BEST Winter Tents for Cold Weather Camping [2024 Guide]

Reviewed by Jodelle Marx
Last updated:

*This article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you.

TL;DR: The best winter tent is the AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight Tent. We love this tent because it has double-wall insulation, a full rain fly with a snow skirt, and plenty of vestibule space for snow gear—at an affordable price.

Camping isn’t just a summer activity. If you’re one of those genuinely dedicated campers, low temperatures probably won’t put a stop to your outdoor adventures. 

This is especially true if you’re a mountain climber or an adventurous backpacker. All you need to keep going is the right gear, like a winter camping tent.  

Tents for winter – sometimes called 4-season tents or all-season tents – come in different shapes and sizes. Some have a single wall, while others are double-walled. 

Although some of these cold-weather tents feature extra insulation, the bulk of the job of keeping you warm will fall on your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. 

With that said, 4-season tents differ from average 3-season camping tents because many of them can withstand a load of snow, stay watertight, and stay upright in high winds. 

While some 3-season models are waterproof, they aren’t always ready to handle severe weather.

So if you can’t wait to get out in nature this winter to enjoy the beauty of a forest blanketed in snow, these are my top picks for the best winter tents. 

Short on time? Here’s a quick look at the top 11 winter tents.

Winter TentsFeatures
CAMPROS Tent 6 Person

CAMPROS Tent 6 Person
Affordable large tent for families who camp in cold weather.
Read Review
AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight

AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight
Similar features to high-end winter backpacking tents–but more affordable.
Read Review
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent
Reliable backpacking tent for two people.
Read Review
Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent

Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent
Plenty of space for 4 people and ventilation for all-year camping.
Read Review
AYAMAYA Camping Tent 6-8 Person

AYAMAYA Camping Tent for 6-8 Person
Pop-up tent with large vestibules.
Read Review
UNP Camping Tent

UNP Camping Tent
Waterproof and under $50.
Read Review
MSR Access 2 Two-Person

MSR Access 2 Two-Person, Four-Season Ski Touring Tent
Super lightweight backpacking tent suitable for mountaineering.
Read Review
Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight Tent

Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight Tent
Very affordable tent for snow camping.
Read Review
The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent
Sturdy tent with numerous guylines for wind and rain.
Read Review
Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent

Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent
Spacious tent with a heat-resistant stove pipe hole for a tent stove.
Read Review
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent
Winter tent known for withstanding heavy snowfall.
Read Review

#1 CAMPROS Tent 6 Person

Best Cold Weather Family Tent

CAMPROS Tent 6 Person

Dimensions:  11′ x 7′ x 6’
Packed Weight: 13.4 pounds
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Best For: Families who don’t let winter stop their outdoor fun

Camping is a classic family activity. And winter camping doesn’t have to be limited to hardcore backpackers and mountain climbers. 

Families with children can also enjoy the winter scenery together, so long as they have the right 4-season tents.

The Campros 6-Person Tent is a spacious, single-walled, 4-season tent with 77 sq ft of floor space big enough for the whole family. 

This single-wall tent uses a coated polyester outer to make it completely waterproof. A separate rainfly further protects you and your family from the elements.

But where this tent shines is its ability to stand up to the wind. This tent stays stalwart even in high winds gusting up to 40 mph.

The Campros Tent comes in four color options: dark blue, dark green, bright green, and rusty red. 

And with easy-to-assemble fiberglass tent poles, this is the best 4-season tent for family camping on the weekends. It will be up and running in under ten minutes.


  • Large and spacious
  • Good in windy conditions
  • Waterproof 


  • Only a single wall 
  • Rainfly doesn’t cover the whole tent

#2 AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight

Best One-Man Winter Tent

AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight

Dimensions: 7.2’ x 4.6’ x 3.9′
Packed Weight: 5.7 pounds
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Best For: Adventurous solo mountain climbers

While some 4-season tents are standard single-wall models with extra weather resistance, other cold-weather camping tents take things a step further with double insulation and snow skirts.

The Ayamaya Winter Cold Weather Ultralight Tent is one such tent. 

A snow skirt is an extra ruffle that goes around the bottom edge of a full-coverage rainfly. This flap keeps snow away from the interior tent, while the full-coverage rainfly provides a second layer of insulation against the cold.

