Cold weather camping is a great experience if you have the right gear and pieces of equipment to keep you warm, safe, and, most importantly, dry. Late-night snowstorms can sometimes leave dense snow, which could eventually feel uncomfortably wet and cold on our parts.If you have plans to go for winter camping this year, make sure that you bring with you the right tent to keep you warm and safe on the days of your adventure. Keeping yourselves warm while camping is essential. However, setting up cold weather tents for your camp can also leave you in a bit of a pickle. Luckily, we got you covered!
While there are many different types of winter camps out there, let’s give you a heads up with the top-selling, excellent cold weather tents built to give you the best warmth and unbeatable protection against the coldest mountains weather.
Top 7 Best Snow Tents Reviewed
- Trango 2 by Mountain Hardwear – Best Overall
- Tasmanian 2 by ALPS Mountaineering – Best Budget Pick
- Jannu 2-Person Camping Tent by Hilleberg – Best Premium Pick
- Assault 2 Futurelight by The North Face
- Tenshi 2P 4-Season Mountaineering Tent by Nemo
- Eldorado Tent by Black Diamond
- Access 2 by MSR
- 1 #1. Trango 2 by Mountain Hardwear – Best Overall
- 2 #2. Tasmanian 2 by ALPS Mountaineering – Best Budget Pick
- 3 #3. Jannu 2-Person Camping Tent by Hilleberg – Best Premium Pick
- 4 #4. Assault 2 Futurelight by The North Face
- 5 #5. Tenshi 2P 4-Season Mountaineering Tent by Nemo
- 6 #6. Eldorado Tent by Black Diamond
- 7 #7. Access 2 by MSR
- 8 Mountain Hardwear
- 9 Black Diamond
- 10 MSR
- 11 Livability
- 12 Vestibule
- 13 Good ventilation
- 14 Space
- 15 Storage
- 16 Entrances
- 17 Strength and Weather Resistance
- 18 Tent Type and Shape
- 19 Poles
- 20 Tent Fabric
- 21 Weight
- 22 Versatility
- 23 Cost
- 24 3-Season Tents
- 25 4-Season Tents
- 26 Mountaineering
- 27 Basecamp
- 28 Treeline
- 29 What degree of durability would you need for a floor?
- 30 Can you use snow tents on high mountains?
- 31 Which is the best floor material, polyester or Nylon?
- 32 Is there a need to buy a rain cover?
- 33 What’s the difference between 3-season tents and 4-season ones?
#1. Trango 2 by Mountain Hardwear – Best Overall
- Brand: Mountain Hardwear
- Category: Basecamp
- Wall: Double
- Weight: 9 pounds 13 ounces
- Floor Area: 40 square feet
- Material: Nylon
The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 is your best friend for convenience and intelligent style. Although it is not lightweight like most tents, this item promises durability and plentiful pockets that lets you stay toasty warm in the coldest stormy nights.
Its best feature includes a roomy 40-square-feet spacious area added with 12-square-feet additional vestibules that give you more than enough legroom inside the tent.
With its weight reaching 9.13 pounds, you might want to consider splitting the load and allot time for setup if you use it in poor weather. However, note that the tent is not equipped for light mountaineering, so it will be too heavy for some backpackers.
It includes tough direction connection points, an internal guy system, and a vestibule snow flap for added reliable strength. Moreover, its canopy is designed with 4OD Nylon while the rainfly clock and the floor at 7OD, and both are PU-coated.
Worry no more about wind, rain, and snow for this tent has your back.
|Includes many pockets for those smaller items||Not the best headroom despite its roomy dimension|
|Color-coded setup removes the guesswork||Average height of 38 inches|
|Spacious vestibule for your gears||Takes time to pitch|
|Tough build and great livability||Heavy|
|Nice and roomy|
#2. Tasmanian 2 by ALPS Mountaineering – Best Budget Pick
- Brand: ALPS Mountaineering
- Category: Treeline
- Wall: Double
- Weight: 7 pounds and 15 ounces
- Floor Area: 34.5 square feet
- Material: Polyester
The Tasmanian 2 is an affordable four-season tent built to handle two campers comfortably. This particular tent is geared for cold weather camping and designed as weatherproof, given its 1500mm coating on the 75D Polyester fly. This tent is free-standing, and its material keeps the rain off the surface.
