Just because you have a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t find reliable outdoor gear!
When looking for affordable gear, it can be easy to be caught up solely on the price alone. Looking into technical specs and verified customer reviews can become overwhelming, and it is hard always to trust what the company is selling you online.
A four-season tent, in particular, needs to be trustworthy and durable enough to withstand climate shifts throughout the year. The last thing you need on a camping trip is to be wet and cold without proper shelter. You need to be able to trust that your gear will protect you each time you head into the wilderness, no matter if it is sunny or if it is snowing.
To cut through some of the noise online, we put together our top picks for the best budget 4 season tents. With a budget in mind, we rounded up 4 season tents that also stand up to the test of durability and structural integrity year-round.
Our Top Rated 4 Season Tents
GearTop Backpacking 4 Season Tent
- Capacity: 2-person
- Weight: 6.4 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 78” L x 55” W
- Height: 41”
As a company, GEERTOP has some of the most affordable and reliable tents on the market. Their 2-person 4-season tent utilizes a two-layer system to give you a breathable warm weather shelter to keep you safe from bugs. Then, the outdoor vestibule includes a built-in snow skirt that keeps you warm and dry.
With the rain/snow fly, the ventilation system is not the best. However, it holds up nicely to cold weather and has plenty of space to store gear outside of your sleeping area. The materials are all 210 T anti-tear polyester with a PU 3000mm waterproof and UV-protected coating so you can trust that you will be protected from the elements.
The only downside to the tent is that it does not come with guylines to secure it in windy conditions. The freestanding design is quite stable on its own, but investing in some paracord to tie it down will save some grief down the line.
All in all, the GearTop Backpacking Tent is undoubtedly one of the best cheap 4 season tents around.
Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian 3
- Capacity: 3-person
- Weight: 8 lbs 10 oz
- Floor Dimensions: 92” L x 79” W
- Height: 54”
ALPS Mountaineering is another trustworthy brand when you’re looking for budget outdoor gear. This 3-person budget tent does hold up well in all four seasons. It has excellent weather protection from snow, wind, and rain. All of the vent systems close, and to add extra ventilation, there are two doors, both with closeable mesh.
Although it would seem there is ample ventilation, the main issue with this tent is that in cold weather, interior condensation builds up quite easily. To get around this, you can open the bottom of one door slightly and open the top vents to let air flow through the tent completely.
It may take a few times to figure out how to set the tent up properly. The rainfly poles can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get it figured out, it is a quick and easy setup.
Naturehike Cloud-Up Free Standing Tent
- Capacity: 2 or 3 person options *Specs below are for 3-person tent
- Weight: 5.2 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 85” L x 71” W
- Height: 43”
For a budget tent, this Naturehike and the Naturehike 3-season tent are both contenders for quality against some of the higher-priced options. With the ease of set up in the freestanding design, you will be set up in 5-minutes or less.
You have the option between a 2-person or 3-person tent capacity. However, the 2-person tent functions more comfortably as a 1-person tent. Each option is built using the same materials. The tent poles are made from lightweight aluminum to provide a high level of support without adding too much weight.
The tent fabric is 20D ripstop nylon with a UV and silicone PU water-resistant coating. Although it is advertised as water-resistant coating, it is a waterproof tent that can be used in heavy rain and snowy conditions. The rainfly also has a built-in snow skirt to give you added winter weather protection.
High Peak 4 Season Tent
- Capacity: 3-person
- Weight: 9.7 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 84.6” L x 78.7” W
- Height: 53.1”
For a budget 4-season tent, this one will exceed your expectations. Once you get past the color scheme and take it out into the wind and rain, you’ll see why this tent made the list. It has excellent waterproofing with the polyester ripstop fabric throughout. The rainfly has a PU 3000mm waterproof coating, and all seams are taped to prevent leaks.
Although there are vents high and low on this tent, some users have struggled to control interior condensation when sleeping. If you keep one high vent and one low vent open, this should not be an issue.
Cold weather will not be a problem in this tent. However, it doesn’t bode well in hot conditions. To make it be able to withstand inclement weather and cold conditions, the fabric was not quite as breathable as 3-season tent options. Most completely waterproof tents have this issue.
Luxe Tempo 4 Season Tent
- Capacity: 2-person
- Weight: 5.7 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 82.6” L x 55.1” W
- Height: 43.3”
One of the most significant issues with 4-season tents is condensation build-up inside during cold weather. The Luxe Tempo tent made sure to include ample cross-high-low ventilation that does not reduce heat retention but still allows enough airflow.
