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Last updated: September 22, 2021
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If you enjoy the outdoors, then it isn’t a far leap to say you’d likely enjoy camping, hiking, and even mountain climbing. But to fully enjoy these activities and get the most out of them, you need the proper equipment. Having the best 4-season tent is crucial to your adventure, especially if you’re planning on spending time in harsh weather conditions such as heavy winds or snow. But how do you choose the best tent?
We wondered the same thing, so we set out to find the ten best 4-season tents out there. We evaluated and considered over 30 products to make sure that we could share the greatest ones with you. Our favorite among all of these tents was the Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Katabatic 3-Person Tent, which became our Editor’s Choice. It’s a durable, easy to setup 4-season tent that can comfortably fit three adults. This tent is guaranteed to hold up in harsh inclement weather including high winds and heavy rains and snow. But, along with this fantastic tent that we believe is the best one available, there are nine other great tents that might suit your needs more specifically.
While researching for this article, we considered several features and factors to verify the quality of each tent. We checked out tent capacities, packed size and weight of each tent, the different types of tents, pitch height, materials, and other important features that we go over later in our guide. All of these factors help to contribute to the overall quality of the tent, and the higher-quality the tent, the more protected you are when using it. We have a table outlining our top ten picks and their respective nominations, followed by in-depth, detailed reviews of each product to give you a better understanding of why it made our top-ten list. Following that, we’ve provided a buying guide with some of the features that we looked for while selecting the best 4-season tents, as well as a frequently asked questions section.
This 4-season tent is the best of the best. Constructed of various, durable materials, this tent will stand up to high winds and heavy rain or snow without a problem, keeping you and your companions safe and comfortable.
The special Y-Fly design helps to shed snow as it accumulates and increases the overall load strength of the fly. It also is designed to help keep the flysheet quiet in even the most intense winds, so you won’t be disturbed or kept awake by the loud sounds of flapping fabric.
This tent is incredibly easy to set up and is very straightforward in design. The hooks and poles of this tent are color-coded, which makes it simple to see exactly how things need to be set up. Most customers had no problems setting this tent up by themselves, but suggest that perhaps two people should work on setting it up in dark or stormy conditions.
It is solidly designed. The steep walls and hexagonal shape provide a surprising amount of space inside of the tent while still maintaining the smallest possible footprint. It comes with two vestibules that offer additional space for storage if you need, and as a bonus offers extra headspace and stability to the overall tent.
What stands out?
Comfortably fits three people and gear
Y-Fly design sheds snow, increases strength, and reduces noise in the wind
The dual-vestibule design provides extra space and storage
Color-coded poles and hooks make set-up simple and straightforward
Made of 40D ripstop nylon (wall), 20D polyester mesh, 40D coated ripstop nylon (flysheet), and 70D coated nylon taffeta for the floor
What cons did we manage to find?
It is a bit heavy, but it is a double-wall, 4-season tent so that is to be expected
Other features: Available in 3 sizes, 3’ high walls, zipped-in 16 oz. high-density PVC groundsheet, 5” wide stove jack opening, standard bug mesh door, and four windows, 1/4″ polyester UV resistant Dura ropes, center pole and door A-Frame, four large roof vents, double-stitched seams, reinforced corners
This is an excellent premium 4-season tent and is the best 6-10 person 4-season tent. The White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Tent is extremely spacious and is available in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of any size group of adventurers.
It is available in a water repellent material, but you can also purchase it in a material that is fire retardant as well. It features standard bug mesh windows and a door of the same material. It also has durable rain flaps to help keep rain and window out of your tent’s interior.
This tent is particularly heavy due to its size and the weight of the durable, weather-resistant materials. But, it is extremely simple to set up and comes with waterproof polyester bags for easier carrying and mobility.
It includes a stove jack and temperature-resistant weather flap that will help protect your tent fabric from melting or overly-high temperatures.
What stands out?
Comes in three different sizes and two different material types
Extremely spacious and tall, giving an impressive amount of headspace
Comes in a 100% polyester waterproof bag with a carrying strap for easy transportation
Available in fire-retardant material
This tent is stove compatible with an included 5-inch stove jack and weather flap
What cons did we manage to find?
This is a high-quality, heavy-duty tent made to house 6 to 10 people, and as such, it is heavy to move
One customer felt they had to replace the included tent stakes with stronger stakes
The MSR Access Lightweight 4-Season 2-Person Tent is great for any mountaineering or winter backcountry journeys. It’s extremely lightweight, making it easy to carry and assemble. Its light weight does not affect its ability to withstand unfavorable weather conditions, either.
