Best Extreme Weather Tents For Cold & Bad Weather

extreme weather tents for cold weather snow
If you’re in a hurry and want to know the best extreme weather tent, then we recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Extreme Tent.

Camping outside in extreme conditions is a dangerous situation without the proper gear. Especially in cold weather, every inch of snow and every degree colder it becomes risky. This is why the right extreme weather tent is important.

Choose a tent that has a solid structure, weatherproof fabric, high level of insulation and also ventilation. This will help to keep you comfortable and safe in the wild.

In this article, we are going to review the extreme weather tents:

What are the benefits of having extreme weather tents?

Stay safe, comfortable and healthy. Without the proper equipment, extreme weather conditions could put you in jeopardy. With an extreme weather tent, you are protecting yourself from the elements. These could become a life threatening situation. Do your research and invest in the appropriate gear. You can traverse any weather conditions with ease.

How to choose the best extreme weather tents?

Seasonality

All tents have a rating based on the seasons they are appropriate for. For example, a 2, 3, 4 or 5 season tent. For extreme weather conditions, it’s recommended to buy a 4-season tent.

This means that your tent will be able to protect you throughout the year and all seasons. For camping in an especially severe condition, a 5-season tent is a good choose. These tents are for the harshness of Arctic-like climates. They are not for your average winter weather. For more advice about surviving in sub zero conditions, this Quora response has some good advice.

What is the difference between season ratings for tents?

  • 1 to 2-season tent: Designed for camping in good weather. Appropriate for the warmer parts of the year with mild precipitation in summer.
  • 3-season tent: Can withstand heavier rain and winds. For moderate rain in spring or fall, warmth of summer and stronger winds and snow. Usually sturdier materials.
  • 4-season tent: Designed for use all year round – in summer, winter and snowy climates. This tent is able to withstand both snow and heat. Built with sturdy materials and strong poles.
  • 5-season tent: This is an expedition tent and for the most extreme weather. It is like the 4-season tent, yet goes a step further with insulation and strength. You don’t need this tent unless you are going to the arctic or snow capped mountains.

You can find a more in depth guide on tents and seasonality guide on tents and seasonality (from hoac-bsa.org).

What features should you look for in an extreme weather tent?

Quality of the material

The material of your extreme weather tent will act as a barrier between you and the outside world. For this reason, you need to be sure that it is appropriate for the conditions you will be in.

Here is what to look for:

  • For hot weather: Look for mesh paneling to help provide ventilation. A breathable inner fabric.

If you are planning a camping trip in hot weather, here is how to make camping in scorching hot weather enjoyable.

  • For cold weather: Find a tent that is completely enclosed to the ground by waterproof material. This should be on the outer tent. A ventilation system for the outer tent structure is important. Also, strong poles and guy line attachments.

If you are planning a winter camping trip, you can find cold-weather camping tips to keep you warm here.

–> You might be interested in our reviews of winter tents with stove jacks for cold weather camping.

–> Also, reviews of the best insulated tents here.

Waterproofing of extreme weather tents

Every tent fabric and floor have a hydro-static head measurement (HHM). This rating indicates how waterproof a tent is. These two things make a tent waterproof – the hydrostatic head rating of the tent and also the waterproof coating sprayed on the tent.

If you’re looking for a cold weather tent, we recommend an HHM of 1500mm above and 3000mm for the tent floor.

Ventilation

Ventilation is an important factor for both very cold and very hot weather. When it’s hot, you want to be able to get the air flowing through. Otherwise, your tent will become overheated and stuffy.

Ventilation is especially important for cold weather tents. When it’s cold, humidity and moisture need released. Otherwise, they will make everything in your tent damp – making you even colder and putting you in danger.

The ventilation system in your tent will allow the moisture to escape by venting your tent. Look for mesh panels that close and ventilation areas to help the tent breathe.

Insulation

In cold conditions, insulation is critical and will help to keep you nice and warm. Tents are single or doubled walled. Look for a tent with a double-wall or one with two pieces of fabric. This extra layer will add an extra level of protection to keep the tent warm.

A rainfly is another way to add insulation to a tent. Get a full rainfly that goes all the way around the bottom of your tent.

If you plan on using the same tent in warmer months, look for a tent where the insulation can be taken away. You can then use the tent again in summer months.

Size of your group

If you’re camping in freezing temperatures, you may choose less space inside the tent. With less space, the heat stays close to you rather than a larger interior area.

If you will have a lot of gear and a heater, then you may need to consider a little more space. In this instance, you might want to go a person size up in the tent you’re using.

Poles and structure

With extreme environments, there could be high winds. Poles will help keep you structure stand tall.

Popular pole materials include:
fiberglass: light/inexpensive
aluminum: strong/flexible
steel: strongest/heaviest
composite: super flexible/aerospace grade material

Flooring

The flooring of your tent is the barrier between you and the ground. Often overlooked by brands, this is a critical element of your extreme weather tent. In colder conditions, look for a tent with a quilted thermal layer. This offers you 360-degree insulation as well as added comfort.

If camping in a mountainous landscape, you need a high quality floor won’t get torn by rocks and rugged terrain.

Weight

4-season tents tend to be heavier than 2 or 3-season tents because they have thicker material. A heavier tent weight can be an advantage in extreme conditions. It can help you stand up to strong wind much better.

extreme weather tents bad weather

What are the warmest tents? Do you need a special tent for winter camping?

