We could earn income from the merchandise obtainable on this web page and take part in affiliate applications. Study extra ›
Because the identify suggests, a 4-season tent ought to perform in all 4 seasons of the yr. Nevertheless, most 4-season tents carry out finest in colder climate situations throughout shoulder seasons and winter tenting. Whether or not you’re searching for a tent that can be utilized year-round or just desire a tent to make use of through the winter, we have now a advice for you.
When searching for a 4 season tent, it’s important that it could possibly maintain in warmth, maintain out moisture, and ventilate simply sufficient to manage inside condensation. Since most 4 season tents have far much less mesh materials, they are typically a lot heavier than different tent choices, so maintain that in thoughts should you plan to make use of it for winter backpacking or ski touring. We examined for you so you possibly can slender down the very best 4 season tent in your subsequent journey.
How We Picked the Finest 4-Season Tents
Winter tenting has been part of my life since I used to be a toddler, and due to that, I’ve had my justifiable share of depressing nights out within the chilly. To decide on the very best 4-season tents for this text, I mixed my prior information and first-hand expertise with varied shelter choices with latest in-field testing. Whereas a number of larger finish manufacturers—like North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Black Diamond—are perfect for basecamp and expedition tents, I opted for tents which can be extra versatile and inexpensive for the common camper.
I’ve used each tent on our record in some capability, which allowed me to make higher comparisons. Past testing the tents in winter climate situations, I had conversations with manufacturers concerning the designs to assist me higher perceive product supplies. I additionally spoke with fellow campers to see what they appreciated (or didn’t like) concerning the tent.
Finest 4-Season Tents: Critiques and Suggestions
Finest General: MSR Distant 2
- Packed Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz
- Minimal Weight: 6 lbs 11 oz
- Dimensions: 87″L x 55″W x 44″H
- Ground Space: 33 sq ft
- Two roomy vestibules with house for 2 individuals
- Sturdy supplies
- Colour coding made it simpler to arrange
- Wonderful climate safety
- First rate weight for a double wall tent
- Massive hooped vestibule pole might be exhausting to safe
- Air flow and condensation management might be improved
- Inside storage was missing
- No footprint included
The MSR Distant 2 is the very best general 4-season tent due to its sturdiness, performance, and general comfort of being a double-walled free-standing tent. Whereas there’s one giant hooped vestibule, I appreciated that it nonetheless had two doorways and one other small vestibule on the opposite facet. The bigger vestibule makes storing extra gear exterior the tent simple and gives a spacious sheltered space to boil water or put your boots on earlier than braving the chilly.
Throughout our first take a look at, there was loads of room contained in the tent for 2 adults and two canines. Nevertheless, I may have executed with extra inside storage. There are two gear pockets on either side of the tent, however they’re low to the bottom and restricted in house. Gear lofts on prime of the tent can be good to supply simpler entry to gadgets.
The supplies of the tent held up properly in moist, snowy situations. Even with snow on prime of the tent and sticking to the perimeters, the supplies saved us dry. There was some stretch of the material, however that’s to be anticipated with extreme moisture. I struggled to arrange the guylines and stake out the tent’s rainfly with the offered stakes, so I’d suggest buying a couple of extra.
The one huge factor that might be improved with this tent is the condensation buildup inside at evening. There may be ample air flow on the prime of the tent, nevertheless it wasn’t fairly sufficient to permit airflow by way of the tent to stave off moisture by way of the evening.
Finest for Backpacking: Large Agnes Copper Spur HV2 Expedition
Finest for Backpacking
- Packed Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz
- Minimal Weight: 4 lbs 10 oz
- Dimensions: 88″L x 52″W x 39″H
- Ground Space: 29 sq ft
- Mild for the performance
- Simple to arrange
- Supplies maintain up properly with moisture adjustments
- Roomy vestibules with loads of inside storage
- Sufficient air flow
- Technically a 3+ season tent
- Having snow flaps on the rainfly can be good
- Not sure how it might maintain up in excessive climate situations
Should you’re searching for extra of a light winter backpacking tent, the Large Agnes Copper Spur HV2 Expedition needs to be a prime contender. The Copper Spur design will not be new to me, as I’ve additionally used their Copper Spur HV UL2 for summer time backpacking journeys, and is ranked in our greatest 2-person tents. The Expedition model has a really comparable design, however with totally different cloth and air flow system placement. Of all of the tents I examined for this text, this was one of many best to arrange. I used to be in a position to get it up in a matter of minutes even when tenting alone.
It has a simple freestanding tent design with two giant vestibules for gear storage. There’s one rainfly vent and several other choices to stave off some condensation. The air flow system may nonetheless be improved to forestall moisture contained in the tent, nevertheless it did higher than many different tents on our record. Whereas this tent can stand up to most reasonable winter situations, it could battle to face up to excessive winter climate.
Finest Light-weight: MSR Entry 2
- Packed Weight: 3 lbs 10 oz
- Minimal Weight: 4 lbs 1 oz
- Dimensions: 84”L x 50”W x 42”H
- Ground Space: 29 sq ft
- Light-weight for the performance
- Simple to arrange
- Nice for backcountry ski touring
- Sufficient air flow for winter tenting
- Holds up properly in excessive winds and heavy rain/snow
- No choice to pitch the rainfly first
- Restricted utility and I’m not sure how properly it might do in excessive situations
The MSR Entry 2 is a tent that I can see myself utilizing for many of the yr. It is a superb tent for shoulder seasons, summer time excessive alpine, and reasonable winter expeditions. Whereas it’s rated as a 4-season tent, the light-weight design makes me skeptical about how properly it might maintain up in excessive winter climate. Nevertheless, when appropriately pitched with the guylines, it withstands excessive winds and heavy snow fairly properly.
You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a extra sturdy ultra-lightweight tent appropriate for winter climate than this one. All the supplies are prime quality and long-lasting. The air flow isn’t good, nevertheless it diminished condensation fairly properly in comparison with many of the 4-season tents I’ve examined. It isn’t simple to manage moisture whereas winter tenting, so this design managed it exceptionally properly. It might be good to have the choice to pitch the interior first, particularly whether it is raining or snowing, however with such a quick setup, I discovered it simple to maintain issues dry.
Finest for Windy Circumstances: Fjallraven Abisko Dome 2
Finest for Windy Circumstances
- Packed Weight: 6 lbs 14 oz
- Minimal Weight: 6 lbs 2 oz
- Dimensions: 86”L x 51”W x 39”H
- Ground Space: 31 sq ft
- Rainfly is about up with the interior
- Two roomy vestibules with well-thought-out storage
- Steady in excessive winds
- PFAS-free supplies
- Tough to arrange alone
The Fjallraven Abisko Dome 2 is a 4-season tent that may comfortably be utilized in all 4 seasons. The distinctive dome design presents far extra space inside the vestibule areas than different tents. Whereas the setup was a bit sophisticated and complicated at first, it grew to become a lot sooner and extra manageable as soon as I set it up a couple of occasions. It was complicated as a result of the wet and the tent’s interior come related, and the poles undergo the sleeves on the skin of the rain fly. This building is right when establishing throughout precipitation and ensures that the tent’s inside stays dry.
Whereas this can be the heaviest tent on our record, I discovered it among the many most sturdy. The development is meant to final a lifetime, and the supplies replicate that. Functionally, this tent is roomy, has ample inside storage, and holds up exceptionally properly in excessive winds. Although the tent is processed utilizing no PFCs, the supplies nonetheless maintain up properly in rain and snow. Should you’re searching for a tent that may seemingly do all of it and is prone to final for years and years of frequent use, the Fjallraven Abisko Dome is a superb selection.
Finest for Shoulder Seasons: Sea to Summit Telos TR2
Finest for Shoulder Seasons
- Weight: 3 lbs 12 oz
- Dimensions: 84.5”L x 53”W x 43”H
- Ground Space: 28 sq ft
- Pressure ridge provides extra headroom
- Wonderful inside storage
- Light-weight design
- Simple arrange
- Packs down small and might be cut up up simple
- Rainfly might be arrange first
- Solely technically a 3+ season tent
- Wouldn’t maintain up properly in excessive winter climate situations
For all of the shoulder season backpackers who desire a tent that may prolong your trekking season just a little bit longer or carry you to new heights in the summertime, the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is my advice. It’s light-weight, simple to make use of, and exceptionally practical in varied climate situations. The strain ridge is one thing I’ve appreciated with different Sea to Summit tents, and I used to be joyful to see it on this one as properly. This function provides extra head house contained in the tent, making it simpler so as to add or shed layers whereas sitting down.