With this fine equipment, you can even store more. There is enough room for you and your gear, with its gear loft and spacious vestibule space on 34.5 square feet of area. More so, taller campers will love the tent given its ceiling height. The best part is that, although the product is one of the least expensive, each purchase comes with a bag, guyline, stakes, and repair kit.
|Two vestibules for gear storage||Not for seriously cold/ high-altitude environments|
|A great value and roomy||Limited performance capabilities|
|Stable in high winds||Slow Setup|
|Good liveable space||Heavy|
#3. Jannu 2-Person Camping Tent by Hilleberg – Best Premium Pick
- Brand: Hilleberg
- Category: Mountaineering
- Wall: Double
- Weight: 7 pounds and 1 ounce
- Floor Area: 34.5 square feet
- Material: Kerlon 1200
Hilleberg tents are expensive, and Jannu 2 is no exception. The Swedish company uses top-premium materials and focuses on small details better than any other brand. Despite its pricey side, this tent is worth the money spent.
If you eventually find yourself in unpleasant weather, you may want to consider the best of the best. Jannu 2 is a reliable expedition tent that is durable and super strong. Its strong outer Kerlon 1200 has a minimum tear strength of 26.5 pounds, making it an exceptionally proficient dome-style tent once paired with the four 9mm poles.
If you are willing to purchase this product, it works great for alpine climbers, mountaineers, as well as winter trekkers, backpackers, and explorers. This almost bomb-proof shelter has outstanding resistance to snow loads and wind.
Though it’s not roomy, Jannu’s unique design is ideal in heavy snow. Snow and rain wouldn’t even stand a chance, so it is perfect for camping in the winter and are among the top tents for wet weather.
|Great in high winds and highly resistant to heavy snow||Its small zippers are slightly difficult to grab.|
|Exceptionally strong and storm-worthy||Less headroom than other models|
|Inner and outer pitch as one||Has only one entrance|
|Small footprint||Very expensive|
|Various color choices||Heavy|
- Brand: The North Face
- Category: Mountaineering
- Wall: Single
- Weight: 4 pound and 15 ounces
- Floor Area: 27.3 Square feet
- Material: Futurelight fabric
Packed with The North Face’s (TNF’s) most waterproof and breathable technology yet, the Assault 2 Futurelight tent is one of the most-abled four-season tents for summit pushes. Aside from its breathability, it promotes airflow by withstanding serious winter conditions and multiple vents at the top.
Like all other single-wall tents, condensation build-up is one of the biggest downsides of tents; it may not provide you with wet-weather protection that you need. However, it is notable that the zip-off vestibule that comes with it is convenient as it makes the most out of limited interior space. Moreover, its easy setup makes it a great alternative for Eldorado. If you wouldn’t mind getting a little damp under heavy rains, then this tent is handy to save you from both expense and weight.
|Large detachable vestibule||Mediocre condensation management|
|Escape hatch in the back||Not wind-resistant like other models|
|Great ventilation||Not suitable for a heavy rainstorm|
|Easy to setup||Average breathability|
|Lightweight||A bit small|
- Brand: Nemo
- Category: Mountaineering
- Wall: Single
- Weight: 5 pounds and 14 ounces
- Floor Area: 26.3 square feet
- Material: Sleep Tight Anchor Transfer (STAT) system
The Nemo Teshi is one of the most versatile winter tents that you can use as a four-season shelter for almost any conditions, especially in alpine expeditions. Compared to other single-walled winter tents, Tenshi has a unique removable front vestibule, which provides a comfortable compromise between space and lightweight.
Moreover, this tent has an external pole system that permits pitching the outer first, which is ideal bad weather conditions. Though it only has one entrance, two people can easily go in and out without bumping onto each other. There is also an available zippered window on the back wall, which can also serve as an emergency exit, if necessary.
Compare to Eldorado, Tenshi includes mid-wall tie-downs on each side, which prevent the tent from caving down in the presence of strong winds. Additionally, its unique Condensation Curtain is also a favorite for many users as it essentially traps moisture from breathing to a tent’s area. Ventilation is a strong asset of this tent as it allows multiple venting options.
|Light enough to use for trekking||May not work best for a downpour.|
|STAT system and built quality||Canopy material is not breathable.|
|Decent ventilation system||Can feel a bit cramped and drafty|
|Internal anchor system||Only one entrance|
|Condensation curtain||Average price|
|External pole setup||Heavy|
- Brand: Black Diamond
- Category: Mountaineering
- Wall: Single
- Weight: 5 pounds and 1 ounce
- Floor Area: 30 square feet
- Material: PTFE
A perfect balance of balance, strength, and livability, the Eldorado tent is far more breathable and is considered the best-performing single-wall tent than its counterparts. Its unique Todd-Tex fabric handles moisture and condensation pretty well, so it’s a highly stable shelter that is excellent for windy and snowy conditions
This all-around performing tent is built with a single wall design that is light and compact enough for most summertime alpine climbing, and it keeps you dry for your spring ski touring.
Its simple and minimalist two-pole design gives you more liveable space to ride out in the storm despite not having vestibules and a second entrance. Its generosity in length allows extra space to accommodate tall users and store your gear while zipper vents keep the airflow well enough.
This tent is more versatile and comfortably strong. Its internal pitch setup is one of the recognizable features that provide this tent the best strength despite only having two poles. However, it also takes time to master, and as a four-season tent, Eldorado is unbeatable.
|Lightweight and with great durability||Mediocre ventilation as well as internal pole structure|
|Performs well in unpleasant weather||Does not include vestibule and groundsheet|
|2-PoleDesign for faster setup||Insufficient guylines included|
|Plenty of headroom||Not ideal for warmer weather|
|Highly Waterproof||Has only one entrance|
|Compact Footprint||Slightly tricky setup|
#7. Access 2 by MSR
- Brand: MSR
- Category: Treeline
- Wall: Double
- Weight: 4 pounds and 1 ounce
- Floor Area: 29 square feet
- Material: Nylon
MSR Access 2 works best as a four-season tent under the treeline category. Its double wall provides more protection and handles condensation and wet weather compared to a three-season model, and its weight is lighter compared to most tents listed in our article.
The Access has two doors and two vestibules with a 29 square feet tent that makes it perfect as a great middle-ground tent for winter as it pushes through season trips with mild conditions so that you won’t be entirely exposed. Concerning this, the fly also does not fully stretch to the ground, so you must build a snow wall for protection from possible drafts and drifts.
However, the MSR Access 2 is light and easily packed for summertime and ski mountaineering adventures. It strikes an outstanding balance between livability, weight, and strength, while it offers you enough weather protection. Its one of the most convenient to set up and pitch, so it works incredibly well for double-wall weather.
|Double-wall design works better in the rain than any single wall models.||Not prepared for a full-on winter weather|
|Offers more than enough versatility and ability to keep inhabitants dry||Offers good but not excellent packed size|
|Handles condensation well||Not strong as other four-season models|
|Ultralight yet strong||Very-thin for a four-season tent|
|Big vestibules||Could use more ventilation|
|Easy to pitch|
Top Pick – Best Snow Tent 2020
Mountain Hardwear’s Trango series has become the standard topic for mountaineering expeditions yearly ever since it started in 1995. Mountain Hardwear’s Trango 2, in particular, has been tested and proven through time. It stands firm and provides the best security through bad weather and high winds with its double-wall design and fly. Both of which connect to the poles and the tent’s body.
With its 40-square feet floor area designed with two vestibules and two doors, you can never get any roomier and liveable than this fine equipment. Recent updates from the brand include shifting the pole location under the fly and including non-fire-delay materials.
It’s important to note that choosing this model or any other will depend on your chosen camping style. Though the Trango 2 is heavier than other models, it’s always worth the area’s space and added convenient features. If you don’t really mind the heavyweight of this tent, you can also look into the Trango’s 3 – and 4 – person models for an intended basecamp luxury.
