10 Best Extreme Weather Tents

Extreme weather backpacking isn’t for the faint of heart. When the snow starts falling, most pack up their gear and hide it away in a corner of the garage.

The same goes with camping in high winds or torrential downpours. Only the die-hards head out into the wild.

Planning a trip in extreme weather? There’s one piece of gear that can make or break your trip. Your shelter! A tent or bivy sack that lets water in, crumples in high winds, or that has all of the insulation of a T-shirt, can turn your outdoor adventure trip into a nightmare… fast. No one wants to wake up with a face of frost, or a soggy sleeping bag.

The best extreme weather tents are designed to defend against all of the elements. Some are perfect for wind and rain, but not always cold. While the best 4-season tents do it all, cold, wind, rain, no matter how extreme.

You might be wondering: what extreme weather tents are the best?  which tent should you buy?

There are numerous options on the market. You’ll find everything, from $4,000+ glamping shelters, to ultra-lightweight backpacking tents. Yet, the real winners aren’t always the most expensive, lightest or sleekest.

The best extreme weather tents do one thing well. They keep the elements out!

Need a little help as you start shopping for your next extreme weather tent? Hopefully this list of our favorite extreme weather tents helps. Each offers protection from the cold, the wind, and/or the rain. So, bottom line, if you’re one of those die-hards that doesn’t get spooked by bad weather, any one of these tents would be a welcomed addition to your pack.    


 

#1 All Around-Ranked: Mountain Hardwear “Trango”

Since the mid-1990s, Mountain Hardwear’s Trango tents have been one of the most popular 4-season mountaineering shelters on the market. That makes a lot of sense. These tents are awesome all-weather shelters! From the “bathtub-style” floors, to the low-slung teardrop geometry, the Trango is designed to take a beating, without letting the elements in.

A few features stand out. For starters, the Trango is “guaranteed watertight.” That’s due in part to the welded seams, fully taped fly and bathtub floor. Plus, the heavy-duty nylon floor and rainfly are fully coated. The Trango’s fly also has numerous vents, ensuring you keep out dreaded condensation. In terms of construction, the Trango earns high praise. It’s built tough, and is designed to be used season after season. That’s in part due to the high-quality materials, which include 70D and 40D nylon fabrics, welded seams, and DAC Featherlite poles.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 9.75 lbs.
  • Tent Area: 40 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: The construction quality is one of the best on the market. This tent will last you a long time! Plus, it’s fairly spacious for a two-person tent – two can sleep in this tent fairly comfortably.

Cons: Set up is fairly easy, but could be faster. That could be a problem, especially if you’re wearing gloves. It’s also a little heavier, especially for solo treks.

Final Verdict: The Trango is an expedition tent, through and through. No matter the season, you’ll love to call this shelter home.  Another great thing about this tent, overall, is that it provides some of the highest quality materials (nylon + rainfly) on the tent and camping market.  

>> Learn how you can buy the #1 Ranked Mountain Hardwear "Trango" today!


#2: ALPS Mountaineering “Extreme” 3 Outfitter

With a name like the Extreme, you’d expect a tent to withstand whatever you could throw at it. And the Extreme 3 Outfitter certainly does. A 3-season backpacking tent, the Extreme 3 is designed for rough conditions. The tent is built with factory-sealed seams, a coated polyester fly, and its oxford nylon floor. These features are designed to do one thing well: provide maximum waterproofing. If you’re headed out in wet conditions, this tent will keep you dry, no problem.

 One of  our favorite Extreme Weather tent of the year.   Excellent for backpacking, camping and easy set-up that works for beginners to advanced.

One of our favorite Extreme Weather tent of the year.  Excellent for backpacking, camping and easy set-up that works for beginners to advanced.

Plus, the Extreme 3 is built for tough wind. The tent features a 3-pole design, and the poles are built from sturdy 7000 series aluminum. The Extreme 3 has a compact dome shape, which gives it maximum wind resistance, and it’s easy-up design, makes it no problem to build in the wind. A few other features that are great include a two-door system, two expansive vestibules for gear storage, and multiple fly vents for increased ventilation.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 9.25 lbs
  • Tent Area: 48 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Use Rating: 3 Season

Pros: This award-winner is one of the best waterproofed 3-season tents on the market. It’s also roomy for a three-person, and the vestibules are spacious.

Cons: This is a 3-season tent, so it doesn’t offer much in terms of insulation. If you’re headed out in the snow, you’ll need a true 4-season set-up.

Final Verdict: The Extreme 3 is a favorite backpacking tent because of its spaciousness and impressive weather-proofing. This backpacking and camping tent is perfect for tough rain or heavy winds.

