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The Best Four Season Tents of 2018

There are many good four-season contenders  and they each excel at different things. Some are stronger  some lighter  some more adaptable. Therefore  it is essential to figure out your needs and what types of trips you plan to use your tent for. Here  we're testing on the East Ridge of Eldorado  North Cascades  WA.
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor
Tuesday April 10, 2018
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Searching near and far for the best 4 season tent? Let us help. We analyzed the 50 most popular tents on the market and purchased the top 19 to put through our rigorous tests. Over the course of several years, our team of experts tested each model in horrendous weather to find out how each one held up. We also measured the weight of each one and determined their livability score. Not only did we travel to Antarctica, Greenland, Patagonia, Alaska, and more to ensure we covered critical aspects of cold-weather shelters, but we took them up on big mountain objectives like Aconcagua and Denali. If you're looking for a model that's the friendliest on your wallet or is for casual four-season conditions, or you're an alpine climber that believes light is right, this review will help guide you to your perfect tent.


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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $975.00 at MooseJaw$699.95 at MooseJaw
Compare at 2 sellers
$799.95 at MooseJaw
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$899 List$478.80 at Amazon
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Pros Mega storm worthy, highly resistant to snow loading, pitches quick from outside, great ventilation, three color options, multiple setup configurationsBomber, great durability, compact footprint, lighter than average weight, fantastic overall balance of strength, weight, and livability, best two pole model to get rained or stormed on in, ample guy pointsExtremely strong, spacious, bomber three-point self equalizing guylines, tight flap-free pitchSuper lightweight, spacious interior, made in the USA, bomber wind protection, only requires three stakes to pitch, custom features and colorsComes with nice hooped vestibule, lightweight, excellent ventilation, great headroom, compressible, bomber for a bivy-tent
Cons Not as comfortable as other mostly heavier models, zippers are small and slightly harder to grab, less headroom than other modelsPoor ventilation, slightly tricky setup, insufficient guylines includedBulky for a single wall tent, low ceiling height considering the floor space and weight, harder than average to set up, so-so ventilation, expensive, no vestibuleQuestionably thin diameter pole and its subsequent durability, all three stakes need to be bomber for the tent to be bomberExterior fabric isn't breathable and absorbed moisture faster than other models, guylines are light duty
Bottom Line Built for the worst conditions but still light and packable enough to consider for summer mountaineering.All-around uses are this model's forte - perfect for summertime mountaineering, light enough for multi-day ski tours, but still robust enough for when the weather turns gnar.Easily among the most bomber tents in this review; extreme storm protection at a respectable weight and its ToddTex ePTFE single-wall fabric handled moisture and condensation better than any other single wall model.A strong, spacious, and exceptionally light non-freestanding tunnel tent.A great all-around single wall tent that is packed full of features but still checks in at a respectable weight and is a fantastic price.
Rating Categories Hilleberg Jannu Eldorado Fitzroy Stephenson's Warmlite 2R Assault 2
Weight (27%)
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Specs Hilleberg Jannu Eldorado Fitzroy Stephenson's Warmlite 2R Assault 2
Floor Dimensions (inches) 93" x 57 in. 87" x 51 in. 93" x 60 in. 134" x 48-60 in. 82" x 45 in.
Peak Height (inches) 40 in. 43 in. 40 in. 41 in. 42 in.
Measured Weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag) 6.87 lbs 5.06 lbs 7.06 lbs 3.31 lbs 3.62 lbs

Updated April 2018
We've updated our 4 season tent review to ensure we've included the latest and greatest offerings. The winner of our Editors' Choice for the third year in a row, the Hilleberg Jannu, is still the cream of the crop. New to our fleet this year is the MSR Advance Pro, which has an excellent weight and packed size, while the Mountain Hardwear Trango is our Top Pick for Expedition Use. We've also included The North Face Assault 2 ($580), which offers a good value for the price, while the REI Arete ASL ($349), is a great double wall tent. Last but not least, the Stephenson's Warmlite 2R is our Top Pick for Backcountry Trips.

Best Overall 4 Season Tent


Hilleberg Jannu


Editors' Choice Award

$975.00
at MooseJaw
See It

Functional Weight: 6.87 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 93 x 57 in.
Strong sidewall
Highly resistant to snow loading
Pitches quick from outside
Great ventilation
Three color options
Not super comfortable
Small zippers

Before we even tallied the scores, we knew the Hilleberg Jannu was our overall favorite. It simply does everything we want, and it does it very well. This tent is one of the strongest on the market and is the most resistant to varying weather. It's also highly versatile, yet doesn't weigh you down, and packs up nicely. Even in stormy conditions, the set-up remains easy.

The main drawback to the Jannu is less space for cooking than in hooped-style tents (though hooped-styles are not as strong). If you're looking for a tent for mountaineering and alpine climbing in the lower 48, you don't need something as burly as this model. However, if you want the best of the best, the Jannu is hard to beat.

Read review: Hilleberg Jannu

Top Pick for All-Around Alpine Performance


Black Diamond Eldorado


Top Pick Award

$699.95
at MooseJaw
See It

Functional Weight: 5.06 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 87 x 51 in.
Bomber 2-pole design that is best in our fleet
Exceptionally durable
Fabric handled moisture and condensation as well as any single wall model
Compact footprint
Fantastic overall balance of strength, weight, and livability
Mediocre ventilation
Set-up takes practice to become proficient
Heavier than ultralight bivy tents

The Black Diamond Eldorado is one of the best all-around alpine models. It's storm worthy enough for trips to Alaska but is still light and compact enough for summertime alpine climbing. With that said, its design and features make it slightly more suited for the shorter alpine adventures and multi-day ski trips, which is great because that's what most people want to do. It also offers superior weather resistance (compared to other bivy tents) if you're planning to get heavy amounts of rain or snow.

It isn't as light as the new-wave bivy tents, which for short fair-weather trips are better (they are lighter and more compact). The set-up was also a little complicated and took some practice to master. However, if you are only going to own one 4 season tent for a variety of trips, the Eldorado isn't much heavier and is highly versatile.

