3-Season or 4-Season Tent?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by jleft, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. jleft

    jleft New Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    I've really learned a lot from reading this forum about options out there for lightweight backpacking tents, but I've yet to see much information concerning 3-Season vs. 4-Season tents. I'm planning on a first season rifle hunt in Colorado next year (5 day season in mid October) and plan on hunting and camping in the 9000'-11,000' range. I've read that some consider 3-Season tents adequate enough to handle the occasional snowstorm but I also know that the nights can get down in the single digits while the days can get pretty warm too. Is the extra shelter provided by the 4-Season tents necessary or would I be better off with the better ventilated 3-Season models? Since I only want to buy one tent, can anyone share their personal experience with either or both kinds of tents at these elevations in mid October in Colorado? Right now, I'm leaning toward the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2, but can switch my search to a 4-Season variety if you all persuade me. Many thanks!
  2. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    One point to be sure off is that bottom is wide enough to at least match your THERMAREST or what ever pad you will be sleeping on. I got a timberline 2man 4season $220ish (Yellow)back in the late 1990s and we had to purchase 2 different size Thermarests cause 2 of the largest would not fit on the floor-----overrun is not a choice in a snow storm. I hunt the same 10-11K Alt in CO.
    Good luck.

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Been in major storms in the high country in Sept. 4 season and the best you can afford. Take care of it and will last a long time.
  4. 1100 Remington Man

    1100 Remington Man Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    Kelty Grand Mesa 4 person tent has worked well for me in CO 3rd season Elk hunting sleeps 3 on floor or 2 very well and light weight. Have had it in single digets for temp & snow no proublems.
  5. MHO

    MHO Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I have a NorthFace VE 25. Three man Four Season. There are things to save money on, a tent is not one of them for the backcountry, The weather can turn on you quick in the high country. A good tent and bag are worth their wait in gold when you need them. We have been in complete whiteouts to just about everything the mountain could throw at us and they are a A+ tent. Built like a tank.
  6. proload

    proload Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2011
    +1 on that ...

    I use a Hilleberg Jannu tent.

    It's not the lightest tent in the world (3kg), but I absolutely know that I can bank on it no matter what the weather throws at me ... and that counts for a lot in my books.
  7. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2011
    Have you bought your tent yet? I have both 3 and 4 season tents.

    I typically hunt with at least one other person and my 4-person 4-season tent, although heavy, is easily split up to pack. And worth it for the extra warmth during elk and deer season in the Rocky Mountains. The 4-season holds a lot more warmth through the night than a 3-season.

    If I head out on my own I take my 2-person 3-season tent. I am 6'5" tall and pretty big so a 1-person tent is out of the question. Also like the extra room to stash my gear when the weather turns bad.

    Lots of good options out there, and as it usually goes, you get what you pay for.
  8. kolob10

    kolob10 Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    I have both 3 season and 4 season tents. If I'm in snow country, I'll always take the 4 season. Never skimp on shelter in the high country. Once was "trapped" in my tent during an early season elk hunt by an ice/sleet storm. Couldn't walk 10 feet without falling. The layer of ice on the rainfly needed a little help every few hours to reduce the weight. Had to wait until the next day to start the hunt.
  9. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I am going to try one of the GoLite ShangriLa Tipis this year. Not really a specific 3 or 4 season but it should keep the rain and snow off. I keep reading great feedback on the tipi style tents and this was a bargain so I am going to give it a go. I will probably add a stove boot if I buy an ultralight Ti stove to the set up.
  10. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Check out the Cabels XPG ultralite tent. Its gotten great reviews, and while it's a 3 season tent (they have 4 season versions), most people say it works like a 4 season.

    Last year during 2nd rifle here (mid October), I was dying from the heat! I pack a really warm bag, and a nice pad.