Do I really need a cold-weather tent? Surviving in cold weather is much more challenging than any other: you should have the necessary gear to sustain winds, rain, snow, and other disadvantages of weather. Read the article to find out what all campers should know about cold weather tents, merits of insulation, types of floor, the materials, and more about making your winter survival trip successful.
People love to go camping while it is nice weather outside. Hardly can we say that this love endures when the elements go worse.
And only a handful of us test their abilities to survive in extreme weather conditions or indulge their adventurous nature while enjoying their cold weather camping.
The winter season brings some obstacles for true travelers to relish their trips. Anyway, whatever reason it may be for a person to stop in a cold wild environment, the human body is vulnerable. You need to support your well-being to lessen the hazard of a cold winter environment.
Plan your winter camping outfit accordingly. A cold weather tent of high quality is one of the essential things among other pieces on your list for such a weather condition.
A summer camping tent stands out from your equipment for winter weather, and no matter how super lightweight it can be or whatever super high quality it has.
A summer tent is merely not designed to withstand winter conditions like strong winds, snow, and humidity. It can’t serve you as a four-season tent at all, for the summer tent lacks the properties to serve you as a portable cold weather shelter.
Though survivalists know the tricks of sustaining warmth in their shelters even without cold weather tents, and further on, we’ll share some pieces of advice here as well.
It is good to know in what way it is possible to secure your shelter and stay warm. But it’s not the case if you have to make something up every time for your protection during your winter outdoor stay. Cold weather tents can serve you as one of the primary things in critical weather conditions.
Top Best 7 Cold Weather Tents
You’ll be pleased to find a good selection of 4 season tents. However, it can make you even puzzled. The volume variety of 4 season tents is large. There can be small tents suitable for one or two people, only 3 person tents, and 6 person tents and even larger tents that allow you to have a family camping with all your folk.
According to your desires and requirements in braving the weather, you may figure out some criteria that help you spot that very tent for you in the market. All the series of season tents enable them to fit any case and budget.
Depending on your travel habits, you may choose from summer tents, 3 season tents, or 4 season tents.
Their usability affects the price you are going to pay for it. The main function of 4 season tents is to serve you as a shelter and proper protection from elements. You want it durable and able to resist these elements, continue this list with sun rays impact. Many tents of this kind supply heavier fabrics and have a special coating.
You can focus on smaller tents for your light backpacking travel. Dome tent versions are quite popular as they give a nice feel of spacious room inside.
Or you stick to mountaineering tents with rugged floor space and advanced features that usually winter tents offer. They have vestibules and two doors as well. However, some mountaineering tents refrain from two vestibules for the sake of lightweight.
Go through the list of top winter camping tents below. It’ll help you find out which is more suitable for you to pursue a comfortable staying in winter conditions during your trip.
The best cold weather tents include advanced versions as well as basic ones. Both of them cater to provide shelter and warmth while you are staying in it outdoors.
It represents a 2 person tent. It is ideal for people who don’t bring overloads with them or try to host crowds of people in it.
The Snugpack Scorpion 2 tent can easily resist rain and melting snow owing to its RipStop waterproof Fly Sheet. The heavy-duty floor space is watertight, completing this wether tent’s design and showing high durability against continuous precipitation.
It has DAC Featherlite aluminum poles and press-fit connectors.
The tent is extremely lightweight (5 lbs 8 oz). This 2 person tent is the best choice for winter backpacking retreats if you feel about traveling light in winter.
The plastic snap-buckles and zippers seem a little bit cheap and insecure.
Click here to check the price.
The MoKo Waterproof 4 Season Tent is a 3 person cold weather tent, reinforced, and this feature adds up to its cost. The weight is 10.6 lbs, and it is quite heavy for backpacking journeys.
As for your car travel options, it is a good tent choice.
A high-quality flysheet is durable with 2500mm+ waterproof. And it includes a 5000mm (1000D polyethylene) for the floor area.
It is a cost-effective winter tent considering the benefits you’ll get. It is resistant to water, endurable, and provides a lot of space.
The tent is weighty and substantial, not suitable for long distances away from your car.
Click here to check the price.
This 2 person tent is a recent design of the winter tent introduced to the market among other Geertop quality goods.
They used a 210T anti-tear checkered polyester for the tent. And a waterproof finish of 3000mm makes it more beneficial.
The Geertop features sturdy and a watertight tent from snow and snowmelt.
You’ll find anti-tear, watertight polyester of two layers.
The tent is not equipped with the best quality zippers.
Click here to check the price.
You may find that the Arctic Oven tent is considered one of the best tents to preserve the warmth.
