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A shelter is arguably the most important piece of gear you will take with you on your outdoor adventure. When you’re an avid winter athlete, the best four season tent will be necessary for all of your alpine adventures.

When looking for a tent, there are so many things to consider. How big do you want your home away from home to be? What kind of features are important to you? Do you want to have two doors or one? How about vestibule size and storage space?

These questions are important and completely normal to be asking yourself. When you’re cozy and warm inside your four season shelter, you’ll be thankful you checked the boxes that are most important to you.

The Adventure Junkies delve into what some of the key features you should be looking for in a four season tent are, and break down some of your best options. Whatever shelter you’re going to take with you to your next peak, you can it find here.

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Tents.

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Quick Answer - The Best Four Season Tents

  1. Marmot Thor 2P
  2. Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2
  3. The North Face Mountain 25
  4. NEMO Chogori 2
  5. Black Diamond Fitzroy
  6. Black Diamond Ahwahnee FR
  7. The North Face VE 25
  8. The North Face Alpine Guide 2
  9. Black Diamond Firstlight 3P
  10. The North Face Assault 2

 

Comparison Table - Best Four Season Tent

PictureNameCapacityPacked WeightFootprint IncludedDoorsPriceRating
Marmot Thor 2P2-Person10 lbs. 7 oz.No2$$$5.0
Big Agnes Battle Mountain 22-Person7 lbs. 8 oz.No2$$$4.5
The North Face Mountain 252-Person9 lbs. 13 oz.Yes2$$$4.5
NEMO Chogori 22- or 3-Person7 lbs. 7 oz.No2$$$4.5
Black Diamond Fitzroy2-Person7 lbs. 1 oz.No2$$4.5
Black Diamond Ahwahnee FR2-Person6 lbs. 15 oz.No2$$4.0
The North Face VE 253-Person10 lbs. 5 oz.Yes2$$$4.5
The North Face Alpine Guide 22-Person5 lbs. 10 oz.No1$$4.0
Black Diamond Firstlight 3P3-Person4 lbs. 1 oz.No1$4.0
The North Face Assault 22-Person4 lbs. 15 oz.No1$$4.0
PictureNameCapacityPacked WeightFootprint IncludedDoorsPriceRating

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Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Backpacking Four Season Tent

Marmot Thor 2P

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 38 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Height: 44 Inches
  • Weight: 10 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Packed Size: 8 x 20 Inches
  • Peak Height: 44 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 10 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 6
  • Vestibule Area: 10 Square Feet
Features
  • Seamed Taped Rainfly and Floor
  • Vents For Maximum Airflow To Prevent Condensation Inside The Tent
  • Near Vertical Walls Provide Extra Space
  • Design Allows for Various Pitch Setups Depending On Your Needs

BEST FOR:  EVERY KIND OF HIKER

The Marmot Thor 2 Person tent is a 4-season shelter that is spacious and durable. 

Meant for trekking at alpine levels, this tent will keep you dry in a storm. The rainfly of this tent is seam sealed and provides two large vestibules on either side of the tent, enough coverage for you and your partner. The rainfly also has two vents, to help prevent condensation inside your vestibule when it’s dumping outside.

The pole design of Marmot’s Thor creates vertical walls inside the tent, creating a spacious interior for you and your partner. This tent also has several storage pockets inside of the tent for all your belongings. 

This tent offers different pitching setups. For a more minimalist hiker, you can set the tent up using the rainfly, poles, and footprint. Although when using the tent in the winter, you will likely want the warmth the tent can provide with a full body set up. 

Whatever your outdoor gig is, this tent is a versatile, reliable, year-round option.

