If you ask any outdoor expert, they will tell you that they can make a tent out of leaves and twigs and other free supplies found in the wilderness.
But others not so capable have to rely on readymade tents for sleeping at night in the outdoors and staying protected from the elements. Many people enjoy hiking or backpacking alone in the backcountry. It brings a different kind of thrill. You also need to carry fewer items when hiking alone.
For instance, instead of a large tent for two or three people, you can just carry a one-person tent. These tents, as the name suggests, are meant for only one user unless you are the size of Shaq, then you may want to get a bigger tent! They are much smaller than other types of tents and also cost less sometimes.
There are millions of different tents available all over the place. Some can be found for as little as $20, while there are more expensive varieties too. An expert camper will know how to pick the right tent, but not everyone has the same capability.
A quality tent is one of the best ways to stay safe and comfortable on backcountry trips. To make finding the right tent easier, here are the things to look for before making a purchase.
What to Consider When Choosing a One-Person Tent
A one-person tent is meant to fit only a single human being, so there is only a set size available. To be able to choose the right one-person tent, you first have to assess where you are going for camping and the weather you are likely to encounter.
Modern tents come with several different features that let you enjoy using the tent for several years. You must know your budget and be sure of how much you can afford to spend on a tent. Once you have a set budget, it’s time to look at different tents in that price range.
Choosing a one-person tent isn’t much different from choosing any other tent. Some of the factors to consider are:
Size: Of course, a one-person tent isn’t going to be huge, but there are certain varieties where there is more room. Look for a one-person tent that has room for two. Such tents provide more comfort and give you more space to roll around and enjoy your rest. Even if you are camping alone, that extra room is always appreciated.
Weight: When deciding upon the weight of the tent, consider what kind of camping you are going to do. If you are going hiking or backpacking (which Fat Bas-ard never does from those goofy Austin Powers movies!), you need to know how much you will be able to carry around. There are tents made of ultralight materials designed specifically for camping or hiking purposes. Non-freestanding tents are lighter than freestanding ones because they have guylines rather than dedicated poles.
But freestanding tents also allow users to build the tent whichever way they like. However, if you are car camping, weight doesn’t remain an issue. You can get a heavier tent without worrying about weight.
Weather: Tents are of various types. If you are camping in the rain, you need a three-season tent that can protect you from the elements. If you are camping in dry or sunny weather, a two-season tent that can protect you from the sun and keep you cool with the air flowing is the ideal pick. When camping in winter, you need a four-season tent to keep warm.
Packability: Tents are pretty big and require space. Even though they are light, they need considerable space when being packed. That’s why you must check if the tent easily fits into your backpack. After you buy the tent, practice packing it in your backpack beforehand to find the best way to evenly distribute the item. The thinner the material, the easier it is to pack the tent.
Ease of use: Before making a choice, research how easy it is to set up the tent in the dark or in a strong wind. Despite tents being intuitive and easy to set up these days, you must always practice pitching the tent in your backyard before actual use.
Durability: This is most important for backpacking or survival tents because they protect you from the elements – no they don’t protect you from your mother in law or your new puppy from jumping on you when you are trying to take a nap! Although most tents are pretty durable, read user reviews to see what others are saying.
Now the big question is: should you buy a tent online or at a store? Buying online is convenient and hassle free, but at a camping store, you can actually see the tent already pitched. You can also talk to the people at the store about recommendations and suggestions.
With that taken care of, let’s look at the top five one-person tents you can find today.
Top 5 One-Person Tents
MSR Hubba NX Tent
- 40-denier ripstop nylon / 15-denier nylon mesh
- Minimum weight is 1.12 kg / 2 lb 7 oz; two Fast & Light options from .73 kg / 1 lb 10 oz
- Head and elbow room throughout tent; large side entry vestibule to store gear
For a classic one-person backpacking tent, look no further than the MSR Hubba NX Tent, perfect for those who go hiking or camping on a regular basis. It is a little expensive at above $300, but it is worth every penny and promises to last a long time.
This one-person backpacking tent is spacious and easy to pitch and is lightweight enough at only three pounds. Made of ultralight materials such as ripstop Sil-nylon fly, DAC Featherlite SL aluminum poles, and their lightweight hubs that make the tent spacious.
The two hubs are used to connect all the poles to make a single pole set that can be attached to the tent with the help of the post and grommet clips. The no see um mesh body of the tent provide ventilation.
The door of the tent is designed such that the interior remains dry even in pouring rain. There’s a large vestibule for stacking excess gear and wet boots. The versatile tent can be set up and taken easily.
The bathtub floor keeps seams off the ground, while the inner mesh storage pockets provide extra storage space. The reflective material at guy points helps to locate the tent in the dark. This freestanding design is very popular among hikers and campers because of its versatility and durability.
Conclusion on the MSR Hubba NX Tent: If you are looking for a sturdy tent that will last you a long time, then the Hubba is a profound choice. It is popular with backpackers and campers because of its lightweight material and ease of use. It is not popular with that massive pie eater in the movie Stand By Me because hiking is not his thing!
|(+) Lightweight and durable||(-) Barely enough room for one person|
|(+) Easy to set up and take down||(-) No bug protection|
|(+) Well ventilated mesh body||(-) Expensive|
|(+) Ultralight materials|
Big Agnes Fly Creek
This is another ultralight tent that is remarkably durable and sturdy. In fact, several outdoorsmen who have used it claim that it’s the most reliable backpacking tent ever. It comes for $320, which isn’t very expensive if you consider the quality of the product.