Beneath the snow skirt, which is available in either blue or green, there is a large mesh wall that gives the tent a breathable and airy atmosphere despite its warmth. 

Plus, that snow skirt extends out to create a convenient vestibule area. 

This tent is on the larger side for a one-person tent, although it would be pretty snug for two people. This just gives the solo camper more space to stretch out or stash their gear. 

The pre-attached pole design also means that assembly takes under two minutes. 

And, at just over five and a half pounds, it’s nice and light for solo winter backpacking or for scaling a mountainside.


  • Has a snow skirt
  • It has a double-wall design
  • Spacious


  • No gear loft or organizational pockets
  • Limited color options

#3 ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent

Best 2-Person Winter Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent

Dimensions: 5.6′ x 7.6′ x 3.8’
Packed Weight:  7 pounds 10 ounces
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Best For: Hardcore camping couples

ALPS Mountaineering tents are quality cold-weather tents, and the Tasmanian Mountaineering Tent is no exception.

This double-walled mountaineering tent consists of an inner mesh tent and a polyester, UV-resistant full-coverage rainfly, which extends out to create two exterior vestibules on each end. 

The lightweight aluminum poles are pre-attached, so set-up is quick and easy.

Although this ALPS Mountaineering Tent lacks a snow skirt, it still performs well snow camping, and the double walls ensure it stays toasty inside. The interior all-mesh walls are also super breathable.

Another aspect that sets this tent apart is its gear loft and mesh storage pockets. 

Along with the front and rear vestibules, there’s a ton of space to store gear and belongings, leaving most of the floor area free and clear for sleeping.

If you and your partner are hiking enthusiasts, this ALPS Mountaineering Tent provides the perfect cozy nest for a winter adventure.


  • Double walls
  • Front and rear vestibule
  • Gear loft


  • Expensive
  • A little heavy for its size

#4 Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent

Best 4-Person Winter Tent

Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent

Dimensions: 9.1′ x 8.5′ x 6.5′
Packed Weight: 24 pounds 5 ounces
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Best For: Campers with a lot of gear

Freezing temperatures shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the beauty of nature. The Snow Peak Alpha Breeze Tent is an excellent option for anyone who likes to car camp all year.

This is the best 4-person, 4-season tent for casual winter campers.

Even though it doesn’t have all of the features that a serious mountain tent would have, it does have a reliable rainfly, vestibule, and proper ventilation to prevent condensation.

After the REI Co-op Basecamp 4 Tent was discontinued, I came across this little number — or big number if you’re counting the floor space.

There are four doors, so everyone has easy access to leave the tent. And two of the doors have vestibules for storing extra stuff.

Having a vestibule is always very important to me when I’m camping in a group. We can store gear in the vestibules and not feel cramped, cuddling with backpacks and stinky boots.

This tent is also nice because you can use it all year. The inner walls of this Snow Peak tent have mesh windows so that you’re comfortable in hot weather, too. It is named the Alpha Breeze, after all.

Enough about airflow, though. There’s tons of room in this versatile tent and the 6ft 6in ceiling height ensures that most people can stand inside.

Lastly, I like the Peak Alpha Breazer because it has Dduraluminum poles. Duraluminum is an aluminum alloy that combines aluminum with other metals to create a lightweight pole that’s even stronger.

Aluminum alloy poles perform better in cold weather than fiberglass, which you will find in a lot of non-winter tents.

Unlike fiberglass tent poles, aluminum doesn’t shatter in cold weather and if they bend, you can make do for the night or even repair them.

You’ve heard me talk about waterproofing before, and you’ll hear it again. I really wish that REI provided the waterproof rating for this tent.

Still, a good coat of waterproof spray will bump up the waterproofness to where it needs to be.


  • Excellent ventilation for all-year use
  • Extra-large dry vestibule
  • Mesh ceiling pockets instead of a gear loft to that you can hang a lantern in the center
  • Four doors
  • Two vestibules


  • No snow skirt
  • The rain fly is water repellent, not waterproof


#5 AYAMAYA Camping Tent for 6-8 Person

Best 6-Person Winter Tent

AYAMAYA Camping Tent for 6-8 Person

Dimensions: 9.8’ x 19’ x 5.4’
Packed Weight: 27.8 pounds
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Best For: Groups of dedicated campers

Not all winter camping trips are solo backpacking excursions. And just because you’re camping in winter doesn’t mean you can’t also stretch out and lounge around.

