Whether you’re a novice camper or a seasoned pro, your equipment makes a huge difference in your comfort while camping. Many backpacking tents are available, but which ones are the right fit for you this winter? You’ll need to consider price, durability, size, and more.
To help make your purchase decision easier, we’ve compiled an objective look at the best tents for backpacking in the winter.
If you want to know the best backpacking winter tent in a hurry, we recommend the Rab Latok Summit 2 as the top pick.
- Rab Latok Summit 2 (Top Pick)
- Naturehike Cloud-Up
- MSR Access 2
- North Face Stormbreak (Budget Buy)
- Black Diamond Eldorado (High End)
- NEMO Kunai 2
- ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian
Compare Top Winter Backpacking Tents
|Tent Name||Overall Score||Bottom Line||Price|
Rab Latok Summit 2
|Check Out on Rab|
|87||If you want a roomy tent||Check Out on Amazon|
MSR Access 2
|86||Great double-wall option||Check Out on REI|
North Face Stormbreak
Trusted name brand with great longevity
|Check Out on Amazon|
Black Diamond Eldorado
Great weight and size
|Check Out on Black Diamond|
NEMO Kunai 2
|84||Great features at a giveaway price||Check Out on Amazon|
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian
|84||Roomy tent with high height||Check Out on Amazon|
Overall Score: 91
- Extremely low weight
- Breathable tent
- Bathtub floors
- Resistant to tear and UV degradation
- Tight squeeze for two people
- Low height
Backpackers concerned about every last pound in their pack will want to consider the Rab Latok Summit 2 among the best options.
This lightweight option comes in at just 3 lbs. 7 oz., making it one of the lightest backpacking winter tents in our ranking.
You might be surprised at how large the interior of this tent is, given its low overall weight.
You’ll be able to fit roughly two sleeping pads on the inside, but it’ll be a tight squeeze. Overall, the tent comes in at just 28 square feet on the inside.
This makes it one of the smaller options, but it might be perfect for those who don’t plan to spend much time hanging out in the tent.
It could use a bit more space to rank higher and could maybe use a vestibule to give you more room protected from the elements and for pack storage.
The other thing to mention in terms of size is that the peak height of this small tent is just 31 inches. You may have to duck to fit comfortably inside this tent.
The Rab Latok Summit 2 has some impressive features that make it one of the best backpacking winter tents in this ranking.
This single-wall tent is constructed of Pertex Shield Air with three layers, making it a great weatherproof option for camping in a storm.
While it keeps the water out, most people find the tent still quite breathable.
If you’re planning to camp in inclement weather (which can hardly be avoided if you’ll be out for an extended period), you’ll be pleased to know that the Summit 2 has 6-inch-high bathtub floors to offer additional protection.
It also has six guy lines attached to the tent and some donut tie-in loops. Those who use this tent find it relatively easy to set up from the inside with a two-pole system.
This is an investment that you’ll make for the long haul. Because the tent is constructed of durable fabric and resistant to extreme weather, it’s likely to last longer.
The fabric of the tent is resistant to tears and UV degradation. You’ll have the Latok Summit 2 for years to come.
Nothing beats the price of the Rab Latok Summit 2 tent.
For the money, this is one of the most lightweight yet durable tents you can add to your collection of gear if you aren’t looking to spend a lot to get set up for backpacking.
Overall Score: 87
- Extremely lightweight
- Great value for the money
- Easy to assemble
- Comes in 2- or 3-person versions
- Bulky ground sheet
One of the lightest tents on our ranking, the Nature Hike Cloud-Up won’t weigh you down. The tent and poles weigh just 3.3 lbs, making for an extremely light pack.
Even if you opt for the slightly larger 3-person version, you’ll only have a total weight of just over 5 lbs.
For backpackers who want a roomy tent or those who are going with a large party, you can’t go wrong with the Nature Hike.
The two-person version comes in at roughly 28 square feet, which aligns it with many of the other options.
However, there is also the option for a 3-person tent that will accommodate an extra sleeping bag.
It also has a great height of 41.3 inches, giving you lots of headroom inside.
If you’re looking for a great four-season tent that is easy to assemble, look no further than the Nature Hike Cloud-Up.
It can be put together in just five minutes with space aluminum poles that are excellent for supporting the tent’s weight under snow or heavy rain.
The Cloud-Up has double layers, which makes it great for all four seasons.
It’s constructed of 20D nylon mesh, while the rainfly is made of 20D ripstop nylon with a silicone coating to make it both water-resistant and to offer protection from harmful UV rays.
One of the benefits of the Cloud-Up is that you can also use it in the spring and summer. You can assemble it using the inner layer to make it perfectly ventilated for warmer weather.
It also comes with a snow skirt, making it perfect for winter weather. Many users only complained that the ground sheet could be a bit bulky.
This tent is designed to last for the long haul, regardless of how frequently you use it. It comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, and you’ll find that it lasts a while, even with regular use.
