Surviving the dusty boonies, wind-whipped terrains, and chilly alpine hide-outs takes a solid camping tent. The tent should shield you against bad weather, help keep you nice and toasty in frigid temps, and in general be your homey abode away from home. That’s why you need the best one-person tent.
And today, I help you find exactly that!
So, if you’re a backpacker, a thru-hiker, a bushwalker, car camper or nature lover who prefers taking on the great outdoors alone and unencumbered, you’re going to love this post.
Still, if you’re a camper who prefers not to share their sleeping space while group-camping, I’ve got your back.
In this top-of-the-line solo tents list, you will find ideal shelters that strike a good balance between fundamentals such as comfort, weight, size, wind resistance, waterproofness, and price.
Let’s get to it right away.
From a company that’s been in existence for the last two decades, the Zephyr series of tents brings a lot to the table. The Zephyr 1-Person Tent is the smallest unit to its bigger two-person and three-person siblings.
Available in gray/navy and copper/rust hues, the Zephyr tent is the go-to option for anyone looking for a mid-range two to three-season outdoor shelter. It features a beautiful design with good quality materials to match.
The Zephyr has a double-wall construction consisting of a polyester mesh inner that’s covered by a polyester flysheet. The rainfly is quite rugged with its superb 185 thread count and 75 denier rating. The mesh inner goes all the way to the bottom to meet the tub-style flooring resulting in a very airy interior.
Without the rainfly on, the inner tent makes the ideal bug-free stargazing quarters for warmer nights. In case of the eventual light showers, moisture is kept out by the 1500MM rainfly and 3000MM flooring. The bathtub tent floor also ensures that rain splatters don’t get inside the tent.
However, a mesh inner is not what you want shielding you from the cold on chillier nights. The matter is exacerbated by the lack of adequate guy-out points or grommets to allow for tauter rainfly pitches at the sides.
While it’s not the most lightweight camping tent on our list, the Zephyr is amongst the few roomy options you’ll get today. It has your typical two-pole frame but with an extra crossbar just above the door to help expand the interior.
There are also some pre-bent segments on the 7000-series aluminum poles to help extend the walls outwards some more. The resulting floor area of approximately 23 square feet gives you about 86 inches of total length and 44 inches of width around the head and shoulders.
The Zephyr has a tapered floor area with a width of 32 inches at the feet section. The design not only saves on weight but also compliments a mummy bag sleeping system. However, its 36 inches ceiling height might not be enough headroom for most campers.
There’s also an included vestibule and some interior storage options such as a gear loft and mesh storage organizers.
Featuring a two-pole freestanding design, the Zephyr 1-Person tent sets up quickly and easily. The poles attach to the tent body using pole clips/hooks and sleeves. The two sleeves at the top aren’t too large so they won’t slow you down by much.
The extra crossbar is also quite easy to snap onto the pole frame.
Taking down the tent is just as easy, but you will want to be extra careful when dealing with the poles. The grommets don’t fully secure the pole end tips so they might pop out unexpectedly when disassembling the tent.
That said, the tent packs down in a relatively manageable size measuring 18 inches in length and 6 inches in diameter.
The Alps Mountaineering’s Zephyr 1-Person camping is a good entry-level outdoor shelter that will shine when camping in warm weather. It offers excellent ventilation owing to its tightly woven bug-proof mesh inner.
However, excess airflow usually means that the interior can get quite chilly, so you’ll want to wear warmly and avoid using it as a true three-season camping tent. You might get slightly better performance in the cheaper Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent or the more expensive Seedhouse SL1 tent from Big Agnes.
The Hornet camping tents come in two different flavors that include the ultralightweight Hornet Elite and the more standard Hornet tent. The major differences between the two versions are that the Elite version packs smaller and weighs even lesser than the standard Hornet tent.
Further, each of the versions has one- and two-person sizes with slightly different specs.
The Nemo Hornet 1P has a distinct Birch Leaf Green color scheme and is packed with plenty of features to guarantee its premium pricing.
With a packed weight of 2 pounds and a trail weight of 1.63 pounds, the Hornet 1P is one of the most lightweight good-quality tents yet. The tent features a lightweight strong pole frame, a mesh inner tent, and a weatherproof rainfly.
The tent has 8.7mm Featherlite NFL Aluminum poles from DAC, which are usually made of the company’s proprietary aluminum alloy (TH72M, 7000 Series). The frame will hold up just fine even in windy conditions without bending.
The inner tent is made of No-See-Um mesh with 10-denier ripstop nylon on some sections. Unlike in other tents, privacy is somewhat addressed by the white mesh at the bottom. The resulting blurriness might help block prying eyes sometimes but putting on the rainfly seems more effective.
The canopy of the inner tent has a black mesh to help enhance your stargazing experience on clearer night skies.
The tent also has a high bathtub-style flooring made of 15-denier ripstop nylon fabric. However, the floor is not too thick, so you’ll want to invest in a compatible footprint to help protect it. While the rainfly doesn’t fully cover the entire tent, its 10-denier ripstop nylon fabric will be sure to weather some storms.
To help prolong the lifespan of the Hornet 1P, you’ll need to be careful when handling its various lightweight components. Try not to snag the fabrics when operating the zippers, store the tent uncompressed when it’s bone dry, and always use a tent footprint to help protect the tent flooring.
With its floor area of 22.3 square feet, the Hornet is as roomy as some of the other tents on our handpicked selection. However, the Hornet 1P incorporates storage and organization features as well as room-expanding features to make the interior a little more voluminous.
By its large door, you get a small vestibule with a floor area of about 7.3 square feet perfect for storing your muddy or wet gear. Furthermore, the Hornet 1P tent has Flybar pole clips and triangulated guy-outs to help expand the interior.
The Flybar accessory helps widen the canopy mesh at your head resulting in more headroom. Its flexibility also ensures that tension on the inner tent is evenly distributed to allow for a more stable set-up.
The triangulated reflective guy outs together with the corner struts help push the sidewalls outwards creating more volume at the foot section. This further protects your sleeping bag from tent wall condensation.
Its single-hubbed pole frame has a wishbone shape with a hub and spoke structure that allows for relatively quick and easy setups. The DAC Featherlite NFL poles are easy to align and attach to the tent body thanks to their press-fit connectors and use of clips.
We also loved the included Divvy storage sack as you can pack the tent components separately for easier transportation and storage. Also, the zippers with neon ties are easy to locate at night so you don’t have to turn on the lights every time.
Speaking of which, the Hornet 1P comes with two interior pockets – one for your small items and the other for your lighting device. Ideally, the “light” pocket is made of a light-diffusing fabric that will help disperse light from your LED light or headlamp.
Furthermore, you get two doors and two vestibules when you go for the two-person tent size without losing out much on weight and portability.
The Hornet 1P camping tent is rated for 3-season usage with an overall hydrostatic rating of 1200MM. The rainfly and flooring have been coated with silicone and polyether polyurethane (Sil-PeU) to deliver unparalleled water repellency performance.
Further, the seams on the fly have been fully taped to prevent condensation build-up inside the tent. Even though the fly isn’t full-coverage, the taller tub-style flooring helps block wind, acts as an effective splashback, and keeps the interior draft-free.
The mesh inner also helps keep the interior well-ventilated, but you’ll want to guy-out and stake down the tent tautly to realize its peak performance.
If you’re looking for a very lightweight one-person tent that you can backpack with then the Nemo Equipment’s Hornet is worth the consideration. The tent is very roomy and equipped with little but effective extras to ensure you get your money’s worth.
Be sure to grab a suitable footprint with your Hornet 1P camping tent to help prolong its life. Also, if you want an even more lightweight, look at the similarly built but slightly expensive Hornet Elite 1P camping tent.
Judging from its distinct Bivy-style design, you can tell that the Swag Canvas Tent aka Kodiak Canvas’ Model 8101 is a result of bold choices. If you choose to look beyond its underwhelming weight and portability limitations, then you will get to enjoy its awesome weather resistance, usability, and versatility.
Perfect for most types of outdoor activities, the Swag Canvas Tent can be used for RVing, car camping, and Overlanding. It comes as a complete sleeping system (excluding a blanket or sleeping bag) that can be used both on the ground and off the ground.
So, if you’re looking for a tent you can use atop your camping cot, this one here fits the bill.
As the name suggests, the Swag Canvas Tent takes after the more traditional Cowboy bedrolls or swags. Well, mostly the folding mechanism and its name. This modern-day swag is more durable, comfortable, versatile, portable, and easy to use as compared to its 1900s precursors.
