This is The Wise Adventurer’s guide to the best high wind tents on the market for serious weather, be it wind, rain, or snow. Wind resistant tents are essential for camping in the kind of conditions you’ll find in the high desert or above the treeline on the world’s most challenging mountain ranges.
We’ve analyzed and tested dozens of high wind tents on the market and found the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 to be the best windproof tent overall. We love the Hubba Hubba because it features the kind of bulletproof frame and wind resistant canopy you’ll need for serious weather, but packs it all into a three-season tent that’s compact and light enough for hardcore backpacking duty.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a great shelter, and we think your average outdoors enthusiast who spends time in windy and rainy conditions won’t find a better option, but it’s not for everyone. That’s because many adventurers looking for a wind resistant tent intend to camp in the cold and snow-filled winter months, and the Hubba just isn’t cut out for those conditions.
However, whether you’re a three-season hiker or a four-season mountaineer, you’ll find a tent in our list below that’s perfect for your next adventure. And, if you know you’ll be facing strong winds but aren’t quite sure what shelter suits you best, we’ve even included a handy buyer’s guide down at the bottom to help you make a decision.
Alright then: Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2: Best Overall||A three-season tent with four-season wind resistance. Lightweight and compact enough for proper backpacking, yet secured with an aerodynamic rainfly and one of the strongest pole systems available. See Review|
|Mountain Hardwear ACI 3: Best Overall Quality||Bulletproof materials throughout and one of the highest waterproof ratings money can buy. Excellent interior space and gear storage with a surprisingly low weight. See Review|
|Eureka! Alpenlight XT: Best On A Budget||Reinforced frame, easy setup, and backpack-friendly size and weight at a great price. A value-added choice for four-season backcountry travel. See Review|
|MSR Remote Mountaineering Tent||Incredibly strong frame that goes up without a fuss thanks to its clip-in canopy design. A surprisingly roomy option for two-person mountaineering duty. See Review|
|Marmot Thor 2-Person Tent||A hardcore alpine tent with a surprising amount of interior space and external storage thanks to its sturdy six-pole design. An excellent option for two campers planning extended stays in the mountains. See Review|
– Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.86g)
– Packed size: 18” x 6” x 6” (46cm x 15cm x 15cm)
– Floor size: 84” x 50” (213cm x 127cm)
– Peak height: 39” (100cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Hydrostatic head rating: 1200mm fly, 3000mm floor
– Seasonality: Three season
– Occupancy: 2 (1 and 3 person models also available)
– Best for: Three season backpacking in any weather
– Price: $$
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 has been a favorite of serious backpackers and thru-hikers for years. Its roomy interior, fast setup, excellent waterproofing, and overall packability have kept it in the MSR lineup for a while, and we hope it’s here to stay.
The Hubba Hubba started to develop a reputation a few years ago for snapping poles when dropped or crushed, but MSR heard its customer’s complaints and updated the shelter to be truly bulletproof about a year ago. Luckily for the windproof tent crowd, they used none other than Easton’s absolutely indestructible Syclone ballistic fiber poles, taking the Hubba Hubba from a fragile lightweight backpacking tent to an indestructible windproof fortress.
Of course it’s still got the same great interior space, backpack-friendly weight and packability, super fast clip-in setup, and world-class ventilation that made it popular in the first place, too. It checks all the boxes we look for in a two-person tent including double doors, double exterior vestibules, and fantastic waterproofing thanks to its Xtreme Shield waterproof coating and factory-sealed seams.
In fact the only complaint we would register with the Hubba Hubba is that it may be a bit too compact for anything outside of backpacking. That’s because although the interior is extra spacious for solo hikers and technically big enough for two, it isn’t the ideal camping tent for two in terms of space. This is a common complaint with backpacking tents and is a common compromise to keep size and weight to a minimum, but it’s something you’ll want to be aware of before buying.
|– An exceptionally wind resistant tent for three-season campers|
– Easton Syclone poles are some of the best in the business
– Lighter than your average 2 person backpacking tent
|– Compact backpacking floorplan isn’t the most spacious for two campers|
– Weight: 8.3 lbs (3.8 kg)
– Packed size: 25” x 8” x 8” (64cm x 20cm x 20cm)
– Floor size: 110” x 60” (279cm x 152cm)
– Peak height: 41” (104cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Hydrostatic head rating: 10,000mm fly and floor
– Seasonality: 4 seasons
– Occupancy: 3 (2 person also available)
– Best for: Cold weather camping in high wind/snow
– Price: $$$
Mountain Hardwear has a reputation for making some of the highest-quality, bulletproof outdoors around. The Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 is no exception and was an easy pick for best quality overall.
This singlewall design replaced Mountain Hardwear’s much-loved EV3 tent, and received a long list of upgrades over the outgoing model. For one, the ACI 3 specs blizzard-proof 50D nylon canopy fabric as well as a 70D nylon floor, both of which are ready to handle any and all-weather thanks to their incredible strength and 10,000mm waterproof ratings.
Ventilation has been improved as well thanks to dual side vents, the addition of a full mesh door panel, and improved front and rear vents. Our favorite improvement here though by far is the new vestibule design, which converts the front door itself into an extended vestibule, adding additional space to the interior of the tent while also providing ample room to stash gear. Both the poles and stakes are made from high-quality aluminum courtesy of from the folks at DAC.
Complaints with the Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 are few, but it’s a genuine mountaineering tent, so naturally it comes with a few drawbacks over three-season models. For instance, ventilation is great for a hardcore alpine tent, but it’ll be a little lackluster in warmer climates. It’s also heavier and notably more expensive than comparable three-season designs like the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, but again, that’s to be expected for a tent this tough.
|– Front door/vestibule combo adds living space and storage|
– Excellent ventilation for a four season model
– Insanely tough materials and excellent waterproofing
– Winter biased features lack livability in warmer months
Eureka! Alpenlite XT: Best On A Budget
– Weight: 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)
– Packed size: 19” x 6” x 6” (48cm x15cm x 15cm)
– Floor size: 90” x 54” (229cm x 137cm)
– Peak height: 40” (102 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Wedge/Dome
– Hydrostatic head rating: 1800mm fly & 3000mm floor
– Seasonality: 4 seasons
– Occupancy: 2
– Best for: Four-season backpacking
– Price: $
Eureka! is known for building excellent alpine expedition tents, and their Alpenlight XT applies that mountaineering expertise to a backpack-friendly shelter.
High wind performance is delivered via the Alpenlight’s rock-solid six-pole A-frame design and Eureka!’s trademark “StormShield” rainfly technology, which uses a durable 75D polyester ripstop fabric with a 1800mm waterproof rating. You’ll also find a full 3000mm waterproof rating on the Alpenlight’s 70D polyester floor, which will handle anything from heavy rain to heavy snow with aplomb.
We love the Alpenlight’s quick and easy setup system, which is ideal for getting the double-wall shelter pitched as quickly as possible in less than ideal conditions. Eureka! uses a clearly labeled polymer hub at both the front and rear of the tent as well as a pre-bent center pole to further reinforce its A-frame structure. This pole set is designed to clip into the tent as you build it rather than having to build and secure each leg in cross sections, which makes setup during high wind scenarios much easier.
Ventilation is also a high point in the Alpenlight’s design, and is good enough for reasonably comfortable warm weather camping thanks to the generous use of adjustable mesh windows throughout the Eureka!’s canopy. We also appreciate the multitude of storage options found on the Alpenlight, which includes six interior pockets, two gear lofts, and a roomy extended vestibule for exterior gear storage… In a two-person tent!
There’s not a lot about the Eureka! to nit-pick, but it’s worth mentioning that the interior space is on the cramped side if you’re actually planning to sleep two people inside. The limited peak height and tapered ceiling design work fine for solo campers and backpackers, but further contribute to the cramped feeling when sharing the shelter with someone else.
|– Super sturdy 6 pole design|
– Clip-in canopy and hubbed frame design allow fast setup in poor conditions
– Excellent storage for its size
|– Compact footprint and low peak height feel cramped with two campers|
– You may want sturdier stakes for anything outside of deep snow
– Weight: 7.2 lbs (3.2 kg)
– Packed size: 20” x 7” x 7” (51cm x 17cm x 17cm)
– Floor size: 87” x 55” (221cm x 76cm)
– Peak height: 44” (112cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Hydrostatic head rating: 1500mm rainfly, 10000mm floor
– Seasonality: Four seasons
– Occupancy: 2 (3 person also available)
– Best for: Four-season
– Price: $$$
We like to think of the MSR Remote as the four-season version of our top pick, the MSR Hubba Hubba. It’s got many of the same features that make the Hubba Hubba great like Easton Syclone poles with a reinforced central hub, a clip-in canopy, and dual vestibules for extra storage, but also packs all the features you’ll need for serious winter camping like mountaineering and expedition trips.
For instance, the canopy is a winter-friendly design, with less mesh and adjustable windows/vents, and the rainfly features snow flaps to seal out windblown snowfall. It’s also got improved protection from the wet, with a 1500mm rated fly and a full 10000mm rated floor.
