Tips for choosing a winter tent
There are many different things to consider when choosing a tent for winter trips. Follow the steps in this article to help you choose a tent.
Helsport has different types of tent - here’s how to find the right one.
To make it easier to choose, we have divided our tents into four categories:
If you’re going on a winter trip, consider a tent from the Pro or X-Trem categories.
Tents from the X-Trem range are designed to withstand the toughest conditions in the world. These tents have an outer canvas with very high tear strength as well as unique details that make them particularly suitable for winter use:
- Pole channels and pole cups designed for double poles
- Reinforced guy points
- Guy skirts for extra anchoring
- Storm mats with integrated peg mount
If you’re looking for a tent that can be used all year round, we recommend the Pro tent. This is the perfect all-season tent with all the features required for camping out throughout the year.
Tents in the Pro series are designed with an emphasis on weight and durability. The materials in the tent fabric are the same as in the X-Trem category, making them some of the most durable on the market. All the details and materials that go into Pro Tents have been selected to create an optimum balance between durability and weight.
However, there are no storm mats or double pole sets in Pro Tents, which makes them less stable in very bad weather. Most of our tents come in series and most of them are available as both Pro and X-Trem editions.
If you’re going on long expeditions or winter trips where the weather conditions can be harsh, choose X-Trem.
If you want a tent for all seasons as well as for shorter winter trips, choose Pro.
Should I choose a dome tent or a tunnel tent?
The next decision is whether to choose a dome or a tunnel tent.
The classic oblong tunnel tent is often lightweight in relation to its size. They often have a large vestibule for cooking and storing equipment. In addition, they are quick and easy to pitch. However, they must be pegged and backstayed in order to stand upright.
When pitching a tunnel tent, the short side should be against the wind for optimum stability, as strong side winds can be challenging for the tunnel construction. Tunnel tents are most useful if you frequently are on the move.
Examples of tunnel tents are: Spitsbergen X-Trem and Lofoten X-Trem.
One of the greatest benefits of Helsport tents is their internal pole channels in the outer tent. This makes the tent very easy and quick to pitch because there is no need to pitch the inner and the outer tent separately. The whole tent is pitched in one.
A dome tent is usually somewhat heavier than a tunnel tent. It is also a little more difficult to pitch due to its crossed poles. Dome tents are wind stable in different wind directions and, being freestanding, are also easier to move around when looking for the best site.
Dome tents will feel quite spacious inside. Dome tents are best suited for camping in the same location for an extended period of time. There is often less space in the vestibule of a dome tent.
With the Svalbard High-Camp tents we have solved this problem by adding an extra pole, so that it becomes a hybrid between a tunnel and a dome tent.
Examples of dome tents are Himalaya and Reinsfjell X-Trem.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is weight important to you?
- Will you be using the tent alone?
- Will you break camp and move every day?
What size of tent should you choose?
When choosing a tent you should first consider how many people will be sleeping in it. When we classify a tent as a single, twin or triple tent; this is based on a calculation of the number of sleeping places.
In winter, however, we recommend going up one tent size. In winter you often bring more equipment and clothes into the tent, as well as larger sleeping bags and sleeping mats. So, if there are three of you on a winter trip, we recommend a four-person tent. You should also consider whether you need extra space for more equipment, or a dog.
Another important thing to take into account is the kind of sleeping mats you will need on a camping trip. Some tents are square while others incline at the foot end. With a three-person tent that inclines at the foot end, there will generally be room for two sleeping mats.
Questions to ask yourself:
- How many people will sleep in the tent?
- Do I/we need extra space for more equipment or a dog?
- Do I/we have large sleeping mats?
- Do I/we need a vestibule for storage and cooking?
Is a vestibule important?
A vestibule is another factor that affects which size tent you should choose. All our models that have the word "camp" in them have an extra pole in the vestibule, which gives extra space. Some do not have a vestibule while others have more than one. There is a lot to choose from!
If a vestibule is not important, consider some extra space in the inner tent. A vestibule can be used for storing luggage, for cooking and other things that you would prefer to keep out of the space where you sleep. With good space in the vestibule, a little less space inside the tent can be tolerated.
How much inside volume you need is largely dependent on your own requirements for comfort, combined with what you are prepared to carry with you. With this in mind, one challenge when purchasing a tent is that it is not always possible to see the tent pitched before you buy it.
On our website, and in selected stores featuring our interactive product guides, you will be able to see sketches of all the tents. In a well-equipped sports store, if there is enough space, you may be allowed to pitch the tent to get a better impression.
This is important if you’re considering having a burner in the tent. Many people choose to use a burner and cook their own food inside the tent, in which case you will need to measure the height inside the tent before lighting the burner.
Lighting a fire inside a tent requires experience, so we would recommend cooking outdoors wherever possible. You will find a warning in all our tents against using open flames. However, we know that many people use a burner inside the tent, especially on longer trips when weather and other conditions are poor for cooking outdoors. Be aware that this is done at your own risk. Take great care and ensure good ventilation in the tent!
When choosing a tent, weight is often an important factor. All details, materials and size will affect the weight of the tent. Think carefully about what is most important to you so that you can find a combination of the various factors.
The weight is easy to assess. Lift and compare models, place the tent in a backpack and carry it around with you in the store. Again, this is entirely up to you: How much weight are you willing to carry?
If you are planning to use the tent on short weekend trips, you might opt for smaller and more lightweight, but for long trips or expeditions you may find comfort inside the tent more important, as this will be your home for a longer period.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Will I mainly be carrying a backpack or using a pulk?
- How long is the planned trip?
How many entrances?
This depends a little on how many you are. Just having one entrance can be challenging if there are four of you in the tent. It quickly gets tiring to crawl over each other every time you want to go out.
Two entrances simplify access to the tent and allow you to keep luggage in one place and cook in the other. In the winter, two entrances are a plus in windy conditions, since there is a greater chance that at least one entrance is sheltered. You can also be unlucky and break a zip, so having two entrances on a winter tent gives extra security.
Do you need further help? Please don’t hesitate to contact us on Facebook or on email [email protected].