The spacious Ayamaya Camping Tent is a six-person cold-weather tent with two doors that provides ample interior space to enjoy the chilly outdoors in luxury. 

This large 4-season tent has a double wall for added warmth and insulation. The interior tent is a standard dome style with almost 100 square feet of space inside. 

Used alone without the rain fly, the inner tent will serve you well in the summer months, so it’s also a versatile tent. 

The outer rainfly fits snugly over the inner dome and provides two grand covered vestibules over the front and the rear entrances, turning the whole set-up into a tunnel tent. 

These vestibules are complete with awnings held up by poles, with enough space to set up some chairs

The rainfly also has closable windows on the side, letting light enter even when the rainfly shields the rest of the tent from the elements.

Inside the tent, there are multiple gear pockets and a lantern hook so that things can stay nice and organized. 

One more added plus of this tent is that it’s a pop-up tent, so you can set up camp in a matter of minutes. It just may be the fastest 4-season 6-person tent in the wild west.


  • Double Layer
  • Two vestibules and two doors 
  • Pop-up tent with a quick set-up time


  • Not tall enough to stand in
  • On the heavy side

#6 UNP Camping Tent

Best Budget Winter Tent

UNP Camping Tent

Dimensions: 7′ x 5′ x 3.75’
Packed Weight: 5.1 pounds
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Best For: Adventurous campers with a limited budget

Many of us don’t have hundreds of dollars lying around to spend on camping gear. 

But just because you may be tight on funds doesn’t mean you can’t have a quality tent to keep you warm while camping in the cold. 

The UNP Camping Tent is a 4-season tent that can accommodate two people. It boasts a quick, three-minute assembly time, and it’s also exceptionally lightweight for its size. 

I’ve camped on the Oregon coast in January and as long as you have warm sleeping gear, you’ll be fine.

Although this is a single-wall tent, it includes a waterproof rain fly. When the waterproofing wears out after a while, treat it with waterproofing spray and spend your savings on ice cream.

Inside the tent, there’s also an electrical outlet port and mesh organizational pockets. 

All of this is available at half the price of the next cheapest tent on this list, and that’s an outstanding value.


  • Very inexpensive
  • Waterproof
  • Organizational pockets


  • It doesn’t have a double wall
  • No snow skirt

#7 MSR Access 2 Two-Person, Four-Season Ski Touring Tent

Best Winter Tent for Backpacking

MSR Access 2 Two-Person, Four-Season Ski Touring Tent

Dimensions: 6.8′ x 3.5′ x 3.6′
Packed Weight: 3.2 pounds
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Best For: Backpackers who aren’t afraid of a little cold weather

When it comes to backpacking in winter, you have to pick a tent that suits you. That’s why I’m sharing my top pick and two alternatives.

You’ll see the MSR Access 2 Two-Person, Four-Season Ski Touring Tent recommended often. I love MSR and this is a reliable mountaineering tent.

The MSR Access 2 is built for snow. It’s one of the best ski-touring tents because of its durable, minimalist design.

I’m not a fan of the ventilation in this MSR 4-season tent. You might get condensation build-up dripping on your forehead. Plus, the MSR Access 2 is a little bit short for people over 6 feet tall to lie down comfortably.

That being said, the MSR Access 2 has cutting-edge materials, and again, it’s a super lightweight 4-season tent. The Access 2 is my overall top pick for backpacking in winter weather.

Now, if you’re going to do some serious mountain expeditions, I recommend investing in the Black Diamond Fitzroy 2-Person Tent. This tent means business.

The Black Diamond Fitzroy is almost twice the weight, which I don’t like. Part of the increased weight is due to the bombproof construction and the other part is due to the slightly larger floor space.

The Black Diamond Fitzroy is plenty long for your tallest friends and more spacious for two people with backpacking gear.

If you’re a summer backpacker who only likes to brave the winter once in a while, expensive mountaineering tents might be unnecessary.

Once again, REI comes in clutch with the REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 Tent. This isn’t a 4-season tent. It’s way cheaper though, and unless you’re climbing a mountain or camping in monsoon season, you’ll be fine.


