The air temperature outside had dropped to around 15 degrees and it would get colder. Snow pitter-pattered against the Seek Outside Redcliff tent’s exterior. Occasionally, a forlorn gust of wind howled through the pines around me.
I was toasty warm inside, though, bundled up in my zero-degree sleeping bag, reading a book and sipping some hot tea, a wood fire crackling gently by my side. This hardly felt like winter camping. I took a long, slow inhale and exhaled deliberately through my open mouth — I couldn’t see my breath. That meant it had to be at least 45 degrees inside the Redcliff, a comfortable temperature given the conditions outside.
My partner and I were deep in the Gore Range on an overnight backcountry skiing mission. We’d posted up at a campground that was covered in nearly 4 feet of snow in an area that was bountiful with ski runs and touring tracks. The plan was to hunker down for a few nights and spend the days hunting for powder and seeking out safe slopes — all while testing Seek Outside’s pyramid/tipi crossover hot tent, the Redcliff, as our base camp.
And so far, it was serving as a perfect après lodge.
In short: With the the Seek Outside Redcliff hot tent, winter camping can feel like glamping. This floorless shelter has removable liners that prevent condensation, and a lightweight wood-burning stove heats the inside up extremely fast. It’s easy to set up, it’s very lightweight, packable, spacious, and hand-crafted to order. And while it’s perfect for overnight backcountry ski trips in winter, I also used it through the spring, summer, and fall.
- Complete weight (with canopy, stakes, carbon pole) 5 lbs., 3 oz.
- Complete weight with Large Stove 8 lbs., 15 oz.
- Height 6'10″
- Full area 132 sq. ft.
- Sitting room (Area taller than 36") 41 sq. ft.
- Standing room (Area taller than 6') 2 sq. ft.
- True four-season tent
- Fast and easy to set up
- Warms up quickly and retains heat well
- Light for a hot tent
- Smaller tent stakes prone to breaking
- Can only fully stand near center
- Polyester exterior requires caution with stove sparks
Seek Outside Redcliff Review
Based in Grand Junction, Colo., Seek Outside is one of those small, family-owned brands that the outdoor industry was built on. It was first started in 2009 out of a desire to make family camping tents that could also work for shoulder season elk hunting in the Rockies.
The brand has come a long way since those humble beginnings. But it still makes all of its tents by hand, to order. When you buy a Seek Outside tent, you have direct access to the people who built, designed, and supported it. The labels on the tents even tell you who sewed the product and who inspected it. You won’t get that with almost any other brand.
Seek Outside is also big on conservation. Every year, the brand supports grassroots conservation organizations that educate and mentor people about protecting natural areas. In 2017, Seek Outside won the the Larry Fisher Award for its commitment to the cause.
Today, the brand offers a robust lineup of tents, packs, tent stoves, and accessories. The brand’s most loyal demographic is certainly hunters. But when I saw Seek Outside’s hot tents, my mind immediately went to a different kind of hunting — powder hunting.
The Seek Outside Redcliff hot tent in particular looked like the perfect backcountry skiing strike mission sanctuary. So I got my hands on one, and promptly started planning an epic winter camping trip (not far from Red Cliff, Colo., in fact).
The Redcliff Stove, Liner Bundle: First Impressions
The bundle I got from Seek Outside included the tent itself, two half-liners, the six-section carbon fiber pole, fluorescent orange guy lines, six regular tent stakes, six heavy-duty twisted stakes, and the stove. It also comes with enough seam sealer to “seal the entire shelter and have some left over” according to the brand.
The full Redcliff liner/stove bundle is $1,404. Seek Outside also offers just the tent (no liner, and no stove) for $819. The tent would not work nearly as effectively in the winter without the stove and liners. But if you already own a hot tent stove with a stove pipe, you could conceivably use that instead.
The tent canopy by itself weighs 3 pounds, 7 ounces. Add the pole and the stakes, and it’s a grand total of 5 pounds, 3 ounces. That doesn’t include the 2-pound, 3-ounce stove (we’ll get to that little titanium furnace in a moment) or the liners, which are 9.5 ounces each.
Compared to GearJunkie’s Best Backpacking Tents of 2023, the Redcliff definitely lands on the heavier end of the spectrum of tents you’d carry into the backcountry. Compared to GearJunkie’s Best 4-Season Tents of 2023, however, the full Redcliff bundle lands pretty squarely in the middle of the lineup. And compared to our Best Camping Tents of 2023, it’s lighter than almost all of them.
The apex of the tent is 6.5 feet tall. It sleeps six people without the stove, and three people with it. During our testing, we had two fairly large cots and still had just enough room for the stove, a dog bed, and all of our gear. You can request a size larger or a size smaller from Seek Outside if you’re looking for a different capacity.
At the top of the tent is a fire-retardant stove jack with a rain flap. There is also a peak vent that allows fresh air to cycle in even if all of the doors are closed.
Inside you’ll notice hanging loops for gear or clothing lines. I used those between ski sessions to hang and dry my damp socks and long johns over the heat of the fire.
The bottom hem of the structure has a 6-inch sod skirt that seals out drafts and helps shed water away from the tent if it’s raining. There are also guy-out loops placed around the exterior of the canopy that make it easy to steepen the walls and create more space on the inside, or to pitch the tent down in tight spots.
The Redcliff half-liners are lightweight, stuff down easily, and attach to the inside quickly via plastic toggles. I was able to figure them out without glancing at the directions. They’re made from 20d uncoated ripstop nylon with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish.
I cannot recommend getting at least one of these liners with the tent enough. I had two of them during my testing, which effectively turned most of the structure into a double-wall tent.
Not only did that notably reduce condensation inside, but it also added an extra layer of insulation that likely helped keep this four-season tent warmer — even if the difference was marginal.
You can certainly winter camp in the Redcliff without the liners. Many people do. But the liner really helps with condensation, which is a real annoyance without them.
Tents never feel as homey as they do when there’s a fire roaring inside. I had a warm enough sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a good cot during testing — so I would have survived in the Redcliff without the Seek Outside stove. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as comfortable of a night. What might have been a cold evening in a nylon dungeon felt more like a night at home beside the hearth.
Seek Outside’s titanium stove comes disassembled and laid flat for transportation. Packaged, its dimensions are 8.25 x 14 x 3 inches. The 7.5-foot stove pipe rolls up and secures with a Velcro strap. All of the pieces fit together in a single bag barely bigger than a three-ring binder.
Assembling the stove was reminiscent of the metal erector sets I used to play with as a kid. The burn box is not enormous — assembled, it’s 8.25 x 8.25 x 14 inches. It has a sliding door, legs that raise it up off the ground up to 12 inches, an intake control slide, and a damper with an integral spark arrestor. It’s a legit little system. And it puts out heat fast.
My biggest gripe with this stove? Its fuel capacity. The large stove only fit a handful of 2-inch diameter pieces of wood. You could fit more fuel in it than that. But when I tried, the stove pipe would start throwing sparks and belching flames overhead. I only had to see a couple of sizable embers settle on the canopy outside before I dialed it down.
Unfortunately, that also meant that every 30 minutes I was getting up to add more wood. Otherwise, the fire would go out completely. It wasn’t ideal. Eventually, I abandoned the task and relied solely on my sleeping bag and the Redcliff itself to keep me warm through sunrise. The temperature inside the tent dropped very quickly without the stove fire. When I woke up in the morning, you can bet I saw my breath.
Room for Improvement
Look, I have a hard time poking holes in this tent. My biggest gripe with the stove was its size, but Seek Outside sells an XL stove that might have solved my problem. A stove pipe screen or stove stack cap would have also helped mitigate sparking. Seek Outside doesn’t sell those, but they’re easily available elsewhere online.
I could also point out that the integral spark arrestor built into the stove’s damper didn’t completely stop sparks from ejecting from the top. But I also didn’t test the stove without that arrestor — so I have no idea how much heavy lifting it was doing. Without it, the problem might have been much worse.
Compared to ultralight pyramid tents (like the Hyperlite UltaMid 2) and backpacking tents like those found on GearJunkie’s Best Backpacking Tents of 2023, the Redcliff is a hefty shelter — especially with the stove. But compared to most camping tents and other four-season tents, it’s a very reasonable weight for a six-person hot tent.
I could point at the price, and say it’s “too expensive.” But most hot tents with stoves are similarly priced. And Seek Outside’s are hand made, and they come with a lifetime guarantee for manufacture defects and reasonably priced repair options for wear and tear damages.
I honestly can’t point to a single feature or aspect of this tent that really fell short or didn’t perform as it should have. Maybe something will jump out at me this winter, or as I use it next spring, summer, and fall. If it does, I’ll update this article. But until then, I’ll just say this four-season tent exceeded my expectations and performed superbly, and leave it at that.
Seek Outside Redcliff Hot Tent: Who Is It For?
I’m already planning a few backcountry strike missions this winter, and I can’t wait to bust out the Redcliff when the time comes. It’s a solid tent no matter what season you’re using it in. But as a cold-weather sanctuary, it excels. I would not expect a handmade four-season tent of this quality to be so competitively priced.
Hunters, backcountry skiers, and anyone who generally enjoys winter camping will recognize the utility and quality of the Seek Outside’s Redcliff hot tent. It checks all the boxes. Seek Outside has several other styles of hot tents available on its website. Judging by the caliber of this model, you probably couldn’t go wrong with any of them.