If you are looking to learn about the best extreme cold weather tents available in the market, this post is for you. As experienced adventurists, we understand how essential it is to have the right shelter during vacation and cold weather camping – and we don’t want you to learn this the hard way.
So, we have carefully reviewed the different types of cold weather tents and provided a detailed buying guide that extensively describes how pertinent the tent is to your wants, including the fundamental knowledge about extreme weather tents. Make sure you read through the buying guide and find yourself the right tent that won’t fail you regardless of how severe the weather gets during winter camping.
Our Top 3 Picks
We as experienced adventurists know that how important the right tent is during expeditions and cold weather camping, and we don’t want you to learn this the hard way, so go through our detailed buying guide and find yourself the right tent, which won’t fail you no matter how ugly the weather gets while extreme winter camping.
10 Best Winter Tents for Extreme Cold
The Russian-Bear Hot Tent is a polar bear-friendly tent. It is ideal for surviving the Ice Age because of the heated floor, double layers, and faultless stove. It may seem difficult to set up the tent considering its strength and size. But thankfully, it takes less than two minutes, so you won’t have to spend hours in the extreme cold setting it up.
With its ice fishing arrangements, you can drill a hole in the ice and erect a snow tarp on the tent to enjoy fishing from your comfort zone. It features a three-layer bottom (built for freezing temperatures) that protects the snow or ice beneath the tent from melting due to the stove, making it an ideal tent for extreme weather conditions.
The chimney features a stainless ring protecting the tent fabric from the hot area. Similarly, the fabric around the chimney is heat-resistant, which makes it safe to use the tent’s wood stove.
Furthermore, the tent’s double-layer and attention to detail make it impossible for rain to penetrate. While the lower and the top vents keep condensation at bay in winter, the inner layer has no-see-um mesh that helps in cross ventilation during summer.
★ Cold Weather tent with stove
★ Roomy and adequately insulated
★ Easy to set up
★ Attention to details
The Geertop camping tent is an extreme backpacking option with impressive provisions for snow and sudden rain. It has a well-designed snow skirt and a freestanding rainfly that you can put on in seconds. And if you want to go light, you can take the rainfly alone with you.
With an 8000mm waterproof rating, the Geertop 4-Season 2-Person can make you stay dry even under a waterfall. It is equipped with cross aluminum poles and double-stitched seams. The zippers are all cuffed, and the extended rainfly protects the featured vestibule.
It has adequate ventilation being a winter camping tent, but you have to use the big door plus the vents for livability in the summer. This insulated backpacking tent may be hot in summer as it retains heat. The temperature can change up to 25 degrees inside the tent on a sunny day. Though it can accommodate two people where needed, it is best to use it as a tent for camping with a dog.
★ 8000mm hydrostatic rating
★ Stable aluminum poles
★ Large vestibule and Storage pocket
✖ Rough zippers
With 3.3 square meters of space and a maximum height of 44 inches, the Sierra Designs Convert Tent is one of the highest 3-person tents. It has a 40.3 square feet floor space, making it ideal for two persons, but can be cramped for three adults.
The detachable vestibules that the Sierra Designs Convert Tent has set it apart from others. While the front vestibule can hold all of your winter stuff, like a heater, the rear vestibule is perfect for storing damp boots. You can reduce the tent’s weight by one pound after you have removed the vestibule, and the trail weight is just under four and a half pounds. In addition, the tent can withstand a reasonable amount of snowfall. It is suitable for ski vacations but not for extreme camping.
The tent is both a 3-season and 4-season tent. You can use it in hot summer, all thanks to its removable fly and smart ventilation arrangement. Trust me, heavy rain or winds won’t disrupt your leisure if you pitch the tent correctly. The only drawback the tent has is that it takes time to set up. However, it is a straightforward process because of the color-coded sections.
★ Remarkable dimensions
★ Detachable vestibules
★ Ample headroom
★ Premium Quality
✖ Not easy to pitch/set up
If you want the best ultralight camping tent that can withstand the rigors of the weather and the terrain at a reasonable price, then the Naturehike Cloud-Up tent is your best bet. It is a portable cold weather shelter that compares favorably to high-end winter tents. The tent comes with a silicon-coated PU 4000mm and UV 50+ rainfly that protects it from extreme weather conditions. It also comes with a footprint that you can use with the rainfly, so for lighter backpacking, you can leave the inner tent at home. Furthermore, the shelter is equipped with a Snowskirt to protect it from heavy snow and extreme weather.
With 42 square feet of floor space, it is not a spacious tent for three adults. You’ll still feel tight if you use the 34-inch vestibule for luggage. Hence, you should use it as a 1-person or 2-person tent.
Unlike other 4-season camping tents, the tent takes less than 3 minutes to set up – and it’s easy to pack to a tiny size for backpacking. It is also freestanding, allowing you to move it around without dismantling it.
★ Easy to Pitch
★ Comes with a footprint
★ Best 4 Season insulated tent
✖ It is not a roomy tent
Best All Around Tent for Extreme Condition
- Roomy plus a vestibule for extra luggage.
- Has a decent headroom of 43 inches (rare in below zero tents) and still protects from high and heavy winds.
- One of the best tents for heavy rain with a single charge.
If you are planning to visit the coldest parts of the earth, the Snugpak Scorpion Tent is a winterproof tent for harsh climate conditions.
Made of durable materials coupled with a 5000mm hydrostatic head, you don’t have to worry about rain since the wettest part of the world receives only 10,000mm of rain per year. It has a well-built structure that dodges strong winds and helps to create ample headroom inside the tent (which is rare in 4-season tents.)
The tent comes with a bathtub-style floor, a basic repairing kit, and a small vestibule for wet boots. But for winter gadgets like a stove, etc., it falls short. There are also tent poles but aren’t strong enough to withstand heavy snowfall. So, it’s not the right tent for Mount Everest camping. But its rainfly and design will keep you warm even in freezing temperatures.
What’s more? The company offers excellent customer support, so it’s almost a risk-free purchase given the customer service.
★ Well-built smart Design
★ Winterproof tent
✖ Small vestibule
Eureka has been manufacturing top-quality outdoor equipment since 1895, but the Mountain Pass tent is one of the best single-wall tents that showcase the company’s skill and expertise.
The two doors and the two vestibules coupled with the extended rainfly and heavy-duty polyester make the tent feel warm during cold weather. The floor has a 3000mm hydrostatic rating and is thick enough to withstand the rigors of unhospitable terrains. The package also includes a footprint.
The tent can accommodate three people where needed, but if you have extra luggage, you can use it as a 2-person tent since the rainfly does not cover one of the vestibules adequately. Although it is a 4-season tent, the Eureka Mountain Pass tent is not suitable for camping during heavy snowfall.
★ Single-wall, lightweight tent
★ Thick floor
★ Easy to Pitch
✖ The rainfly does not cover one of the vestibules properly
Coleman Rocky Mountain is a family camping tent with room dividers and large PVC windows. As the best among Coleman Cold weather tents, it was built on darkroom technology with a 6.1 feet center height, making it different from the other tents on our list.
It is a polyester tent that comes with a 45000mm hydrostatic head, storage pockets and lantern clips, and a large door that is wheelchair-friendly and that you can use for family events. Furthermore, the tent’s floor is not tough, so you have to use a footprint. You can also use camping cots to keep you safe should it leak. It is a large tunnel-shaped tent, so you won’t feel cramped inside the tent.
While the space inside the tent is enough for three adults, it can accommodate five people if needed. Since it’s a family tent, it requires an extra hand to install, as it takes more than twenty minutes to pitch it alone.
The drawback of the tent is that it is not an all-weather tent, but it’s suitable for only spring and fall. Similarly, the seams are unreliable. But if you can seal the seam before going on vacation, the Coleman Rocky Mountain is the best 3-season family camping tent you can have.
