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When to use 4 season tents

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When to use 4 season tents

Postby caad4rep » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:24 pm

I am just wondering what you all generally consider the 4th season in Colorado when camping above tree line. October-April? Anyone use 4 season tents or 3 season tents year round?

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Postby J-RockandRockpile » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:03 pm

I guess the best answer would be you can use your 4 season at any time during the corse of the year. Should be vented for summer trips as well as, waterproofed, with a thick outer shell for the colder winter months. If you camp dead of summer, it might not be necessary but in that case sleep outside.
I have been to the top of the mountain, and it is good

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Postby Prairie Native » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:30 pm

i use my 4 season all the time.my kelty, i know not the best brand, radiant 2 is very well ventilated, i think there is 10 ventilation areas underneath the rain fly and in winter its VERY bomber when its all zipped up and dug in. it was under 300 dollars. i use it for all season weather and here in KS its been through thunderstorms galore and never leaked.
Something witty.

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Postby coloradokevin » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:02 am

I bring out my four-season tent (mountain hardwear trango 2) once the combination of wind and or snow convinces me that I need a stronger and more "weather-tight" (err, blowing snow-tight) tent.

The rest of the time I just use my 3 season tent, which is far lighter than the MH Trango series.

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Postby climbhard511 » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:04 am

Anytime you have a chance of blowing snow, it's worth having the 4 season tent. otherwise you will wake up with 2 inches of snow on your sleeping bag that blew in through the bug netting.
Every trip is a prep trip.
I train for vacation.

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Postby allens » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:50 am

I have too many tents...but only use the 4 season tent if there's a good chance of significant snow, high winds, or sub-zero temps, which just isn't that often here in Colorado. I do use my "stronger" 3 season tents during marginal weather, usually Nov & Mar/Apr or when camping above treeline in relatively unsheltered areas. Of course there's always a risk...in 20 years of camping I've misjudged twice and suffered bent/broken poles...but that just adds to the adventure! The weight alone discourages any serious backpacking use of the 4 season varieties...why on Earth would I lug along an 8lb bomb proof tent when a 2lb solo tent will do the job? Though a sled nicely puts much of that weight somewhere other than my back. I'm also looking hard at some of the new 4 season varieties at REI...the ASL series, 4 season strength at 5lbs...

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Postby coloradokevin » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:51 pm

allens wrote:The weight alone discourages any serious backpacking use of the 4 season varieties...why on Earth would I lug along an 8lb bomb proof tent when a 2lb solo tent will do the job?


I know what you mean... I've been sort of shopping for a lighter 4-season tent myself. The Trango 2 I have is nothing if not heavy, granted it has been a bomber tent for me. The only trouble I ever had was on winter trip on Mt Washington when someone in my group tripped onto the fly/vestibule, and through some combination of falling on it or spiking it with their ice axe managed to break the zipper on the fly. Regardless, I explained that to MH and they sent me a brand new fly for free! That's incredible customer service in my mind (given that it was completely a user-error situation)!

Anyway, I've considered the Bibler line for some weight savings, but I haven't made that move out of concerns for the cramped floor space (two of us with a 70 lb dog makes for tight winter living). Eventually I need to get into some stores and start looking to see what has developed in the past decade or so (I've had the Trango for quite some time now... I think about 12 years if memory serves me... way back when MH was a much smaller company and made these tents in that ugly teal color, and you had to seam seal them at home in your garage :) ).

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Postby Alpine » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:51 pm

I have used my Sierra Designs Stretch Dome (4 season) year round, and my Kelty Zen (3 season) year round. I just base it on the expected conditions.

As others have said, you just have to evaluate the needs of the trip. I only use the SD when I need to, because it is quite heavy. I guess I find that I am not that picky when it only comes to one or two night trips - if I need the extra room, I can put up with the wieght of the SD, and if I need the weight savings, I can put up with the breeziness of the Kelty.

My son just got a good deal from Steep and Cheap on a Marmot Zonda - can't wait to try it out.
Last edited by Alpine on Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CG_old

Postby CG_old » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:11 pm

coloradokevin wrote:I bring out my four-season tent (mountain hardwear trango 2) once the combination of wind and or snow convinces me that I need a stronger and more "weather-tight" (err, blowing snow-tight) tent.


Same here...

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Postby colorado yooper » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:11 pm

do not use a 4 season tent in Missouri in summer.....
To the High Crags!

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Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:52 pm

I've come to think that both 3-season tents and 4-season tents are actually 3-season tents. 3-season tents aren't good for winter and 4-season tents aren't good for summer(warmth, condensation, as well as being obviously too heavy). Bring a 4-season tent when heavy winds as well as heavy snow are possibilities.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

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