The ventilation system makes it perfect for winter and summer nights alike. All vents are closeable, so you can adjust them to the way you’d like. Plus, there are two doors, each one with covered mesh. Having both of them open in the summer makes camping quite pleasant.
One of the stand-out features of the tent is also the two vestibules. You can easily store all of your gear and keep it dry just outside the tent doors. The front vestibule also doubles as a sunshade if you have trekking poles.
Camppal 4 Season Mountain Tent
- Capacity: 3-person
- Weight: 3.7 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 83” L x 71” W
- Height: 51”
The Camppal Mountain Tent has winter trekking in mind with their design. This is going to be one of the best four season backpacking tents on our list. They use a lightweight tent material that is still able to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. They’ve rated their tent to -25 degrees Celsius (-13 F) and have a removable snow skirt.
Along with being fully waterproof, the rainfly coating is UV protected. Taped seams and waterproof fabrics do not stop this tent from being well ventilated, though. There are two doors that both have mesh ventilation, and the rainfly has top vents as well. Overall, it is a well thought out and affordable mountaineering tent design.
Eureka Alpenlite XT 2 Person Tent
- Capacity: 2-person
- Weight: 7 lbs 7oz
- Floor Dimensions: 90” L x 54” W
- Height: 40”
This tent is on the smaller end and one of the more expensive budget options for our list. However, it is going to be one of the higher-performing tents for cold weather.
It has two vestibules, but the rear vestibule is only large enough to store a pair of boots. To compensate for the small vestibule sizes, they added a ton of innovative interior storage like the two gear lofts.
The ventilation system is ideal for both cold and hot weather conditions with the ability to open and close them as you please. The tent stands up well to the wind by using a six-pole A-frame design. It can be complicated to set up at first, but once you’ve done it once, it is an easy tent to pitch.
The front vestibule is a bit larger than the back, and it includes a clear PU coated section to allow some light into the tent. This makes it easy to see your gear in the morning when you are packing up without having to open up the vestibule or use a light.
MIER 3 Person Camping Tent (4 Season)
- Capacity: 3-person
- Weight: 5.5 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 81” L x 66” W
- Height: 49”
The MIER 3-person tent has the option to be either a 3-person or 4-person tent. The interior tent is waterproof up to the large mesh top to make it usable for warm weather conditions. With the outer tent layer, you have extra gear storage and a winter camping setup. All of the seams are taped and the floor is a solid silicone bathtub style to prevent any leaks.
To make set up easy the use a freestanding tent design with a one pole system. The inner tent clips to the poles and directions are hard to lose as they are printed on the storage bag. To make things easier at night, the guylines are reflective to prevent tripping.
It’s very lightweight, making it a great option for both backpacking and bikepacking. The only real downside to this tent is that the vestibule is a bit awkward to get in and out of on the rainfly. Other than that, it is a great budget 4-season tent.
ALPS Mountaineering Taurus Outfitter Tent
- Capacity: 4-person
- Weight: 9 lbs 7 oz
- Floor Dimensions: 104” L x 90” W
- Height: 52”
Compared to the other ALPS Mountaineering tent on the list, this one has a much larger capacity. It also has more vestibule storage to make room for four people inside. To make this tent worthwhile for all seasons, they made sure that it had taped seams and that the floor is reinforced. You’ll still want to use a footprint or a tarp when you are camping, but the floor is built with longevity in mind.
Along with using polyester, a water-resistant fabric, they used a 1500mm waterproof coating on the walls and flooring. The freestanding design makes the tent easy to set up and still allows for a strong standing shelter in high winds.
However, since this tent is a bit taller than other options, it isn’t an excellent tent for high and sustained windy conditions. I will be able to withstand gusts of wind, but not sustained high winds.
GEERTOP 4 Season 4 Person Tent
- Capacity: 4-person
- Weight: 9.1 lbs
- Floor Dimensions: 92” L x 80” W
- Height: 53”
The final tent on our list is affordable, weather-resistant, and large enough for a family. It is advertised as lightweight, but it is somewhat heavy for backpacking purposes. As a 4-person tent, it could be considered lightweight, but it is more suited for activities like car camping.
The vestibule adds plenty of gear storage space that clears interior space for people to sleep comfortably. The front of the vestibule also can be propped up with trekking poles to make a small shade shelter during hot summer days.
