Whether on backcountry ski tours or mountaineering in the worst weather imaginable, a 4-season tent serves as your last line of defense against the elements. These tents are significantly more durable than their 3-season counterparts, with thicker netting, stronger canopies and rainflies, sturdy pole systems, and several winter-focused features. Below is a list of our favorite choices for four-season tents for treeline applications, basecamps, and mountaineering. To further assist you, we have also included a comparison chart and purchasing advice.
Recommendations from Our Team for 4-Season Tents
1. Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 ($1,000)
- Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 is the best all-around four-season tent.
- The Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 is a basecamp-friendly, four-season mountaineering tent.
- Basecamp category
- 11 lbs. when packaged. 5.1 oz.
- floor space of 48 sq. ft.
- Dual-sided wall
- Impressive durability, outstanding livability, and a variety of sizes are things we admire.
- What we don’t: Expensive and heavy.
Mountain Hardwear’s Trango has long been a trusted product, even in the world’s most challenging environments. Even though it’s the heaviest tent on our list, its 11 pounds, 5.1 ounces of weight comes in handy while navigating challenging basecamp circumstances. Two entrances, vestibules for easy access and storage, a double-wall layout, 48 square feet of living space (suitable for three but best for two), and two people are the features of the Trango 3. Stronger stability in high winds is guaranteed by Mountain Hardwear’s design, which links the tent flap to the body and the poles. This sturdy construction is weatherproof.
There are two tents that are more likely to be found in high-altitude basecamps than any other: the VE 25 from The North Face and the Mountain Hardwear Trango. We are particularly impressed with the Trango’s innovative fly-to-tent body attachment, even though there are some areas where it falls short of the VE 25 (it costs $250 more and lacks TNF’s pole sleeves, which offer superior stability in strong winds; our tester had the chance to compare them side by side while guiding on Denali). It is also more widely available, has a stronger fly (70D compared. 40D on VE 25), and comes in versions for two people ($900), three people ($1,200), and four people ($1,200). Whether you’re going on a winter trip in the Lower 48 or facing inclement weather in one of the major mountain ranges, the Trango is, all things considered, among the most robust and trustworthy shelters available.
2. Samaya 2.0 ($1,400)
- Samaya 2.0 is the best single-wall mountaineering tent.
- The 4-season climbing tent Samaya 2.0 is distinguished by its single-wall construction.
- Mountaineering is a category
- 3 pounds for the package. 5 oz.
- Floorspace: 26.9 sq. ft.
- Wall(s): Only one
- What we like: The product is lightweight, compact, exceptionally well-built, and meticulously finished.
- We don’t like: Expensive.
Famous for its exceptional high-end products that don’t tolerate any room for compromise, Samaya is a 4-season tent manufacturer from the French Alps. Despite the tents’ exorbitant price, they are justified because of their innovative design, superior construction, and meticulous attention to detail. The Samaya 2.5, their flagship model, is a versatile all-arounder that boasts great breathability and waterproofing. It is also available as the Samaya 2.0.
small mass. Black Diamond’s Eldorado, our prior favorite in this category, is surpassed by the Samaya 2.0 thanks to its stronger and more waterproof Dyneema floor and fly, improved breathability thanks to its 3-layer Nanovent walls with a retractable mesh door, and approximately 2 pounds less weight. We are in love with this tent because of its pre-rigged equalized guylines, spacious side pocket, detachable hanging pocket, ridge pole that increases headroom, and large vent with a 2-way zipper.
You should choose between a double-wall tent like the Trango discussed before and the Samaya 2.0 based on the reason for your trip. If you intend to set up a fixed camp, the extra weight of a basecamp tent is advantageous due to its more spacious and breathable design. But for light-and-fast excursions and summit efforts, lighter shelters are necessary. Note that the basic design of the Samaya 2.0 has several limitations: it may be too small for two people to fit through, there is only one door, and an additional vestibule (available in nylon and Dyneema) needs to be purchased. Of course, alpinists generally make similar concessions, but Samaya’s approaches are unique. Carbon poles, an integrated “lifeline” for secure positioning on narrow ledges, and an all-Dyneema construction characterize the Assaut2 Ultra (2 lb. 5 oz.); yet, the $2,100 price tag may be too costly for those seeking even greater weight savings.
