Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

4-season tent

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Manitou Springs, CO

4-season tent

Postby rocky18 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:14 pm

I've spent the past several days looking at a lot of different 4-season tents trying to decide on a choice for my first 4-season tent. Most of the year I use an REI Taj 3-season.

What would anyone recommend in their experiences with 4-season tents? Has anyone used any 3-season tents a lot in winter and found them to work well enough?

Any suggestions and comments on tents would be great. Thanks!

Rocky
"Smile, breathe, and go slowly." Thich Nhat Hanh

User avatar
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:33 pm
Location: PUEBLO

Postby sgladbach » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:35 pm

Maybe I should wait until someone reccommends it, but I have a tent for sale. It is the North Face Mountain 24. It is a two-man tent appropriate for all Colorado winter camping and expedition peaks like Ranier, Aconcogua, and Denali.

I also like my more expensive Bibler tent for year round camping; it is lighter, but much less roomy.

You can get started in winter camping in any free-standing tent. The smaller, the better, as your body heat will need to heat the tent. Better tents are needed for the winds you'll encounter above timberline, but in Colorado I usually pitch camp as close to the summit as I can get w/o breaking timberline.
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

User avatar
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:34 am
Location: Colorado Springs

TNF Mountain 25

Postby XPLSV » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:41 pm

I've used the North Face Mountain 25 for the past two years and have been pretty happy with it. The provided stakes aren't the sturdiest and are pretty easy to bend when putting into rocky ground, but the rest of it has been bomb proof. Been through a couple storms of 40-60 mph wind/rain/snow gusts and it wasn't going anywhere. Definitely doesn't breathe well for warmer seasons, but I adapt it as best I can as it is the only 'true' tent I currently own.
Bernie
______________

It's an interglacial period...

User avatar
Posts: 1893
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:31 am
Location: People's Republic of Boulder

Re: 4-season tent

Postby thebeave7 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:54 pm

rocky18 wrote:What would anyone recommend in their experiences with 4-season tents? Has anyone used any 3-season tents a lot in winter and found them to work well enough?
Rocky


Well depends on what kind of winter aspirations you have. If you only want to camp below tree line in fairly protected areas then the 3 season will get you by, though you may occasionally get snow blowing in and it won't hold much heat(too much mesh).

If you want to get into camping up higher or just not limit you camp locations to protected areas, you may want to look into a true 4season. Bibler tents are the bomb, but are usually more cramped and very expensive. There are a number of tents from other manufacturers that will hold up well, dimensions and weight will vary obviously.

I've been using a SD Hercules I got a really good deal on, it's held up very well to snow loads and high winds. I've also used the bivy sac/trench/cave method quite a few times, this is an easy way to go if the weather isn't going to be horrid(blizzard).

Eric
Me fail English? That's unpossible. http://www.ericjlee.com/Blogs

User avatar
Posts: 641
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:52 pm
Location: Salida and Denver, CO

Postby Yikes » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:58 pm

i was wondering about this topic recently. what is the real difference between a 3 season and a 4 season? just sturdier construction to handle wind and snow loads? or is the ventilation different? or something else?

User avatar
Posts: 2048
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:39 pm
Location: Edwards (Singletree), CO

Postby gdthomas » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm

Yikes wrote:i was wondering about this topic recently. what is the real difference between a 3 season and a 4 season? just sturdier construction to handle wind and snow loads? or is the ventilation different? or something else?


4-season tents generally utilize heavier/sturdier fabric, poles and stakes than their 3-season counterparts. They are usually smaller to save on weight, utilize body heat more efficiently, and fit in tight places. 4-season tents are more expensive than 3-season tents. 4-season tents can have a stove vent for safely cooking inside although some 3-season tents have a similar vent. There can be other differences particularly with "bells and whistles" type features.

Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:58 pm
Location: kansas

Postby altitudesick » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:25 pm

i would say that its a mixture of all that, wind, snow loads, and more importantly the ability to maintain heat while still being ventilated enough not to suffacate anyone. guy lines are a huge addition that you get on some of the higher tent models. i dont think that colorado weather calls for guylines but if you are going to use it elsewhere in the world, what the hey get one anyway. they are also expensive, my two man is about the lowest 4 season model carried and it was 250 dollars. would i have researched more i would have bought a convertible tent for the weight factor(four season tents are usually quite heavy unless you shell out real money). if i already had a 3 season tent id stick with it and just bring along a shovel and dig it in good. i will tell you this though, never try a non-free standing tent above treeline when the winds are around, not a fun night at all. :wink:

User avatar
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:55 am
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Postby firsttracks » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:24 am

I own a Mountain 25 tent, and it works great. But, it's so heavy (10+ lb packed) that I never carry it anymore.

Here are some other (better) options:
Stephenson Tents: 4 season tents, under 3 lb (for the 2 person models). Can't beat the weight, but the tent isn't free-standing. I've used it at 17k' in Alaska, and it was just fine. $500.

Mountain Hardwear EV 2: Great single-wall tent. Comes in around 5 lb. Expensive. $625.

Bibler Eldorado: The classic lightweight, 4-season tent. Under 5 lb. $575.

ICEBOX Igloo Maker: See this thread for more info. This is my favorite option for winter. 5lb. $170.

If I were to go out and buy a new tent tomorrow, I'd probably pick up the EV2 (after stopping at the bank for a loan!).

User avatar
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:15 am
Location: Colorado Springs

Postby osubg1 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:38 am

I have this one and I really like it

http://www.msrcorp.com/tents/wind2.asp

I haven't used it a whole bunch of times, but so far it's great. Will be using it this year much more, I have some more backcountry friends...

User avatar
Posts: 625
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:34 pm
Location: Lake City, Co

Postby PKelley » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:12 am

I have had a Bibler Eldorado for the last 11 years, and the thing is absolutely amazing. I would buy one again, and have never had any problems with it. I expect it to last easily another 11 years. The thing could go (and has) through a major storm, and I always come out bone dry. It is also warmer and lighter than most tents. Just my 2 cents.
The Dalai Lama when asked what surprised him most about humanity:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

User avatar
Posts: 5040
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Craig

Postby Scott P » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:25 am

Has anyone used any 3-season tents a lot in winter and found them to work well enough?


Below timberline, yes. They do just fine. Above timberline, a 4season is needed for sure.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests