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Best Cold Weather / Winter Tent – Out of Top 23 Tents Available

  • Updated: November 19, 2019
Best Cold Weather Winter Tents

When the temperatures drop, it is imperative that you revise your gear and make sure it can stand up to what Mother Nature might throw at it. From heavy rain to blizzards and snowstorms, a 4-season tent will offer more robust protection against the elements and give you a better chance of staying warm and dry.

Here we provide a summary of the best cold weather / winter tents out there, as well as a brief guide to choosing the perfect winter tent for your camping experience.

For this list we've considered 23 different cold weather / winter tents for camping. See the full list below.

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Best Cold Weather / Winter Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person, Copper/Rust
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 sleeper scores a 5 out of 5 as the ultimate tent for the avid cold weather adventurer.

With all the bare minimum “must have” features for a winter tent, the Tasmanian also has great additional storage space, is lightweight and, when compared to other similar tents on the market, is very well priced.

Top Cold Weather / Winter Tents for Camping - Comparison Table

Best Cold Weather Tent
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person, Copper/Rust
Black Diamond Eldorado Tent, Yellow
Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tent - 6 Person
Black Diamond HiLight Tent: 3-Person 4-Season
Best Budget Winter Tent
GEERTOP Ultralight 2 Man Tents for Camping Waterproof Double Layer 4 Season Backpacking Tents 2 Person for Hiking Climbing Outdoor Travel - Easy to Set Up
Gear
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2
Black Diamond Eldorado
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6
Black Diamond HiLight 3P Tent
Geer Top 4-Season
Weight
7.9 lbs / 3.6 kg
5.1 lbs / 2.3 kg
20.6 lbs / 9.3 kg
4.75 lbs / 2.2 kg
5.7 lbs / 2.6 kg
Structure
2 Person Freestanding Dome Tent
2 person Dome Tent
6 Person Tunnel Tent
3 Person Dome Tent
2 Person Dome Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 5.2 x 7.8 ft / 1.6 x 2.4 m - Height: 3.8 ft / 1.15 m
Size: 7.2 x 4.2 ft / 2.2 x 1.3 m - Height: 3.6 ft / 1.1 m
Size: 17.6 x 8 ft / 5.4 x 3.6 m - Height: 5.6 in / 1.7 m
Size: 6.8 x 4 ft / 2.1 x 1.2 m - Height: 3.3 ft / 1 m
Size: 6.9 x 6.8 ft / 2.1 x 2 m - Height: 3.75 ft / 1.1 m
Best Cold Weather Tent
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person, Copper/Rust
Gear
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2
Weight
7.9 lbs / 3.6 kg
Structure
2 Person Freestanding Dome Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 5.2 x 7.8 ft / 1.6 x 2.4 m - Height: 3.8 ft / 1.15 m
Black Diamond Eldorado Tent, Yellow
Gear
Black Diamond Eldorado
Weight
5.1 lbs / 2.3 kg
Structure
2 person Dome Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 7.2 x 4.2 ft / 2.2 x 1.3 m - Height: 3.6 ft / 1.1 m
Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tent - 6 Person
Gear
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6
Weight
20.6 lbs / 9.3 kg
Structure
6 Person Tunnel Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 17.6 x 8 ft / 5.4 x 3.6 m - Height: 5.6 in / 1.7 m
Black Diamond HiLight Tent: 3-Person 4-Season
Gear
Black Diamond HiLight 3P Tent
Weight
4.75 lbs / 2.2 kg
Structure
3 Person Dome Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 6.8 x 4 ft / 2.1 x 1.2 m - Height: 3.3 ft / 1 m
Best Budget Winter Tent
GEERTOP Ultralight 2 Man Tents for Camping Waterproof Double Layer 4 Season Backpacking Tents 2 Person for Hiking Climbing Outdoor Travel - Easy to Set Up
Gear
Geer Top 4-Season
Weight
5.7 lbs / 2.6 kg
Structure
2 Person Dome Tent
​Floor Size & Peak Height
Size: 6.9 x 6.8 ft / 2.1 x 2 m - Height: 3.75 ft / 1.1 m

1. Best Overall Cold Weather / Winter Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person, Copper/Rust

5/5 Overall Rating

The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is the perfect all-rounder and it is surprisingly affordable for what it has to offer.

