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Looking for a new 2 people 3-4 season tent

Dear forum members, 

As the tittle says I'm looking for a new tent that allows me to camp in the snow in elevations under 11,000 ft (using it on early spring, not a winter expedition) and at the same time that I will use it for backpacking, I know it is difficult to get a tent tha will solve my problem, but I wish I had enough money to buy a 3 season and then a 4 season depending on the kind of trip that I will do.

Other important thing to consider is that in my country (Chile) there are not many variety of brands and models tents, some of them are: Marmot, The North Face, MSR, Black Diamond, Hannah, Vango, Mountain Hardwear, Nemo, Salewa, Ferrino, Hilleberg etc. Unfortunately here is not possible to find other models than the well known and they are obviusly overpriced.

Well, after tell you my personal problems I'm going to mention the main characteristics that I need on my new tent:

Weight (If possible no more than 6 pounds)
Water resistant (If possible a high HH, I have had a lot of rain on my trips so I prefer be careful)
Design (Versatility for backpacking and snow resistant, roomy enough for 2 people keeping their gear in the vestibule)
Price (I wish Hilleberg does not be the solution)

I think that is all.

The model that I think that will get it is the Vango tempest 200, wich has a tunnel design, and it is not heavier compared with other tents in his category, and I will get it for just 230 usd.

Other models I have seen are the Nemo Kunai 2, and the Black Diamond HiLight and Firstlight, but their design is mainly for winter conditions, and they has low water resistant, and the price are over  450 usd.

If you can give me an opinion or suggestion I will be very thankful

If I forgot giving some information please tell me.

As I have said I'm still learning English so excuse if my writing is not the best.

Greetings from Chile

I really only have experience with Nemo and TNF tents.

I think your concern with hydrostatic head/HH/ waterproofness is a bit misplaced. It doesn't take much HH to have a good waterproof product. The real issue when it comes to waterproofness for anything, be it a rain shell, a tarp, or a tent is the quality of the material and construction. Not all materials are manufactured to the same standards, many of which the coating has poor QA control...or can. Seam sealing and or taping is also the other major failure point. I have never had a tent from a reputable manufacturer leak if it was properly cared for and not past its useful service life.

Sometimes people also confuse condensation for leaking.

I would also shy away from trekking pole tents for winter use and go with a freestanding design.

That all being said the Nemo Kunai 2 is a great tent. But as you describe your intended use it may be a bit overkill. I think you would be just fine with a quality 3 season tent that has a full rain fly. The Nemo Galaxi is also a great tent and has a pretty budget friendly price point. I have seen the Galaxi in use in some pretty severe winter weather here in the NE USA and it has worked very well.

From the TNF I have a lot of personal experience with the Mountain 25. It is a great tent, though it is a bit overkill in its entirety for 3 season use. When I used to use it for 3 season I would just use it in fly only mode with the footprint and leave the actual tent body at home. The Assault 2 is also a very good tent.

Are high winds a concern? Many 4 season tents are only 4 season tents because of their ability to withstand high wind loads. Many 4 season tents the side panels unzip/open to allow for more ventilation that would much resemble a 3 season tent. The mountain 25 is a good example of this. If high winds are not a concern then you can definitely save some money and go with a solid 3 season tent. Most good quality 3 season tents will handle strong winds adequately, but are not really designed to standup to sustained high winds like a purpose built 4 season tent.

When looking at tents, you will notice that the main difference between 3 and 4 season tents is the amount of mesh instead of solid walls. But many 4 season tents also have mesh and simply unzip. The other big difference is how the poles attach. Many 4 season tents have sleeves for the poles, while many 3 season tents attach the poles via clips. VERY genrally speaking a tent with pole sleeves will hold up to high winds better than one using clips.

If your only concern is just having a waterproof tent that you can setup on snow. Then all you need is a good quality tent from a reputable manufacturer(TNF, nemo, hilleburg, MSR, MH, Marmot, and BD all fit that bill the other brands I have never really heard of too much here in the states) that is free standing in design. You don't "Need" a freestanding tent for snow but it does make life much simpler and easier.

You might take a look at the updated Sierra Designs Convert 3. I haven't owned one but I am impressed by the design, which includes removable vestibules for seasonal weight modulation. A lot of reviews (including some here on TS, I fear) seem to confuse this and the older model, which is quite different -- I think the new one came out in 2015.


Bienvendo a Trailspace. Usted no dice si usted quire una tienda de 2 o 3 personas. (Disculpe - Veo que dijiste "tiende de dos personas") Mi unicos viajes a Chile estaban cerca Punta Arenas. Conozco una tienda de mochileros en Punta. Pero he pasado muchas dias en  la Cordillera Blanca en Peru.

La tienda que he usado mas en los Andes es el BD Eldorado. Es similar a su FirstLight. Si, es caro. Pero me ha servido muy bien durante muchos años. Es un poco pequeño para 2, pero cómodo para 1. Lo he usado en verano e invierno. Para mi ha sido bien vale la pena el precio.

No estoy familiarizado con el Vango 200, pero parece atractivo en el precio. Creo que is británico hecho.

Mi tienda es la que está al frente. Tiene el vestibulo opcional en el frente por lo que parece mas grande que la tienda solo. La imagen está en Peru


Yeah what Bill said LOL by the way what did he say?

I welcomed him to Trailspace, of course. I noted that I had only spent a little time in Chile (in the South, in the region around Punta Arenas). But I have spent a lot of time in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. I noted that I use Black Diamond's Eldorado tent, which is a bit small for 2, but comfortable for 1, but expensive ($700, thanks to inflation). It has served me well and to me, is worth the price. The tent in the center of the photo is the Eldorado with the optional vestibule. I have used it in all seasons. The photo is in the Cordillera Blanca.

He mentions a Vango 200, which I believe is a British-made tent for 2. I am not familiar with it, so can't comment. The price I see on line is a lot less than the Black Diamond and most of the US-made tents, as well as most Euro tents.

LOL Bill I actually thought it was great that you could respond to him in his native language 


All the brands you reference make good tents.  The terminology (e.g three season, four season) are at best crude guidelines for persons using tents in the mountains.  For example you may be camping on a fine spring day at 11K' when a storm blows in off the Pacific.  Next thing you know, it is snowing and blowing 100 kph.  If you pick a good camp location you can mitigate most of the more worrisome issues, but blowing snow (spindrift) has a knack of finding its way into tent interiors.  Tents with rain flies that do not go all the way to the ground are more susceptible to this a problem, as well as mesh tents and tents with vents located on the lower half of the tent walls.  As for rain, tents with flies that go all the way to the ground are best, albeit a rain fly casting a wide foot print around the tent will also keep you from the wet.

I found condensation to be the biggest issue camping in the Andes.  It seemed ever present in my tents, no matter what the weather.  Nothing like finding out you pack is five pound heavier from all the moisture that soaked into your gear while you slept.  The approach I found most effective was leaving as many vents open as possible, weather permitting.  To that end consider a tent with a "dry entry" (a tent you can get in/out without rain getting things wet inside).  Such a tent will allow you to open it up more, and provide more ventilation.  Also look for a tent with vents in the top of the tent and rain fly.  Convection currents will cause warm moist air to rise, and the top vents provide it an exit path.  Another tip is pack your stuff away when not in use, precluding it as a surface subject to condensation.  Lastly I found my Andean excursions much more bearable bringing along a kitchen rain fly - I guess it is the camper's equivalent to the jungle dweller's patio style housing.


Excuse me for do not give you an answer before.

I have read your opinions, and considered them before taking a decision.

I forgot to say that I had a 3 season tent that I have already sold to buy this new one.I had a Ferrino Paine 2 that is similar to the MSR Elixir 2 design, using 3 poles.


Here are some pcitures.

Now I was looking for a new one, that will allow me to set up the tent in the snow, and probably a different design.

Finally I decided to buy the tent I mentioned, Vango Tempest 200. While I was looking for information I found some reviews of this tent, but I did not find too much information.

I looked the online stores in USA, but I did not find one that sell this brand that comes from Scotland. In my country there is one well known store that sell this brand, so I looked for experiences from users finding some really good, so that helped me to take that decision.

And here is the tent:





I am in love with my new tent, it looks nice and I am anxious to test it in the snow.

Now I am looking ofr information about skills to set up a tent, how locate it in a good site, how to use the vents correctly, and others things that I am probably not considering.

Thanks very much for your help.


La Vango Tempest parece estar bien para tu primer camping de nieve. Parece fácil de configuar. Si la nieve es suave, debe embalar lo más firme posible. Usted puede caminar hacia adelante y hacia atras en la nieve para hacer esto.

Encuentre un lugar que esté nivelado y protegido. Cuidado de los arboles y ramas que podrian caer en su tienda. Y tenga cuidado en el torreno de avalancha.

Para mantener la tienda en su lugar si hay viento, debes apuntarla. La mejor manera de hacerlo en la nieve es un "dead man" ("hombre muerto"). Ate un palo en cada línea, luego enterrarlo en la nieve de 30 cm de profundidad.

Lo siento mi español no es tan bueno.

   --- Bill S (El Viejo Barbudo Gris)

Site selection
Terrain topography, sun exposure, wind direction.  These are the general considerations one evaluates when selecting a camp and tent site.  As the following comments will illustrate, there is no universally "best" criteria.  Preferences and priorities will influence your choices, safety consideration aside. 

In general winds have a prevailing direction, influenced by macro climate trends.  For instance the Sierra in California have winds that blows from the west, caused by the effect of the earth's rotation and jet stream.  But major weather events often cause the prevailing winds to come from other directions, even reversing the prevailing winds at times.  There are also localized affects on wind.  Typically wind in the mountains flow up from the valleys in day time, and down from the peaks at night.  But terrain can alter this flow, for example the local terrain nearest your camp may be higher to the north, but in fact a deep canyon on the far side of that slope may be the regional low spot.  So while you may expect the evening breeze to prevail from that local high point, the deeper canyon will cause the opposite, and draw the air from your camp, over the local high point, and down into the deep canyon beyond.  These influences are complex enough that local conditions can sometimes perplex the experts.  There is something to be said of local familiarity.  We can go on and on about wind considerations; indeed it is an advanced topic.  Become a student of your intended destinies, learn the specifics of these locations, including seasonal variations.

The whole point of attending to wind direction is twofold.  On one hand is intentional exposure/protection from the wind for comfort.  On the other hand there is often safety considerations.  If a wind is strong it can damage your tent.  Winds may also blow loose snow, causing it to settle in protected gullies and lee sides of slopes.  These locations may harbor significant newly deposited snow which my present avalanche hazards until they become stable.  Classic examples of bad camp site selection include camping on or below "snow pillows" (the places where wind blown snow settles below the leeward side of ridgelines) at the bottom of gullies, or run out zones beneath avalanche paths.  Thus wind partially defines the topography of snow covered terrain.  There is much more to say about snow/wind/temperature/terrain dynamics than can be stated in the scope of a forum post.

Sun exposure preferences are driven by personal preferences, as well as safety considerations.  Most campers like to have early morning sun.  But I am a late riser by nature, so prefer a site that provides the latest sun set possible.  Safety considerations often override personal preferences.  It is not safe to travel in steep terrain where sun warmed snow is apt to weaken and slide.  Thus trekkers will start the day in the dark, so they can travel through these areas before the sun has the opportunity to warm and destabilize the snow.  And even when avalanches are not the issue the best solution to travel often is getting it done early, while it is cold and the snow still firm enough to support your weight.  There are few more miserable, avoidable circumstances than sinking up to your thighs as you slog through a snow pack in the mid day, when you could have walked on the top if it when it was still frozen solid hours earlier.  These considerations can become strategic, influencing if you decide to camp on one side of a mountain pass or the other, to enhance safety as well as efficiency.  It can even determine the general direction of the trek, which end of the intended trip will be the start/end point.  When you get good at this you can even determine where first/last light will occur in the nearby vicinity, based on the current sunrise and setting points on the horizon, and the potential of nearby terrain and trees to block the sun from your camp site.  But we are digressing into advanced skills again.  

Topography will also drive camp site selection considerations.  Some of these considerations are static.  For example I prefer to camp on rock and soil versus snow, when given the option.  I also prefer to camp higher than the nearby low points, since cold collects in low points.  Camp above lakes, not lakeside. 

Topographical features also affect safety considerations.  As mentioned earlier, avoid camping in avalanche paths and the bottom of gullies. One should not place their tent under trees with snow loaded limbs - they may "bomb" you, damaging the tent and causing personal injury.  It is not a good idea to camp on top of frozen lakes.  This is self explanatory!

Site selection addresses the dynamics between these considerations.  For example winds tend to accelerate as they pass over ridge lines and at the entrance to hanging valleys.  Lee sides of mountain slopes tend to accumulate more snow than windward aspects.  Camping amid a clump of trees or rocks may reduce exposure to wind and sun.  Again this topic can digress into much detail.

Lastly how you prepare the tent site area has a big impact on your comfort. As mentioned previously I prefer camping on rocks; little to no preparation required!  And the sun warms rocks, providing a good spot to dry out wet equipment.  If one camps on snow they need to compact the area, so it remains level once occupied.  This is done by stomping down the tent site.  As Bill mentions tie the end of tent guy lines to rocks, sticks or pieces of equipment that can be buried under a foot of snow to form secure anchors. If winds my be a problem, use the snow to build barrier walls on the windward sides of the tent.  DO NOT OPPERATE STOVES IN YOUR TENT!  It is unsafe; the consequences are well documented - google "tent fire" and be elucidated.  Instead build a cook stance for your stove.  Make a wind screen from snow, and place your stove on a flat rock so it doesn't sink into the snow.  All of this should indicate the necessity of bringing a good shovel.

Lastly travel safe.  Many folks get into dangerous situations due to ignorance.  Traveling up steep snow slopes in the warm day time, only to become stranded mid slope as cooling temperatures cause the soft snow to freeze solid and become dangerously slippery.  Depending on your venue you may need crampons, ice axe and other technical gear.  Safe travel entails many considerations, you need to school up on these, for most mishaps are travel related.

As you can see, snow camping entails lots of skills, knowledge, and strategy.  A good starting point is the book: Mountaineering The Freedom of the Hills, published by the Mountaineers Books.  But that is only a start.  Depending on where you travel, you may need additional instruction, in part to acquire additional skills as well as enhance your safety.  Try to travel with well experienced campers until you are confident in your abilities.  Ask why they do what they do - about everything.  I have been trekking for decades, yet still learn something new on a regular basis.  Learning mountain lore is perpetual.  We are only experts for a moment, then advents leave us behind, compelling us "back to school" to update our repertoire to the current state of the art.


Bill, thanks for explain me in my native language, I will consider your comment.

Whomeworry, thanks for the great explanation, there are some things that I was not considering but now I learned a little bit more about mountaineering.

I found the 5th edition of that book, it is not the latest, but anyway it will help me to learn more about mountaineering, and of course I am thinking in take a course to combine the theory with practice, I go out always with my girlfriend, so I prefer be careful and get the skills to avoid an accident.

Thanks very much for your help.

January 23, 2021
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