The tent features an aluminum alloy pole frame with waterproofed cotton duck canvas and comes with three shock-corded support poles of varying lengths.
Setting up the tent couldn’t be easier owing to its extensive use of plastic clips, sleeves, and a pin-ring system. The included guy ropes and seven pegs help you ground the tent more securely.
The only thing that might slow you down is perhaps the middle support pole, which must be secured from inside the tent. You have to connect the pole to the tent using Velcro-like tabs and a pin and ring system at the lower sides of the tent.
All these must be done when the tent is already under tension. And the Velcro-like tabs aren’t as sturdy as the sleeves and clips used to connect the poles.
Unlike the simplistic swags from yesteryears, this tent weighs less and packs down smaller making it extremely easy to carry. All the components are rolled with the tent body resulting in a bundle measuring approximately 35 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter.
You will be pleased by the fact that the poles go into a sleeve inside the tent to prevent any unwanted protrusions and to protect the tent fabric.
The included carry bag can fit your whole sleeping system including the tent body, mattress pad, pillow, and sleeping bag. The zippered bag has cinch straps to help compress the bundle and carry handles for easier transportation.
However, when compared to other solo tents, the Swag Canvas Tent is just too heavy and bulky to backpack or hike with. The tent alone weighs a massive 14.5 pounds. Including the sleeping pad, you have a whopping 17.5 pounds to grapple with.
Even then, the tent is one of the most comfortable and weather-resistant options we have stumbled upon yet.
The Swag Canvas Tent has a large floor area measuring 80 inches in length and 35 inches in width. The included sleeping pad does fit snugly inside the tent, leaving you with lots of space to sleep on.
As we earlier alluded to, the tent has a low-profile design meaning lesser overhead clearance. It has a peak height of 27 inches near the head region, which might make some people feel a little claustrophobic.
Accessing the tent looks and feels like getting in and out of a coffin – at least for some people.
But the included two-inch open-cell polyurethane foam mattress adds to the overall comfort of the tent. While the mattress will suffice for most people, side sleepers might want to invest in a better-cushioned sleeping pad or use the tent on a cot.
When it comes to weather resistance, the 8.5-ounce Hydra-Shield Cotton Duck Canvas tent body does not disappoint. The fabric’s tight weave and silicone finish help keep out moisture while maintaining breathability. Rainwater will simply bead right off the walls of the tent without seeping inside.
While it might hold up during the sudden downpour, the tent is essentially a three-season shelter that would be ideal in very moderate weather conditions. Still, its low-profile design might not be able to handle heavy snow.
Condensation build-up is well addressed by the tent’s many screened openings and breathable fabrics. The zippered windows have no-see-um bug screens to keep out bugs and small awnings to allow for adequate air circulation without letting in rain.
During hot summer nights, the tent generally traps in a fair amount of heat, which can get extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can convert it into a stargazing-worthy screen shelter by just unzipping the top and rolling back towards the foot section.
Other niceties on the tent include a small pocket near the head section (for your keys, flashlight, phone, or other small items) and a doormat for stepping onto when taking off your hiking boots. The doormat could also be used to cover your shoes during rainy conditions.
The Kodiak Canvas Swag 1 Person Canvas Tent is the ultimate car camper’s dream outdoor shelter. Although it’s heavy and bulky to deal with, the tent is a solid choice for Overlanding or RVing. It comes as an almost complete sleeping system with as many features as you would expect in a good quality solo tent.
Kodiak Canvas also sells a tension pole accessory for the tent to allow for freestanding assemblies. With the accessory, you could easily be able to pitch on more campsites without using guy ropes and stakes.
The X-Mid 1P camping tent is the brainchild of Dan Durston, a seasoned Canadian-based thru-hiker. The tent is one of the few trekking-pole-supported outdoor shelters that can measure up against your typical pole-supported tents.
The tent has a Desert sage color and can also come in a two-person capacity outdoor shelter.
Weighing just under two pounds, the X-Mid 1P will be a delight to thru-hikers, backpackers, and even ultralight campers. It also packs down small and compactly so you can hook or stash it in your backpack without any issues.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill trekking-pole-supported tents, the X-Mid 1P is a multipole unit that requires two trekking poles to set up. The result is a roomy interior with adequate headroom, side vestibules, and two doors.
The inner tent runs diagonally inside the rectangular outer tent body. Why the diagonal inner? you ask. In a nutshell, it makes the trekking pole placement more practical and helps expand the tent’s interior.
Other trekking-pole-supported tents are typically erected using one pole resulting in a super minimalist pyramid-shaped shelter. Since the pole is usually centrally placed, you get even less usable space, and the headroom is barely present.
The X-Mid’s offset pole locations and diagonal inner tent ensures there’s plenty of living space and improves the stability of the tent. The design also allows for quick set-ups as you don’t have to fully stake out the tent.
The tent requires two adjustable trekking poles of lengths up to at least 47 inches. Setting up the tent is quite easy as it entails laying out the tent in a rectangle, staking it down at the corners then inserting the poles into the grommets. Extend the poles until taut then add two stakes at the doors for better usability.
It also comes with Line-lok guy runners to help tension the guylines as needed. While you may use normal folding poles to erect the tent, you will miss out on the weight savings. Plus, getting to utilize your trekking poles is good news for most hikers and backpackers.
Given that the X-Mid 1P doesn’t come with included trekking poles, its pricing might be a little too rich for some campers. However, the tent somewhat redeems itself with its slew of durable components and weather-resistant properties.
The tent features a mesh inner with a 20-denier polyester flooring and a 20-denier polyester flysheet. The denier rating and 420 thread count on both fabrics used on the rainfly and floor means that the X-Mid will hold up just fine in most terrains.
The peaks with grommets have been further reinforced with 210-denier nylon fabric to ensure not even your carbide-tipped poles will pierce the rainfly. You also get burly titanium stakes to go with the tent for “effortless” stakeouts.
That said, the fabrics don’t have any flame retardant coatings as with most tents. Also, you’ll want to invest in a groundsheet for the tent to better protect it on harsh terrains and at least keep the interior clean.
When it comes to weather protection, the X-Mid is quite impressive. Its fabrics are treated with silicone coating on the fly and polyether urethane (PeU) on the flooring. Coincidentally, the PeU coating also makes the floor non-slip, which can further make repairs a little easier to accomplish with just tape.
While it’s rated as a four-season tent, it is perhaps wiser not to take chances with it during heavy snowstorms. But you can still expect the peaked roof to shed off light snow loads.
It’s also built purposefully to keep water from getting into the interior. The seams on the rainfly are fully taped, there are water-resistant zippers on the fly that don’t require storm flaps, and the tent has a waterproof rating of 2000MM.
Condensation build-up also doesn’t have a chance in the X-Mid 1P owing to its effective ventilation system. You get non-meshed vents with kickstands at the peaks, a mostly full-mesh and bug-free inner, and double-wall construction.
If you don’t mind the long and narrow sleeping space then you’ll greatly benefit from the tent’s effective ventilation system, durability, and weather protectiveness. Sure, you may find even more lightweight trekking-pole-supported shelters – but not with roomy interiors and vestibules like the X-Mid 1.
The Cloud-Up 1-Person tent from Naturehike Outdoors is one of the more affordable shelters we have on our selection. It manages to pack in durable, quality, and slightly lightweight components while still maintaining relatively low pricing.
It’s not lost on us that the Cloud-Up 1 tent looks suspiciously like the Big Agnes’ Fly Creek tent. From the wishbone-shaped pole frame to the overall half-dome form factor – so maybe consider it as a more affordable option.
There’s also the fact that the tent comes in different color schemes, five to be exact, all of which have slightly varying specs. Anyway, here’s a write-up on what we liked and disliked about the Cloud-Up 1-Person camping tent.
Its single-hub pole frame and the quick-clip system help eliminate the guesswork involved in pole alignment and attachment. The assembly is pretty much a one-man show all through the staking down and fly attachment.
However, you’ll still need to be attentive as the Y-shaped pole frame can only be set up one-way, unlike your typical crisscrossing pole frames.
The rainfly also attaches to the inner tent using clips and buckles that can be tweaked to the required tension.
When fully pitched, the tent holds up strongly against the elements owing to its robust components. Its poles are made of 7001-series aluminum alloy, a material that’s preferred for its high breakage resistance, rigidity, and low weight.