The warmest tents are a 4 or 5 season tent that have are for snow or extreme arctic weather conditions. These tents are usually doubled walled to keep the tent well insulated. They are also waterproof and made with sturdier materials. These tents can withstand high winds in blizzards or storms.

You can also make your tent warmer with the accessories inside of your tent. This might include appropriate sleeping bags, blankets, flooring and heaters.

What are the best tents for high winds?

If you are heading out in very high winds, then it’s important your tent won’t blow over with you inside! If you are looking to buy a tent that can sustain high winds, there are a few key features to look out for. Look for tents that have strong and resilient poles systems. Also, consider aerodynamic shapes, secure guy line formations, stakes to secure your tent in place.

How cold is too cold for tent camping?

Camping in freezing temperatures can become a very dangerous situation. If you have little experience and amateur gear, avoid nighttime temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s Fahrenheit. This is too cold for tent camping. Temperatures of 50°F to 74°F are ideal camping temperature.

For well-seasoned campers with the appropriate gear, much colder temperatures are ok. We recommend staying about 40° – especially if you plan on going somewhere remote.

1. ALPS Mountaineering Extreme Tent

The ALPS Extreme tent is a free standing aluminum pole tent. This tent has a structure that is very strong and sturdy. There is a 3-pole design that gives a frame to protect you from extreme weather elements. The polyester fly and floor have a coating for a high level of waterproof.

Pros

  • Storage. Many mesh pockets and a gear loft of vestibule area.
  • Ventilation. Zippered mesh windows for each door, mesh roof vent and many fly vents.
  • Free-standing pole system. Aluminum three pole design.
  • Weather Protection. Factory sealed seams with 1500 mm coating on the fly and 3000 mm coating on the floor.

Cons

  • No extra thick flooring
  • Doesn’t come with a footprint

>> Check Price on Amazon >>

2. Coleman WeatherMaster Tent – 6 or 10-Person

The Coleman WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent has enough room to fit three queen size air beds. If you are looking for something more like a house to keep your group warm, then this might be a good option. It has a WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry if it rains. Also the heavy-duty tent is easy to set up with color coded poles and continuous pole sleeves.

Pros

  • Leak-free seams. Fully-taped rainfly seams, the rainfly covers doors and windows.
  • Weather-resistant fabric. Coated polyester fabric combined with anti-wicking thread.
  • Protected seams. Inverted floor seams to increase weather resistance.
  • Waterproof floors. Welding technology strengthens the tent floor.
  • Zipper protection. Zipper cuff for added protection.
  • Wind strong frame. Engineered to be strong and wind-responsive.

Cons

  • Not for very severe storms
  • May take time to set up
  • Heavy poles and materials to transport

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. MoKo Waterproof Family Camping Tent – 3-Person

The Moko Waterproof Family Camping Tent is 4-season dome tent. This tent is appropriate for anytime of year. It comes with three fiberglass poles, 21 metal pegs and six ropes. This tent offers a strong configuration that is stable in wind, rain and snow conditions.

Pros

  • Suitable for 4-seasons.
  • Comfortable for 2 or 3 people sleeping.
  • Easy set up. One person can assemble.
  • Durable and high quality waterproof material. 25000mm waterproof flysheet and 5000mm flooring.
  • Vestibule and clear window for ventilation and views.

Cons

  • Screen for windows operated from outside.
  • Smaller size for two people.
  • May take some time to set up.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. GEERTOP Backpacking Tent – 2-Person

The Geertop Backpacking Tent is a double layer 4-season tent for 2 people. This tent is easy to set up with a freestanding tent design and ideal for camping and hiking trips. Built with snow skirts, it’s an ideal tent for snowy weather and cold.

Pros

  • 4-season tent. High quality material that is rainproof and lightweight
  • Double layers. Inner and outer tent superpose together as windproof tent.
  • Lightweight backpacking tent. Only weighs 6.4 pounds.
  • Easy to set up. One person can set up the tent with flysheet in a few minutes.
  • 2 person tent.

Cons

  • Seam on floor is down the middle.
  • Zippers could be more durable.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Azarxis Backpacking Tent – 1, 2, or 3 Person

The Azarxis Tent is a 4-season backpacking tent. This extreme weather tent is easy to set up, has a waterproof material and is lightweight. It also features a double layering to keep you protected in extreme elements.

Pros

  • Ventilation. A window for air circulation.
  • Waterproof. 3000mm and heavy-duty fabric to protect from rain and wind.
  • Easy set up. Simple dome tent that one person can install with flysheet in a few minutes.
  • Dual doors and layers system.
  • Portable and easy to transport.
  • 3 to 4-season tent.

Cons

  • Lightweight nature impacts fabric thickness.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

To wrap it up, my personal recommendation

The extreme weather tents you choose will depend on personal requirements. This might include the time of year, size of your group and level of insulation required.

If I had to pick my top choice from the above, I would go with the ALPS Mountaineering Extreme Tent. This is due to the sturdy structure and the high level of waterproofing. The mesh ventilation will help prevent condensation so that you are warm and dry.

Choose a tent that will keep you warm and safe. Your tent is the barrier between you and the elements. Make sure this structure has a proper design that won’t fail you when your outdoors. Do your research and you should find a tent that will keep you comfortable.

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Amy Pritchett

Amy Pritchett

If you truly love nature like me, you will find beauty everywhere.

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