What is a four season tent?
Experienced tourists know that not all shelters are the same because different seasons require different constructions, materials and functionality. Four season tent is the one that can handle all weather. This kind of gear is the ultimate solution if you don’t want to buy separate products for summer and winter camping. Imagine that you’re choosing a car for your long-distance trip: 4 season tents are like those upscale trailers which have everything for the best camping and your comfortable outdoors experience.
How to make sure the one you’re looking at is universal
If we check the market we will see that most of the products are usable for three seasons – summer, spring and autumn. Many of them can cover you from the sun and rain, fewer can handle heavy rain and strong wind. Even fewer can offer a proper shelter from the snow and extreme winter temperatures. So when you’re looking for the best 4 season tent to keep you dry, make sure the construction can also keep you warm. This is usually the case for the items with several layers of high-quality water-resistant fabric and additional heating devices.
The best four season tourist homes are usually made of a heavier fabric, their construction supposed to keep stability under the wind and the layer of snow so these products are usually larger than others and not so light-weighted. They can also have a more complex setup system but it doesn’t necessarily mean that an average person won’t be able to do it themselves.
Considering all of the above, a four season outdoor shelter is usually not the cheapest item on the market. But in a long-term it’s a great investment choice as 4 season constructions are built to last for a long time. They are universal and can replace even the best three-season tents.
What’s to focus on why choosing such a productMaterials
Unlike other options on the market, four season roof is made of a denser material - frost-resistant, moisture-resistant, wear-resistant reinforced fabric. This is due to the fact that they are used for long stays – sometimes for many months. The roof in this case must withstand prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation, precipitation and low temperatures.Water-resistance
Waterproof qualities of materials are measured in millimeters and indicate the amount of water pressure a fabric can withstand. They can vary from 800 mm to 10,000 mm. If we’re talking about four seasons, the best polyurethane water-repellent (PU) impregnation for the outer layer in this case should be in the range of 4,000 to 5,000 mm of water column.Equipment
All-season tents usually come with extra features that can help you stay longer time inside them. Such options include proper windows, shelves for your clothes and personal items, mosquito nets, doors with zipper, wood stove, ventilation pipe/system, snow skirt. Some have detached floors that can be used for winter fishing.Size
Size is one of the most important features to focus on. Depending on how many people you need to accommodate, whether you need additional space for the furniture and personal items you should choose bigger or smaller construction. During winter, you may actually end up spending more time than usual inside your shelter if you have to wait out bad weather. Having extra space is the best and is going to help you a lot in achieving comfort and keeping your mentally well. Shape affects how much free space will be there and how long the installation will take. There are different options depending on the type of your adventure and the equipment you’re planning on taking with you. For example, there are tunnel shapes that can fit a bicycle in the vestibule or you can choose a sphere-shaped construction that can let a person to stand freely inside (which is one of the best feelings if you’re staying in a closed space).
What market has to offer?
Let’s look at some of the best examples marketed for 4 season use and compare some of the features we discussed in the previous parts of the article.
Price: Very affordable.
Material: Outside layer of this item has a waterproof level of 3,000 mm and made of 210D oxford fabric with silicone coating. That number works but it’s not perfect for an all-season. The dome’s floor however has a waterproof level of 10,000 mm.
Shape: This construction has a six-angle design which can actually be more stable during windy seasons. Additional stability is definitely a perk for a 4 season shelter. It’s also very easy and quick to setup, even by a single person.
Size: It can accommodate at least two adults and two children which seems like a great option for a small family camping. Bigger tents in this case would just add extra weight on your back.
Equipment: There are no additional features at all which is quite disappointing. We do not suggest to use this one as shelter for a long-term four season camping as you won’t be able to accommodate with enough comfort.
Material: The seller claims that this item has 19x better insulation and a hydrostatic head of 5,000mm which are just great characteristics for a 4 season tent. The inner layer is made of poly-cotton and outer layer is laminated poly-cotton. Super strong reinforced steel shock chord pole structure is the best way to provide a stability in extreme weather conditions.
Shape: This construction has a tunnel-shape which is not the most popular one but can be really efficient. There are two insulated rooms with extendable 14 ft porch.