>> Learn how you can buy the ALPS Mountaineering Extreme 3


#3: MSR “Hubba Hubba NX”

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is the perfect trail companion for those all-weather warriors. This 3-season tent is lightweight, compact, and its expertly engineered to be wind-resistant and 100% waterproof. For a two-person tent, the Hubba Hubba NX is surprisingly spacious. The tent benefits from a non-tapered floor design, which leaves the corners stretched out. This maximizes floor space, and with an area of 29 square feet, the NX comfortably accommodates two people.

In terms of its extreme weather bona fides, the Hubba Hubba NX is made from heavy-duty ripstop nylon, and along the floor and rainfly, the nylon gets a Durashield coating.  Plus, the tent’s StayDry doors, which feature built-in rain gutters, can help prevent water from seeping in. In other words, the Hubba Hubba is engineered to keep you and your gear dry.

In terms of set-up, the Hubba Hubba goes up in a flash, and tear down is just as easy. That’s due in part to a fast-clip system, with the poles clipping quickly to the tent canopy. Plus, there are plenty of other great features you’ll love, including two spacious vestibules inside, a compression stuff sack (which reduces the pack space you’ll need), and dual doors.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 3.7 lbs
  • Tent Area: 29 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Use Rating: 3 Season

Pros: The Hubba Hubba NX is super-lightweight, coming in at just three pounds. And that makes it a perfect backpacking shelter for weight-conscious hikers.

Cons: This tent is lighter than most, and that’s certainly a plus. But there’s a trade-off. In high winds or cold October temperatures, it’s not very insulated.

Final Verdict: A great backpacking tent, the Hubba Hubba is lightweight, impressively waterproofed, and it’s fairly spacious for a two-person tent.  Along with a great name for a backpacking and camping tent, it's also a great resource to have for all levels of campers and hikers.  

>> Learn how you can buy this tent as one of our best of the year!


#4:  SnugPak “The Cave”

The Cave, from SnugPak, has a very descriptive name. This dome tent certainly looks like a cozy cave, with a compact, low-to-the-ground design. Not to mention, this shelter is designed to keep you dry and warm, no matter the conditions. This is a 4-season beast that sleeps four.  However, at maximum capacity it can feel like a fairly tight squeeze.

The Cave features a four-pole design, with the poles fitting into sleeves on the canopy. A fifth pole can be used to create a spacious vestibule up front, which offers plenty of space for everyone’s gear. In terms of its extreme weather rating, The Cave has a lot of interesting features. This is a double-layer tent. That means you have the inner tent, as well as full coverage from a separate fly. This adds plenty of insulation in winter. Additionally, The Cave is 100% waterproof, and its low-slung profile keeps it protected from high winds. Not to mention, the tent features high-quality components throughout, including sturdy DAC Featherlite NSL poles.

The Specs:

Pros: The double-layer design provides additional insulation, and makes this a great cold-weather tent.

Cons: Set up isn’t fast. The inner tent must be set up first, before the fly can be attached, and compared to some easy-clip designs, The Cave does take longer to build.  This might require some expert adventurers to get you set-up… so we recommend knowing what it will take well in advance.

Final Verdict: If you’re looking for a tent you can set up at basecamp, this is it. The Cave is cozy, dark, and built for withstanding the conditions.  SnugPak continues to innovate on all levels as they not only designed a lightweight, durable camping tent, but they have excellent customer service all-around.  

>> Learn how you can buy the SnugPak's "Cave" Tent!

 

#5: Marmot "Midgard" 2-Tent, 4-Seasons (Awesome for Family-Size)

The Marmot Midgard from Marmot shares its name with the nearly indestructible metal. And that’s not a mere coincidence. The Midgard was designed for durability and ruggedness, and it’s a favorite tent among backpackers for this very reason. The Midgard is rated as a 4-season tent, and in any winter, spring, summer or fall conditions – from heavy rain, to high heat – you’ll love this shelter. The tent is 100% watertight, thanks to its seam-taped fly and floor and densely woven polyester fabrics. You’ll have no reason to worry about getting wet in the Marmot tent.

Another great feature: the tent is designed with a color-coded “Easy Pitch” system. All of the clips, poles and fly are color-coded for faster set-up – which is needed after a long day on the trail. You can put this one up in minutes, without having to think like an engineer. Plus, the tent’s 7000 series aluminum poles are sturdy and add rigidity, and the unique pre-bend construction gives the walls more up-and-down, which maximizes headspace. Dual doors and vestibules are another feature that make access convenient, while also increasing storage space at the same time.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 8 lb. 6 oz. 
  • Tent Area: 38 sq.ft.
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: The Tungsten is a beast in high-wind and remains stable and lightweight. The set-up is also a breeze; easy to put up and break down.

