The reason you are here is to know about the best extreme cold weather tents, and through this detailed buying guide, we are making sure whoever visits this site doesn’t leave without finding the right tent.
To help you choose the right tent, we reviewed different types of top cold weather camping tents and provided a detailed buying guide that explains how relevant the tent is with your wants and the basic knowledge about the extreme weather tents.
Our Top 3 Picks
Best Snow Tent
Sierra Designs Tent
Best for Extreme Conditions
Russian-Bear Hot Tent
Best Cheap Winter Tent
Zomake Instant Tent
We as experienced adventurists know that how important a right tent is during expeditions and cold weather camping, and we don’t want you to learn this through a 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.
Which Types of Shelters are Snow Tents?
Not all Four-season tents are designed to face heavy snowfall, so what type of tent is the best snow tent? As we have already said earlier, steep walls handle snow better than any other shape, and the walls must be in double layers except canvas tents; they protect from extreme weather even with a single layer wall.
Snow tents have snow flaps, also called snow skirts; these are made of tent fabric, part of the tent’s outer shell, to be buried under snow or rocks, thus preventing the wind from blowing under the tent’s outer shell and lifting the tent off the ground. Plus, the snow flap doesn’t let the snow accumulate beneath the try, thus keeping the floor dry and the tent stable.
Since snow means wet shoes, jackets, and socks; therefore, you will need a well-protected vestibule for them. Moreover, best winter camping tents have robust poles in a crossing position, and the more poles, the more stable a tent is against strong winds, but you have to consider the weight.
10 Best Tents for Winter Camping in Extreme Cold
Russian-Bear Hot Tent Wood Burning Stove
- With its double layers and heated floor, it is an ideal snow camping tent
- The stainless stove and chimney, together with the heat-resistant fabric, makes it a safe tent with a stove jack
- It is easy to pitch the tent
Russian-Bear Hot Tent is designed to live among polar bears. The heated floor, double layers, and flawless stove make it a perfect shelter to survive in the Ice age. The tent’s size and strength imply that it would be difficult to pitch the tent, but fortunately, it pops up in less than two minutes, so you don’t have to spend hours in the freezing temperature to assemble the tent.
It has arrangements for ice fishing; you can drill a hole in the ice and put the snow tarp on the tent to enjoy fishing from your comfort zone. The three-layer bottom is designed for freezing temperatures, and it protects the ice or snow beneath the tent from melting due to the stove, making it a perfect tent for extreme conditions.
The chimney has a stainless ring that keeps the hot area away from the tent fabric. Moreover, the fabric around the chimney is heat-resistant, so it is safe to use the tent’s wood stove. There is no chance for the rain to enter the tent because of the double-layers and attention to detail.
The lower and upper vents keep condensation away in winter, and for summer, the inner layer has no-see-um mesh that helps in cross-ventilation.
★ Cold Weather tent with stove
★ Spacious and adequately insulated tent
★ Easy to pitch
★ Attention to details
GEERTOP Portable 2 Person 4 Season Tent
- The reflective strip is a nice touch from GEERTOP; it helps in seeing the tent even in a snowstorm
- The snow skirts are well-designed
- It is a heavy-duty winter tent
Geertop portable is an extreme backpacking tent with impressive arrangements for snow and sudden rain. The snow skirt is designed well, and its rainfly is freestanding so that you can put on the rainfly in seconds, and you can take only the rainfly if you want to go light.
It has a waterproof rating of 8000mm, which means you can stay dry even under a waterfall. All the zippers are cuffed, and the vestibule is protected with the extended rainfly.
Note that it is a winter backpacking tent, so it might be hot in summer. For winters, it is equipped with cross aluminum poles and double-stitched seams.
Moreover, it retains the heat since it is an insulated camping tent; the temperature changes up to 20-25 degrees inside the tent on a sunny day. It has adequate ventilation for winters, but you have to use the big door together with the vents for livability in summer.
Though it can accommodate two persons when needed, use it as a tent for camping with a dog for a comfortable experience.
★ A hydrostatic rating of 8000mm
★ Stable aluminum poles
★ Generous vestibule and Storage pocket
✖ Rough zippers
Sierra Designs Convert 4 Season Tent
- It has detachable vestibules to decrease the weight for backpacking.
- Sierra Designs Convert an all-weather tent; whether it is a hot summer day or a freezing winter night, this tent never disappoints
- It is one of the longest three-person tent, still it packs small
The unique feature of the Sierra Designs Convert Tent is its detachable vestibule. By detaching the vestibule, its weight can be reduced by one pound, and its trail weight is almost four and a half pounds. It is one of the tallest 3-person tents and has a space of 3.3 square meters. Plus, it has a maximum height of 44 inches.
It can take a moderate snow load; you can take it on ski-trips but not too extreme expeditions. You will have no problems with rain and winds if you pitch the tent properly.
It has two vestibules; the front vestibule is large enough to accommodate all your winter stuff like a heater etc. The rear vestibule is suitable for storing wet boots. The 40.3 Sq. feet of floor space is perfect for two adults, but it is tight for three adults.
It can be used in hot summer because of its removable fly and smart ventilation arrangement, So it is technically both 4-season and 3-season tent.
The tent’s downside is it takes time to pitch, but it is a straightforward process because of the color-coded sections.
★ Impressive dimensions
★ Detachable vestibule
★ Ample headroom
★ Great Quality
✖ Not easy to pitch
Naturehike Cloud-Up – Best Tent for Heavy Snowfall
- It is a great value for the money
- The tent includes a snow skirt for heavy snowfall
- It offers a generous vestibule of 34 inches
- Tent walls are made of high-quality 20D nylon
Backpackers who are seeking a best ultralight tent that can take both the harshness of the weather and terrain at a reasonable price are at the right place right now. Naturehike Cloud-Up tent is a portable cold weather shelter that is on par with the high-end winter tents.
It comes with a footprint that can be used with the rainfly, so for lighter backpacking, you can leave the inner tent at home. The tent includes silicon-coated PU 4000mm and UV 50+ rainfly that guards against extreme weather.
Other than that, the shelter has a Snowskirt to protect from heavy snow and extreme conditions.
It is not a roomy tent for three adults with 42 Sq. feet of floor area; even if you use the 34-inch vestibule for luggage, you will still feel cramped-up; therefore, use it as a 2-person or 1-person tent.
Unlike most 4-season backpacking tents, it takes less than 3 minutes to pitch the tent, and it packs down very small for backpacking. Also, it is freestanding; you can move it around without disassembling it.
★ Easy to Pitch
★ Comes with a footprint
★ Best 4 Season insulated tent
✖ It is not a spacious tent
5. Snugpak Scorpion – Best All Round Extreme Condition Tent
Snugpak Scorpion 3-person Tent 4 Season Tent
- It has a decent headroom of 43 inches, rare in Below zero tents, and still, the scorpion protects from high and heavy winds
- It is one of the best tents for heavy rain with single charge
- It is spacious and has a vestibule for extra luggage
The tent’s Scorpion design helps to create ample headroom inside the tent, which is rare in 4-season tents. Plus, the design dodges strong winds. It is a winterproof tent for harsh climate conditions, so buy it if you are planning to visit the coldest parts of the earth.
It is made of a durable materials and has a hydrostatic head of 5000mm, and its floor is bathtub style, so you don’t have to worry about the rain since the wettest part of the world receives only 10,000mm rain per year.
The tent poles are not strong enough to bear heavy snowfall, so it is not the right tent to summit Mount Everest, but its rainfly and design keep you warm even in freezing temperatures.
It comes with a basic repairing kit, and the company offers excellent customer service, so it is almost a risk-free purchase given the customer service.
The tent has a vestibule for wet boots, but for winter stuff like a stove, etc. it falls short.
★ Smart Design
★ Winterproof tent
✖ Small vestibule
Eureka Mountain Pass 3-Person Lightweight Tent
- It is a lightweight winter tent with two doors and two vestibules
- It comes with a footprint
- It has ground and roof vents
Eureka manufacturing quality outdoor equipment since 1895, and the Mountain Pass tent is one example of the manufacturer’s skill and experience. It is one of the best single-wall tent.
Although it is a 4-season tent, it not suitable for camping during heavy snowfall.
It has two doors and two vestibules; still, the tent feels warm during cold weather because of the heavy-duty polyester and extended rainfly. The floor has a hydrostatic rating of 3000mm and is thick enough to bear the roughness of unhospitable terrains, and the package includes a footprint.
If needed, it can accommodate three persons, but if you have extra luggage, then use it as a 2-person tent as the rainfly doesn’t cover one of the vestibules adequately.
★ Lightweight Single-wall tent
★ Thick floor
★ Easy to Pitch
✖ The rainfly does not cover one of the vestibules properly
7. Coleman Rocky Mountain – Best Tent for Fall and Spring
Coleman Rocky Mountain 5 Plus Tent
- The darkroom technology blocks 99% of the sunlight
- It is loaded with storage pockets and lantern clips
- The door is large and wheelchair friendly
The darkroom technology and the center height of 6.1 feet make it different from the other tents on our list. It is a family camping tent with room dividers and large PVC windows, but it is suitable for only fall and spring, not an all-weather tent.
It is loaded with lantern clips and storage pockets, and the tent is roomy for three adults, but it can accommodate five if needed.
The tent’s vertical door is wheelchair friendly and is large enough that you can use it for family events. It is a polyester tent with a hydrostatic head of 45000mm, but the tent’s seams are not reliable, so it would be safer if you seal the seams before heading towards your destination.
Moreover, the floor of the tent is not tough; therefore, use a footprint. You can also use camping cots; you will be safe in case it leaks.
It is a large tunnel-shaped tent, which means you won’t feel cramped at all inside the tent. If you seal the seams, then it is the best 3-season family camping tent.
Since it is a family tent, so you will need an extra hand to pitch, as it takes more than twenty minutes to pitch it alone.
★ Darkroom technology
★ Large tunnel-shaped tent
★ Wheelchair friendly
★ Best among Coleman Cold weather tents
✖ Seams not properly sealed
ZOMAKE Instant Tent
- The tent sets up in less than a minute because of the pop-up technology
- It has two large doors and windows for easy access and ventilation
- Given the low price, it is the best value for the money
It can take light showers and snow, and it is a perfect tent for fall and spring camping because of its warm fabric and smart ventilation. The tent’s fabric makes the tent livable in winter, but it is not the right tent for expeditions.
The tent pops up in seconds; you just have to pull the built-in poles. For beginners, it is an ideal tent because of its pop-up technology and portability.
Note that it is not designed for backpacking, but it is lightweight and compact comparatively.
The total space inside the tent is enough for two adults and luggage. The tent has a waterproof rating of 3000mm, and the inner layer is made of Oxford fabric.
It feels warm inside the tent in cold weather and better ventilated for sunny days, but it doesn’t have heavy snow arrangements.
★ Low price
★ Pop-up technology
★ Two large doors and windows
✖ No arrangements for heavy snow
Alps Mountaineering Freestanding Tent
- It is a freestanding tent, and it takes less than five minutes to pitch the tent
- The center height of around seven feet makes it one of the tallest tents in the market
- The extended awnings keep the entrance to the tent dry
If you are a tall person and looking for a large all-weather tent, then Alps Cramp Creek is the right tent for you. The tent is tight for six persons; it can easily accommodate four adults.
Note that it is not designed for heavy snowfall, but it is rainproof and windproof.
Also, it is warm in winter and has excellent ventilation arrangements for clear days. The extended awnings keep the surroundings dry, and the four large windows give a refreshing experience.
