Last Update: 09.Nov.2020
Very great pockets
Relatively roomy for a 2-person tent
Not as light as other models
Overkill for mild weather
Extremely stable and extremely light
Accommodate two adults comfortably
No floor or bug protection
Easy to set up
Double hooped vestibules are sweet
Poles make setup a pain in the wind.
2 (3) -season
Fast & Light reaches a minimum weight of three pounds
Durable and strong construction
Small fly doors
It considerably costly; not your best choice if you are looking for cheap waterproof tents
highly resistant to snow loading
Everything you would want in a two-person tent
Zippers are small and slightly harder to grab
Less headroom than other models
Impressive waterproof rating
Small area per person
Still not a cheap purchase
Great for extreme weather
High quality stitching and construction
not free standing
Extremely stable and extremely light
Accommodate two adults comfortably
No floor or bug protection
Very good in windy conditions
Lightweight for a double wall tent
Could use a bit more ventilation
Vestibule is tiny
only one door
It’s not the season rather the environment and conditions dictate your tent choice here. Primarily, these tents keep their occupants safe from extreme weather conditions. If you are expecting frigid temperatures, intense winds, and a heavy snowfall every night, these tents should be your preferred choice.
They have a very rugged shape as well as pole geometries. And due to this, these tents can withstand extreme conditions. They also come with highly durable fabrics because most snow can be ruthless.
These tents don’t feature any mesh within the body because maintaining warmth inside is important. Some of them also come with zippered windows to seal out any elements. Some models also come with snow flaps to keep cold air and snow from blowing inside the tent.
But you must also keep in mind that you must not compromise on ventilation and overly emphasize on fortification of your tent. It is important to keep condensation at bay.
They also come with vestibules for proper storage of your gear and protecting it from the elements. And because of that, they are roomier. And of course, they also need to be in bright colors so your tent is easy to locate in a cold storm.
There are four different types of these tents. And we will explain them briefly in the following text.
These 4-seasons tents are the best options for high-alpine conditions. And weight is the primary consideration here. Some of them come in single wall variation and they don’t make any compromises when it comes to weather or wind protection. They do come in smaller square footage and peak height as compared to treeline and base camping tents. These tents feature a seam-sealed design and are waterproof.
This variety of 4-season tents are heavier and more comfortable than the previous ones we discussed. Of course, you are not going to take your base-camp far or high so you can pack in more weight. So, these are pretty roomy as well.
You might end up spending more time in your base-camp and you can use them in a range of different conditions. As they are heavier, they come with double-walled construction. It ensures proper ventilation, prevents condensation, and provides you with proper space. You will only have to compromise on the weight factor.
The most trimmed down version of a 4-season tent is a treeline camp. These camps are for winter but not necessarily to tackle heavy exposure. These camps have a substantial floor but don’t offer much mesh.
The fabrics used on rainfly and canopy are quite heavy too. But they are significantly lesser than their mountaineering and base-camp counterparts in terms of durability and toughness. These are better suited for light winter adventures.
There are so many features you need to consider when buying such a camp for your winter adventure. And you need to be cautious as well because you don’t want to end up being exposed to those freezing temperatures. Here are some of the features you must keep in mind when looking for the best 4-season tent.
These camps weigh a lot more than the 3-season models because these camps feature a heavier and more durable fabric. These also feature stronger poles and have sturdy zippers on them. The lightest of them all can be around 3 and a half pounds while the heaviest can be around 10 pounds for a 2-person tent. 3 and 4-person tents weigh even more.
As with most of the gear, when you go up in weight, you usually get better quality, durability, and toughness. Essentially, you are getting a lot more of a camp and you will get more comfortable as well. Generally packed size and weight go together because they both have a strong correlation.
If you have a couple of more people, you can always share the load. But this will be a much easier task for a double-wall camp as compared to a single-wall because in a single-wall the camp itself bears all the weight. In a double-wall design, you can split between the camp and its rainfly and canopy very easily.
There are two aspects associated with size here. One is a floor area and the other one is peak height. A camp’s interior space is mostly determined by its floor area and measured in square feet. And these four-season camps vary a lot in this department based on what purpose they serve. For instance, basecamp camps, as well as treeline camps, are much bigger than mountaineering camps.
But square footage is not the end of the story. You also need to consider the peak height of a camp and the slope of its walls. With a higher peak, you will have more headroom and you can move around easily inside the tent. You can conveniently sit up in a tent that has a higher peak height. If a tent has more slope in walls, you will feel more congested in it.
Therefore, when choosing a camp, the best practice is to go inside and check it out yourself. These days, some models come with cross-bracing poles and allow you to make better headspace in your camp. Just make sure you go for a tent that is a few inches bigger than the tallest person who is going to be inside it.
Some people don’t even consider this aspect when buying a four-season tent, which is a huge mistake. These camps are warmer by design because they are made to handle extreme conditions. Hence, they can hold in more heat.
But you must not forget your camp needs to be properly ventilated to keep the inside dry and prevent any bad smells that might develop inside from your socks or anything else. With time, your breath will condense the inside of your camp and it will be faster if there are more people inside.
The condensation will turn into tiny droplets of water on your tent’s walls and ceiling and in colder weather, these droplets will turn into frost feathers. They can get you wet as well as your gear inside your camp. Sleeping in such conditions where there is no fresh air accessible can make you groggy as well.
Therefore, the tent you are considering needs to come with proper ventilation features. Double-walled models are better in terms of ventilation because they come with more vents. These vents can mitigate condensation fairly well.
This is a no brainer because your camp is up against the chilly weather conditions on mountains. You never know how much snow is going to fall on your camp overnight and of course, the wind speeds are high as well. If your tent is not durable, it won’t be able to sustain this much of a toll.
