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August 2019 Issue
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2019’s best winter tents

Featured tent: The inner canopy of the MSR Access 2 ($1299). Distributed by Ampro Sales Ltd. www.
A winter tent is your ticket to the backcountry, no matter the temperature or conditions. 

A heavy ripstop fabric is used to handle strong winds and snow-loading. A silicone coating raises the waterhead rating. The vestibule should be large enough to store all gear away from the elements.

Multiple guyline attachments will be added to provide extra stability – essential for the exposed locations in which these tents are used.

A heavy-duty floor with a waterhead rating of up to 15,000mm will prevent water and melting snow seeping through. The higher the floor rating, the more durable it is and the less need to use a separate groundsheet.

To trap warm air, there will be little in the way of mesh fabric here. What little there is may be backed by a separate fabric lining to slow heat loss.

Choose a tent for the size of your party. Four-season tents are heavy due to the more robust fabrics that cope with the environment they are used in and any unoccupied space still needs to be warmed.

The weights shown in this feature are for the total weight of the tent, which includes pegs, guylines and the various carry bags. Many manufacturers also state the tent’s trail weight, which refers to the bare essentials required to use the tent: the tent body, the fly and the poles.

Snow-proof vents with Velcro or zip closure will allow condensation-reducing airflow. When possible, a through-breeze can be created by opening the door and windows. Most vestibule doors can open from the top – useful if snow has accumulated around the base of the tent.

Lightweight aluminium poles are the standard. Tunnel tents generally have one crossover near the peak of the ceiling, while dome tents with up to four poles offer increased strength against wind and snow loadings.

Pockets and suspended gear lockers provide storage and easy access to essential items like headlamps and snacks.

Tunnel tents generally have one or two doors at front and rear. Domes have one on either side.

The tent’s floor area and vestibule space indicate how much room there is inside, but just as important is the ceiling height. Vertical walls, created through clever pole geometry, provide a more livable interior by creating more headroom.

Lightweight aluminium poles are the standard. Tunnel tents generally have one crossover near the peak of the ceiling, while dome tents with up to four poles offer increased strength against wind and snow loadings.

Waterhead (hydrostatic pressure) rating
A fabric’s waterhead rating measures its ability to resist water seepage – it also correlates to the durability of the fabric. The higher the rating, the more water it can resist and the more durable the fabric is likely to be. Winter tent flys are usually measured between 1200mm and 5000mm. Floors are between 2000mm and 15,000mm.

Choose your tent and then read our tips on how to camp above the snowline.

MSR Remote 3 $1799
Three-person tent with central support frame to resist wind and snow loading, two doors, hooped vestibule, extra width and length, reinforced guy points, snow flaps seal out spindrift, colour-coded poles. Fly 68D ripstop polyester, 1500mm Inner 40D ripstop nylon, 15D micromesh Floor 40D ripstop nylon, 10,000mm
Poles 4, Easton Syclone Ceiling height 112cm Area 4.3m², vestibule 2.04m² Weight 3880g.

Hilleberg Soulo $1279
One-person freestanding, multi-pitch tent with multiple pole crossing points, fly extends to the ground, mesh areas backed with fabric panels, adjustable snow-proof roof vent, simultaneous pitching of fly and inner, sleeve and clip pole system, single entrance and vestibule, optional footprint. Fly 30D high tenacity ripstop nylon, 5000mm Inner 30D ripstop nylon Floor 70D nylon, 15,000mm Poles 4, 9mm Ceiling height 95cm Area 2m², vestibule 0.6m² Weight 2400g.

MSR Access 2 $1299
Two-person tent with vertical walls, central support frame resists snow loading, two doors and vestibules. Fly 20D ripstop nylon, 1200mm Inner 20D ripstop nylon, 10D micromesh Floor 430D ripstop nylon, 3000mm Poles 2, Easton Syclone Ceiling height 107cm Area 2.69m², vestibules 1.62m² Weight 1860g.

The North Face Mountain 25 $1100
Two-person mountain tent with fully taped bucket floor, two doors and vestibules, high-strength reflective guylines with multiple attachment points, polyurethane port window, high-low venting, interior pockets, internal hanger loops, four snow stakes. Fly 40D nylon, 1500mm PU/silicone coating Inner 40D ripstop nylon, 20D nylon mesh. Floor 70D nylon, 10,000mm PU coating Poles DAC Ceiling height 104cm Area 3m², vestibules 0.7m², 0.3m² Weight 4520g.

Macpac Olympus $1099.99
Two person tunnel tent with dual entry, large front vestibule with sheltered entry, storm flaps, multiple guy attachment points, internal double door for insulation and airflow, internal pockets, multi-pitch design, four-vent airflow system, tub floor. Fly 30D nylon ripstop, 3000mm Inner 40D nylon ripstop Floor Torrentwear XP, 10,000mm Poles 3, DAC Featherlite NSL 9.6mm Ceiling height 115cm Weight 3100g.

Marmot Fortress 3P $749
Three-person tent with full fabric canopy with durable guy outs, top vent and two half mesh zippered D-doors, seam taped full coverage fly with top vent and additional guy outs, vertical walls for roomy interior, lampshade pocket, seam taped catenary cut floor. Fly 68D polyester taffeta, 1500mm Inner 68D polyester taffeta, 40D No-See-Um mesh Floor 68D polyester taffeta, 2000mm Poles 3, 9mm Dac Pressfit Ceiling height 117cm Area 3.8m², vestibules 0.98m², 0.72m² Weight 2890g.