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 31 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 9 x 20 Inches
  • Peak Height: 42 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 7 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Vestibule Area: 10 Square Feet in Front, 3.5 Square Feet in Back
Features
  • Color Coded Webbing and Pole Design
  • Rainfly is Silicone Treated For Extra Water Resistance In Rainstorms
  • Taped Seams Prevent Water From Seeping In
  • Large Gear Loft Provides Space To Store All Your Valuables Inside The Tent
  • Several Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up

BEST FOR: THE BEGINNING HIKER

Big Agnes makes some really amazing shelters, and their Battle Mountain 2 Person Tent is no exception.

This tent is a four season, bombproof tent with silicone treated fabric to ensure you will be dry amid the wettest storm. In addition, the seams of this tent are all taped, to provide even more security from the rain. 

The rain fly can be closed with a large, 10 square foot vestibule, or can be propped open using trekking poles for when you want to let the air in. This tent has color coded webbing and poles, making set up a breeze.

Both doors of this tent have an option to zip open the fabric and create a mesh window, so you can wake up and see what’s going on outside. This tent also has several internal pockets, and a gear loft for extra storage.

The North Face Mountain 25

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 32.3 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: Yes
  • Packed Size: 24 x 7 Inches
  • Peak Height: N/A
  • Packed Weight: 9 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 4
  • Vestibule Area: 8 Square Feet in front, 3 Square Feet in Back
Features
  • Glow in the Dark, Color-Coded Zippers
  • Rainfly Has Welded Reinforcements and a Port Window
  • Multiple Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up Inside The Tent
  • Dual Entry Front Vestibule For Easy In/Out

BEST FOR: THE WEEKEND WARRIOR 

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent is a sturdy four season shelter option with features that ensure a dry and warm night throughout Mother Nature’s worst storm. 

This tent is designed for the ease of the mountaineer using it. It comes with color coded and reflective zippers, to help you with the setup and so you can find it in the dark. The front of the tent has a large, 8 square foot vestibule, roomy enough for all your gear. The vestibule also has dual entry, making it easy to get in and out of.

This shelter comes with a small window, so you can peek outside at the freshly fallen snow as you wake up. The window has been cold-crack tested, and is foolproof to -60° F. This tent includes the footprint.

This tent can be a little difficult to setup the first couple of times, so make sure you give it a trial run or two before you hit the high alpine.

NEMO Chogori 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2- or 3-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 40.1 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 8.7 x 18.1 Inches
  • Peak Height: 39 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 7 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 5
  • Vestibule Area: 11.7 Square Feet in Front, 4.2 Square Feet in Back
Features
  • Port Window So You Can See Outside
  • Fabrics are Silicone Treated For Superior Water Resistance
  • Several Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up Inside The Tent
  • Two Chogori Tents Can be Linked Together

BEST FOR: THE INTERMEDIATE BACKPACKER

A great option for those who want an easy set up, the NEMO Chogori 2 Person Tent is a great go-to option for a four season shelter. 

Similar to other NEMO products, the company didn’t skimp out on key features of this tent. The clips for the poles are durable, and the tent is silicone treated, which makes the shelter completely weatherproof and durable. 

This tent is roomy enough for two people, and you can squeeze three people in if you’re comfortable with a little less space.  The large front vestibule offers ample gear storage and coverage, no matter what items you bring along.

The pole design is all on the exterior of this tent, making it an easy set-up when you’ve reached camp.This shelter also has a large front window, so you can see what conditions you’ll be getting into when you wake up.

Black Diamond Fitzroy

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 36 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 9 x 19 Inches
  • Peak Height: 40 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 7 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 4
  • Vestibule Area: N/A
Features
  • Zippered Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up Inside
  • Double Doors Feature Internal Mesh Panels For Extra Breathability
  • Made of Waterproof, Windproof, and Breathable ToddTex Fabric

BEST FOR: THE PEAK BAGGER

The Black Diamond Fitzroy Tent is a solid option for a four season shelter that won’t let you down while you’re bagging peaks on the world’s tallest mountains. 

