- Jul 16, 2005 at 11:20 am #1216390Eu Jin Goh
I just read in Craig Connally’s excellent book on mountaineering (The Mountaineering Handbook) that he uses 3 season tents while mountaineering (rather than a bombproof 4 season tent) simply because they work almost as well while being much cheaper. Being rather cheap myself (and also poor), I’m interested in finding out what specific 3 season tents you guys have used successfully in really bad weather in the 4th season or on mountains?
(I think Craig Connally’s a subscriber as well and if you’re reading this Craig, I’d be really interested in your input)
(Note: This was posted in the Mountaineering section but another member suggested reposting here)Aug 5, 2005 at 11:54 pm #1339981Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Pacific Northwest
You know, this really depends on the tent, your bag set-up, whether or not you’ll be using a bivy, and most of all, what you consider to be 4 season conditions. So I can’t give you a clear answer but I can tell you that the “3 season” and “4 season” guidelines on tents are somewhat arbitrary. However, there are typically greater differences than expense.
When considering traditional double wall tents, the differences typically are in fabrics used, fly coverage, and pole configuration. If you look at catalogs from any of the big companies, you’ll usually see more mosquito netting used on the inner tent in a 3 season tent. This improves ventilation on hot days but also allows greater airflow and can let spindrift get inside your tent in nasty conditions.
Next, “4 season” tents usually have a fly that goes all the way to ground-level which is very important in snow or high wind conditions.
Last, an increased number or more robust poles typically means that a tent can better handle snow loads, especially if the poles cross or interlock.
But the bottom line is that you need to look at the conditions you’ll call “4 season”. If you’ll be below the treeline in a more temperate climate, most 3 season tents will work. Pitching a tent in the middle of heavy snowfall with high winds, though, and you’ll be looking at a different tent. No one takes a “3 season” tent to the Himalayas. :-)
I invite you to take a look at our recent release of Bomber tents to see what an ultralight “4 season” tent might look like and start your search from there. The forum that follows the release might also have some good tidbits for you.
Best of luck-
Shelter Systems EditorAug 6, 2005 at 3:25 am #1339986paul johnson
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Search the Forums (NOT the main BPL search feature) for the following name:
or, search the Forums for
In some of the posts from Kim, you’ll read about the Hilleberg Akto.
Don’t know how it compares to the 4 “bombers” reviewed by BPL. Maybe it’s intended for slighly less severe conditions – I simply don’t know.
It’s about half the cost of the “bomber” 4-season shelters in the recent BPL article. [it’s NOT freestanding however]. In the posts you’ll find tips for lightening it up a bit (it’s already lighter than the 4 bombers reviewed. It’s a solo tent however, so it should be lighter (a second/doubled pole will add more weight). Also, tips for making it stronger for handling heavy snow loads – it accepts double poles in the single pole sleeve.
I can’t cp. the Akto to the 4 bombers, other than to just read their specs and try to separate out marketing “hype” from sound engineering. I have NO experience with any 4-season tent, but Kim seems to be quite knowledgeable on the use of this shelter in adverse winter conditions. Being non-freestanding, it does require more stakes for a strong, stable pitch. This could be an issue depending upon where you are pitching it.
Hope this info helps a bit – I’m sure that Kim’s posts, which include first hand experience, will prove far more valuable to you.
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