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Cold Weather Tents: The Best Winter Tents in 2022

Cold weather tents in the snow with northern lights

If you’re planning on getting out winter camping this year then making sure you have the right tent to snuggle into is essential. Staying warm when camping in the winter takes some doing. If all that awaits you, at the end of a frigid day out in the wilderness, is a flimsy set up that would be better suited to muddy summer festival camping, then things are going to go pear shaped very quickly. However, it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to cold weather tents. There are loads of different types out there that are all designed for very different winter tent camping scenarios.

Whether it is a night or two enduring the storms of high altitude mountaineering, or a week of wilderness living deep in the backcountry, this selection of some of the best cold weather tents will have you covered. Take a quick look at your options and read on for more information on each type of winter tent.

Summary of cold weather tents

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ProductType of tentWeightPerson capacityCost
MSR Access 2Winter expedition tent1.86kg (3.6 lbs)2$
Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 TentWinter expedition tent3kg (6.6 lbs)2$$
The North Face VE 25Winter expedition tent4.7kg (10.3 lbs)3$$
Hilleberg Jannu 2Winter expedition tent3.2kg (7 lbs)2$$$$
NEMO Kunai 2P TentWinter expedition tent2.2 kg (4.8 lbs)2$$$
Black Diamond EldoradoLightweight mountaineering tent2.3kg (5 lbs)2$$$
MSR Advance ProLightweight mountaineering tent1.3kg (2.8 lbs)

Rab LatokLightweight mountaineering tent1.4kg (3 lbs)2$$$
REI Co-op Base Camp 6 TentFamily/base camp tent9.3kg (20.6 lbs)6$
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4Family/base camp tent5.8kg (12.8 lbs)4$$$$
The North Face 2-meter DomeFamily/base camp tent23.13kg
(51 lbs)
REI Arete ASL 2Budget winter tent2.8kg (6.3 lbs)2$$
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2Budget winter tent3.5kg
(7.7 lbs)
Geartop 4 SeasonBudget winter tent2.6kg
(5.75 lbs)
Seek Outside 4 Person TipiStove compatible tent1.96kg
(4.3 lbs)
Playdo 4-Season Bell TentStove compatible tent37kg
(81.5 lbs)

Types of cold weather tents

Choosing the right tent for your winter camping capers really comes down to what you are going to be using it for. And there are a number of different routes to go down, which each one covering a number of different camping scenarios.

Our list of winter camping tents include:

Winter tents for alpine expeditions

Winter expedition tents need to be light enough to carry for a day or two of trekking, but big enough to be comfortable for extended periods of mountain living. They are also suitable for those doing multi-day winter backpacking trips, wanting a little more comfort than super lightweight winter camping tents provide.

MSR Access 2

MSR Access 2

Weighing in at under 2 kg, the MSR Access 2 is one of the lightest four-season tents on our list. Like the Nemo Tenshi, this tent is very versatile. It has a double-wall design that holds up to moderate snow loads and handles condensation reasonably well. It’s suitable for use on winter expeditions under light snowfall, as well as summertime alpine expeditions, and damp shoulder seasons.

When it comes to liveability, this is a fairly spacious 2-person expedition tent. It’s easily wide enough to fit two sleeping mattresses plus small gear. Plus, there are two entrances with outer vestibules on either side of the tent where you can store boots, poles and wet gear.


  • Versatile usage
  • Quick to pitch
  • Spacious
  • Lightweight and compact pack size
  • Mid-range price


  • Outer vestibules have little weather protection (your kit may get wet)

Find the latest price on:
REI | Backcountry

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 Tent

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 Tent

The Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 is built to tackle the toughest weather conditions in alpine scenery. But it’s also spacious and easy to set up. The tent has a 1,200 mm waterproof flysheet with storm flaps on the outer zippers. Two closable vents in the flysheet help to reduce condensation while dual-zippered windows with mesh offer additional ventilation.

Inside the inner wall, the tent is spacious enough for two sleeping mats. We like that the inner also comes with a generous amount of wall and ceiling pockets and gear attachment points. You can keep most of your kit inside the main hub without sacrificing sleeping space. Outside, the tent has two entrances and two vestibules, one of which has a clear window and double zip door that can be staked out a small porch.