The tent is enormous and can host 5 to 10 people.
It can resist subzero temperatures. It is quite efficient in accumulating heat with its excellent technological solution.
These winter tents vary in size featuring different options. So the tent offers you a tent price range from a lower one up to several thousand dollars limit.
The tent is definitely a four-season tent having such modern warming up device inside. It is of a formidable size (226 square feet). It can accommodate ten people or even eleven during the summer season. It withstands strong winds and extremely durable. The oven and a vestibule add to its advantages. The tent is perfect to set up a base camp.
This base camp tent is like a house and very hefty, 110 pounds (difficult to carry it anywhere). It takes time to mount it with all these winter fads, and the rest space is large enough only for 5 or 6 people. It is not for everyone to go in for such a tent investment.
Click here to check the price.
We recommend to watch the video of how to install this apparatus of this large winter tent:
This bomber tent is designed to endure different winter conditions, from high winds to heavy snow. Its durable fabrics allow you to wait out even a several-day storm. It is an indispensable tent for mountaineering adventures in a hush rigid environment.
Polyester ripstop is used for the fly. The use of high tenacity threads enhanced the tear strength up to 25% compared to regular nylon and polyester ripstop fabrics.
The tent is distinguished among cold weather tents. It is built to cope with mountaineering trips.
The tent is quite costly. If you are not that mountaineering traveler, this purchase is a waste.
Click here to check the price.
Note: Bring more comfort to your winter tent by obtaining a tent heater.
This 3 person tent is considered a lightweight one among the other winter tents. The ALPS tent is warm. Still, it will be massive for your solo adventures.
Another feature attracting people is that it is a dome tent. It gives you a feeling of space and coziness when you’re inside.
The tent is affordable, packable, and small. It provides a high vestibule giving a large room of 14 square feet for storage and cooking.
The tent is not so durable as you expect it to be. It lacks ripstop technology.
Another drawback is its weight, 9 lbs 2 oz. The tent almost breaks your spine and exhausts you during a long journey, only if you have some vehicle for it, like cars or sleds. It is not so sturdy with its sidewalls in the winds.
Click here to check the price.
Note: the tent has the 2 person tent version. The less size version weighs less, and the price is less as well.
Chogori tent includes an integrated fly. You’ll appreciate its structure with external aluminum poles. Your setting up the tent time will be minimal when you get caught in extreme weather conditions and have to organize it quickly.
The heavy-duty tent’s weight is lessened by 25% due to the external aluminum poles, and it equals 8.42 lbs.
They also use ripstop innovation with a silicone-treated 20D nylon fabric. It ensures durability. Seam tape is not required either.
The tent is designed to be sturdy in extreme weather. It also features a very great bonus – you can convert two Chogori tents into a bigger space by joining them together.
This winter tent involves a bigger investment than you may expect, but it deserves it, alright.
Click here to check the price.
A History Glance On Nylon Tent Evolution
Have a look back in history, and you’ll see that human beings always sought places where they could hide or live in either caves or huts or houses. It was vital to surviving at all times. Nomadic cultures are a good example of using portable dwellings.
In early times people used animal hides to make shelters, which enabled them to resist the elements and stay warm. Nowadays, it is still possible to see ancient ruins of tents left by hunter-gatherers who lived in Siberia in Russia. At that ancient time, they used mammoth skins to survive in a severely cold environment.
Then, it was time when people erected teepees and yurts. Those sturdy constructions allowed people to settle down in one place for the time being. And when the riches of the area were running out, they could move their shelter to another place.
People like Mongolians and Native Americans led their nomadic way of living with portable dwellings too.
The yurt style is extremely fashionable now. Houses designed in this manner are trendy in the Rocky Mountains area.
Remember Romans who had a triumph over European countries, some of Africa, and the Middle East? The tent usage in their armies was enormous as it was essential to transport all the movable stuff.
Their tents were different: big and small, elegant or old ones. There were even trendy tents made of calf or goat skins.
As you can trace from history, tents have been played an important role in surviving techniques in every war since old times. And for the last two centuries, the matter is still the same about tents as a vital tool. Just think of the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, etc.
Operating as a movable shelter, tents indubitably will have prosperous lives ahead of them.
And nowadays, we can judge the ways of using tents through all these years of evolution. Tent technologies have been developing as well as becoming more refined.
In modern times, any tent introduces current solutions that make it rugged, tight to water and withstand high winds. The technologies also enable people to heat a tent and stay warm.
Cold weather tents are more advanced in these features demonstrating their substantial progress from early mammoth hides.
