Winter campers are some of the toughest folk out there, and they require winter tents that can withstand the worst conditions. The best winter camping tents, which are sometimes called four-season tents, are made with warmth and resistance in mind. In addition to keeping out the cold, winter camping tents are meant to keep snow, rain and sleet from piling on the top and breaking through, a disaster that can end any camping trip early.
Black Diamond has one of the best reputations in the ski industry, and their Squall 3 Tent is designed for those who seek out the best quality products. This one is made with lightness in mind, and it's a double-walled tent that will be durable in exacting situations. It has a fast-pitch hub that places the entire frame in one unit, double end doors and adjustable vents on the top, back, and front. It's made of a waterproof polyester and has a thick nylon floor. This three person tent has 21.4 square feet of storage room and sells for $600 at EMS.
While Mountain Hardware may not have the same clout as Black Diamond, the brand has stepped up its game with the EV 3 Tent. Made in collaboration with Ed Viesturs, a world famous mountaineer, this one uses a single wall design that makes it much lighter than comparable winter tents. It has an FR fly, a reduced floor space that makes for easier setup and patented SVX windows that allow for outside viewing without opening the zipper. This one is a little more expensive than the Squall 3, as it goes for $749 at Backcountry.
EMS carries this more affordable winter tent, which it sells for $499. The tent is a two person model that's capable of resisting extremely high winds and huge snowfalls. It has a small front vestibule to keep your wet stuff separate, double doors, high end aluminum poles that are particularly sturdy for their low weight, and mesh screens for high-low venting. This tent will get you through the toughest conditions, as it's been tested to -60F.
REI makes its own line of affordable tents, and this all-season model sells for just $310 at the company's store and website. It's designed with a backpacker layout that has tons of room for storage and access across all of the floor space. It uses DAC Featerlight NSL Combi poles that provide a great exchange in strength and weight, has a speed-pitching option for reduced setup time and an REI Hybrid floor that's designed for waterproofing.
REI also carries this larger winter tent, which sells for $500 and will fit up to six people. While this one lacks some of the more high-tech features of the Black Diamond and North Face tents, it will provide tons of comfort in non-extreme winter camping conditions. It has both front and back doors, a pole system that's designed to maximize headroom, a ripstop rainfly and 12 mesh floor pockets for sorting out all of your gear on your next camping trip!