  • Extremely strong
  • Two entrances
  • Plenty of inside storage


  • Set up takes some practice

Find the latest price at:
REI | Big Agnes | Backcountry

The North Face VE 25 Tent

The North Face VE 25 Tent

Boasting 48 sq. ft. of floor space, the VE 25 Tent by The North Face is a superbly spacious 3 person cold weather tent. And although it is the heaviest winter expedition tent on our list, the extra weight is well worth it for mountaineers who value liveable comfort to ride out the storms in. The front vestibule has two doors with a poled middle section to provide stability. Plus, there is a rear entrance for extra convenience when living in close quarters with two other bodies!

Additionally, the configuration of four lightweight DAC poles provide a strength-to-weight ratio that is hard to beat. There are also multiple venting options to keep condensation levels under control, further adding to the relative luxury offered by this super sturdy tent for winter camping.


  • Excellent ability to deal with high winds and snow
  • Highly liveable
  • Two entrances


  • On the heavy side

Find the latest price at:

Hilleberg Jannu 2 Person Tent

Hilleberg Jannu 2 Person Tent

The Hilleberg Jannu may be a touch on the pricey side for a two person tent, but for those looking for a reliable, durable and super strong alpine expedition tent, the extra cost is well worth it. With a tiny footprint of 4.4m2 (47.3ft2), including the single vestibule, this double walled tent is ideal for pitching in spots where space is limited. The strong Kerlon 1200 outer has a minimum tear strength of 12 kg (26.5 lbs), which, when supported by the four 9mm poles, creates a dome-style tent that is exceptionally adept at dealing with the odd storm or two!

With the ability to pitch both the inner and the outer at the same time, the Jannu offers a tent that is slightly more suitable to alpine climbers and mountaineers, as well as winter trekkers, backpackers and explorers – if you can stomach the extra spend!


  • Exceptionally strong
  • Small footprint
  • Inner and outer pitch as one


  • Very pricey
  • Only one entrance

Find the latest price on:
Feathered Friends | Alpine Trek

Looking for something more lightweight?

Lightweight mountaineering tents

For alpine climbers and mountaineers, a lightweight tent is essential, and many opt for a single-walled design to keep the weight to a minimum. Ideally, it should be freestanding to enable it to be pitched in small and awkward spaces, with steep sides to shed snow effectively.

Black Diamond Eldorado mountaineering tent

Black Diamond Eldorado

The Eldorado is an incredibly durable and weatherproof lightweight winter camping tent. The fabric of the single wall is coated with PTFE, putting it ahead of the game compared with other single wall tents that use a PU coated fabric. The simple design of this two pole tent creates a steep-sided and highly stable shelter that excels in windy and snowy conditions.

At 2.3kg (81oz), there are lighter tent options in this category, but the Eldorado provides a more liveable space to ride out the storm in, despite its lack of vestibule and second entrance. It is generous in length, allowing for tall inhabitants to spread out, or for gear storage, and the zippered vents keep air flowing well enough.

At 30.8 sq ft, the footprint of this compact and simple setup is highly appealing for those on ‘sleep where you can’ type expeditions, but the winter specific design makes it less versatile for year round camping.


  • Highly waterproof
  • Small footprint


  • Not as light as competitors
  • Only one entrance

Find the latest price on:
Black Diamond | REI

MSR Advance Pro

MSR Advance Pro

At a weight of just 1.3 kg, the MSR Advance Pro is one of the lightest mountaineering tents for cold weather on our list. This single-wall, dome-shaped tent with a small footprint is exactly what you need when weight, pack size, and weather protection are your top priorities. Ultralight Easton Syclone Poles are sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and heavy snow. And, reinforced guy rope attachments allow you to really anchor the tent on rough nights. Meanwhile, the tent itself is quick and easy to set up on your own.

Inside there are no bells or whistles. This winter tent is designed to protect you from the elements without weighing down your pack, so don’t expect much comfort. Also, due to the lack of ventilation (just one small vent), it doesn’t perform very well at lower elevations.


  • Lightweight
  • Small footprint
  • Very strong
  • Can be pitched solo


  • Not very versatile
  • Uncomfortable for taller people

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

Looking for another great lightweight single wall winter tent otpion?

  • Rab Latok tent for mountaineering

    Rab Latok

    • 2.1kg (4.64lbs)
    • Sleeps 2-3
    • Single wall
    • No vestibule

Winter camping tents for family camping and base camp

The weight of your tent is not so much of an issue when it comes to car camping, and although you don’t want to be hauling a marquee out of your car, you can afford to prioritise a bit of luxury. Smart tent design becomes even more essential when you are dealing with larger tents, as they are much more easily affected by high winds.

REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent

REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent

Large enough for all the family or a group of friends, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent is a 6-person tent with a strong geodesic-dome structure. With a generous head height of 74 inches, this is one of the few winter base camp tents that you can stand up inside. For easy entrance and exit, there are two wide roll-away entrance doors on either side – every camper can get in and out without waking anyone up! Two zippered side vents, roof vents, and mesh on the upper section of each door help to minimise condensation when camping in warmer seasons. Inside there are large mesh wall pockets for storing gear. There are also two outer vestibules, one staked and one pole-supported for your shoes and wet gear. Although it’s not the best tent for winter camping in heavy snow or extreme winds, the REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent is a spacious tent that’s tough enough for all four seasons in moderate conditions.


  • Spacious interior
  • Multiple internal storage pockets
  • Easy setup


  • Heavy
  • Not the best for extreme winter weather
  • Minimal ventilation in the flysheet

Find the latest price at:

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

With a generous inside space, a small outer vestibule and large dry-entry vestibule, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent is a popular choice for extended trips in cold conditions, family camping, and base camps. The Trango 4 features a classic 4-pole geodesic design with DAC Featherlite aluminium poles. It’s extremely stable in harsh winter weather and is one of the best cold weather family tents for expeditions.

Inside there’s enough space for four people to sleep, head to toe, and just enough headroom for you to sit up inside. Mesh pockets help you keep your gear organised and off of the tent floor.

One disadvantage is that the Trango 4 is inner-pitch first. You’ll need to pitch fast if you arrive at your camping spot in rain or snow. However, the coded colour system does make it quick to pitch. It’s also freestanding, and you have the option of pitching it without the flysheet at lower elevations or in warmer seasons.


  • Spacious interior
  • Two vestibules
  • Extremely strong


  • Inner pitch first
  • On the heavy side

Find the latest price at:
REI | Backcountry | Mountain Hardwear

Need something even bigger?

Budget winter tents

Most 4 season 2 man mountaineering and winter backpacking tents are around $600-$700 with some well over $800. And unless you plan on embarking upon regular winter expeditions and camping trips, many of those tents will be overkill for what you need. Thankfully, there are some really excellent quality 4 season winter tents that won’t break the bank but will still perform in the way that they should.

REI Arete ASL 2 winter tent

REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 Tent

Eco conscious: Contains materials that meet the Bluesign criteria

This updated version of the Arete may struggle to compete with its higher end counterparts when it comes durability and strength, but it still offers superb protection when under attack from snow and wind. Its has a siliconised 30D nylon fly which is a little thinner than many of the other options on our list, however, the improved fourDAC Featherlite Combi poles ensure high levels of structural stability to make up for it.

At only 2.8kg (6.3 lbs), the Arete is much lighter than The North Face VE 25 and only marginally heavier than the Eldorado. And impressively, that includes a 8.7 sq ft vestibule with improved internal living space. Along with two ceiling vents, the double wall tent has air flow well under control. And to top it off, this excellent value tent for cold weather tent camping also has multiple storage options including corner pockets, hooks and roof pockets.


  • Highly liveable
  • Decently strong in the wind and snow
  • Is suitable for year-round camping


  • Not as strong and durable as other higher end options
  • Poles can be a little problematic to assemble

Find the latest price at:

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2

With two doors and two vestibules, the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 offers really excellent liveability for a two person winter tent and a 8ft2 more floor space than the Arete, making it a superb introductory winter camping tent with a very competitive price tag. It’s a little heavier than its competitors but shared between two people is no drama at all.

