If you are camping in only one season, there are plenty of options on the market for you. However, camping in all four seasons will have different requirements.
Depending on your location and needs, the are many factors to keep in mind. We have rounded up the best 4-season tents to bring you our top 13 picks that will give you the most bang for your buck.
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ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian – Our Pick!
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian is our top pick. This tent checks off pretty much all of the boxes. This 2-person tent had an easy setup and was spacious on the inside.
The two vestibules were generous for having extra storage, and the interior walls were lined with mesh pockets, giving you plenty of room to organize your gear.
This tent is equipped with two doors and has zippered mesh windows, which allow for excellent ventilation inside. This is not the most lightweight tent, clocking in at 7.9 pounds.
However, it makes up for the extra weight by having a solid build and easy setup. The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian is excellent in windy, wet, or cold conditions. The heavy-duty tent will keep you warm and dry on camping trips for many years to come.
Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent – Also Great!
The Mountain Hardwear Trango Tent 4 Tent is a very close second. Compared to the first tent, this one is a 4-person tent and weighs in at 11 pounds and 7.5 ounces.
This tent features color-coded poles to make set up easy and has two dual canopy mesh doors and two vestibules. It has been designed with some small details that can add to your experience.
For instance, it includes a huge storage bag, making it less of a hassle when trying to put everything away when breaking camp. It also had many mesh pockets in the interior and has snow flaps to seal out spindrift.
Details like taped fly and perimeter seams, welded corners and guy clip anchors, and a nylon floor made all the difference in keeping extra dry in wet conditions.
With adequate ventilation and a triple-reinforced UVX window, it is honestly great for any season, not just wet or cold ones.
Black Diamond Mega Light Shelter
The Black Diamond Mega Light Shelter is another 4-person tent. If you are looking to keep your load light, this is the tent for you as it weighs only 1.27 pounds.
It is incredibly lightweight and roomy on the inside. It has no vestibules, but there is plenty of room to store your gear inside if you are camping with only two people.
The seams are not sealed, so this tent is not the best in rainy conditions. However, in snowy conditions, you can bury the edges in snow, and it creates a tight seal around the bottom.
This tent also had an easy set up as it has only one pole and a few stakes.
North Face Assault 2
This North Face Assault 2 tent is an excellent 2-person option that weighs only about 2.2 pounds.
It is equipped with a single door and a back escape-hatch door. A removable vestibule is also included. The inside was the right size, especially for being so lightweight.
If you are looking at camping in cold, windy, and dry conditions this tent could be the right fit. It has been designed explicitly for high-altitude camps. The breathability was great in this tent, and it held up well in most conditions.
During wet conditions, this tent was not as watertight as others on the list.
Eureka! Mountain Pass Four-Season Tent
Coming in at number five is the Eureka! Mountain Pass Four-Season Tent that has a two-person capacity. This tent is excellent for all four seasons and different weather conditions. It is a little on the heavy side, but it is very durable and roomy inside.
Getting set up was not too bad, and the storage bag that it comes in was compact, making it easier for carrying. There was very little moisture on the inside of the tent, and the waterproof rain fly really stood the test of rainy weather and held up great.
You can have two vestibules with this setup for storing gear or wet clothes. Removable side panels are included to give you more protection as conditions change throughout your camping trip.
Another great lightweight option, the Naturehike Cloud-Up tent, comes in three sizes for either one, two, or three people. Each size is excellent for backpacking as they weigh in at only 3.8 pounds, 4.7 pounds, and 5.7 pounds, respectively.
The three-person tent was a little tight but would be a roomier option for two people with only one extra pound of weight. The set up was easy could be done by only one person. The tent has seams sealed at the factory, making for an arid interior even in very wet conditions.
The tent had high-quality details, including the super smooth zippers and several mesh interior pockets that not all models have. In colder weather, this was not the warmest tent.
Depending on your location, this could work for all four seasons, but colder climates should stick to using this only three seasons of the year.
MoKo Backpacking Tent
The 3-person Moko Backpacking Tent is a heavy-duty option, weighing in at 9.9 pounds. While it may have extra weight, it makes up for its versatility in all four seasons. This tent also includes a 3-foot vestibule.
The set up is not the easiest one on the list, but the extra work makes it more robust than some of the other tents on the list. It is excellent in snowy or windy weather.
This tent is warm and also stayed dry, even during heavy rain. If you are just getting started in 4-season camping, this is one of the lower-priced tents on the list. You could test out a new hobby while shopping at a lower price point.
Black Diamond Firstlight
The Black Diamond Firstlight is a 2-person tent that has a single-door design. There is an optional vestibule for gear storage, but that is not included. It can be purchased separately if you decide later on that you would like that option. The tent by itself weighs 2 pounds and 9 ounces.
The ventilation was adequate as it had zippered mesh panels at the rear, opposite the door. This tent, while it did stay warm, it created a lot of condensation overnight.
It does not include a rainfly. For these reasons, this tent is recommended in drier climates. The interior has two mesh pockets to help with storage and organization if you do not choose to purchase the vestibule.
GeerTop 2-Person Tent
Another 2-person option, the GeerTop 2-Person Tent is a good purchase if you are going to be in wetter conditions. The tent material features a water-resistant finish that did the job of keeping things nice and dry.
The material also appears to be more durable than others that were tested. The seams are double-stitched and sealed, adding to the durability and waterproofing.
With the double fabric layer design, the GeerTop is a versatile choice for all 4-seasons. Just add the outer layer, and you will have a tent that is the wind, snow, and rain-ready.
Even with both layers, this tent weighs only 6.4 pounds, so it is an excellent option if you are backpacking during any season.
The North Face Mountain 25
The North Face Mountain has a two-person capacity. A vestibule is included, and this tent has two doors. The set up was not the easiest, but it lacked ease; it made up for its instability. Using a combination of pole sleeves and clips, this tent feels very solid. It also has zippers that glow in the dark, which is a nice touch.
This tent was incredibly warm, even as temperatures dropped. It even includes four additional snow stakes. A polyurethane port window is included, and it is cold-crack tested to -60 Fahrenheit.
This is an excellent option for those cold winter nights. Another nice touch was the eight interior pockets and several internal loops for hanging things.
It is not the most lightweight at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, but it is worth the extra weight if you are going to be camping in cold weather.
Flytop Double Layer Backpacking Tent
If you are looking for a 1-person tent, the Flytop Double Layer Backpacking Tent is one to consider.
Set up was easy for one person, which is great if you are making a solo trip. A snow skirt is included with this tent, so you are set to take it out in snowy conditions. The seams are sealed, and the interior stayed dry and relatively warm.
This tent is one of the most affordable options on the list. It could be a little lighter at 5 pounds and 9 ounces, but of course, that is a factor when you consider the low price point.
The stakes did bend a little bit, so be cautious with that. And the interior was not the roomiest, but it works if you are not super tall.
Black Diamond Eldorado
The Black Diamond Eldorado has a 2-person capacity and has a single door. The tent does not come with a vestibule, but one can be purchased separately if you want it to store your gear.
It has two vents at the peak and a hooded vent over the door and one at the tent’s bottom. With the vents and the breathable, single-wall fabric, the inside stayed dry overnight. Set up was easy for one person to handle, although it would have been nicer to have standard pole clips for the interior poles.
The tie system was not as easy, so this can cause some frustration. It weighs 4 pounds and 8 ounces, which is the right size if you are backpacking. One other downside of the tent is that it does not have sealed seams. While it stayed relatively dry, this is something to keep in mind if you are in a rainy area.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Expedition
Rounding out this list is the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Expedition. This tent has a 2-person capacity and weighs 5 pounds and 5 ounces. It was roomy on the inside and was very easy to set up, and it is very stable. It has a single door for entry and does not have a vestibule.
The seams are sealed and a large ceiling vent keeps the tent dry. It also includes a fly for wet conditions to keep the rain out.
One advantage of this tent is its proprietary nylon that is specifically engineered for maximum durability. The pattern prevents tears and provides extra protection against the elements. This tent is ready for high altitudes and snowy conditions.
The 4-Season Tent Explained
A 4-Season tent is one that, like its name suggests, is good for all four seasons.
However, something to keep in mind is that there are a wide range of climates, and a lot of the tents excel in one type of weather and maybe only average in another weather condition.
Most often, a 4-Season tent refers to one that is good in winter. This can mean that it could be too hot in warmer seasons.
Four-season tents typically have thicker poles or more rigid framing to accommodate snow, ice, and high winds. They often have no mesh on the walls. Instead, polyester material is used to keep the inside of the tent warmer.
This blocks wind, sand, or dirt from entering the tent as well as providing warmth.
Vents are often included in the design to allow the tent to be more breathable to reduce condensation. This feature is more frequently used during warmer times, so this may not be an issue if you are strictly using it in winter.
Four-season tents often feature vestibules, and a rain fly to block wind, snow, and rain.
While a 3-season tent can provide you with a lot of camping time, purchasing and storing both a 3-season tent and 4-season tent is unnecessary. A 4-season tent can provide you with a durable structure that adds flexibility to your camping experience, no matter the weather.
A 4-season tent is designed to handle almost anything that comes your way while you are camping.
Tent capacity refers to how many people can sleep inside the tent. There are no standard size dimensions, so it can vary. Lighter models tend to be smaller on the inside to reduce the weight of fabric and poles.
Look carefully at the floor dimensions to find a model that will work well for you. You will want to purchase a capacity that will fit how many people you will typically be camping with.
However, if you are looking for a little more space and do not mind the extra weight, you can always purchase a larger tent than what you will need for your group.
A noticeable difference between 4-season tents and other models is the weight. When looking at the weight of the tent you are interested in purchasing, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Will you be backpacking or are you in a place where you will unload near the campsite? How many people will be helping you carry gear? What features will best suit when and where you are camping?
A tent that is good for all four seasons will be heavier because of the difference in the tent material, poles, and any extra features you may have, such as a vestibule.
One way to cut ounces is to look at the dimensions. A smaller floor will typically weigh less. Cutting out features is another way to reduce your load. However, be cautious when looking at lighter-weight 4-season tents as they may not be as durable in the long run.
While it may seem obvious, really think about how long you normally camp. If you are planning on being somewhere for several days or more, having the extra space in the tent might make the time you spend inside of it a bit more enjoyable.
While you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, chances are that you will catch at least one day of weather that keeps you inside all day. Another way that weight has been shaved off is walls that are more steeply sloped.
This reduces weight, but can also reduce comfort, especially if you are on the taller side.
To find the weight, look at the specifications of the tent. The minimum trail weight is the bare essentials while packaged weight refers to all of the components that you get when you purchase your tent.
Deciding what is mandatory for your trip can help you shave off ounces when you are packing.
Four-season tents feature nylon fabric instead of mesh. This seals in warmth. Because of this, 4-season options have more ventilation options. Unfortunately in the summer, nylon walls hold in heat just as they do in the winter.
To help with heat and prevent internal condensation, extra vents are needed feature for a 4-season tent. As you are sleeping, the moisture from your breath builds up inside of your shelter. This can get you and your gear wet.
Utilize your vents to increase airflow. If you cannot decide between two models, the vents might be the tiebreaker. Where vents are placed can give you a better view when you are in a tent. It is a small detail but can be a nice touch.
Read more: Best Tent Stakes for Camping in 2021
Features and Accessories
When it comes down to it, sometimes the small details are the ones that can really make your experience better. Some of the features and accessories are more ‘wants’ than needs, but here are a few things to keep an eye on.
One thing you will hear about often is a vestibule. Some tents come with one. If it is not included, it can often be purchased separately. Basically, this is an area near one of the tent’s doors that provides a transitional area. You can remove wet gear and clothes in this space to keep snow and water out of your tent.
A vestibule is also a great place to store extra gear. If it is windy out, it can also act as a windbreak, especially when you are cooking. Vestibules come in a few different types. If you are looking to purchase one, do some research to see which will work best for your tent and setup.
Rain flies and Footprints
Rain flies and footprints are not 100% necessary, but they can be a nice addition to your setup. An external fly can help keep things drier inside the tent and add more rigidity to the structure.
In dry or hot conditions, it is not necessary as it will trap in more heat. In rainy conditions, it can add an extra layer of waterproof protection. This article goes more into detail about why you may or may not want a rain fly.
A footprint is placed on the ground to help protect the bottom of your tent. As your body weight wears on the bottom of the tent, the footprint can protect it from becoming worn, ripped, or losing its weatherproof coating.
While they are handy, they also add weight and cost to your tent. However, it adds insulation and an extra layer of waterproofing.
When camping in larger groups, an extra door can be a nice addition for those late-night trips in and out of the tent. Having only one door is a cheaper option. Glow-in-the-dark zippers are also a nice treat instead of fumbling around in the dark.
Pole Clips and Color Coding
Pole sleeves provide a more robust tent structure overall. However, they can be a pain. Having poles that connect to the tent with clips can be nicer when setting things up and providing more airflow than sleeves, which reduces condensation.
Having color-coded poles can help you set up your tent quickly and easily. Knowing which poles go with which tent corner helps you get the correct setup on the first try with less frustration.