Read review: Black Diamond Eldorado

Top Pick for Weight and Packed Size


Black Diamond Firstlight


Black Diamond Firstlight
Top Pick Award

$369.95
at Backcountry
See It

Functional Weight: 3.31 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 82" x 48 in.
Super light
Smallest packed size
Advantageous tiny footprint
Not completely waterproof
Not as easy to pitch as other models
Poor ventilation
Fabric doesn't breathe well
Not as wind resistant as other models

The Black Diamond Firstlight is hardly an all-around 4 season tent as it is only water resistant and not very wind resilient either. However, it works well enough for the majority of fair weather multiday alpine climbing and ski touring adventures. Why bring it if it isn't that storm-worthy and suffers from bad condensation? Because it packs down tiny and is super light. No other model takes up so little space in our pack like this one. The footprint is nice and small as well, so if there is room for two people to lay down, there's room for you to pitch the Firstlight. And while not bomber, it does shield you from light-to-moderate winds, it keeps the bugs out, and it will help its occupants maintain some level of dryness as long as it doesn't rain or snow too much or too hard.

Since this model is not the best for wetter conditions if you want something that is more storm worthy but offers less interior floor space and no bug netting (a deal breaker for many lower-48 climbers), check out the MSR Advance Pro. If you need something that is a little more versatile that will perform better in wetter conditions and offer more interior room, check out the BD Eldorado above. However, for fair weather alpine climbing and ski trips, the Firstlight's weight and most of all low packed volume is hard to beat.

Read Review: Black Diamond Firstlight

Top Pick for Lightweight Alpine Climbing


MSR Advance Pro


Top Pick Award

$549.95
at MooseJaw
See It

Functional Weight: 3.22 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 82 x 42 in.
Super light
Small packed size
Bomber
Easy set-up
Advantageous tiny footprint
Uncomfortable
Poor ventilation
Fabric doesn't breathe well
No bug mesh

The MSR Advance Pro is a new Top Pick this year. It's our favorite bivy tent for harsher conditions and one of our favorite models for multi-day ski touring or on any trip where low weight and a minimum packed volume is desirable, but a storm-worthy shelter is a necessity. The MSR Advance Pro is about the same weight as the lightest models in our review (2 lbs 14 oz for just the tent and the poles and a 3 lbs 3 oz packed weight) and is one of the smallest when packed. What sets it apart from other bivy tents is it's easy to set up, and it's the only super light model that pitches from the outside. It's also incredibly wind resilient. Additionally, the poles are incredibly robust, and they are always connected at the mid-point, significantly increasing strength. It's crafted from a sturdy fabric and has bomber guy-points.

At 24 square feet, it ranks last for interior floor space (though it is only marginally smaller than most other bivy-tents in our review). It also does not offer the best performance in rainy conditions, and there is no bug netting to circulate air at lower elevation camps which can be a reason to go with the significantly less storm-worthy BD Firstlight above (which does have bug netting).

Read review: MSR Advance Pro

Top Pick for Expedition Use


Mountain Hardwear Trango 2


The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2
Top Pick Award

$552.99
(15% off)
at MooseJaw
See It

Functional Weight: 9.81 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 92 x 58 in.
Time-tested design in the world's worst conditions
Two doors
Huge hooped vestibule
Decent versatility for lower elevation use
Easy-to-pitch
The most interior floor space
Significantly heavier and bulkier than others

The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 is our Top Pick for extended trips and expedition use. This time-tested model has proven itself countless times in the some of the planet's harshest conditions, atop the world's highest mountains. If you know you are going to log some serious tent-time, the Trango 2 is the tent you'd likely want to do it in. It sports several features that will help you sit out a vicious storm during a long-haul adventure. The high and spacious vestibule was our favorite model to cook in, and its clip design is quick and easy to pitch, even in strong winds.

While it is the heaviest and bulkiest model in our review, it's also the most spacious. If you're spending days on end tent-bound due to bad weather, you'll not regret the extra couple of pounds on the approach. The Trango 2 is a little overkill for most mountaineering in the lower-48, so in that sense, it's not the most versatile. But if you're heading out on months-long journeys to the remote corners of the globe, you'll feel right at home in this one.

Read review: Mountain Hardwear Trango 2

Best Buy for a Single Wall Model


The North Face Assault 2


Best Buy Award

$478.80
(19% off)
at Amazon
See It

Functional Weight: 3.62 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 82 x 45 in.
Lightweight
Decent headroom and interior space
Good ventilation
Comes with a detachable vestibule
Reflective Kevlar guylines with camming adjusters
1.5 doors
Easy to set-up
So-so breathability
Mediocre condensation management
Not as wind resistant as other models
The Assault 2 was updated during our testing period, gaining some fabric updates in addition to a price increase. See the individual review for more info about the Assault's transformation!

The North Face Assault 2 is our Best Bang for the Buck for a single wall tent. This was an easy decision for us, as the Assault 2 is packed full of usable features, costs $580, and is a respectable weight. It's around $100 less than a majority of its single wall competition, and it comes with a detachable vestibule, which is not included with any other single wall model in our review. Adding to its overall value, the Assault 2 is versatile, thanks to its many vents. It's above average as far as interior floor space goes, and the short cross poles increase headroom, allowing the Assault 2 to feel larger than most bivy tents.

We weren't that impressed with its performance in wet weather conditions though; the fabric seemed to saturate faster than others in rain or wet snow. We also had some condensation issues, as the fabric is not very breathable. But, the price is right on the Assault 2, and the whole packaged is livable and versatile.

Read review: The North Face Assault 2

Best Buy for a Double Wall Model


REI Arete ASL 2


Best Buy Award

$399.00
at REI
See It

Functional Weight: 3.62 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 88 x 60 in.
Relatively lightweight, particularly for a double wall tent
Great price point
Interior fabric handles condensation well
Longer-than-average dimensions make this a good option for taller people
Decent headroom
One of the least bomber 3-pole designs
Vestibule is tiny
Only one door

The REI Arete ASL is our Best Buy winner for a double wall model. It's lightweight, for a double wall tent, didn't give us much condensation buildup, and has good headroom, which our taller testers appreciated. Best of all is the price! It's $200-$400 less than many similarly designed tents, which is no small chunk of change.

While it is a stormworthy option that will perform well for a variety of four-season applications, it isn't a go-anywhere, do-anything shelter, as it does not provide top-notch storm protection in extreme environments. It's ideal for summer mountaineering on peaks like Mt. Rainier and winter camping near or below treeline, but it doesn't fare particularly well in moderate-to-strong winds. If you're hoping not to be out in those conditions anyways, and are looking for a great value option, the Arete ASL is tough to beat.

Read review: REI Arete ASL 2

Best Backcountry Touring Tent


Stephenson's Warmlite 2R


Stephenson's Warmlite 2R
Top Pick Award

$899 List
List Price
See It

Functional Weight: 3.31 lbs | Dimensions (L x W): 13 x 48-60 in.
Super light
Spacious interior
Made in the USA
Bomber wind protection
Only requires three stakes
Custom features and colors
Price
Questionably thin diameter pole durability
Rocky terrain can be challenging to get a tight-pitch

The Stephenson's Warmlite Two-Person Tent (Formerly the Warmlite 2R) is our Top Pick for multi-day ski tours. When you're on extended backcountry tours, weight matters. Leaving your tent behind on an extended ski tour is not an option, and you'll almost always have your tent in your pack (as opposed to a sled). The 3.3 pounds never felt overly cumbersome on our backs, and the interior is spacious, which is helpful for the loftier sleeping bags and clothing you bring while out in the backcountry.

When alpine climbing and mountaineering, the Warmlite Two Person Tent is not always ideal. It's a non-freestanding tunnel design with a larger footprint, which can make it more challenging to set up, especially in smaller tent sites. Those disadvantages disappear while ski touring, where you are nearly always camped on snow. This means you'll never have a hard time staking the tent out (skis, poles, or shovels make for quick and bomber anchors). If you're more of a backcountry touring winter camper rather than an alpine environment one, the Warmlite is the way to go.

Read review: Stephenson's Warmlite 2R


Analysis and Test Results


We assessed each 4 season tent based on its weather resistance (looking at how it stood up to heavy snow loading, winds, and rain), its weight, packed size, durability, livability, adaptability, versatility across climates and applications, and features. Check out the table above to see where each ranked in Overall Performance.

Some of our test group  including (front to back) the Black Diamond Awhahnee  Eldorado  Fitzroy  Firstlight  Marmot  Alpinist (right)  and Mountain Hardwear EV2 (left). Seven double wall tents lie in the rear.
Some of our test group, including (front to back) the Black Diamond Awhahnee, Eldorado, Fitzroy, Firstlight, Marmot, Alpinist (right), and Mountain Hardwear EV2 (left). Seven double wall tents lie in the rear.

Value


In a category where prices range from just over $300 to almost $1200, finding the right model for you without overpaying is key. Just as how we trade off certain criteria in every purchase, such as livability vs.packed weight and size, we often consider the price of our gear and want the most value possible. The chart below represents the price of each model vs. the score that they received in our side-by-side tests. The best value products are found on the lower right side of the graph. Not surprisingly, that's where our Best Buy winners turned up. The North Face Assault 2 and REI Arete ASL both represent a good overall performance score at a great price.


Weather Resistance


This variable assesses a tent's ability to protect you from the outside environment, whether that be snow, rain, or wind. We considered pole design, pole type, fabrics, vestibules, and strength features. These include the number of pole intersections, the number of points, and the mechanism for attaching the inner tent to the poles, along with the number of points and mechanism for attaching the outer tent to the poles. Finally, we also looked at the number and quality of guy points.

We looked at each model analytically for its storm resistance but also tested each tent in the field over several years. We compared them on how they handled snow loading  strong winds  and rain. Here the Black Diamond Eldorado is shown with its optional vestibule put to the test during an early season snowstorm.
We looked at each model analytically for its storm resistance but also tested each tent in the field over several years. We compared them on how they handled snow loading, strong winds, and rain. Here the Black Diamond Eldorado is shown with its optional vestibule put to the test during an early season snowstorm.

We share many of these specifications in each individual review. What we learned from our testing is that the most significant factors influencing wind resistance and contributing to overall strength are pole design and pole quality.


Pole Design

The most significant factors contributing to a tent's strength are the number of poles, overall pole design, and the number of pole crossings relative to the size and external height. More crossings equates to more strength. While the Black Diamond Eldorado is strong, it's not as robust as the Black Diamond Fitzroy. Both use the same fabric and the same external height, but the Fitzroy has more poles and more pole crossing.

All the tents in our review are suitable for 4-season conditions  but some can't quite handle the harsher end of the spectrum. This photo shows 60+ mph winds ripping over the upper West Buttress on Denali.
All the tents in our review are suitable for 4-season conditions, but some can't quite handle the harsher end of the spectrum. This photo shows 60+ mph winds ripping over the upper West Buttress on Denali.

How durable do you need your 4 season tent to be? That, of course, depends on what you plan to be doing. All of the contenders we reviewed are robust models that will excel in most summertime mountaineering adventures and modest winter use. If you are planning on logging any time in massive mountain ranges or will be spending extended amounts of time above treeline, then you should consider a beefier tent with more poles and pole crossings, as well as a burlier overall design.

Not all tent poles are created equal; we delve into pole construction by looking at the diameter and construction quality of each tent's poles.
Not all tent poles are created equal; we delve into pole construction by looking at the diameter and construction quality of each tent's poles.

Tent Poles

In addition to design, the next biggest contributor to strength is the tent poles themselves. Tent poles used in the tents we tested range from 8mm to 10.25mm in diameter. The majority are aluminum and made by DAC, but some are made by Easton and are either aluminum, various composites, or carbon fiber. DAC Featherlite NSL Green Poles are the best available aluminum poles found in mainstream tents, with a few smaller manufacturers using Easton poles (which might be slightly stronger for their weight). One company, Stephenson's Warmlite, uses custom aluminum poles that are strong for their weight, though users have had complaints about durability.

The strong winds (50+ mph) of the Kitchatna Spires bending  but not breaking  the poles of a Mountain Hardwear Trango with Ryan O'Connell looking on pondering why.......
The strong winds (50+ mph) of the Kitchatna Spires bending, but not breaking, the poles of a Mountain Hardwear Trango with Ryan O'Connell looking on pondering why.......

Fabrics

Four season tent fabrics range from ultralight, non-waterproof, wind-breaking materials, as on the Black Diamond Firstlight and HiLight, to light and robust silicone coated nylon, found on the Hilleberg models, including the Nammatj, Tarra, and Jannu. We've also tested beefy laminates (think a 3-layer Gore-Tex jacket) found in the single-wall Black Diamond Fitzroy, Eldorado, and Ahwahnee tents. We break down each tent's specific fabric in their reviews.

The Hilleberg Jannu uses Kerlon 1800 silnyon  which  despite its slippery feel  has a breaking strength of 40 lbs and will hold up longer overtime to UV and water damage. Why doesn't every company coat both sides with silicone? Because it's a fair bit more expensive and some companies claim it's overkill. However  we have yet to find anyone that debates that it isn't better long term.
The Hilleberg Jannu uses Kerlon 1800 silnyon, which, despite its slippery feel, has a breaking strength of 40 lbs and will hold up longer overtime to UV and water damage. Why doesn't every company coat both sides with silicone? Because it's a fair bit more expensive and some companies claim it's overkill. However, we have yet to find anyone that debates that it isn't better long term.