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Mesh pockets
  • New Easton Syclone Poles


  • No snow skirt
  • Mountaineering tents are pricey

#8 Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight Tent

Best Tent for Snow

Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight Tent

Dimensions: 4.2’ x 8.9’ x 3.4’
Packed Weight: 4.18 pounds
Our Rating: 4.4/5
Best For: Getting caught in a blizzard while backpacking

If you get caught outside in a snowstorm, there are a couple of features you’ll want your tent to have. Luckily, the Naturehike Cloud-Up Lightweight Tent has got you covered.

This backpacking tent is available in sizes for either two or three people and has a low weight of just over four pounds. 

An inner tent of anti-scratch mesh with a separate outer rain fly also makes this tent versatile. It isn’t just a winter tent; it’s a tent for all seasons. 

When the silicone-coated nylon rain fly is on, the double wall tent design creates extra insulation.

And not only is this 4-season tent insulated against the cold with that double wall design, but the outer fly also has a snow skirt. This keeps snowfall away from the inner tent and prevents moisture leaks and cold leaks. 

The third handy feature that this tent provides is a vestibule. This allows you to maintain a dry, ice-free area to leave your boots and gear without tracking anything into the tent. 

Overall, this little tent has good weather protection and can face high winds and snow, keeping you warm and dry throughout various weather conditions. And it costs a fraction of the price of mountaineering tents.


  • It has a snow skirt
  • Double-wall tents have better waterproofing and warmth than single-wall tents
  • Spacious vestibule
  • 4000mm waterproofing


  • No gear loft
  • A grey tent is harder to see in the snow

#9 The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

Best Tent for Rain and Cold

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

Dimensions: 7.2’ x 4.5’ x 3.4’
Packed Weight: 9.8 pounds
Our Rating: 4.3/5
Best For: Campers who don’t let a little rain stop them

North Face is a leading brand for outdoor gear and apparel, so it’s no wonder that they make high-quality tents for weather resistance in winter conditions.

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent is a two-person, 4-season tent with a sturdy nylon rain fly that gives it a double-wall design. 

And this North Face tent’s construction offers a high level of stability thanks to added guylines and pole sleeves.

The striking black-and-yellow outer rainfly also has a front vestibule and offers multiple vents, so you can stay warm inside without things getting too stuffy. 

As a bonus, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls make them easy to find in the dark during a late-night bathroom trip.

And this tent is truly ready to stand up to freezing temperatures. The welded polyurethane window is crack-tested down to a chilling -60 degrees Fahrenheit, making it worth the steep price tag.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Double-walls
  • Includes a vestibule


  • Expensive
  • Only one entrance

#10 Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent

Best Winter Tent With Stove

Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent

Dimensions: 7.4’ x 10’
Packed Weight: 51 pounds
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Best For: Glamping in the wintertime

Tents that can accommodate wood stoves are sometimes called hot tents, and many of them come in the form of bell tents.

There is something so romantic about a bell tent, especially in the wintertime. 

In a bell tent, you can make believe you’re in another era. But bell tents are more than just fun; they offer some real practical advantages, especially when it comes to withstanding the cold. 

The Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent is the best hot tent for winter camping trips. Not only is it super spacious, but the heat-resistant stove pipe hole allows for a tent stove. 

This means you can boil a pot of tea or cook a simple meal from the comfort of your tent.

Whiteduck uses heavy-duty army duck canvas, which is waterproof and UV resistant. Inside those thick canvas walls, the heat from a wood-burning tent stove will have you forgetting about the freezing temperatures outdoors. 

And who says that camping in December is only for the hardcore, dedicated camper? 

With over 78 sq ft of floor area and a center height of over seven feet, this 4-season tent offers a super luxurious glamping experience. 

However, that’s probably all you’d want to use it for with its considerable weight of over 50 pounds. 


  • Spacious
  • Very warm with a stove
  • Durable canvas outer


  • Expensive
  • Not designed to hold heavy snow loads
  • Heavy

#11 Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Best Extreme Cold Weather Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear is another top brand in all-weather tents, and the price of the Trango 4 Tent reflects the quality. 

Although this four-person tent is certainly not cheap, it also offers superior performance and many useful features that make it worth the splurge.

The Trango is another double-insulated tent with an outer fly that creates a vestibule. 

Tent vestibules are helpful, especially in bad weather, because they make a dry place for you to enter the tent. This cuts down on the amount of ice and wetness you may track inside. 

A vestibule also provides a place to store extra gear, which frees up space inside. 

