What's your winter tent?
Oct 21, 2016 at 12:24 am #3432168
Have two “winterized” tents:
- Moment DW
- Scarp 2
Both tents have the optional X-ing poles run under the fly. Photos and text on the Scarp 2 is here on this Winter hiking forum. Same thing for the Moment DW but on the “Tarptent Thread”.
If you’ve also made some mods to bring a 3 season tent up to winter standards please post photos and descriptions.
If you have a true winter tent also please post photos.
And if you have “dream options for a winter tent let’s hear them. (i.e. removable exterior “snow flaps” which can be covered with snow to keep high winds from blowing under the floor.)Oct 25, 2016 at 12:18 pm #3432781Brett CooperBPL Member
@bcoopLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have been using a Black Diamond Betalight. Its roomy for one and as long as I pick a sheltered spot I have been comfortable using it. At about 21ounces I cant complain.
This year I’m going to try a Snugpak Scorpion 2. I think the fact that its freestanding will be nice and hopefully will allow some more exposed/pretty sites this season.Oct 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm #3433265brent driggersBPL Member
@cadyakLocale: southwest georgia
Supermid for me me and my hiking buddy or Duomid XL for just me. Either one fits in my mesh pocket and I love the available space it provides. especially headroom sitting up and getting in and out of the shelter.Nov 3, 2016 at 9:25 pm #3434098Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
Cuben MLD DuoMid.Nov 4, 2016 at 12:06 am #3434108Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I am planning on doing more winter camping this year. I am thinking about a mountain hardwear direkt 2. It would be for camping in the sierra nevada mountains, generally in the trees and not at exposed places. Any thoughts on this? I want something light, super easy to set up in bad weather, and able to handle heavy snow dumps.Nov 4, 2016 at 7:49 am #3434119
I would second that nomination for the Direkt 2, or other mountaineering wedge tent.
I’ve used a Bibler Eldorado many times in similar conditions and it worked well. I has some drawbacks such as ice build-up from condensation, compromised headroom, and any sort of precip invading the tent when the door is opened, but overall you’re not going to find anything with as much structural strength at that weight. On a couple of occasions, my Bibler was still standing when everything else was sagging severely or flattened.Nov 4, 2016 at 5:51 pm #3434225Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
MSR is coming out with their own Direkt type tent soon. I think for what you describe the Direkt is fine but tough and expensive enough that it might be overkill. All these alpine climbing tents are pretty heavy duty if you’re sheltered in the trees.Nov 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm #3434232Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Nice shot and a very good example of the job those tents were designed for.
They are not meant for general backpacking, not good in rain or in high humidity or where bugs are about but great (as a minimalistic/lightweight bombproof shelter) for alpine use.
The criticism towards them seem to me to come from people that have problems understanding specialised tools, yet I don’t see people criticising the use of Everest style down suits because they are not suitable in the rain…Nov 4, 2016 at 11:01 pm #3434238Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
So by winter you mean snow?Nov 6, 2016 at 4:45 am #3434388
So by winter you mean snow?
That is my assumption as well, and also concur with the sentiment of “the right tool for the job”.
And even below treeline heavy snow can still be problematic and therefore a mountain tent is needed. Been dumped on many times in the Adirondacks and Whites, and 2 feet of fresh snow is just as challenging there.
In the days before UL, the Eldorado was also my lightweight shelter for 3-season as well as “The Fourth Season” since it was substantially lighter than most 3-season tents back then.Nov 6, 2016 at 10:27 am #3434416Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Normally I use a Scarp 2. …Still wanting a solid inner, ugh!
… but I went on and bought a Fjallraven (in the South we call it Fyallraven) Abisko Endurance 3. Plus the footprint.
…A damn fine palace. its a burden at 6.5lbs, but my wife can keep me well away with all the extra space. Its really cool to take all the rainy gear off in the vestibule and hang them up on the stock clothesline. And we can wipe the dog down in there too.Nov 6, 2016 at 3:44 pm #3434468
Still two of my favorites, although one is too heavy to hike very far with:
Bibler Eldorado & Moss Big DipperNov 6, 2016 at 11:24 pm #3434497Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I agree that the direkt 2 would be overkill for a lot of situations. I do eventually want to be skilled enough to backpack at high elevations in winter. It’s expensive but I can get a pro deal. At only 2.5 pounds it just seems like a good solid tent that could shed snow well. I also have a duomid and the direkt 2 seems like a good step up.Nov 7, 2016 at 9:41 am #3434540Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
I have a Zpacks Duplex for summertime use. Would anyone consider the free-standing option on that to be worthy of snow loads?Nov 7, 2016 at 10:18 am #3434545Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
When the forecast is clear weather or snow showers, I take my MLD Duomid. When I expect a real snow storm, I take a double walled 4 season tent. Yes I know there are ways to seal a Mid but without a snowskirt, these techniques take time. And if you arrive at your campsite and it is already snowing hard, sometimes time can be of the essence.