This is heavily due to the Easton Syclone poles. These poles are made of aerospace composite materials that are remarkably durable. They’re strong without being stiff, and their flexibility makes it possible for them to resist any kind of breakage in particularly harsh or severe weather conditions.
This tent comes with a three-year limited warranty through MSR, which covers any manufacturer faults or damages that result from a manufacturing error.
What stands out?
This tent is extremely lightweight and easy to manage
Features two doors for easy and convenient access and exit
The poles are made of aerospace composite materials which are strong and flexible
Great for one or two people to use during winter excursions
Comes with a three-year limited warranty through the manufacturer
What cons did we manage to find?
Some campers may feel that this tent is a little on the snug and cozy side for two people
Other features: Available in 4 sizes; a hole for chimney pipe; fire-resistant material; breathable cotton, waterproof, 300g per sqm, with reinforced double stitched seams; 4 side windows and 4 vents on the apex, 4 inside pockets for extra storage, 23.6” high walls
4-Season tents do not only have to be for camping or mountain adventures. Tents, when they’re large enough, are great for events like parties, weddings, classes, and more. While anywhere from 6 to 10 people can comfortably sleep in this tent, depending on the size you select, but can comfortably seat up to 25 people for an event.
This 8-person tent is safe and very breathable. It utilizes a fire-resistant material around the opening pipe vent. The tent is made of breathable, waterproof cotton with reinforced double-stitched seams for extra stability and security. The cotton is treated with UV and water repellents.
What are its best features?
Comes with a coverable hole for use with a chimney or stove pipe
Made with fire-resistant materials and treated to be UV and water-resistant
This tent can withstand heavy winds, rains, and snowstorms easily while keeping large groups cozy inside
Comes in a range of different sizes to accommodate camping groups or events with multiple people
Comes with a convenient carrying bag
What could be improved?
The carrying bag may seem a bit small for practical storage, so you may have to fold it a particular way
The color of this tent makes dirt and grime highly visible
If you are looking for a light tent that you can take with you on trekking tours, the GEERTOP Backpacking Tent could be a good choice.
With a pack size of 17 x 7 x 6 inches and a weight of only 6.4 lbs, you have no problems when it comes to including it in your camping materials. This ultra-light tent is made of rugged, high quality, and anti-tear polyester, and the seams are sealed waterproof.
The inner tent is made of breathable mesh fabric. Aluminum was used for the frame. The three-part tent consists of an inner tent, a flysheet, and a tent floor.
You can also use the inner tent without the fly. It is made of mosquito net fabric; thus you sleep in warm areas protected from mosquitoes and other biting insects. The flysheet can also be set up independently, so that you can use it as a shade or rain cover for breaks, for example.
You need a maximum of ten minutes to set up the ultra-light outdoor tent and you don’t need a second person. The external dimensions are 102 x 83 x 45 inches. Two people can sleep in the tent. The material of the guide ropes and the access opening is reflective. In the inner tent, there is a hook on the ceiling from which you can hang a lamp. Also, a pocket has been sewn in, in which you can store keys, cell phones, or other items. The package includes an outer tent, an inner tent, a tent floor, a carrying bag, aluminum poles, holding ropes, and pegs.
This 4-person tent is designed after the tents used by the Marine Corps of the United States. As a result, it’s intended to handle all kinds of weather conditions, from snow and rain to sandstorms. It uses a full-coverage shield to protect the tent interior from snow and rain, or any other invasive elements.
The storm shield also can be used to create two vestibules for storing wet boots and clothes, cooking gear, equipment packs, and more. This will cut down on the amount of space taken up inside of the tent itself, giving you more space.
In addition to being waterproof, this tent is treated to resist UV radiation, which improves its longevity.
What are our favorite features?
This tent is based on the U.S. Marine Corps tent designs, so it’s able to withstand any kind of weather condition
Has a breathable two-panel mesh door and closeable vents for ventilation control
Uses three lightweight but durable DAC poles for a freestanding dome design
This tent has a full-coverage storm shield to prevent rain and snow from entering the tent
Has an easy setup and can be deconstructed quickly
What could be better?
It has a short internal height of about 4-feet, 8-inches
Due to the load-bearing support, this is more of a 3.5-season tent than a full 4-season tent
Other features: double walls, a sturdy six-pole A-frame design, a cold-weather PU transparent window, 9.5-millimeter 7001-T6 freestanding, shock-corded aluminum poles; includes six pockets, two gear lofts, and two flashlight loops
If you’re looking for a close-quarters tent to share with someone on your next camping trip, this Eureka! Alpine is perfect. It’s a bit cozy for two people, depending on the size and height of the people trying to use it, but that makes it great particularly for couples or people that just want a little extra space when they’re bunking alone.
