The 9 Best Four-Season Tents of 2021

Weather any storm with these four season tents

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Marmot Thor 2 at Amazon

"Comes with a patch kit in the unlikely event that something busts through its robust armor."

Best Value: Black Diamond Firstlight 2P at Black Diamond Equipment

"Built with budget-conscious climbers in mind, this tent offers compact, reliable shelter."

Best Two-Person: Black Diamond Ahwahnee at Amazon

"This two-person tent is breathable, waterproof, and can handle the most extreme storms."

Best Three-Person: The North Face VE 25 at Amazon

"Constructed from 40D nylon, this three-person tent can stand up to the worst weather imaginable."

Best Four-Person: Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 at REI

"With an internal footprint of 57 square feet, the Trango 4 provides enough room for four people to camp comfortably."

Best for Mountaineering: Nemo Chogori 3 at REI

"Nemo keeps their aluminum poles on the outside, allowing for quick set-up on the mountain."

Best Bivy: REI Co-op All-Season Bivy at REI

"The All-Season Bivy is prime to endure the worst mother nature can deliver."

Best for Backpacking: Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 at Amazon

"Big Agnes built backpacker-friendly features into this tent while also ensuring it survives in harsh weather."

Best Base Camp Tent: Mountain Hardwear Stronghold Dome at Mountain Hardwear

"Comfortable while weathering high-alpine conditions, this ten-person base camp tent is an ideal shelter."

The difference between camping in milder conditions—or even in colder fall or spring days—and enduring the punishing conditions of winter are understandably stark. So if your ambitions include camping throughout the year, from the hottest dog days of summer to the coldest high-alpine environments, you need a tent that’s strong enough to handle rain, snowfall, high winds, and cold temperatures. Simply put, three-season tents won’t cut it.

Four-season tents, however, are engineered for expressly those situations thanks to bomber fabrics, double- and single-wall construction that also add layers of warmth, ample guylines and high-quality stakes, and pole frames that are engineered to stand up to pretty much anything. High-quality options also integrate venting via mesh panels to avoid condensation, and sometimes even come with full mesh wall interiors to make camping in hotter temperatures more comfortable.

Read on to learn more about the best four-season tents available.

Best Overall: Marmot Thor 2

The aptly named Thor two-person tent from Marmot uses a mix of 40D and 20D nylon ripstop fabrics, along with a 70D poly floor and a 50D ripstop poly rain fly that’s been treated with silicone and PU to block the harshest of winds and deepest snow dumps. Six poles—all of equal length—further fortifies this stand-alone structure, constructing a footprint of a roomy 38 square feet, along with two 10-square-foot vestibules at both of the D-shaped doors. Light reflective points will help avoid snagging or tripping at night, and the inside comes with a clever “lampshade pocket,” which can hold your headlamp to provide diffuse, ambient light.

As is common with most four-season shelters, the Thor is heavy, with a pack weight that comes in at 10 pounds and 3 ounces. But that allows it to use poles with a larger diameter to combat mountain wind and snow load. It also comes with a patch kit in the unlikely event that something busts through its robust armor.

Best Value: Black Diamond Firstlight 2P

Black diamond tent

Courtesy of Amazon

Built with budget-conscious climbers in mind, the streamlined Firstlight four-season tent from Black Diamond offers compact, reliable shelter for two people. All seams have been double-sewn to increase the tent’s durability, and the two DAC Featherlite poles make it easy to set up the tent, even from inside if you’re forced to pitch it in inclement weather. The single entry may require a bit more scrambling than other models, which typically have doors on either side of the tent, but that also drastically improves the Firstlight’s protection from the elements—fewer openings means fewer chances of wind, rain, or snow getting inside. Thankfully zippered mesh panels on the door and back wall allow for venting to combat condensation.

The single-wall fabric is constructed of water-resistant, breathable NanoShield, along with a durable 70D polyester floor. The guylines are also made of a polyester sheath with a Dynex core to cut stretch for a more stable overall experience. And backpackers will appreciate that the tent weighs in at only 3 pounds and 6 ounces (average pack weight), a far cry lighter than most four-season shelters.

Best Two-Person: Black Diamond Ahwahnee

Black diamond tent

Courtesy of Amazon

Some four-season two-person tents come with only one door, which can lead to lots of unintended wrestling between members who are camping together. Black Diamond’s Ahwahnee clears that hurdle thanks to the integration of two doors, so each occupant has their own way in and out. This single-wall tent is both breathable and waterproof, and can handle even the most extreme winter storms thanks a simple internal design that uses three aluminum poles and ToddTex fabric. With a modest 33.1-square-inch-footprint and 6-pound, 15-ounce pack weight, the rectangular tent is at home on the summit as much as the crag.

It comes with two internal mesh pockets to keep things organized, but if you carry a lot of equipment, you may want to upgrade to one—or two—of the vestibule add-ons; its single-wall construction doesn't include a rain fly, which in turn means no vestibules out of the box.

Best Three-Person: The North Face VE 25

Think of the VE 25 from The North Face less like a four-season tent and more like an all-weather, three-person yurt and you’ll start to understand why it’s a favorite among core mountaineers. Constructed of a 40D nylon rain fly with a polyester/silicone coating, 40D nylon in the canopy, and a 70D nylon floor with a polyester coating, it’ll stand up to the worst weather imaginable—the kind that can plague even the Everest base camp.

