winter tent for solo adventures under $200

10:40 a.m. on October 13, 2018 (EDT)
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40 forum posts

Winter tents seem to cost around $500 when I look online, but I don't use a tent enough to really justify spending that sort of money.  I'm primarily a hammock user, but when the mid winter winds start whipping, I'm forced retreat to the ground.  I have a nice 1-man 3-season tent that I used in my pre-hammock days, but the walls are entirely mesh, and snow gets blown under the fly & through these mesh walls. 

Does any one know of any options that are better than what I have & costs under $200? 

I've noticed that quite a few high end winter tents weigh in around 5 lbs.  The military surplus ICS tent weighs in at 6.5 lbs, but can be gotten at a very reasonable price.  The thing that concerns me with this tent is the exposed front door & condensation. 

I've thought about getting a more enclosed 3-season tent & trying to upgrade the tent poles as an option, but haven't found anything that has really caught my eye  for this. 

I'm looking for a 1 or 2 man tent.

Any information is appreciated.  Thanks!

12:23 p.m. on October 13, 2018 (EDT)
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4,070 forum posts

I have used 3 season tents in the winter plenty of times and even nylon lean-tos with a fire.  You have to find a protected place out of the wind in deep woods or rock outcrops to pitch them.  They do not handle snow loads all that well, so it is best to knock the snow off during the night.

12:48 p.m. on October 13, 2018 (EDT)
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REI has this 3/4 season . Which is probably about the best you will find outside of a garage deal or goodwill thrift shop deal.

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Marmot Marmot Fortress 2 Tent  (0)Item #129035 c0a8681b-3b85-4930-8599-fe4a293a84a2?sizImage 1 of 6Tangelo/Grey Storm $229.00Color: Tangelo/Grey Stormc0a8681b-3b85-4930-8599-fe4a293a84a2?sizQuantityDecrement quantityIncrement quantity    Tangelo/Grey Storm   $229.00    Warning:Shipping restrictions apply. opens dialog to show more info on restrictionsShip to addressPick up in store - FreeFind a store near you Add to cartAdd to wish list REI return policy  This item ships for FREE! 

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Made to endure foul weather, the Marmot Fortress 2 tent features a full-fabric canopy with a top vent to prevent condensation buildup, plus extra guyouts that hold their ground when the wind picks up.

FeaturesTechnical specsBest UseBackpackingSeasons3 - 4-seasonSleeping Capacity2-personMinimum Trail Weight5 lbs. 1.5 oz.Packaged Weight5 lbs. 5.5 oz.Packed Size7 x 21 inchesFloor Dimensions88 x 54 inchesFloor Area32 square feetVestibule Area9.8/7.8 square feetPeak Height42 inchesNumber of Doors2 doorsNumber of Poles3Pole MaterialDAC Pressfit / VelocityPole Diameter9 millimetersCanopy Fabric40-denier polyester mesh/68-denier polyester taffetaFloor Fabric68-denier polyester taffeta 190T 2000mmRainfly FabricUnavailableFootprint IncludedNoDesign TypeFreestanding

Marmot Fortress 2 Tent  (0)Item #129035 c0a8681b-3b85-4930-8599-fe4a293a84a2?sizc0a8681b-3b85-4930-8599-fe4a293a84a2?siz

Image 1 of 6Tangelo/Grey Storm $229.00

12:55 p.m. on October 13, 2018 (EDT)
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I reviewed my Easton Torrent 2 a few years ago and it looks like there are still some for sale out there for under $200. It isn't enough for Everest, but I've ridden out some serious winter weather with high winds and heavy snow dumps in it. Given the full double wall construction ventilation can be challenging if there is no wind. I get good results by leaving just the screen door closed in that situation to maximize inflow and encourage chimneying through the roof vents.

2:55 a.m. on October 14, 2018 (EDT)
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3,519 forum posts

I like using pyramid tarps.  Digging into the snow under the tent increases the headroom.  Tarps shed snow loads well, and are light.  They have been my go-to carried snow shelter for decades in the High Sierra and elsewhere.  Better yet, dig a snow cave or erect an igloo; both are much warmer and more quiet than any tent or other above ground shelter.  You should be able to snag a used pyramid tarp in your budget range.


11:48 a.m. on October 14, 2018 (EDT)
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4,070 forum posts

In deeper snow you can build furniture with a shovel. 

10:21 p.m. on October 14, 2018 (EDT)
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1,419 forum posts

Used.  If your willing to brave Craigslist or some of the other for sale sites you can very often find $400+ tents for $100+.  I just bought a little used Black Diamond Mega Light with a Carbon Fiber pole for $100 plus shipping.

9:17 p.m. on October 15, 2018 (EDT)
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429 forum posts

I’ve used my (discontinued) ALPS Mountaineering Jagged Peak 2 in some pretty cold, windy, snowy weather, it was all well below the treeline so the fact that it’s really a hybrid 4-season didn’t matter. (The window flaps at each end only zip on 2 of the 3 sides so high winds can blow snow under the fly and through them.) I think I paid about $170 for it, and ALPS has similar models in the price range you’re looking for. Check Steep & Cheap or Sierra Trading Post. Geartrade, too. 

Steep and Cheap has the ALPS Tasmanian 2 for $193, it’s heavy at 7.5lb, has 2 doors and 2 vestibules, and is 5’2” wide at its widest point and 7’8” long (interior room, excluding vestibules.) It narrows to 3’10” at the doors.

12:58 a.m. on October 17, 2018 (EDT)
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147 forum posts

I guess it depends on what you call a winter tent. 

I have used 3 season tents and set them up to take some snow and wind. 

But also if you are out for multi nights. You need ventilation. To get rid of all that frozen water yaper coming from your lungs. Thing are going to get damp. 

10:24 a.m. on October 17, 2018 (EDT)
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2,296 forum posts

I live in the South Eastern US and can't really justify a four season tent either. As others noted you can get by with a 3 season model in many conditions if you are willing to make a few concessions like selecting protected sites and being willing to knock off the snow a few times during the night. 

I also like to play with shaped tarps from time to time, and when trekking pole supported, they can be pitched pretty stoutly. This is a Bearpaw Wilderness Designs shaped tarp (the diamond shape to the front/beak is good geometry to shed snow:

Here is an MSR Hoop (no longer made), It can't take much snow loading at all, I had to get out every few hours on this night and knock off the weight to prevent sagging and pole bending:

But hey if you want a 4 season tent go for it! 

10:23 p.m. on October 17, 2018 (EDT)
236 reviewer rep
20 forum posts


I opted for the Black Diamond HiLight tent. It is a single wall so you will get condensation but my primary was dependability and weight.

I messed up, this tent is not under $200.00.

But I did find this on e-bay I hope this helps.


April 3, 2020
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