And, because the Remote is built for proper expedition duties, MSR also specs a roomier floor plan (expeditions often involve spending extended stretches inside the tent during bad winds or heavy snow), which is several inches longer, wider, and taller than the backpack-focused Hubba Hubba.
No major complaints with the MSR Remote for us apart from the usual trappings that come with a hardcore four-season tent. It’s heavier, bulkier, and more expensive than comparable three-season options, but that’s the price we pay for shelters that protect us in the most inhospitable regions on the planet.
|– Large vestibule with added gear loops for exterior storage|
– Easton Syclone poles are one of the best around
– Solid livability for a mountaineering-style tent
|– Four season capability adds bulk, weight, and cost|
– Weight: 10.2 lbs (4.6kg)
– Packed size: 29” x 9” x 9” (72cm x 22cm x 22cm)
– Floor size: 88” x 60” (224cm x 157cm)
– Peak height: 46” (117cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Hydrostatic head rating: 3000mm fly, 10000mm floor
– Seasonality: Four seasons
– Occupancy: 2 (3 person also available)
– Best for: Four-season camping/basecamping
– Price: $$
If you’re interested in two (or three) person camping in snowy conditions at high elevations, take a look at the Marmot Thor 2P. Marmot designed this tent as a do-it-all alpine shelter that’s built for serious expeditions above the treeline.
Our favorite is the two-person model, which unlike your average two-man footprint is roomy and livable enough for extended stays with a plus-one. That’s because the Marmot Thor packs nearly 37 square feet of floor space, and also specs two equally-large vestibules (7.5 feet each) where most shelters typically skimp on the size of the second. That means there’s plenty of room for each camper to sleep, relax, and store their gear without cramping up the interior of the tent, which is important considering how much time you’ll be spending inside.
We also love Marmot’s tent pole design, which uses six identical length DAC Featherlite NSL poles to add serious wind resistance while also taking the guesswork out of setup. This design also allows for above-average peak height inside the shelter, further improving livability for extended stretches inside the tent.
Of course using six poles in the tent’s body also carries a weight penalty, and combined with the heavy-duty 70D nylon floor and 40D nylon canopy, makes for a shelter that weighs in just over the ten-pound mark. Those extra poles also take a bit longer to set up than others on this list, especially considering the fact that Marmot uses multiple pole-sleeves in the design rather than the simplified “clip-in” canopy construction found in similar models on this list. Still, if you know you’ll be traveling with a friend who can help split the weight between two packs, many adventurers will find the extra interior space worth the added weight.
|– Six pole frame for high wind resistance and improved peak height|
– Large floor plan for a two-person model
– Equal length poles make for simple setup
|– Takes a little longer to pitch than some|
– Expedition tent weight penalty
While any three-season tent worth its polyester will keep rain at bay, high wind tents (as the name suggests) are built to stand up to gnarliest gusts a camper might encounter out in the wilderness. We’re talking alpine gales blowing sideways snow and the punishing winds that whip above the treeline in large mountain ranges.
Several factors play into what makes a high wind tent stable in these conditions, so let’s dig into the details.
Aerodynamics: Shape & Size
Aerodynamics play a huge part in keeping a high wind tent stable. Generally speaking, high wind tents feature the most aerodynamic shapes possible to allow wind to pass over them more easily. For this reason, you’ll typically see variations of two main shapes in a tent for high winds: Rounded domes and sharp wedges.
Dome-style high wind tents typically feature extra poles and guy out points to keep the overall shape of the tent as rounded (and therefore aerodynamic) as possible. The more poles and pole intersections a tent has, the less sharp its angles become.
Wedge-style tents, however, take the exact opposite approach. These compact tents are narrow and rounded on two sides, but have steep and flat walls on the other. The idea here is to pitch the narrow sections of the tent in the direction of the wind, allowing the shelter to “cut” through the wind head-on. Wedge-style tents are typically much quicker and easier to set up, but don’t feature as much floor space as their more generously-shaped counterparts.
If you’re shopping for the best high wind tent, chances are you plan on carrying it on your back to your camping destination. If that’s the case, we recommend considering weight and packed size just like you would a standard backpacking tent: The less it weighs and the smaller it packs down, the better.
Typically a tent for high wind is a tradeoff between weight, packability, and living space. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how much space you need to be comfortable inside the tent, but at minimum we recommend measuring out your minimum required sleeping space before-hand. High wind tents tent to be on the smaller size for the aerodynamic reasons discussed above, and that’s often just part of the experience, but make sure whatever tent you buy can accommodate you and whoever else you’ll be sharing it with, as well as your sleeping system setups. When in doubt, go a little bigger than you think you’ll need, because there’s a good chance you’ll be spending extended periods waiting out storms inside the shelter.