A mix of pole sleeves and clips max out the tent’s durability, with high-strength no-stretch Kevlar reflective guylines, DAC stakes with pull cords, and fabric snow stakes to make pitching it quick and reliable. Two doors provide ample access to the 48-square-foot interior, with an additional 11 square feet at the front and another 5 square feet in the rear vestibule. Multiple venting options keep things breezy and avoid condensation, and the polyurethane port window has been cold-crack tested down to temperatures of -60 degrees. With a packaged weight of 10 pounds, 5 ounces, it’s a bit of a beast. But once you’ve pitched the VE 25, you’ll know that that extra weight translates into reliable, comfortable protection.


Best Four-Person: Mountain Hardwear Trango 4

Tent

Courtesy of REI

With an internal footprint of 57 square feet and an additional 16 square feet at the front vestibule, the Trango 4 from Mountain Hardwear provides enough room for four people to camp comfortably. Wide D-shaped doors at the front and rear make it easy to enter and exit, and both internal mesh pockets and loops for clotheslines and guy systems allow for ample organization.

The fully waterproof tent comes with a “bathtub” floor construction to avoid unwanted weather penetration, while the front vestibule includes lower snow flaps to seal out spindrift. Direct connection points secure the tent body, frame, and fly at each guypoint to lend a solid construction throughout, with internal tension shelves to provide both strength and storage. A triple-reinforced UVX window brings the sunshine inside—and provides a glimpse at the outside conditions. High-quality DAC J-stakes are included to help lock things down, and mesh and canopy zippered thru-vents allow for ventilation.

Best for Mountaineering: Nemo Chogori 3

Tent

Courtesy of REI

Unlike most conventional three- and four-season tents, whose architecture typically includes framing the main tent on its poles and layering a weatherproof layer on top, Nemo’s Chogori four-season tent keeps their aluminum DAC FeatherLite NSL poles on the outside, integrating the pole connections into the outer fly. This allows for quick set-up in half the time typical to other designs and also trims the weight by 25 percent without sacrificing ventilation, vestibule space, guy-line options, or weatherproof protection.

With ample space for three people, the Chogori weighs a reasonable 8 pounds, 7 ounces, with 44.3 square feet of floor space—plus another 11.9 square feet in the front vestibule and an additional 5.5 square feet in the back. The single-door opening is fairly manageable given the tent’s 46-inch height, and the silicone-treated fabrics are bomber enough to handle harsh weather without using seam tape—amping durability even more. And if you’re camping with another Chogori, the tents can be linked together to create one large, connected shelter.

Best Bivy: REI Co-op All-Season Bivy

Bivy

Courtesy of REI

 

Some fair-weather campers may not see the attraction of a bivy. What looks like a fabric coffin to some is merely the lightest, most durable way to head into the backcountry among those who love this kind of shelter. Tipping the scales at a feather-weight 1 pound and 12 ounces, the All-Season Bivy from REI Co-op is prime to endure the worst mother nature can deliver. It features a breathable, waterproof eVent top shell and a waterproof, abrasion-resistant ripstop nylon floor, both of which are seam-sealed for full weather protection.

Simplicity is assured thanks to a single overhead aluminum pole construction, with guyouts on each corner to improve the internal space. The rainbow zipper comes with a storm flap to block wind, rain, and snow, while a structured visor lets you open the top of the door to check out the outside world—and allow for ventilation. And when the weather is nice, the mesh bug panel lets you gaze at the stars without worrying about an insect infestation. But yes, as some bivy naysayers will tell you, the REI's all-season version is small at only 87 inches long with a shoulder width of 27.3 inches.

Best for Backpacking: Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2

Big Agnes tent

Courtesy of Amazon

With a pack weight of 7 pounds and 8 ounces, the Battle Mountain 2 from Big Agnes isn’t the lightest four-season tent on the market, but that modest amount of extra weight also delivers the brand’s copious backpacker-friendly features while still delivering solid protection against harsh weather. A 31-square-foot floor area provides ample room for two campers and it has additional storage in the vestibules outside each of the tent’s two doors, with 42 inches of headroom. This tent is constructed of durable polyester high-tenacity ripstop fabric, which boasts exceptional tear strength and UV resistance and can endure wide fluctuations in both temperature and moisture. The two fly vents allow for increased airflow to fight condensation, and you can opt to only use the mesh-door option if the conditions are cooperating—or lock everything down when the snow starts blowing.

Pre-cut guylines and glove-friendly zippers and buckles make it easy to pitch, and Velcro tabs that connect to the poles add extra stability. Even the golden yellow color speaks to the Battle Mountain’s role in the mountaineering space. The hue was selected by Chhiring Dorje Sherpa to honor the Tibetan Buddhism goddess of prosperity and good fortune, Miyo Losangma—a welcome call-out whenever you’re in the wild.

Best Base Camp Tent: Mountain Hardwear Stronghold Dome

Mountain Hardwear Stronghold Dome

Courtesy of Mountain Hardwear

Expeditions typically number in the weeks—not the days, so you want a domicile that’ll be comfortable day after day while weathering harsh high-alpine conditions, and the Stronghold Dome from Mountain Hardwear delivers. Built to provide comfortable shelter for ten people, this four-season tent comes with perimeter snow flaps to block blow back, a mesh and canopy zippered thru-vent, UVX windows, and an internal perimeter skirt for added protection from the cold earth. The 15 poles are color-coded to simplify assembly and it comes with DAC J-stakes to help lock everything in place.

Inside, you’ll find a 14.25-square-foot floor and a generous maximum height, which is just shy of 6.5 feet. Two doors make access a breeze, internal pockets and O-rings at the poles let you organize your kit, and guyout loops and zipper pulls are reflective so it's easy to navigate around the tent in the darkest of nights. As you’d expect, this beast of a tent also tips the scales by nearly 50 pounds.

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