Cons: This tent is a two-person (albeit two fairly small people). At maximum capacity, it’ll certainly be close quarters. For a bit of added room, you might consider the three-person Tungsten.

Final Verdict: Marmot’s Tungsten two-person tent is a reliable, durable and handy backpacking tent that’s perfect for rain or high winds.  We have always been impressed with Marmot's tent quality, but this one is a real winner in terms of all-around design, functionality, and ease of use.  

>> Learn how you can buy the Marmot's Midgard Tent!


#6. High Peak Outdoors “South Col” 4 Season

For an expedition-ready tent, the South Col does a lot of things right. The speed clip assembly system makes it easy-as-pie to set up (even if you’re battling with the wind). And the tent offers plenty of room for three. In fact, it’s fairly large for a three-person tent (at 46 square feet).

The South Col is constructed from lightweight and durable Ripstop Polyester and the seams are all fully taped. What’s more, the South Col is protected by a 3000mm coating, which can withstand up to 10 feet of rain before it’s time to recoat. In other words, this tent is designed to keep rain and condensation out. Another great feature: the South Col features a ceiling shelf, which is great for added storage. For cold weather, this is a double-layer – or double-walled – tent, with a fly that full covers the inner tent. That adds great insulation in cold weather, and helps keep out cool breezes too.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 9.6 lbs.
  • Tent Area: 46 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: The South Col goes up quickly and is fairly lightweight for an expedition tent. During winter time, the tent is super warm, and it provides a great defense against the rain for the spring and summertime.    

Cons: The South Col should probably be rated a 3-season tent. Here’s why: It’s great in spring, fall and winter. But in summer, the South Col does get warm and can be a challenge to keep the tent at a cool temperature.  

Final Verdict: Overall, the South Col is a compact dome tent that’s perfect for three people in cold weather.  Great tent overall!
 

>> Learn how to buy the High Peak Outdoors Tent!


#7: Rab “Ridge Raider” (Excellent for Solo Artists!)

The Ridge Raider from Rab isn’t technically a tent. It’s a bivy bag. But in terms of its extreme weather toughness, the Ridge Raider is certainly worth consideration. This is an ultra-compact, one-person shelter, and it’s perfect for solo mountaineering or adventure racing. Yet, even though it’s small, the Ridge Raider delivers a ton of benefits. First of all, it’s super quick to set up. The bag has just six pegging points and a single external pole. You can have the Raider set up in minutes.

For a bivy bag, the Ridge Raider also offers great ventilation. That’s important. Bivies are known for creating tons of condensation, which can be a problem in sub-zero temps. But that’s not a problem here. The Ridge Raider’s great ventilation gets a big boost from the eVent fabric that’s used throughout, which is breathable and lightweight.

The Ridge Raider is also built for the elements. It’s fully waterproof, and high winds zoom right over it. In cold weather, the Ridge Raider also adds a layer of insulation that will keep you warm and cozy.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Tent Area: 20 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 1
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: Set up takes just a minute or two, which is perfect when you’re battling extreme weather. Plus, the bag weighs just a few pounds; it’s a great piece of gear for ultra-light backpackers.

Cons: For a bivy bag, the Ridge Raider is a bit bulky. Its packed size is 6 inches by 12 inches, so it will take up some space in your pack.

Final Verdict: If you’re looking for a minimalist shelter that’s good in rain or snow, well, you’ve found it with the Ridge Raider. Get ready to have camp set up in seconds!

>> Learn how to buy the Rab Ridge Raider Bivi!


#8. The “Arctic Oven” 12 (Pricey, but wow!)

The Arctic Oven isn’t a tent you’d throw in your pack and head out on the trail. After all, it weighs nearly 80 pounds. Yet, for research trips, hunting expeditions and group treks in tough conditions, the Arctic Oven makes a lot of sense. The tent is massive, for starters. It accommodates up to 7 campers in spring/summer, or 4 to 5 in winter (if a heating stove is in use). Plus, with seven-foot ceilings and more than 150 square feet of floor space, the Arctic Oven is a mansion, compared to other cold weather tents.