For those looking for a bargain, this is quite a steal. It’s one of the most cost-effective tents on our ranking, even for the 3-person version.
Overall Score: 86
- Good interior height
- Two vestibules for gear storage
- Easy to assemble
- Small square footage
If you’re looking for a lightweight tent option that contains everything you need, the MSR Access 2 should make it on your shortlist.
It weighs just 3.8 lbs., making it an impressive option for backpackers who don’t want to carry even a single extra pound.
In this backpacking winter tent, you’ll have to cozy up to your tentmate. While it can technically hold two people and their sleeping pads, there isn’t much wiggle room at 29 square feet.
Your pack and gear may have to sleep outside the tent at night. Some people find that the height of the tent and the ability to sit upright inside outweigh the tight squeeze.
The Access 2 has a height of 42 inches. It also has two small vestibules that you can use to store your gear and backpacks.
One of the most important things to mention about the Access 2 is that it’s a double-wall tent.
This means that it’s great for wet weather with snow or rain, but it also has great ventilation to minimize condensation on the tent’s interior, which can freeze overnight.
The rainfly and the floor have an extremely durable polyurethane coating known as MSR’s Xtreme Shield.
The fly is coated in silicone, while the floor has a water repellant to help you stay as dry as possible when it’s raining buckets outside.
The shape of the tent is unique, but it’s still easy to pitch with just two poles. Don’t let that fool you, though – this tent is durable.
It even comes with mesh pockets on the inside to store smaller items off the ground.
You’ll find that the MSR Access 2 is one of the most durable tents on a modest budget. It’s ideal for camping in the contiguous United States but may not be ideal for more extreme conditions.
For the features, the MSR Access 2 is quite similar to other tents on our ranking regarding its overall price. It comes right in line with our more moderately-priced tents.
It comes with the MSR 3-year limited warranty, so you’ll have this tent for quite some time.
Overall Score: 86
- Higher peak height
- Easy to pitch
- Roomy interior
- Heavier weight
- Small square footage
If you don’t mind carrying a few extra ounces in your pack, the Stormbreak from North Face might be a good fit.
Backpackers love the durability of this tent, but the most common reason they shy away from purchasing it is its higher weight: 5 lb. 14.2 oz.
This is one of the heaviest tents on our ranking, but its feature-packed tent might be worth carrying the extra two pounds.
The North Face Stormbreak has some nice features in terms of size. The tent’s interior consists of extra room for two people (30.56 square feet), and it has a higher peak height than many others.
You’ll also find that you can likely sit up straight in this tent with a much higher 43-inch height than others on our ranking.
North Face uses its proprietary fabric to construct this tent. As a result, you’ll find that the tent can withstand some pretty wet conditions without issue.
Backpackers rave about how dry they stay in this tent, and many love how breathable it still is. It has two doors, allowing easier access to the interior of the vestibule.
The vestibules are twin-zip and multi-configuration, and the tent contains high-low ventilation so that you don’t have to worry about condensation on the interior of your tent at the height of winter.
You’ll find that the doors can be stuffed into the adjacent mesh pockets while the tent is set up.
You’ll also love that this tent is relatively easy to pitch with some practice, including attaching and removing the vestibule.
It pops up quickly, and it gets easier to maneuver into place as time passes and you become more practiced with this tent.
Unfortunately, the Stormbreak does have a few hang-ups regarding durability and longevity.
North Face created a great lightweight tent that will stand up to the elements fairly well, given that it weighs just a little over 5 lbs.
However, it won’t be as rugged and durable as others if you use it frequently. For occasional usage, you’ll find that the Stormbreak is good enough given the price point.
The price is relatively affordable for the Stormbreak. It may not be the least expensive tent on the market, but it comes packed with features, durability, and size.
Overall Score: 80
- Mid-range weight
- Bigger square footage and taller height
- 3-layer fabric for durability
- Poor ventilation
The Black Diamond Eldorado is an extremely durable option that won’t overload your backpack. It comes in around 4.5 pounds, which sets it solidly in the middle of the weight ranges of the tents on this ranking.
At this weight, it isn’t likely to make much of a difference over the lightest tent featured here, and you get far more features and durability with the Eldorado.
One of the biggest draws for the Black Diamond Eldorado is the overall size. Unlike other tents, you’ll have a bit of extra wiggle room when it comes to bedding down.
It can accommodate two sleeping pads at just over 30 square feet on the interior.
At this square footage, you may even be able to bring in your pack and some of your gear for safe storage overnight.
You also get to sit up nice and tall when on the inside of this tent. It is an impressive 43 inches tall, giving you as much extra room as you need, especially for the low weight.
The Black Diamond Eldorado is a great 4-season tent, but it does stand up well to the winter weather. It has a three-layer construction but remains both lightweight and strong.
It contains a waterproof floor and walls to keep you warm and dry in the inclement winter weather.
Unfortunately, one of the areas where the Eldorado doesn’t shine is its ventilation (one vent). You may find that it has some condensation on the interior after a long night.