The inner tent is made of mostly B3 meshing with partly 20-denier ripstop nylon in some sections while the flooring features 20-denier ripstop nylon fabric. Furthermore, the 20-denier ripstop Silnylon flysheet has also been treated with polyurethane waterproof coatings to keep out moisture.
Moreover, you also get sun protection for ultraviolet rays of well over 50+. The tent also comes with an included footprint to help protect the tent floor on rougher terrains.
Naturehike Outdoors also didn’t skimp on the included accessories as you get nylon ropes, a few 7001-series aluminum pegs, and a tough ripstop nylon carrying bag.
The light grey/mustard green Cloud-Up 1 tent has an expansive interior measuring 7.5 feet long, 3.6 feet wide at the head, and 2.6 feet at the feet. The resulting floor area (24 square feet) will suffice for more creative floor plans however the overhead space is quite limited.
With a peak height of 39 inches, changing clothes, sitting up, or even moving around inside the tent will be a close fit. Plus, the sloped walls don’t help improve the experience much.
The Cloud-UP 1 has only one door and vestibule which makes it harder to get in and out of the tent. The vestibule barely has enough space to fit all your camping gear with its small floor area of just under 6 square feet. But it may suffice for a one-person short camping adventure.
The tent is well-designed to offer good weather protection owing to its full coverage fly and effective ventilation system. The included footprint and rainfly keep out water from all sides leaving the interior nice and dry.
It’s a solid 3-season tent with a 3000MM to 4000MM waterproof rating to back it up. You might even get away with camping inside it during light snowstorms. Its steeply sloped walls ensure runoff flows to the ground creating zero opportunities for water pooling at the tent’s canopy.
The Cloud-Up 1 also has a double-layer build that takes care of any condensation issues inside the tent. Airflow is sustained throughout the night by the mostly-mesh inner tent and rollable doorway.
You may also easily configure the tent according to the weather for instance a fly and footprint build for warmer weather, an inner and footprint shelter for stargazing in fair weather, or the full set-up for chillier, rainy nights.
Lastly, when it’s time to ship out, the Cloud-Up 1 tent folds down into a compact bundle measuring approximately 18 inches in length and 5 inches in diameter.
The Cloud-Up 1 tent is most suitable for budget-constrained solo backpackers, hikers, and car campers. It offers a good balance between affordability and quality, which is evident in its weather-resistant and durable components.
While its low-profile stature might limit your gear-storage options and overhead clearances, the tent will shield you effectively from the elements.
An instant classic from Cascade Design’s Mountain Safety Research company is the Hubba NX Solo tent. Promising to deliver the best balance between livability and weight yet, NX Solo tent weighs just under three pounds and features a rugged pole frame with high-denier fabrics to match.
This tent is also available in two-, three-, and four-person sizes. The NX series is immensely popular amongst backpackers and ultralight campers not only for the weight savings but also for its many other features.
The Hubba NX Solo tent has a freestanding architecture, which means you can move it around or reposition it as you please. This comes in handy when responding to changes in weather, wind, or even personal reevaluations of the terrain.
Well designed to allow for speedy assemblies and take-downs, this tent features a single-pole double “Y” shape frame which sufficiently eliminates the complexities of having to deal with multiple poles. And the color-coding on the fly webbing and stake loops makes it super easy to align and attach the various components.
The zippers are well-situated to allow for smooth opening and closing.
When coupled with a suitable footprint, you get plenty of set-up options to help address specific environments and weather conditions. You can pitch the tent with or without the fly, with or without the inner, or just the rainfly as shade.
Moreover, the tent is ultralight and packs down into a small bundle measuring at most 18 inches in length and 6 inches in width and depth. A handy wide-mouth sack with compression straps is included to help compact the bundle some more and aid in storage and hauling.
The MSR Hubba NX Solo Tent has a total floor area of about 18 square feet with dimensions measuring 85 inches long and 30 inches wide. The tent is not tapered at either end, which will be a good option for most people.
However, claustrophobic folks might be slightly disadvantaged as the tent is a bit narrow. You’ll especially not want to bring your gear inside, else you’ll risk feeling even more crammed within the tent.
The integrated crossbar helps a bunch in pushing out the side walls to near-vertical angles. And the peak ceiling height measures up to 36 inches. Hence, you get adequate headroom and enough space to stretch without a fuss.
That said, the protruding sides caused by the crossbar ruin the tent’s aerodynamics and could have your flysheet constantly flapping in the wind.
Compensating for the limited interior space, the Hubba NX solo tent has one of the largest vestibules as compared to other tents on our selection. The 9-square-feet space will suffice for storing a medium-sized pack and some other gear.
Weather protection is well-addressed by the deep bathtub-style flooring, rain gutter running along the main entrance, and the capable ventilation system. Air circulation is facilitated by the mesh inner and kickstand fly vent.
You may also roll up part of the bottom of the vestibule and secure it with toggles to help promote airflow.
While we loved all the innovative ways the manufacturer tried to implement to make the tent more water-resistant, the solutions simply don’t work as intended. In particular, the tent has unsealed seams in favor of “precision-stitched” and “water-resistant threads”.
You’re better off seam-sealing the tent yourself if water resistance is a key priority of yours.
Durability is also a concern when it comes to the flooring and included stakes. The floor is too thin, especially for use on rough grounds so buying a suitable footprint is highly advised. Also, the included stakes look cheap and have less holding power than other options.
Driven by a goal of delivering “better, safer, and more reliable outdoor equipment”, it’s no wonder MSR has stuck it out this far. The MSR Hubba NX Solo Tent is a good representation of their fifty-plus years in the industry – ultralight, versatile, and spacious.
The Hubba NX solo tent sets up easily, has a roomy well-ventilated interior with a large vestibule, and provides adequate weather protection. However, some people might turn their noses up due to the tent’s high price and gimmicky waterproofing properties.
If you’re burning to get in on some stealth camping action, then maybe investing in a full-on camo tent like the GeerTop’s Blazer One might be able to scratch that itch. It’s easy to set up, affordable, and very roomy.
Assembling the tent takes less than five minutes thanks to its pin and ring system, clips and large-diameter attachment points, and handy aluminum tensioners on the guylines. You’ll have two foldable aluminum poles affixed to the tent in no time.
It also comes with two reflective guylines that allow for better visibility at night reducing the risk of tripping.
Let’s get the not-so-good out of the way...
The GeerTop Blazer tent is one of the most affordable one-person tents that doesn’t shave off too many features. However, the tent’s durability and assembly process are not its most impressive aspects.
The inner tent, floor, and flysheet have all been made of polyester fabric with a thread count of 210. The fabrics have been further double-stitched to enhance longevity. However, the fabrics tear easily over time, so you’ll want to take caution not to snag the tent components over branches.
The zippers also don’t seem as rugged as compared to say YKK ones. Also, the included nine aluminum stakes are lightweight and easily bend when used on rougher terrains.
The Blazer One measures 84 inches in length, 36 inches wide at the head, 27 inches at the feet, and 39 inches at the shoulders. The wider shoulders paired with the 36-inch-high ceiling equates to lots of headroom and wiggle room.
Some people will be able to sit up and change without squirming too much but not taller occupants.
The head section is also roomy enough to store in your backpack or a hydration pack without affecting the sleeping area by much. The fly also has a zippered compartment at the foot section where you can keep your shoes or other gear.
That said, the vestibules are too small for gear storage and only function as entryways. The tent does come with a few mesh pockets inside to help stash and organize your items.
Other additional features that make the tent more livable include the large two doors/windows on the fly and inner tent, dual-slider zippers that are operable from the inside and outside, and the passable ventilation and water resistance properties.
Weighing at almost four pounds, the tent is not exactly the most lightweight of the bunch. But if you can manage with the weight then you’ll love just how small it packs down. The resulting bundle measures 17 inches long and 4 inches in diameter – nice and compact enough to hang or stash in your backpack.
The tent also offers good moisture protection as evidenced by its 2500MM and 5000MM waterproof ratings on its flooring and fly, respectively. It could easily handle 3-season camping but not to the extremes of snowstorms, gales, and heavy downpour.
The oversized full-coverage flysheet helps keep out rainwater while the factory tape-sealed seams and bathtub floors prevent water from seeping into the interior. The fly zipper is covered with Velcroed tabs to prevent water from getting through the fly door/window.
Also, air circulation is well-handled by the opposable mesh doors/windows that ensure constant flow-through ventilation. Other features that help improve airflow include the fly vent, the zippered mini compartments by the foot of the fly, and the rollable fly and inner tent’s doors/windows.
Toggles with holders have been sewn into the tent to help secure the rolled-up fly windows.