3. MSR Access 2 ($800)
- MSR Access 2 is the best all-season tent for treeline adventures.
- The 3–4 season mountaineering tent MSR Access 2 is perfect for use above treeline.
- Class: Treeline
- Trail weight is 4 pounds. 1 oz.
- Floor space: 29 square. ft.
- Dual-sided wall
- What we like: A double-wall tent that is ultralight while still providing decent protection.
- What we don’t: Expensive solid walls that restrict airflow in moderate climates.
Many 4-season tents are overkill for mild winter weather; a lighter, more breathable design may work just fine. This falls under the “treeline” category, and our top choice is the MSR Access 2. The 3- and 4-season double-wall Access weighs just 4 pounds, 1 ounce, and offers more protection than a typical camping tent in a lightweight, packable design. It boasts 29 square feet of floor area, two vestibules, and two doors—our testers upgraded to the three-person version for extra space for a furry friend. When planning backcountry ski trips or spring mountaineering, when conditions are generally favorable and you won’t be totally exposed, The Access is well worth checking out.
It can be a little challenging to classify the MSR Access as a “treeline” tent. A winter storm should not catch you off guard, and the 4-pound weight is surprisingly light. Breathability may be limited in warm weather since, unlike 3-season tents, the Access lacks mesh panels in its walls. In addition, a snow wall needs to be constructed to block out draughts and drifting snow because the fly does not reach the ground entirely. However, the Access really shines in shoulder-season conditions; we have only used it for spring touring in British Columbia and trekking the Peruvian Cordillera Huayhuash. Another option in this category is Nemo’s Kunai ($550), which features mesh panels that enhance airflow in mild temperatures (though they are not necessary). Its solid walls may be unzipped.Its floor plan is tapered and features a single door.
4. Black Diamond Mega Light ($400)
- Black Diamond Mega Light is the best ultralight four-season shelter.
- A 4-season tent ideal for basecamp and treeline use is the Black Diamond Mega Light.
- Basecamp/Treeline is the category.
- Two pounds. 13 oz.
- Floor space: 50.7 sq. ft.
- Wall(s): Only one
- Remarkable adaptability for snow camping is what we enjoy.
- What we don’t: Floorless architecture exposes you to additional environmental factors.
Last but not least is our best pick for an ultralight, four-season shelter: the Black Diamond Mega Light. This tent works well in both basecamp and treeline settings. It has a large 50.7 square foot floor area and weighs only 2 pounds, 13 ounces. When camping in cold weather, the Mega Light’s single-wall construction provides great adaptability. It’s important to remember that the floorless design will increase your exposure to the elements.
Whether you’re going on climbing trips, backcountry ski excursions, or treeline adventures, a 4-season tent is your best bet against the weather. These tents are far more robust than their 3-season counterparts, with stronger pole frameworks, more resilient canopies and rainflies, thinner netting, and a host of winter-specific features. The top picks we have for the 2023 best four-season tents for basecamp, mountaineering, and treeline applications are listed below. For further information, see our 4-season tent comparison chart and the buying advice that follows the recommendations.
Snow camping requires a tent that is in good working order. However, you can also use the Black Diamond Mega Light as an opulent basecamp shelter for resting, eating, or taking in some fresh air. It’s not the most protected tent, but because it has no floor and only one wall, it’s flexible. By excavating the outside corners of the poles and utilizing the central pole as a table, up to six people can be seated. The Mega Light additionally features mid panel guy-out points and a ceiling vent for added security in high winds. In an emergency, it can also be used as a transportable sleeping shelter.