With a continuous pole system, it is quick to set up and has sufficient space for two people and their accompanying gear. While it's not the most rugged, it will be more than capable of enduring an average winter.

Main Features
  • Aluminium alloy poles
  • Free standing pole system
  • Easy snap on pole clips for quick assembly
  • Weatherproof shock cords
  • Full coverage, UV-resistant, coated polyester rainfly
  • Rugged 75-denier 5000 mm coated poly taffeta floor
  • Aluminium stakes and guylines included
  • Two doors with zippered mesh windows
  • Factory sealed seams
  • Two vestibules
What we like
  • Several mesh storage pockets to help organize and store your gear
  • Lightweight
  • Great price
  • Easy to set up
  • Spacious for a 2-person tent
What we dislike
  • Doesn't pack very small
  • Doesn't have space for a lot of gear

2. Best Backpacking Cold Weather Tent

Black Diamond Eldorado Tent, Yellow

4.5/5 Overall Rating

Weighing just over 5 lbs, this two-person tent from Black Diamond is perfect for backpacking.

A compact classic dome tent, the Black Diamond Eldorado is still large enough to fit two people and their gear comfortably. It offers the perfect compromise between protection against the elements and portability.

Main Features
  • Single wall with three-layer construction for durability
  • ToddTex fabric sheds moisture and inhibits build up of condensation
  • Four vents for ventilation, including two that can be zipped up when not in use
  • Taped seams for improved waterproofing
  • Freestanding
  • Two pole tent that crisscross giving improved stability
  • Extra stake out loops for windier conditions
  • Bathtub construction floor 
  • Single door
  • Four mesh storage pockets
What we like
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Set up from the inside, out of the cold
  • Vestibule and ground sheet add-ons available
  • Seam sealer included but you do need to do it yourself
What we dislike
  • Difficult to set up
  • Expensive

3. Best Family Camping Winter Tent

Big Agnes Flying Diamond Tent - 6 Person

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 is touted as a 3-season plus tunnel tent. So while it is not designed with extreme winters in mind, it mimics a traditional winter tent with a four-intersection point pole structure that provides improved stability.

With an ample 92 square feet (8.5 square meters) of living space, it is a versatile, all-rounder for a small family or group.

Main Features
  • Two doors with mesh that can also be zipped up completely
  • A large front and smaller rear vestibule
  • Removable room divider
  • High quality DAC aluminium poles with press fit connectors
  • Storm flaps on vestibule zipper
  • Six vents on fly for improved ventilation
  • Pre-cut reflective guylines and tensioners attached
  • Simple Velcro tabs to connect fly to frame
  • Gear loft loops
  • Easy grip zipper pulls
What we like
  • 16 large storage pockets scattered throughout the tent
  • Front vestibule is configurable to adapt to weather conditions and personal preference
  • Well-designed carry bag with shoulder straps
  • Large rainfly that covers the entire tent
What we dislike
  • Footprint not included
  • Expensive

4. Best Lightweight Cold Weather Tent

Black Diamond HiLight Tent: 3-Person 4-Season

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond HiLight 3P Tent is an excellent compromise between rugged and lightweight. This is a single wall tent, which is quick to set up, and designed with steep sides to prevent snow buildup.

This tent is a classic design, bare basics tent. There are optional add-ons that you can buy to upgrade this tent if you need to.