The unusual pole configuration provides a good amount of headroom in the centre of the tent, as well as really excellent stabilisation in high winds and steep sides. And with a tough 75D polyester fly the Tasmanian 2 just pips the Arete to the post when it comes to suitability as a winter tent.


  • Stable in high winds
  • Two vestibules
  • Good liveable space


  • Heavier than its competitors

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

Got a really tiny budget?

Cold weather tents with stoves

Choosing a ‘hot tent’ that is compatible with a stove, opens up a whole different kind of cold weather tent camping. It is suitable either for car campers, or for those hauling their gear into the wilderness on sleds. It is also not out of the questions for backpackers, as there are some very lightweight tents available if you also have a lightweight stove. It’s super important to know what you’re doing before you go lighting up underneath flammable nylon, but when done properly, hot tent camping provides a rustic yet highly comfortable way to enjoy getting out into the wild right through the snowy season.

Seek Outside Tipi with tent stove

Seek Outside 4 Person Tipi

At only 1.96kg (69oz) this single wall tent is impressively light, even compared with 2 man 3 season tents. It may not look as stable as modern mountaineering and winter backpacking tent designs, but this Seek Outside Tipi will deal with high winds without a problem, if put up correctly. Adding a tent footprint (not included) will add a little extra weight, but the ability to set up the stove inside the tent and comfortably sleep two people (four without the stove), makes this a really appealing option as a base camp tent in the backcountry.

The nylon 30D fly, although relatively thin, is impregnated with Ultralight silicone and has a waterproof rating of 3000mm. Whilst its single carbon pole seems somewhat spartan on the stability front, the tent shape and guy outs provide enough toughness to weather the storm with confidence.

The tent also provides a whopping 115 sq ft of floor space and 6’10” of headroom at the tallest point, and of course features a stove port and vents to prevent condensation build up.


  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Good head room
  • Accommodates a stove


  • Only sleeps 2
  • Doesn’t come with groundsheet

Find the latest price on:
Seek Outside

Playdo 4-Season Bell Tent

Playdo 4-Season Bell Tent

At 37kg (81.5lb), the Playdo 4-Season Bell Tent
may be almost as heavy as all the above winter tents put together, but it offers a highly luxurious option for those determined to get out camping, whatever the weather! The thick cotton canvas is waterproof treated and connected to the PVC floor with taped seams for a completely draft-free, drip-free camping experience. At 5m wide and 3m tall, this is the largest winter tent in our review. And, like the Seek Outside Tipi, its height doesn’t equate to instability in bad weather – quite the opposite in fact. When put up well, bell tents are exceptionally robust in bad weather and their steep sides deal with excess snowfall well.

Bell tents offer a really great winter camping tent alternative for families, groups, glampers, car campers and hunters. And with a 5 inch port to vent your wood stove out of, and enough space to sleep up to 8 people, you’ll be glad for the mesh vents in the roof and tent sides!

Find the latest price on:


  • Super spacious and luxurious
  • Stable in bad weather
  • Has stove port


  • Very heavy
  • Only suited to car campers

Need a stove to keep the temperature up?

What to look for in a great winter tent

Many of the tents for winter camping in this article look pretty much the same as tents you may already own, or ones you see all the time during the summer. But there are some key differences that make them that much more suited to cold weather tent camping than their fair weather cousins.

What’s the difference between 3 and 4 season tents?

Before we go any further, let’s talk about 3 and 4 season tents. After all, you may already have a great 3 season tent sitting at home that will cope perfectly well in less severe winter conditions. Here’s the difference:

3 season tents

These are designed for camping in spring, summer and fall, and are usually lighter than 4 season tents. Although many of the best 3 season tents will hold up perfectly well in high winds and bad weather, their durability and strength will struggle to compete with cold weather tents, especially in snowy conditions. So if it’s cold but very little chance of snow and gale-force winds, you’ll be just fine in a good quality 3 season tent. Check out your options for the best backpacking tents.