The GeerTop Blazer One is arguably the most affordable, well-ventilated, and roomiest one-person unit yet. It can be a good entry-level option for most soloist campers that don’t mind the sightlier heftier weight and less-durable fabrics.
The tent is a close call to “you get what you pay for” types of deals.
The Ionosphere tent is a low-profile Bivy/tent that sets up quickly and is built to last. It is available in two main color options namely Coyote Tan and Olive Green. Even though Bivy-style tents are mostly used in military or high-stake survival applications, the Ionosphere is extremely popular amongst all types of outdoor enthusiasts – and for good reason.
It weighs a mere 3.4 pounds and packs down into a manageable bundle measuring 19 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. The tent is very lightweight to haul around and won’t occupy too much space in your trunk, pannier, or pack space.
The included carry bag also has compression straps to help compact the bundle some more.
While the tent is not freestanding by any means, it still packs lots of other awesome features such as having a side-entry door, quick set-ups, great weather protection… and so much more.
The Ionosphere tent is intuitively designed to allow for quick and hassle-free set-ups and takedowns.
Firstly, connecting the shock-corded pole segments is made super easy by the integrated press-fit connectors on either of the two DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum poles. The poles also come pre-shaped so you can attach them more easily to the inner tent.
There is also some color-coding on the poles and the bottom fabrics of the sleeves to help you determine where each pole goes. Lastly, the pin and grommet system helps secure the poles in place with a few quick actions.
In case of bad weather, the fly has Velcro tabs on its underside that can be attached directly to the poles for a more stable shelter.
You get some reliable guylines and stakes to make the process a bit more seamless.
The Ionosphere one-person tent boasts of a large floor area measuring about 23 square feet. With a length of 94 inches and a width of 35 inches, most people feel right at home catching some z’s inside the tent.
The space is large enough to comfortably accommodate you and some of your gear.
Also, the tent is made of particularly good quality and durable materials from the poles to the fabrics. Its DAC Featherlite NSL Aluminum poles are made from TH72M aluminum – a material revered for its weight savings, strength, and resilience against stress corrosion cracking (SCC).
It is also made of top-notch fabrics such as the 190T nylon fabric and 50-denier polyester No-See-Um Mesh used for the inner tent. The flysheet is made of ripstop polyester with a thread count of 210 while the flooring features a rugged nylon fabric with a thread count of 190.
While the fabrics will resist abrasion and take on the elements, a groundsheet for your tent flooring will go a long in improving the overall lifespan of the tent.
The Ionosphere’s distinctive low-profile bivy-esque design also translates to better wind resistance. Additionally, the tent has been rated for use as a three-season unit and has a waterproof rating as high as 5000MM for the rainfly.
Moisture is kept at bay by its almost full-coverage flysheet, taped seams, and even the wide storm flaps over the fly zipper. That said, it is not all smooth sailing for the Ionosphere as it also has some major design flaws as you’ll read below.
Although the tent has a dual-wall construction, condensation build-up will still happen due to the limited headroom and lack of vents. Staking down and guying out the fly tautly might help alleviate the problem but not by much.
Its low-profile design also means that you can’t sit up, change, or freely maneuver within the tent at all. The accompanying hobbit-sized door makes it a nightmare to get inside the tent with taller and big-bodied people being the most disadvantaged.
You’ll have to either crawl inside the tent and turn or slowly back into the tent, if possible.
In a nutshell, it will be a challenge finding another solo Bivy-style tent that delivers as much value as the Snugpak’s Ionosphere does. The tent’s small side-entry door, low profile, and expected airflow problems are bound to get some people frowning.
However, you’ll greatly enjoy the tent’s durability, easy set-up process, and a lot more benefits – all of which fetch very fair pricing.
It’s always a challenge finding an ultralight three-season solo camping tent with budget-friendly pricing. The Stormbreak 1 tent from North Face comes close to this reality with its good weather resistance, reasonable pricing, and manageable overall weight.
The tent has a total weight of 55 ounces and a minimum trail weight of about 50 ounces. Evidently, it is not an ultralight shelter, but you may opt for the fast-fly configuration to shave your weight to around 37 ounces.
With a floor area of 18.13 square feet, the Stormbreak 1 is barely a large enough floor space to fit your sleeping bag and a pack. However, the interior’s tapered design allows for a comfier head section that you can toss and turn freely.
If you’re shorter, you’ll also get up to 34 inches of peak ceiling height which translates to possible sitting upright, dressing up, or reading a book. That said, claustrophobic campers might find the interiors too narrow.
There’s also not enough headroom for true off-the-ground sleeping solutions such as camping cots or inflatable sleeping pads.
To access the interior, you have a large side-entry door that offers unmatched convenience and ease of use than front-entry doors. Furthermore, storage and organization inside the tent are well addressed by the large side pockets and two hanging loops.
Your phone, watch, wallet, glasses, keys, and other items could go in the pockets while you use the hanging loop for your headlamp or lantern.
Outside, the North Face markets that there are two vestibules but only the one by the door is usable. You can use it to store your pack, hiking boots, or any other camping gear.
Camping in storms and bad weather won’t dull your day one bit as it provides the best weather resistance yet. Water simply beads up and runs off the waterproof-coated and seam-sealed flysheet. The bathtub floor also does a good job at keeping out water and protecting you against the cold ground.
The fabrics are not too noisy in the wind but the fact that the Stormbreak 1 tent has no vents on the flysheet is even more disconcerting. That said, the double zippers on the entrance can be used to promote airflow in the tent. Just unzip the top section slightly to let in cool air and expel out the warm humid air.
We also loved that the inner tent is not made of full mesh as is usually the case in most other solo tents. The 75-denier polyester taffeta fabric is less draft and more protective when camping in chilly weather.
You will want to make sure you guy out and stake out the tent accordingly for the best results.
The Stormbreak still implements the classic X-pole design with the two shock-corded aluminum poles crossing over the inner tent. As most campers will attest, the design allows for quick and easy set-ups and takedowns of the tent.
Aligning and securing the poles and flysheet to the main tent body is made super easy by the included pole clips, color-coded corner straps, and extra guy-out loops. Additionally, the tent is a freestanding unit so you can lift and move it to wherever it’s needed.
The North Face Stormbreak 1 camping tent is spacious, weather-resistant, and easy to assemble without costing an arm and a leg. Admittedly, it still has a few major shortcomings that could ruin your experience with the product.
We hope that you’ll implement the workarounds we suggested to plug most of the said issues so you can get the most out of the tent.
The Thru-Hiker Mesh House 1 is one of the most lightweight trekking-pole-supported tents you’ll find today. With a packed weight of at least 14 ounces and a trail weight of just 10 ounces, you’ll barely feel its weight in your backpack.
Unlike its larger two-person and three-person versions that require two poles for support, the one-person shelter uses only one trekking pole. You might not even need a trekking pole for the MSR Mesh House 1 as you can reliably tie its guyline to a tree.
All the tent sizes are available in only one conspicuous color option, the MSR’s signature red hue.
Offering a good middle ground between a net tent and a bivouac sack both in terms of weight and design, this tent will be a good fit for anyone looking for a minimalist no-frills shelter that can protect them from the cold ground and against bug bites.
Out of the stuff sack, you’ll be getting the mesh shelter and a bagful of five tent hook stakes. The mesh shelter is made of 10-denier polyester micro-mesh and 15-denier ripstop nylon flooring. The meshing will suffice at keeping bugs and mosquitos out so you can have an uninterrupted restful night’s sleep.
Its 38-inch-high ceiling at the head section translates to adequate headroom to sit up, change or stretch for most people.
The expansive 88 inches long and 33 inches wide floor area offers just enough space to place your sleeping pad and sleeping bag.
The MSR Mesh House 1 is accessible through the large side-entry door that’s equipped with two-way head-to-head zippers and Velcro tabs. The zippers have corded pull tags for mostly jingle-free and smooth operations.
However, it takes a long reach to open or close the zipper regardless of whether you’re inside or outside the tent. There’s also a small pouch mesh pocket to stash your phone, wallet, or other small items.
Weather protection and ventilation inside the tent are mostly okay but with a few minor limitations.
The shallow bathtub floor helps keep out moisture but could use a groundsheet for more effectiveness. Since the tent doesn’t come with a rainfly or tarp, MSR recommends that you buy its MSR Thru-Hiker Wing Tarp to shield the interior from the elements. But you may still get away with cheaper compatible off-brand options.