You should understand from the very beginning that a tent is a temporary shelter you could stay in during your winter trip. You’re always at risk to suffer from cold weather and damage your health. However, it is possible to be prepared. Careful planning is a good approach to meditate on every tiny detail of your tent living routine.
You’re welcome to find more about the Proficiency of Surviving with the Camping Essential Checklist. You’ll find a free copy here.
Tips To Pick The Right Winter Tent
Why are you going to use a cold-weather tent?
This is the first and utmost thing to consider about your tent. Think about the reason for your journey. The answer to this simple question brings you to a certain understanding of what you truly need while you’re checking the list of supplies for your journey.
A one-day outing, like ice fishing, defines your preference in choosing the tent. For instance, a backpack could fit all the winter camping stuff for a short trip and a smaller winter tent.
As for longer winter outings, you need more professional solutions, including cold-weather tents, to serve as a real dwelling for you. Those tents can be larger and warmer with a thick water-proof shell. Get zippo hand warmers for your safety.
They usually provide a spacious vestibule accommodating several people and camping gear. These winter tents provide a chimney and stove for wood burning. And you’ll be pleased to find yourself in such a warm and cozy tent in winter conditions.
A good example of these camping tents is the Arctic Oven Tent, which is extremely effective in cold weather conditions. But this tent is not appropriate for many situations where you’d like to use a winter tent as it is too massive and heavy for your regular journeys in nearby areas. And there must be a special vehicle to transport it for you, for instance, a bush plane.
Is your camping gear appropriate to the situation?
Make sure that it is. If you travel in a group with all your folk and many supplies for your family camping, then a large 6 person family tent is a top priority for you.
In case of your solo trip, you might stick to a light version of a person’s tent. It will be hard for one or two people to accumulate warmth if the tent is too spacious.
Also, grab minimal camping stuff as it is useless to carry the extra things with you.
It seems a difficult task to decide on the spot. There is a solution – compile a checklist. Read for some checklists on the Internet, either professional or amateur ones.
The main point is to see what stuff you may need. This homework helps you compile your own list to address when you plan to enjoy winter trips and outdoor activities like skiing.
The checklist reference ensures that you have packed all the necessary things and won’t be overloaded with extra stuff that you have to carry all the way. The checklist helps you be consistent in packing things when you’re at home and then at breaking camp.
How to transport cold winter tents to your destination?
It is another thing to consider either you will drive the winter tent around, or you will carry it. It depends on the situation and the reason for your journey.
It should be solid and strong enough, but you have to carry it by yourself. So it should be of reasonable weight limits unless you carry it in your car. Get ice cleats for your shoes in order to have more ice safety.
In the case of vehicle camping, there is no point in having your tent large and heavy. And if you intend for backpacking, it is an issue to think of a person tent that is portable and easy to carry.
Canvas Cold Weather Tents
Here you can find one more interesting option of the best cold weather tents. They are canvas tents. They can secure warmth and durability as well as modern mountaineering tents made of polyester and nylon.
See the post about Choosing the Best Canvas Tent for you.
We also recommend testing your camping equipment in relatively mild conditions for the first time to know for sure if it is OK with your requirements. Don’t put yourself in a more hazardous situation in winter with the stuff that can’t secure your safety or you don’t know how to operate it in the right way.
All your camping gear aims at supporting your comfortable staying to some extent if we consider the winter environment.
Three Alternative Shelters For Winter Survival
Check the weather forecast before leaving your house for your winter adventure. Of course, it is impossible to predict absolutely everything. But in case of storms and other worsening conditions, you have a chance to change your plans or choose a safer location for a winter outdoor trip.
Anyway, be aware of these pieces of advice. They are not exactly what you may think of, and they describe not that actual shelter you need in winter conditions. You do need a cold-weather tent to avoid health and life hazard. However, these tips help you to some extent.
1. Snow Can Keep Warmth
Spring season is usually tricky, promising you sunny days for the entire period of your retreat. So you are equipped with a lightweight summer tent. And all of a sudden, a blizzard comes. You dream about having a proper 4 season tent for good protection.
So, use snow for insulation. Throw it on the tent outside of several inches thick. Snow covers your tent and helps you to trap the warmth inside.
When the snow starts melting, the tent may get soaked unless it’s waterproof. Though it can be a sign for better, the weather is getting warmer again.
2. Carve Snow for the Igloo
To build an igloo is not that simple thing to do. If you have to spend the night outdoors and have some time to organize your shelter, there is a chance to build an igloo. It is just time-consuming.
Though historically, an igloo is known as one of the best winter weather shelters.