Top Snow Tent Brands
Mountain Hardwear Inc. conceptualizes, creates, and markets high-quality and reliable outdoor equipment, accessories, and apparel specially made for people highly interested in outdoor pursuits. Specifically speaking, they produce tents, accessories, mountain wear, sleeping systems, and outwear. Since they work with professional athletes to develop products that are easy to use and a=well-crafted, they aspire to design performance clothing and equipment to empower everyone who enjoys the outdoors, namely outdoor athletes, to live their lives boldly. Mountain Hardwear today exists as the leader in innovative and premium outdoor clothing, accessories, and equipment.
Black Diamond is all about bringing the best foot forward for climbing and skiing. They relate to their users by using similar rock and snow experiences to come up with the best possible gear for skiers and climbers worldwide.
However, they are not just catering to these specific people. Rather, they stand out for the spirit of sports that represents their life and values. Since their humble beginnings in 1957, they continue to set the standards for many areas. From a team of climber and skiers, they are living the dream, and they strive to make a promising future for every climber and skier out there.
MSR is a founding member of the Outdoor Industry Association Working Group, an alliance of more than 300 outdoor brands, manufacturers, and suppliers addressing the most significant sustainability challenges. MSR strives to leave a highly positive handprint on the world, where they can create and utilize their outdoor products, and their reports have outlined their responsible actions for both the present and the future.
They also aim to lessen the social and environmental impacts of their products, suppliers, and operations by utilizing safer chemicals, better materials, and smarter packaging. Aligned to this, Larry Penberthy, who is MST’s founder, was a passionate outdoorsman committed to preserving the outdoors and giving the utmost respect to it. He wanted to a long-lasting gear to conserve the planet’s resources. Until now, that goal is still alive.
Features to Look When Buying Snow Tent (Buyer’s Guide)
Generally, winter tents are more liveable than three-season tents.
Vestibules are vital for safekeeping your valuables and outerwear, including boots, socks, and jackets. It’s better to store less damp stuff as this will help prevent condensation build-up and internal frosting.
Four-season tents are known to be warmer than three-season tents, and they protect you from elements while holding in more heat. It’s important to have fresh air flowing to stay dry and save yourself and you climbing partners from unpleasant wet smells and uncomfortable damp feeling. Good ventilation improves air circulation while keeping the condensed freezing air from falling on your sleeping bags.
More space would mean increased comfortability. However, too much space will not help in keeping your bodies warm. Concerning this, there should only be just enough room to accomplish your tasks comfortably. There should also be just enough headspace to sit up and enough floor space to lay at least your sleeping bags.
All tents can have internal storage options, and the number of pockets and hooks will depend on your personal preference. You should at least adopt all means to stay organized rather than spending time looking for items that you need to stay warm.
Two entrances are convenient, most especially if you are sharing your tent with another person. Though it seems unimportant, the number of entrances will affect the ease of using it with others.
Strength and Weather Resistance
This feature is considered as the most essential for cold weather tents. Their ability to handle strong winds and endure the heavy snowfall is essential to keep you safe and dry despite the weather conditions. Most likely, it will depend on the tent design. The right materials will affect, either positively or negatively, the strength of winter tents and their ability to stand their ground during harsh weather.
Tent Type and Shape
Steeper-sided tents are better for keeping excess snow off the roof compared to those with a flatter top. Moreover, tents are also categorized as either single-walled or double-walled.
More poles would correspond to better stability, so tents will be more stable if multiple poles cross each other. Poles are usually made of aluminum to balance both weight and strength.
Since four-season tents are thicker than that of three-season tents, they are stronger than the latter. Moreover, the tent’s fly must have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. Other choices may include Silicone, PU (polyurethane) with silicone, or PTFE, a non-toxic waterproof membrane.
Due to the materials used, winter tents usually weigh more than three-season tents. However, lightweight tents come in handier for backpacking, alpine touring, and mountaineering. It is especially true when everything you carry weighs more during the season compared to summer expeditions.
One tent can be enough to suit all our camping needs, and not just for winter weather conditions. It’s practical to pick a tent that can be used for the majority of the year. Moreover, versatile tents with a double-wall setup are the most liveable and preferable choice.