The window flaps cannot be rolled up, and that is the minor fault in the design. Plus, the tent’s stakes are not reliable on rocky grounds, so you have to keep extra stakes of aluminum or steel or you can find the best tent stakes here.
The floor of the tent is thin, use a tarp beneath it. The tent has a waterproof rating of 1500mm, and the rainfly is made of polyester.
The tent’s frame is stable and can easily stand up to strong winds even though its tallness makes it vulnerable to high winds.
The tent is freestanding, and it takes less than 5 minutes for a single person to set it up.
★ Ample center height
★ Excellent ventilation arrangements
✖ Tight for six persons
Flytop Double Layer Tent
- It packs small, and the weight can be reduced by two pounds for backpacking
- Flytop has two doors and vestibules
- It is extremely weatherproof, and given its weight and rainproof capabilities, it is one of the best hunting tents for cold weather
The tent’s weight can be reduced to 4 pounds for trails, making it fit for backpacking. The tent is 83 inches wide and 59 inches long, so if you can adjust your luggage in one of the two vestibules, then it can accommodate two adults, but if you have extra luggage, then it will be too tight for two.
It has a snow skirt for preventing the snow from accommodating beneath the tent.
The tent has two vestibules and two doors, and for ventilation, it has two pop-up windows on the rainfly, and the inner layer has dense nylon mesh.
The rainfly covers the tent perfectly and is rainproof; it won’t leak even if it is under the rain for months.
The downside is it is not a durable tent, it will only last long if you take extra care of it, but given the price, it is well worth the money.
The tent has built-in storage pockets and a lantern hook. Also, the tent comes with a decent bag; the tent fits easily in it.
The assembling and deconstructing of the tent is simple, but the instructions are in Chinese, so you have to practice at home without the instructions.
★ Lightweight Tents
★ Best tent for snow
★ Two doors and vestibules
✖ Not a durable tent
✖ Instructions are in Mandarin
Best Extreme Winter Tents Buying Guide 2021
Like shapes of houses differ from region to region, just like that the shape of tents must vary. For extremely cold weather conditions, a tent with steep walls is a better option than a straight wall tent.
Steep walls don’t let snow accumulate and help in dodging strong winds. The best shapes for extreme weather conditions are Dome and Scorpion, as they are shorter than other tents and have crossing pole design. Moreover, the tent must have a snow skirt in conjunction with steep walls and crossing poles for heavy snow.
The snow skirt doesn’t let the snow accumulate under the tent as the ice can melt under the tent and cause an uneven ground or seep inside the tent. Some high-end tents include a heated floor in the package, which keeps the floor dry and warm even if it is pitched on ice.
Tent Fabric plays an important role in protecting from harsh weather, and you get better fabric when you spend more. If your destination is car-accessible, then the best tent fabric is cotton.
Winter canvas tents are reliable and extraordinarily weatherproof and require minimum maintenance. Canvas tents are better than nylon and polyester in every way, but they are heavy and expensive. The second-best option is polycotton– which is a mix of cotton and canvas. It is less expensive than pure cotton, but it is as heavy as a pure cotton tent. Overall, Canvas is the best family tent for winter camping.
The third best is nylon, which is lightweight and packs small. Other advantages of nylon are that it can easily be given a waterproof coating, and it gets dry quickly compared to other fabrics. Though Canvas is expensive, it is still vulnerable to mildews, unlike nylon, which can be easily protected from mildews. Note that nylons are not the best insulators for winters, but they dry quickly and are lightweight.
Compared to polyester, nylon is warmer, but polyester has a better moisture-wicking capability. Like nylon, polyester is mildew resistant and can be waterproofed easily.
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 best cold weather tents have both ground and rainfly vents, which help make the tent livable in winter without changing the temperature drastically and can be controlled from inside the tent.
For mild cold, tents with mesh windows are also a good option but ensure that the tent has arrangements for cross-ventilation with the fly on.