Main Features
  • Flow manifold for superior air circulation and ventilation
  • 100% taped seams
  • Two doors
  • Strong two and a half cross pole design
  • Reinforced internal pole grips
  • Drip Free awning
  • Floor has a waterproof rating up to 3000 mm
  • Fly has a waterproof rating up to 1500 mm
  • Strong Dyneema reflective guylines with protective polyester sheaths
What we like
  • Set up from the inside
  • Repair kit for tent poles included
  • Add-ons like a footprint or an extra vestibule are available for purchase
  • Lightweight
  • Super compact when packed
What we dislike
  • Very tight squeeze for 3 people
  • Vents don’t have mesh covering so if used in summer, bugs can get in

5. Best Budget Cold Weather / Winter Tent

GEERTOP Ultralight 2 Man Tents for Camping Waterproof Double Layer 4 Season Backpacking Tents 2 Person for Hiking Climbing Outdoor Travel - Easy to Set Up

4/5 Overall Rating

The GeerTop 4-Season Tent is a versatile and affordable option for the recreational camper. It packs down small so you can even take it backpacking.

The GeerTop 4-Season Tent has good water-resistance and UV protection and can be used without the outer layer in warmer weather, truly making it a 4-season tent.

Main Features
  • 210T polyurethane rainfly with taped seams
  • 210T breathable polyester and nylon mesh inner
  • 210D Polyurethane Oxford floor
  • Snow skirt to keep snow and moisture out
  • 2 D-style doors for easy access
  • Mesh inner door for improved ventilation
  • 2 closable vents for air flow
  • Gear loft
What we like
  • Lightweight
  • Large stuff sack for easy storage and packing
  • A lot of tent pegs supplied for extra stability
  • Easy to set up
  • Reinforced corners
What we dislike
  • Storage pockets are very small
  • Excessive condensation build up
  • Poor quality zippers

The Bottom Line

If it is you versus the weather, you want to make sure that you are equipped with the best gear you can afford. A solid and reliable tent is an important starting point.

For the regular cold weather camper, have a look at the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2. Compared to other tents with similar features, the Tasmanian is very well priced. While it is rated as a three-person tent, rather use it as a one or two person tent for improved comfort.

If cold weather backpacking is your thing, you need a tent that will not only protect you from the elements but one that won’t break your back as you carry it around. A lightweight tent will usually be single layer, but a compromise of weight does not have to equate to poor water- or weather-resistance. The Black Diamond Eldorado is such a tent. It is compact and weighs just over 5 lbs, making it the perfect 4-season tent to pack up and take along with you on a trek. The HiLight 3P Tent is another super lightweight offering from Black Diamond. While it is a 3 sleeper, at under 5 lbs, it weighs less than the Eldorado.

If you are looking for a large tent for your family, consider the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6. It is not rated specifically for extreme cold weather but it does have all the traditional features of a 4-season tent to ensure that it can stand up to strong winds and cold weather. With two doors and a large front vestibule and a smaller rear one, this 6 sleeper tent offers great space for people and gear.

The budget-conscious, occasional camper will not go wrong with the GeerTop 4-Season Tent. This classic design 2-person dome tent is incredibly versatile. It features a full coverage rainfly that can be removed, allowing this tent to be used in warmer weather as well.

Cold Weather / Winter Tent - Buyer's Guide

Best-Cold-Weather-Winter-Tents-1

What is a 4-Season Tent?

The name “4-Season Tent” is slightly misleading as you will generally only use a 4-season tent in winter. A winter tent is designed to handle inclement weather like strong winds, hail, and snow.

4-Season tents are designed to protect you from snow and ice as well as block freezing wind from getting inside. They have thicker, stronger frames to ensure that they survive the harshest of conditions. 

Your tent is your first line of defense against the extreme winter weather, so the decision to buy one should not be taken lightly. 

Unless this is a once off trip, buy the best you can afford. The initial investment will quickly pay itself off each time you use the tent.

Can a 3-season tent be used in winter?

3-Season tents are designed for mild weather and summer camping. They are not has durable or robust as 4-season tents and will provide little protection from strong winds and snowy conditions. 

Unlike 4-season tents, 3-season tents have mesh windows to provide plenty of ventilation. This would not be helpful in winter as the cold wind and rain would be able to penetrate the mesh and get inside the tent. 

If you are planning on going camping in a harsh climate, make sure you invest in a 4-season tent as a 3-season would not hold up well or protect you from the elements. 