It also comes with an impressive amount of storage options, including tool loops, additional pockets, and optional vestibules. This tent is incredibly easy to set up and uses shock-corded aluminum poles for simplicity.
What makes it stand out?
Uses a six-pole A-frame design for durability and stability
Uses a full-coverage storm shield to keep out rain, snow, and cold weather
Has a quick, simple setup with shock-corded aluminum poles
Has a plethora of storage options including additional pockets, lofts, loops, and vestibules
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Fits two people, though space may be a bit snug for some
The Ferrino Lhotse 4-Season Tent is one of the best tents you can use for your base camp. It comfortably fits up to four people while offering maximum comfort and security. It has fantastic ventilation and is great at insulating heat, which will keep you warm in colder weather.
It uses three shock-corded duraluminium poles for easy setup. They come in different colors and you can easily match them to where they need to go for maximum support.
The tent also comes with a reflective multipoint guy lines system for when you need additional stability in precarious areas.
What are its best features?
This tent is one of the best base camp tents you can use
Comfortably fits up to four adults
Has great ventilation, heat insulation, and strength
Uses rip stop floors and walls for durability and increased longevity
Comes with triple-reinforcement on all typical high-strain areas
What could be improved?
There are no negative reviews or comments for this product
The High Peak South Col Backpacking Tent is another fantastic option if you need a high-quality, 4-season backpacking tent for your outdoor excursions. This tent is tested and highly-rated worldwide, so you can be sure that it will meet, if not exceed, your expectations.
It comfortably fits two or three people, but it may seem a bit small if you’re more than six-feet tall, so be aware of that. It has a spacious vestibule for storing wet or dirty shoes, clothes, and any equipment you have with you.
Like the other 4-season tents on our list, this tent is built to withstand heavy snow loads, rain, and high winds, so you’ll be safe and comfortable in this tent.
What stands out?
This tent is quick and easy to set up even when you’re by yourself
Is durable and capable of handling harsh winds and heavy rain with ease
The vestibule is spacious and is great for storing wet or dirty shoes outside of the main tent, or for storing equipment and tools
Has great insulation for warmth in even frigid weather
Is highly tested for quality and durability in all seasons and weather conditions
What cons did we manage to find?
It’s a bit small, some may find it too small to stretch out on the floor of this tent to a full height if they’re over six feet tall.
Some felt that the ventilation wasn’t as good as it could be for this tent
Things to Consider
Now that you know the ten best four-season tents, we’re going to tell you about how we chose them. This buying guide is a great source of information you can use to make your own decisions about the best four-season tents. It never hurts to have additional information, after all.
Benefits of 4-season tents
There are many benefits to owning and using a 4-season tent for your camping and other outdoor activity needs. Primarily, they give you a safe, warm place away from the harsh outdoor elements to rest during your journey. They are usually waterproof or otherwise weather-resistant, and some may be equipped to handle wood stoves or other heating elements to provide you with extra warmth and comfort.
Features to consider when choosing a 4-season tent
When we compiled our list of the top ten best 4-season tents, we took a look at several factors. The different features of the tents that we have researched are below.
There are primarily three different types of 4-season tents that you will come across while searching for the perfect tent to suit your needs. These are the mountaineering tents, base camp tents, and treeline tents.
Mountaineering tents are best suited for use in alpine and high-alpine environments. Weight should be a primary consideration when looking for these tents. Most of these tents are waterproof with few exceptions. Keep in mind that mountaineering tents usually have smaller square footage than base camp and treeline tents.
Base camp tents tend to be more comfortable than mountaineering tents. Base camp tents are heavier than the mountaineering tents, but usually, you won’t be carrying these for long or for far distances, so it seems more manageable. These are made to endure a lot of use, as the intent is for you to spend more time in this tent style.
If you need a heavier canopy or rainfall fabrics, a treeline tent might be what you’re looking for. These have less or no mesh, but also have less durability. They’re not the best for extremely harsh conditions, but they’ll get the job done under most circumstances. They can be used for winter camping, but shouldn’t be tested in mountain ranges.
The capacity of your tent is the approximate number of sleepers that will comfortably fit in it. Some tents like MSR Access Lightweight 2-Person Tent or BaiYouDa Backpacking Tent can only fit one or two adults comfortably, while others can fit twelve or sometimes more. Your capacity needs may vary with each camping trip you take, but usually it’s better to plan for needing more space than having to deal without.
