So you’re planning on going mountaineering but need the right tent for the winter-like weather conditions and harsh terrain?
4-season tents are obviously a must to be able to sleep comfortably in harsh weather.
But, not any old 4-season tent will do.
You’ve got to carry this thing on your back, often for long periods of time. So you need something as lightweight as possible.
You also want something that’s fast and easy to put up and down.
While most 4-season tents are in the higher-end price bracket, there are some fantastic budget options if you just can’t drop that much dollar.
We’ve tested many 4-season and mountaineering tents and these 5 are the only ones that cut the mustard.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for the best mountaineering tents.
5 best mountaineering tents
Built with expedition-specific design for weight-conscious climbers
The Black Diamond Firstlight tent was designed with mountaineering in mind.
While the tent is compact and super lightweight, its design ensures optimum comfort with its steep walls for maximum headroom and simple floor shape to optimize living space.
Considering it is a 3-person tent, its packed weight of 4lb 1oz is practically unheard of.
Most 4-season tents are, for obvious reasons, much heavier than super lightweight backpacking tents.
But the Firstlight offers the best of both worlds. You’re protected in the most extreme weather conditions but aren’t weighed down when hiking or skiing.
The weight would actually be practically negligible if shared between your tent buddies.
The tent comes with industry-leading DAC Featherlite poles. And even more amazingly, the tent only requires you to use two of them, making set up and tear down super quick and easy.
The tent comes with three interior mesh pockets for storing belongings and electronics.
One of the most livable mountaineering tents on the market today
MSR makes some of the best, most durable tents on the market today, and that’s just their standard 3-season tents. The MSR Remote was built for mountaineering and harsh weather.
It features a strong central support frame with Easton Syclone poles that can stand up to extremely high winds and resist snow loading.
The reflective guy lines are reinforced and welded from inside of the fabric to prevent fabric tears and keep the tent tensioned during high winds.
All MSR Remote tents also come with DuraShield™ coating already applied, for added weather protection.
The snow skirt can be flapped inwards or outwards to allow you to pile up snow from inside or outside of the tent.
Besides the tent’s ability to keep you warm and safe when you’re 10,000 feet high, it’s also designed to be extremely livable.
The 3-person tent features 46 sq. feet of floor area, 22 sq. feet of vestibule area, and a peak height of 44 inches.
That’s a lot more space than most other mountaineering tents, particularly at this price point.
The vestibule features its own structural pole that gives almost as much headroom as the main living area.
Despite the vestibule having its own pole, the whole of a 3-person tent still only requires 4 poles (3 poles for the 2-person). They are all color-coded too, for fast and easy setup.
Both the 2 and 3-person tents offer two entry doors with gear loops for hanging damp gear at the end of a long day.
A super durable mountaineering tent at a budget price
The GEERTOP Navigator is one of the only budget mountaineering tents we would ever recommend.
The main difference between the Navigator and more premium mountaineering tents is weight.
At 6.17lbs for 27 sq. feet in the main living area, 12 sq. feet in the vestibule, and 43″ peak height, it’s much heavier when compared to the likes of the 2-person MSR Remote which offers much more space for its weight.
However, if a little extra weight is a trade-off you are willing to accept for the money savings, the quality of the Navigator is top-notch.
Again, while the poles and materials aren’t industry-leading, they are more than capable of withstanding the harsh weather and terrain you’ll face when mountaineering.
It features a built-in snow skirt and breathable nylon mesh to prevent condensation from forming inside the tent overnight.
It comes double stitched with pre-sealed seams and features a ceiling pocket for storing items plus a hook for hanging a light or lantern.
A tent that is truly usable in all four seasons, not just winter and spring
The Sierra Designs Convert was designed to be a true 4-season, lightweight backpacking tent.
The Convert offers a great balance of having a four-season tent that offers no-worries storm protection while not being as heavy as an expedition tent built for the Himalayas.
It features an additional center hoop pole to give it the strength required to be used as a mountaineering tent, while its lightweight body materials allow for use on summer hiking trips.
Both the 2-person and 3-person options feature a removable vestibule, allowing you to drop roughly a pound in weight if you don’t need the storage space.
Similar to the MSR Remote, the Convert offers an extremely livable design. The 3-person option provides 40.3 sq. feet of floor space, 2 vestibules that offer 19.6 sq. feet and 9.4 sq. feet of space, and a peak height of 45″. The 3-person also features 2 doorways.
The 2-person option comes with one door way and one vestibule.
Both tents come with plenty of loops for hanging gear and some small storage pockets for keeping electronics and other small belongings safe.
Strikes the perfect balance between winter-grade warmth and weight
The MSR Access 2 is lighter than MSR’s expedition-grade mountaineering tents but warmer than their backpacking tents.
It’s the perfect choice for ski mountaineering, ski tourers, and alpine climbers not looking to do expedition-level mountaineering.
Similar to the MSR Remote, the Access features Easton Syclone poles and a central support frame to withstand heavy rain and snow loading.
The 3-person tent features 41 sq. feet of floor space, 17.5 sq. feet of vestibule space, and a peak height of 47″.
Its peak height of 47″ makes it super comfortable to live in. It allows you to fully sit upright, meaning you can read a book or play card games with your fellow adventurers in comfort.
Mountaineering requires you to brave some seriously cold weather scenarios, and no tent can protect you from the harsh temperatures you’ll endure.
A high quality sleeping bag is as much of a necessity as your tent is.
The Nemo Disco sleeping bag provides the perfect balance between warmth and cost.
We would always recommend taking a spare set of high quality snow stakes with you on any mountaineering trip.