It doesn’t offer much in the way of ventilation, but it sure is weather-tight. Some people also complain that the tent is too challenging to put together, especially for just one person.
It’s a strong and sturdy tent, but you may want to practice with it a few times at home before trying to set it up in strong winds.
While it may be a chore to put together, it is extremely durable and has quite sturdy poles.
Because the tent has a strong three-layer fabric, you’ll find that it has great longevity. The coating isn’t as likely to break down and ruin the tent, even when camping in the harshest conditions.
For the price, this is an awesome all-around tent that you’ll have for years to come.
Given the size and longevity of this tent, you’ll be surprised to learn that it is an affordable option if you’re just getting started.
It’s not the least expensive tent on our ranking, but it’s not the most expensive either. Overall, it’s worth the investment if you want something lightweight yet durable.
Overall Score: 84
- Mid-range weight
- Great height
- Wind-resistant fabric that wicks away moisture
- Bathtub floor
- Breathable fabric
- Small interior space
As one of the most affordable tents on this list, the NEMO Kunai 2 tent is also one of the most lightweight solutions. Coming at just 4 lbs. 5 oz., it rivals the Rab Latok Summit 2 with just a slightly higher weight.
You’ll love the features and durability packed in this lightweight option for those concerned about every pound in their packs.
It’ll be a tight squeeze inside this tent if you’re camping with two people. It’s just 28.5 square feet on the interior, but the tent’s height makes up for its small interior size.
It will technically hold two sleeping pads inside without much room for gear. With quite vertical walls, you get the maximum amount of headroom at 44 inches tall.
Keep in mind that it has a vestibule – just one – but only one door. This offers more protection from the elements but can be a pain when trying to get situated in the tent with your tentmate at night.
No matter where you intend to go backpacking, the Kunai 2 has you covered. The fabric is geared toward those who plan to camp in windy or wet areas.
Its profile makes it quite wind-resistant, while the fabric (375D nylon with double walls) tends to wick moisture away from the tent’s walls.
It even has a bathtub floor to help you stay dry when laying on top of snow or ice. One of the best features of the Kunai 2 is that it’s great for all-season camping.
During the spring and summer, you’ll find that you can unzip the side panels and use mesh windows to help keep moisture under control on the tent’s interior.
For backpackers who are going about their trip solo, you’ll find that the Kunai 2 is very easy to set up on your own.
The poles and clips are color-coded, making it a breeze to pitch the tent as quickly as possible so you can turn your attention to more pressing matters of setting up camp in the winter weather.
You’ll find that the NEMO Kunai 2 is relatively durable, especially because you won’t have to invest much into getting it set up.
It works great in moderate conditions with some snow but may not be the ideal option for more extreme weather conditions.
This is easily one of the most affordable backpacking winter tents on this list.
It’s a small amount of money to invest in this tent, particularly if you aren’t sure how often you’ll go backpacking in the winter or how you’ll like it.
The Kunai is a great starter tent for campers who are just starting to build up their equipment inventory and don’t have much to invest in a new tent.
Overall Score: 84
- Spacious interior
- High peak height
- Double doors
One of the only reasons that more people don’t add the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian tent to their must-have list for backpacking in the winter is due to its weight.
Don’t be scared off by its 7.9 lb. weight, though. This is certainly the heaviest backpack tent in our ranking, but it comes loaded with features and a hefty size that makes up for the extra weight.
The tent’s size is one area where the Tasmanian shines. Compared to the other tents on the ranking, it’s much more spacious.
The interior of the tent clocks in at 39 square feet, allowing you to fit up to two people. If you have a smaller party, you’ll be able to fit your gear inside the tent with you at night.
The peak height is also impressive at 46 inches.
If you’ll be camping in the great outdoors during winter, the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian has a lot of promise.
First, the assembly is quick and easy, so you can settle in quickly when the weather is poor. It uses an aluminum free-standing pole construction to make things as easy as possible for you.
The fly is made of water-resistant heavy-duty polyester to keep you dry in the wettest conditions. It has factory-sealed seams with a poly taffeta floor.
Not to mention, it is also UV-resistant to minimize the degradation of the tent and keep you away from harmful rays.
There are two doors, making it easy to enter with multiple tentmates. It even comes with mesh storage pockets to keep your belongings safe and up from the ground.
You’ll find that the construction of this tent makes it ideal and as durable as possible. Not to mention, the floor is also constructed of extremely durable material.
This is well worth the investment if you’re searching for a tent that you can keep for a while.
Given the size and longevity of the tent, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s still affordable.
For the ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian, you’ll pay just a few hundred dollars, making it solidly in the middle of the pack on our ranking.
We’ve reached the end of our objective and comprehensive look at the best backpacking tents for winter and why we chose the Rab Latok Summit 2 as the best lightweight option for your next backpacking expedition.
While there may be some well-known brands out there, these hidden gems are the best of the best when it comes to your next tent.