Packed Size and Weight
4-Season tents typically weigh more than their 3-season counterparts for a few reasons. First and foremost, and perhaps most obvious, is the fact that these tents are made of heavier, more durable fabrics. They also have stronger, sturdier poles and heftier, more durable zippers.
But, heavier 4-season tents have their advantages. While they may not be fun to carry, they do tend to be tougher and more weather-resistant than the lighter models. Additionally, they often ventilate better and have more features to make your trip more comfortable.
Generally speaking, the weight and packed size and weight have a strong correlation with one another. It may be easier to have a partner carry the poles and canopy while you carry the rainfly and tent itself. Splitting the job up will make it less of a burden.
You may have noticed the terms single-wall and double-wall throughout this article and during your overall search for 4-season tents. But what are the differences?
As the name might imply, double-wall tents use two layers of fabric to protect you from the outdoor elements. Double-wall tents work extremely well for a wider range of weather conditions for this reason. This is particularly true in warm or wet conditions when internal condensation can prove to be a problem. Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Katabatic 3-Person Tent and MSR Access Lightweight 2-Person Tent are the examples of double-wall tents.
The inner tent is the canopy and is water repellent and breathable. This prevents, or at least heavily alleviates, the likelihood of condensation building up within the tent. The outer tent, the rainfly, provides additional insulation from the elements while acting as an added way to prevent water, snow, and other conditions from entering your tent.
Double-wall tents tend to be stronger than single-wall tents. But, they’re also noticeably heavier than single-wall tents, so keep that in mind.
If your trip will be shorter or you need to keep a fast, lightweight pace during an adventure, you’ll probably prefer to use a single-wall tent. Additionally, you may prefer a single-wall tent if the only available resting site is a small platform or narrow ledge or space. Single-wall tents tend to have a smaller footprint and are easier to set up, so a lack of space isn’t as jarring as it would be with a double-wall tent.
Single-wall tents are, however, a lot less versatile in general. They can’t handle wet, warm weather as well as double-wall tents and tend not to have much in terms of ventilation.
Both single-wall and double-wall tents offer unique advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between the two is critical though, depending on your needs and intended use. If your needs overlap, sometimes finding the best single-wall 4-season tent is better than choosing a lower-grade double-wall 4-season tent, so make sure you weigh your options.
When considering the internal space of your tent, many people mistakenly think that only the floor area is important. While it is an important factor to consider, you shouldn’t overlook the value of the peak height of your tent.
Usually, winter camping is going to require you to bring along bigger sleeping bags, sleeping pads, blankets, and more personal gear than camping in any other season. For this reason, most 4-season tents tend to have more square footage than other average backpacking tents, including 3-season tents.
Additionally, more floor area means more people can fit in the tent, under most circumstances. It also means you’ll have more room to store your gear and other belongings.
Most 4-season tents are made with heavy, durable fabric meant to resist all kinds of elements. From harsh winters to intense UV rays in the summer, your tent is supposed to be able to withstand it all.
One of the best materials to have for your 4-season tent is 70D Nylon Taffeta. Finding that material with quality coatings, such as fire-retardant coating or additional waterproofing, may make your tent more expensive but it will also make it well worth the investment.
Protection against elements
The whole point of buying a 4-season tent is so that you have adequate protection from the elemental hazards of any and all seasons. You want a tent that is durable enough to tolerate high, unforgiving winds and that won’t cave under the weight of several feet of snow or accumulated rainfall. Additionally, you should be certain that your tent has appropriate insulation, or that you are prepared if it doesn’t.
Vestibules and interior pockets are fantastic to have as features in your tents. These additions up the storage space available to you for your gear, clothing, equipment, and more. Since you’re likely on an extended trip while using a 4-season tent, having ample storage space is absolutely necessary.
Additionally, some vestibules are large enough to act as a separate room altogether. But, mostly it’s great for drying yourself off or removing wet clothing or footwear before entering the dry interior of your tent.
Doors, windows, and ventilation
When we breathe, we release air that is warm and humid that isn’t entirely oxygen. If your tent walls are cool or cold, this humid air sticks to it and creates condensation, which can freeze if the temperature is cold enough. The accumulated moisture can make your tent heavy and extremely uncomfortable.
That is why ventilation is necessary. Proper ventilation will help to minimize condensation and will promote airflow of oxygen-rich air for the air you exhale. Breathable fabrics are great, but tents with additional means of ventilation are preferred.
This includes having mesh net doors and windows that can be closed or sealed as needed. These also help to keep bugs and other small, uninvited critters out of your tent while you rest.