For summer camping, the larger the tent’s dimensions, the better it is, but you have to choose the tent that can retain your body heat for winters. Large spaces cannot be insulated easily for winter, so if you are camping in an extreme environment, choose a tent easily insulated.
Moreover, 4-season tent manufacturers try to reduce weight where they can since tents made for winter use sturdy poles, fabric, and rainfly, making it harder to make it them ultralight. But small space doesn’t mean that you should compromise on your sleeping space; you should have ample elbow room for a comfortable night.
There is a simple way to choose a tent with the right size; multiply the number of occupants by 20 square feet since a single adult needs at least 20 square feet to sleep comfortably. Also, Warm tents for winter have vestibules for wet boots and jackets, and some Large winter tents have more than one generous vestibule for luggage.
When choosing your tent, it will be useful to consider the number of doors you will need based on the number of occupants since a single door for multiple occupants is cumbersome when it comes to entry and exit and reduces the sleeping space.
Lightweight vs Heavy Tents for Winter Camping
If weight is not a problem, then the best option for winter camping in a tent with a stove jack; these are the warmest tents for camping. Often tents with stove jacks are made of cotton or polycotton, which are quite heavy but the best family tent for bad weather.
For backpacking and lightweight camping in winter, the best tent keeps the balance between weight, strength, and warmth. Remember that Winter backpacking tents are always heavier than 3-season tents no matter how well they are designed, so you must settle for the two or three extra pounds.
Moreover, the best extreme cold weather tents must have double layers sturdy frame and extended rainfly.
How to Insulate your Tents for Winter Camping
Some simple tips and tricks can help you to insulate your tent for harsh cold weather. The following video will help you with that.
Simple Tips and Tricks for Harsh Weather Conditions
Camping in extreme weather conditions is fun until it gets dark, and you have to limit yourself in your winter sleeping bag. You can add fun to the camping nights by following our simple tips and tricks.
Choose the right spot
A good location can protect you from extra efforts to keep your tent warm. A few suggestions for site selection:
- Do not set up your tent very near water; the air is much cooler near bodies of water than away.
- Nights might be windy, so set up your tent near natural features–trees and boulders– that will block winds.
- High grounds that are not exposed to winds are better to set up a tent on in winters than low lying grounds.
Clean the campsite
If you pitch a tent on snow, it will melt overnight and cause an uneven icy and cold surface underneath. Plus, an unprepared campsite can cause wear and tear, so it is necessary to clean the area where you will pitch the tent.
First, flatten the area with your boots or shovel or anything you can find nearby. After you have removed the snow and flatten the surface, pitch the tent, and if your camping site doesn’t have any natural barrier for wind, make snow walls around the tent.
Exercise before bedtime
I don’t need to say that a sleeping bag only helps retain the body heat, so for a comfortable sleep in winters, do light exercises; this will help the sleeping bag retain more heat and warm faster. Note that don’t exercise till you are sweaty since it will make you cold quickly in a cold environment.
Buy Temperature Rated Sleeping Bags
A sleeping bag is your best partner in winters as it provides insulation to lock heat from your body and comfort at the same time. There are a wide variety of sleeping bags in the market with different features. The following details about sleeping bags might help you with buying the right one.
Sleeping Bags mostly come in Two Ratings series
Comfort rating -This rating is on women’s sleeping bags. It is for cold sleepers: People who are more sensitive to cold.
Lower limit rating– This rating indicates the temperature at which a warm sleeper may feel comfortable. This is the temperature rating brands use on men’s bags.
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
Extreme cold weather camping requires smart preparation and choosing the best warm tent for camping. Some winter campers like hot camping, which means they use heavy canvas tents or tents like ‘Russian-Bear hot tent‘ with woodstove. These tents are extremely watertight and stable against strong winds. Though these tents are luxurious in winter but heavy.
If you are a backpacker or looking for lightweight camping, then GEERTOP Portable is an ideal tent. All the tents on our list are reliable, but you have to choose among them considering your needs.
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.