Its all-mesh canopy and sides as well as the relatively high head section ensure the tent is well-ventilated while the two-way zippers allow for selective venting if the need arises.
That said, the footbox is perhaps the worst designed part of the tent. You can expect some slight condensation build-up at the feet. This is mostly because the footbox is non-breathable and the sloped wall is constantly in contact with the sleeping bag.
It will be even more uncomfortable if you’re used to elevating your feet at night as part of your sleep or recovery routine.
Setting up the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 1 takes less than two minutes due to its straightforward three-step assembly process. The process starts with pegging down the shelter tautly at the corners, tying the guyline to the pole, and anchoring it a few feet away - and voila, everything is set!
You’ll want to tie the cord around the pole handle’s grooves instead of passing it over the handle to prevent the guyline from slipping under tension. Since the tent relies on the upright rooted trekking pole and guyline tautness, be sure to tension the cord as needed.
The handy pre-rigged tensioner that’s been integrated into the guyline helps to easily adjust the tension accordingly.
Lastly, when paired with a groundsheet and tarp – the MSR Mesh House 1 can be set up in as many configurations as possible to suit the weather and terrain. This is all while maintaining a relatively feathery weight, for instance, when paired with the recommended tarp, the total packed weight is still a respectable 26 ounces.
If you’re looking for a solid alternative to your Bivvy or hammock shelter, then look no further than the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 1. It offers the best weight to space ratio we’ve seen and can be hastily set up in case of a sudden downpour.
However, you will want to get a compatible groundsheet and tarp (or rainfly) to get the most out of the tent. Also, its two-pole two-person size might be better designed to avoid the issues in the footbox of the Mesh House 1.
Bringing the best of both worlds to solo campers, the Kelty Late Start 1 has a freestanding and dome-shaped design. Although the tent is still reasonably priced, comfortable, and weatherproof, its quick and easy setups are what make the tent stand out the most.
Given its low price and one-person capacity, it is surprising just how many useful features the Late Start 1 packs. Let us look at a few of them.
The tent has the classic dome style with two crisscrossed poles forming its structure. Its beautiful blue color scheme will be sure to catch the attention of your fellow campers. But that’s not all it has to offer.
It is made of an aluminum pole frame and strongly stitched fabrics. The inner tent is made of No-See-Um Mesh walls and a 68-denier polyester floor. Atop the inner tent, you have the waterproof rainfly that is made of the same polyester material.
The poles come pre-bent to complete the bathtub-like look at the base of the tent and provide extra room around the foot section.
Despite the rugged combo of components, the tent still manages to maintain a low weight of just under 4 pounds. It also packs down into a minimalist bundle that measures 15 inches long and 7 inches in diameter.
When it’s time to ship out, the unit comes with small baggies for your stakes and poles as well as a large wide-mouth cinchable stuff sack.
Additionally, the Late Start 1 is quite comfortable and roomy owing to its large floor area and relatively high ceiling. You will get to enjoy excellent head and shoulder room inside the tent. Changing clothes or sitting upright inside the tent won’t be as uncomfortable as compared to other low-profile tents.
The tent also affords you one large door for easy entries and exits as well as a ceiling pocket to stash your small-sized valuables.
Weather resistance is at the core of the tent’s design as evidenced by its slew of moisture repellency and ventilation features. The tent is rated for three-season usage and has hydrostatic ratings of 1800MM for both the floor and rainfly.
The full-coverage rainfly coupled with the tent fabric’s factory-sealed seams ensure that there is no moisture getting inside the tent. Airflow is greatly enhanced by the inner tent’s mesh walls and screened door.
This increased ventilation and double-wall construction further ensure that very minimal condensation build-up occurs. However, the tent lacks windows and ground vents, and thus there is a slim possibility of some condensation occurring. Water will most likely bead up on the underside of the fly.
Since the inner tent’s walls and canopy are made of bug screen, stargazing can be a good pastime activity during sleepless nights. Simply roll back the fly and hold it using the included toggles.
With the Late Start 1, Kelty applies novel features such as the Quick-Corner Technology to allow for quick, effortless tent set-ups. Ideally, you can always free up time to have fun outdoors and explore nature if you have a tent that sets up almost instantly.
The Quick-Corner Technology refers to the four short sleeves at the corners of the tent body. Unlike grommets, the sleeves offer a bigger and safer target to secure the tent poles. We also loved that the two shock-corded poles easily snap into their full-lengths.
The poles are attached to the tent body via clips while the fly combines a bit of color-coding, snap buckles, and hook & loop systems. The tent also comes with guy ropes and stakes to help make the shelter sturdier and wind-resistant.
As with most products from Kelty, the Late Start 1 is well-thought-out, functional, and easy on the eyes. It is by far the most affordable no-compromise solo tent we have come across. You will get plenty of headroom inside the tent and setting everything up will be a walk in the park.
Just be sure to buy a suitable footprint and more rugged pegs for the best experience.
Available in orange and green colors, the Winterial Single Person Tent offers a good balance between a Bivvy and a well-made solo tent.
The tent is among the many high-quality, affordable outdoor gear made by Winterial. The company itself was created back in 2014 by a group of outdoor enthusiasts so, you can bet it ticks most of the boxes of a good quality outdoor shelter.
Out of the box, it comes with a rainfly, fourteen stakes, two shock-corded aluminum poles, a stuff sack, three bundles of paracord, and the inner tent.
At about 3.19 pounds, the Winterial 1P tent is quite lightweight and could easily be a worthy option for backpacking or bikepacking adventures. When folded down, it has a minimalist packed size that measures 18 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 4 inches deep.
The included stuff sack comes in handy when storing or transporting the tent.
Some of the materials used to make the Winterial Single Person Tent includes the two hoop-style aluminum poles and the 75-denier 185-thread-count polyester fabric. The inner tent’s walls and canopy are both made of mesh fabric while the flooring is made of polyester.
The rainfly is also made of the same polyester fabric.
In moderate usage, the tent components will most likely hold up in the long run. However, you may want to get a suitable footprint to protect the seemingly less durable tent floor against roots, rocks, or water.
That said, the tent is very quick and easy to use and sets up in a few minutes since you have to deal with only two shock-corded poles. Since the poles attach to the main tent body via clips, this greatly helps cut down time spent assembling the tent.
Our only griper here is that the tent doesn’t have freestanding capabilities and thus should always be staked down.
Most super lightweight and highly portable camping tents tend to have low-profile designs. So, it is no surprise that the Winterial 1P tent continues with this trend. It has a peak height of about 28 inches near the head section and an expansive floor area measuring 90 inches in length and 38 inches in width.
Taller persons who are slightly over six feet will most likely have a hard time using the tent. They will most likely keep touching both ends of the inner tent while they sleep, which can be quite irking for some people.
Moreover, its relatively low canopy and sloped walls translate to minimal clearances inside the tent. Sitting up upright inside the tent or dressing up will be a herculean task. Further, the design limits the tent’s usage to only sleeping.
Hanging out in the tent during your downtime or when waiting out bad weather won’t be a good experience in such cramped quarters.
That said, the sleeping surface is wide enough to support most sleeping positions even if you turn and toss through the night. You also get a very small vestibule by the doorway to safeguard your items from the rains.
The tent also comes with a hanging clip for your headlamp and a small storage pocket for your valuables. Not forgetting the side zipper entrance which offers way better accessibility as compared to bivvies and other solo tents.
The Winterial Single Person Tent is well-equipped to handle the hot summer temperatures as well as the chilly nights during fall and spring. The full-coverage rainfly can be left on during cold, rainy nights or removed when the weather conditions are favorable.
The all-mesh inner tent ensures that your stargazing experiences remain bug-free. You can use the included plastic toggles to hold up the rolled-up doorway or rainfly for a semi-covered screen shelter experience.
Also, moisture stays out of the tent’s interior owing to the fabric’s pre-sealed seams and waterproof qualities. It also has a bathtub floor to help prevent water from wicking into the tent.
Furthermore, the tent has storm flaps with Velcro tabs to prevent water from getting inside the tent via the large zippered door.
The resulting double-wall construction and the full mesh inner tent help prevent any condensation build-up inside the tent by allowing regular airflow in and out of the tent.
The Winterial Single Person Tent mainly focuses on delivering a lightweight, portable, weather-resistant, and easy to assemble outdoor shelter that won’t break the bank. It does so successfully but at the expense of durability and comfort.
|Tent Name||Pole Material||Tent & Floor Fabric||Packed Weight||Floor Dimensions||Peak Height||Vestibule Size||Packed Size||Seasonality|
|Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent||Aluminum||Polyester, Polyester Taffeta||4.31 lbs.||86 × 44 in.||36 in.||5.5 sq. ft.||18 × 6 in.||3-Season|
|Nemo Hornet 1P Tent||DAC Aluminum||Ripstop Nylon||2 lbs.||87 × 43 in.||39 in.||7.3 sq. ft.||19.5 × 4.5 in.||3-Season|
|Snugpak Ionosphere Tent||DAC Aluminum||Nylon, Polyester||3.4 lbs.||94 × 35 in.||28 in.||None||19 × 6 in.||3-Season|
|Dan Durston X-Mid 1P Tent||Requires 2 trekking poles||Polyester||1.96 lbs.||86.5 × 28 in.||43 in.||12 sq. ft. (x2)||12 × 5 in.||3-Season|
|Naturehike Cloud-Up 1-Person Tent||Aluminum||Nylon, B3 Mesh, Silnylon. Nylon||3.5 lbs.||90.55 × 43.31 in.||39 in.||6.65 sq. ft.||17.72 × 4.72 in.||3-Season|
|Kelty Late Start 1||Aluminum Alloy||Polyester||3.75 lbs.||85 x 40 in.||36.5 in.||6.40 sq. ft.||15 x 7 in.||3-Season|
|MSR Hubba NX Solo Tent||Aluminum (DAC Featherlite NFL)||Nylon||2.9 lbs.||85 × 30 in||36 in.||9 sq. ft.||18 × 6 in.||3-Season|
|GeerTop Blazer One-Person Bivvy Tent||Aluminum||Polyester||3.97 lbs.||84 × 36 in.||36 in.||1.7 sq. ft. (x2)||17 × 4.3 in.||3-Season|
|The North Face Stormbreak 1 Tent||Aluminum||Polyester Taffeta, Polyester Mesh||3.3 lbs.||87 × 34 in.||34 in.||3.02 + 6.04 sq. ft.||22 × 6 in.||3-Season|
|MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House||Requires one trekking pole||Polyester Micro-mesh, Nylon||0.88 lbs.||88 × 33 in.||38 in.||None||8 × 4 in.||2-Season|
|Kodiak Canvas Swag 1 Person Canvas Tent||Aluminum||Cotton Duck Canvas, Mesh, Polyester-reinforced Vinyl||17.5 lbs.||80 x 35 in.||27 in.||None||35 x 12||3-Season|
|Winterial Single Person Tent||Aluminum||Polyester||3.19 lbs.||90 x 38 in.||28 in.||None||18 x 4.5 x 4 in.||3-Season|
Going outdoors usually means taking chances with erratic weather and dealing with the often-perilous wildlife amongst other challenges. While tents may not be a catch-all solution, investing in one that scores highly on the key aspects can help ensure that your camping experience is enjoyable and fulfilling.
Some of the key factors to consider when looking for a one-person tent include durability, weight, portability, weather protection, and ease of assembly. Read on for a thorough breakdown of exactly what you should expect in a good-quality solo tent.
Tents have come a long way from the basic A-frame contraptions and tipi units to today’s freestanding and instant set-up shelters. While pitch times can be heavily influenced by the design of the tent, it essentially boils down to how the tent body connects to the pole frame.
Some tents will also come with extra features to help hasten and make the assembly and disassembly easier. These features might include pole hubs, color coding, and clips among others. Your ideal solo tent should be quick and easy to set up, and support installation by one person.
As we’ve established, tent assembly mostly entails attaching the pole frame to the tent fabric. So, any improvements towards this exercise are sure to make the set-up process a little less daunting and quick.
Tent poles are attached to either the exterior or interior surface of the tent fabric. The poles are usually secured in place using clips, continuous sleeves, hook and loop straps, or a combination of either.
Pole clips are quicker and easier to connect the poles to the tent fabric as compared to other options.
They also help improve ventilation since they leave a sizable gap between the flysheet and inner tent. The only possible downside to pole clips is that they are mostly made of hard plastic that can easily break over time.
Continuous sleeves, on the other hand, help to evenly distribute the fabric tension resulting in a stronger pitch and a sturdier shelter. However, the fabric sleeves are not only slightly heavier but also a pain to deal with as compared to other options.
You must thread the poles through the fabric sleeves for each installation, which admittedly takes some time to master.
Hook and loop straps come closest to the kind of performance you would get with pole clips. You might also get solo tents with a combination of sleeves and clips. Such combos are mostly done to give you the best of both worlds.
Next, the pole ends need to be secured at the base of the tent to not only hold them in place but also give tension to the fabric. This is generally achieved using either ring and pin systems or pin and grommet mechanisms.
While we felt that the pin and ring system provided a bigger target to secure the pole end-tips, either option won’t affect the assembly process too significantly.
Some solo tents will come with pre-attached pole frames to make the set-ups and teardowns that much faster and easier. You simply lay out the tent and unfold or extend the structure into its true form. Included telescoping mechanisms and push-button systems make the exercise speedy and easy.
Pegging down and guying out the tent helps maintain its form-factor and most importantly, ensures it can hold up against bad weather and strong winds. However, not all tents need to be staked down or guyed out.
Ideally, you’d want to go for a freestanding tent as it holds up its structure without the need for tent pegs or guylines. Freestanding tents are by far the easiest to set up even more so if they have instant or pop-up assembly technologies.
Even in your most basic freestanding tents, all you have to worry about is how to attach the poles and flysheet to the main tent. Moreover, these types of tents are ideal for pitching on rocky surfaces or platforms and can be easily moved around whenever needed.
Clean-ups are also made easy in these types of tents as you can just pick up the tent and shake out any debris.
The “freestanding” feature is ideal when it comes to low-capacity tents such as solo and two-person units due to the expected limited interior spaces.
That said, freestanding tents are generally bulkier, heftier, and less wind-resistant than their non-freestanding counterparts. The complicated pole frame also means higher costs of replacement if it breaks or bends.
Also, freestanding tents still need to be staked down and guyed-out when camping in windy conditions.
Lastly, you can opt for a non-freestanding solo tent if you prefer their slightly more compact packed-down sizes, less hefty weights, and good wind responsiveness. However, buckle down for their intensive initial assembly processes.
When camping in fair weather, you’d want a solo tent that supports a fly/footprint minimalist configuration. This type of minimalist set-up eliminates the need for assembling the entire tent and leaves you with more time to enjoy nature. You are also able to develop quicker response times to sudden changes in weather.
Additionally, solo tents with pole hubs usually mean shorter setting up and tearing down processes. Pole hubs make it super easy to align and attach the pole frame to the tent body. In most cases, you’ll have the poles preconnected to the hub, which can then be unfolded and easily attached to the tent fabric.
These hubs are a staple feature in most cabin-style tents and some freestanding units.
The types of stakes you use will also affect the set-up process in a couple of ways. You’ll want to have stakes made for the type of terrain you wish to camp in. They should be easy to drive in and pull out to allow for smoother operations.
Your dream solo tent should also come with guylines that have cord adjustment sliders to allow for easier tensioning of the tent.
Color-coding on the various sections or components that need to be connected to each other also greatly helps improve the assembly process. The coding helps eliminate the guesswork of figuring out where each pole goes. It’s also a lifesaver when applied to the pole attachment points and ends to match corresponding clips and grommets.
While it might be counterintuitive towards making the assembly process swift and easy, you’ll want to go for a solo tent that comes with more guylines and stakes. They allow for a sturdier and more wind-resistant pitch.
You’ll also want to test-pitch the tent beforehand to not only identify any underlying issues but also help improve your pitching technique and speeds.
One of the key roles of any tent is to protect you against the elements. In this regard, your dream solo tent should measure up against the sudden downpour and overall unpredictable weather patterns.
Pay close attention to the tent’s construction, ventilation, and water resistance features to better gauge its performance in varying climes.
Like in our homes, ventilation is essential in tents for two main reasons; to allow for cooldowns and to eliminate condensation build-up inside the tent.
Firstly, condensation build-up occurs in all tents due to temperature differences between the outside and inside of the tent. It occurs when humid air inside the tent contacts a cold surface like the interior surface of the tent walls to form water droplets.
Humidity within the tent will most likely be a result of released body heat and normal respiration processes, tent heaters, lack of proper ventilation, and weather conditions. Condensation will mostly happen when it is chilly, humid, or rainy outside.
Since ventilation is the only way to combat condensation ensure that your dream tent is well-built to promote airflow. The tent should have large, meshed openings, vents, and adequate guy-out points and ropes.