4 season tents

Also known as cold weather tents, or winter tents, 4 season tents are designed to withstand high winds and heavy snowfall in cold winter conditions. Compared with 3 season tents, a good 4 season tent will:

  • Usually be heavier
  • Have steep sided walls to help prevent snow from settling
  • Have stronger poles – usually aluminium
  • Usually have more poles and more pole crossings
  • Be made from tougher and more durable fabrics
  • Usually cost more

Although designed with winter camping in mind, good 4 season tents should also be versatile enough to perform well for the rest of the year and not just in the snow.

Important features of winter camping tents

Any great tent should be well made and fit for purpose. But there are also a load of other things to consider when investing in a cold weather tent.


Generally speaking, winter tents need to be a little more liveable than 3 season tents. If a storm hits, then spending a couple of days at a time stuck in your tent can become unfun very quickly. Unless of course you have a great book, some entertaining card games and an awesome cold weather tent which should have the following:

  • A vestibule

    This is really important to store your outerwear in; boots and jackets etc. The less damp stuff you bring into the main part of the tent the better. This prevents condensation buildup and internal frosting.

  • Good ventilation

    Although tempting to keep out the freezing air, having good ventilation is essential to keep on top of condensation and internal frosting. Double wall tents generally have better air circulation than single wall tents, and good vents will really help this too.

  • Space

    As with any tent, the more space, the more comfortable you will be. However there is a limit! Too much space in your sleeping compartment will make it more difficult to warm up with your body heat. But there needs to be enough room to comfortably carry out the tasks that you need to carry out. Enough headspace to sit up and enough floor space to lay your sleeping pads down should be the minimum.

  • Storage

    Even the most lightweight tents will have some internal storage options. And the number and design of the pockets and hooks comes down to personal preference. Any means to stay organised when camping in the cold should be adopted. You don’t want to be spending time searching for items like gloves and hats, that you really should be wearing to stay warm.

  • Two entrances if possible

    If you are sharing a two man tent, then having a second entrance makes thing so much easier. Constantly having your buddy climb over you and all your stuff to get out of the tent can soon become tiresome, for both of you. It is a less important feature for larger tents, but will for sure make things more convenient.

Man sitting in entrance of cold weather tents

Strength and weather resistance

The most important features of cold weather tents are their ability to endure strong winds and deal with heavy snowfall effectively. Primarily this comes down to tent design, but using the right materials for the job also contribute to the robustness of winter tents and their ability to stand up to bad weather time and time again.

Tent type and shape

A tent with steep sides is far better at dealing with excess snow than a tent with a flatter roof. Winter tents can be either single wall (just a fly waterproof sheet and no inner), or double wall (a waterproof fly sheet over the top of a non-waterproof inner).

  • Poles – For maximal stability, the more poles the better (in general). And things get even more stable if there are multiple poles crossing each other. To balance weight and strength, poles are usually aluminium.
  • Tent fabric – The fabric of 4 season tents should be stronger than that of 3 season tents with their thickness measured in Denier (D). The tent fly should have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating; either impregnated with silicone, coated with PU (polyurethane) and silicone, or coated with PTFE (a non-toxic waterproof membrane).


Due to the strong materials used, winter tents usually weigh more than 3 season tents. When it comes to backpacking, mountaineering and alpine expeditions, keeping things as light as possible can often be higher up on the priority list than comfort and livability. This is especially important when everything being carried weighs more than during summer expeditions; more food, more fuel, thicker sleeping bag, more layers, warmer sleeping pad etc etc. However for those setting up their winter camp straight from the car, the weight of your tent is less of an issue.


Just because a 4 season tent is designed for winter conditions, doesn’t mean that it is totally inappropriate for use during the rest of the year. In the ideal world, one tent would be suited to all our camping needs. But as this is a pretty tall order, it makes sense to choose a tent that will also perform well enough for the majority of the year. Versatile tents tend to be the most liveable, with a double wall set up being preferable to a single wall tent.


High quality and durable materials come at a price, and as mentioned, cold weather tents are usually more expensive than other tents. But picture yourself waking up in the middle of a snow storm with half your tent collapsed onto your face, and it’s easy to appreciate the importance of paying for that quality.

Family camping tent gear guide

About the author


Joey Holmes is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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