Size: If you’re planning on bringing a big company – this is a good option as there are plenty of space even for the proper beds. You can place a lot of furniture inside and accommodate an outdoor home for at least six people. However, bigger items are heavier and this product is no exception with the weight of 202 lbs (92 kg).
Equipment: There are plenty of windows and two exists which are wheelchair accessible. That’s about it.
Price: Above average and high-budget.
Material: All of the RBM Outdoors tents are made for universal camping so we’re not going to focus on specific models. There are plenty of choices but each features the best, sturdy, innovative, and water-resistant material, Oxford 300 PU 4,000 mm which will keep your temporary home dry even on rainy days. The inner layer is manufactured from Oxford 210 PU 2,000 mm and coated with a special water-repellent. Note, that all stitches are glued to provide the ultimate protection from any liquids.
Another important feature: the frames are made of aviation alloy B95T1. That is a very high-strength metal which restores its initial shape after bearing a heavy weight. Such construction can stand extreme weather conditions: strong wind and falling snow.
Shape: You can choose from different shapes such as sphere, cuboid, pentagon and even hexagon. Some of these have the patented umbrella-type frame mechanism which allows the easiest setup.
Size: RBM Outdoors offers various sizes but each construction can fit at least three people. Some of them are capable of accommodating up to eight people at once.
Equipment: In terms of extra features these products have it all. One of the best things about RBM Hot tents are built-in stoves and heat-resistant smoke pipes. Being able to keep comfortable temperature inside your shelter all night or cook a hot meal in a middle of the winter forest is a really luxurious camping experience. The stove comes with protective metal shields so you don’t need to worry about burns or risk of fire – it’s all about safety.
There are also 5-layer windows, removable mosquito nets, detachable pouches for your everyday items, zippered and detachable floor that’s very convenient for winter fishing. Full package!
Price: Above average.
Material: The ‘Mission 4P’ is made of 30D high tenacity polyester fabric. According to the manufacturer, the material is seam-sealed, durable and does not sag which is the best for wet conditions. The construction has double-wall and supposed to handle snowy and rainy weather.
Shape: This tunnel-shaped shelter is built for mountaineering and expedition traveling so it’s a little bit different from base camping constructions. It’s light and weights only 12 lb 14 oz (5,8 kg) so that allows the tourist to carry it to the long-distance. The hoop and hub exterior frameset allows easy and proper pitch in extreme weather conditions.
Size: It has a four-person capability which is quite good for a mountaineering tent. You can’t stand inside or place furniture but, in this case, you’re not supposed to. An extended front vestibule has twin doors and can be used as a ‘kitchen’-like area or storage space.
Equipment: This product has zipped exit, eight internal mesh pockets and removable inner tent for base camp shelter. After all, this is product that can cover you from extreme weather conditions but only if you are prepared and have additional equipment to keep yourself warm. To be fair, this kind of product (for mountain and expedition travelling) is not supposed to offer a luxurious outdoor experience.
How to make a choice?
First of all, look at the quality of the materials and make sure the item you’re picking is actually a 4 season tent that can keep you dry and warm. Then, choose a product that works best for your personal needs. Some of them don’t offer enough additional space and any amenities but that makes them lighter and easy to carry on the top of the mountain. Some are heavier but come with the whole package of features that can make your time outdoors unforgettable. Price isn’t the last thing to focus on, but don’t forget that 4 season products are supposed to serve you longer.
🏕 What is a 4 season tent?
A four season tent is the one you can use not only during summer, spring, autumn but also during winter. Such products are usually made of high-quality materials with better density, water-resistance and stability.
📦 What is the best four season tent on the market?
One of the best brands on the market is RBM Outdoors that can offer a great variety of products for extreme weather camping. Each of these comes with a built-in wood stove that can keep you warm during winter.
💡 How to prepare for winter camping?
The best would be to get an equipment that can keep you dry and warm even in cold temperatures, for example, a portable stove. You can also purchase some thermal underwear and heat-retaining clothing. Don’t start with a long-term winter camping, instead, try a short period of time to find out if that’s something you’re capable of doing.
Hammad Rosales said:
Really awesome article
Hywel Mullins said:
Four-season tents can be used in summer
Lawrence Lang said:
I agree, and they can be just as comfortable
Hywel Mullins said:
I own a Pentagon 4 season tent and it’s great in summer, easy to set up and the temperature inside is perfect
Lawrence Lang said: