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I've heard the old REI Base Camp 6 was a good 4-season tent, but they have gone downhill. Could anyone suggest one that works well in the winter and isn't too difficult to assemble?
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It's the law.
This one should do..
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Sure, but somebody's gotta go back and get a crapload of dimes. Something under $700 or so would probably be easier.
I picked up an Alaskan Guide 6 man tent from Cabellas in Minnesota a few years ago. I had the same model in an 8 man size that I obtained about 20-25 yeas ago. That one is still around, the fabric has gotten sticky, but it still works. I'm not sure if was due to years of intermittent storage in the attic and being cooked, however. The new one seemed as well made as the old one. You can probably pick one up, along with a ground liner to protect the bottom and a vestibule for about half the price mentioned in the above post if you catch a sale, like I did. It's not a light tent though. It comes with a good quality fly. I've sat out a couple of storms in both and remained quite dry. Don't count on dividing it up to backpack, unless you back pack in a Ford F150.
A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master-and deserves one. Ronald Reagan, 1964, quoted from Alexander Hamilton
A few comments, if I may:
1. A 6-man tent can be reasonably comfortable for two people.
2. A 4-season tent means different things in different parts of the world. Here in Colorado it might be 85F in the afternoon and 15F overnight, clear and sunny in the morning but overcast and windy with snow or hail in the afternoon. 4 seasons can happen in just about any 24-hour cycle, especially at 10,000 feet elevation.
3. A little bit more than you think you will need beats the hell out of being miserable.
Retired holster maker.
Retired police chief.
Formerly Sergeant, US Army Airborne Infantry, Pathfinders
There is a trend where tents can be inner-connected.
Assuming you want 6 person tent because you currently have younger kids. Buying 2 tents that connect allows you to stay together now, and in the future use just one tent for a father/son campout when its not the entire family.
Sorry, I dont have a recommendation on tent because I haven't bought one in several years. Annually, I spray UV/Water Repellent spray on my tent and ensure its dry when I pack it up. It's going into it's 8 year of service.
Kodiak Canvas makes some good stuff. They have a 4 season 6 man that will accept a wood stove. But when you put the stove in it makes it a 4 man. I think they will do custom as well. Their sleeping bags are top shelf I bought one earlier this year.
Kodiak Canves 6 man all season tent
"Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity" - George S. Patton
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RE: 4-season tent -
A 3-season tent covered with a blanket** or two as required works for me.
**Genuine US GI Poncho Liner "Woobie" USA Made, 62" x 82".
As someone mentioned...it depends on where you are spending your 4 seasons. Years back, when I was much younger, I spent a few hunting trips in Idaho at drop camps. Every single one of them were made of canvas. They were roomy, warm and bone dry inside.
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If you are looking for a legit 6-person tent to survive winter snow,ice and wind conditions - $700 is probably an entry point.
My friend and I often camp (with both of our dogs) and find a three person ok, actually cozier when it's cold, but the four person better overall in moderate conditions. It allows one space for both dogs, two spaces for both of us, and the extra for our stuff. Plus there's the back or closed vestibule for stuff. With the likelihood of cold, windy conditions as Lobo describes we'd probably pack the three person.
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That's the one I would get.
What exactly are your plans for this tent? Mountaineering or being above treeline in harsh conditions? Or just camping in the winter time? I ask because true 4 season tents are designed to withstand high wind an snow load whereas a 3 season tent may not. Tents may retain a little heat while you're inside but it's your bags that are important for that aspect. You'll still need to allow ventilation in a 4 season tent so you don't get frost buildup inside. Once again, it's the bags you rely on for warmth.
The only time I use my 4 season tents is for mountaineering or alpine ice climbing trips. If I'm only camping in winter I save weight and take a 3 season tent with a warm bag. If it happens to snow on a camping trip I get out and clean off the tent every few hours before the weight starts to poles or rain fly.
I used to own one of these and return it because the fabric prematurely failed after only a few years. REI was totally awesome about it at least. I have the Cabela's M1 bombshelter by Eureka you might be interested in. It's a four season beast. Sadly I've only used it once since I bought it and it's in like-new condition. If you're interested I could send you some pictures. I'm in CO. It's a ~$1200 tent that was discontinued a few years ago. I bought it for $700 +tax direct from Cabela's. I'd want about what I paid since it's in a league of it's own. It's a really nice tent. Their Alaskan guide tents are very nice too. This was top of the line at the time.
Here's an old link with some details: https://www.thrillon.com/tag/c...itter-tent-by-eureka
4-season tents generally have two features that distinguish them from 3-season tents.
First, 3-season tents generally have a LOT of ventilation (mesh panels vs. solid fabric panels) in the inner tent for comfort in warm weather.
4-season tents have either minimal venting or or venting that can be closed, so that when it's really cold outside, you can warm up the inside of the tent somewhat and not vent all the heat.
I guess you could fake that with blankets, although depending on how you do it, you might increase the risk of rain getting in the tent (often, tent rain flies are not made out of waterproof fabric and rely on being taut and nothing touching them to keep rain out).
Second, three-season tents are just designed to handle wind and rain. Four-season tents are (generally) structurally stronger and designed to handle some amount of snow loading.
Even if you de-vent a three-season tent to make it warmer, you aren't going to be a happy camper if it snows a bunch and collapses your tent.
One other item, it's not super common, but some three-season tents are single-wall designs (where the tent is only one layer of fabric, rather than an inner tent and a rain fly). This is generally a bad idea for extended cold weather camping, both because the inside of the tent will be colder and because the moisture your body generates by breathing and sweating will freeze to the wall of the tent.
This issue applies to modern, compact, nylon camping/backpacking tents. I'm not sure how the big, old-school single wall canvas tents handle this. I suspect they do OK because there are some extremely expensive ones that are very popular for some types of winter camping in bitterly cold, snowy areas.
^^^ The ventilation difference is very significant usually. I've owned more than one true 4 season tent.
If you look at the link on the tent I have available you'll notice it has 1" dia poles...you won't find that on most dome tents. It's more of an outfitter-built spec. That REI base tent 6 is not a true 4 season tent. It would be marginally good...I've used it in the mountains of CO.
You'll also want to look at vestibule space if you're going to be camping with a larger group. That's an effective way to expand your usable tent space.
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"Requires two adults for setup." Is this an absolute? I'm just about ready to escape civilization.
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True. I was fine waking to 33˚ in May but too much colder, or a long wet wind, and I would have had pneumonia.
My winter lodging accommodations are concrete and steel...
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I don't plan on doing much winter camping, but it would be nice to have a true 4 season tent. People told me the old REI Base Camp 6 was great in that regard, but the quality has dropped in the last 10 years. I'm mainly looking for something comparable.
Exactly. May never use it, but I'd like to have the option. I'm not expecting it to act like a hot tent, though I'd love to get one of those.
Those look great, but way too heavy for anything I'd be doing. I've seen some smaller synthetic ones, but it's hard to know if they are any good.
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