The air flow is superb for a 3+ season tent on this one, however it should carry out higher in cooler climate than within the warmth of summer time. A standout function of this tent is that you would be able to arrange rainfly earlier than the interior, conserving your gear a lot drier. A number of different configurations for the rainfly let you make a shade or rain shelter on the go.
General, this tent is well-designed and a fantastic worth for the value. The supplies are lighter, making it barely much less sturdy than different choices, however it is a good selection for folk seeking to camp in shoulder seasons greater than within the deep winter months.
Finest Worth: Nemo Kunai
- Packed Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz
- Minimal Weight: 3 lbs 14 oz
- Dimensions: 82”L x 50”W x 44”H
- Ground Space: 26 sq ft
- Nice worth for the value
- Sturdy, good high quality mateirals
- Ample inside storage
- Versatile design for all seasons
- Extremely wind- and water resistant
- Just one door and vestibule
- Can be good if the rainfly had snow flaps
I can’t say that any of the tents on this record are essentially price range tents, however I discover the Nemo Kunai 2 one of many extra inexpensive choices. It’s uniquely versatile for all 4 seasons, and due to that, there is a little more air flow than some could want within the lifeless of winter. This tent is very packable and works properly in shoulder seasons and through the winter with ample wind and water resistance.
Whereas there is just one vestibule and one door, it presents sufficient house to retailer extra gear exterior the tent physique. Such as you’ll discover with different Nemo tent designs, the inside storage helps maintain you organized. It could add some further weight, however having a extra prolonged rainfly or, on the very least, some snow flaps on the backside would make this design higher suited to winter tenting.
What to Think about When Selecting a 4-Season Tent
There are three primary classes of 4-season tents:
- Treeline: Many of the tents on our record are treeline tents. These are usually the lightest-4 season tent choices and are meant for shoulder seasons and extra reasonable winter climate. Whereas they provide safety from the weather with much less mesh supplies, bathtub type flooring, and heavier supplies, they aren’t the very best for winter publicity within the alpine.
- Mountaineering: A step up from treeline tents, mountaineering tents are sometimes a single-wall design meant for prime alpine use. With a smaller inside space, these tents save house and scale back weight with out compromising climate safety.
- Basecamp: A 4-season tent meant for basecamp is commonly the heaviest choice with probably the most house for gear storage and the most important inside residing space. Most basecamp tents are double-walled to enhance moisture management and cupboard space within the vestibules. Relying on the design, you need to use a basecamp tent can for brief winter ventures or longer ascents. Simply be ready for the added weight due to the sturdiness, measurement, and performance of those tents.
We didn’t function any single-wall tent designs on our record, however if you are purchasing, you’ll discover each single- and double-wall choices.
- Single-wall: Single-wall tents solely have one layer of material to guard you from the skin, which makes them extra light-weight but additionally compromises climate safety. These tents are finest for mountaineering or for anybody who desires to cut back weight.
- Double-wall: A double-wall tent has two separate layers: the interior tent and the rainfly. Whereas heavier, they provide extra safety from the weather and higher moisture management. Should you’re not fearful about weight, double-wall 4-season tents are extra snug and higher fitted to most campers.
Measurement and Weight
4-season tents are usually comparable in measurement to three-season tents. Nevertheless, they’re usually heavier as a result of they use much less mesh, thicker materials, and prolonged rainfly supplies. Whereas two of the ultralight 4-season tents we examined weighed round 3 kilos, many weigh between 6 to 10 kilos relying on their capability and meant use.
More often than not, you possibly can belief that heavier obligation 4-season tents are longer lasting and may supply higher safety from the weather together with extra options. I’ve observed that some extra weight could come from prolonged rainflies with snow flaps or bigger vestibule areas to accommodate a prepare dinner and work house in dangerous climate. Different tents could scale back weight by solely providing one door and vestibule, just like the Nemo Kunai 2. Another choice to cut back weight is to go for a 3+ season tent, however these restrict the use instances. Tents just like the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 present a decrease weight and the choice to separate the load between celebration members simply.
