7 Best Cold Weather Tents On The Market Today

By Will Brendza | Last Updated: February 19, 2020

Cold Weather TentsThere are only two reasons why anyone would sleep outside in the dead of winter.

You’re either a hard-core adventurist or a survivalist (or both).

And when the winter months come along, camping changes for the colder.

Sleeping outside becomes more dangerous for every inch of snow and for every degree colder it gets.

That’s why winter camping requires special gear.

And the most critical piece of winter equipment to invest in is a high-quality cold weather tent.

Because your super-lightweight summer camping tent won’t cut it.

Of course, there are ways to secure shelter and stay warm even if you don’t have a cold weather tent (we’ll get to a few of those later).

But you never want to rely solely on your improvisation skills with something as critical as shelter. Because in the worst climates, cold weather tents become the only layer between warmth and death.

That’s why today I’m going to cover the following winter tent topics:

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Cold Weather Tent With Man Sitting Outside

Finding The Best Cold Weather Tent For You

It was the dead of winter, and I was working with a filmmaker in the far Alaskan north on an arctic nature documentary.

And let me tell you – it was freaking FRIGID out there.

Colder than I knew nature could get.

Well, the plan was to stay out there for a couple of weeks. A prospect I was altogether reluctant to get excited about.

That was until I saw his cold weather tent. The thing was huge. It had a massive vestibule, a thick waterproof shell, and a wood-burning stove complete chimney.

His tent was big enough for five, plus the massive amount of film gear we were lugging.

It became our home base and was always a welcome sight after a long day in the cold.

I tell this story for two reasons: 1) to illustrate how effective these tents can be. The Arctic Oven Tent that we were using out on that freezing tundra kept us cozy as koozies.

And 2) not every tent is right for every situation.

We needed a super-warm form of shelter big enough to house us and all our equipment. We knew we wouldn’t be moving it, and we had a bush plane to carry the tent/stove apparatus.

But I wouldn’t want that tent for most situations. It would be too warm, too big, and too heavy for most situations. Sure, it worked for the arctic tundra, but it’s overkill for one night in Rocky Mountain National Park.

So there are a few considerations you need to take into account:

What will you be using your cold weather tent for?

If you plan on staying a month out in the coldest regions of the Yukon, you’ll need a big ol’ tent. However, if you’re planning a backpacking trip for a day of ice fishing, you’ll want something far smaller.

Will you be carrying or driving your tent around?

I’ll return to the big Arctic Oven we used in Alaska – that cold weather tent required heavy equipment to move around. There’s no conceivable way we could have carried something that heavy over any distance.

So if you intend to use your cold weather tent for vehicle camping only, you’ll have no issues going BIG. But if you’re winter backpacking, keep it light and packable.

How many people and how much gear do you plan on housing in your tent?

You’ll need a big tent if you’re taking your entire family or have a ton of gear and supplies. If you’re by yourself and practicing minimalist camping, go light because you won’t need a large one.

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Multiple Cold Weather Tents In Snow 1

7 Best Cold Weather Tents On The Market Today

4 season winter tents come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate anyone, no matter the budget or circumstance. The variety is vast. So many choices that deciding becomes overwhelming.

That’s why I compiled the following list of excellent winter camping tents. Tents that will keep your butt cozy in the coldest temperatures imaginable.

Some are high-tech, and a few are more basic, but they all serve the same general purpose: warmth and shelter.

1. Arctic Oven 12’x18′ With Vestibule (5 – 10 Person Tent)

Artic Oven Cold Weather Tent

Arctic Oven 12’x18′ With Vestibule

I had to start with this tent because The Arctic Oven was one of the coolest warmest tents I’ve ever been inside.

There was so much space inside. And the tent trapped SO MUCH heat we started sweating even when it was -7 degrees outside.

That’s crazy good.

The tent comes in a variety of options and several sizes – and the prices vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.


This one’s extremely warm includes futuristic technology, and is HUGE (226 square feet). It’s a four-season tent and can fit ten to eleven people inside during the summer. It includes an oven, has a vestibule, and is very durable and wind-resistant.


This beast weighs 110 pounds (I don’t plan on carrying it anywhere). It only sleeps five to six people during winter (w/ cots and stoves) and takes a while to set up. It’s also a bit of an investment.

Also, take a few minutes to watch this setup video of this massive winter tent:

2.  ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3 – (3-Person Tent)

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3

This is a lightweight winter tent, but The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3 is still fairly heavy if you carry it solo.

The small dome-shaped 3-person tent is warm, and its shape makes it nice and spacious.


This one is cost-effective, small, and packable. It’s spacious inside and includes a large and high vestibule. It offers 14 square feet of space for cooking and storage.


Not the most durable tent in the world (it could have benefited from ripstop technology).

Unfortunately, it’s relatively heavy at 9 lbs 2 oz. Heavy enough to be a pain in the back on a long trip. This option is best for people with sleds or cars. Also, the tall sidewalls make it more susceptible to wind.

Note: Here’s the 2-person version of this tent. It’s a more compact tent, weighs a bit less, and costs less too.

3. Snugpak Scorpion 2 Camping Tent – (2-Person Tent)

Snugpak Scorpion 2 Camping Tent

Snugpak Scorpion 2 Camping Tent

Another smaller cold weather tent that’s perfect for people who won’t be lugging along tons of gear or lots of people.

The Snugpack Scorpion 2 will keep snow and rain out with its RipStop waterproof Fly Sheet. This is combined with a heavy-duty, waterproof  Ground Sheet that provides you with a durable design that can withstand prolonged exposure to the elements.

It’s also equipped with DAC Featherlite aluminum poles with press-fit connectors.


One word, lightweight! (only 5 lbs 8 oz) making it ideal for winter backpackers. You want this one if you’re bugging out in the winter months.


A few people mentioned that the zippers and the plastic snap-buckles feel cheap.

4. GEERTOP Winter Backpacking Tent (2-Person Tent)

GEERTOP Winter Backpacking Tent

A GEERTOP Winter Backpacking Tent

Geertop is a newer arrival to the winter tent marketplace, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a quality products.

This tent features 210T anti-tear checkered polyester, which is also coated with a 3000mm water-resistant finish. This gives the Geertop superior durability and an impenetrable shell from snow or snowmelt.


This tent utilizes a 2 layer design with anti-tear, water-resistant polyester.


Zippers are not top-notch.

5. Nemo Chogori 2P Mountaineering Tent – (2 Person)

Nemo Chogori 2P Mountaineering Tent

Nemo Chogori 2P Mountaineering Tent

The Chogori 2-Person Mountaineering Tent is designed with an integrated fly and external pole structure. This helps to reduce setup time – which is crucial in extreme weather.

This external pole innovation also trims overall weight by 25% – this heavy-duty mountaineering tent only weighs 8.42 lbs!

The Chogori uses a silicone-treated 20D Nylon Ripstop fabric. This fabric is significantly stronger than most other types and doesn’t require seam tape.


This innovative design keeps you safe in the worst of extreme weather conditions. Plus, it has a very cool bonus feature that allows 2 of these tents to be connected together. This turns 2 smaller tents into 1 larger tent. 


You get what you pay for but must invest a bit more for this extreme winter tent.

6. MoKo Waterproof 4-Season Camping Tent – (3 Person)

MoKo Waterproof 4 Season Camping Tent

MoKo Waterproof 4-Season Camping Tent

The MoKo Waterproof 4 Season Tent is one heavy-duty cold weather tent – but that comes at a bit of a weight cost. This tent is listed at 10.6 lbs, which is brutal to carry on your back.

But if you’re only using it for car camping, this is a great option.

It features a durable & high-quality flysheet that’s 2500mm+ waterproof. And it uses 5000mm (1000D polyethylene) for the floor.


This is a very spacious, sturdy, and waterproof winter tent at a very affordable price point.


Heavy – you won’t want to carry it very far from your vehicle.

7. Big Agnes Battle Mountain Mountaineering Tent

Big Agnes Battle Mountain Mountaineering Tent

Big Agnes Battle Mountain Mountaineering Tent

The Big Agnes Battle Mountain Mountaineering Tent is built with bomber materials. The kind of material that can withstand the most rugged of high-alpine adventures.

The fly uses a polyester ripstop. This ripstop uses high-tenacity yarns, which increase tear strength by 20-25% over standard nylon or polyester ripstop fabrics.


This isn’t just any cold-weather tent – it’s made specifically to withstand high-alpine adventures.


Expensive – overkill for anyone who’s not using it for high alpine camping.

Note:  You should also consider getting a tent heater to pair with your winter tent to make it even more comfortable!

Canvas Cold Weather Tents

So far, we have focused only on the best nylon and polyester tents; however, you might want to look into another fantastic cold-weather tent option: high-quality, durable, and warm canvas tents.

Check out our Canvas Tents blog post.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Old School Tent

A Brief History Of Tents

A shelter is necessary for survival.

Our human ancestors sought shelter in forests and caves. And eventually in huts, homes, and tents. In fact, portable, packable shelters were extensively used by nomadic cultures throughout history.

The very first recorded ruins of tents were discovered in Russia. Hunter-gatherers of this region used mammoth hides to create warm, wind-resistant shelters. In this way, they protected themselves from the intense Siberian weather.

Later in history, teepees and yurts became popular. They enabled people to set up camps to hunt and gather until resources became scarce and they needed to move on.

Mobile sheltering was a lifestyle for Mongolians and Native Americans. Yurts are still a trendy design today. For example, you can find them in use throughout the Rocky Mountains.

The Romans were also big into tents. Not because they moved their civilization from place to place (after all, they built Rome). But their armies conquered most of Europe, parts of Africa, and the Middle East. So they needed portable transportation.

They used tents everywhere. Big tents, little tents, fancy tents, whatever kind of old-school tent you can imagine. Most of their tents were fashioned from calf or goat skins.

In fact, tents have been an essential survival tool for every single war since ancient times. The French Revolution, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, and beyond.

Tents are such a useful mechanism for portable shelter they’ll likely be popular well into the future.

Today, after all those thousands of years using and refining tent technology, we’ve come a long way. And cold weather tents are a perfect example: durable, warm, water-resistant, and windproof.

The bottom line is tents have come a long way since the days of hunkering down under mammoth hides.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

3 Makeshift Winter Survival Shelters

If you get stuck outside in winter without a cold weather tent to take shelter inside of, you have a problem.

One that threatens your life, in fact. But there are lots of ways to improvise in such a situation.

1. Build An Igloo

Tried and tested, the igloo is one of the best cold weather shelters in history. Carve a bunch of bricks of snow and start stacking.

The tough part about building an igloo is the fact that it takes a long time. If you know you’re stranded outside for the night and have all day to prepare, go for an igloo.

The snow and ice walls work very well as insulation against harsh temperatures and winds.

Here’s a comprehensive video on igloo building:

2. Dig a Snow Cave

Like an igloo, this concept uses snow as an insulator to keep you warm. Snow caves are nice because they are faster to dig out and don’t have to be very big.

Just large enough for you to crawl inside, curl up, and suffer through the harsh night.

Snow caves have saved countless lives over the years. So if you ever need a quick, warm shelter in a pinch, start digging. You scoop out enough snow to fit inside and then jimmy-rig a door.

(Using a large snowball, a chunk of ice, a winter jacket, a rain jacket, a piece of plywood, etc., works very well). The trick with the door is to make it as airtight as possible. Otherwise, all the heat you build up inside escapes, and you freeze to death.

(But be careful, making your snow cave too airtight can result in suffocation. Find that balance…)

Here’s a time-lapse video of an elaborate snow cave being built.

3. Insulate a Summer Tent With Snow

There have been times I’ve been backpacking in the spring, totally confident it would stay warm and sunny, only to get caught in a freak blizzard.

What can you do? If you’re carrying a tent (even if it is not a cold-weather tent), you can add insulation – as long as there’s snow. When you pack a couple of inches of snow onto the outside of your tent, you increase that tent’s ability to hold heat.

Unfortunately, if the snow melts and your tent isn’t waterproof, chances are you’re getting soaked. But it’s not all that cold if the snow is melting.

Yeah! You survived.

Final Thoughts

Hypothermia is a deadly killer – responsible for thousands of deaths a year. The cold weather is dangerous. (This hopefully isn’t news to you).

Sadly, that fact can get in the way of outdoor activities during the winter. But that doesn’t mean you have to let it stop you from enjoying the outdoors!

You only need to make sure you’re prepared. And the first step towards preparing yourself for winter camping/survival is to get your hands on a cold weather tent.

Yes, everyone is going to need something different. But I assure you, there’s a winter tent out there with your name on it.

But be careful and do your research before you buy – not all cold weather tents are created equal. Do your research and know your needs.

Owning a cold weather tent is like owning a portable hunting lodge, cross-country skiing yurt, or warming hut. Surviving in winter weather gets a lot more difficult without a cold weather tent.

If you consider yourself self-reliant and ready for any situation, you need a high-quality cold weather tent.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.
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