When staked down and pitched properly, this tent is bombproof. This tent doesn’t have any exterior fabric that can keep you up at night flapping in the wind or that can tear amid a storm. Both of the doors on this tent features mesh panels on the interior, and are covered with ToddTex fabric on the outside, which is waterproof, windproof and breathable.

This shelter comes with a bathtub floor which will keep any water or moisture out of your tent when you are pitched on snow or in the middle of the pouring rain. This tent is a lighter option than others featured in this article, and an optional vestibule or footprint are sold separately.

Beware that the tent clips are glued to this tent instead of sewn onto it. The benefit of gluing these clips is to keep the fabric intact, but in some fierce weather conditions, where it can be hard to dry your tent, mold can grow underneath them. The Black Diamond warranty for this tent doesn’t include mold repair.

Black Diamond Ahwahnee FR

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 33.1 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 8 x 19 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 6 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Vestibule Area: N/A
Features
  • Two Wide Awnings Provide Ventilation
  • Internal Mesh Pockets
  • Two Doors Make Getting In And Out Really Easy
  • Optional Vestibule Sold Separately

BEST FOR: THE LIGHTWEIGHT HIKER

The Black Diamond Ahwahnee FR 2 Person Tent is a great option for someone who likes lightweight gear, but also likes a solid ventilation system and space to stretch out. 

This tent will perform particularly well in the rain because it has two wide awnings on either side of the tent. The awnings fully cover both sides of the tent and extend over the roof, making this shelter a bombproof option for rain or snow. 

When you have to get up in the middle of the night, you’ll be thankful this tent has two doors, so you won’t have to crawl over your partner on your way out. 

Offering a spacious floor area of 33 square feet, this tent gives you enough space to not feel too crowded while you’re inside. But it doesn’t come with a vestibule for gear storage, meaning your gear will have to be inside the tent with you. Black Diamond does offer a vestibule that can attach to this tent that’s sold separately.

The North Face VE 25

Specs
  • Capacity: 3-Person
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor Area: 48 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: Yes
  • Packed Size: 24 x 9 Inches
  • Peak Height: N/A
  • Packed Weight: 10 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 4
  • Vestibule Area: 11 Square Feet in Front, 5 Square Feet in Back
Features
  • Glow in the Dark, Color Coded Zippers
  • Dual Entry Vestibule Makes Getting In And Out A Breeze
  • Port Window So You Can Check Out The Conditions From Inside The Tent
  • Several Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up

BEST FOR: A FAMILY OF MOUNTAINEERS

The North Face VE 25 Tent, which can comfortably fit three mountaineers with the possibility of a fourth if you don’t mind being cozy at night, is a great option to shelter a family of adventurers from a storm.

This tent will hold up beautifully in any kind of weather mother nature throws at you: rain, sleet, hail, or snow. The nylon this tent is made of is silicone coated, so rest assured that you will be warm and dry.

This tent has glow in the dark, color coded zippers to make setup a breeze, and for easy tent navigation in the dark. The front vestibule provides eleven square feet for gear storage, and the back has five square feet for additional storage. 

The front of this tent has a small port window, tested to not crack up to -60° F. This tent is a more expensive option than some of the other tents featured by The Adventure Junkies, but it is also a bigger option, and it comes with a footprint.

The North Face Alpine Guide 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor Area: 35.8 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: N/A
  • Peak Height: N/A
  • Packed Weight: 5 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Vestibule Area: 10.3 Square Feet
Features
  • Dual Top Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up Inside The Tent
  • Large Front Vestibule Allows For Maximum Gear Storage
  • Port Window Lets You Check Out The Conditions From Inside

BEST FOR: THE VERSATILE HIKER

The North Face Alpine Guide 2 Person Tent is made to perform well in snowy weather conditions and ventilate on hot summer nights, making it a versatile option for a four season tent.

This tent has an easy-to-pitch setup, and the front of the tent features a large vestibule that can hold all of your gear items. This tent will fit two medium sized hikers and their gear, but it isn’t the roomiest option. 