It’s crucial to remember that calling the Mega Light a 4-season tent might be stretching things. Its robust canopy and capacity to withstand winds of up to fifty miles per hour notwithstanding, it is not nearly as durable as tents such as the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT or the single-walled Samaya 2.0. When it’s windy or cold outside, the Mega Light may flap around and feel open. In addition, Black Diamond offers the Mega Snow, which has enhanced weatherproofing, a 70-denier skirt, and additional venting options. However, there aren’t any available models right now.
Next, the additional suggestions are as follows:
5. The North Face VE 25 ($750)
In expedition mountaineering, The North Face VE 25 is a popular tent. It features strong poles, a double-wall design, and durable fabrics for harsh environments. With two doors, vestibules, and enough of storage, it offers decent ventilation and comfort for basecamp stays. It can be hard to discover online, and it’s limited to three users.
6. Firstlight 2P Black Diamond ($450)
An affordable, lightweight, four-season tent is the Black Diamond Firstlight 2P. It provides a sturdy shelter in bright skies or below-freezing temperatures and has a higher breathability rating than many single-walled tents. However, because it’s not totally waterproof, leaks must be prevented with meticulous seam sealing. Thanks to Dyneema materials, the previously mentioned Samaya 2.0 has improved breathability and waterproofing, but it costs more.
7. The $750 Nemo Chogori 2
The Nemo Chogori 2’s external pole structure and double-wall design make it easy to erect quickly even in inclement weather. It has weather-resistant silicone-treated nylon and strong DAC poles. Its peak height is shorter and its fly fabric is thinner than that of many basecamp tents, but it is lighter overall. It is a versatile option for mountaineering and backcountry winter adventures because of its quick and simple setup.
It is best to verify with shops for the most up-to-date information as certain tents may not always be available online.
8. The $1,115 Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT
The Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT tent is a great choice for basecamping. has a packed weight of 8 pounds. 3 oz. and a floor surface of 30.1 square feet, it effectively balances volume and weight. For increased durability and insulation, the tent has two walls. Its large vestibule, which provides lots of space for cooking or storing stuff during inclement weather, is one exceptional feature. The unique aerodynamic design of the tent ensures stability in strong winds and efficient snow removal. However, it should be mentioned that the tent has a single door and a somewhat low peak height for a basecamping tent.
Swedish tent maker Hilleberg is well known for its exquisite patterns and meticulous attention to detail. A great illustration of these qualities is the Nammatj 2 GT, which uses premium parts like the long-lasting Kerlon fabric. It is particularly well suited for extreme mountain situations since it offers incredible stability and protection. The tent is useful for many applications because of its outstanding 25.8 square foot vestibule area. Compared to other 4-season options, the tent’s weight of 8 pounds, 3 ounces is still quite light (the standard Nammatj weighs even less, at 6 pounds, 10 ounces). The two significant shortcomings are the somewhat lower peak height and the absence of several entrances. The Nammatj GT is more expensive ($1,115), but for those with a larger budget, its exceptional performance and robustness make it a worthwhile choice.
9. Arete ASL 2 REI Co-op ($449)
For the money, the 4-season REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 tent offers outstanding value. Six pounds in weight. 10 oz. When packed, it strikes a great balance between practicality and weight. 32.9 square feet on the ground level. Because of its twin walls and foot length, it provides superior weather protection than traditional 3-season tents. It is not meant to withstand the most severe weather conditions, such as heavy snow or high winds. The tent features a four-pole design that increases stability and offers a roomy 43-inch headroom.
10. The $800 MSR Advance Pro 2
One notable aspect of the REI Co-op Arete ASL is its versatility. It may be used comfortably on many hiking expeditions, not just in cold weather, thanks to its double-wall design and strong mesh doors and vents. While it may not match the rigorous performance of high-altitude or stormy missions, it is perfect for shoulder seasons and mild winter travel. Because of its affordable $449 price, adventurers on a tight budget could find the Arete ASL to be a compelling substitute. It provides a comfortable, safe place for you to stay without breaking the bank.