The vents should also be bug-screened and shielded with storm flaps to help keep out any moisture from outside. In most tents, the doors and windows are usually zippered and meshed to keep out bugs and mosquitos.
Tiebacks on the doors and windows would also be good add-ons in your fight against condensation. They will enable you to roll the fabric away to the side to help push out warm air and let in cooler air.
Additionally, you’ll want to go for a double-walled solo tent as they provide better protection against condensation than single-walled tents. Double-walled tents refer to those units that come with an inner tent and a rainfly. On the flipside, single-walled versions only have the main tent body that also doubles up as the flysheet.
Condensation build-up will mostly occur between the flysheet and the outer surface of the inner tent leaving the interior nice and dry. Most double-walled or two-layer tents also tend to be more versatile than single-walled units as you can remove the flysheet whenever the weather allows.
Aside from the features mentioned above, other measures you can take to help prevent condensation build-up in the tent include the following:
You may also pack some extra towels to wipe down the tent walls whenever condensation droplets form.
Now that moisture from the inside has been taken care of – how do we prevent water from outside from getting inside the tent? Some of the methods used to achieve this include waterproof-coated fabrics, full-coverage flysheets, sealed seams, bathtub-style tent floors, and the use of groundsheets or tarpaulins.
A full-coverage rainfly will be effective at keeping out rain splatters and rainfall even in windy conditions. It also provides an extra layer of privacy given that most dual-walled tents have mostly mesh inners.
Tents with factory-sealed, fully taped, or inverted seams eliminate any chances of water seeping through the tiny needle perforations. A tub-like flooring also helps ensure groundwater doesn’t pool or get inside the tent.
If your solo tent doesn’t come with an included footprint, consider getting one to ensure that you’re well shielded from groundwater.
The tent’s fabrics should also be coated with a waterproof treatment such as silicone, polyurethane (PU), or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). While some tents might use acrylic as the only waterproofing treatment, the coating just doesn’t compare to the other options.
Seasonality and waterproof ratings are some of the most popular metrics used to indicate the tent’s water resistance abilities. Tents are generally classified as one-, two-, three-, or four-season units with the numbers indicating the number of seasons each tent can handle.
One- and two-season tents are designed for use in calm, warm, and dry weather such as summer. Three-season tents are more suited for seasons with moderate rain, fairly strong winds, and a bit of snow such as spring and fall.
Lastly, four-season tents are sturdier, more weatherproof, and best suited for harsh winters and year-round camping adventures.
Waterproof ratings also help indicate the level of water repellency of the tent fabrics. The ratings can be given in hydrostatic head (HH) ratings or pounds per square inch (PSI) measurements. The higher the rating, the more waterproof the tent usually is.
As for wind resistance, it will mostly depend on how tautly you’ve guyed-out and staked down the tent. Other than that, the overall robustness of the tent components should take care of the rest.
Ideally, you would want your solo tent to withstand the elements quite a bit to provide you with many more camping opportunities. From the get-go, you’ll want the tent components to be as durable as possible to avoid expensive repairs and upgrades further down the line.
That said, the main parts you should be concerned about when it comes to longevity include the tent poles, fabrics, and partly the stakes.
Tent poles come in segments that are either detached or interlinked using shock-cord or telescoping mechanisms. The detached pole segments will mostly use a press-fit insert system to form longer poles.
While it might not seem like it, tent poles affect not only the structure of the tent but also its height, weight, and overall strength. Therefore, you’ll want them to be as robust as possible. With that in mind, the choice of pole material is perhaps the most vital.
Aluminum, fiberglass, and steel are some of the most common materials used to make tent poles. You may also be lucky to find a solo tent with carbon fiber poles but that often comes at a premium price.
Although steel poles would provide your tent with the best longevity and strength, steel tends to the heaviest of all the options. Perhaps that’s why you’ll most likely find them in higher capacity tents. Anyway, manufacturers usually go with fiberglass or aluminum options due to their good balance between weight and longevity.
You’ll want to avoid tents with fiberglass poles as the material easily splinters or shatters in varying conditions. Nevertheless, fiberglass poles are cheaper and lighter than steel as well as corrosion/rust proof as compared to metallic poles.
While tents with aluminum poles might be more expensive than fiberglass ones, aluminum tends to be more durable and flexible than fiberglass. Aluminum poles also offer a higher strength-to-weight ratio as compared to steel poles.
However, you can expect tents with aluminum poles to fetch a higher price than those with fiberglass poles. It’s even more apparent when you go for recognized brands such as DAC (Korea’s Dongah Aluminum Corporation), Eaton, or Yunan.
Although aluminum does corrode, the resulting thin layer (aluminum oxide) that’s formed on the surface prevents further corrosion. Plus, the tent poles are mostly made of aluminum alloys that deliver even better performance.
The only reasons you should consider going for solo tents with fiberglass poles include the material’s relatively low cost, wind responsiveness, and feathery weight. You’ll also be better off with poles that have outer wrappings such as Dynaflex and Durawrap brands.
The extra reinforcement prolongs the pole’s life cycle and reduces the risks of injury in case the fiberglass breaks or splinters.
On exceedingly rare occasions, you may also opt for tents with air beams or air tubes – that’s if you can find them in one-person size categories. These inflatable tents of sorts tend to be heavier and bulkier to handle, haul, or store.
Moreover, you’ll be forced to closely monitor the air pressure in the tubes as it can be affected by external temps.
Finally, tent poles made of composite materials are also on the rise. The poles are marketed as more resistant to breaking and bending than fiberglass and aluminum. Tents with Easton Syclone poles are perhaps one of the few solid options you’ll get in that regard.
Tent stakes come in all shapes and sizes, all designed to be driven in various terrains. Since you can’t get a set of varying stakes with your initial purchase, ensure your tent comes with rugged versatile pegs.
Steer clear of tents that come with thin and brittle pieces or else you’ll have to buy aftermarket options. That said, it’s still commonplace to invest in extra stakes for quick replacements and emergencies.
Like tent poles, steel and titanium stakes will be more rugged and ideal for most terrains. On the other hand, aluminum and carbon fiber will offer the best weight to performance ratio but at a slightly higher cost.
NEVER buy or even consider buying wooden or plastic stakes for obvious reasons.
Besides the material, other factors you should consider when looking into tent stakes include their shapes or types, holding strength, weight, and partly their surface area.
Some common types of tent pegs include nail stakes/T-stakes, sand/snow stakes, Shepherd's hook, utility stakes, V-shaped stakes, and Y-shaped tent stakes.
Another major consideration when getting your new solo tent is the fabrics used in making the rainfly, inner tent, and flooring. Durable fabrics will not only guarantee you more nights outdoors but also ensure you’re well shielded from the elements.
A few things to look out for here include the type of fabrics, related metrics, and waterproofing features. Types of fabrics used in tent inners and flysheets include polyester, nylon, poly-cotton, canvas, or other proprietary composite materials.
In addition, multi-layer solo tents might also come with a mostly mesh inner to allow for optimal ventilation.
Polyester is highly preferred by many manufacturers for being lightweight, inexpensive, durable, and easier to waterproof. Polyester-cotton fabrics go an extra mile to deliver slightly better longevity and strength than regular polyester.
Nylon is another popular go-to tent fabric that’s lauded for its good abrasion resistance, affordability, and great strength-to-weight ratio. Nylon fabrics are also stretchier than polyester allowing for better distribution of tension and eventually improved durability.
However, both nylon and polyester fabrics may lose color and deteriorate over time due to exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Also, since both materials are very lightweight, they may be slightly noisy to sleep on and will usually flap around in windy weather.
Nylon and polyester are also not naturally breathable or even good heat insulators. Therefore, you’ll want to look at the accompanying ventilation and waterproofing features before you settle on a given solo tent.
Despite their robustness, canvas and poly-cotton fabrics are rarely used in making solo tents. This is expected since one-person camping tents are intentionally made to be lightweight.
The tent flooring is expected to be thick and strong enough to withstand being set on rough terrains. Any uncaught rock, protruding root, or stick could easily tear your precious tent’s flooring. So, you’ll want to go for tents with floors made of thick, strong fabrics such as polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and nylon.
Keep in mind that nylon has many types including Nylon 1,6, Nylon 510, Nylon 6, and Nylon 66 among others, all with varying strengths and properties Cordura Nylon and Robic Nylon are some of the strongest and abrasion-resistant fabrics spawned of the Nylon 66 variant.
