Eurekas Alpenlite 2XT (www.eurekatent.com) has been around in one iteration or another for what seems like 20 years. Usually it sells for under $200. And in my view it is one helluva bargain. Its designed around a modified A-frame structure that is exceedingly strong, sheds snow, rain, and wind, and is fairly easy to set up. A full-coverage fly and ripstop canopy button up well in cold weather, but have sufficient venting so its not uncomfortable in warmer temps. Weight is respectable at around 7.7 pounds. Its not the roomiest tent, however, so you wont be happy if youre snowed in for days on end with a campmate.
But for the pricewow. I used one several years back and remain impressed by it.
There are a few other options, but not too many in the under-$300 range. REI makes a fine four-season tent called the Mountain 2 ($269; www.rei.com), which is comparable in roominess to the Alpenlite but weighs about a pound more. Keltys Radiant 2 ($260) adds a second door for easier access, and, like the REI tent, weighs in at a bit more than eight pounds. But its a solid tent.
From there, prices rise fast to a tent such as the MSR Fury (www.msrcorp.com), which is extremely strong and fairly light at just under seven pounds, but costs $429. Or the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 (www.mountainhardwear.com), also very toughexpedition-grade, really. But it costs $450 and weighs nearly ten pounds.
So, considering weight and price, Id go with the Eureka and enjoy myself.
Get more advice from the Gear Guy as he picks this seasons top gifts in Away.coms Holiday Gift Guide. Youll probably find a few things to put on your own wish list, too.