Tents, Tarps & Shelters

5 of the Best 1 Person Tents for Solo Camping & Backpacking

best 1 person tents
Bertie
Written by Bertie

The best 1 person tents balance a range of features including weight, space, durability & price. In this post, I’ve selected 5 of my favourites to review…

When I was a student I had a cheap but trusty beast of a tent but some of my friends always bought these super-lightweight, 1-person numbers. It only ever took a few miles of hiking to make me very jealous of them but it wasn't until I did my first solo backpacking trip that I actually invested in one myself. Now, years later, I've tried and tested loads of them and I thought it would be useful for me to shortlist my opinion of best 1 person tents currently available to help others choose from the huge range on offer.

Image

Product Name

Weight

Our Opinion

Price

Rating

Luxe Tempo 1

4lbs

best all rounder

$$

2.5lbs

best for backpacking

$$$$

2lbs

best ultralight

$$

3lbs

best for bikepacking

$$$

4.5lbs

best budget tent

$

Luxe Tempo 1 Person Tent Review - Best 1 person 4 season tent

The Good

Regular readers will know that I don’t always recommend the most obvious gear. This is one example (because the MSR Hubba NX has a better technical spec IMO). But the Luxe Tempo offers a tremendous balance of features at a great price point which is why it tops my list of best 1 person tents.

A lot of one-person tents can be quite cramped but with the Luxe Tempo you buy yourself a really good amount of space. You can sit up inside and there are two vestibules that will keep all your gear bone-dry. It stands up to most weather, including heavy rainfall and big winds. It’s easy to set up and break down. And it comes with a footprint, which is a nice touch.

The Less Good

It’s a bit on the heavy-side as one-person tents go. And the fact it’s a four season tent means that the ventilation may be a bit limiting for summer camping in hot climates. (But hey, you can always fly net!). Other than that, there’s not much bad to say about it.

Great Choice If…

If you’re looking for a good all-rounder and you like great value, this is a fantastic choice. It’s not the lightest tent on the market, or the most compact. But it’s well-designed, useful in a range of seasons and environments, and won’t break the bank.

MSR Hubba NX - best 1 person backpacking tent

​The Good

Considered by many as the best three-season tent on the list, the Hubba NX offers easy and fast set-up/take-down. The tent packs up tightly, leaving more room for other essentials. This tent is lightweight, which should help keep your overall load more manageable. The design is solid and offers decent headroom for a one-man tent.

The Less Good

The lightweight design comes at a price, as there are little additional features to make this product more comfortable, such as mesh pockets. With minimum venting, condensation may occur. The design pushes the material to the limits as the fabric is stretched to the extreme (especially near the pole system), which may cause you durability issues over time.

Great Choice If…

This is a great choice if you are looking for a tent that is extremely lightweight and packs up into a small bundle. This may be a great choice for those who want something that is easy to set-up and take-down quickly as well.

Pros -  Lightweight, Packs tightly, Easy and fast set-up/take-down

Cons - Footprint not included, Lacks pockets and other storage features, Less ventilation may cause some condensation

Geertop 1 person tent review - Best ultralight solo tent

The Good

It's very unusual to find a tent that is both ultralight and easy on the wallet but the Geertop 20D achieves both those things! It packs down extremely well. With two doors and two ventilation windows, condensation is absolutely not a problem. And it even has two vestibules providing more than enough storage for your gear. The flysheet and inner tent can be used separately which is an added bonus.

The Less Good

So what's the catch? Well, it doesn't come with poles. That's not necessarily a problem if you use walking poles but it definitely puts some people off. The only other issue you may have with it are the walls are angled so that they can kinda crowd in on you, especially if you are taller than average.  

Great Choice If…

This is a great choice if you travel with walking poles and want a super lightweight option. It's really great value and will stick around for a long time.

Snugpack Ionosphere - best 1 man tent for bikepacking

​The Good

This is a small tent designed to sleep in and to shelter in. The low profile affords you the possibility of placing the tent in tight places. The shape should accommodate campers of above average height easier than some layouts, and you may be able to store some gear in the tent with you. There may be enough room for your pet as well.

The Less Good

The low profile offers room to do little more than sit up. This design also means that you have to crawl into the tent, which may take some getting used to. This tent is not freestanding and requires the use of many stakes to set up. There is no vestibule and you may need a footprint.

Great Choice If…

This may be a great choice if you are looking for a tent that takes up little room.

Pros - Small footprint allows set-up in tight places, Length accommodates taller campers, Room for gear or pet

Cons - Not freestanding, Needs lots of stakes to set-up, Low profile makes entry/exit harder

Ozark Trail - best budget 1 person tent

The Good

The Ozark Trail has a comparatively small price with a lot of interior room. There is enough room that you might consider this a 1.5 person tent. There is ample space for a pet and gear. The tent provides easy entry through the door and is not difficult to set-up or take-down. It comes with a hanging pocket as well as a built-in E-port.

The Less Good

That space comes at the cost of extra weight, which you may notice as you carry this tent while hiking. It is bulkier than other one-person tents when packed. The poles are made of fiberglass and could wear quickly. The design creates a flat roof that water can collect on. There is no vestibule and the tent opening is completely exposed to the elements. The material would benefit with some extra waterproofing.

Great Choice If…

This is a great choice if you may be looking for a one-person tent with a lot of room.

Pros - Great price point, Very spacious, Easy access

Cons - Heavier than other one-person tents, Flat roof can collect water, Opening not sheltered

​How to Select a One Person Tent

Understanding some key components and terminology of tent design will allow you to compare each product with more accuracy.

One Person Capacity

The sleeping capacity of a tent indicates the number of campers that fit inside of the tent with little consideration for gear. In order to keep the weight down, tents fit snugly (especially ultralight models). As there are no industry standards, the actual room in a one person tent can vary with each manufacturer. Tall or stout sleepers will want to pay attention to dimensions as well as square footage to accommodate longer layouts or more elbow room.

Three-Season and Four-Season Tents

Three-season tents are the more popular choice. They are designed to handle the milder conditions of spring, summer, and fall. They can handle stronger winds, but do not do well with snow loads. They have mesh panels to aid in airflow and to keep bugs out. These tents usually have walls that are more vertical to give extra headroom, and they weigh less due to lighter fabric and fewer poles.

Four-season tents are designed to handle stronger winds and snow loads. They usually have a lower profile and rounded dome designs that offer less interior space. They have fewer mesh panels and are made from heavier fabric that offers less ventilation. They will use more poles in order to offer a more sturdy design. All of this added protection comes at the price of more weight.

Tent Weight

Traditional thought would suggest that heavier weight equates to sturdier construction, but that is not the case with today’s designs and materials. You will want to look for a tent that weighs less than five pounds while hiking, and most modern tents weigh less than three pounds while offering comfort and space. The selection that you make will give you a chance to lower the overall weight carried.

Attention should be paid when looking at the advertised tent weight, as they are often listed as packaged weight or trail weight (or both). The packaged weight takes all of the components into consideration. This includes body, instructions, poles, pole bag, rainfly, stakes, tent sack, and more. The trail weight consists of the minimum equipment you will carry to set up the tent. This would include the poles, rainfly, and tent body. The trail weight is usually used in descriptions and may be the best weight to compare this product feature.

Tent Livability

Today’s tent designs seek to offer more interior space without adding weight. Other features to consider are the location and number of doors, options for sheltered exterior spaces, and ventilation considerations. When you shop online, examine the pitch of the tent walls. Step angles tend to indicate trading less interior space for lighter weight.

The length and width measurements can give you an idea of floor size, but tapered designs will offer more width for shoulders and less width for feet in order to save weight. Floor area will give you the square footage of space, and peak height can help determine possible interior room (it should be noted that these measurements can only give a rough estimate, as layouts will vary between products and height measurements are taken from a single point usually).

Wall angles are usually a bigger factor for interior space, as more vertical walls can provide more room. Door designs are discussed in detail by many manufacturers, but in the case of a one-man tent, anything beyond a single door is not critical. Ventilation can help prevent the build-up of condensation and vestibules offer exterior storage protection.

Tent Materials

Another consideration is the materials that the tent is made of. Tent poles will come as aluminum (which are strong and light), carbon fiber (very light and strong, but not as durable), and fiberglass (cheaper, heavier, and less durable). Tent fabrics are usually nylons and polyesters and are rated with a denier (D) number. This indicates the material strength, with higher numbers indicating stronger fabrics. Denier will only be important to you if your selections are identical in most other aspects, with seasonal ratings and pole design being of more importance.


Don't forget, a one man tent isn't for everyone. If you are looking for something more social, do check out my articles listing the best 2 person tents and the best 3 person tents. Alternatively, if you want to get even more ultralight, check out my reviews of the best tarps for camping and the best hammock tarps.


Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
1 person tent
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About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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