When it comes to selecting a tent, you should make sure you understand the construction method. This will help you determine how long it will take you on average to pitch the tent or deconstruct it.
Freestanding 4-season tents can be put up anywhere that they’ll comfortably fit. including in shelters or on tent platforms. They are faster to set up and are easy to move and relocate. You can pick them up easily to shake them out to get rid of any debris, and despite this, they tend to be sturdier than their non-freestanding counterparts.
However, they are less waterproof if they aren’t staked well. It’s also more expensive, and sometimes difficult, to replace any poles if they become damaged. Larger freestanding tents also tend to retain heat less, meaning you’re more likely to get cold in certain conditions.
Non-freestanding tents, or staked tents, have their own advantages and disadvantages. Staked tents are usually more waterproof and windproof, and smaller ones usually are better insulated, which makes them great for staying warm in colder conditions or climates. They’re also easier to repair or find replacement parts for.
But, they have some downfalls. They can be more difficult to clean out and tend to have less internal space than freestanding tents. Additionally, they can’t be set up overtop of gravel, rocks, or other poor or particularly rough surfaces. They’re a little less sturdy as well.
The quality and design of your poles are some of the things that have the largest impact on your tent’s functionality. Overall, the pole design defines the tent’s strength and influences every additional feature of the tent, including space, height, vestibules, and more.
The more pole crossings and poles generally equate to more structural strength for your tent. You should also look at the quality of the tent pole material while shopping. You want durable, tough poles that aren’t too sturdy or stiff, as rigid poles may break in particularly high winds.
The price you pay for your 4-season tent will be highly influenced by the quality of the materials used in its construction as well as the features of the tent itself. You can expect, on average, to pay at least $100 for a 4-season tent, and may spend close to $2000 on a high-quality one. Keep in mind that typically, you will get what you’re paying for.
4-Season tents are widely considered as necessary for camping during the winter months. This is true regardless of where you are located, as even a warm winter day can turn into a freezing night.
4-Season tents are designed and built to endure a wider range of temperatures and weather conditions and will be better suited to protecting you from a host of potential winter hazards, such as high winds, freezing rain, heavy snow, frost, and more.
Even if you don’t plan to encounter these conditions, a 4-season tent is still the best option for your winter camping needs. They tend to hold heat better than other tents and as the sun sets, the temperature will begin to drop. It gets very cold very quickly outside at night.
When considering 3- or 4-season tents, it’s best to consider what they’re meant to handle rather than focusing on just the seasonal meaning.
3-season tents are actually great for most outdoor activities, including backpacking trips in the spring or summer and campout sessions in the fall.
They’re best used when you want to keep your pack weight light but still want protection from bugs and the elements when you’re sleeping outdoors. They’re made of lightweight fabric and mesh that promote airflow and breathability.
Many 3-season tents can handle heavy rains and some light snowfall, but they aren’t meant to be used for long periods in harsh and unforgiving weather.
4-season tents, on the other hand, are meant to endure extreme temperatures and weather conditions. If you’re going to be trekking and camping in areas with extreme winds, heavy snow, or otherwise frigid temperatures, you’re going to want a 4-season tent.
They’re strong, sturdy, and durable enough to combat all sorts of unforgiving weather. These tents usually don’t have mesh at all, but some do have mesh windows that can be zipped shut. Additionally, if you’ll be outdoors in snowy conditions, you should get a model with snow flaps to further protect you.
The bulk of these 4-season tents is balanced strategically with ventilation. This helps to manage moisture and internal condensation build-up.
There are a lot of ways for you to keep your tent warm in the winter months. Certain tents are compatible with and are safe to use with stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters. Fireplaces and woodstoves work best, since you may not have brought a portable generator or have access to any kind of power source.
You can also dress warmly to keep yourself, if not your air space, warmer. As soon as the sun starts setting, you can double your layers to keep yourself warm instead of waiting until you’re cold to do so. Additionally, you can pack and wear thermals.
Another idea is to insulate your tent with carpets or rugs or thick down comforters and blankets. This will help to stop any cold air or temperatures from leaking through the floor of your tent.
In conclusion, there is a lot of information out there regarding 4-season tents, and for every bit of information, there’s a tent that stands as an example for it. After reading our guide and reviews, we hope that you’ve come to the same conclusions that we have. To us, the best 4-season tent is the Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Katabatic 3-Person Tent. It’s made of the best materials and can comfortably fit two or three people without a problem, and if you’re not in a touring group or with your entire family, that should be perfect for most outdoor adventures. Our other nine options are also fantastic choices. No matter what tent you decide on, you’ll be safe and comfortable!