The best cold weather tent can be hard to find.
There are a lot of factors that will go into your decision.
How many people are you taking? Exactly how cold will the weather be? Are you looking to purchase a cold weather tent that will easily convert into a versatile summer tent?
Cold weather tents are unique – some of them are designed for one purpose, and others are designed to serve a wide variety of purposes.
In order to find out what you need, you should start by understanding what to look for.
- Picking the Best Cold Weather Tent
- TOP 13 Cold Weather Tents Reviewed 2020
- GEERTOP 2-Person Waterproof Tent
- Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent
- ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent
- Coleman Hooligan 2-Person Tent
- Mountain Hardware Trango 2-Person Tent
- Hilleberg Jannu 2-Person Tent
- Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6-Person Tent
- MSR Access 1-Person Tent
- Marmot Thor 3-Person Tent
- MSR Hubba Hubba 2-Person Tent
- MoKo Waterproof 3-Person Tent
- Danchel Cotton Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacket
- Kodiak Canvas Flexbow 6-Person Tent
- Getting the Right Cold Weather Tent for Your Trip
Picking the Best Cold Weather Tent
When picking the best cold weather tent, there’s a lot to think about.
Most of the things you’ll have to consider will fit into two categories – the actual weather, and the duration of your trip.
These are the two most important factors that will help you make a decision that every camper will be happy with.
How Cold Will It Be?
Not all cold weather tents are designed for use in the snow. Snow can put a lot more stress on a tent than rain can – and not every tent can hold up to the pressure.
If you’re camping with your family, chances are you’re not going to go out during a blizzard. In this case, you’ll want a weatherproofed tent that can handle light snow.
If you’re a backpacker going on a long trip in a snowy climate, it might be worth paying a little more for a tent that offers better durability.
How Long Are You Camping?
If you’re only camping for a night or two, you may not mind storing your gear outdoors.
If you’re going on a longer trip, it may be more comfortable to choose a larger tent.
This is especially important if you’re going to be preparing a lot of meals. You’ll want enough space for your supplies and provisions to last throughout the trip.
TOP 13 Cold Weather Tents Reviewed 2020
The best tents for cold weather camping can sometimes be hard to find.
They need to be especially reliable, because snow is one of the hardest elements to shield against.
These are four of the best tents you’ll find to shield you on your snowy mountaintop camping trip.
GEERTOP 2-Person Waterproof Tent
This tent is high performance without the fuss.
It packs down to a 6.3 inch by 18 inch by 18 inch size and weighs five and a half pounds for easy carry.
The floor dimensions are 55 inches by 83 inches, with a height of 45 inches. Inside, there’s 32 square feet of sleeping space. This is perfect for two campers looking to brave it out in the snow.
- Full coverage rainfly is equipped with a snow skirt for added protection. Melting snow won’t overcome your tent, and the skirt makes it easy to move your tent out of a large snow pile.
- Easily converts into a summer tent, allowing you the most versatility.
- Comes with windproof ropes and heavy duty stakes to keep your tent secure in windy, snowy weather.
- Tent is on the shorter side, so taller campers may not be able to comfortably sit up inside of the tent.
Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent
Finding the best cold weather tent for a large group of travelers can be a serious hassle.
If you’re taking the whole group out on a cold weather camping trip, this is exactly the tent you’ll want.
This tent measures 17 feet by 9 feet, with a center height of 6 feet and 8 inches. Even the tallest campers will be able to stand up inside of this tent.
It features over 150 square feet of floor space, and is large enough for 3 queen sized mattresses.
- Tent is designed to be completely waterproof. Steep awnings are built over the windows to allow ventilation without allowing water or snow to enter.
- This tent uses color coded poles and clips in its assembly process. Larger tents are usually harder to set up, but this system makes it easy for a couple of people to erect in a short period of time.
- Uses Coleman’s WeatherTec system – a patented innovation that keeps the floors sealed and dry to protect campers from rain or light snow.
- Tent isn’t designed to provide enough ventilation for hot weather camping, making it slightly less versatile than other cold weather tents.
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent
ALPS Mountaineering makes a wide range of top quality tents, and this is one of the best four season 2 sleeper.
It offers 34.5 square feet of internal space so both campers will have enough room. The tent is 5 feet and two inches deep by 7 feet and 8 inches long, with a center height just shy of 4 feet.
It packs down to a 6.5 inch by 19 inch carry size, and weighs about 7 and a half pounds.
- This is an easy assembly tent. It comes with 7000 series aluminum poles and is assembled with a pole clip system that’s easy enough to follow. After you’ve put it up a couple times, you won’t need to refer to the instructions.
- The full coverage rain fly is made of a heavy duty polyester. It does incorporate vents, but when the weather is particularly bad, all of the vents can be closed to keep the interior insulated. The floor is lined with a similar material to keep the interior dry.
