Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1482 Location: Colorado
For winter, a good four season tent is my choice for around here. For a single night out in spring, with a good forecast, one can get away with a bivy or superlight tent. In winter the days are short, and storms can come, and generally one is going to be spending a lot of hours in the tent, and there needs to be enough space to be comfortable, and cook inside, etc. If you have enough energy, and are going to be camping for a few days, a large teepe style (floorless shelter) like those made by Mountain Hardware can work well, but you will have to dedicate a fair amount of time and energy to digging it down into the snow to make a suitable shelter to be roomy enough and strong enough to spend considerable time in.
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:00 pm Posts: 294 Location: Northern CA
+1 for a teepee/floor-less type tent. You should check out Nemo's Pentalite. It sleeps up to 3 people comfortably for winter applications. It has a dedicated area for gear and/or cooking and is much easier to set it up tight (verses the competition) due to it's shape. At just under 3.5lbs it's the best winter tent that I've ever used. Note: I've also used GoLite, Mtn Hardware, Garuda, and Blackdiamond teepee tents as well. http://www.nemoequipment.com/nemo2012-p ... e2012-tent Nemo's Transform Tarp is another teepee type option. It sleeps up to 2 people comfortably for winter use and is just over 2.5lbs. It doesn't set up as nice as the Pentalite, but it gets the job done wonderfully. http://www.nemoequipment.com/nemo2012-T ... -Tarp-tent
Personally I would avoid a bivy because you'll want space to store your gear out of the elements and/or for cooking. I've done the bivy thing during the winter and will never do it again.