Apart from that, these camps will face intense UV rays from the sun as well. With all these exposures, your camp needs to be well protected and needs to have a durable construction. These four-season tents are suitable to tackle such conditions and double-walled models are even better than their single-walled variants.
When we talk about the overall quality of the tent poles stakes and snow anchors you will find four-season tents are good. They have stronger poles to withstand tougher gusts of winds.
In colder weather, the fabric of a camp shrinks considerably and metals and plastics also get brittle. You don’t want to shred your camp if you end up snapping a pole. You need to go for quality tent poles that come with long connector joints. It ensures better torsional strength.
In unpredictable weather conditions, you have to make your camp extremely sturdy to withstand storms and winds. And therefore, you can conveniently use your skis, pickets, ice axis, ski poles, bamboo wands, or anything else that can hold its ground and doesn’t bury or break easily when you put them through high loads.
Make sure to dig down deep and fill your stake using compact snow. You can always go for a deadman anchor by using any of your gear that is lying around if you don’t have skis with you. You can wrap a stick, a camp stake, or a rock, or even a sack with snow and bury it with a guyline deep into the snow. Just make sure to cover the deadman with compact snow so it doesn’t unanchor overtime.
Again, you don’t need to give enough thought to this point because if you are dealing with snow you will surely need a camp that is waterproofed. But you can also go with a tent that is not waterproof.
Why? Because in freezing temperatures there are almost zero chances of snow melting and turning into water and of course, snow cannot sleep through your camp on its own through the walls.
Your tent coating will do its job pretty effectively to get all the snow off as soon as it starts to melt, on the off chance. It’s the wind you will have to deal with unless the area where you have planned your trips sees more rain than snow.
Waterproof camps do add an extra layer of protection but they will also add to the overall weight and of course the price. Again, a double-walled design will prove to be a better option here as compared to a single-walled model.
Of course, you need to have proper storage to keep all your gear safe in extreme conditions on the outside. You will need vestibules and inner pockets, so inner pockets will allow you to palace smaller items like food, smartphones, and other gadgets. Vestibules are there for your backpacks and other stuff that you carry along for your trip.
For extended trips in inclement weather conditions, you will find these inner pockets and vestibules very handy to place all your gear. Most of these tents also come with loops where you can string a guyline right across your camp’s ceiling to dry off any wet items after a long hike in bad weather.
This is probably the most important factor of them all especially if you are looking for long camping trips out there in extreme conditions. The camp you are looking to consider needs to provide you with excellent livability. It needs to have proper room and space for you to place your gear and of course to accommodate you.
Make sure you choose the right size based on the number of people who will be joining you on your winter trek. There should be enough space for you to place all your gear and of course, accommodate the individuals who are with you. Make sure you choose the right size in height so you can sit down comfortably and a proper floor area so you lay down comfortably for your night’s rest.
When you are out there you never know what the conditions might end up dishing out to you. If you are camping around trees, you will surely need a bug screen as well. Most four-season tents come with an additional option for you to choose a bug screen.
But you can also use your rainfly for this purpose. Of course, going for the bug screen means you will have to bear an additional weight on your back, if you have someone, you can go for a separate bug screen as well.
Two doors are always better than one. If you have more people with you on your trek then you will find these features very important. It’s not always helpful to crossover your partner to get out of your camp. It does create a lot of disturbance in your camp and you never know when you have to answer nature’s call.
Or you might have gotten up early to enjoy the early morning scenery but your partner might not be interested in it. So, it’s always better two have a door on either side of the tent so everyone has access to the outside with convenience.
Primarily, you have two choices here: one is silnylon and the other is polyurethane. Silnylon is silicone while polyurethane is PU. The nylons coated with silicone are pretty expensive but they do weigh less. They also pack down small and provide your camp with incredible longevity and tear strength.
On the other hand, polyurethane or PU can be thicker as compared to the silicone coating. And for this, it offers tremendous abrasion and puncture resistance. Another advantage is that PU is much easier to tape and is less slippery than silicone. And for that reason, it is frequently used on the camp floors, and of course, it costs a lot less than silicone.
When choosing these four-season tents, you need to either go for a single-walled design or for double-walled. Double-walled tents have double layers and these include the outer rainfly and the inner canopy of the camp.
Whereas, single-walled variants have a single fabric layer to keep you safe from the external elements. Due to the lesser amount of fabric, you will have to bear less weight but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to compare on durability. These single-walled models can be pretty tough as well but are secondary to double-walled design in terms of ventilation, weather safety, and comfort.
Double-walled models are better in every aspect unless you don’t want to pack too much weight or size. You will get more in terms of space and you will have two different doors. These camps also have larger vestibules and vetter protection with two layers of fabrics. And not to forget about the excellent ventilation that these double-walled models.
Pole clips offer better ventilation between the tent body and the tent fly and keep your tent much more precise and set up quickly.
Pole sleeves, on the other hand, are better for a much sturdier setup with multiple stitches across the pole line. There is a lot less tension at any given point.
Internal pole does one thing better than both pole sleeves and pole clips, it provides you with a much better headspace inside your tent. It is better to use in combination with the other two for better results.
Four season tents are extraordinary if you consider what they have to withstand. The toll they can take is extraordinary. And it’s their extraordinary features make them useful in such extreme conditions.
It’s all about containing the heat and preventing the cold from entering the tent. But breathability is also very important. You might not need a waterproof tent but you will need a weather-resistant tent that can hold its ground in high winds and keep you warm.
Some extra storage space will also come in handy as you don’t know what you will need in such conditions. But overall, make sure you look for a tent with maximum livability and the one that can keep you comfortable as if you are staying at your home.
In the Toptravelpoint Blog you will always find useful and up-to-date information about hiking and camping. & Bryce
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