- When the tent is stripped of the protective rain fly, it can be used as a spring or summer tent. It doesn’t have a solid interior shell, so you can use it in warmer weather.
- This tent is on the pricier side, but you’re paying for quality.
Coleman Hooligan 2-Person Tent
Coleman is a universally recognizable camping brand, known for their high quality tents. This tent comes in a variety of sizes, spanning all the way up to 56 square feet.
It’s dome shaped, and the largest version weighs about 12 pounds. This is a family style camping tent that will shield you from the elements while you’re out on your expedition.
- When the full coverage fly is removed, this converts into the perfect spring or summer camping tent.
- Vestibule is completely covered to help keep the interior of the tent dry while protecting the entryway from rainy or snowy winds.
- Comes in a 2 person, 3 person, and 4 person model. You can choose the perfect size for your family, or go for something slightly bigger to accommodate your camping gear.
- This tent is only rated for light winters with soft snow. You shouldn’t use it in harsh winters or below freezing temperatures.
Mountain Hardware Trango 2-Person Tent
One of the most popular expedition tents out there, this tent will keep you warm and protected when pitched on a mountain side in a snowy storm.
With a 40 square feet interior, you won’t feel cramped if you have to hang out in here with your expedition partner until the weather clears.
- 4.45 kg is a reasonable weight for such robust 4 season tent, especially when carried between 2 people.
- Despite being a warm and weather-proof tent, the Trango is also well ventilated with plenty of mesh and canopy vents which ensure you won’t get a condensation build-up or run out of fresh air.
- Snow flaps ensure that snow flurries won’t blow into your vestibule area.
- The front vestibule is spacious with an entry way that is designed to be used in bad weather, without the bad weather coming into your storage area with you.
- A single entrance could make things awkward if 2 people are having to hang out here in bad weather for any length of time.
- May be a little tight for 2 people + gear so consider sizing up to the 3 person tent for 2 people.
Hilleberg Jannu 2-Person Tent
Another top of the line and highly popular alpine expedition tent, the Hilleberg Jannu is one of the best out there, but it is also one of the most expensive.
Weighing in at 3.2kg or a 2.8kg trail weight, this tent is impressively light given how durable and weather-proof it is.
It has a 34.4 square foot interior making it a little smaller than the Trango, but it is also over a kg lighter, so, you know, it’s all about compromise!
Also, the smaller footprint can be handy for pitching in awkward places where there is limited flat ground.
- Extremely stable in high winds and capable of withstanding heavy snow loads, this is one reliable tent.
- The inner and outer tents can be separated but are linked to the whole tent can be pitched as one without having to pitch the inner first.
- Kerlon 1200 outer and 9mm poles are extremely durable, water tight and lightweight.
- Easily one of the most expensive tents out there.
- Single entrance and vestibule could be seen as an inconvenience, but it helps to keep the weight down.
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6-Person Tent
This is a tent for family or group camping in places where the weather could turn on you at short notice.
The Big Agnes Flying Diamond is a 4 season tent with a spacious 92 square foot floor area divided into 2 rooms.
It sleeps 6 but would be ideal for 4 if you anticipated needing to spend any amount of time waiting out a storm.
- The main compartment consists of two rooms allowing for greater liveability, giving you the option of some privacy or separate sleeping and day-time living areas in bad weather.
- The polyester floor and fly are extremely durable and waterproof meaning you’ll be safe and dry inside even in the wettest weather.
- This is highly versatile tent that can also be great for summer camping as vestibules can be staked out with hiking poles to create mini awnings.
- 2 vestibules allow for easy gear storage outside of the main tent compartment which increases interior space for liveability in bad weather.
- Foot print is sold separately and pegs could benefit from being stronger. So, to increase the durability of the tent and ability to cope with storms, purchasing better pegs along with the footprint would be recommended.
MSR Access 1-Person Tent
MSR tents are always a popular tent option, being known for their reliability.
The Access is designed to be lighter than a mountaineering tent but warmer than a standard backpacking tent, which makes it the ideal cold weather compromise when you don’t want to be relying on your sleeping bag to do all of the work.
The Access comes in 1, 2 or 3 person sizes, all offering a lightweight but warm camping experience.
The 1 person version weighs in at just 1.37kg for the trail weight, this is one very light 4 season tent.
- Central support frame is designed to cope with snow loading so you don’t need to worry about the tent collapsing on you if it snows overnight.
- 19 square foot floor area gives you a decent space to live in while the 9 square foot vestibule allows for a huge amount of gear storage.
- The 20D Ripstop Nylon 1200mm Durashield Rainfly will be guaranteed to keep you warm and dry.
- Not as durable as a heavier 4 season tent will be, and less likely to cope with gale force winds, but that’s the price you pay for the light weight of the Access.
