of just 4 pounds, 1 ounce, the Access 2 is just slightly heavier than one of our favorite backpacking tents, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, and it's the lightest tent in this four-season list. The aluminum poles are lightweight yet solid, and they form a unique shape with central support that cuts through wind and sheds snow better than most designs. 

With just 29 square feet of floor space, it's great for one person and gear, but you might want to consider the three-person Access 3 for the versatility of having a two-legged or four-legged partner join.

  • Super lightweight
  • Unique design resists wind and sheds snow

  • Susceptible to sideways snow
Budget Buy
GeerTop 2-Person Camping Tent
GeerTop amazon.com

By far the cheapest four-season tent in this review, we’d be crazy to recommend venturing out into the backcountry in the dead of winter with this tent. But if you’re camping in cold climates where light snow is a possibility, this tent will provide more protection from the elements than a three-season alternative.

It’s a double-layer option with a durable, waterproof rainfly, plus a breathable inner layer with mesh and windows for ventilation. The most notable feature is the built-in snow skirt, which keeps snow from infiltrating under the rainfly.

Weighing just 6 pounds, 7 ounces, this is certainly light enough to take backpacking. With nearly 30 square feet of floor space, it's similarly sized to many backpacking tents, but the side-entry doors and smaller vestibules make this a tight squeeze for two adults.

  • Cost is unbeatable

  • Not ideal for the extreme cold
Honorable Mention
The North Face Mountain 25 Tent With Footprint
The North Face rei.com

Though it's not quite as badass as their top-of-the-line Meter Dome Tent that you've seen in mountaineering films like Meru, this tent is still a worthy, more attainable alternative. It features a double-wall design with fabrics that are super durable and plenty waterproof for camping on snow. 

The four aluminum poles are stout, delivering a high strength-to-weight ratio, and it can be staked out for impressive resilience in high winds. Weighing just under 10 pounds, it's the perfect basecamp for winter adventures when you're not on a movie-making budget. 

Its 32 square feet of floor space is considerably less than the Trango 2 (above), but with two doors and two vestibules, the Mountain 25 is much more livable than many two-person backpacking tents without wasted space and, thus, body heat.

  • Very stronger for its low weight
  • Footprint is included

  • Heavier and less spacious than our top pick
Best Value
REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 Tent
REI Co-op rei.com

REI’s Arete ASL all-season tent is perfect if you’re on a budget and delivers solid protection in cold-weather camping. It’s another tent that falls in the “Treeline” category, which means it’s prepared to minimize suffering in cold temperatures, but not meant to be an igloo-like shelter in a blizzard. This tent has a stout, four-pole design that increases stability, while also maximizing living and storage space.

Weighing in at just 6 pounds, 5 ounces, it's much lighter than basecamp tents. Just one door provides access to the 32 square feet of living space, but the large vestibule offers plenty of extra room for gear storage. 

We like the Arete ASL for cold-weather backpacking (or car camping) when you'll be moving camps nightly, especially when cold temperatures are highly likely, but not guaranteed.

  • Affordable
  • Easier to get in and out

  • Not as stormproof as heavier, pricier tents
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