Last Updated on 27/08/2023
Complete Guide to 1-Man Tents for Backpacking
This guide to the best 1 person backpacking tents shares the most packable and backpacker-friendly options available today.
If you think you are prepared for your next backpacking trip but don’t yet have a tent, make sure you check out these 5 best 1 person backpacking tents. The majority of cheap backpacking tents are of very poor quality and will likely fail you eventually, but these recommendations are tried and tested to last.
If you are planning to go for an extended backpacking trip, it is often a good idea to carry your own tent – both to save money on accommodation and in case there is none. When you think about what it costs for a night in a hotel or even a bed in a hostel, investing in a compact 1 person backpacking tent is a great way to get a good night’s sleep and save money in the long run.
For more extreme environments with more than 1 person, I would recommend a geodesic tent over a tunnel tent but in terms of weight and size, the tunnel tent is so much better.
Best Solo Backpacking Tent Reviews
Nordisk Telemark Tent For Lightweight Backpacking
- Weight: 770 g
- Inner Dimensions: W 98 cm x L 220 cm x H 86 cm
- Pack Size: 12 cm x 41 cm
The Nordisk Telemark tent is very similar to the Akto design, but with a huge weight difference of 870 g, this might be seen as the lightweight alternative. To cut that much weight means you also lose space inside the vestibule and on the porch. However, the tiny pack size does balance this out a little.
To keep the weight down, the Nordisk Telemark also makes good use of state-of-the-art components and advanced materials while the technical construction and streamlined design pull everything together and pinned in one place. While the tent only claims a three-season rating, the specialized fabrics will not let any rain in, and the inner tent has high-rising bathtub sides, which block out any cold drafts at night.
The option of carbon fiber components, as opposed to aluminum, can shave some extra weight off your load, which is always a desirable outcome. The lightweight construction doesn’t compromise on comfort and function and feels like it would stand up to just about anything. While you don’t get the space of the Hilleberg, you still get an inner storage pocket, easily adjustable guide ropes, good ventilation as well as a mesh window, a magnet closing, and an easy-access side entrance.
Terra Nova Laser Tent For Flexible Backpacking
- Weight: 970 g
- Inner Dimensions: W 93 cm x L 220 cm x H 95 cm
- Pack Size: 12 cm x 40 cm
The Terra Nova Laser Tent is well known in the outdoor community and is one of the most spacious tents on this list of the Top 5 Best 1 Person Backpacking Tents. Winning multiple awards for Best Tent in Test over the years, this is a modern-day classic for outdoors people who shop around for the best gear.
Having had some technical updates over time, there is improved ventilation for warmer climates, four additional guide rope points for maximum outer tension, and a smaller pack size. This is a perfect 3-season tent for most backpackers and is spacious enough to fit an extra person in with you, so long as you are good friends.
Constructed from DAC Featherlite Poles and a Sil Nylon Rip-Stop shell, you can set this tent up in under 5 minutes after only a couple of practice runs. If you are really looking to shave grams off your pack weight you might also consider upgrading to the Fastpack system (sold separately) which replaces the inner tent with a lightweight footprint.
A large porch area and plenty of space to sit up mean you can ride out the worst of a storm in comfort before quickly disassembling and getting on your merry way. The Terra Nova Laser is an excellent tent for backpacking across Europe and will last for 10 – 20 years if looked after.
Six Moon Skyscape Scout Tent For Hikers On A Budget
- Weight: 960 g
- Inner Dimensions: W 122 cm x L 262 cm x H 114 cm
- Pack Size: 12 cm x 38 cm
The Six Moon Skyscape Scout is a 3 season non-freestanding tent that makes use of a dual pole support structure (not included). Using either two walking poles or the optional fixed-length poles at an angle of 45 degrees just off-center, you get a tent that can be stuffed in your backpack and pitched in under 5 minutes.
Saving weight on tent poles by using hiking poles, has allowed for more fabric to be used to make a larger tent. One of the largest unpacked tents in its category for under 1 kg, in fact. You get loads of space for laying out your kit and are able to fit an extra person at a push, which works well if you both carry one hiking pole each.
Further, the Skyscape Scout only needs a minimum of 5 stakes to pitch and is extremely rigid in heavy downpours when fully guyed out. The Hybrid Double Wall Construction means you can erect the tent in one go, and because there is sufficient space between the layers, you stay safe from condensation drips at night.
