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Gossamer Gear’s “The One” Ultralight Tent Review

The Gossamer Gear One Tent is a spacious, well-ventilated tent with excellent head room and living space.
The Gossamer Gear One Tent is a spacious, well-ventilated tent with excellent head room and living space.

Gossamer Gear "The One" Ultralight Tent

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Excellent

Gossamer Gear's "The One" ultralight 1-person tent ($299) is an ultralight, single-walled trekking-pole tent that weighs 21.65 oz. It has a spacious interior that's a palace for one, with excellent ventilation to help prevent internal condensation.

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Gossamer Gear’s “The One” ultralight 1-person tent ($299) is an ultralight, single-walled trekking-pole tent that weighs 21.65 oz. It has a spacious interior that’s a palace for one, with excellent ventilation to help prevent internal condensation. Factory seam-taped, there’s no need to seam seal The One which is made with an ultralight PU coated silnylon fabric instead of cuben fiber to help keep its price competitive. If you’re looking for an easy-to-pitch ultralight tent that’s value priced, it’s easy to like Gossamer Gear’s The One.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight: 21.65 oz, includes guylines
  • Fabric: high tenacity nylon blended sil/pu coating, waterproof to at least 1200mm (7d canopy, 10d floor)
  • Dimensions: 36″ (head) x 24″ (foot) x 88″ (length) x 46″ (height)
  • Seam: Taped, no seam sealing required
  • Minimum number of stakes to pitch 6; 10 recommended
  • Color: Green, translucent

Design

The One is basically a A-frame style tarp-tent with front vestibule and rear awning attached. The front vestibule is quite large with a zippered center opening which can be closed shut in inclement weather, or partially or completely rolled back for views and ventilation. It’s also large enough to store your pack under one of the doors and get in and out through the other.

The front vestibule is quite large with plenty of gear storage
The front vestibule is quite large with plenty of gear storage.

The wall facing the front vestibule is solid mesh, with an offset zipper so you can get in and out easily without knocking over the trekking pole. The rear vestibule is more of an awning than a full vestibule, designed to cover a large rear mesh vent that extends down from the ceiling.

The rear vestibul eis basically just an awning, covering the high vent over the solid back wall
The rear of The One is basically just an awning, covering the high vent over the solid back wall (interior view) and preventing rain from blowing into the tent.

The back wall below the vent is solid fabric and there is no access through it. When pitching the tent, you just need to be cognizant of the fact that one side has a door and the other doesn’t.

The One has mesh vents at the head and foot ends (show here) of the bathtub floor to vent additional moisture
The One has mesh vents at the head and foot ends (show here) of the bathtub floor to vent additional moisture

There are also two vents in the bathtub floor at the head and foot ends of the tents positioned where people tend to vent the most moisture at night, by exhaling it or through perspiration. While you can’t close these vents, you can block airflow by staking the exterior canopy outside them low to the ground or by blocking the vents with clothing or gear.

Linloc tensioners on the guylines make it easy to get a taut pitch
Linelocs on the guylines make it easy to get a taut pitch

Setup

Setting up The One in good weather is quite straightforward. Simply find a fairly flat pitch and, stake out one side of the green canopy keeping the guylines very loose with lots of slack. Stake out the other side of the canopy the same way, insert the poles and stake them down. Walk around the tent and tighten the guylines until you get a taut pitch. With the yellow bathtub hanging from canopy, you’ll need 6 stakes (10 if you also stake out the floor). If you want you can also insert your pole tips into grommets along the long side of the bathtub floor and attach the poles to tie outs along the side walls to help open up the interior space. There are a lot of variations on this basic recipe that will work.

When setting up the tent, you can attach the tent walls to your poles with a piece of fabric and a cordlock for more structural support
When setting up the tent, you can attach the tent walls to your poles with an included piece of fabric w\ a cord-lock for more structural support and to help open the interior space.

In bad weather, you can adjust the amount of air blowing under the front vestibule by lowering the pole height and pulling the front vestibule canopy guylines as close to the ground as possible. Gossamer Gear also provides you with additional guyline and attachment points on the tent so you can further secure the tent to the ground. However, given the size of this tent and its wind profile, your best bet is to stay out of heavy wind and find a more sheltered tent site.

Livability

The interior of The One is spacious and well-appointed. A clothesline runs along the ceiling where you can dry your socks at night along with a hook so you can hang a light. There’s also side mesh pocket where you can stow your glasses or phone so you don’t roll onto them at night.

While the tent fabric is translucent, you really can't see into the tent in daylight unless items are flush against the fabric
While the tent fabric is translucent, you really can’t see into the tent in daylight unless items are flush against the fabric

But the clincher is the amount of space in the interior of the tent. Measuring 88″ long, you an easily fit a 6 foot sleeping pad inside without your face or toes touching the ceiling at the ends where the roof slopes down. The bathtub floor is tapered, with a head end that’s 36″ inches wide and a foot end 24″ wide, and there’s plenty of extra space next to a 20″ sleeping pad to keep gear close at hand during the night. You can also easily sit upright inside the tent (the apex height is 46″) and get dressed or undressed without having to be a contortionist.

