If you’re going to be camping in frigid temperatures, it’s essential to ensure you have the best cold weather tent in your camping arsenal to stay warm, dry, and comfortable on the road. Picking the best cold weather tent with the right fabric and features to hold up against inclement weather elements is key, but with so many tent options available, it can be challenging to know which one to choose.
That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide, detailing exactly what you need to look for when picking the best cold weather tent, the top 5 options on the market, and more.
Let’s take a closer look!
Here’s what all campers need to know to pick out the best cold weather tent.
There are plenty of 3-season tents available that work just fine for cooler temperatures. However, if you’re going to be encountering frigid temperatures, many of the best cold weather tents are of the 4-season variety. Tents designed for 4-seasons are made specifically to deflect snow, so it doesn’t gather on the exterior and cause the structure to collapse.
Another great thing about 4-season tents is that the walls are significantly thicker than your traditional tent varieties, offering heightened durability and increased protection from the outdoor elements. Thicker tent fabric also means you’ll stay warm and dry if high winds or snow hit. If you do opt for a 3-season tent, it needs to be waterproof and coated, with a high hydrostatic rating.
The best cold weather tent clearly needs to offer you protection from the cold, but it’s critical to know what to look for to ensure the tent you pick is sturdy enough to hold up against tough winter weather conditions. The best cold weather tent is going to sport extra thick and heavy fabric that wards off elements like wind and snow.
Besides the walls of the best cold weather tent, you’ll also need to take the floor of the structure into account. The floor needs to offer you insulation, but it should also be waterproof and durable enough to withstand wear and tear from things like heavy winter gear and snow boots.
Depending on how many people you’re going to be traveling with, you might want a 1, 2, 3 or 4 person tent. When it comes to winter and cold weather camping, traveling with a group is often advisable to avoid unnecessary hazards when on the road that could arise in subzero, snow-filled locations. Plus, the extra body heat in the tent can lend some additional warmth.
Whatever the size of your group might be, you’ll want to select a tent that can accommodate not just the people you’re traveling with, but their gear as well. For example, you might be traveling in a group of 2, but find that with all your protective gear and belongings, a 3 person tent will provide you the right space you’re looking for.
Consider the specs, floor space, and interior dimensions of the best cold weather tent when determining which person capacity it needs to house to meet your camping needs.
It might seem like an obvious point, but the best cold weather tent needs to be highly durable and of exceptional quality to ensure it serves you well in winter temperatures. You definitely shouldn’t be out camping in blizzard-like conditions, but you still need to make sure the tent you pick will stand firm against high winds and other winter weather elements.
The best cold weather tents sport reinforced aluminum poles for enhanced durability, along with reinforced doors. You also need to look for a 4-season, cold weather tent that comes with stakes to keep your tent sturdy and secure if the weather outside starts to get blustery.
While the material of the best cold weather tent needs to be thick and sturdy, it also ought to be highly breathable. Without proper ventilation, the interior of the tent could gather condensation and make the whole inside damp. Look for the best cold weather tents with breathability features like adjustable venting mechanisms.
Adjustable venting mechanisms enable you to wield control over the inside temperature of a tent, similar to how you would open and shut a window in your home.
The ease of accessibility to the structure is another feature you’ll definitely want to consider when selecting the best cold weather tent for your winter camping trip. If you’re going to be camping with 2 or 3 other individuals, the size of the group (plus all the extra layers you’ll be wearing), could make getting in and out of a single door a bit inconvenient.
So, if you’re going to be traveling with a few other campers and sharing your cold weather tent, look for structures with dual doors to make entry and exit just that much easier. Also, dual doors will ensure one door doesn’t stay open too long with everyone trying to get out of the tent, thereby letting freezing air seep through.
The best cold weather tent needs to be highly portable. You don’t want to your gear to be overly weighed down or bulky, especially as you’re going to have heavy winter clothing to contend with.
When it comes to the best cold weather tent, you’ll have single and double wall structures to choose from. Single walls are very warm and are also typically more lightweight to transport. They can keep a smaller group of travelers or a single camper warm, but they might not be insulated enough for a larger group. If you do choose a tent with single walls, make sure you pack some extra layers to stay nice and warm.
Most 4-season tents feature double walls because while they are bulkier, they are also sturdier and more insulating. If you’re going to be winter camping for longer periods or with a larger group, a double wall structure is going to be your best bet.
Check out the top 5 best cold weather tents you’ll want to consider for all your winter camping adventures.