★ Darkroom technology
★ Large tunnel-shaped tent
★ Wheelchair friendly
✖ Seams not properly sealed
If you need a tent for fall and spring camping, the ZOMAKE Instant Tent is your best choice. With its warm fabric and smart ventilation, the tent is livable in winter (as it feels warm inside) and is better ventilated for sunny days.
The tent is lightweight, compact comparatively, and spacious enough to accommodate two adults and luggage. It comes with two large doors and windows for cross-ventilation, a 3000mm waterproof rating, and an inner layer made of Oxford fabric.
For beginners, the ZOMAKE Instant Tent is a perfect choice, thanks to its pop-up technology and portability. It pops up in seconds, so you just have to pull on the built-in poles.
Note that the tent is not designed for backpacking, and isn’t the best option for expeditions, as it does not have heavy snow arrangements. It can only take light showers and snow.
★ Low price
★ Pop-up technology
★ Two large doors and windows
✖ No arrangements for heavy snow
The Alps Cramp Creek is the ideal tent for you if you’re a tall person seeking a huge all-weather tent. It’s a freestanding tent that takes less than 5 minutes to pitch by one person. It comfortably accommodates four adults (but not six), is comfortable in the winter, and offers good ventilation on clear days.
The tent has four huge windows for a refreshing experience, as well as extended awnings to keep the surroundings dry. Even though its height leaves it vulnerable to severe winds, the Alps Cramp Creek can easily withstand strong winds thanks to its solid frame. The tent’s floor is thin, so you can put a tarp underneath it.
While not meant for severe snowfall, the tent is rainproof and windproof, having a 1500mm waterproof rating and a polyester rainfly.
The tent’s downside is that the window flaps cannot be folded up, which is a minor design flaw. On rough ground, the tent’s anchors are also problematic, so keep extra aluminum or steel stakes on hand.
★ Ample center height
★ Excellent ventilation arrangements
✖ Tight for six persons
For trails, the tent’s weight can be reduced to 4 pounds, making it suitable for backpacking. With its 83 inches by 59 inches dimension, you can adjust your luggage in one of the two vestibules so the tent can accommodate two adults. However, the tent would be too tight for two persons if you have extra luggage.
The tent comes with a snow skirt to keep snow from accumulating beneath the tent. It has two vestibules and two doors, plus two pop-up windows on the rainfly for ventilation. There’s also a dense nylon mesh in the inner layer. The rainfly completely covers the tent and is water-resistant, so it won’t leak even if it’s raining for months.
The tent has built-in storage pockets and a lantern hook. There are storage pockets and a lamp hook built into the tent. It also comes with a good bag that fits the tent easily. Not only that, setting up and disassembling the tent is simple. It comes with a user manual, but it is written in Chinese, so you’ll have to practice at home without them.
The drawback is that it is not durable, and will only last long if you take extra care of it. But for the price, it is well worth it.
★ Best lightweight tent for snow
★ Two doors and vestibules
✖ Poor durability
✖ Instructions are written in Chinese
Best Extreme Winter Tents Buying Guide 2021
The shape of tents varies, just as the shape of buildings varies from place to place. A tent with steep walls is preferable to a straight wall tent in really cold weather. Steep walls stop snows from accumulating and help in avoiding severe winds. Dome and Scorpion tents are ideal for adverse weather situations since they are shorter than other tent types and have a crossing pole design.
For severe snow, the tent must have a snow skirt, steep walls, and crossing poles.
The snow skirt prevents snow from accumulating beneath the tent, where it could melt and generate uneven footing or seep inside the tent. Some high-end tents come with a heated floor that keeps the floor dry and comfortable even when the tent is installed on ice.
When it comes to protecting your tent from extremely harsh weather, the fabric from which it is made is vital. The fact is, you get better fabrics if you spend more! Cotton is the ideal tent fabric if your destination is easily reached by car.
Winter canvas tents are dependable, extremely weatherproof, and require little upkeep. In every sense, canvas tents are superior to nylon and polyester, but they are bulky and expensive.
Polycotton, a blend of cotton and canvas, is the second-best option. Although it is less expensive than pure cotton, it is just as hefty. Generally, Canvas is the finest material for a family tent while going for winter camping.
