Winter tents and shelters for mountaineering, winter backpacking, and backcountry snowboarding excursions have to be stronger and wind-worthy for tenting in uncovered windy terrain that’s topic to heavy snow masses. Some are single-walled since they’re solely supposed for winter use when insect safety just isn’t wanted. Our choice is for light-weight four-season tents and tarp shelters as a result of nobody needs to lug a heavy tent all day when climbing a peak, snowshoeing, or backcountry snowboarding if it’s avoidable.
1. Black Diamond First Gentle 2P Tent
The Black Diamond First Gentle is a light-weight 2-person single-wall tent. Weighing simply 3 lbs 1 oz (seam-sealed), it’s made with NanoShield single-wall material and has a 70-denier polyester flooring. It has a entrance door and a small rear window, with zippered mesh panels at each ends to supply air flow and spindrift safety. Crossed inner poles make setup quick and straightforward and supply a robust construction able to withstanding excessive winds and snow masses. Seam sealing is advisable. A separate entrance vestibule can also be out there. Learn our First Gentle Assessment.
The MSR Entry 2 is a two-person, double-wall tent that weighs 3 lbs 10 oz. It has two doorways and two vestibules that present glorious livability and equipment storage, with a freestanding pole structure so you may set it up shortly, even on snow. A central assist body and carbon fiber tent poles present a robust construction for snow loading whereas remaining light-weight. The strong internal tent is breathable however supplied enhanced wind safety to maintain you heat on chilly winter nights.
The Black Diamond Beta Gentle is a bombproof ultralight tarp tricked out for snow journey. Newly up to date, it includes a seam-taped no-stretch polyester fly and an insect-proof mesh skirt, enabling four-season use. It requires two trekking/ski poles to arrange and is guyed so you may anchor it with skis, poles, shovel handles, or ices axes. Weighing 23 oz, its steep partitions shed snow, wind, and rain with out blinking an eye fixed.
The NEMO Kunai 2 is a double-walled four-season tent that weighs 3 lbs 14 oz. It has a strong, breathable internal tent for higher heat, with massive pass-through vents that present glorious airflow. An aggressive forehead pole over the entrance door supplies further clearance contained in the entrance vestibule, which supplies a sheltered entrance and damp gear storage. The Kunai 2 is appropriate for year-round use, which is an added bonus.
The Marmot Hammer is a wedge-shaped, two-person, single-wall tent (4 lbs 6 oz) that’s just like the BlackDiamond FirstLight, however has higher air flow choices. Along with a entrance and rear vent, there are two aspect vents close to the entrance of the tent, the place your head is prone to be positioned to assist vent water vapor out of your breath and scale back inner condensation. The Hammer additionally has aspect guylines that may be adjusted from throughout the tent, so you may tighten them with out having to go exterior, an actual luxurious in nasty climate. A entrance vestibule can also be out there.
The Sierra Designs Convert 2 is a freestanding 2-person tent with a entrance door and elective vestibule. The three-pole development could be very sturdy and storm-worthy however the tent is made with light-weight supplies to avoid wasting weight. The internal tent is spacious with loads of room for inner gear storage and has good air flow because of a mesh rear window and screened entrance door. Weighing 4 lbs 2 oz, the Convert 2 can be arrange fly first in wet climate to maintain the internal tent dry. An add-on vestibule can also be out there for extra gear storage. Learn our Convert 3 assessment.
The Mountain Laurel Designs SuperMid is a single wall, floorless pyramid tarp with a sq. 9’2″ x 9’2″ footprint with a peak peak of 69″. Pyramid tarps are bombproof in wind so long as they’re securely anchored with deadmen in winter. Weighing 26 oz, the SuperMid can sleep as much as 4 folks or it may be arrange as a protected group kitchen. It has one outsized peak vent for air flow, a middle door zip, and 16 guylines together with 8 perimeter guylines outfitted with linelocs. It may be pitched with two ski/trekking poles, lashed collectively. Whereas it’s out there in DCF, we suggest getting the silnylon mannequin as a result of snow slides off it higher.
The Black Diamond HiLight 2 is a single-wall tent with superb air flow. An air tunnel contained in the roof of the tent helps pull out moisture whereas the tent’s freestanding structure makes it straightforward to arrange nearly anyplace. Whereas it’s sized for 2 folks we predict it’s much more comfy for one, with house to your gear inside. It has a aspect door (a separate vestibule is out there) and a half-sized rear window. Weighing 3 lbs 12 oz, the HiLight 2 is made with Sil/PU coated polyester which doesn’t sag or stretch when it will get moist and is absolutely waterproof and manufacturing facility seam-taped. For 2 folks, we desire the HiLight 3 which has two doorways. Vestibules are additionally out there for each fashions and considerably enhance livability and equipment storage. Learn our HiLight 2 Assessment.