The 3-pound, 4-season MSR Advance Pro 2 tent is a favorite among mountaineers. Only three ounces make up the lightest tent on our list. The tent is easy to set up and has good waterproofing despite its lightweight design. Its floor area is 24 square feet, and it has one wall. It is suitable for small alpine ledges up to a height of feet. The tent is quick and simple to install thanks to its clamps and external pole sleeves.
One shortcoming of the MSR Advance Pro 2 is that it lacks a mesh door, which makes ventilation difficult. However, this is offset by side vents and a waterproof coating on the body and floor. While some may find the tent’s modest floor area concerning, its lightweight design and water resistance make it a great choice for short treks and summit attempts. Expensed $800.
11. The MSR Remote 2 costs $860.
A 4-season trekking tent designed specifically for mountaineering, the MSR Remote 2. Item weight: 7 lbs. 2 lbs. and has a floor size of 33 square feet. The double-walled tent is well known for its ability to provide comfort during storms and for being lightweight for summit pushes. It may not be as spacious as most basecamp options, but it still finds a good balance between weight and safety. Strong walls with zippered vents at each entrance, a sturdy frame, and sturdy Easton Syclone poles make the tent impenetrable in bad weather. The interior of the tent is very livable, including almost vertical walls, a large main vestibule, and more floor area than single-wall tents such as the Samaya 2.0 and Firstlight. The MSR Remote 2 is a solid choice for anyone seeking a robust, double-walled tent that offers greater protection than a treeline or mountaineering design without the weight and expense of a genuine basecamp type.
12. Allak 2 on the Hilleberg ($1,165)
The Hilleberg Allak 2 is an all-season basecamp/treeline tent. Item weight: 7 lbs. 4 ounces and provides 31.2 square feet of living area. Allak is a versatile option suitable for shoulder-season weather and is known for its superior construction and materials. Its sturdy yet lightweight dome-shaped construction keeps breathability during warm weather while offering storm protection. With two doors and vestibules, the tent weights less than true basecamp varieties like the Trango. Even though it sits somewhere in between the “treeline” and “basecamp” categories, the Allak is suitable for winter camping in most locations since it is robust enough to withstand high winds and heavy rains of true winter weather. For those who want a similar but more secure framework, Hilleberg recommends the Staika.
13. The $1,000 Mountain Hardwear ACI 3
The Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 is a four-season climbing tent. Item weight: 8 lbs. It weighs 1.1 oz. and has a floor size of 45.8 square feet. A strong and lightweight option for summit pushes and expeditions on high hills is the ACI 3. Its robust single-wall construction and reinforced sleeved-pole design keep it stable and silent during powerful gusts. Convenient features of the tent include an inside snow port and a vestibule. The ACI 3’s competitive weight and roomy living area allow it to fit three sleepers and their gear. While it might not be as lightweight as the Samaya 2.0, it offers greater comfort. Ventilation is provided by a full mesh door and four zippered vents. Mountain Hardwear’s ACI 3 climbing tent strikes a solid balance between utility, simplicity, and security.
14. The $900 Black Diamond Mission 2
The four-season Black Diamond Mission 2 climbing tent is suitable for basecamp use. Item weight: 8 lbs. It weighs 12 oz. and provides 33 square feet of living area. Renowned for its exceptional wind resistance, quick installation during bad weather, and dual walls, this tent boasts two walls. Its performance in crosswinds is enhanced by the inclusion of center hubs and crisscrossing poles, and its tunnel shape offers excellent stability. The spacious two vestibules of the Mission 2 set it apart from other premium basecamp models such as the VE 25 and Trango. But it’s attached to the tent body and cannot be taken apart, which limits ventilation and makes it inappropriate for bright days in the snow or warm weather. Although it weighs slightly less than some competitors, it sacrifices internal space. For high-altitude basecamp circumstances, the Black Diamond Mission 2 is a solid alternative due to its durability and ease of pitching. Its availability in three- and four-person variants adds to its versatility.