Nylon is the third-best option. It is lightweight, compact, and can easily be given a waterproof coating. Despite its high cost, the canvas is susceptible to mildew, unlike nylon, which can be easily protected against mildew. Nylons aren’t the ideal insulators for cold weather, but they dry rapidly compared to other fabrics. Nylon is warmer than polyester, although polyester is better at wicking moisture away from the skin. Just like nylon, Polyester is mildew resistant and easily waterproofed.
Compared to 3-season tents, 4-season tents have poor ventilation as they have to retain the heat inside, which leads to condensation in many winter tents. Some of the best cold weather tents come with ground and rainfly vents, making the tent comfortable in winter without any temperature change and can be adjusted from within. Tents with mesh windows are also a fantastic alternative for mildly cold weather, but ensure the tent has cross-ventilation provision with the fly on.
When it comes to summer camping, the larger the dimension of the tent, the better it is. However, you must choose a tent that can maintain your body heat for winter. Spacious rooms are difficult to keep warm in the winter, so consider a tent that can be insulated easily if you’re camping in an extreme environment.
Furthermore, 4-season tent manufacturers strive to minimize weight wherever possible, as winter tents require solid poles, fabric, and rainfly, making them more difficult to make ultralight. However, just because you have a little area doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sleeping space; you should have enough elbow room to sleep comfortably.
To find the proper tent size, simply multiply the number of occupants by 20 square feet, as a single adult requires at least 20 square feet to sleep comfortably. Warm winter shelters also feature vestibules for wet boots and jackets, and some large winter tents include more than one large vestibules for luggage.
When selecting your tent, keep in mind the number of doors you’ll need depending on the number of occupants. A single door for several occupants makes entry and exit uncomfortable and lowers sleeping space.
Lightweight vs Heavy Tents for Cold Winter Camping
If weight isn’t an issue, a tent with a stove jack is the best warmest option for winter camping. Tents with stove jacks are often made of cotton or polycotton, and while they are bulky, they remain the best family tent for bad weather.
The best tent for winter backpacking and lightweight camping strikes a balance among weight, robustness, and warmth. Winter backpacking tents, no matter how carefully made, are always heavier than 3-season tents, so you’ll have to accept the extra two or three pounds. Furthermore, the best tents for extreme cold weather must feature a double-layered, durable frame as well as an extended rainfly.
How to Insulate your Tents for Winter Camping
You can protect your tent against severe, cold weather with a few basic ideas and tricks.
The video below will assist you with this.
Simple Tips and Tricks for Harsh Weather Conditions
It can be exciting to camp in extreme weather conditions until it gets dark, and you will have to confine yourself to your winter sleeping bag. By following our simple suggestions and tactics, you can make camping nights more enjoyable.
Choose the right spot
A suitable location can help you avoid having to put in extra effort to keep your tent warm.
Here are a few ideas for site selection:
Pitch your tent away from bodies of water; the air is much cooler near them than it is far away
Since nights might be windy, pitch your tent near natural features that will block winds, such as trees and stones.
During winter camping, it is better to pitch your tent on high terrain that is not exposed to winds than the low-lying ground.
Make sure the campsite is clean
Tents pitched on snow will melt overnight, leaving an uneven, icy, and cold surface beneath you. Furthermore, an unsuitable campsite might lead to wear and tear. Therefore, you must clean the area where you’ll set up your tent.
To begin with, flatten the area with your boots, shovel, or whatever else you can find. Set up the tent once you have levelled the surface and removed the snow. And if your camping spot has no natural wind barrier, you can make snow walls around the tent.
Get some exercise before going to bed
I don’t think I need to emphasize that a sleeping bag only helps maintain body heat, so do some mild exercises before going to bed to help the sleeping bag retain more heat and warm up faster in the winter. Also, note that you shouldn’t work out till you’re sweating because this will make you colder faster in a cold atmosphere.