If you’re camping in winter, you’ll probably have heavy boots and coats, and you might not want to keep those next to your head where you’re sleeping.

Double-taped seams and a bathtub-style floor also help ensure that the interior of this tent stays dry. 

The Trango tent is also aesthetically appealing. The ripstop nylon inner and nylon taffeta rainfly come in an attractive combination of turquoise and red that are easy to spot in the snow. 

And the Featherlite aluminum poles are color-coded – also in turquoise and red – making it easier to sort out which pole goes where. 

On top of all that, the Trango includes a gear loft and a light-diffuser pocket where you can stick your headlamp to create an overhead light. 

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Winter Tent

What to Look for in a Winter Tent

FAQ What to Look for in a Winter Tent

Is it a 4-season tent?

Nearly all tents come with weather protection – that’s what tents are for, after all! 

But be sure to check and make sure that the listing specifies that it’s a 4-season tent or an all-season tent. 

Even if it has a good rain fly and strong wind resistance, if a listing describes the tent as three-season, it probably won’t hold up well if you try to sleep in it during the winter.

Is it waterproof?

Staying dry is essential for staying warm. It’s one thing to be cold, but being cold and wet is a miserable experience, if not dangerous.

Many tents out there claim to be waterproof (when they’re not), so you’re better off looking at the actual waterproof rating (in mm) and the reviews to know for sure.

Although a tent may boast double-taped seams, craftsmanship can still be faulty. Checking to see what other people have experienced is a more surefire way to judge a tent’s water resistance.

How heavy is it? How large is it?

Tents will vary widely in terms of size and weight. Consider the type of camper you are, and decide what size of tent you’re looking for based on that. 

If you’re going to be backpacking, you’ll want the most lightweight tent you can find. 

But if you’re car camping with a family, then a large and spacious tent will be right for you. Also, the tent’s weight isn’t as significant if you’re car camping.

Is it double-insulated?

Some four-season tents are double-wall tents, while others are standard tents with extra reinforcement. 

While your sleeping bag will be the true game-changer when it comes to staying warm, a double-insulated tent helps stave off the cold.

If you know you’ll be camping in especially low temperatures, you’ll want to look for a double-walled tent to provide extra insulation. 

Is it designed to withstand snowfall?

If you know you’re going to be camping somewhere where there’s snow on the ground, it’s a good idea to look for four-season tents that can withstand snowy conditions. 

A snow skirt, a covered vestibule, and sturdy construction are all good ways to ensure you’ll have a comfortable and safe time even if you end up camping during a blizzard.

Looking for more tent options? Check out our guides to the best one-person tents, 2-person tents, 4-person tents, 6-person tents, 8-person tents, 10-person tents, 12-person tents, family tents, large camping tents, 3-room tents, instant tents, pop-up tents, inflatable tents, tunnel tents, canvas tents, insulated tents, tents with stove jacks, glamping tents, SUV tents, motorcycle tents, tents for wind, tents with an AC port, tents with a screen room, and cabin tents.

Types of Winter Tents

Not all four-season tents are the same – there are several distinct all-weather camping tents. Knowing what you’re going to use your tent for will help determine which type is right for you.

Double-layer/insulated tents

Unlike single-wall tents, double-walled tents usually have a mesh interior tent and a heavy-duty rain fly that fits over the entire tent. 

The mesh interior allows for ventilation and prevents condensation, while the full-coverage rain fly outer protects you from the elements. 

These two layers create insulation, so these tents are best for extreme weather conditions.

Some insulated tents for winter camping have extra features, such as vestibules for gear storage or snow skirts for protection from the elements.

Standard 4-Season Tents

Some four-season tents look like a standard tent, but they’re made with reinforced materials and a sturdy design to withstand colder temperatures and more weather than a regular 3-season tent. 

This type of tent will generally be a single-wall tent. The primary way to spot this tent variety is to check whether the listing designates it as a three-season or four-season tent.

Backpacking Winter Tents

A winter tent for backpacking might fall into either one of the above categories, although most are double-wall tents and not single-wall tents. 

The thing that sets a backpacking tent apart will be its size and, most importantly, its weight. 

Most backpacking winter tents accommodate only one or two campers and subsequently weigh less than ten pounds – sometimes as little as three pounds!

Tents with a Stove Jack

The final category of winter tents is a tent accommodating a wood-burning stove, or tents with a stove jack, the most old-school option. 

Before there were waterproof polyester and ergonomic aluminum tent poles, there were canvas tents with stoves inside them.

A tent with a stove inside does not have to have a cotton outer, but many do. Winter canvas tents are waterproof and usually use heavy-duty steel alloy poles.

Generally, these are larger tents because you need enough room to move around without burning yourself on a stove. 

Our pick for the best winter tent with a stove is the Whiteduck Regatta Bell Tent, but tents that accommodate stoves can also be wall tents or tipis. 

The Whiteduck Regatta is the best winter bell tent because it’s made of high-quality materials and has a good balance of weight versus living space.

The “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Winter Tent Camping

Do Bring a Sleeping Pad (or Two!)

If you’re an experienced camper, you might already know that sleeping pads provide insulation between your sleeping bag and the cold ground. The goal is to keep your body heat from escaping downward.

Even a cheap foam mat will make a big difference. For extreme conditions, you can sleep with a foam mat against the ground and an inflatable mat on top of that.

Do Prioritize Staying Dry

If you’re backpacking and it starts raining, set up your tent immediately and get out of the wet weather. Getting wet is a dangerous way to lose a lot of body heat.

On my first backpacking trip, it began raining and my hiking partner insisted that we continue down the trail. We spent the rest of the day and night shivering. It was miserable.

Now I know that if it starts raining, the number-one priority is to pitch my tent. Then crawl inside and change into dry clothes. Body heat escapes faster through evaporation when you’re wearing wet clothes.

Do Re-Waterproof Your Tent

The waterproofing of every tent will degrade over time. Every year, before heading out on my first winter adventure of the season, I re-waterproof my tent.

Waterproofing treatments range in comprehensiveness. Check the seams on your tent to see if they need to be resealed. Otherwise, I apply a liberal coat of waterproofing spray to the outside of the tent and let it dry on the porch in the week leading up to my trip.

Trust me, you won’t sleep a wink when water is dripping on your head.

Do Take an Avalanche Preparedness Class

If you’re trekking into the snowy wilderness, prepare yourself with avalanche training. My best friend went through an avalanche course and surprised me by being able to point out where there was a high risk of avalanche or false ground.

Four-season camping has higher demands than three-season camping. We have to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we can stay safe. It’s an added responsibility, but rewarding and liberating to really know your stuff.

Do Buy a Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

Invest in a sleeping bag that’s rated for 10 degrees colder than what you expect. This is because sleeping bag ratings indicate the bag’s limits. So, how cold it can be without you freezing your ass off, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be comfy and toasty warm.

Don’t Use a Camp Stove Indoors (without proper ventilation)

No matter how cold it is, never use a propane stove in an enclosed tent. All stoves produce carbon monoxide.
A correctly installed wood-burning stove with a chimney is safe. It’s designed to contain toxic fumes and expel them from the tent through the chimney.

But be careful with backpacking stoves and cooking tops. Mountaineers have died while using their backpacking stove in a closed tent because they were trying to shield themselves from high winds, snow, or rain.

It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re cold and hungry. I almost used my backpacking stove inside my tent a couple of years ago because it was raining — and thank goodness I didn’t.

Don’t Sleep in Cotton Clothes as Your Base Layer

Everyone knows to sleep in layers when camping in the cold, but did you know that the material matters?

Maybe your usual bedtime shirt is made out of cotton. Swap it out for wool or synthetic materials that wick the moisture away from your body.

As your body heat warms the tent, you’ll want to peel back the layers. But if your base layer is collecting sweat against your body instead of wicking it away, more heat will evaporate.

FAQs About Winter Tents

FAQs About Winter Tents

What type of tent is best for cold weather?

For frigid weather, your best bet is a small, double-wall tent. A single-wall tent might not have enough insulation to keep you warm. 

You’ll want it to be small because your body heat will fill the tent faster, and the double wall design will keep heat from escaping.

If you aren’t backpacking or trekking through the deep wilderness, then a canvas tent with a wood stove is another great pick to keep you warm in extremely frigid temperatures.

Are winter tents worth it?

Cold is more than uncomfortable; the cold can be dangerous. 

If you plan to go camping when temperatures are below freezing or when there’s snow on the ground, investing in a winter tent will not only mean you’ll enjoy yourself more, it also protects you from harm.