Other Features of Cold Weather / Winter Tents

Protection 

A winter tent should not have any mesh panels. This will ensure body heat is captured and kept inside, while the cold stays outside. All the walls and floors should be made of a strong polyester or nylon fabric that is waterproof, windproof and rugged. A fly on a winter tent should extend to the ground, thus keeping the cold wind out and ensuring that snow does not drift in.

Structure

Stability is generally determined by the pole configuration and the structure of the tent. A typical cross intersection is a proven design that holds up well to strong winds. Look for steep walls that don’t allow snow to build up and add compromising weight to the tent.

A round dome shape will stand up better to strong winds than a cabin style tent.

Quality

Opt for tried and tested fabrics. Fabric is measured in denier – which indicates the denseness, durability and thickness of the fabric. A higher denier count is preferred in a winter tent.

Any fabric that is described as ''Ripstop'' is great. Ripstop refers to the weave pattern of the fabric; usually nylon that inhibits tears and rips, making your tent more durable.

Aluminium poles are generally strongest and preferred for stability.

Waterproofing

Waterproof coatings are rated in millimeters (mm). A higher number equates to better waterproofing. A 1000 mm rating indicates that the fabric can withstand a 1000 mm column of water for over a minute before some moisture will seep through the fabric.

Waterproof tents will have features like taped seams, strong footprints and reinforced corners so make sure you look out for these things in a 4-season tent. 

Ease of setup

You don’t want to spend 20 minutes in the freezing cold, with gloves on, trying to set up your tent. Look for something quick and easy. Some tents can actually be set up from the inside. While this might take getting used to, it is very convenient being able to be protected from the elements while you pitch your tent. As always, practice setting up and taking down your tent before you head out on your camping trip.

Usability 

Trying to open a tent door in a blizzard with gloves on is downright hard. Large zipper tags are easier to grip. Having more than one entrance will allow you to take advantage of wind direction and also, if an entrance is blocked up with snow, you still have access from an alternate opening. If there are a number of you sharing the tent, it is also much more practical having more than one entrance point.

Comfort and ventilation 

It might seem counter-intuitive that you want to allow cold air into the tent when you are trying to keep warm, but if you don’t ventilate properly, the condensation from breathing will result in an uncomfortable and humid environment. Having smart vents that allow you to control the internal temperature will make it easier to stay in the tent and wait out bad weather.

Size 

Considering that you will have to do most things inside your tent if the temperature outside is too extreme, it is helpful to have some extra space in addition to a sufficient sleeping area. A large, enclosed vestibule is a useful feature of a 4-season tent as you may also need to store your gear inside to avoid it being snowed under or blown away. As with all tents, if you want more living space, use the manufacturer capacity rating as a suggestion only and considering upsizing.

Price 

Not all tents are created equal, and not all affordable tents are of poor quality. It is worth comparing tents within the same price bracket and seeing which one ticks the most boxes from your list of requirements. If you are a frequent camper, buy the best quality that you can afford.

Best Rated Cold Weather / Winter Tents

1. ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 - Best Overall Cold Weather Tent
2. Black Diamond Eldorado - Best Backpacking Cold Weather Tent
3. Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 - Best Family Camping Winter Tent
4. Black Diamond HiLight 3P Tent - Best Lightweight Cold Weather Tent
5. GeerTop 4-Season Tent - Best Budget Cold Weather / Winter Tent

And the other cold weather / winter tents we considered for our list:

6. North Face 2-Meter Dome
7. Nemo Tenshi 2P
8. The North Face Mountain 25
9. The North Face VE 25 Tent
10. Hilleberg Jannu 2 Person Tent
11. MSR Advance Pro 2
12. Big Agnes Battle Mountain 3
13. Nemo Moki 3P 4-Season Mountaineering Tent
14. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Expedition
15. Hilleberg Tarra
16. Arctic Oven
17. Mountain Hardwear EV 2
18. Marmot Thor 2
19. Hilleberg Allak 2
20. Nemo Kunai 2P
21. Nemo Chogori 2
22. Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT
23. Black Diamond Firstlight

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