Buy sleeping Bags with Temperature Ratings
A sleeping bag is your ideal winter companion because it offers insulation to keep heat in your body while also providing comfort. Many various types of sleeping bags are available on the market, each with its own set of features. However, the following information on sleeping bags may assist you in selecting the best one.
Sleeping bags are usually categorized into two series: comfort and Lower limit rating.
- Comfort rating is given to women’s sleeping bags. It’s designed for cold sleepers or people who are particularly sensitive to cold.
- Lower limit rating denotes the minimum temperature at which a warm sleeper will be comfortable. It is the temperature rating that manufacturers use on men’s luggage.
Essential Cold-Weather Camping Gear Checklist
The following are the most essential camping gears for winter camping:
- 4-season tent
- Winter Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
- Snow tent Stakes
- Insulated Jacket
- Warm socks
- Base layers
- Insulated pants or fleece pants
- Winter boots
- Long-sleeve Shirt
- Warm hat
First Aid Kit Checklist
Take the following items in the First Aid Box:
- Band-Aids/ Plasters
- Safety pins
- Medicine of Motion Sickness
- Anti-diarrheic medicines
- Skin Rash cream
Water and Food
- Water Bottle
- Extra fuel and large pot to melt snow
- Shovel if weight is not a problem
- Extra food
- Personal Hygiene items
Which kind of shelters are snow tents?
Not all four-season shelters intend to withstand heavy snowfall.
As previously said, steep walls can withstand snow better than almost any shape, and they must be double-layered, except for canvas tents that protect from extreme weather even with a single-layer wall.
Snow tents have snow flaps, also known as snow skirts, which are constructed using tent fabric and are hidden under snow or rocks to keep the wind from blowing under the tent’s outer shell and lifting the canvas off the ground. The snow flap also prevents snow from collecting beneath the tent, keeping the floor dry and the tent secure.
You’ll need a well-protected vestibule for your wet shoes, coats, and socks since snow implies wet socks, jackets, and shoes. The best winter camping tents must also feature durable poles in a crossing position; and the more poles a tent has, the more stable it is against severe winds, although the weight must still be considered.
Camping in extremely cold weather necessitates careful planning and the selection of the best warm tent for camping. Some winter campers prefer hot camping, which means they use bulky canvas shelters or tents with a wood burner, such as the ‘Russian-Bear hot tent.’ These tents are exceptionally waterproof and wind-resistant. They are heavy, even though they are wonderful in winter.
The Geertop Portable is an excellent shelter for backpackers or people searching for a lightweight choice in hot camping weather. While all the tents on our list are reliable, you have to choose one based on your specific demands.
Best Extreme Cold Weather Tents FAQs
Russian-Bear hot tent is the complete thermal tent for winters; it comes with a heated floor, stove, and chimney. Plus, it has double layer walls thick enough to prevent the cold air from entering the tent. You can use it for ice-fishing, and it can be pitched on ice.
GEERTOP Portable 2 Person Tent is the best 4-season tent because it balances weight, strength, and warmth. It has a decent ventilation arrangement for summer, unlike most 4-season tents that are only suitable for winter. If you seek a 4-season tent with extra space, then Sierra Designs Convert Tent is the right choice; it is ultralight and has two generous vestibules, which can be detached if needed.
If your tent has a stove jack, you can warm your tent quickly using a woodstove inside it. Russian-bear hot tent comes with stove and stove jack that helps to warm the tent in minutes. If your tent doesn’t have a stove jack, then you can use a heater or insulate the tent.
You can survive winter in a tent only when you have all the required equipment, including a well-built 4-season tent. Your tent must be properly insulated and have a robust frame. If you are camping in the snow, you will need a tent with steep walls, snow flaps, and thick fabric.
Fakhar has been a camping enthusiast since he was a small kid. He belongs to the area, which has the second-largest mountain and most glaciers. Thus, he has been around people, who know everything about nature and the wilderness.
For the love of nature, he chose Environmental Sciences as his field of study and graduated with distinction. Apart from working for a non-profit organization, he wanders on the Karakoram and Hindukush ranges with his camping equipment that he loves to collect.