15. A 600-dollar Big Agnes Copper Spur HV3 Expedition
A large treeline/basecamp tent with a lightweight frame and a nice feature balance is the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV3 Expedition. It has a 41 square foot floor area and weighs 6 pounds, 3 ounces when shipped. An upgraded version of the popular Copper Spur backpacking tent, this tent offers 4-season features for winter camping and mountaineering. The three-person model offers more capacity and is still reasonably light when compared to the two-person options on the list. A winter-ready structure with plenty of livability and useful tie-down options is the Copper Spur Expedition. It features large-diameter poles, virtually vertical walls, and glove-friendly zipper pulls.
Although the Copper Spur Expedition’s weight-to-space ratio is excellent, its degree of specialization is only average. In terms of sheer protection, it might not match the robust walls and four-pole designs of larger tents like the Trango, which are made of 40D nylon. For even more weight savings, people who are worried about weight can choose for a single-walled tent, albeit at the price of some comfort. For those seeking a balance between weight and room, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV3 Expedition presents an intriguing substitute. If you are looking for a more traditional basecamp arrangement for climbing or ambitious winter ambitions, the Battle Mountain line from Big Agnes is a suitable choice.
16. Tasmanian 2 Alps Mountaineering ($250)
The Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is a spacious tent for treetop trekking that offers great value. It has 34.5 square feet of floor space and weighs 7 pounds, 15 ounces when shipped. While Alps products are reasonably priced but might not be the best, the Tasmanian offers a safe haven at a fair price. With a 34.5 square foot inside, this tent has one of the largest two-person spaces available. The top mesh vent helps with airflow and keeps moisture from building up.
It’s important to have realistic expectations when buying a 4-season tent at this pricing point. The Alps Tasmanian weights seven pounds, fifteen ounces, so packing it can be challenging. Its limited performance compared to more expensive options makes it ideal for casual winter camping in chilly weather with little to moderate wind. Another issue with durability is that less expensive goods might not be able to resist typical wear and tear as well. While routine use issues are not covered by Alps’ guarantee, production defects are. In spite of these drawbacks, the Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is still a good value for budget-conscious campers.
|Mountain Hardwear Trango 3||$950||Basecamp||11 lb. 5 oz.||48 sq. ft.||45 in.||Double|
|Samaya 2.0||$1,400||Mountaineering||3 lb. 5 oz.||26.9 sq. ft.||39 in.||Single|
|MSR Access 2||$800||Treeline||4 lb. 1 oz.||29 sq. ft.||42 in.||Double|
|Black Diamond Mega Light||$400||Basecamp/treeline||2 lb. 13 oz.||50.7 sq. ft.||57 in.||Single|
|The North Face VE 25||$750||Basecamp||10 lb. 5 oz.||48 sq. ft.||48 in.||Double|
|Black Diamond Firstlight 2P||$450||Mountaineering||3 lb. 6 oz.||27.3 sq. ft.||42 in.||Single|
|Nemo Chogori 2||$750||Basecamp/mountain||7 lb. 11 oz.||36.3 sq. ft.||39 in.||Double|
|Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT||$1,115||Basecamp||8 lb. 3 oz.||30.1 sq. ft.||37 in.||Double|
|REI Co-op Arete ASL 2||$449||Treeline||6 lb. 5 oz.||32.9 sq. ft.||43 in.||Double|
|MSR Advance Pro 2||$800||Mountaineering||3 lb. 3 oz.||24 sq. ft.||44 in.||Single|
|MSR Remote 2||$860||Mountain/basecamp||7 lb. 2 oz.||33 sq. ft.||44 in.||Double|
|Hilleberg Allak 2||$1,165||Treeline/basecamp||7 lb. 4 oz.||31.2 sq. ft.||41 in.||Double|
|Mountain Hardwear ACI 3||$1,000||Mountaineering||8 lb. 1 oz.||45.8 sq. ft.||41 in.||Single|
|Black Diamond Mission 2||$900||Basecamp||8 lb. 12 oz.||33 sq. ft.||43 in.||Double|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV3||$600||Treeline/basecamp||6 lb. 3 oz.||41 sq. ft.||41 in.||Double|
|Alps Tasmanian 2||$250||Treeline||7 lb. 15 oz.||34.5 sq. ft.||46 in.||Double|
Tips on Purchasing a 4-Season Tent
- Variety of 4-Season Tents
- Taking Weight and Packed Size into Account
- Tents with a double and single wall are compared.