Supplies and Waterproofing
To guard you from the skin components like snow, wind, and freezing rain, 4-season tents, by nature, have much less air flow and extra stable cloth to carry in warmth. It appears good in idea, however having much less mesh supplies can scale back air flow and airflow by way of the tent when you sleep. This causes a difficulty as your breath contained in the tent builds as much as condensation on the inside tent partitions and your gear. I’ve but to discover a 4-season tent that eliminates condensation, however there are higher designs than others to assist handle moisture.
The interior tent and rainfly supplies needs to be extremely sturdy and waterproof. Often, 4-season tents are comprised of artificial supplies like nylon, polyester, or Dyneema. Nylon is among the hottest supplies used for 4 season tents. Whereas it’s a sturdy and inexpensive cloth choice, it expands when moist as a result of it absorbs moisture (which additionally extends the dry time). Polyester isn’t fairly as sturdy as nylon however isn’t hydrophobic, which means it doesn’t soak up water and gained’t sag when moist. Dyneema is the lightest choice, however it’s costly and never broadly used. when it’s used, it could be for particular parts.
Take note of the denier on the supplies record as a result of the upper the denier, the stronger that cloth needs to be. Typically, you’ll discover the material sort is identical for each the interior and outer tent, however the ground and rainfly can have the next denier and extra strong remedy or cloth design to face up to moisture.
The complete tent ought to supply waterproof materials protection. Search for corporations that element their waterproof masking and rankings. Supplies like nylon and polyester are usually not waterproof, so most corporations could go for a water-proof coating. Two frequent varieties of waterproof coatings embrace silicone and polyurethane or a mix. Pay attention to coating elements and keep away from poisonous cloth coatings containing PFAS/PFCs.
You want a whole lot of stuff to maintain you heat and protected whenever you’re tenting within the winter, so having a delegated place to retailer and dry gear, particularly on longer treks, makes for a extra nice expertise. Search for tents with a big vestibule space and inside storage. I want tents which have a number of inside pockets or perhaps a gear loft of some variety. If a gear loft isn’t offered, on the very least, search for tents with loops on both facet to string a lineup.
The vestibules are important in a 4-season tent. Some tents are designed with one giant entrance vestibule to retailer backpacks and boots, shield your gear when opening the door, and have house to prepare dinner out of the weather. Tents just like the MSR Distant 2 could have one giant, prolonged vestibule and a smaller again one to permit for 2 doorways whereas decreasing the tent’s weight.
Q: What are the advantages of a 4-season tent?
4-season tents are made with stronger tent cloth and poles constructed for harsh climate situations like excessive winds and snow. There tends to be much less mesh supplies, a extra strong rainfly, bigger vestibule areas, and different elements extra fitted to chilly climate situations.
Q: Are 4-season tents heat?
Sure, 4-season tents are heat compared to 3-season tents. Many—just like the MSR Distant—have snow flaps on the rain fly to cease chilly air and snow from blowing inside. There’s additionally much less air flow and mesh to entice warmth contained in the tent.
Q: Are 4-season tents good for summer time?
In case you are mountaineering, a 4-season tent generally is a good summer time tent as a result of, in these situations, snow, excessive winds, and colder climate could also be anticipated. Nevertheless, for many campers, a 4-season tent will likely be too heat for summer time tenting as a result of restricted air flow.
Finest 4-Season Tents: Ultimate Ideas
The very best 4-season tents differ from individual to individual, however we discovered six that match our viewers in worth, performance, and sturdiness. Having the choice to camp year-round is feasible with the precise tent. Whereas our prime choose is the MSR Distant 2, all the different tents on our record match the wants of various expeditions and adventures, whether or not you intend to arrange basecamp in your subsequent summit or want a brand new tent for a weeklong hunt subsequent November.
Why Belief Us
For greater than 125 years, Area & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of outside gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that keenness comes by way of in our product critiques. You’ll be able to depend on F&S to maintain you updated on the very best new gear. And once we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the nice and the dangerous, so precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.