Coatings: Silnylon vs. Polyurethane

There is a difference between a tent covered on both sides with silicone, called silnylon, and fabric coated on the outside with silicone and the inside with polyurethane (PU). The latter is cheaper but not as durable and strong. The most robust fly fabric used on the 4 season tents tested is Hilleberg Kerlon 1800 silnyon, which has a breaking strength of 40 lb. You can find this material on their Nammatj and Tarra tents.

Black Diamond's Bibler line of tents used a proprietary ePTFE fabric (similar to a 3-layer Gore-Tex) called ToddTex. While heavier and not as packable as other models  it's insanely strong and breathes noticeably better than all other single wall models. It has thousands of micro hairs built into the fabric to help moisture pass through it more efficiently. The BD Ahwahnee is shown here on the south side of Mt. Baker.
Black Diamond's Bibler line of tents used a proprietary ePTFE fabric (similar to a 3-layer Gore-Tex) called ToddTex. While heavier and not as packable as other models, it's insanely strong and breathes noticeably better than all other single wall models. It has thousands of micro hairs built into the fabric to help moisture pass through it more efficiently. The BD Ahwahnee is shown here on the south side of Mt. Baker.

PTFE Laminates

Some 4 season tents, like the Rab Latok and the Black Diamond/Bibler tents, the Eldorado, Fitzroy, and Ahwahnee, use a burly PTFE laminate, which is similar to your waterproof and breathable jacket. It's also stronger than most silnylon but is a little heavier and bulkier.

Guylines  as seen here on the Brooks Range Invasion  have far more holding power than the lowest corners of the tents because they hold from the middle  which results in better leverage against the wind. We think having four guy points is a minimum for a four-season tent; 6-8 are ideal for expedition climbing in harsher climates.
Guylines, as seen here on the Brooks Range Invasion, have far more holding power than the lowest corners of the tents because they hold from the middle, which results in better leverage against the wind. We think having four guy points is a minimum for a four-season tent; 6-8 are ideal for expedition climbing in harsher climates.

Guyline Points

Most of the 4 season tents tested had between 4-10 guyline tie-out points. We liked having at least four, though six or seven was ideal for most alpine climbing and various stormy ski trips. For expedition use, we preferred having at least six but would rather have eight. Contrary to most backpacker's beliefs, the guylines have far more holding power than the lower corners of the tents, because the guylines pull from the middle of the tent, resulting in a better angle against the wind to keep your shelter in place.

The Hilleberg Tarra standing strong in high winds  Red Rocks  Nevada. (The tents at left are deformed or broken.) The Tarra has four 10.25mm DAC Featherlite NSL Green poles  the strongest available  and a silynon fly fabric with a 40 lb. tear strength.
The Hilleberg Tarra standing strong in high winds, Red Rocks, Nevada. (The tents at left are deformed or broken.) The Tarra has four 10.25mm DAC Featherlite NSL Green poles, the strongest available, and a silynon fly fabric with a 40 lb. tear strength.

The Most Weather Resistant

The most robust and weather-resistant 4 season tents that will withstand the strongest winds and the most substantial snow loads are the Hilleberg Tarra and the Black Diamond Fitzroy. They were closely followed by The North Face Mountain 25, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, and the Hilleberg Jannu. Besides the Fitzroy, the single-wall model with the greatest static strength is the Black Diamond Eldorado; both of these competitors are a step down in their storm worthiness from the models mentioned above.

If you are looking for a Denali storm-worthy model or something equivalent, we would recommend looking at contenders that scored a 9 or a 10 in this metric and would not consider any model scoring lower than an 8.

The North Face Mountain 25's four-pole design  plus an additional pole for the hooped vestibule  is the most common pole-design among 4-season shelters (they maximize strength and pole crossings for the given weight). The Trango 2 and Black Diamond Fitzroy feature very similar designs.
The North Face Mountain 25's four-pole design, plus an additional pole for the hooped vestibule, is the most common pole-design among 4-season shelters (they maximize strength and pole crossings for the given weight). The Trango 2 and Black Diamond Fitzroy feature very similar designs.

Tents like The North Face Assault or Black Diamond Ahwahnee were not as sturdy, despite having 2.5 poles as the third half-length pole. Both of these models acted like a little sail, and as a result, the winds pushed harder on these shelters, and their poles were subsequently further stressed.

Weight is an important consideration of any shelter since it often lives on our backs during the day. With most options  it's a weight and packed size vs. livability trade-off. The shorter the trip  the more we'd lean towards going lighter and more compressible. The longer the trip  we'd opt for tents with more floor space and features  aiming to make them more versatile and comfortable. Here the MSR Advance Pro is shown camped on the Forbidden Glacier after nearly 6 000ft of elevation gain and a couple of rappels. Outings like this one are where models that are more on the lighter end of the spectrum offer an advantage.
Weight is an important consideration of any shelter since it often lives on our backs during the day. With most options, it's a weight and packed size vs. livability trade-off. The shorter the trip, the more we'd lean towards going lighter and more compressible. The longer the trip, we'd opt for tents with more floor space and features, aiming to make them more versatile and comfortable. Here the MSR Advance Pro is shown camped on the Forbidden Glacier after nearly 6,000ft of elevation gain and a couple of rappels. Outings like this one are where models that are more on the lighter end of the spectrum offer an advantage.

Weight and Packed Size


We ranked each 4 season tent based on their weight (which we measured ourselves) and their packed volume. We measured both their minimum weight and their packed weight but exclusively used their packed weights for our comparisons. The minimum weight is just the tent, fly, and poles; no guylines, no pole sack, no stacks, etc. That's the minimum amount you can get it down to, should you be looking for the lightest pack possible. However, since it's more useful to carry everything in their stuff sacks, we decided to compare what you'd likely bring for that tent, which was the minimum weight plus enough guylines and stakes, and a pole bag.


Of all the comparison categories in our review, this is where we saw the most significant differences. For example, the lightest tents tested are the MSR Advance Pro, Stephenson's Warmlite 2R, Rab Latok, and Black Diamond Firstlight and HiLight, which all have packed weights of around 3 lbs 5 oz. All of these tents had "minimal weights" of about 2 lbs 13 oz with no stakes, guylines, and pole bag.

The North Face Assault has a packed weight of 3 lbs 10 ounces but provided a lot more ventilation and versatility for only five extra ounces. On the other end of the spectrum was the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, which weighs 8.88 pounds. The Hilleberg Tarra was even more cumbersome, weighing in at 9.5 pounds.

Three of the smaller packed size options in our review pictured here (in their included stuff sacks)  from left to right: the Direkt2  Invasion  and Warmlite 2R. Note the crampons for size comparison.
Three of the smaller packed size options in our review pictured here (in their included stuff sacks), from left to right: the Direkt2, Invasion, and Warmlite 2R. Note the crampons for size comparison.

We discovered similar results when it came to packed volume, with some contenders taking up as little as one-quarter the space of the bulkiest. Why not just buy a lighter tent? If you are primarily attempting shorter trips (less than 3-5 days), then this is a great idea. But as you would imagine, a lighter, more compact tent is less versatile and comfortable for extended hangouts, and often not as strong in gnarlier weather either.

It's important to take into account your needs and what you plan to do with your product. With so many options available  it can be overwhelming at first. But read on to help pick which option is best for you. Here Ian Nicholson and the Eldorado are camped below Forbidden Peak.
It's important to take into account your needs and what you plan to do with your product. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming at first. But read on to help pick which option is best for you. Here Ian Nicholson and the Eldorado are camped below Forbidden Peak.

Like weight, packed size is often the most crucial considerations for alpine climbers, who may take 30-50-liter packs for many days out in a range of conditions. The Black Diamond Firstlight and HiLight are the most compact models available and are less than a quarter the packed size of some double-wall tents. The MSR Advance Pro and the Rab Latok are about 5-10% larger in packed volume despite being the same weight as the most compressible models. The REI Arete ASL 2, MSR Remote 2, and Hilleberg Jannu are the most compact double-wall tents and are only slightly less packable than the Black Diamond Ahwahnee or Black Diamond Fitzroy.

The Size of a Tent's Footprint

A tent's footprint is the amount of real estate it takes up, not to be confused with the "other" footprint that protects the floor of your tent. For many users, this might not be on their radar but could save headaches down the road. Ledges or even camp/bivy sites can be small, as is the case in many areas of the Cascades, Tetons, Rockies, or Sierras. The tent with the smallest footprint was the MSR Advance Pro which we could pitch anywhere two people would have a chance of laying down. The Rab Latok, BD Firstlight, BD HiLight, and BD Eldorado were not too far behind.

Small footprints aren't just important in the greater ranges. Here Dan Whitmore appreciates the small footprint of the Firstlight  waking up with nearly 2 000 feet of air below after a stormy night on a very small bivy ledge. Buttress of Mt. Goode  North Cascades  WA.
Small footprints aren't just important in the greater ranges. Here Dan Whitmore appreciates the small footprint of the Firstlight, waking up with nearly 2,000 feet of air below after a stormy night on a very small bivy ledge. Buttress of Mt. Goode, North Cascades, WA.

Livability


Here we assessed how tolerable it was to spend time in each tent. We looked at door and vestibule design, zipper quality, the number of pockets, peak height, floor area, and vestibule area. Then we assessed the overall vibe. Was it dark and gloomy or bright and cheerful? Did the tent get wet when someone entered in the rain? Do the pockets hold what you want them to hold? Are two people cramped? How well do two full-sized pads fit? Can you sit up, face your partner, and play cards?

How much liveability and floor space you want depends on the types of trips you'll be going on. For shorter trips  during times of generally stable weather  we prefer a lighter and smaller tent. Hopefully  we won't be hanging out in it much and it's lighter and more compact in our packs.
How much liveability and floor space you want depends on the types of trips you'll be going on. For shorter trips, during times of generally stable weather, we prefer a lighter and smaller tent. Hopefully, we won't be hanging out in it much and it's lighter and more compact in our packs.

We also considered if the fly protects the inside from splashback or water dripping off it. Here are our ratings for each models livability. As a reference, the average size sleeping pad is 20 x 72 inches or 10 square feet.


The most comfortable tent for extended periods is the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, with its 40 square feet of livable space, which was the most interior room in our review. It also featured well-thought-out pockets and boasted one of the more prominent vestibules in our fleet among the options we tested. It's worth noting that The North Face Mountain 25 and Hilleberg Tarra were close seconds, with the MSR Remote 2 coming in the next wave.

Among single wall models, the BD Ahwahnee was hands down the most pleasant, with the Fitzroy coming in a distant second; it has slightly more floor space but quite a low ceiling height. All of these models offered different advantages but were all nice to log time in while inside. In contrast, the Rab Latok Summit has the shortest height (off the ground), and you can't even come close to sitting up in it, making it the least "livable" tent. The Advance Pro was tight, but far more livable than the Latok; and, while small, you could still fit two regular sized sleeping pads side-by-side.

The importance of a four-season tent's livability depends on the user's needs. Don't just assume that you do or don't need a more comfortable living space. Are you planning on using your tent for trips to Alaska or climbing basic general mountaineering routes? Are you planning on climbing up and over technical routes with your tent on your back? Here Graham Zimmerman and Ryan O'Connell duel it out in yet another game of chess while attempting to climb the west face of Kichatna Spire.
The importance of a four-season tent's livability depends on the user's needs. Don't just assume that you do or don't need a more comfortable living space. Are you planning on using your tent for trips to Alaska or climbing basic general mountaineering routes? Are you planning on climbing up and over technical routes with your tent on your back? Here Graham Zimmerman and Ryan O'Connell duel it out in yet another game of chess while attempting to climb the west face of Kichatna Spire.

Ease of Set-Up


The chart below gives you a picture of how each tent ranked in the Ease of Set-Up metric.


Pole Clips, Pole Sleeves, or Internal Poles?

An age-old debate which we'll decipher for you here. The truth is that each style has its advantages and disadvantages of ease and speed versus strength.

Pole Clips

Pole clips are the quickest and easiest way to set up a tent and offer the advantage (in the case of double wall tents) of letting more moisture move around the tent, resulting in less condensation buildup. The disadvantage of clips is that they are heavier and don't spread the force of wind or snow as evenly along the length of the pole (compared with pole sleeves). An example is the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2.

Some models  like the Mountain 25 (pictured here) use pole sleeves rather than clips. Sleeves do a slightly better job of supporting the pole while spreading out pressure more evenly. They can also be more challenging to pitch  particularly in strong winds.
Some models, like the Mountain 25 (pictured here) use pole sleeves rather than clips. Sleeves do a slightly better job of supporting the pole while spreading out pressure more evenly. They can also be more challenging to pitch, particularly in strong winds.

Pole Sleeves

Pole sleeves are pretty easy unless it's incredibly windy; then you have to be very careful. While sleeves are easy in pleasant weather, they are not as easy or as quick as clips. When it's windy, you have to use more caution while setting up a tent with pole sleeves; a pole is more vulnerable, with the tent acting like a kite until the whole tent is erected and can support itself.