Arctic Oven 12 with Vestibule
Alaska Tent and Tarp

Here’s why it’s a favorite of ours: the Arctic Oven accommodates a portable wood stove or other heat source, making it more of a portable cabin than a tent. Plus, it’s built with high-quality materials. The full-coverage fly is made from 200-Denier urethane-coated nylon, making it extremely waterproof. The body of the tent is made from Vapex, which adds tons of breathability and eliminates condensation. Plus, the tent can be set up with a massive 46 square foot vestibule for storing gear out in the woods. That’s about as roomy as most three-person tents.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 78 lbs
  • Tent Area: 152 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 7
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: The Arctic Oven is really like a portable cabin. It’s huge, it accommodates a variety of heat sources, and it’s designed for comfort… no matter the outdoor conditions.

Cons: The price is a turn-off – it costs about $2,600. And the tent’s weight limits its applications in the backcountry (although it would work by splitting weight across multiple packs).

Final Verdict: This is a tent designed for cold weather (it is called the Arctic Oven, after all). It’s great for expeditions and as a base camp shelter.  If you can afford this tent, then go for it.  It's absolutely brilliant in its design, and we can 100% vouch for the tent's quality!

>> Learn how you can buy the Arctic Oven 12 with Vestibule.


#9: Nemo Equipment “Chogori”  (Finding Nemo?)

There’s a lot to love about the Chogori. First of all, it’s a double-layer tent – that adds tons of protection from the elements. Yet, it’s versatile and lightweight (comparable in a lot of ways to a single-walled tent). What’s more, the Chogori uses an external pole system and an integrated fly to make set-up fast, while keeping weight down.

Bottom line, this is a true mountaineering tent. It’s lightweight, it’s super durable, and it offers plenty of protection from the elements.

One of the best features is the external pole system. That makes the Chogori easy to set up. The poles hook right into the fly/canopy, and it goes up in minutes. Plus, the integrated fly (the fly is attached directly to the body) helps cut weight by about 25% and makes this seem more like a single-walled tent. All of the tent’s fabrics are silicone-treated; this helps to maximize waterproofing. Plus, the Chogori has some of the best ventilation and vestibule space in the category.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 8.7 lbs.
  • Tent Area: 44 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Use Rating: 4 Season

Pros: This tent goes up like a single-walled tent. No need to set up an internal tent, and then lay the fly over the top.

Cons: Compared to the 2-person Chogori, the three-person only adds 8 square feet of additional space. That can make this feel quite cramped for three people.

Final Verdict: The Chogori is a great mountaineering tent.  It’s built for keeping the conditions outside, while keeping you cozy and comfortable inside.

>> Learn here how you can buy the Nemo Equipment Chogori Tent!


#10: North Face “VE 25”  (The North Face's Limited Edition)

The North Face has been producing the VE tents for more than 30 years. That says something about this tent’s versatility and popularity. It’s a premium mountaineering tent, built tough and designed to withstand whatever comes its way. (The North Face even says it’s a “severe weather” tent that provides shelter everywhere, even in Everest-like conditions).

You’ll notice the quality in the construction. The VE 25 features fully taped flooring, Kevlar guylines, and a nylon ripstop fly with 1500mm PU coating. Beyond the quality, the tent has plenty of space. For a three-person, it’s fairly large compared to others in the category. The tent also features a front vestibule, which adds about 10 square feet of additional storage. Thanks to an innovative venting system, the tent also breathes well, helping to minimize condensation, no matter the conditions.

The Specs:

  • Weight: 11.5 lbs.
  • Tent Area: 48 sq. ft.
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Use Rating: 4 Season  

Pros: The VE 25 is built for mountaineering. It anchors perfectly, helping to withstand wind, and it’s designed for just about anything you throw its way.

Cons: Other tents in the category tend to weigh less. So, if you’re concerned with weight, you might pick another tent.

Final Verdict: Overall, the VE 25 has stood the test of time, being a favorite for decades. Its popularity is due in a big way to its high-quality construction, all-weather bona fides, and streamlined, dome design.  We always love the North Face's tents, but this one is very special in that it's super-easy to set-up, it's durable, and reliable for all types of backpackers, campers, and hikers who want to setup in a beautiful outdoor area.  

>> Learn how you can buy the North Face VE 25 Tent - Summit Edition


Withstand the Weather in Any of These Tents

There’s a reason your backcountry shelter is part of the so-called Big 3. It’s the one piece of equipment that can ruin a trip. That’s why we took such effort in reviewing the best of the best extreme weather tents.

We poured over hundreds of extreme weather tents to find the best: the most waterproof, the warmest, and the most wind-proof. Whether you need a 3- or 4-season tent, all of these tents make a great choice for your camping and outdoor experience. If you’ve avoided the elements, pick one of these tents and start camping year-round, no matter what’s in the forecast.

We would love to get your insight and opinion on what your favorite all-around extreme weather tent is... be sure to reach out to us through social media below.