That said, although some high-end winter tents cost a pretty penny, they aren’t all expensive. 

Some great-quality tents on this list feature an impressive cold-fighting design and cost less than $100. 

Staying safe is always worth it, but you don’t always have to break the bank to keep yourself from freezing.

Can a tent be warm in the winter?

The right setup can keep you cozy all night long. You’ll probably have to shell out a little extra for the winterization necessary compared to summer tents.

But the combination of a winter tent, proper sleeping gear, and maybe even a portable wood stove can keep you safe throughout the night.

How cold is too cold to sleep in a tent?

Be careful if the temperature is below 40°F. Camping in bad weather puts you at risk for hypothermia. And as it gets colder, the risk heightens.

Around 30°F and under, you better have the right equipment.

A 3-season tent won’t be enough protection in extreme cold. Turn to a 4-season tent that prioritizes insulation, wind protection, waterproofing, and stability.

What tents are used on Everest?

The leading brands that Everest climbers consider the best 4-season tents for cold weather are Black Diamond, North Face, MSR, and Mountain Hardware. 

You’ll find all of those brands have made it to this list, and these are, unsurprisingly, also the priciest items here. 

If you’re climbing Mount Everest, you should spring for the best quality tent possible from one of these brands. 

A budget tent may serve you well on a camping trip in your local forest, but not on the world’s tallest peak.

Do I need stakes and snow anchors?

If you’re camping on snow or frozen ground, the little metal stakes that come with your summer camping tent, won’t work. That’s where snow stakes and anchors come into play.

I’m the type to always anchor my tent down if I’m camping in a snowy place. You never know when a surprise storm will roll in and I sure don’t want my tent rolling out in the wind.

You can pick up a set of snow stakes from REI or make your own snow anchors.

Using gallon-ziplock bags, reinforce the sides and bottom with duct tape. Then fill the bags with snow and tie your guyline around the middle. The bag should look like an hour-glass.

Burry the snow-filled bag in the snow and rest assured that your tent will stay put.

How do I make my tent warmer?

Are you still shivering inside your four-season tent? There are several things you can do. 

First, try adding an extra groundsheet under the tent, which helps insulate the inside against frozen ground. 

You can also try adding a tarp over the top of your tent for added insulation. Companies like Black Diamond make separate vestibules that you can add over the top of any Black Diamond tent.

It’s also important to note that winter camping tents without proper sleeping gear will not keep you warm enough on their own. 

You’ll need a sleeping bag intended for cold temperatures. Getting further away from the ground will also keep you warmer, so an air mattress or thick sleeping pad also comes in handy.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Winter Tent

Conclusion Our Pick for the Best Winter Tent

My top pick for the best 4-season winter tent is the AYAMAYA Winter Cold Weather Ultralight. This tent has so much going for it. 

First of all, it has a double wall, so you can count on it to stay warm in subzero conditions. 

Unlike many similar tents with a snow-worthy structure, it’s affordable. With 33 sq ft of floor space and an 8 sq ft vestibule, it’s very spacious while remaining snug enough to fill with body heat quickly. 

The vestibule comes in handy, even if it’s just you and one other person. More space means more gear storage for dirty boots and bags.

Speaking of gear storage, this tent also comes with a gear loft and mesh pockets, providing more space to stash small items.

AYAMAYA isn’t necessarily a top brand for serious professional mountain climbers but it has all of the features that an average winter camper will need.


Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Growing up in Northern California, Elina camped often with her family. These days, she’s based in Upstate New York, working on building an off-grid studio space with her husband in the Catskills. These days, Elina visits artist residencies in locations around the world, including Amsterdam, Finland, Italy, and Australia, and has exhibited her work in galleries and museums in the US and abroad. When she isn’t writing and editing for The Atlas Heart, Elina is pursuing a Master’s degree in Visual Art at Cornell University and splits her time between Ithaca and Brooklyn.

Looking for more outdoor gear recommendations? Check out our related posts below!

Best Double Camping Cots

Best Screen Houses for Camping Bug-Free

Best Tent Air Conditioners

Best Heated Gloves for Cold Weather

Best Hammocks with a Mosquito Net

8 Best Handheld GPS Devices for Hiking

Best Camping Mess Kits

14 Best Coolers for Camping

Best Winter Tents Pin 1
Best Winter Tents Pin 2

Pin this image for future reference

Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


Leave a Comment