The two doors make it more comfortable to house four people in the tent, and they add cross ventilation to cut down on condensation inside the tent.
To allow for even better ventilation, they’ve added vents both near the bottom and the top. All of the vents are closable, so you can manage in cold weather as well.
How to Pick the Best Cheap 4 Season Tent?
When on the hunt for the best 4 season tent on a budget, it is easy to get caught up in the price more than anything. While the price is important to anyone buying outdoor gear, many other factors need to be heavily considered before you buy.
We have put together some of the criteria we used to choose the tents on our list. This way, even if you don’t find the perfect 4-season tent on our list, then you can use these guidelines to find one that fits your needs.
Carry Weight & Size
The carrying weight and size of the tent will be determined by your intended use. If you plan to use this as a backpacking or mountaineering tent, then you will need it to be compact and lightweight. However, if you are using it for car camping, then you don’t need to focus on the size and weight as deeply.
Most tents will have two different sizes displayed on the manufacturer’s specs. They will have the overall weight and then the packing weight. The second weight allows you to cut out certain tent items to trim down the weight of the tent for backpacking purposes. Keep in mind that usually means cutting out the rainfly, which isn’t possible for winter camping.
The capacity of the tent will refer to how many people it sleeps. This can be a bit misleading, and it will depend on the size of the people using the tent. Understanding if the capacity fits your needs is easiest when you can view the tent in person and actually climb inside. However, that isn’t always an option. So looking at the dimensions of the floor and the height will give you a good idea of how everyone will fit.
Most importantly, look at the length of the sleeping area to be sure that you will not be touching the sides of the tent when you lay down.
For some of the tents on our list, we discussed that the capacity listed by the company didn’t always reflect the reality of the space inside. If you are using these tents for car camping and you aren’t worried about weight, it can be better to go up one person in capacity size to add a higher comfort level.
Ventilation is important in any tent, but it is essential in a four-season tent. When you are camping in the winter, you need to make sure that there is both high and low ventilation in your tent. This allows a full circulation of air to cut down on a build-up of interior tent condensation from your breathing.
As a four-season tent is also intended to be used in warm weather, ventilation is important to keep you cool. If there isn’t enough ventilation during the hot summer months, then the tent will be unbearable while you sleep.
Looking for tents that have mesh ventilation on the doors, ceiling, near the base of the tent, and somewhere on the rainfly can be a good indicator. Make sure that all of the mesh vents are also closeable, and the same tent materials are being used to cover them throughout.
When we are talking about durability, we are mostly talking about the materials. Since the materials need to be able to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, they need to be durable and long-lasting. They should also be fully waterproof. If you find a four-season tent that is only water-resistant, that should be a red flag.
Durable tents will use fabrics like nylon and polyester along with tent poles made from aluminum. Other tent pole materials can be used, but aluminum is sturdy and lightweight. Avoid plastic poles for fragility.
Other parts of the tent that you should check for durability include the zippers, seams, and floor. The floor especially needs to be reinforced and hopefully is a bathtub style in a four-season tent.
The seams need to be factory sealed to ensure no moisture can leak inside, and the zippers need to be heavy-duty. When the manufacturer’s cut down costs to make more affordable gear, they often will cut corners in those three areas to be extra cautious when looking at budget buys.
The amount of storage that your tent has will also be a somewhat personal choice. Most four-season tents will have designated storage space for gear outside of the sleeping area in the vestibule to save space. This works great, especially for backpacking trips.
There are some tents on our list that also had gear lofts inside the tent to store some gear. These gear lofts will not be large enough or strong enough to hold an entire pack.
However, they can help to organize other pieces of gear and clothing and get them off of the floor when you sleep and make them more accessible in the morning.
The final factor on our list is often the first thing people think about when they think about buying new outdoor gear.
Setting up an initial budget is a good idea when you’re deciding to buy a new tent. Four season tents are far more expensive than other tent styles because they need to function in both cold and warm climates well.
All in all, just remember that while you’re looking for the best budget four season tent, you aren’t looking for a “cheap” four season tent. Quality still matters even if you are playing less than average.
Deciding on a new tent is a journey. It involves a lot of research and shopping, and eventually, that can all get overwhelming leading to impulse or panic purchases.
With all of our gear reviews and comparisons, we try to make that process easier and give you the base of knowledge you need to make the best purchase decision for your outdoor adventure needs.
We hope that this was a good starting point in your journey to finding the best budget 4 season tent for you.