This tent performs the best in dry, snowy conditions. Although the tent features two windows for ventilation, the awnings won’t work well in heavy rain conditions. It comes with featherlight stakes and poles, making it a great option for cold weather backpackers looking to lighten their load.

This shelter also has a rear hatch-back door that provides additional ventilation and easy access to the outside, so if you have to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you won’t have to worry about crawling over your partner.

Black Diamond Firstlight 3P

Specs
  • Capacity: 3-Person
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor Area: 33 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 7 x 9 Inches
  • Peak Height: 44 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 2
  • Vestibule Area: N/A
Features
  • Ultralight
  • Zippered Mesh Panels Provide Ventilation
  • Internal Mesh Pockets
  • Featherlite Poles

BEST FOR:  THE ULTRALIGHT HIKER

The Black Diamond FirstLight 3-Person Tent is a great option for the ultralight hiker who frequents alpine heights often.

This tent weighs about four pounds and is a quality shelter for rain, snow, hail, or any other stormy weather conditions Mother Nature is sending your way. It will keep you warm and dry and it will be light on your back.

That being said, there are some features you will miss on this tent that other tents in this article have. This tent doesn’t come with a large vestibule for gear storage, so whatever gear you have with you will either have to be waterproof, or will have to be inside your tent with you. 

Due to the lack of vestibule space, the 3-person version of this tent is a better option for a hiker duo and all their gear, whereas three people and all of their gear would be a very tight squeeze. This shelter does have two internal mesh pockets, which will help with gear storage.

The North Face Assault 2

Specs
  • Capacity: 2-Person
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor Area: 27.3 Square Feet
  • Footprint Included: No
  • Packed Size: 7 x 22 Inches
  • Peak Height: 42 Inches
  • Packed Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Vestibule Area: 10 Square Feet
Features
  • Removable Vestibule
  • Top Vents Prevent Condensation From Building Up Inside The Tent
  • Laminate Material is Fully Waterproof

BEST FOR:  THE BACKPACKER

The North Face Assault 2 Person tent is a quick and easy tent to set up for all of your mountainous adventures. 

This tent features an X-design pitch, with two tent poles. From the moment you take this tent out of the bag to a full pitch should take no more than two or three minutes. This shelter also has a dual ventilation system placed at the top of the tent, so you can open up both vents to help prevent condensation and create airflow.

Compared to some of the other tents featured in this article, this tent is a lightweight option, weighing less than five pounds. It is a bit of a tight squeeze with two people inside this tent, but is a perfect size for one person and all their gear. 

A vestibule is sold separately for this tent that adds 10 square feet and a window.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FOUR SEASON TENT

FABRIC

Several of the tents in this article are pieced together with nylon (or ripstop nylon – a tougher version of nylon that prevents shredding), polyester, or another kind of fabric that is specific to the brand.

Different fabrics offer different weights and toughness. Nylon may be lighter than polyester, but it will rip more easily, unless it’s ripstop nylon, which is an expensive fabric. Finding the right balance between price, weight, and durability is a bit of a chore, but you’ll thank yourself later when it’s storming outside and you have a durable and solid shelter.

In addition, many of the fabrics the tents in this article are made of are treated with some type of waterproofing technique, such as a silicone treatment. This is a huge benefit because it adds to your tent’s ability to withstand rain, which is often unexpected in the backcountry.

 

FEATURES

Four season tents can get quite fancy with their designs. And who doesn’t like all the cool features a shelter can offer?

A large vestibule is a great feature for a four season tent, where you’ll likely be carrying more gear than you usually would. A spacious floor area is a great benefit, because you can stretch out without feeling cramped.

But with every feature you add, you are also adding weight to your back, meaning the tent will be heavier to carry up the mountain you’re climbing.

Decide which features are most important to you and go from there. Is it important to you for your tent to have a window? Or do you prefer a tent with two doors, because your partner will be with you, and you don’t want to have to crawl over them to get outside?

