Backpacking is one of our strong suits as you may have noticed. We’ve learned a lot about what to carry and what to look for simply from trial and error.
You do something often enough and you get a good feel for how to improve the next time. And you don’t necessarily ever get to the point where things are perfect. To be honest, that is not the goal. There would be no challenge in it then.
When we buy equipment and clothing, we do try to have crossover gear. In other words, we want to be able to use it for multiple purposes so that we can make our money go farther. And since we live in area which experiences winter, spring, fall and summer, that means we want to have an ultralight four season tent.
One of the biggest challenges when buying one is the fact that being able to use it in super cold temperatures means that it might be heavier to carry. In fact, at one point in time, being lightweight and being cold weather rated didn’t belong in the same sentence when talking about camping or hiking gear. Thank goodness manufacturers have listened to outdoor enthusiasts and have a better idea of what they want and need.
Although we’ve done some research and highlighted five models for you, just below the products, you can read up on the features that make the best option. Actually, we used those points when considering which ones to show you.
#1 Single vs Double Wall
The double is going to give you more protection against the elements, but at the same time, it is heavier. The single wall is much more flexible especially if you need to pitch it on a small space or tight ledge.
#2 Pole Structure
The type of tent pole is important because depending on how well they are built, they create the stability for the tent. The thicker the pole, the stronger it will be. Again, you have to have that perfect balance between weight and functionality.
#3 Why Ventilation
When sleeping in colder climates, warm air from breathing condenses when it hits the walls of the shelter resulting in wet clothes, sleeping bags, and blankets. Not only is this situation uncomfortable, but it could be dangerous if the temperatures are cold enough. To fix the problem, the shelter needs to be properly ventilated. Some models have mesh panels in the roof and doors while others are constructed from breathable fabrics.
#4 Snow Loads
Mountaineering style shelters should be able to withstand some accumulated snow without collapsing.
An added fly can help with protection if you build a bit of a snow wall at the entrance. This way you can keep out drafts, plus you don’t have a big snowdrift at your door preventing you from entering.
Lastly, what is a footprint if you see it in the description? It is a ground cover to protect the tent.
Remember that nature is not always your friend. Wild snowstorms and powerful lighting storms can reek havoc on a shelter. Regardless of construction, it is no match for the ferocity of Mother Nature.
Do your best to pick out something that helps in your pursuit of the great wide outdoors, but be sensible when you actually trek out.