The SlingFin CrossBow 2 4 Season is a light-weight two-person tent designed to be used in excessive winter climate. Weighing 4 lbs 6.2 oz, it has a breathable nylon cover that protects its occupants in opposition to spindrift and wind whereas preserving condensation to a minimal. Poles sleeves, which SlingFin calls a WebTruss assist to distribute snow masses throughout a bigger floor space and are a lot stronger than clip model tents. The pole construction might be additional strengthened with trekking poles or ski poles utilizing SlingFin’s outrigger pole system. Two massive vestibules and quite a few inner pockets present best-in-class livability, whereas door vents present unrestricted cross-tent airflow for glorious condensation administration with out sacrificing climate safety. Learn our CrossBow 2 Assessment.
The Tarptent Scarp 1 is a spacious, double-wall tent with two aspect vestibule doorways. Whereas it’s designed for one individual, it’s in actual fact huge sufficient to suit two. Weighing 48.25 ounces, the Scarp comes with a single arched tent pole and might be pitched fly first earlier than the internal tent. The internal is out there in mesh or strong material. Further cross poles might be hooked up in windy situations. The corners are supported with quick carbon fiber struts in order that they stand vertically. Learn our Scarp 1 assessment.
When evaluating winter tents and tarp shelters, it helps to analysis the local weather situations, notably snow masses and wind speeds, you anticipate to make use of the tent in, as it will inform the diploma of tent pole power and air flow required.
Tent or Tarp?
Tents are nearly at all times heavier than tarps, however they provide much more consolation and safety as a result of they’ve flooring. They can be a lot simpler to arrange in the event that they’re freestanding so you will get out of the climate shortly and alter into dry garments. Whereas tarps are considerably lighter, they will take some time to arrange since you must freeze your guy-out factors in place in snow, a course of often known as sintering. This will take 20-Half-hour, throughout which era you’ll get a lot colder. You need to determine which choice is healthier to your wants.
Many winter tents have a number of crossed poles, anchored inside or exterior the tent partitions. Exterior poles which might be anchored in sleeves are a lot stronger than poles that hook up with an internal tent utilizing clips or velcro tabs. They’re rather more wind resistant and able to withstanding heavier snow masses. For tarps, most require one or two poles to arrange, though ones with excessive ceilings could require that you just lash two trekking poles collectively, normally with a versatile ski strap, to achieve the right peak.
Man Out Factors
It’s essential to safe your tent or tarp to the snow while you set it up so it doesn’t blow away and so the partitions don’t collapse below wind stress. Winter tents usually include gear loops as a substitute of guylines for this function so you need to use gear to anchor your tent, like skis, poles, ice axes, and many others. In the event you use snow stakes, it’s essential to freeze these in place by packing snow throughout them and letting it harden. If there’s no snow on the bottom, you’ll have a really laborious time pounding common tent stakes into the frozen floor.
You will need to decrease and scale back inner condensation. That is achieved by preserving tent door(s) open when possible, by way of peak and aspect vents, and in some circumstances by way of the usage of breathable wall materials. You possibly can by no means have an excessive amount of air flow in a winter tent or shelter since you’re sleeping on prime of water, frozen water. Search for tent doorways which have mesh screens backing them, as this allows you to maintain a door open at night time for air flow however blocks snow from blowing into the tent.
Winter tents designed for prime alpine mountaineering are sometimes cramped as a result of weight financial savings are so essential when you must climb many hundreds of ft to succeed in your vacation spot. When choosing a winter tent be reasonable about your size and width necessities, notably when selecting a two-person wedge-style tent, as livability might be compromised. Contemplate buying an add-on vestibule if out there as a result of they make an excellent “gear room” so that you can retailer moist or snow-covered gear or to cook dinner and soften snow below (with correct air flow to stop carbon monoxide poisoning) if you must wait out a storm.
Variety of Doorways
Tents designed to carry two occupants are extra comfy and handy to make use of if they’ve two doorways and vestibules as a result of you may come and go with out waking your tent accomplice. Dome-style tents typically present higher coated vestibule storage, which may make a major distinction in livability.
Winter tarps wouldn’t have flooring in an effort to save weight. Most individuals dig into the snow with an avalanche shovel to create “furnishings” for sleeping or sitting and to extend the quantity of usable house below the tarp. Some folks, even reduce out the flooring of their freestanding tents, together with the Black Diamond First Gentle, for a similar function, as a result of it vastly improves livability.
DCF (Dyneema) Tents and Tarps
Whereas tarp shelters made with DCF (Dyneema Composite Materials) are lighter-weight than ones made with silnylon or polyester, snow slides higher down the perimeters of silnylon and polyester shelters as a result of they’re slicker, lowering the burden of snow loading on the tent poles/ski poles holding up your tent or tarp. As well as, DCF tarps are a lot bulkier to pack making them much less fascinating in winter when backpack house is at such a premium.
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