one person camping the mountain

Finding the right one-person tent is almost by definition a personal decision. Solo tents are just big enough to accommodate you and the barest minimum of gear; so first and foremost, you should be comfortable in small spaces and be ready to pack light if this is the type of tent you want to buy and use. They do, however, come in a variety of shapes, and while they are all small, how the space is used varies greatly. The single-person tents we have chosen here represent five of the best options out there and cover several different feature sets. Whichever tent you pick is likely to be a good choice if you use this list and buying guide to help you in your decision.

[amazon box=”B00BMKD1DU,B072MMQ2XR,B01MG00CYM,B07H47HF1X,B01IO5IIXS” template=”table”]

How We Chose Our Ratings

It seems like every outdoor gear brand has several iterations of each of their tent models, and they get updated all the time, so choosing a “best of” list is quite challenging. When you see two different tents on a website, the only difference you may notice is the overall shape or color of the tent. While shape is an important factor, the color or the quality of the pictures presented is not, so we have provided an overview of the important features to consider for each of the choices we present here. Since a one-person tent is such a small space, finding the features that matter to you and best meet your needs is of particular importance.

We looked over numerous sites that rate outdoor gear and camping equipment, and a few of the ratings appeared to overlap, but others were woefully outdated, so we made sure to check whether the tents we included in this list are still sold and available for purchase. Additionally, in order to make sure the reviews we provide here are useful to you as a consumer, we wanted to incorporate feedback from actual customers who had already bought and used these tents across a variety of conditions. For this, we looked at customer reviews on a number of major retailer sites.

We don’t report exact prices here because they change over time and vary depending on where you buy the product. Tent prices vary widely in general, though, so we do want to give you an idea of the price range for the tents on this list. We indicated for each tent whether it was likely to be found for under ($), between ($$), or over ($$$).

Our Top 5 Picks for One-Person Tents

1

[amazon link=”B00BMKD1DU”]

[amazon box=”B00BMKD1DU”]

DIMENSIONS
WEIGHT
PRICE
38 x 90 x 36 (inches)
packaged 4 lbs. 4 oz.
$$$

A freestanding and easy-to-assemble tent, the [amazon link=”B00BMKD1DU”] comes with a rain fly that also provides a reasonably sized vestibule. The floor is made of a 75 denier polyester taffeta with a 2000 mm coating that repels water to help keep you dry even when the ground is wet. All of the zippers are #8 for extra durability and ease of use.

The seams on both the tent and the fly have been factory sealed for greater weather protection, which saves you the time and energy of sealing them yourself. The vestibule adds another 32 inches of width to store your gear outside the tent, while still protecting it from the elements.

Customers report staying comfortable and dry across a range of conditions, including in the desert, the snow, and hail storms while using this tent. They also remarked how they appreciate the extra space provided by the included fly, an outstanding feature, especially at the low price point. Users confirm that the tent is easy and quick to set-up and that it is durable even after many uses. A few taller users felt the interior height was too low for comfort. Others mentioned that in heavy rains the floor did let in some wetness, but after buying a footprint to put under the tent, the problem went away.

2

[amazon link=”B072MMQ2XR”]

[amazon box=”B072MMQ2XR”]

DIMENSIONS
WEIGHT
PRICE
35 x 82 x 39 (inches)
3.56 lbs.
$$$

A three- or four-season tent, this affordable option from [amazon link=”B072MMQ2XR” title=”Flytop” /] is good for year-round camping in all but the most extreme conditions. The floor is made from a 210 denier oxford cloth with a 2500 mm waterproof coating. The body of the tent is a breathable polyester, and the fly is constructed from a lightweight, waterproof, anti-tearing polyester. When the fly is on, it provides a vestibule to keep your gear close by while still protected from the elements.

Users appreciate the interior storage including both an overhead clip for a flashlight and a side pocket for small gear. They also like the extra space the fly provides and its wind protection. Customers used it in a variety of conditions, including the High Sierras and Death Valley, with similarly positive reviews. Some reviewers said the tent was a little complicated to set up and the instructions were difficult to understand.

3

[amazon link=”B01MG00CYM”]

[amazon box=”B01MG00CYM”]

DIMENSIONS
WEIGHT
PRICE
30 x 85 x 36 (inches)
2 lbs. 14 oz.
$$$

The Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent is very lightweight, coming in at under three pounds at its package weight and at just under two pounds for its fast-pitch weight. It is made of a 20 denier ripstop nylon on the body and a 30 denier ripstop nylon on the floor. The floor is coated in a 3000 mm DuraShield PU coating and features a bathtub-style floor, which means the seams come up a few inches onto the sidewalls so water won’t make its way through easily.

Customers liked the 36-inch height so that even taller users could fully sit up inside the tent. They also liked the freestanding design, quality workmanship, and ease with which the tent can be set-up and taken down. Reviewers commented on the ample ventilation provided by the side mesh panels, which helped keep the tent cool in the heat, but also kept dew from forming inside the tent walls. Some reviewers reported that rain did manage to get in at times, while others thought the tent was too narrow to be comfortable.

4

[amazon link=”B07H47HF1X”]

[amazon box=”B07H47HF1X”]

DIMENSIONS
WEIGHT
PRICE
35 x 88 x 42
2 lbs. 14 oz.
$$$

Another lightweight option, the Hyke & Byke Zion 1 Person Backpacking Tents is a three-season tent that is packed with features. The vestibule provided by the fly adds another 9.8 square feet to comfortably store your gear outside the tent. Both the floor and canopy are constructed of 20 denier ripstop nylon, while the fly is a slightly lighter weight 15 denier ripstop nylon, in order to cut a little weight without sacrificing a lot of durability. The roof zips open from the inside to allow even more ventilation and discourage condensation buildup on the tent walls. Interior features include a clip for a light over your head and three pockets, a side pocket and two roof pockets, to store the essential gear you want to have ready at hand.

Reviewers like that the door is large enough to get in and out of easily and that it is tall enough inside to sit up. Users also like how simple it is to set up and take down, as well as all the extra storage features. One customer even put two people in the tent to play chess while avoiding the evening mosquitos and did not feel overly cramped. People repeatedly suggested visiting an REI store and physically getting in the tent there to make sure you are comfortable with its narrow footprint.

5

[amazon link=”B01IO5IIXS”]

[amazon box=”B01IO5IIXS”]

DIMENSIONS
WEIGHT
PRICE
36 x 84 x 38
3 lbs. 12 oz.
$$$

The [amazon link=”B01IO5IIXS” title=”Marmot Tungsten 1P” /] is a freestanding tent with an 8.75 square foot vestibule that is created with extra space while the fly is on. All seams are factory taped to prevent leaks, and the catenary-cut floor increases interior floor space. The clips and poles are color coded to make setup even easier. The body and fly are made of a durable 68 denier polyester taffeta fabric, and the mesh part of the body is a 40 denier polyester that provides adequate airflow while keeping out the smallest of insects.

Some customers really liked the extra interior room this model has, while others would have preferred less weight and a little less room. Users say the tent’s initial pack size is large, but can be cut down by storing the poles separately from the body of the tent. They also like the light diffuser pocket that allows a small flashlight to illuminate the whole tent with a nice glow.

Buyer’s Guide

Interior Space

Single-person tents are definitely not a one-size-fits-all purchase. An important first step is to check the dimensions to make sure the tent is long enough for you to stretch out in and wide enough for you to roll over. Most people need at least 36 inches in width to turn over comfortably. Additionally, some solo tents have very little headroom; if you want to be able to sit up in your tent, pay special attention to the height.

Weight

Since one-person tents are generally used for backpacking, their weight is a crucial feature. While overall weight of the tent as it is packaged is one factor, you can also look at just the weight of the tent and its poles without the stuff sack, pole sack, stakes, or rainfly if you are trying to pare down the weight. Whether you need those extra components also depends on the conditions in which you plan to use the tent, and splitting up the tent into its components may make sense when planning what goes in your pack and how to carry it.

Tent Fabrics and Construction

Tents today are made of a variety of fabrics, including many different nylons, polyesters and various blends of both. Another aspect of the fabric is its denier, which refers to the weight of 9,000 meters of one strand of the yarn or string used to make the fabric. Generally, higher denier numbers mean those materials are stronger and more durable; but it is important to note that differences in how fabrics are woven and the quality of the materials used to make the thread also result in differences in durability, so denier numbers should be directly compared only for identical fabrics.

Seasonal Rating

Most tents are made for three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. These are great in warm and hot weather, but can also withstand decent amounts of spring rain and even some early or late winter snow. If you want to do a lot of mountainous or winter camping, you should probably invest in an extended-season or four-season tent that can hold up better to more extreme conditions. Both of these types of tents can handle more weather extremes, but they achieve this by using heavier fabrics and having fewer mesh panels, so they also end up weighing more on average.

5 Great Choices for Solo Tents

one person sitting inside the tent

After reading about these five tents and studying the buying guide, we hope you feel better equipped to make a decision about which tent is right for you. When considering features such as interior space, weight, tent fabrics and construction, as well as the seasonal rating of a tent, you can think about how you plan to use your tent and which details are most important to you. We also hope this guide has made it easier to understand some of the technical terms and lingo that you come across in articles about tents and their product descriptions. Whether you are taking an occasional weekend trip to a campground or hiking the backwoods trails of the highest mountains, the tents in this guide can make your trip a little easier by allowing you to imagine the great settings and vistas you’ll encounter instead of worrying about where to lay your head at night.

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