One small gust can bend or snap the poles if you aren't holding the tent correctly. Once set up, they are equally, if not more, bomber because the pressure will spread out evenly. Pole sleeves don't let moisture circulate as nicely as clips, but this is a smaller difference in materials; examples include The North Face Mountain 25 and the Hilleberg Nammatj. Some models use a hybrid of pole sleeves and clips, like the MSR Advance Pro and the REI Arete ASL 2.

The Black Diamond Eldorado has an internal pole design. The advantage of this design is that it's lighter weight and marginally less bulky overall  and the poles are exceptionally well supported. The disadvantage is a slower set-up time which takes more practice  and if it's snowing or raining  it's hard to keep the interior of the tent completely dry.
The Black Diamond Eldorado has an internal pole design. The advantage of this design is that it's lighter weight and marginally less bulky overall, and the poles are exceptionally well supported. The disadvantage is a slower set-up time which takes more practice, and if it's snowing or raining, it's hard to keep the interior of the tent completely dry.

Internal Poles

Internal poles are found in lighter weight tents that you usually have to set up from the inside; this is the lightest design because the body of the tent itself is supporting poles. You need very little if any, extra fabric or materials to support the poles. Thus, all of the lightest bivy style 4 season tents use an internal pole design. This design is also strong and can be as durable and robust as a pole-sleeve tent with similar pole structure. The primary disadvantage is that these are the most difficult and time-consuming to set up. If it's windy, it's a pain to crawl inside and set up. Examples are the Black Diamond Eldorado, BD Firstlight, and Nemo Tenshi.

Comparing different styles of tents. The Marmot Alpinist  left  uses external clips  which are the easiest and quickest to set up but slightly heavier and bulkier. The North Face Mountain 25 uses sleeves  which dissipate force better along the length of the pole but slightly reduce air circulation and are more time-consuming to set up. The two right-hand photos are of a Black Diamond Ahwahnee that uses the tent itself to support the poles and twist ties to help keep them in place. This is the lightest system but the most challenging to set up.
Comparing different styles of tents. The Marmot Alpinist, left, uses external clips, which are the easiest and quickest to set up but slightly heavier and bulkier. The North Face Mountain 25 uses sleeves, which dissipate force better along the length of the pole but slightly reduce air circulation and are more time-consuming to set up. The two right-hand photos are of a Black Diamond Ahwahnee that uses the tent itself to support the poles and twist ties to help keep them in place. This is the lightest system but the most challenging to set up.

Correctly setting up a tent on snow or ice can take several minutes to several hours. Chopping a tent platform or cutting blocks to build a wind wall is time-consuming and hard work. A tent that sets up quickly can save energy; a tent that pitches promptly in high winds is even better. The fastest tents to set up are the Hilleberg models, which are set-up from the outside (the inner tent is suspended from the outer tent), with a combination of lower pole sleeves and clips.

Of all the single-wall tents tested, the MSR Advance Pro and The North Face Assault were the easiest to pitch and both featured a similar design. Both have external pole sleeves, meaning you don't have to crawl inside them to pitch them. But what sets them apart is the sleeve is closed off at the end; this means that when you are setting up the tent, you don't have to snap the first side of the pole into place.

The Jannu's three different vestibule configurations are shown here. The middle is our lead tester's preferred option because it is easier to enter and exit. You can also roll the vestibule away completely!! (not shown).
The Jannu's three different vestibule configurations are shown here. The middle is our lead tester's preferred option because it is easier to enter and exit. You can also roll the vestibule away completely!! (not shown).

The MSR Advance Pro takes this one step further, as you only have to push half of the pole through the sleeve, and the other half of the pole is held in place by plastic clips.

The Jannu's pole structure is easy to set up  even with one person in high winds (while wearing gloves). After staking the base of the tent out  the poles insert into partial pole sleeves (shown here)  that stand up by themselves.
The Jannu's pole structure is easy to set up, even with one person in high winds (while wearing gloves). After staking the base of the tent out, the poles insert into partial pole sleeves (shown here), that stand up by themselves.

Among double wall models, the Hilleberg contenders were BY FAR the easiest to pitch. Unlike most double wall tents, where you pitch the body with the poles and then throw the fly over the top of everything, the Hilleberg models are suspended from the fly, and you erect the entire thing from the outside. This minimizes the amount of time your tent could become damaged by the wind or filled with snow. The photo above shows one of the reasons why it's so easy to pitch Hilleberg tents.

Using a four-season tent for family or warmer weather three season camping can be less than ideal. This depends on how adaptive your tent is  which can range from uncomfortable to rather pleasant. Here tester Ian Nicholson takes a collection of four season tents on a wet low elevation family camping trip.
Using a four-season tent for family or warmer weather three season camping can be less than ideal. This depends on how adaptive your tent is, which can range from uncomfortable to rather pleasant. Here tester Ian Nicholson takes a collection of four season tents on a wet low elevation family camping trip.

Adaptability and Versatility


Versatility is an important factor in choosing a tent. Many people who are looking to buy a $500-$1100 tent will want to use it on a range of trips and in multiple climates. A tent's versatility refers to how well it performs across a range of conditions and climates. All 4 season tents are designed with snowy, windy conditions in mind; however, we also compared how well they performed in the rain, warmer three-season travel, and desert climates. We also analyzed how well they delivered from a bivy tent perspective and threw in modest alpine conditions and full-blown expedition use.


In the end, tents that are more versatile are a better value. As a whole, most of the double-wall tents scored better than the single-wall tents because they handled warmer conditions both with and without moisture. There were exceptions, like the Black Diamond Ahwahnee, which featured two full-size doors with bug doors underneath; despite being a single-wall tent, it was possibly the best four season tent tested for three season use. The Trango 2, Mountain 25, and MSR Remote also fared well and would be good options for a sturdy option for sea-kayaking or both three and four-season use.

Versatility is important for those who don't want to buy a quiver of tents. It's hard to get a tent that's perfect for everything but some are certainly more versatile than others. Pictured here is The North Face Mountain 25 that has been used for extended expeditions on three continents  as well as summer alpine climbing in the North Cascades. Here we used it for a week-long sea kayaking trip on Vancouver Island's West Coast in the Broken Islands. It is worth noting that because of exposure to higher winds and with weight and bulk being slightly less of an issue  many sea kayakers may choose a three or four season tent.
Versatility is important for those who don't want to buy a quiver of tents. It's hard to get a tent that's perfect for everything but some are certainly more versatile than others. Pictured here is The North Face Mountain 25 that has been used for extended expeditions on three continents, as well as summer alpine climbing in the North Cascades. Here we used it for a week-long sea kayaking trip on Vancouver Island's West Coast in the Broken Islands. It is worth noting that because of exposure to higher winds and with weight and bulk being slightly less of an issue, many sea kayakers may choose a three or four season tent.

