Commonly, spring and fall is the most popular season for camping. Weathers and temperatures are more friendly, spring wildflower blossom and autumn color of the plants are so attractive. And there is longer bright time then which suggest more time for you to experience the wilderness. However, winter camping means a total different concept. The most familiar trail of you will have a completely different look in winter, it will takes you much more time to hike it through as you think before. Your gears and clothing will be quite different from that you use in summer.
Winter tents is the most important camping gears you bring with on your trip. And it should be thoroughly examined before you buy a winter tent as you will spend your cold nights in this shelter when you go camping in winter, which means this tent should keep you thermal and dry and withstand high winds and heavy rain or snow fall brought by changing weathers in other cases. This tent should also be weight saving and portable because you have to pack it on your backpack, ultralight tent are much better but with rather higher expenses. Moreover, it has to be much stable and compact to shield the heavy snowfall in winter.
I am comparing two kinds of winter tents to illustrate that for you.
This is a 2 person 4 season dome tent
Flysheet: 210T PU3000MM anti-tear checkered polyester, seam taped.
Inner tent: 210T breathable polyester + high density fine nylon mesh.
Floor: 210D PU5000MM Oxford fabric, seam taped.
Pole material: Aluminum
2. And the other one is a 2 person 4 season alpine tent
Flysheet: 20D PU8000MM waterproof silicon coated squares nylon, seam taped.Inner tent: 210T breathable polyester + high density fine nylon mesh.
Floor: 210T PU5000MM waterproof coating polyester, seam taped.
Pole material: Aluminum
The first tent is a dome tent with very simple frame, very easy to pitch, one person can set up this tent quickly for the first time. Usually, 4 season tents should be very thermal keeping with inner tent keeping you warm and outer flysheet block out the weather. So the flysheet need to be water proof and anti-tear which is probably with PU 3000MM water proof capability. Inner tent should be thermal keeping with compact Nylon polyester and tough floor should utilize 210D PU5000MM Oxford fabric to make the tent more durable and water proof. The second tent is a 4 season alpine tent with 20D PU8000 waterproof fabric, and this kind of 20D Nylon fabric is the latest waterproof fabric to make flysheet of high standard and professional backpacking tent, is very weight saving compared with the 210T nylon fabric of usual winter tents and much water proof too. But This kind of 20D nylon fabric is of higher price so tents made in this kind of materials will cost you more. The first dome style tent is much cheaper but with the essential requirements for a qualify winter, very compact to shield the heavy rain drops and snow falls and high winds paired with guy ropes and tent pegs. But this tent has a inevitably condensation problem like many other brand winter tent, as winter tents are very thermal keeping which makes the temperature inside and outside the tent vary greatly, so the warm moisture within the winter tent starts to form water drops. The second tent also has this problem when being used in winter too, but condensate less due to the more breathable 20D nylon fabric flysheet and large vestibule design. In order to reduce condensation for all winter tents, please keep all the vents open firstly, enlarge the space between flysheet and inner tent with tent pegs and guy ropes secondly, and thirdly keep all your wet clothing or gears out of your tent and keep your tent dry. As the name of the second tent shows you, it can stand extreme high wind and heavy snow fall on high altitude mountains and storms with the help of its stable cross-bar poles design, you can see several triangles to make this tent freestanding which make this tent a very tough structure to withstand extreme weather. And the appearance is much attractive than the first one as you can see from these two pictures. All poles of these two winter tents are hidden within cloth tunnels to protect them from high wind which is a latest design compare to other traditional pole design of other brand tents, whose tent pole are exposed outside the flysheet, and all the tent body are hung to the poles with hooks on their flysheet. And all two tents have snow skirt to stop snow from pouring in from the ground when it has heavy snow fall, you can roll these snow skirt up with wrapping belts at the bottom of the flysheet to make the tent more breathable for hot summer use. All these above factors help to make a great winter tent.