The large side entry door can be folded back to sleep under the stars for when it’s all too beautiful to block out. The best option for taller hikers and also people who want a super lightweight tent without breaking the bank.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1p Tent Review
- Weight: 1,780 g
- Inner Dimensions: W 81 cm x L 228 cm x H 90 cm
- Pack Size: 15 cm x 44 cm
You get great value for money with this free-standing, two-pole design with strong 7000 Series aluminum poles that makes quick assembly easy with fast snap pole clips. The Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent has the advantage of not needing guy ropes which means you can pitch it in some pretty weird places.
With one of the smaller sleeping compartments on the list, you get a large porch area to store all your outdoor gear, which can be nice to separate your bed from all that muddy kit. Half mesh walls on the inner provide increased ventilation on those hot mornings with a hangover, which is an important selling point for some festival-goers.
Using 75D 185T polyester flysheet material, the water-repellent fabric resists UV rays and stays taut all night long with 3-season protection. Factory seam-sealed seams mean you can take this straight out of the box and into the field, which is perfect for beginners and occasional users. Some other nice touches are the stormproof zip flaps and the gear loft to keep your phone, torch, and other personal items. One of the most heavily reviewed one person backpacking tents on Amazon.
Eureka Solitaire – Best Tent For Stargazing
- Weight: 1,200 g
- Inner Dimensions: W 86 cm x L 244 cm x H 71 cm
- Pack Size: 10 cm x 45 cm
The Eureka Solitaire is a neat and tidy cross between a Bivvy bag and a tent. While you can’t sit up without touching the roof, you avoid the claustrophobic feeling of being in a bivvy bag and are far better protected in stormy weather.
The unique feature of the Eureka Solitaire is the rollback rooftop with a full-length zip running along the inner mesh lining, which provides an extra entrance when revealed. This allows you to lay on your back and stargaze on a clear summer night while providing maximum protection and ventilation when closed up.
Perfect for solo backpackers who need a tent as a backup and don’t plan on spending much time inside the tent while awake. Also well suited to social camping, when the roof is pulled back and the zip open, you can sit with your head out and see everything that’s going on around you. Wild Campers often like this tent as they only have to close the roof when it rains, and it combines well with a tarp, helping you to feel closer to nature (without the bugs).
Buyers Guide to the Best Backpacking Tents for 1 Person
Here are some of the main features which set apart the standard from the best 1 person backpacking tents:
If you are backpacking around the world with a tent, then you definitely should be weight conscious, as you will likely walk many miles with all your gear on your back. It may be tempting to go for the most lightweight pack there is, but you will pay a pretty penny for this privilege, and it may not be suitable for the climate you expect to be wild camping in.
Anything sub 1 kg is amazing, and anything between 1 – 2 kg is ok so long as you will get the use, but when you go above 2 kg, I will start looking into lightweight 2-person tents for the extra space. Some of the best backpacking tents in the world are not the lightest, but if you plan on doing a lot of walking, then the lighter, the better, really.
Pack size is another crucial factor, with anyone limited to taking only what they can carry on their back. If you have made a few backpacking trips before, then you should know how quickly your backpack can overflow with accumulated stuff. Backpack space is precious, and so getting a tent that is small enough to fit inside definitely helps when passing through airports.
You can always fasten a tent to the outside of your pack, but again you would be better with a smaller pack size. I have included pack sizes in this top 5 best backpacking tent comparison list to help save you time if tents that pack up small are what you are looking for.
If you are taller than 6 feet, then you should definitely consider the dimensions carefully. Standing up in a 1 person tent just isn’t ever going to happen, but sitting up can if you pick the right tent. You should start by measuring yourself when sat up and then look for the maximum internal height measurements as well as the overall internal length to suit.
If you are taller than 6 feet, then a side entry tent will be easier to get in and out of, and a storage vestibule to keep your bag would leave more room inside the sleeping pod.
Season ratings are very important if you plan on camping in some cold places where snow is a given and high wind are likely. While season ratings are there purely as a guide, they are a fairly good indicator as to what kind of conditions they have been tested in or designed for. For very hot and humid countries, a 1-2 season backpacking tent with a good waterproof rating and ventilation system will be ideal.
For the most part, you can get away with a 3 season tent in most countries that are not prone to snow or freezing weather. For the harshest environments, a 4 season tent is a must and will have the best chance of surviving storms and torrential downpours.