Adaptability

A tent scored higher in this category when it had features that allowed us to use it in different ways. For example, a removable vestibule, as is found on some single-wall tents, or a removable inner tent, which allows you to use and pitch your one tent in different ways, was helpful.

Shown here is the Mountain Hardwear Trango on a sea kayak expedition in Chilean Patagonia. Double wall tents work well in both the worst winter conditions and in challenging three-season conditions.
Shown here is the Mountain Hardwear Trango on a sea kayak expedition in Chilean Patagonia. Double wall tents work well in both the worst winter conditions and in challenging three-season conditions.

All Hilleberg tents have removable inner tents that allow you to have a lighter floorless shelter for summer backpacking and fast and light winter trips. The floorless option is excellent for mountaineering because you can dig down into the snow to create a cooking area.

Inside the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 without the inner tent. Going floorless saves 30.9 oz. for three-season backpacking or fast and light winter travel. The walls seal fairly well with the ground and even minimizes the number of flying insects from entering. Setting up with only the fly and poles is possible with nearly all Hilleberg designs.
Inside the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 without the inner tent. Going floorless saves 30.9 oz. for three-season backpacking or fast and light winter travel. The walls seal fairly well with the ground and even minimizes the number of flying insects from entering. Setting up with only the fly and poles is possible with nearly all Hilleberg designs.

Ventilation

Ventilation can have a dramatic influence on a tent's adaptability and livability. Double-wall tents often have better air circulation and less condensation than single-wall tents. The Hilleberg models and The North Face Mountain 25 have the best ventilation and moisture management of all double-wall tents. The top vents on dome tents are useful in moving air around and mitigating the "it's snowing inside" effect that happens when moisture vapor from your breath freezes, hits the roof and falls back on you.

The Black Diamond Ahwahnee was hands down the most versatile single wall tent. It's strong enough for moderate storms but features two giant doors that allow for best-in-review ventilation  as shown here.
The Black Diamond Ahwahnee was hands down the most versatile single wall tent. It's strong enough for moderate storms but features two giant doors that allow for best-in-review ventilation, as shown here.

The Black Diamond Ahwahneeis a single wall 4 season tent that stood out for adaptability and livability. The Ahwahnee has the highest single-wall peak height, and two six foot plus people could easily sit and face each other. The Ahwahnee's doors, which make up the entire sides of the tent, can be left wide open (with option bug netting) in nice weather or be left cracked open in a light storm. This helps with ventilation, as they are covered by a short third pole, which creates small awnings for the doors. Though shorter with less interior floor space, the HiLight had a similar design. It features one full-sized door on one side and a massive vent that's half the size of the door on the other.

The HiLight has a similar design to the Ahwahnee  but only features one massive door (shown here) and one large vent instead of the Ahwahnee's two full-sized doors.
The HiLight has a similar design to the Ahwahnee, but only features one massive door (shown here) and one large vent instead of the Ahwahnee's two full-sized doors.

Of all single wall tents, the Nemo Tenshi and The North Face Assault each sported one of the most impressive ventilation systems. Both these models feature four vents total, with a vent on the front door, one on each side, and a door/window/escape hatch that allowed for ventilation and air circulation. The hatch also allows for improved safety while cooking. See a photo of the Assault's sizeable rear vent below.

The North Face Assault (and the Nemo Tenshi) sported one of the most impressive ventilation systems for a bivy-tent. Both of these models have four vents total. They each have a vent on the front door  one on each side of the tent protected by an awning  and a door/window/escape hatch that allowed for great air circulation.
The North Face Assault (and the Nemo Tenshi) sported one of the most impressive ventilation systems for a bivy-tent. Both of these models have four vents total. They each have a vent on the front door, one on each side of the tent protected by an awning, and a door/window/escape hatch that allowed for great air circulation.

Durability


The main factors influencing durability are the type of fabric used for the fly, the quality of the poles, and the floor. The floor matters less because much of the time you are pitching an all-season tent on snow. Again, silnylon is the fabric of choice for the fly on double-wall tents. Most of the PU formulations used on fly fabric coatings are more prone to hydrolysis (chemical breakup) than silnylon. They can wear out faster, particularly in wet environments, and aren't as resistant to UV degradation.


That said, companies like Mountain Trip, a super well-known Denali guide service (who retires their tents with plenty of life left), gets eight to twelve 22-day Denali expeditions out of each Trango. To say the Trango isn't durable is a stretch. The same applies to other guide services who use tents from The North Face.

While the fabric on the Hilleberg Tarra, Jannu, and Nammatj is incredibly durable, it's not as significant an amount for most people who are comparing them with other 4 season tents.

The Trango 2 is a super tough 4 season tent built for expedition use. Denali guide services like Mountain Trip use Trangos for 160-220 days on Denali before retiring them.
The Trango 2 is a super tough 4 season tent built for expedition use. Denali guide services like Mountain Trip use Trangos for 160-220 days on Denali before retiring them.

For example, the fly material on the Mountain Hardwear Trango (sil on the outside, PU on the inside) may last for about 120-200 days of use in a wet climate before it needs to be retired. A tent like the Hilleberg Nammatj, with three layers of silicone on each side, may last between a third or even twice as long. Regardless of what tent you buy, 150 days is a lot of time for a model to be out in the elements. While it is possible to recoat a fly's fabric, it's much more common to buy a new outer tent (fly), which is an option with most companies.

McKenzie Long climbing in Patagonia with the Black Diamond Eldorado  one of the toughest single wall products available.
McKenzie Long climbing in Patagonia with the Black Diamond Eldorado, one of the toughest single wall products available.

Tent floors have high-grade PU formulations that resist hydrolysis. The majority of the double wall tents tested have a tough 70 denier floor. Some Hilleberg tents, like the Nammatj and Tarra, use a 100 denier fabric that is burly. Single-wall tents often use lighter floor materials.

Specific features can also have a significant impact on durability. The big three here are zippers, clips, and webbing adjustments. More prominent zippers last longer and can handle expeditions because they continue to work with dust and grit in them. Some clips are better than others: Martin Zemetis helped to design the clips used on the Mountain Hardwear Trango series and improved them with the clips now found on SlingFin tents, which are easier to use and stronger.