You need to carve a heap of bricks of snow. Then pile them in layers. These snow and icy walls will serve as insulation resisting cold and winds from outside.
Watch the video on how to build an igloo.
3. Snow Cave Digging
Another way to use snow for insulation is to dig a snow cave. Unlike igloo construction, this approach is much faster, and you don’t need to dig it very deep and large.
Make it 0f enough dimensions for you to crawl inside and wait out for the cold night. The snow cave helps you to survive.
In case you need a quick winter shelter preserving warmth, dig a snow cave. Scoop out the snow for you to fit in. Don’t forget to make a door too. Make it of a large snowball, or a chunk of ice, or jacket, and so on.
Try to adjust your ‘door’ tightly to prevent the warmth accumulated inside from escaping your shelter. However, find a balance for a fresh air penetration to avoid suffocation.
Watch the video about making a snow cave.
Best Cold Weather Tent Summary
Cold weather threatens your health and even life because people can suffer from hypothermia.
Still, it is possible to have your best outdoor time during your trips. Just think everything over carefully and is ready to resist the cold. The winter environment is harsh, and a cold-weather tent is one of the essential things in surviving.
Among plenty of winter tents, you may pick the right one that fits your needs perfectly.
The only point is to devote some time to the tent market variety and clarify peculiarities that make every tent unique. This homework helps you to define requirements and find the best one accordingly.
If you plan your outing, especially in winter, considerable thought about a 4 season tent is crucial. Purchasing an appropriate tent is much the same as buying a warming hut or cross-country skiing yurt or hunting lodge as it functions as a shelter making it easier to resist the cold climate.
If your adventurous nature opens up new travel places for you, make sure that you support your desire with a 4 season winter tent designed to withstand a cold environment.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Can you survive the winter in a tent?
Learn some basic techniques for surviving in severe conditions, have some rudimental knowledge on choosing the right place for your tent, how to use the local landscape for your benefit and resist high winds, etc. Certainly, bring the proper equipment and devices and personal belongings for your winter trip.
Another must-do tip is to avoid solo trips. It’s better to travel with a partner and put the hazard of winter travel to a minimum. Many things you can do faster together, like setting up a camp or differentiate some tasks. And you have a good companion to talk to during your long winter nights.
How cold does it get in a tent?
Before heading for a trip, do some research on the weather temperature and snowing chances or rain in the area you plan to stay. It is good if you find the temperature range of the area. If you’re aware of some general figures and information on local climate peculiarities, it’ll be easier to decide on the right equipment and stuff you need to buy and take with you.
Pay attention to the daytime and nighttime temperatures for the period of your stay. Spring and autumn seasons are very deceptive at this point as it may promise a beautiful almost summer atmosphere day time, then night-time strikes you with freezing wind and snow all of a sudden.
How do you keep a tent warm in the winter?
The main trick here is to warm a tent up and prevent freezing drafts from penetrating inside it. Many tent models have one or two vestibules preventing the cold from penetrating the main part straight away. Also, if you bring your camping gear from outside, it starts radiating cold into the interior. It is better to store it in vestibules.
Also, use foamed pads and rugs to cover the floor space and seal up the door area. Use two doors of the tent to open it in good weather and ventilate and dry it faster. Locate the tent in such a way that it will start catching the first sunrays in the morning.
What is the best all-weather tent?
Base camp tents usually have all modern features, but they are big and weighty. As for portable versions, stick to a mountaineering tent type. Think about the floor area size. When you sleep in it, you need some extra inches for that. Pay attention to the ventilation system as your breath causes more humidity inside during the night time. Use tents with two doors and two vestibules. Two doors option adds comfort in using tents. Every partner has their own entrance. Vestibules can function as some spare rooms. Leave your boots there and other things to not bring some dirt or snow into the main area. Think about setting-up time for a tent and if you can manage it alone.
What to pack for winter camping?
It’s better to address the checklist, including a full range of your winter camp or sports equipment. Start with large pieces like 4 season tents or 3 season tents. Then go for other belongings like thermals and other pieces of clothes to change in case your clothes and boots get wet. Consider taking 3 season sleeping bag for a warm sleep. Or use two sleeping bags – one inside another – to get desirable protection. Stick to more professional sleeping wear to sustain your warmth during sleep. Accompany it with hot water bottles, disposable heat packs. Rag rugs or pads to cover the floor inside and have a comfortable wake-up to step on first instead of slipping into freezing boots. Include miscellaneous stuff like a multi-tool, shovel, matches, camping stove, non-perishable foodstuff, lantern, batteries, medical kit, etc. Be sure to pack flares and radio equipment for emergency cases.