While high-quality camping and backpacking poles have come a long way, most aren’t cut out for the kind of punishment 50+ mph winds deliver. Special poles are needed for high wind tents to hold their shape under pressure, which is why you’ll want high wind specific poles in your shelter like the DAC Featherlite NSL Green or Easton’s Syclone poles made from ballistic fibers
Poles are essential, but they’ll be little help if your tent isn’t securely anchored to the ground. That’s why we recommend looking for a high wind tent with at least 6 guy line points on the body, although larger tents will benefit from additional anchors and often feature as many as ten separate guy-outs. Note that these points are in addition to the existing mounting points found at the ends of your tent poles. Those are important too, and you should always secure them, but it’s the added tension of properly angled guy lines that keep a tent firmly planted.
Wind resistant tents require extremely strong poles, reinforced frames, and strong rainflys with a focus on aerodynamics. Therefore, by default, most tents built to withstand high winds are typically four-season models like mountaineering and expedition tents, since those are common conditions for that sort of camping.
Every so often, however, a three-season tent like the MSR Hubba Hubba comes around, which has been built so stoutly that it qualifies as a wind resistant tent even though its stated purpose is good ol’ fashioned backpacking below the treeline.
When choosing a wind resistant tent, it’s important to consider the kind of camping you’ll be using it for: If you intend to camp year-round, including the most challenging months of winter, buying a four-season windproof tent is a smart investment. On the other hand, if you have no intention of camping in snow (it’s certainly not for everyone), a four-season tent is probably overkill, and you’ll be paying a premium for extra warmth and strength (often at the cost of ventilation) that you’ll likely never need.
Ease of set-up is especially important for wind resistant tents, but unlike camping or backpacking models, it’s got nothing to do with convenience.
You need a tent that pitches as quickly and easily as possible (especially if you’ll be backpacking with it) because there’s a good chance you’ll have to pitch it in the middle of a high-wind situation at some point. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out how to orient your poles, rainfly, and guy out points while also trying to keep your shelter from flying off the side of a mountain.
We typically prefer tents that use completely external frames with “clip in” style canopies for this reason. If you’re considering a tent that uses pole sleeves instead (or a combination of the two), look for one with features like color-coded poles and attachment points that make the setup process as fool-proof as possible.
Like most aspects of outdoor skills, learning to pitch a tent in strong winds takes time and practice. Still, we’ve got a few helpful tips we always use out in the field to make set-up as easy as possible:
- Use geography to your advantage: If you can find a hillside, ridge, or large rock formation nearby that helps block the wind, pitch your tent there.
- Stake it down securely, and keep doors and windows closed: Any loose tent material that’s allowed to flap in the wind is likely to get torn or damaged.
- Angle your tent into the wind: Figure out which direction the wind is blowing from, and pitch your tent so that the most aerodynamic side is facing directly into the wind. This is especially important for wedge and elongated dome-style tents.
- Wait it out: If conditions aren’t too bad (no pouring rain or driving snow), consider waiting awhile for a break in the wind. Pitching a tent while it’s windy increases the likelihood of your shelter getting damaged before you have a chance to guy it out securely.
Waterproof Ratings Explained
The waterproof rating of a tent’s fabric is measured in millimeters, typically falling somewhere between 1000mm all the way up to 10000mm. In short, the higher the number in millimeters the better, but it’s also good to know how these ratings are determined.
Waterproof ratings are the result of what is called a “hydrostatic head” test, or HH for short. To determine the HH measurement of a fabric, a piece of the material is clamped onto a pressurized water column, and is then subjected to slowly increasing degrees of water pressure. At some point, the material fails and drops of water begin to break through its fibers, at which time the pressure of the water is measured, and the rating is established. It’s actually a pretty entertaining thing to watch, and you can see a video of the test here.
For all the reasons described above, we chose the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 as our top pick overall for a high wind tent. Its wind resistance is matched only by its fantastic portability and ease of use, which we believe will better suit your average camper than a hardcore four-season model.
Still, many campers want extra protection and added durability that a backpacking tent can’t provide, and for that reason we recommend taking a look at the Mountain Hardwear ACI 3. This shelter uses nothing but the most rugged materials from top to bottom to ensure you’re protected from even the harshest conditions.
If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades shelter that can tackle anything from spring backpacking to winter mountaineering, check out the Eureka! Alpenlight XT. The Eureka!’s affordable price just happens to be the icing on cake for such a capable and versatile tent.