Besides pole design and the number of walls  tent fabric is one of the most important factors that contribute to a tent's performance. Photo: Graham McDowell looking down the glacier with his TNF Mountain 25 on a two week climbing trip to the Waddington Range  BC.
Besides pole design and the number of walls, tent fabric is one of the most important factors that contribute to a tent's performance. Photo: Graham McDowell looking down the glacier with his TNF Mountain 25 on a two week climbing trip to the Waddington Range, BC.

The most durable double-wall tents tested are the Hilleberg Jannu and Hilleberg Tarra, which feature mega high-quality poles; they also have the nicest fabric among other contenders in our review. That said, The North Face Mountain 25 and Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 are not far behind and for most users, are comparable. The most durable single-wall tents are the Black Diamond Fitzroy, Ahwahnee, or Eldorado, as all feature the burliest outer fabric reviewed. The least durable single-wall tent was the Black Diamond Firstlight.

While the Black Diamond Firstlight isn't necessarily the best all-around four-season tent  it is an excellent option for certain trips where weight and compressed size are of the utmost importance. The Firstlight is seen here in its element  camped in Washington's North Cascades.
While the Black Diamond Firstlight isn't necessarily the best all-around four-season tent, it is an excellent option for certain trips where weight and compressed size are of the utmost importance. The Firstlight is seen here in its element, camped in Washington's North Cascades.

Considerations for Bivy Tents and Alpine Climbing


For most summertime mountaineering and alpine climbing in the lower-48 and southern Canada, like the Colorado Rockies, Bugaboos, Cascades, Tetons, and Sierra, we prefer single wall bivy tents. This is because we are often choosing to go out in nice weather; while the tent is a just-in-case option, it's also being brought for wind, bug protection, and warmth as much as it is for protecting us from a storm.

For most summertime climbs in the lower-48 and ranges in southern Canada  we almost always prefer a tent that leans towards being smaller and lighter. Our hope is we won't be logging too much time in it  so we'd rather have something lighter rather than roomier.
For most summertime climbs in the lower-48 and ranges in southern Canada, we almost always prefer a tent that leans towards being smaller and lighter. Our hope is we won't be logging too much time in it, so we'd rather have something lighter rather than roomier.

Since we are choosing to go out in weather that isn't usually nuking, we aren't going to log as much time in it. Therefore, opting for a lighter shelter is one of the easiest ways to save a significant amount of weight in your pack. In these regions, you are often sleeping on rocky ridges or un-defined campsites, which means a model with a smaller footprint is both easier to find a spot to set it up and often easier to pitch it in a more desirable place.

The perfect application for the Firstlight -- a multi-day ski tour in AK. This tent is best for trips where weight and compressed volume are paramount  and it's unlikely to rain.
The perfect application for the Firstlight -- a multi-day ski tour in AK. This tent is best for trips where weight and compressed volume are paramount, and it's unlikely to rain.

Going Ultralight? Consider an Ultralight Shelter


If saving weight is your top priority, and you are not alpine climbing, we suggest considering a floorless pyramid shelter, which is lighter and more spacious than any single-wall tent. Pyramids pitch with trekking poles, ski poles, or skis, and have up to three times as much space, weighing less than a model supported by dedicated poles. Check out our Ultralight Tent Review for details.

Not every trip in the mountains requires a burly four-season tent. Many climbs in the lower-48 can be done with models on the lighter end of the spectrum or even tougher 3-season models - as long the weather isn't too bad and a little extra care is taken. Here Dan Whitmore and John Collingwood are hanging out by the Colonial Glacier on Day 6 of the Isolation Traverse  North Cascades WA.
Not every trip in the mountains requires a burly four-season tent. Many climbs in the lower-48 can be done with models on the lighter end of the spectrum or even tougher 3-season models - as long the weather isn't too bad and a little extra care is taken. Here Dan Whitmore and John Collingwood are hanging out by the Colonial Glacier on Day 6 of the Isolation Traverse, North Cascades WA.

Forget the Footprint


Unless you are camping on sharp knives, we are confident that there is no need for a footprint for any winter tent. The majority of the tents tested use a tough 70-denier floor that's more durable than floors found on backpacking tents, which use 15 to 30 denier fabrics. We only recommend a groundsheet for basecamping and car camping on dirt or rocks. Then, consider cutting your own from Tyvek Home Wrap, available at hardware stores for around $10. Tyvek is more puncture-resistant and cheaper than the expensive ($50-80) footprints offered by manufacturers. The weight of the tent and your sleeping gear hold it in place.

Tyvek "Home Wrap" is our favorite footprint for car camping and basecamping because it's waterproof  highly puncture resistant  and exceptionally durable. We prefer clear polycro plastic groundsheets for weight conscious applications.
Tyvek "Home Wrap" is our favorite footprint for car camping and basecamping because it's waterproof, highly puncture resistant, and exceptionally durable. We prefer clear polycro plastic groundsheets for weight conscious applications.

Conclusion


We tested our favorite four season tents in a variety of locations  from expedition climbing in the Alaska Range and the Andes to summer alpine climbing in the Cascades  Sierra  and Tetons. We also went on multi-day ski tours and took them winter camping. Here we test while camped at White Rocks Lake on Day 3 of a six-day journey across the North Cascades' Ptarmigan Traverse  with Spire Point and the Elephant's head looming above the Dana Glacier.
We tested our favorite four season tents in a variety of locations, from expedition climbing in the Alaska Range and the Andes to summer alpine climbing in the Cascades, Sierra, and Tetons. We also went on multi-day ski tours and took them winter camping. Here we test while camped at White Rocks Lake on Day 3 of a six-day journey across the North Cascades' Ptarmigan Traverse, with Spire Point and the Elephant's head looming above the Dana Glacier.

The tents that we tested are designed to perform well in four seasons, specializing in winter and mountaineering use. Choosing between a single and double-wall tent is essential depending on the type of trips you're planning. If saving weight is most important, a single-wall tent might be preferred. Apart from that, comfort, space and durability most often rank higher in a double-wall tent. We hope that you can use our analysis of these 19 competitors to find the product that fits your wants and needs.

There are many good four-season contenders  and they each excel at different things. Some are stronger  some lighter  some more adaptable. Therefore  it is essential to figure out your needs and what types of trips you plan to use your tent for. Here  we're testing on the East Ridge of Eldorado  North Cascades  WA.
There are many good four-season contenders, and they each excel at different things. Some are stronger, some lighter, some more adaptable. Therefore, it is essential to figure out your needs and what types of trips you plan to use your tent for. Here, we're testing on the East Ridge of Eldorado, North Cascades, WA.


Ian Nicholson