Our first pick for the best cold weather tent is this exceptional option by Geertop. It is made for versatility while being very lightweight and easy to transport from one camping location to the next. We liked the fact that the tent is designed to withstand 4 seasons, so it will offer you the protection you need against a wide range of weather conditions, including rain and snow.
The Geertop 2-Person 4-Season tent offers the quality ventilation we look for in the best cold weather tent, with a cover that you can completely zip or unzip as you need to. Because the tent vents so well, you can even use it in warm weather, making this option an ideal choice for year-round camping.
We were happy to see that the tent is rainproof, with double stitched seams and sturdy aluminum poles that can withstand gale force winds. The tent is designed to hold up to 2 campers, but it could be a bit tight for more than 1 person. That said, the tent comes at an affordable price, so if you don’t mind a tighter squeeze, it will do for 2 people just fine.
Our next choice for the best cold weather tent is the Hillman 2-Person 4-Season Silicone Tent, which is a compact but very sturdy little tent. We love the fact that the high-density nylon material is resistant to tears while being waterproof and incredibly insulating. The tent features double walls for increased warmth, double stitching, and cross-aluminum poles to ensure the structure stays firmly in place even if blustery winds hit.
Despite the thick double walls and waterproof exterior, we were really pleased to see that the Hillman 2-Person 4-Season tent is highly breathable as well, promoting proper air circulation throughout the interior. The tent is pretty cost-effective too, without compromising any of the key features we look for in the best cold weather tent. Set up is very simple and quick, taking approximately 10 minutes in total.
The Weanas Double Layer Backpacking Tent made it to our list of the best cold weather tents for its impressive waterproof design, sturdy aluminum poles, and UV protectant material. The tent is super compact, so if you plan on backpacking in winter weather conditions and want to add as little weight to your pack as possible, this could be the tent for you.
While the tent is designed for 3-season use, the double wall construction helps ensure you’ll stay warm on the trail. The tent weighs in at just 5 pounds and comes with the accessories you’ll require to set up and secure the structure. The polyester material is coated in SPF UV 40+, which helps ensure you’ll stay protected from the sun’s glare.
The tent also sports a polyester rainfly with a waterproof hydrostatic rating of 4,000 millimeters and a footprint with silicone coating rated at 4,000 millimeters. The inside is very spacious too, with 106.3 x 49.2 x 39.4 dimensions. You can purchase the tent for 1, 2, or 3 person capacities.
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Person Tent is one of the best cold weather tent options for its 4-season, durable design. The tent is made for two campers and is highly portable, making it a fantastic choice for backpacking enthusiasts. The design holds up really well against inclement weather elements, with PU coating and 7000 series aluminum poles for increased stability against gale force winds.
The tent has excellent storage space, with multiple pockets and rear vestibules. One feature that really caught our eye was the ALPS Mountaineering Tent’s quality ventilation system, with mesh windows that promote the right amount of airflow without undermining the insulation of the interior.
The tent comes with vent and window covers too, so you can seal up these areas for extra warmth if need be. The tent is also very quick and easy to set up, so you can secure it in place with just a few snaps in less than 10 minutes.
Our final choice for the best cold weather tent is the Naturehike 4 Season 2 Person Tent, designed for year-round use and just about any weather conditions you’ll encounter along the way. The tent is highly versatile, with a lightweight design that you can carry with ease in your gear if you’re planning any winter backpacking treks.
The tent sports UV resistant coating to shield you from damaging rays along with a waterproof exterior to ensure you stay dry if storms hit. We were really pleased with the sturdiness of the structure, featuring a premium strength aluminum pole system that is easy to set up and break down. The 20-denier silicon fabric offers great insulation, while the tent’s mesh roof and double-layered entry provide just the ventilation we look for in the best cold weather tent.
While each of the best cold weather tent options in this review are quality, durable options to consider, the choice that made it to the top of our list was the Weanas Double Layer Backpacking Tent. We loved the lightweight, waterproof design, aluminum framework, and UV resistant material.
Even though the tent is a 3-season product, the double wall construction is perfect for cold weather camping. The waterproof polyester rainfly and silicone coated footprint with 4,000 mm hydrostatic ratings are exceptional, plus the spacious inside means you’ll have room for each camper and all your gear. We liked that you can purchase the tent for 1, 2, or 3 person capacities as needed.
For versatility, insulation, weather resistance, and sturdiness, the Weanas Double Layer Backpacking Tent remains our top pick for the best cold weather tent.