5 Best Budget 4 Season Tents [That Won’t Break The Bank!]

This article will provide you with the ten most outstanding and reliable four-season tents you can purchase under a budget that will not compromise quality.

A 4-season tent is the last line of defense between you and the elements. That means starting from backcountry ski expeditions to mountaineering in some of the harshest weather on the planet.

As a result, these tents are far more durable than their 3-season counterparts, with less netting, larger canopies and rain flies, stiffer pole frameworks, and a slew of other winter-specific characteristics.

Good thing we have listed here the top four-season tents for 2022 to help you on what to look for and which ones you could check out and buy for your next travel.

We’ve divided these tent models into three categories based on their potential applications: mountaineering, basecamp, and treeline.

Let’s jump in and look at the best budget 4-season tents.

Mountain Hardwear Trango 2

Let’s start strong at the number one spot with Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 at $700. It was challenging to pick the overall best four-season tent, but Mountain Hardwear’s time-tested Trango 2 expertly balances everything.

First of all, this tent is ready for anything with a robust, double-wall design and a fly that links to the poles and the tent body for increased security in severe winds.

Plus, you get exceptional livability with two doors and two vestibules, and the vast 40 square foot footprint is much larger than any other 2-person model available.

Mountain Hardwear’s most recent modification included D-shaped doors for a more accessible entrance and an extended bathtub floor for better weather protection.

Your personal preference will break the tie between the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 and a single-wall tent like the Black Diamond Eldorado.

Some people believe that the increased weight is worth it for the extra features and room, while others want to carry as little weight as possible up and down the mountain.

One advantage of the Trango 2 is that it’s simple to divide the weight with your climbing companion, while single-wall tents often are not. 

If weight isn’t an issue, as it could be if you’re using porters or flying into a location, the Trango is available in 3- and 4-person variants for even more basecamp comfort.

2. Black Diamond Eldorado

Black Diamond Eldorado

As mentioned earlier, Black Diamond Eldorado, which you can get at $800, could easily be in the top spot if you prefer the lightweight kind.

The Eldorado by Black Diamond is a timeless classic. This single-wall with the two-pole tent has weathered many windy winter nights and summit efforts despite multiple upgrades.

Most significantly, the durability and build quality are excellent. It has been used on Everest treks and proved in alpine use for decades. Despite its ruggedness, the tent is just 5 pounds and 1 ounce, which is about as light as a good climbing tent.

Remember that the Eldorado is comfortable for one person and their belongings, but it’s a tight fit for two. Furthermore, the lack of a vestibule severely restricts your storage options. Black Diamond used to sell an Eldorado-specific entrance for an extra fee (on Amazon), but it is no longer available.

Finally, many people dislike internal tent poles since they’re difficult to set up and can poke holes in the tent’s corners if you’re not cautious, and the single-wall design doesn’t breathe as well as a double-wall structure.

However, the weight savings outweigh the compromises for many alpinists, making the Eldorado the best minimalist 4-season tent. Due to supply chain challenges, several of Black Diamond’s tents are presently out of stock, but you can expect availability to increase soon.

3. MSR Access 2

MSR Access 2

A double-walled treeline tent worth $600 from MSR Access is at the third spot.

Many 4-season tents are overkill for moderate winter weather, especially when a lighter, more breathable design is available. MSR Access 2 is our top selection in the “treeline” category.

With more excellent bombproof protection than a regular trekking tent in a compact and packable 4-pound-1-ounce construction, the Access treads the line between the 3- and 4-season categories.

Also, MSR made this tent with two doors, two vestibules, and 29 square feet of floor space. Access users jumped up to the three-person version for extra space with a canine. 

The Access is a great tent to have in your arsenal for backcountry skiing or spring mountaineering when the weather is nice, and you won’t be entirely exposed.

However, the “treeline” indication on the MSR Access is a little confusing. In a winter storm, the last thing you want is to be in over your head and the 4-pound weight.

It’s effectively a strong 3-season camping tent with less netting and is incredibly light. It’s also worth mentioning that the fly doesn’t entirely extend to the ground, so if you expect drafts or drifts, you’ll want to build a snow wall.

But it’s ideal for shoulder-season conditions: some people have used Access in British Columbia and didn’t find any problems in the bush or even in Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash.

For $100 cheaper, Nemo’s Kunai is a similar design that’s even more adaptable, with solid walls that zip off to reveal mesh panels for enhanced airflow in mild weather.

4. Black Diamond Mega Snow

Black Diamond Mega Snow

Priced at $400, Black Diamond Mega Snow made it to our top 4 as the best ultralight 4-season tent.

You’ll probably want a full-featured tent for sleeping in the snow, but the Black Diamond Mega Snow is a real basecamp luxury for eating, gear storage, or simply a change of scenery when cabin fever occurs.

And we don’t use the word “luxury” lightly since, with only one wall and no floor, it’s hardly the most protected tent here. 

However, while camping on snow, the shelter’s true worth is revealed: the central pole prop doubles as a table, and you can dig out the outer sides to form seating for up to six people.

The Mega Snow has vents that allow you to cook inside this shelter, and a clever valence around the outside enhances the inside room while keeping the elements out.

Finally, you can use it as a lightweight overnight shelter in a pinch. It will allow you to accommodate four people in Black Diamond’s Mega Light, and the Mega Snow is even more significant at 78 square feet.

However, calling the Mega Snow a four-season tent is a stretch. Its strong 30-denier canopy resisted gusts of up to 50 miles per hour throughout our tests.

Still, it pales compared to burlier tents like the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT or even the single-walled Black Diamond Eldorado.

In essence, it’s a glorified tarp with no floor: in really cold or windy weather, it’ll flail around and feel pretty drafty. You may lay snow on the valance, but ventilation will be compromised.

Lastly, keep in mind that Black Diamond also produces the Mega Light at 2lb. 13oz. With no valence and the Mega Bug, which sets up beneath the pyramid shelter, adds a bug net and bathtub bottom for an additional 3lb—10 oz.

5. The North Face Mountain 25

The North Face Mountain 25

The price bumped a little higher for The North Face Mountain 25 at $690. Campers have trusted this basecamp tent in the world’s most harsh environments for years.

And, despite being the heaviest tent on this list, you’ll be grateful for all 9 pounds 15 ounces when you’re at basecamp braving the elements. The Mountain 25 has a sturdy double-wall construction, stout poles, and time-tested materials that thrive in severe conditions like the Trango 2.

Two doors and vestibules provide multiple access points and abundant storage. The tent also has a lot of interior pockets, is well ventilated, has a peak height of 41 inches (3 inches higher than the Trango 2), and is simple to set up and takedown.

It was a close choice between the Trango 2 and the Mountain 25, but the Mountain Hardwear won out, in the end, thanks to its roomier design and somewhat lighter structure.

However, the two tents are head to head in almost every other category, including weather protection, durability, and pricing. 

North Face now included a footprint with the Mountain 25, which you may order the Trango’s separately for $80, although the added durability is unlikely to be needed for snow camping.

Last Words

“Four-Season Tent” refers to any shelter designed to resist adverse winter weather.

However, there is still a lot of variety within the category, with bulletproof, roomy, and heavy tents ideal for base camping, lightweight single-wall designs that are excellent for alpine pushes, and everything in between.

With this, it will always boil down to your preferences. How many people are staying in your tent? Would you like something that lets you cook or put up a campfire inside? Will you be hiking in the most extreme changing weather or more heavily in the winter season?

These questions can be a good start to knowing which best budget 4 season tent will fit your needs.

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