The tent is the centerpiece of the bivouac; it’s a great sign of freedom, a small portable bubble of comfort. It is also, among all items of technical equipment for the nature of travel, which is difficult to choose.
A 4 season tent, unlike a tent 3-season, is supposed to be used in winter. But in the winter in the North and a forest in winter in our latitudes, temperatures and wind speed, in particular, have nothing to do. On one manufacturer to another, so there are great differences of interpretation of this label, there is still no ISO or other attempts to stamp a 4 season!
Here, in our opinion, a little list of essential or highly desirable criteria should respect a veritable 4-season tent:
- Good resistance to high winds (80 km / h at least)
- Some protection against cold (see section on thermal protection)
- The possibility of using it in the snow (see paragraph on the use in the snow)
- Good ventilation, otherwise the tent becomes 3 seasons: fall, winter, and spring!
- A little more space than in a tent three seasons: winter, our hottest equipment is larger, and it is nice to cook or undress in the apse.
In fact, some tents presented here do not fully respect all the criteria since some manufacturers affix the label 4 seasons in their tents when they cannot be used in hot and humid climate for example.
If you never bivouac in winter or beyond the polar circles or in high mountains apart to their greatest strength and therefore durability, you will have little incentive to choose one of the tents tested here: they are significantly more expensive than 3-season tent and have an average weight of one kilogram or just a little more.
Choosing a tent depending on the use we will make
Before choosing your tent there will, of course, know under what conditions it will be used and therefore identify the most important criteria for you. A tent cannot be excellent in all respects, we must always compromise. A comfortable and weatherproof tent will be heavier for example.
By bicycle or kayak, you can emphasize the interior comfort of the tent at the expense of weight, walk in the mountains it will be before all that our tent is light and resistant to wind, for roaming to ski on the choose comfortable, sturdy and well adapted to snow, etc.
The 7 different notes we have given to each model can help choose your tent based on the most important criteria for itself:
- The quality of its manufacturing and therefore its sustainability
- Its speed and ease of assembly and disassembly
- Comfort (indoor tent and apse)
- Weight and footprint of the tent folded in the bag
- Its wind resistance
- Adaptability to snow
- The quality of its ventilation for warm weather use including
To assess the quality of manufacture of each tent, we have (in addition to other tests) conducted a test of resistance to tearing of the tissues. After each notched two centimeters fabric with scissors, we tried to spread tear exerting a similar force for each tissue. Even without a sophisticated machine, our test was successful since it highlighted the very large differences in tissue resistance. Conclusion: silk nylons ripstop used by Exped, Hilleberg, Lightwave and are almost tear-proof. In contrast polyester fabrics, especially those that are not ripstop tear have very little resistance.
About the price:
We have not voted for price / quality tents tested because they already have a quality rating and the price speaks well alone. Moreover, apart from the Ferrino Emperor and Terra Nova, the quality of manufacturing does not seem to live up to their price; the prices are generally proportional to quality. So think carefully before buying a tent at cheap prize because (if you do not have enough money, look for (best family camping tents for sale) it often last only a few years while a tent of quality can be used 10 or 20 years, sometimes longer: in the end it will be less and less ecological economic …!
Here we present the general table containing all data and measurements. In the magazine (CA30), you will find detailed comments (main qualities and defects of each tent).
List of recommended 4-season tents:
- EXPED Venus 2 Extrem
- FERRINO Pumori 2
- FERRINO Emperor 2
- FJALLRAVEN Abisko Lightweight 2
- HELSPORT Fjellheimen Camp 2
- Hilleberg Kaitum 2
- Hilleberg Nammatj 2
- Hilleberg Nallo 2
- Hilleberg Jannu
- Hilleberg Allak
- HUSKY Flame
- MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR EV 2
- MSR Fury
- NEMO Alti Storm
- SIMOND Bionnassay
- THE NORTH FACE Rock 2
- VAUDE Power Odyssee
- TERRA NOVA Ultra Quasar