Answering these questions is your first step to deciding which four season tent is best for you. Check out this article to learn more about what features four season tents have.

 

LONGEVITY

A four season tent is an investment, so it’s important that this tent will last you many years. There are steps that you can take to make sure your tent will last you a long time.

Making sure your tent is clean of debris when you’re packing it up is a great first step, and folding and rolling the tent into your pack is always a better option than stuffing it in your backpack.

Buying a footprint for your tent will also help prolong the life of your tent. Many of the tents featured in this article either include a footprint or one is available but sold separately.

Because you will likely be camping in the wintertime with a four season tent, check out this article by REI about winter camping basics.

 

SPACE

Space a tent offers is measured in two ways: the square footage of the floor area, and the space offered by a vestibule, if your tent has one.

How many people you plan to fit into your tent will depend how this space is used.

If your tent has a vestibule, that’s a great spot for gear storage. If not, you have to consider that your gear will either need to be completely waterproof, or it will be inside your tent with you.

Everyone likes to have a palace for a tent, but extra space can add the most weight to a tent. Figure out what gear and who will be in the tent with you, and go from there.

 

WEIGHT

Possibly the most important feature of picking a four season tent is the weight.

Four season tents are heavier than three season tents for obvious reasons. They are made of waterproof material, often have more poles to withstand strong winds and storms, and they often include other features that make your tent bombproof in a storm.

With these features comes a heavier weight, but some of the time it’s worth it. Decide which features you can’t live without, then target a tent that has those, and nothing more.

 

VENTILATION

Several of the tents featured in this article come with vents and awnings that will bring air into your tent and help you not feel stuffy inside. It’s essential that your tent has some mode of ventilation when camping in the cold because otherwise all of your hot breath will build up condensation inside the tent and actually make you colder rather than warmer.

Some tents also come with mesh panels that you can open up to let the air in. Both are great options for a ventilation system.

 

PRICE

A four season tent is definitely an investment. You will likely be spending over $400 for your tent, which isn’t cheap.

Make sure when you make your purchase that the tent is exactly what you’re looking for, and make certain you’re willing to take care of the tent for years to come. A shelter is arguably the most important piece of gear you can carry with you, so you’re likely going to be spending a pretty penny.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

VESTIBULE

A vestibule is an exterior chamber of your tent that you can use for gear storage. It usually doesn’t have a floor, but it is typically waterproof, so it’s a safe place to stash your gear while you’re hunkering down during a storm.

Vestibules come in several shapes and sizes, some are larger than others, but they are a great thing to have, so you don’t have to store your gear inside your tent with you.

FOOTPRINT

A footprint is a ground layer for your tent. Footprints are often sold separately, but they sometimes come with the tent. The footprint that comes with your tent is usually your best option, because they are shaped the same as your tent and can align with the grommet, but you can also use Tyvek as a footprint.

A footprint will help elongate the life of your tent.

SEAM TAPED

When a tent is seam taped it means that all of the seams of your tent have been reinforced with a waterproof material to ensure waterproofing.

VENTS/AWNINGS

Vents are used to help let the air in your tent to negate a stuffy environment while you’re inside your tent. Just as you open the windows in your home sometimes, a vent can offer the same benefit for your home away from home.

Awnings help rain stay directly off the top of your tent, and can curb the rain in a direction that will help prevent water atop your tent.

Both are beneficial for comfortability and waterproofing.

PORT WINDOW

A port window is a small, usually rubber window that is built into the vestibule or outer layer of your tent. It’s your window to look outside in the morning and see what kind of conditions you’re in for that day.

This isn’t a necessary feature, but it’s pretty cool.

WELDED REINFORCEMENTS

Welded reinforcements on the tents featured in this article are in the corners of the tent. Welded reinforcements are areas where there is double the fabric, to ensure that when tension is applied to this area of the tent, it won’t rip or shred.

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