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Old 12-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
Thisisdan26
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4 Season shelter recommendation

Anyone have a good recommendation for a tent or bivy that would hold up well in the winter and is a decent price? Also, the lighter the better!
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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I was looking at this one:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...s/hilight-tent

This one:

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Dire...efault,pd.html

And this one:

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/De...t/StringRidge2

I'm leaning towards the Big Agnes. I have a Big Agnes Seedhouse and the String Ridge is basically the same tent in a 4 season variant. The Seedhouse is about 10 years old now and going strong.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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never understood what makes a tent four season versus three season etc. Is it the thickness of the material to make it a bit warmer, stronger design to withstand wind / snow better...?

Can someone enlighten me?
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Mountain Hardware Trango 2

4 season tents have extra guyout loops, extra bracing and a fly to the ground. Also minimal mesh and good topside ventilation. They are built to withstand the extra stresses from snowload.

Hence they are also heavier.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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I think of a tent that you depend your life on (in high winds, big snow loads and -20° F temps) as a one season tent.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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Just bought a Golite Shangri-la 2, its great, can't get lighter, they say its 4 season. Tested it out in 3 out of 4, waiting for opportunity to go out this winter with it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kburke View Post
never understood what makes a tent four season versus three season etc. Is it the thickness of the material to make it a bit warmer, stronger design to withstand wind / snow better...?

Can someone enlighten me?
Mr Burke,

I have an old Eureka Cliplite 3 man, 3 season, it weighs about 7 lbs...
My son has a newer version of the same, but 4 season rating, it weighs over 11 lbs!! Frame is heavier, and I would assume stronger, same for tent, floor and fly fabric.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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I've had great luck using a Eureka Timberline tent as a 4 season tent for 15+years now.
I have a few other tents/tarps that I use as well from time to time, but my Timberline gets used most for sure.
Not the best tent out there I know, but can't beat it for the price imo.
The no-see-um netting is only in the front and rear of the tent, and is easily closed with zippers, which you can leave open a little at the top if you like for good ventilation.
Mine's been through many a stormy, windy, rainy, snowy night, and it's still going strong...should get me through yet another winter this year...
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #9
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I used a Go Lite SL3 this past hunting season w/out the floor and nest along with a homemade roll up woodstove and did fine in high winds and maintained around 50 F inside the tent when stove burning while low 20's outside. Tent/stove/chimney all weigh in at 5.5 lbs. I'll never "cold tent" again.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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I used a Go Lite SL3 this past hunting season w/out the floor and nest along with a homemade roll up woodstove and did fine in high winds and maintained around 50 F inside the tent when stove burning while low 20's outside. Tent/stove/chimney all weigh in at 5.5 lbs. I'll never "cold tent" again.
Do you have any pics of your setup? I want to see the stove and chimney...
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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I had a couple pm's for info on my set up, not trying to hijack thread. Here are some pics of my roll up woodstove. The stove and pipe are made of .004 stainless shimstock that I bought from titaniumgoat.com. They roll up for transport. I also bought the damper, and stove boot which is sewn into the tent for the pipe to go through. The ends are stainless camping plates bought on ebay, same as the turnbuckles, stainless and ebay. The pipe is 6' high/3'' in diameter and stove is 7.5 in diameter and 12'' long. I have some pics with tent on the camera, just not sure where that is rght now? 100_1203.jpg

100_1208.jpg
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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The Hilleberg Soulo is highly rated.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:01 PM   #13
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I've used an old timberline tent with the screening removed. I like the ridge pole construction for heavy snow loading. However that type of the will not survive high winds. If you are lucky it may still be standing when the wind gusts top 30 mph. At 40 mph all fall down with 1/3 of the poles sustaining nonrepairable damage.
While camping in Texas my son had 6 Timberline tents flattened by high winds. The next morning there was enough salvaged to erect 4 of the original 6 tents.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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I hate 4 season tents....SUPER HEAVY...... I love bivy sacs, you sacrifice room but hey, if you make a snow trench or have some tarps you can make room

Heres a link to some bivy sacs via REI....http://www.rei.com/search?query=bivy+sacks

I own the REI minimalist, a couple buddies of mine own the OR brands and they say theirs are warmer and more comfortable, and versatile (they've owned similar bivys like mine in years past). I'll prolly pick up the OR Highland Bivy in the near future.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kburke View Post
never understood what makes a tent four season versus three season etc. Is it the thickness of the material to make it a bit warmer, stronger design to withstand wind / snow better...?

Can someone enlighten me?
There are 2 main differences between 3 and 4 season tents. The first is, as you stated, improved strength. The other difference is that 4 season tents have improved ventilation. They typically have vents high up off the ground. This helps to cut down on condensation inside the tent, and it also allows for air exchange even if there is heavy snow during the night. I've heard that people have died in 3 season tents because the suffocated during a heavy snowstorm- not sure if it's true or not, but it'd be a sucky way to go.

Personally, I use a combination tarp and bivy. My bivy is the Outdoor Research advanced alpine bivy, if I recall correctly.

EDIT: I found this post online on trailspace.com:

Quote:
In the Complete Walker, Colin Fletcher described 2 deaths caused by shelters made of impermeable fabric and heavy snow or freezing rain. One incident involved the old army mountain tent, over which a ten-inch-thick windslab had formed; with too little ventilation, one occupant apparently died of asphyxiation. However, occupants of a nearby Gerry tent apparently came through just fine.

In the second incident, a young skier who had covered her sleeping bag with a plastic tarp was found dead. As Fletcher wrote: "It is presumed that she had suffocated, for the edges of the tarp were frozen to the ground ice, and she had been sealed in."
So yeah, proper ventilation of your shelter can be extremely important in winter.

Last edited by DSettahr; 12-26-2012 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:23 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the various ideas! I have actually been looking at that Outdoor Research Alpine bivy too and am leaning towards that. Dsettahr - Would what the proper precautions be tp making sure you're bivy doesn't get covered in snow during an overnight storm or something along those lines?
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Thisisdan26 View Post
Thanks everyone for the various ideas! I have actually been looking at that Outdoor Research Alpine bivy too and am leaning towards that. Dsettahr - Would what the proper precautions be tp making sure you're bivy doesn't get covered in snow during an overnight storm or something along those lines?
I've been very satisfied with the Advanced bivy, and with OR's products in general. (Except their water bottle coozies, which are horrendous! Oh well, every family has to have a black sheep I guess.)

I would use the bivy in conjunction with a tarp. To me, the main function of a bivy is for added warmth, and protection from the elements is only a secondary function- that protection is for me primarily provided for by the tarp.

As far as maintaining ventilation- heavy snowfall will cause a tarp to sink, but if you put it up properly, it shouldn't collapse. You can also set your alarm for the middle of the night during a storm, and when you wake up, just reach up and knock the show off of the tarp. I've definitely done this a few times over the years.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:04 AM   #18
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A hammock. Very light and can be used year round with the right insulation.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:58 AM   #19
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A hammock. Very light and can be used year round with the right insulation.
What do you use to insulate your back. I've used my Hennesy hammock into octobwe and I've use the silver emrgency blanket under my back. Not sure I'd try in the winter....what do you use? Also don't your boots freeze over in the snow?
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:44 PM   #20
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http://hennessyhammock.com/catalog/insulation/
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