In addition to the ability to hold a static snow load, the other important consideration for snow camping in winter is resistance to wind and to wind driven snow. Above tree line, this is very important. I was on one trip where the guy sleeping in the BD mid had to evacuate to his buddy’s tent since his mid filled up with snow.Nov 7, 2016 at 10:29 am #3434547Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
While the Duplex (or any other tent) may be snow load capable, dont under estimate the moisture management of a double wall, therefore comfort and theoretically, safety.
I have been under mesh walled and single walled shelters in winter, and due to the PNW conditions its way more comfortable in a double wall. Or, easier to be comfortable. Controlling the rain, condensation, and wind is a constant hassle with a single wall/ mesh inner.
i guess its all what you are willing to live with, but since most winter trips are standing under tarps due to rain, I at least want a good sleep. If its actually snowy and frozen single wall is actually sort of easier. Damn rain! Rain in spring and fall! Winter is for snow!!Nov 7, 2016 at 11:46 am #3434559Nov 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm #3435170
Thanks all for posting. I’ve looked at and your choices and like them except for the Direkt 2.
Bob and Will,
The Direkt 2 is exactly the same design as my very 1st tent, the Jansport wedge tent. That tent and the Direkt 2, as Bob mentioned, let precip in the instant you open the door. Aaaarrrgghh!
That is what I have previously (harshly ;o) called a “failed design” and needs only a decent design change to shield the door overhead and on the sides. It has been done in other tents so it ring “rocket surgery”.
BUT – what about mods for winter you guys may have made??
I realize my mods were necessary to make 3 season tents into true winter tents. Most of you have started with tents specifically designed for winter and that’s likely the best route.Nov 20, 2016 at 10:01 am #3436505
“BUT – what about mods for winter you guys may have made??”
Back in the 80’s, I modded a TNF Tadpole, a three season version of the well respected Westwind (a tapered hoop style tent) with a pair of crossing poles, using some Sierra Designs grip clips and extra grommets. It allowed the tent to both shed some snow and become semi-freestanding. Having zero budget back then, it was my “Poor Man’s four season tent” for the next several years.
Nowadays, my 2-door Eldorado still works quite well, and have never had any ventilation issues, even in cold/humid conditions. The simplicity of a wedge style tent is hard to beat, imho (as long as one entry can be well protected. I only attach the vestibule when necessary.)
Back to the mod; Nowadays, I could see the same type of modification I did work well on a Hilleberg Anjan or Nallo ( should it ever be warranted.) Even a light CF pole which clipped to the peaks of the hoops, and followed the “spine” of the tent, could add just enough rigidity to easily shed more snow than originally designed. But I don’t know how Hilleberg would appreciate that mod, should you ever go for a warranty repair. I’d think Henry Shires might be genuinely intrigued with a well modded TarpTent.Nov 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm #3436754
Interesting you modded a Tadpole. I still have mine. I slept in it in a raging 2 ft. snowfall 4 years ago. I dug out the vestibule so I could sit in the tent with my legs in the vestibule “sell” and cook. There was far to much snowfall to cook outdoors. Also I temporarily stitched some ripstop panels over the mesh panels to keep out spindrift.
Morning dawned clear and cold and my Tadpole was now “coffin width” due to snow buildup pushing in, partly from snow sliding off the roof. This tent begs for 4 fly hem stake loops to prevent this squeeze from happening. It works well on my TT Moment DW and Scarp 2 but they have somewhat lower fly hems than the Tadpole.
As for my Moment DW and Scarp 2 mods, Henry is well aware of them. When I first proposed and “inside” X-ing pole mod for my original single wall Moment he said it wouldn’t work but I did it and it worked very well. After that I think he took me a bit more seriously.
After I did the Scarp 2 mods I wrote him an e-mail saying that he could use any of my ideas without compensating me. He has already used the double-sided Velcro loop idea to hold an optional mid pole inside one of his single wall tents.
Eric B.Nov 22, 2016 at 5:23 am #3436828
I just remembered it was a TNF Junebug, not the Tadpole.
(Now you can see why I felt like modding it.)
Anyway, I’m glad to know your mods have helped improve the Scarp 2 for everyone.Nov 22, 2016 at 10:33 am #3436865
I was wondering about that described mod with a Tadpole. :^)
I have a friend who used a Tadpole in the winter and the large triangular area in the back end was problematic even with very small amounts of snow piled on it.
A tent that can really handle a huge snow load is the MH Trango… at a significant weight penalty, of course.Nov 22, 2016 at 11:02 am #3436872Tipi WalterBPL Member
I was waiting for someone to post a pic of their butt heavy winter tent and hear howls of derision from this forum but the Trango is a field and time-tested shelter and highly regarded as such. It gives me permission to post my favorite winter tent (all four seasons actually)—the Keron 3—Nov 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm #3436904
I love those butt heavy tents!
Here’s my 11 pound three person bomber tent parked next to a 20 ounce four person tent:Nov 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm #3436936John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
My go to winter tent for years was a TNF VE-24. Bomber tent and a winter palace for two. I lightened up going from 11lbs all in with the VE-24, to a Sierra Designs Stretch Prelude at a svelte 9lbs. Missed the snow tunnels of the VE-24 but loved the huge vestibule of the Prelude. My current winter tent is a BD Lighthouse that sees little use.
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