Please suggest a family tent for cold weather


Yo Mama
February 20, 2014, 11:13 PM
I have about 150 dollars to spend on a family tent. Was looking at the Coleman Montana 8 person tent, but can't tell if it is going to do well in colder weather for the kids.

Any suggestions I'd appreciate. Thanks!

***I posted in hunting as it's the closest to camping

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February 20, 2014, 11:20 PM
With a mesh roof and rainfly, you will loose heat.

February 21, 2014, 12:17 AM
What kind of cold weather and where? I'm from Minnesota but live in Texas now.......much of my cold weather stuff isn't interchangeable between the two.

February 21, 2014, 12:32 AM
You'll have to spend at least $300.00-$400.00 to get a decent cold weather family tent.

Whatever you buy, get one a little smaller to handle the cold better.

February 21, 2014, 07:10 AM
Keep saving. A $150 tent is a cheap summer tent that will leak and only last a year or 2. How big is your family and just how cold do you expect it to be? You also have to consider wind.

For real cold and wind this is the best way to go, but prices can easily top $1,000. These are equipped with a wood stove and kept us toasty warm. Not mine, just one we used on a hunting trip a few years ago. (

This is mine. It is an 8 person Alaskan Guide Tent from Cabelas. Normal price is $500. I caught it on sale for $450 and have a Cabelas CC that I had about $200 in points built up on. While listed as an 8 man tent it is realistically about perfect for 2-3 adults, 4 could sleep inside, but it would be tight getting dressed or cooking inside with that many. Would probably work with 2 kids and 2 adults and have room to live and cook inside. This is about as small and cheap as I'd go for winter camping. I use a propane heater with this one.

Notice how the rainfly goes all the way to the ground. That is a winter tent. Cheaper tents only partially cover the top of the tent. Wind will blow rain right into them. (

February 21, 2014, 08:16 AM
I have used Coleman "Hooligan" style tents in some pretty cold weather up here in Michigan. Their flies go to the ground for better wind protection. I usually tie a poncho over the roof vent meshing underneath the fly though. Be extremely cautious if you are even considering trying to heat any tent with lanters, gas heaters or stoves. You can wake up very dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Best bet is don't. For certain not while sleeping. Use good quality sleeping bags. Winter camping calls for good gear. If you can't get good gear,... I'd suggest waiting until you can. Winter camping if fun if equipped for it. If not, can be miserable if not down right dangerous. Best source on winter camping I could recommend is a good Boy Scout Handbook. Ymmv...

Yo Mama
February 21, 2014, 01:52 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm starting to see that a 4 season tent aint in the cards for me, at least for now. I do use a tarp over my 3 season tent and that dramatically changes my comfort level.

As far as family tents, for 3 seasons then, I'll keep it open to suggestions. Thanks!

February 21, 2014, 02:41 PM
I have a 9 man,military tent with a arctic liner. The liner goes inside the tent, and is made out of a material similar to flannel. I believe they call it a squad tent. It has no floor, six walls to it about 3-1/2 feet tall and a single center pole about 8 feet long. A piece of old carpet and tarp make a very warm floor. I believe they call it a squad tent, 9 man very comfortable for 4 with all your gear. It is a very warm tent, we have even used it when lake trout fishing in Canada in the winter. Late season hunts for Elk and Moose.
The draw back is that it is a very heavy tent, probably weighs 100#. It is no back pack tent. In the summer you can take the liner out and just use the canvas tent.
I got it of E-Bay for $200 about 10 years ago, best investment I ever made.

February 21, 2014, 03:31 PM
For car camping we LOVE this tent, going on 5 seasons with no issues:


Big and heavy though.

February 23, 2014, 05:45 PM
That's not going to do the job well for you. What we have been doing for many years when camping in super cold weather is use a cabin canvas tent, buy a portable wood stove, the type that folds up flat. You can keep things very toasty with that type of set up. I've camped in weather around zero, snow coming down, and have been able to wear shorts while playing cards comfortably.

As long as you vent the stove down real good, burn hard woods, and it won't get too hot, or burn wood too quickly. We can usually get through the cold nights with only 2 or 3 refills of the stove. Just make sure you install it correctly, you don't want a fire, or problems with the stack venting properly, and make sure it is venting away from the tent!

Or you can go the other way, which is to wear warm clothing, sleep in mummy bags, and freeze your butt off when not in the bag.


February 23, 2014, 06:12 PM
You ccan make your own, such as a tepee type, or pitch a canvas tent and put a stove in both to keep warm. The tepee can be layerd over in cheap sleeping bags and canvas (quiet) tarps, and plastic ones for rainy days.
As for other tyepes, a Military "circus" round 10 man squad tent with a liner is most excellent and they make stoves for em.

We use the standard canvas tents to great effect in the Arctic cold as well, pitch a 10X12 canvas square tent inside a 12X14 for the insulateing effect as well as haveing two good tents in good weather.

February 23, 2014, 08:22 PM
I have the 8 man Alaskan Guide tent from Cabelas too. It is what I use hunting. It works good for 2 or 3 guys, not eight. Make sure you have good cold weather bags and a cot to get you up off the ground. If I remember it was around 400 bucks though.

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