The only livability issue with The One is the translucency of the canopy fabric. While it is opaque enough to block anyone from seeing though the tent, the canopy lets a lot of light into the interior. This can be good or bad, depending on your to light sensitivity. If you like to wake up at first light and get an early start, the translucent fabric will be a win. But if moonlight lighting up the inside of your tent bothers you, you may be less thrilled. Just be aware that it’s a potential issue with this tent. (I can’t use most cuben fiber tents or tarps for just this reason.)

Recommendation

Weighing just 21.65 ounces, Gossamer Gear’s “The One” ($299) is an awesome value if you’re looking for a spacious and well-ventilated ultralight backpacking tent. With abundant floor space and covered storage, The One is long enough to fit tall backpackers as well as those who want more headroom and floor width. Factory seam-taped, there’s no need to seam seal The One before use, which is a definitely improvement over other cottage tent makers who are still using all silnylon fabrics. But like most ultralight tents, good campsite selection skills are important to minimize floor abrasion and wind exposure.

Likes

  • Factory seam sealed
  • Roomy interior
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Packs up very small
  • Great value for $299

Dislikes

  • Translucent fabric transmits light
  • Limited wind worthiness, best used in sheltered locations
  • 1200 mm waterproofing is at the low-end of the range
  • Low denier floor requires extra care in campsite selection
  • Tent stakes not included

Disclosure: Gossamer Gear provided the author with a tent for this review.

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23 comments

  1. Is this GG’s first UL Tent?
    I think they had a tarp a few years back, but I might be mistaken.

    • This is the second coming of “The One” which was originally named because it was a 16 ounce tent made with a precursor of cuben fiber called spinnaker fabric. While this version is much better than the old version and much easier to set up, it’s gained a little weight.

      • I’ve also gained some weight so I’m surely better than the old version of me…

        In your opinion, how does this compare to the Tarptent Notch?

      • Much more interior space, but one door instead of two and less weatherproof. Of course not having to seam seal the One is a nice benefit.

  2. Are you sure you didn’t mean 12,000 mm hydrostatic head instead of 1200? 1200 mm is barely water resistant.

    • Yep 1200 mm is barely water resistant although it’s arguable that a water pressure test has little to with
      reality. In practice, the most important way to ensure waterproofing is seam taping your tent. That’s where it will leak if it leaks.

      For comparison purposes: tarptent uses a 3000 mm silnylon on all of their tents, while Hilleberg uses a 12,000 mm floor. Many mainstream mfgs (the type sold in REI) now use 1200 mm fabric like Gossamer Gear.

  3. Did this feel more comfortable and durable than the TarpTent 1p? Thanks!

  4. You use a blindfold ever? I have an extra large bandanna for that purpose. I use it hiking, traveling and at home, even, sometimes.

    • It’s just easier to get a tent or hammock tarp that blocks the light. I’m fine with that.

      • I’m planning to hike in Iceland in a couple of years when I retire, of course in summer. I like the idea of the Hilleberg Niak, but even the green may not be dark enough to block out the nighttime light. Eye masks drive me crazy, so if I go with the Niak, I may have to rig something that adds a bit of extra weight. But I figure the adventure will be worth it.

      • I bet it is dark enough. The red is. But check out the Tarptent Stratospire 1. That’s my first choice for Scotland where daylight is also an issue in May. Super wind worthy.

      • I have looked at that one. I’ll have to ask a friend who has the Double Rainbow how much light gets through that gray material. The Stratospire can be had with a solid wall inner. That sounds good for the wind blown volcanic sand in Iceland — from what I’ve read, that is a desirable option depending on where one hikes. Seems like I read the Niak can be had with a solo interior, too

    • I have a Zpacks cuben fiber tent. I really like the light that gets through… especially moonlight. It’s etheral and seems yet one more connection to the universe of which I’m a part. Forget the blindfold!

  5. Taking a hammock out of the equation, do you have a favorite tent for 3 season back packing on the AT?

    • Not really. Conditions on AT are identical to the White Mountains and Maine, where a mosquito hammock really is the best shelter. If you plan to hike the AT with the herd, you’d be much better off in a hammock, since tent space can be hard to come by at the shelters and the tent sites are so awful, but you can hang a hammock anywhere there are two trees.

      My next tent will be purchased for use in Scotland and is likely to be a Tarptent Stratospire 1 or a Solomid with an inner tent.

  6. I used the new model of The One in both mountain and desert environments this year. I agree with all the review comments except for ventilation. In the desert environment there was no condensation. At 10500 feet on a cool night with the rain fly closed it rained condensation inside the tent! Happy with the tent except for the condensation issue.

  7. Nice review Phil. I see GG just came out with “The Two” as well. It appears to be a slightly larger version of the One with dual doors/vestibules.

  8. A good edition to the ultralight lineup. But, if you’ve got the money, I’d recommend the Zpacks Duplex. For the same weight you get MUCH more space and better waterproof ratings. I use my Duplex for all 4 seasons with a big Siberian husky. The added space is a significant bonus. As is the option for the Zpacks to be freestanding. At a price, of course.

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