Winter Camping Guide: How To Choose A Tent


There’s something magical about camping in the winter, amidst the white, crisp snow and surrounded by snow-laden trees. However, camping in this wintry environment also means dealing with chilling winds, freezing temperatures, and the occasional snowfall. That said, you’ll need a winter tent that can handle them all to ensure that you stay warm and cozy throughout your winter adventure. If you’re still planning your winter camping trip and need some help in choosing the right tent to bring, here’s a breakdown of the features you’ll want to look for.


The first thing that you’ll want to look for in a winter camping tent is waterproofness. A waterproof tent is a necessity when it comes to winter camping, especially when the snow starts melting or when light precipitation starts to set in. Check the tent for waterproof fabric and solid waterproof seals. You can also waterproof your tent if you feel the need to do so.


One of the most important factors to look for when it comes to choosing and buying a winter camping tent is its ability to shield you from the cold. In this regard, you’ll want to look for tents with heavy fabrics since they’re much better at fending away cold and keeping heat inside the tent. Aside from the walls, you also need to consider the tent flooring, which should be waterproof and insulating. Experts also recommend using a tent footprint since this can help fight water seeping in from the ground

Tent Quality

The quality of your tent will determine how well it can protect you from wintry weather elements and keep you warm throughout your stay in the outdoors. Low-quality winter or sub-zero tents will always come with a compromise (e.g. thinner fabrics, weak tent poles, inaccurate/false temperature ratings, etc.) which makes them unfit for use for winter camping.

Quality winter camping tents will indeed cost more upfront, but at least you can be sure that when winds, rain, and snow starts blowing and falling while you’re out in the wilderness, you can count on your tent to keep you warm and safe against the unforgiving winter weather.


Although there’s something magical and enticing about the winter wonderland surrounding you, you’re most likely to spend more time inside your tent than outside. Thus, you’ll want a winter camping tent that is large enough to allow you to sit up straight and move around easily. The tent should be spacious enough for you to comfortably sleep and relax in.

Aside from that, you also need to make sure that you have enough room inside the tent for all your winter camping gear and equipment. You don’t want to leave them outside for obvious reasons. You can look for tents with vestibules, preferably attached to the tent instead of being a separate after-market tent accessory. This will not only help prevent snow from getting inside the tent but also provides extra sheltered space where you can place your camping gear.



To keep your tent warm and toasty, you’ll want to do everything possible to keep the heat inside. However, many campers soon find out that in doing so, beads of moisture start accumulating on the tent walls and ceiling making the whole atmosphere feel stuffy and humid. There are several ways to prevent condensation inside the tent, one of which is ensuring that there’s enough ventilation. Choose a tent with adjustable venting mechanisms that give you control over the tent’s microclimate, thus providing you with a more comfortable outdoor shelter.

Weight and Portability

This is usually the last thing that many winter campers usually worry about when it comes to choosing a winter tent. For one, a heavier camping tent usually provides more warmth (due to the thicker tent fabric) and sturdier tent poles (which are better at bearing loads of falling snow). However, it won’t do you any harm when you choose something easy to lug around as well. This is especially true if you visit campgrounds that require you to walk a significant distance from the parking lot to the campsite and vice versa.

Winter-specific Features and Accessories

Winter tents come with several features and accessories that other ordinary tents will not have. For instance, instead of regular stakes, winter tents will have snow pegs which are a little wider and helps keep your tent in place when there’s a significant amount of snow on the ground. Some winter and sub-zero tents can also have two doors, providing you with an entrance away from the wind and allowing you to get in and out without snow blowing inside. Besides, in case the falling snow blocks one of the doors, you can use the other door to get out of the tent. The rainfly on winter tents are also designed differently. They usually go all the way to the ground, as opposed to the fly used by summer tent which only reaches halfway down the sides.

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When camping in cold temperatures, you’ll need a tent that can stand up to the elements and provide you with a warm and comfortable space to sleep and relax. There are plenty of other features that you may want or need depending on your requirements and that of your camping conditions, but the ones mentioned above should help you get started on your quest of finding the right winter tent for you.

More Camping Reviews:


  1. Choosing the Right Tent for Winter Camping, Sail
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!