Insulated tents are great for the cold weather and also to keep you cool in the heat. Not every tent is right for every situation, so when winter arrives, camping requires specialist equipment.
There are hundreds of tents on the market today, the list of insulated tents for cold weather is small however.
These insulated tents are the best we found on the market today:
Arctic Oven 12’ x 18’ With Vestibule (10 person)
The arctic Oven truely stands up to its name. This tent is the warmest of the warmest with its rectangular layout, this family-size tent is perfect for multiple environments. From the Antarctic to Alaska this tent has numerous rave reviews from adventurers in inhospitable expeditions and rugged terrains.
Four Season tent
Sleeps 10 to 11 people
Weight 110lbs (including tent and poles)
Area 226 sq feet of living space. Vestibule provides another 46sq feet of space.
Height 7’2” peak height
Adjustable vents and screen windows provide excellent ventilation
Frame Made of anodized aluminum tubing
CRUA Loj 6 Person Thermo Insulated Tent
This 6 person tent is a great tent for all different conditions and elements due to its list of features. Thermal Insulation with its inner cocoon is an Incredible feature of not only this tent, but others made by CRUA on this list. This family size tent is fully waterproof and breathable with a steel structure which makes it an all seasons tent. This tent’s capacity is 6 people, however it is an enormous tent with the total protected area being 300 square ft / 28sqm. The tent is very tall with its peak height being 83 inches / 211cm. The tent comprises of 3 rooms plus a porch with vestibule and awning. The structure is tunnel type and the poles are made of steel. This tents shape is cabin style however, as the roof is so tall.
Ventilation is fantastic as there are 6 PVC windows and 7 vents. My favourite feature of this gem is the ” Insulating carpet” that comes with this package!
The inner tent fabric is poly-cotton, while the outer is laminated poly-cotton, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. The floor is fully waterproof polyethylene. There is nothing getting through this One..
Four Season tent sleeps 6 Persons
Living area 300sq feet / 28sq meters of total floor space
Height 211cm / 83 inches at peak height
Excellent ventilation from 7 vents and 6 windows
VANGO Skye 500 5 Person Tent
This 5 person tent has a waterproof rating of 3000mm for the shell, more for the plastic floor and the windows are constructed of solid PVC, this makes for an impressive cold weather tent. Vango, being a Scottish brand, produces tents that are made for the colder region’s with lots of rain, so you can be guaranteed this is a great brand to buy if you are looking for a waterproof tent. Having 2 rooms, this tent is a 5 person tent but if need be can accommodate more. The total area is 12.4sqm. This tent has so many impressive features this does come with a downsize as mentioned before - Weight. It is 9.33kg in total weight which is light in comparison to other 5-6 person tents, you still do not want to hike with this one.
Total area 12.4 sq meters
Sleeping area 6.3sq meters / Sitting area 6.1sq meters
Packed Size 70 x 25cm
CRUA Tri 3 Person Insulated Tent
This 3 person tent is an excellent choice if you want a good “All-Rounder”.
It is a double layer tent, is thermally insulated, waterproof yet breathable. The outside structure is a tunnel shape, non-freestanding with aluminum poles. The shell and inner are poly-cotton with 2 PVC windows. The total area is 6.36sqm, with the sleeping area being 4.6sqm. This is a dark room tent that gives a dark sleeping space. The tent is heavy (22kg / 48lbs) and bulky, so you do need a car to transport it.
4 season tent
Sleeps 4 people, 3 to specs
Area 6.36sq meters
Sleeping area 4.6sq meters / vestibule 1.8sq meters
Packed size 85 x 61 x 48cm
How to Insulate a Tent:
Why Not? Cheaper is better, Right? If you are looking for a darkroom tent and also one that will keep you warm, it is cheaper to insulate than purchase insulated. The question is which is the better option?
The idea behind Insulation is easy. You need to create a barrier to lock the heat in rather than let it out for cold weather and keep cold air inside when it is hot out.
There are many tips on how to stay warm whilst camping in the cold, but not so many on how to insulate your tent. Most 4 season tents have some kind of insulation already built-in, so if you are looking to insulate your tent it is probably a 2 or 3 season tent. Let's start with the basics.
Size matters when it comes to keeping your tent warm. Smaller tents definitely lock the heat in, whilst bigger tents can let the breeze & cold in, and the heat out. With insulating a tent you have 2 areas to insulate, the tent walls and floor. As the interior of a tent is a relatively small space, once this is achieved, human body heat is enough to act as a heater.
Best Material to Insulate a Tent
The reason being, foam insulation takes the trapped gases making the air less dense and is cheap. Reflective foam has a barrier from the foam whilst adding the reflective material to reflect the heat.
Double air bubble reflective foil is the best and cheapest version available.
How to Insulate tent walls and roof
As the walls of the tent is the area that comes into most contact with cold air, it is best to use reflective foil to line the walls, placing the reflective foil on the inside of the tent walls and roof will reflect the warm air back down as it rises. You can also use a reflective blanket for the roof or walls of a smaller tent.
There are a few ways to best insulate the rooftop and walls of your tent.
1. Number one, start from inside. It is as simple as laying the insulation fabric out flat and choosing a quality tape that will stick. The reflective foil sticks easily and is flexible enough for the interior walls of a tent. Whilst this method is the best for keeping the heat in, it takes the longest to accomplish and you have to take it down every time you pack up.
2. If you want a quick fix the second option much quicker and easier. Cover your tent with thermal insulation, a tarp or similar windbreak will also work. The thermal insulation will work well for the cold weather, however thermal insulation on the outside works best for keeping the heat out, helping to keep the tent cool.
How to insulate tent floor
Ground Insulation is a must if you want your tent to be warm from the core up! This is the area you will have contact with, where you sleep, so we want this to be toasty warm. For the best ground insulation, we recommend you use foam insulation for the density. A reflective foam that has reflective aluminum on both sides is the best to reflect your body heat back to you at the same time reflecting the cold air that is coming from the ground. a simple and easy option is to get interlocking foam tiles that is normally used for kids playrooms.
It is best to sleep on the ground rather than a raised bed to stay warm, as cold air will move under the bed. We suggest using an air mattress
The size of the tent also comes into this one. It is much easier to insulate a small tent rather than a large tent and to cover with a windbreak. A strong tarp can be used as a windbreak outside your tent, this will cut down the amount of chilling wind getting through to your tent.
Insulating your own tent is not for all of us. It is time-consuming, and keep in mind you have to take it all down when you’re packing up! So, is it worth the effort?
The insulated tents that are on the market, although expensive far surpass what most of us could accomplish, plus it is a much quicker option when setting up & packing away. All of this in consideration, we suggest insulating your own tent is not worth the time and effort, you are probably better off investing in a good insulated tent that will last a lifetime or in a good wool camping blanket. Enjoy your cold weather camping and stay warm.