Other fabrics you might find in very high-end solo camping tents include polypropylene and Ultra-high-molecular-weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). The latter can be found in brands such as X-PAC, Dyneema, and Spectra.
In some tents, the waterproof coatings may break down or peel off over time. So, be sure to re-apply the DWR coating after a few seasons of camping.
The denier rating, thread count, and grams per square meter units are also good indicators of the fabric’s durability and strength.
The thread count (T) is the sum of warps and fills(weft) in one square inch of the given fabric. Or put simply, T is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. Similarly, the grams per square meter (gsm) and denier rating units help show the thickness or density of the fabric.
Ideally, a higher thread count, denier rating, and/or gsm translate to a stronger and rugged fabric tent.
Having considered all the above factors, you may also want to check the type of stitching used in the tent fabrics. You can’t go wrong with ripstop tent fabrics. Ripstop style weaving patterns help add strength to the fabric and prevent a tear from ripping any further.
As a cherry on top, ensure your dream solo tent has been effectively treated to resist impacts of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and fires.
A zipper system that’s broken or doesn’t close could easily render your precious solo tent useless. Pay close attention to the quality of the tent’s zipper system before committing to a purchase. Else, you will be risking spending the night in cold sleeping quarters.
Whether you opt for chunky/teeth zippers or coil/spiral zippers, be sure to go for durable options like YKK. Such good quality zippers operate snag-free and mostly feature rust-proof metal parts that don’t break easily.
Also, stick to jingle-free zippers with nylon or cloth pull tabs to dodge any zipper or slider-related noises. Tents with dual-slider zipper systems work wonders when it comes to accessibility and repairs/replacements.
Hauling, storing, and handling your dream solo tent will be that much easier if it’s packable and lightweight. This becomes even more of a priority when backpacking, trekking, or ultralight camping. Read on for a breakdown of what affects these two important elements.
As we’ve discussed above, the tent’s weight is mostly affected by the types of materials used to make the poles, fabrics, and stakes. You can expect the heavy-duty solo tents to be very bulky and hefty to move around.
Consider the listed packaged weight and minimum trail weight to get a better idea of how heavy the tent will be when combined with the rest of your other gear.
The packaged weight refers to the weight of all the tent components including the poles, main body, stakes, stuff sack, rainfly, and any other included accessories. On the other hand, the trail weight is just the total weight of the essentials – the poles, rainfly, and tent body.
If looking for a lightweight solo tent, the packaged weight should be well under five pounds.
Ultralight campers will also be delighted by the amazing weight savings afforded to them by trekking pole tents. These types of tents allow you to use your trekking poles in more ways than one and usually support fly-first setups.
However, you’ll have to make sacrifices such as having to deal with more challenging pitches, no freestanding options, limited headroom, and minimal usable space. Since most trekking pole tents are single-walled, weather protection is abysmal at best, especially during the sudden downpour.
Trekking poles are also less durable as compared to tent poles.
Then again, if you have the means of transport and trunk space, weight savings won’t be a concern for you. Plus, you’ll most likely get roomier interiors and plenty of add-ons in hefty solo tents.
As for the packed size, compare the listed dimensions of your favorite solo tents to better determine which size will fit in your car trunk or backpack. A few ways to reduce the size is by splitting up some of the components when loading up.
Also, keep in mind that solo tents with freestanding configurations tend to fold down less compactly and would result in larger packed sizes.
To help you haul or store your solo tent, it should come with an included stuff sack or storage bag. Shoulder slings and wide handles on the bag will make it far easier to hold and carry. Also, compression straps and cinchable drawstrings may help keep the bulge down.
How roomy is the tent’s interior? Is there enough headroom? How close does the tent get to homelike comfort? Since you’ll be spending a good amount of time outdoors inside the tent, it might as well be a comfy space.
Thanks to advancements in the tent industry, even solo tents can afford you a nice and inviting home away from home without too many compromises.
Irrespective of how big your solo camping tent looks from the outside, what matters most is the available interior space. The listed interior dimensions or floor area should give a good picture of how comfy and accommodative the tent might be.
You should also check if the tent has a tapered floor as that would mean lesser space near the foot section. The floor dimensions should easily accommodate your sleeping bag, some camping gear, and leave some open spaces for better comfort.
Aside from the floor dimensions, the ceiling height and wall height are other key measurements to deliberate. A higher ceiling height provides adequate shoulder and headroom to allow you to stand upright and move within the tent more freely.
Additionally, solo tents with taller wall heights often have roomier and more usable spaces, especially near the walls. You won’t keep touching or bumping into the tent’s canopy with taller wall heights.
Likewise, solo tents with near-vertical walls will often feel roomier and may allow freer maneuvers inside the tent.
However, most solo tents will have low-profile form-factors that can barely allow sitting up inside the tent. This is mostly done to save on weight and sometimes, cost but stealth camping is probably the real motivation behind it.
If you don’t find a solo tent that’s spacious enough for you then you can always go for a two-person unit.
Other factors that might affect the tent’s size and its livability include the design of the tent, types of poles used, and any other extra features tailored to improve the comfort inside the tent.
Some of the more common shapes for solo tents include dome, cabin, ridge, Geodesic, and pyramid. Various tent shapes like the cabin one might have slightly roomier interiors and almost near-vertical walls. However, other tent types will use a few nifty solutions to help expand the interior space.
You may find some tents with pre-bent poles and spreader bars, which help increase the headroom and “straighten up” the walls. We also noted that tents that come with pole hubs tend to have even roomier interiors than those with crisscrossing pole frames.
A large door with burly snag-free zippers should be one of the main accessibility features included in your dream solo tent. The doors and zippers should also be well shielded against rainfall using storm flaps and any other applicable weather protection features.
Included storage and organization features also go a long way in making your outdoor abode comfier and more livable. Multiple interior storage pockets, side-mounted webbings, and gear lofts help expand the interior space by providing storage space for most of your smaller items.
Gear loops, wall hangers, and lantern hooks are also helpful for hanging your lighting and other gear inside the tent.
To get even more value for your money, you may also go for solo tents with vestibules, screened mini-porches, or shaded awnings. The extra space can be ideal for stargazing, lounging, or even sleeping during warmer nights.
Other extras you might look out for when shopping for your next solo tent include stargazing-compatible flysheets and two-way zipper operations for the doors and windows. In the same breadth, tents with sunroofs that can let in light or be blocked off when needed are also very appealing to many campers.
Going even further, you may want to consider solo tents with other extras such as included groundsheets and repair kits. Since guylines and tent stakes are generally trip hazards, you’ll want a tent with reflective guylines and colored tent stakes to make them easier to spot in the dark.
Reflective and brightly colored components also come in handy during search and rescue missions as you can be easily spotted. It also helps prevent losing tent stakes when shipping out of the campsite.
In some units, the windows might come tinted to allow for better privacy. E-ports on your dream solo tent will also be highly essential when camping in sites with electrical hook-ups.
Solo tents with lengthier warranty programs and friendlier return policies are also good indicators of the tent’s quality.
With a solo tent, you don’t have to deal with your companion’s annoying habits, snoring, body odor, or any other inconveniences. The tent also comes in handy when camping in groups as it can offer you the much-needed privacy for a comfy, peaceful night’s sleep.
You’re bound to cover lengthier trails for extended periods with an outdoor shelter that won’t slow you down.
One-person tents are usually small and lightweight meaning you can backpack with them and carry them around with relative ease. Their reduced size also allows for easier cleaning and worry-free long-term storage.
You can also expect to pay less for a solo tent as compared to other tent size categories. However, this may not always be the case if you opt for premium quality materials and more weatherproof units.
Lastly, one-man tents are an integral component of any solo camping adventure. Solo camping itself brings forth many benefits such as the following:
That said, the smaller size mostly means lesser storage space and even more reduced usable floor area. The tent can also turn out to be a bit expensive when camping in groups since each crew member would need their own. But we hope these reasons won’t stop you from enjoying the many benefits that solo tents offer.
Some of the allures of camping include getting to explore nature up close, traveling cheaply, sleeping outdoors and under the stars, and escaping the busy city life. A solid tent is typically the most sought-after camping gear for all types of outdoor lovers.
Specifically, solo tents are the ideal size for anyone who prefers to sleep alone outdoors or take on the trails unaccompanied. We hope you’ve gotten an in-depth insight on what matters most in a one-person camping tent and more so that the handpicked selection gave you a few options to consider.
Also, if you plan on taking on a solo camping trip, remember to stay safe and plan accordingly for any eventualities.