The Ultimate Guide to Buying a One Person Tent

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a One Person Tent

Pavlo Lysyy January 11, 2022

Solo camping is an enriching experience: it leaves you feeling recharged and renewed and helps you rekindle your mental strength. It's a no-brainer that tents are the number one gear on any camping trip, and it's crucial to pick a reliable shelter for your solo adventure. Of course, it's best to get a one person tent since it'll allow you to go fast and light. However, they come in a variety of shapes, materials, prices, and it might be challenging to choose the best one person tent to meet your needs and possibilities, especially if this is your first camping trip. In this guide, we've rounded up everything you need to know before buying a 1 person tent.

When is it worth buying a 1 person tent?

As it's been already mentioned, a one person tent is a must-have for a solo hiker who seeks to travel fast and light. The primary benefit of solo tents is that they are more lightweight than bigger shelters since they feature way less material and components. Due to this, they're easier to carry and ideal for backpacking when you need to keep weight to a minimum. 

Next, since most one person tents have a simple design and fewer components, they are quick and easy to set up. A solo tent is designed to require only one person to pitch it. 

Finally, one person tents tend to be more affordable than bigger shelters, which makes them a great option if you're on a limited budget.

Types of one person tents

type of one person tent

Before we go any further, let's take a closer look at the most common construction designs one person tents can come in.

 Dome tents

Dome tents are one of the most common types of tents around. A dome tent has crisscrossing poles which meet at the top to make the characteristic dome shape. These tents are easy to put up by one person (they don't require any staking or guy lines) and compact enough when speaking of storage and transport, which makes this design the most popular for a 1 person backpacking tent. In addition, a dome tent is great when you're camping in rain or snow, as its roof won't collect snow or water. The only downside of this design is that the dome tent's sloped walls cut down on the interior space.

 Instant tents

Also known as pop-up tents, this type of tent has an all-in-one design with integrated poles that pop into shape when being put up. Although they are super quick and easy to set up, these shelters aren't suitable for camping in the wind, and, what's more, they're hardly possible to repair when they break. 

A-frame tents

When set up, this iconic Boy Scout tent looks like an "A": it features a central peak with two sides slanting out in either direction. One person A-frame tents are pretty easy to pitch, making them another perfect solution for solo camping. The sloped design of the A-frame tents makes them extremely sturdy and provides excellent protection against the elements; however, it comes at the expense of headroom.

Cabin tents

Cabin tents are made of aluminum poles fitting together to form a frame that looks like a cabin, which makes them your best choice if you don't want to compromise on the head and shoulder room— yes, you can stand up in a cabin tent. Plus, these tents are usually affordable. On the downside, cabin tents are heavier and bulkier than other popular designs, so they are more suitable for car camping than backpacking.

Hammock tents

A hammock tent or a camping hammock is a system that includes a hammock, mosquito nets, a tarp (to protect you from rain), and a suspension system to hang the hammock between two trees. This type of solo tent is best for use in the woods that provide multiple tree options to put the hammock tent up. 

What to look for in your 1 person tent

Consider seasonality

You probably know that tents fall into categories according to the season of use. It goes without saying that you need to get a shelter designed for the weather you're going to use it in. 

1 season tents

These tents are thin, breathable tents designed to be used in warm conditions. They have very light waterproofing.

2 season tents

Likewise, a 2 season tent is rather basic, but it can withstand light rain and wind.

3 season tents

Such a tent is strong enough to stand up to a harsh rainstorm while remaining ventilated, making it a wise choice to use spring through fall.

4 season tents

A 4 season tent is meant to be used all year round, as it can withstand rain, wind, and snow. Although it will require some extra steps to keep you cool in the summer, a 4 season tent is what you need for safe and comfy winter camping. These tents are typically double-layered, heavily weatherproofed, and allow you to use a stove inside.

Expedition tents

Expedition tents are designed for harsh weather conditions, such as extreme subzero temperatures and heavy snowfalls.

Construction features

Tents come with different construction features, so it's vital that you figure out which ones are really essential for you and look for these features while shopping for your shelter. For instance, you might want a freestanding tent that you can use on rocky terrain that doesn't take pegs. Next, it might be crucial for you that the outer layer can be easily removed if you intend to camp in the hot weather. Finally, consider features like porch size, washing lines, and pockets that allow for quick and convenient access to your stuff.

Dimensions

It goes without saying that 1 person tents are meant for one person; however, the dimensions of different options available on the market can significantly vary. Although 1 person tents tend to be minimalist, many of them are still able to accommodate two or even three campers. Before buying a tent, check its dimensions, especially if you're a tall person: make sure the tent is long enough for you to stretch your body inside. Also, when choosing a 1 person tent, keep in mind that you'll need some storage space as well.

Material

The following key feature to consider is the material of your future wildlife shelter. Tents can be produced from canvas (cotton) or synthetic materials (polyester or nylon). Although canvas tents are long-lasting, they are usually heavier and bulkier than ones made from synthetic fabrics. In addition, cotton tents can boast excellent waterproofing properties; however, they get even heavier when the water is absorbed. Nylon and polyester tents are waterproof as well, but unlike canvas, synthetic materials are lighter, which makes them an obvious choice if you're setting off for a solo backpacking adventure. Also, look at the denier of the tent's material: the higher the denier number, the more durable the material is. 

Stove jack

Many one person shelters allow for using stoves for tents inside. So if you intend to go camping during the cold season, look for a tent with a stove jack.

Tent poles

Quite often, tent poles are the first thing to break, so you need to look for poles that are robust enough to hold your shelter in shape. At the same time, tent poles have to be light enough to fit in your pack. The two most common materials for tent poles include fiberglass and aluminum.

Although tents with fiberglass poles are usually less expensive, fiberglass is rather heavy and less durable than aluminum, which makes fiberglass poles a better choice if you go car camping. Sometimes, they come covered with a layer of steel or aluminum to provide some extra reinforcement; however, this generally doesn't make them less fragile.

Aluminum tent poles are much lighter than fiberglass tent poles. In addition, they are stronger, which is why they are often used in backpacking tents.

Rain fly

Many one person tents come with a waterproof rain fly — a separate piece of material that can be attached to your shelter to provide additional protection when it rains. Although it's entirely optional, a rain fly will help you keep dry and retain warmth during colder nights.

Tent footprint

A tent footprint, also known as a groundsheet, is another add-on that can come with your tent. Tent footprints are included more rarely than rain flys; however, you can easily purchase a tent footprint of an appropriate size or make it yourself. A groundsheet is optional, but you'll need it to protect your tent bottom when camping on rugged terrain.

Ventilation

Remember that ventilation can make or break your camping trip, especially in hot or humid weather. Look for a tent that features vents or/and mesh to provide you with proper ventilation.

Packability

Your 1 person tent must be as small and lightweight as possible unless you go car camping. The average weight of a 1 person tent is about 3 lb 5 oz; however, there are fantastic options for ultralight backpackers that can go down to as little as 1 lb 1.6 oz.

Price

Today, the market is jam-packed with one person tents that range not only in design and seasonality but also in price. Keep in mind that lightweight tents with reliable waterproofing and UV protection will cost you more; however, you'll save money in the long run as they will serve you longer. 

Popular brands

Today, with camping getting more popular, the market is teeming with brands that produce tents and accessories. Some of them are more than half a century old; others are relatively young but have already won the love of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. The most popular brands that produce solo tents include the following names:

  • Big Agnes
  • MSR
  • Black Diamond
  • Kelty
  • RBM
  • Nemo Equipment
  • Coleman
  • Alps Mountaineering

 Our choice of best one person tents in each class

When picking your wildlife shelter for a solo adventure, you need to take into account many things – seasonality, weight, ease of setup, affordability, as well as accessories included. We've rounded up a list of the six best one person tents to help make that choice easier for you.

Best for hot weather: TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent

TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent is a dome tent with a rectangular floor made from polyester, with seams and corners reinforced and heat taped. The tent currently comes in three colors: gray, yellow, and red. Inside, this tent has a large, removable attic and two big pockets on the sides.

Boasting a 360-degree ventilation system, this one person shelter is built to provide optimal airflow that helps you keep cool when it's hot outside. Thanks to the lightweight but highly protective material, a full-dome mesh top allows you to sleep outdoors.

TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent comes with a waterproof rain fly for extra protection in case it rains. What is more, this excellent tent has a bathtub floor, which will keep you and your belongings dry in the wet weather. The simple design makes setting this tent up and taking it down a pretty easy job.

Best hot tent for winter camping: UP-2-mini

This sturdy and durable two-layer tent is suitable for use all year round. UP-2-mini features a stove jack and is designed to allow campers to use a wood stove inside safely.

This shelter's frame has an umbrella-type design, which enables a quick and easy setup: you can pitch the tent on any type of terrain in only two minutes.

At the diameter of 107", this dome tent is spacious to accommodate a person in a sleeping bag or on a folding bed, leaving room for a wood stove as well as an ample gear storage area. 

This high-grade premium tent has relatively low weight and is easy to carry since it transforms into a backpack. 

This tent provides maximum comfort during cold weather camping, as it's made to ensure the most effective protection against high winds and heavy rain or snow. UP-2-mini's walls and poles are produced from high-performance, innovative materials. Its water-resistant outer layer is made from Oxford 300PU 4000, which will keep you and your gear dry even in the heaviest rain. Each and every stitch is glued for the ultimate protection from the elements. The tent frame consists of all-metal bars made of aviation alloy, which helps achieve the unadulterated durability of this shelter.

UP-2-mini is equipped with multiple hinges on the inner layer, which can be used for drying your wet gear.

Best tent for backpacking camping: River Country Products Trekker Tent 2

No wonder that River Country Products Trekker Tent 2 is our top choice among backpacking tents: at 2 lb 12 oz, this 3-season A-frame shelter is one of the lightest backpacking options on the market. What is more, it's more spacious than any other tent in the ultralight category. Trekker Tent 2 is incredibly compact, and it can easily fit in your backpack. The product includes eight ultra-light aluminum stakes and a carrying bag. Trekker Tent 2 works with most trekking poles over 42 inches long (trekking poles aren't included), sticks, or between two trees.

This tent is fairly quick and easy to put up: you need to stake down the corners and put in the trekking poles, the entire process taking around just one minute.

This pretty affordable tent is waterproof enough to use in the rain and can withstand moderate winds. The shelter is equipped with a personal-items pouch and loops in the corners for more comfortable camping.

Best all-season tent for car camping: Sputnik-3

Car camping deprives you of the headache of picking a lightweight tent and deciding on which features you're ready to compromise on for the sake of the light weight. That is why we've chosen Sputnik-3 as the best one in this category, a tent loaded with outstanding features for your incredible camping experience. What is more, this tent still has relatively low weight and can be converted into a backpack to be taken hiking and pitched in inaccessible areas.

Sputnik-3 is a heavy-duty double-wall tent featuring a four-bar aluminum umbrella-type frame, providing exceptional durability and enabling a quick and easy setup. The outer layer of this tent is made from a high-grade water-resistant material that helps you stay warm and dry. The tent materials and a stove jack make it an excellent choice for cold weather camping.

Sputnik-3 is incredibly roomy: while it's possible to sleep three campers in sleeping bags, you'll find this tent super spacious when solo camping. 

Like other tents in this product line, Sputnik-3 has multiple hinges on the inner layer that can be utilized for drying your gear.

Best for mountaineering camping: Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

Packed with useful features and great for solo mountaineering, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent has a two-pole freestanding design and clips that can be quickly attached to the poles for an exceptionally effortless setup process. Pitching this tent takes only two minutes: the aluminum poles quickly unfold and snap into place.

Plus, it can be taken down in just a couple of minutes. It packs up small enough to use for backpacking. 

This 3-season mountaineering tent weighs only 3 lbs 8 oz so that you can carry it with ease. 

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent is made from water-resistant polyester fabric and can withstand UV rays. At 20 square feet, this tent provides enough room to sleep comfortably, with a bit of additional space in a small vestibule for storage. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent is well ventilated as well as offers adequate protection from wet weather due to its reliably sealed seams and the floor with water-repellent coating.

This excellent freestanding tent comes equipped with a rain fly, storage pockets, gear loft, stakes, and guy lines.

Best hammock tent: Kammok Mantis Ultralight All-in-One Hammock Tent

This 3-season all-in-one option includes a hammock body with a suspension system, a removable bug net, a rain fly, and all the necessary hooks, straps, and stakes. The product has built-in pockets to store what you need close at hand. It comes in a convenient roll-top stuff sack, and at the trail weight (with rainfly) of only 2 lb 12 oz, it's a terrific choice for a hiking adventure.

Kammok Mantis Ultralight All-in-One Hammock Tent provides a reliable shelter from the elements. It takes just around a minute to set up.

Final thoughts

When selecting a shelter for a solo adventure, you need to consider several factors, from seasonality to accessories included. Remember that your tent has to be sturdy to protect you from the elements, easy and quick to pitch by one person, and provide enough storage space if you need it. We hope you find our guide helpful.

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