How To Choose The Best One Man Backpacking Tent In 2020

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  • One man backpacking tents tend to come in a variety of different shapes and layouts.
  • You want to make sure the tent folds up to occupy as little space as possible in your pack.
  • The toughness and strength of a backpacking tent goes a long way in determining its capability and life.

In this article, we review some of the best ultralight backpacking tents available today as well as offering advice and things to keep in mind when choosing your best one-man backpacking tent! 

Best Of ListIn-Depth Comparison Chart

  1. Luxe Tempo 1P Tent
  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 4
    Weight 3.3 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 5"L x 5"W x 15"H
    Assembled Dimensions 82.6"L x 35.4"W x 39.3"H
    Current Price $99.50

    The Luxe Tempo 1 Person Tent is a high-performance tent perfect for the solo backpacker looking for a durable tent with decent space that can withstand harsh weather conditions. This 4 season tent will serve you year round, including the cold months of winter. Best of all, it weighs just over 3 pounds.

    Pros
    • Great ventilation for a 4 season Tent
    • tough footprint included
    • excellent waterproofing
    • lightweight at 3.3 pounds
    Cons
    • Can get hot in the warmer months
    • tight fit for taller campers

    Read our full review of the Luxe Tempo 1P Tent


  3. MSR Hubba NX Bacpacking Tent
  4. Editors Rating:
    (4.5 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 3
    Weight 1.12 kg / 2 lb 7 oz
    Packed Dimensions 46 x 15 cm
    Assembled Dimensions 216 x 76 x 91 cm
    Rainfly Yes
    Capacity 241 L
    Cubic Inches 102 in3
    Current Price $284.96

    The Hubba NX 1 by MSR is a great option for solo hikers looking for a relatively large single person tent with excellent protection from the elements that also packs down light.

    This tent is a good “all-rounder” that performs well under inclement weather and provides spacious accommodation for how little it weighs.

    However, it is a bit pricier than we would like it to be, considering some of the other tents in its class that offer similar features for less money.

    Pros
    • Lightweight, but still spacious when it's set up
    • Durable, should last for years
    • Good rain protection
    • Easy to set up
    • Tension adjustment straps are a nice touch
    Cons
    • A bit overpriced for what it is
    • Rain fly is a bit small, and can be tricky to set up

    Read our full review of the MSR Hubba NX Bacpacking Tent


    People 1
    Seasons 4
    Weight 4.5 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 6.25"L x 6.25"W x 17"H
    Assembled Dimensions 82"L x 39.5"W x 32"H
    Current Price Price not available

    The Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent is a very reliable lightweight tent. While we love the mesh top for stargazing, we sort of hate it because we’re not the most responsible folks when it comes to remembering the to cover with the rainfly.

    Despite our ineptness, its a super breathable tent, fast to set up, and It clocks in at just over 3 pounds on the trail, four and a half pounds packed with everything.

    The 1P Mountain Ultra Tent will work for the trail or biking and comes at an excellent price for such an ultralightweight tent.

    Pros
    • Lightweight at 4.5 packed pounds
    • Micro mesh fabric keeps it cool during the warmer months
    • Two vestibules for extra storage
    • Includes a footprint
    Cons
    • Condensation build up during heavier storms

    Read our full review of the TETON Mountain 1P Ultra Tent


  5. ALPS Lynx 1P Tent
  6. Editors Rating:
    (4.2 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 3
    Weight 4 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 6"L x 6"W x 17.5"H
    Assembled Dimensions 90"L x 32"W x 36"H
    Current Price $91.76

    The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is one of the best one-person tents on the market today.

    This lightweight tent keeps pounds off your back, weighing in at 3-4 pounds while providing enough shelter through even the worst rain and light snow.

    Pros
    • Great Ultralight size
    • Keeps you warm in cooler conditions
    • All around excellent weather protection
    Cons
    • Some campers experience problems with stitching and zippers

    Read our full review of the ALPS Lynx 1P Tent


  7. Winterial 1P Tent
  8. Editors Rating:
    (4 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 3
    Weight 2.9 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 7"L x 6"W x 22"H
    Assembled Dimensions 90"L x 38"W x 28"H
    Current Price Price not available

    For those who aren’t entirely sold on the benefits of a bivy sack and still want the breathability of a tent, there’s The Winterial Single Person Tent

    This tent sets up easy, It packs down to just under 4 pounds so it won’t put too much strain on your back.

    While there’s enough room for most to get a goods night rest in, we don’t recommend it for tall people looking to spend extended periods sitting up.

    Pros
    • Easy setup, under $80
    • strong/reliable removable rainfly
    • good air ventilation
    • lightweight under 4 pounds
    Cons
    • Once the rainfly is attached in heavy rain you'll get some condensation
    • claustrophobic when used in place of a tent

    Read our full review of the Winterial 1P Tent


  9. Big Agnes Tiger Wall 1P Tent
  10. Editors Rating:
    (3.5 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 3
    Weight 1 lb 6 oz
    Packed Dimensions "5.5 x "17
    Assembled Dimensions "52 x "86 x "39
    Rainfly Yes
    Current Price $349.95

    The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 1 Person Tent is a very interesting product. One thing is for sure; it is NOT for everyone.

    This tent is probably the lightest double-walled single person tent on the market, weighs only 1 pound and 6 ounces (yes, that’s with the rain fly). We can’t think of any other solo tent that comes close.

    However, it does come with some severe drawbacks. For one, it is not very durable. It may not last a week-long trip if the conditions are particularly adverse. It is also expensive, to the tune of about a grand.

    So, this tent seems marketed to a particular niche. Let’s explore further what this tent has to offer.

    Pros
    • Extremely lightweight
    • Comfortable and convenient design
    • Good weather protection
    Cons
    • Very pricey
    • Not very durable

    Read our full review of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall 1P Tent


  11. Sierra Flashlight 1P Tent
  12. Editors Rating:
    (3 / 5)
    People 1
    Seasons 3
    Weight 2.25 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 5.5"L x 5.5"W x 11.6"H
    Assembled Dimensions 88"L x 32"W x 35"H
    Current Price Price not available

    The Sierra Designs Flashlight left us with some mixed emotions.

    We were very excited to try this 3 season tent as the design seemed unique, and we were anxious to see what it could do in the wild. It held up nicely in extreme weather but did leave a bit of condensation

    Pros
    • Good length, width, and height specs
    • strong durable flooring.
    • ultralight at just over 2 pounds
    • awnings and 2 doors give lots of ventilation
    Cons
    • Rain easily leaks in through the sides
    • condensation build up
    • cheaper materials

    Read our full review of the Sierra Flashlight 1P Tent


ImageNameOur RatingSeasonsSleepsSizePacked SizeWeightPriceWhere to Buy

Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

No matter what your backpacking experience level is, the necessity of owning a reliable tent is as crucial as carrying food and water. This is especially true for ultralight backpackers. Ultralight backpacking is quite risky in and of itself, especially considering in many instances you have no idea where you will set up camp before you find the spot.

Having a reliable one-man backpacking tent alleviates much of the anxiety that comes along with the territory of ultralight backpacking.

RELATED: Why Backpacking Tents Are The Most Awesome Shelters

Backpacking Tents Vs Camping Tents

Camping tents come in plenty of different sizes that can accommodate anywhere from one person to 12 people.

Coleman Sundome 3-Person Dome Tent, Green
The Coleman Sundome 3 Person Tent can be set up in less than 10 minutes.

However, we don’t really recommend more than 5 people sharing a tent.

Otherwise, your relaxing camp turns into a traveler’s hostel. Backpacking tents, on the other hand, are designed specifically for the lightweight traveler.

There are many factors to consider when choosing backpacking tents.  While some tents are ultralight and work great for the warmer months, others can be much heavier while providing extra space and a strong weatherproof exterior.

Below are some tips to keep in mind when investing in searching out the best one-man backpacking tent. In the end, it is up to you to choose the right tent according to your preferences.

One Man Backpacking Tent Dimensions

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, Clay/Rust (5024617)
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent includes a free standing, lightweight aluminum 2-pole infrastructure which makes setting up easy for even beginning backpackers.

One man backpacking tents tend to come in a variety of different shapes and layouts.

Knowing the dimensions of a tent can be a determining factor. So be sure to check the length, width, and height when the tent is open, as well as when its packed away.

It’s important to check the folded tent’s dimensions. You want to make sure the tent folds up to occupy as little space as possible in your pack. The size of the folded tent determines how comfortable it will be to carry around with you.

The smaller the backpacking tent, the easier it is to hike with. This not only cuts weight but also helps in organization and makes for a more comfortable pack.

The downside, of course, is the less room you have available to sleep in. How much physical space the tent occupies on the ground and in your pack is an important component to factor in when deciding between tents.

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent, 2 Person
The Kelty Salida 2 Tent was awarded the 2011 Backpacker Editor’s Choice Award.

RELATED: 9 Best 1 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tents in 2020

Lightweight Is The Best Weight

A backpacking tent’s weight is one of, if not the most important determining factor when deciding between tents.

You don’t want to carry around a heavy backpack that hurts your back and joints. This can make camping a miserable experience.

The best one-man tents for backpacking are designed for the ultralight solo backpacker who values their hiking experience over sleeping space.

Simply put, the number of people that the tent accommodates, the heavier and bigger it will be.

Along with weight and size, many bigger tents offer some more features.

For the solo backpacker, we highly recommend to only invest in a bigger tent if you plan on bringing more people with you, or you absolutely need the space and features for extra gear. Otherwise stay as lean as possible.

That being said, it is possible to find 2 man tents that are the perfect size for the solo backpacker.

Coleman Hooligan Backpacking Tent
The Coleman Hooligan Tent comes in 2/3/4 person sizes with a simple 1 pole design setup.

These tents actually weigh just a pound or 2 more than the 1 man tents. Remember though that the tent is just one piece of equipment that you’ll carry on your back.

When you start adding in other essentials the weight can begin to pile on.

Ultralight backpacking is all about cutting weight wherever possible, but do it within reason.

Don’t go for the 2 man tent if it means you have to start doing other crazy things like shaving your toothbrush down to half its regular size to save an ounce.

One Man Tent Strength and Sturdiness

No matter if it’s a one-man ultralight tent or a 12 person hostel make sure you know how strong and sturdy it is.

Your tent can have all the best features and doors and vestibules in the world, but what can really differentiate the best backpacking tent from the rest is durability. This factor alone will save you from harm and discomfort when the weather goes from good to bad.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent,...
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent includes a mesh roof for air circulation, and a ventilated rainfly that also makes 2 vestibules for extra storage.

The toughness and strength of a backpacking tent go a long way in determining its capability and life. It is the most influential factor you must consider when purchasing a backpacking tent.

Look for tents that have a higher denier and thread count rating. Look for a floor made from rip-stop nylon as this will protect the fabric from tearing over time.

Materials coated with polyurethane are good for waterproofing.

Unless your a newbie and tying down a tent gives you anxiety, stick with a regular, staked tent instead of a freestanding tent.

Freestanding tents seem better due to their ease of set up, but can be fragile and break easier. Not to mention they’re not good with heavy winds and bad weather. A good staked tent can handle most extreme weather conditions.

Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent, 94 inches x 35 inches x 28...
The Snugpak The Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent is super lightweight at 2 and a half pounds and takes very little time to setup.

The best one-man backpacking tent will be sturdy and durable, and will not soon wear out.   A backpacking tent should last you for years, so don’t hesitate to invest in the best.

Material

Make sure your backpacking tent is made up of the best materials which can fight and withstand the toughest circumstances.   Sudden rains and strong winds are not uncommon when trekking the great outdoors.

The best one-man backpacking tents for backpacking are built to survive such strong rains. Specifically look for a tent made up of a high rated nylon fabric wall. This tends to be more durable than polyester.

Also look for a tent floor made from coated materials, or ripstop nylon.

Coleman 8-Person Dome Tent with Screen Room | Evanston...
The Coleman Evanston Screened Tent features a very spacious interior both horizontal and vertical.

You can go for a single-walled or a double walled tent depending on your preferences.

Single-walled tents are extremely light and easy to carry. They’re built to handle extreme weather and are very common on 4 season tents.

Double walled tents keep out water and while avoiding internal condensation. The double wall design is very popular in 3 season tents where the inner wall is made of mesh. This will give you better air circulation.

Double walled tents provide exterior weather protection with an attachable rainfly.

If you need something more robust than what the tent includes, rain-flies can always be purchased separately. Especially if you are carrying electrical equipment, make sure your tent is as waterproof as possible.

Spacious Interior

Your one-man backpacking tent should include enough space to accommodate one person plus an ultralight sleeping bag. Enough room to stretch out doesn’t hurt either.

Ideally, you should not feel cramped in a one-man tent. Most importantly you want empty space to store your belongings. Without this extra space, you’ll end up leaving your stuff outside exposed to the elements.

The last thing you want is to have to keep your bag with your camera, phone, and GPS outside because there’s no room to keep it inside.

A vestibule works great for storage space. They open outside of the tent and create a canopy to store your pack and shoes under. This gives you storage space without taking space away inside the tent.

The walls and design of the tent play an important role in this regard.

Some one-man tents are too small to fit even a 6-foot person without having to lie diagonally. If you are on the bigger side you can opt for a bigger 2 person tent, which will give you more space but not add too much weight to your pack.

One Man Tent Design and Doors

Although it may seem overrated and unimportant, the design of a tent is the major driving force behind its use and capability.

A sole flaw in the design can render the entire tent null and void.

For example, if the there’s a slight crease above the door where rainwater puddles up and this leads to water pouring onto your head every time you unzip the door. All the waterproofing and extra pockets in the world won’t cheer you up once you experience a soaking like this.

Speaking of which,  it is good to have two doors in the tent for easy entry and exit. A good one person tent may not need more than one door. However, when looking at tent doors try to opt for side panel doors over front panel doors. This makes getting in and out of the tent much easier.

Also, make a note of where your tent has its support frame.

Different environments and terrain make for more specific tent setups.

Be sure to check reviews of the tent’s zipper reliability. Faulty zippers are at the top of any backpacker’s list of frustrating design flaws.

Conclusion

When it comes to selecting the best one-man backpacking tent for your lightweight adventure it really depends on your own needs and requirements.

The most important thing to know is how comfortable you are with less. Less space, less weight, fewer people, etc.

The needs of camping vary from person to person. Some people look for tents that are light and small while some others prefer the strong and heavier ones.

What may be the best for one, may not be the same for another, and vice versa.

Your budget plays a big a role in what tent works best for you, but if you can swing it don’t be afraid to spend a little more for better quality.

Purchasing a backpacking tent should not have to be done every year, so make sure to invest in the best when you set out shopping.

Keep your preferences clear and have a steady mind about your purchase and always remember your experiences on the trail are priceless.

 

Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Erik

Erik grew up as a desert rat in Arizona. After exploring the backcountry of the west coast he came east for a job but still finds time to explore the beauty of the northeast.