Is there any reason I shouldn't buy a 4 season tent as my first tent purchase? I want to be able to buy something that can be used anywhere through the year.
Anyway yeah is there a reason not to use a single wall 4 season tent in the summer? If so why don't they just call them winter tents?
4 season tents are designed for "all four seasons," so you would be able to use it in the summer too. It's a nylon cave that protects you from the elements, not much can go wrong. The main disadvantage would be the weight. Winter tents need to deal with snow-loading on the side walls and potentially the roof, so they are built extra strong, which results in extra weight and bulk.
Another, not so obvious, disadvantage is that winter tents are often made to minimize ventilation - if there's a constant breeze coming into your tent in the winter, it will chill you faster than if the inside were more protected from the elements. At the opposite end of the spectrum, summer and 3-season tents are made to maximize ventilation, and there's a reason for this: internal condensation.
The inside of a tent is always going to be warmer and more humid than the cool night air outside. That means that condensation builds up on the inside of your tent through the night. This is water that can become significant and drip down onto your sleeping bag, and which, at the extreme, could be a danger to your safety. The less ventilated design of a winter tent is a compromise, even in the winter. Trust me, you WANT lots of mesh to be used in the inner walls of your tent in order to maximize ventilation as much as possible. Staying dry at night is paramount in wilderness safety, even in the summer.
Considering that winter tents are also more expensive, I really wouldn't get one as my only tent. You can use a 3-season tent in the winter if it's not snowing hard, and if it does snow hard, you just get out of the tent periodically to brush off snow. Most of your camping will be in non-snowy conditions, though. To contrast, your 4-season tent will be heavy and balmy the majority of the time you're in it, with the extra strength only paying off maybe once or twice every few years, unless you are a serious alpine camper, in which case you wouldn't be asking here.
Op, just get a nice 2person Black Label Hilliberg and don't ever look back!
You'll be good for 45 mph winds with blowing snow, lovely.
Then you can get a <3# two person pussy tent.
See which tent you bakpack with the most.
Btw, some 4 season tents come wirh optional mesh innerwalls vs. solid for ventalation.
4 season tents can be used for all four seasons, but usually aren't. MSR makes a good 3 season tent, I've used mine in the winter though I a) had to shake it around to knock snow off the top in the middle of the night and b) don't wander too far from the tent if it's snowing during the day so you can come back and clear it off before it collapses. Unless you're doing some serious mountaineering you'll be fine with a well made 3 season tent.
I use a 4 season tent almost exclusively.
The main problem with it is that it takes so friggin' long to set up. In the winter I'll often use it without setting up the fly just because it's such a pain in the ass to put on. I've only ever put the 5th pole on a few times, again because it's such a pain in the ass.
It's because most single wall four season tents don't breathe for shit and get hot and humid in the summer. Also many of them don't take bugs or insects into consideration during the design phase. Weight is also a factor.
>RAB Latok - For season single wall eVent
>Black Diamond I-Tent - Four season single wall ToddTex (no joke)
>Integral Designs MK1 - Four season single wall TegralTex
I'm trying to find a tent here in america and everything is fuck huge. Is amazon UK my only hope? The ones that look like pic related in america are expedition tier $600+
Unless you're doing alpine activities (ski/mountaineering or alpine climbing,) then you don't need it. My little MSR Hubba Hubba has kept me dry through two-week rain storms and even a few weeks of winter camping. Just get a good quality three season tent.
Small picture is small.
REI could be a good place. It's a little more expensive than elsewhere, but they have a one year no questions asked return policy, so if you don't like it you can just return it for a full refund.I bought my first three-season tent there for like, $270 I think it was.