Waterproof Rating and Ventilation
You should always check the waterproof rating and ventilation system of a tent before buying it. The waterproof material is often given a Hydrostatic Head rating which measures the amount of water pressure it can take before anything gets through. This is displayed as a number measured in millimeters, and you should focus on readings of 5,000 mm and above unless you are looking for ultralightweight tents.
Having a large entrance can really help let a breeze in when camping in hot countries, but vents to let out condensation can make a massive impact on how dry you stay.
You have two real choices here: single-skin or double-walled. Single-skin tents are naturally lighter and more compact to pack and carry as they have almost half as much fabric. In hot countries where the temperature never drops below zero, then you can get away with single-skin tents, but for more serious campers, a double wall is often more desirable.
The problem with single-wall construction tents is that they suffer from condensation build-up on the inside, which can literally soak a down sleeping bag. Double-wall tents often have much better venting as well as provide more warmth and protection for the elements, which is why they offer a better sleeping experience.
Design can play a large role in the weight of a tent, so you need to decide first what your priorities are. Freestanding tents with two skin walls and lots of space can feel like a palace compared to some bivvy bag-style tents, which don’t offer any of that. Multiple doors are desirable but uncommon on one person tents, so look for side entry tents that are easier to get in and out of and also feel less claustrophobic when left open.
Having a side porch to keep your boots and bag can also be a luxury, but it is more comfortable this way as it gives you more space to spread out or even cook on the porch.
Finally, the toughness of the tent does not just come down to the season rating but instead relates to the materials, build quality, and design. Thinner, more lightweight materials are generally more fragile than standard ripstop nylon, which is why I have said more than once that the most lightweight is not always the best.
Army-issue gear is typically the most durable, but all the tents on this list have strong reputations for their durability. If you ever want to find out what past customers think, then read some of the Amazon reviews by following our links in the five best 1-person backpacking tents above.
Spoiled for Choice on A Tight Budget?
Choosing the right tent is not to be taken lightly and should be influenced by where and how you think you will be camping, but with so much choice out there, it can be hard to know where to start. You can check out the deals in your local outdoor shop, but you can often find the best prices online where the market is most competitive.
This collection of the Top 1 person Backpacking Tents will save you time and money by showing you the best of the best in all price classes. You don’t always get what you pay for when buying online, but you can be sure all the recommended products and links on this page are reviewed regularly to provide the best prices.
Have You Ever Slept in A Leaking Tent?
Getting a good night’s sleep in the wild can be hard for the inexperienced, and if your tent starts leaking in the rain or flailing in the wind, then you’re gonna have a bad time. Finding a lightweight tent that can stand up to the elements isn’t actually that difficult if you know what to look for.
For those that don’t, this list of the Best one man Backpacking Tents has been specially selected to help you find a tent that will keep you dry and safe in the worst conditions. Double-skin tents offer the best protection and comfort but do add extra weight so you have to weigh your options and find a solo tent that works for you.
What Should You Look for In a 1 P Travel Tent?
Knowing that the four heaviest items in your pack are likely to be your tent, backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat, investing in the lightweight options of these items is possibly the most effective way to reduce your pack weight without having to leave your favorite hoodie at home.
You must think about what you really want from your tent and what you really need – do you really need the smallest pack size, the most lightweight, the most stormproof 1 man tent, or is a large porch for cooking more important? If you are not looking to spend a lot of money, then maybe you want an entry-level tent made by a trusted brand or one with some professional features.
Ultra-lightweight might not always be the best option, which is why there is a bit of variance in these 5 Best 1 Person Backpacking Tents. The pegs provided with most tents will likely be made from cheap steel, so it might be worth upgrading your tent stakes if this is the case.
World Travel with Everything You Need on Your Back
Backpacking around the globe can get really expensive in a hurry, so investing in a decent 1 person tent before you go is a wise choice for the savvy traveler. A $300 tent might seem like a lot of money now, but to put that into perspective, the average price of a US hotel room in 2014 was $140 per night.
I’m sure we’ve all had a bad night’s sleep in the past, but nothing can compare to being stuck in a shitty tent during a storm with the prospect of spending several nights like this. When it comes to buying your new tent, you don’t have to go all out to sleep like a king, but you can’t buy the cheapest tent and expect to stay dry in a storm.
Not convinced by our recommended backpacking tents for 1 person? How about some of these other sleeping systems:
This list of the Top 5 Best 1 Person Backpacking Tents is aimed at world travelers; if you are looking for ultra-lightweight hiking tents, then please stay posted by joining us on Facebook.