This is a three season tent, which means it can protect you from both the sun and the rain, and even the snow in some cases.
Despite weighing around 27 ounces that is lighter than most other backpacking tents in the same category, this tent can survive pretty much any element, from torrential downpours to snow and sleet to 50 mph winds. There is hardly any competition with the superb construction of the tent.
The Fly Creek also has amazing packability. It packs down to a seriously small size for easy storability. When pitched there’s plenty of room for one person and their gear. If you’re 5’8″ or under, you will not likely fill the whole space. There’s also a big vestibule for storing your backpack.
The tent also provides good ventilation and doesn’t retain any odor. The door is vertical, optimizing head and floor space. You can easily sit up within the tent and even roll around. The guy lines also make it easy to set up the tent.
Conclusion on the Big Agnes Fly Creek: There are better tents than this one if you are willing to pay $200 more. But for the best value for money, it is hard to beat the Fly Creek. The cost, reliability, and light weight make the Fly Creek an ideal choice.
It will not protect you from a Grizzly though or a mountain lion or a black panther if you are in the Amazon, you better have a gun with you or someone in your group better be carrying a weapon.
|(+) Ultralight||(-) The center placement tears very easily|
|(+) Durable and efficient||(-) The manufacturer doesn’t pay for shipping (in case of repairs)|
|(+) Suitable for all seasons|
|(+) Vertical door|
- THE MASTER OF ULTRALIGHT - One of the lightest tents on the market with time-tested field performance, NEMO's hornet delivers all the durability, packability, and bomber weather protection avid backpackers & thru-hikers demand; 1P minimum weight: 1 lb 11 oz
- WEATHERTIGHT & RUGGED - True tub floor construction reduces seam construction and seam tape, making for a more durable waterproof floor; 1200mm nylon ripstop fly is carefully shaped for both ventilation and rain coverage
- DRY GEAR STORAGE - The Hornet 1P features a single side door for easy entry and exit; The single large vestibule lends plenty of space to keep packs, boots, and helmets safe and out of the rain
This is another ultralight tent that comes in one-person and two-person variants. The floor area for the one-person variant is two square meters, with a height of 40 inches.
The two-person variant measures 2.6 square meters. The latter also comes with two doors. So, if you’re taking your Golden Retriever along on your hike, then the two-person variant is a good choice. Otherwise, the one-person tent has sufficient room for one human being.
There are several remarkable features about this tent. The tub floor construction is seamless and increases the longevity of the tent, while the built-in privacy panel inside offers extended coverage and security. The hubbed pole intersections are great for creating a single pole for this freestanding tent.
There are triangulated volumizing guyouts that increase interior space. The one-person variant weighs around two pounds, while the two-person variant is only a few ounces heavier, so if you want more room, the latter is a great choice.
Despite the lightweight material, the tent is durable and sturdy. It takes less than five minutes to set up and is equally easy to take down. At $330, this is one of the best on the market today.
Conclusion on the Nemo Hornet: This is one of the best one-person tents out there today, and even though it costs more than $300, it’s worth every penny because of the lightweight, durability, and ease of use.
There is even room for some granola bars, KFC chicken, and some pumpkin pie! Well, you probably don’t want to sleep with food out in the wild so scratch that!
You can have a portable DVD player though and watch Sicario, Transformers, Let’s Be Cops, or Jason Bourne!
|(+) Super light||(-) Not enough interior space if you include your gear|
|(+) Durable and sturdy|
|(+) Comes in one-person and two-person options|
|(+) Easy to use|
For a lightweight and sturdy one-person tent, Marmot Eos is another reliable option. When you’re hiking alone, and don’t need a big tent, this small, compact tent is the best choice. It takes less than five minutes to set up, packs down to a small size, and easily withstands the elements.
The interior is roomy enough for sitting up, and the vestibule is where you can store your gear. When space is a premium, choose the Bare Bones setup option that allows you to set up the tent only with the fly and poles. This 3-season tent is made of 20D no-see-um mesh, while the fly is PU-coated nylon ripstop. The poles are made of DAC Featherlite NSL.
Conclusion on the Marmot Eos: This is an ultralight tent that’s about a $100 cheaper than the other options here. It’s as light as a bottle of water, so you can safely carry it in your backpack without adding to the weight. That is awesome news for anyone carrying a hair dryer that weighs about 50 pounds like in that movie Spaceballs!
|(+) Lightweight, durable, and sturdy||(-) Doesn’t come with a groundsheet|
|(+) Withstands the elements|
|(+) Convenient to store and carry|
|(+) 3-season tent|
This is slightly more expensive than the other options at above $500, but is worth the extra price because of its ease of use and convenience. This tent has a freestanding design, with clip construction.
It comes with a footprint, taped floor seams, and gear loft. Other features include ArcEdge Floor Mesh wall panels and internal storage pockets. The ultralightweight and ease of use, besides the ample interior room, make this tent an ideal pick.
Conclusion on the Kelty Gunnison: This is an ideal tent for solo hikers or backpackers, with the footprint included and an excellent range of features.
This is an outstanding purchase, a nice present for someone. But no, don’t use this to cover your car during the day. That is not right!
|(+) Decent head and shoulder room||(-) More storage pockets needed (you want to take more than one Twix right?)|
|(+) Footprint included|
|(+) Compact and ultralight|
|(+) Freestanding design|
One-person tents come in various designs and sizes. Depending upon your budget, there are several varieties for you to choose from. Make sure to read customer reviews before purchase to be able to know better about the quality, because getting the wrong tent not only makes your adventure inconvenient but also is a waste of money.