Marmot Thor 3-Person Tent
This 3 person, 4 season tent is a storm-worthy tent ideal for expeditions of 2 people. It is capable of coping with strong winds, rain and snow loading. Any tent designed to cope with such extreme weather is almost guaranteed to be warm.
The 47 square foot floor area is spacious for 3 people and would be luxury for 2, meaning you’d be very comfortable hanging out in there while waiting for the storm to pass.
- The Marmot Knees system consists of piece of fabric that effectively cinches the tent inner outwards towards to poles, encouraging the tent walls into more vertical orientation, giving you even more space inside.
- A multitude of interior pockets for gear storage makes organizing your stuff easy.
- 6 dual diameter DAC poles stand up to gale force wind despite the steep walls which is impressive and means you get to keep your internal living area while being safe from the storms.
- Easy to set up, this tent is “glove friendly” meaning you can set it up with your gloves on.
- 5.1 kg makes this a pretty heavy tent so you wouldn’t want to be carrying it too far unless you can share the load.
MSR Hubba Hubba 2-Person Tent
The Hubba Hubba makes the list due to its popularity and versatility as a 2 person tent.
Though it strictly speaking a 3 season tent, this does not mean that it won’t be a great choice in cold weather. It won’t cope with the snow loading or extreme gale force winds like the expedition tents above, but it is still a solid tent that will cope with some cold temperatures.
At just 1.7kg, this is an ideal backpacking tent but there’s no reason why it can’t also be a great car camping tent for 2 people.
- 29 square feet of floor area and a peak height of 39 inches makes for a comfortable interior.
- Large solid panels ensure a cozy interior that will keep out drafts while the mesh canopy will provide good ventilation.
- 2 good sized vestibules and 2 doors make for good liveability.
- Not completely storm-proof.
MoKo Waterproof 3-Person Tent
This 4 season double layer tent is extremely affordable while guaranteed to be pretty warm.
Easily the cheapest tent on this list, but not necessarily cheap in quality, this is a great choice if you want to give winter camping a go but can’t necessarily afford the more top of the line options on this list.
The biggest perk of this tent is probably how easy it is to set up and take down, making it an even better beginner friendly option.
- The 42 square foot floor area is nice and spacious while the large vestibule will allow for convenient gear storage.
- 8.5mm fibreglass poles are strong.
- 2500mm water resistant fly sheet and 5000mm water resistant floor.
- A large mesh window can be revealed in good weather by unzipping and rolling up a section of the fly.
- At only 4.5kg, this is a very convenient weight for car camping.
- Maybe a little small for 3 people.
Danchel Cotton Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacket
Canvas tents are a great option for cold weather camping as they are very good at insulating both warmth and sound while being very waterproof and able to stand up to the strongest winds.
This means you’ll be warm and dry inside and won’t be kept awake by the sound of the wind or the tent flapping.
The Danchel Cotton Bell Tent is ideal for family camping in cold weather.
It has space to comfortably sleep 4 adults but can stretch to 8 plus, if you really want to.
- Very affordable considering the amount of living space you get and how long a canvas tent of this quality will last.
- Designed to be compatible with stove use, meaning you can heat the interior and be cozy and warm in the coldest weather.
- 216 square foot interior is very roomy.
- Synthetic, 100% waterproof groundsheet can be unzipped from the tent making it versatile for summer use.
- Requires priming before first use (simply a matter of hosing it down and letting it dry out thoroughly).
- If you’re going to use stoves, you may need to purchase a stack bib to protect the canvas from the stove.
- Heavy packed weight so only suited to car camping.
Kodiak Canvas Flexbow 6-Person Tent
An alternative to the Danchel Bell Tent, the Kodiak Flexbow is a little more expensive, but extremely good quality.
Kodiak is an extremely well respected brand in the world of canvas tents. Their Flexbow is a cabin style tent that allows you to stand up inside, making cold, wet weather, much more tolerable than if you were forced to stay sitting all day.
Being a canvas tent, this is the sort of tent you only need to buy once, and provided you look after it (make sure you let it dry before packing it away), it should last a very, very long time.
- Hydra-Shield 100% Cotton duck canvas is extremely durable, water proof and breathable keeping the interior of the tent free of rain and condensation.
- 4 large fine mesh windows let in plenty of natural light while preventing protection from insects.
- 6’6” ceiling height and 100 square foot floor area makes for a highly liveable interior space.
- No stove jacket as with some other canvas tents, but this isn’t always needed considering canvas is such a good insulator anyway.
- Heavy (30.8kg) to carry so only suited to car camping.
Getting the Right Cold Weather Tent for Your Trip
The best cold weather tent should be big enough to house all of the campers, and safe enough to protect them from the elements.
Keep in mind that for cold weather camping, you’ll need more than just a cold weather tent. You should also be prepared with the right winter gear.
It’s the combination of your tent and your gear working together that will make your cold weather camping trip a successful trip that everyone will enjoy.