There’s no denying that winter tents are more expensive than other tents, for high quality and durable materials can be costly. But, if you come to think in terms of the long-run, your safety is always the best consideration. Paying for great quality as an investment can save you from more unwanted costs in the future.
What 3-season and 4-season Tents Different From Each Other?
These tents are more suitable for camping in spring, summer, and fall, as they are usually lighter compared to four-season tents. Their durability and strength are well-tested against snowy conditions, and results show that they suit better for only little chance of snow and gale-force winds.
Winter tents, or cold weather tents, are designed to hold out against high winds and heavy snowfall in cold winter conditions. Some comparisons that they have against 3-season tents include:
- Usually heavier
- Made of steep-sided walls to prevent snow from settling
- Comes with stronger aluminum poles
- Usually have more poles and pole crossings
- Made tougher with more durable fabrics
- Usually cost more
Although designed for the harshest environment, especially in winter, four-season tents are expected to be versatile enough to last well and perform throughout most of the year. They are considerably warmer than three-season tents and are designed to protect you from the elements, while it allows you to stay dry and comfortable.
4-Season tent Types
These tents are built for high-mountainous environments that take the weight as a primary consideration. Almost all of the tents that fall under this category are lightweight and comes from a single-wall variety.
Compared to Mountaineering tents, these tents can be used in a variety of situations and conditions. They are more comfortable and notably heavier than the former, so it may not be possible for you to carry this tent as high as you could with Mountaineering tents. Usually, these tents have a double-wall design, which works well with proper ventilation, condensation aversion, and space, at the cost of weight.
Treeline tents are the most-trimmed down four-season tent among the others. They are more designed for winter camping than heavy exposure. They lack toughness and durability compared to the two models. They are the best option for either a light winter adventure or 3-season backpacking in unpredictable weather.
Adventures are great if you are equipped with the right safety gear. For any winter activities that you plan to have, it’s always best to be prepared for occurrences of bitter-cold weather. Cold weather tents have thicker rain covers, sleek designs, and high-quality weatherproof coating that gives you ultimate protection for the more advanced setting. So, your last line of defense for specific hazardous weather would be a durable four-season tent.
Whether you plan to spend a night or two in the winter storms of high-altitude mountaineering, going up the mountains for the winter gives you a different kind of challenge with more than just the cold. Finding the right tent for you will require defense against stormy weather, snow, frozen ground, and high winds.
Given its different uses, these tents are classified into three different models: mountaineering, basecamp, and treeline. Depending on your purpose and need, it’s important to consider each tent’s important specifications to make the best choice for you.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What degree of durability would you need for a floor?
There is a huge difference between tent floors, and choosing your tent will require you to look for specifications like this one before purchase. If your trip involves lots of backpacking in uneven and rough surfaces, then investing in a footprint for maximum durability is a great idea. Footprints are known as waterproof barriers between the ground and your tent and are made up of thick material layers. They can also serve as both an insulator and protection. Not all tents have this, so choose wisely.
Can you use snow tents on high mountains?
Yes, you can. It will depend on the area’s space, where you will set your tent up and whether you see enough room and can get the tent stakes up in the ground. However, most snow tents are free-standing, which means that they do not need to be staked to stand up. However, stakes are an absolute requirement if inclement weather is most likely to occur.
Which is the best floor material, polyester or Nylon?
There is no definite way of telling which is more excellent, as both Nylon and polyester have their unique benefits and suffer from different drawbacks. Again, it will depend on what you look for in a tent. Polyester is possibly the most widely used materials for tent floor construction, for its both inexpensive and lightweight.
Is there a need to buy a rain cover?
Most cold weather tents come with a rain cover, so there is no need to purchase an additional one for your preferred tent. However, be sure that you still do a double check as there are tents that don’t come with rain-covers.
What’s the difference between 3-season tents and 4-season ones?
Instead of stating the obvious, defining their differences will be in terms of your experience and what the tents can handle. Generally, four-season tents, also known as winter tents, are constructed to withstand extreme weather, such as harsh winds and heavy snow loads. On the other hand, three-season tents, known as backpacking tents, are designed for breathability that is helpful for lightweight performance. Deciding on which is right for you will depend on your camp’s environmental conditions, not the season itself.