- Size, ventilation, and condensation are important considerations.
- Materials and Strength: Dyneema, Nylon, and Polyester
- Knowledge of Denier (Thickness)
- Polyurethane and Silicone Waterproof Coatings
- Vestibules and inside pockets are storage options.
- Quality of Tent Poles Is Important
- Stakes and Snow Anchors Should be Taken Into Account
- Why Waterproofing Is Important
- 4-Season and 3-Season Tent Comparison
- A Further Note Regarding 4-Season Shelters
4-Season Tent Types
The term “4-season tent” describes a range of buildings designed to withstand harsh winter conditions. These tents come in three different varieties: treeline tents, basecamp tents, and mountaineering tents. Smaller floor areas, lightweight construction, and wind and weather protection are all more important features of mountaineering tents. Basecamp tents are perfect for longer stays at basecamps since they are more comfortable and heavier than mountaineering tents. Treeline tents are lightweight solutions for winter camping in mild weather.
Weight and Package Dimensions
Four-season tents are usually heavier than three-season tents because they are made of stronger fabrics, have sturdy poles, and have stronger zippers. It is possible to get heavy-duty models weighing more than 10 pounds and lightweight versions at roughly 3 pounds. Heavier tents often offer more amenities, better weather resistance, and greater durability. There is a direct relationship between the weight and packed size of a tent; larger tents usually have larger packed sizes.
Tents with a double or single wall
Both double-wall and single-wall models of 4-season tents are available. An inner tent canopy and an outer rainfly are features of double-wall tents, which offer improved weather protection, comfort, and ventilation. Single-wall tents are more lightweight but come at the expense of some ventilation, comfort, and weather protection. The decision between the two is affected by factors like weight, comfort, and intended use.
Size: Peak Height and Floor Area
A tent’s size is determined by its floor area, which might be small or huge. Basecamp and treeline tents often have larger interiors than mountaineering tents. Another reason peak height matters is because sitting up and moving around is easier at higher peaks. The angle at which the walls of the tent slope might affect how interior space is perceived.
Condensation and Ventilation
Four-season tents are more prone to dampness since they have less netting and prioritize heat retention. Enough ventilation is necessary to keep the atmosphere comfortable and prevent humidity. More vents can reduce condensation issues, and double-wall tents are generally more breathable.
Materials and enduring power
Four-season tents are usually made of nylon or polyester. Even while nylon absorbs moisture and dries slowly, its strength and resistance to ripping make it popular. Polyester has advanced recently, resulting in lighter weight, faster drying times, and better performance in moist conditions. Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF), while more expensive, provides a water-resistant and lightweight substitute. Thicker denier materials are selected for robustness, whereas lower denier materials are used to minimize weight.
Polyurethane and Silicone Waterproof Coatings
Polyester and nylon textiles need to be waterproofed. Although polyurethane (PU) coating is common and offers decent waterproofing, it can degrade and absorb water over time. The best silicone coating available for strength, longevity, and waterproofing fabrics. Tent flooring commonly uses PU coatings because of its non-slip properties.
Vestibules and inside pockets are storage options.
Consider whether inside pockets and vestibules are available for keeping things organized and storing stuff. Vestibules are covered areas outside the tent.
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