What to Look For
It is essential to purchase the best cold weather tent because without the appropriate cold weather protection it is possible to become injured or even die while camping in cold weather. Look for structure construction made of strong but lightweight materials, such as aluminum; weatherproof fabric, such as polypropylene or nylon; vapor barriers and cross ventilation. Choose a tent with wind barriers to prevent icy winds from penetrating the tent. The North Face VE 25 tent offers superior winter protection and is among the highest rated cold weather tents available. The Pegasus from Exped is a quality four-person tent with cold weather protection.
Cold weather tents are often expensive. When dealing with the forces of nature, it is important not to skimp on features that will increase chances of surviving comfortably through the night. Prepare to spend a large chunk of money on a cold weather tent. Cheaper tents will not provide the comfort and safety of a more expensive tent designed for extreme weather conditions. It is also important to purchase a tent specifically for cold and extreme weather. All-weather tents, or three-season tents, will not provide adequate winter protection.
Where to Buy
There are many stores that sell tents, but few provide the variety necessary to find a quality cold weather tent. Bass Pro Shops is an excellent store that offers a large variety of tents for cold weather. They offer many tent brands including The North Face, Ascend, Bass Pro Shop’s own brand, Coleman, Columbia, Eureka and Nite Ize. Bass Pro Shops has many stores across the United States and also has an extensive merchandise selection online.
Expect to pay at least $400 for a high quality cold weather tent. The North Face VE 25 tent costs just under $600. The Exped Pegasus tent costs just under $800. The larger the tent, the higher the price, so if you need a cold weather tent for two or more people expect to spend $1,000 or more for a quality tent.
Consider adding the purchase of a tent heater along with your cold weather tent purchase. A tent heater will provide extra warmth inside the tent. Tents, no matter how insulated, will still feel cold at night in the winter. A heater will provide warmer conditions, making it more comfortable inside.
Look for a tent with double wall construction. This will provide an insulated inside, while the outside layer reflects wind, ice and snow. A ventilation chimney helps prevent the tent from stifling in cold weather conditions. This also draws in cold air from outside the tent, similar to an igloo.
- climber and alpamayo peak from the tent image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com