Finding the Best Tents For Rain and The Colder Weather

The purpose of this article is to provide some information on what to look for to find the best tents for rain and camping in cold weather (learn more at We will not be providing product advertising in the article, but when you are finished reading, you will have the criteria you need in order to make your own decision. When you go to choose a tent, one of the many factors you will want to consider is the weather rating for the tent. The exact wording you will be looking for is “Four-Season Tent.” This is the standard you will require if you want to be comfortable and safe in harsh winter conditions. Establishing this fact, there are many additional considerations to take into account.

I guess the first thing you better think about is exactly how your cold weather tent will be used. It seems pretty likely that most cold weather campers are not the type to roll the tent out of the trunk at their favorite KOA or state park and start camping. My experience has been that the users of cold weather tents fall usually into two categories. One is the mountaineering or trekking type of outdoors person. The other is the person who is using their tent as a base hunting camp.

For the person in the former category, it is likely the tent you will use for winter camping will reside on your back (in or on a backpack) at times. Clearly this will impose weight restrictions. This places the tent selection into a dome, tubular, and/or free-standing design for the most part. The other option that some folks are comfortable with is the bivvy sack design. While some would argue this is really not a tent, it is a shelter you use for camping, so in my mind it is a tent. Bivvy sacks are awesome, but present some unique challenges. For example, entry without bringing in the elements (say in the midst of a raging snow or rain storm) is a skill not easily acquired.

For the person in the latter category, often tents are transported via horseback, four-wheeler, or snow-machine. This clearly reduces the worry about weight. For many folks, a wall tent is an option they like. The tents in this category often have options for wood stoves and are much roomier than tents you could pack on your back. In this category, there seems to be a dividing line between the canvas purists and those who prefer the less maintenance-intensive synthetic products. Clearly this is a personal choice. Some of these tents come with floors and others do not. For tents with floors, pay close attention to the material and thickness. Unlike smaller tents, there seems to be more foot traffic and the floor must be able to withstand the use.

Other considerations to think about for all types of cold weather camping tents include material type and quality, zipper design, pole type and material, warranty, and clearly cost. Knowing these basic things will get you headed down the right path to choosing the best tent for your own cold weather camping experience.

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