Lightweight double-wall backpacking tents are making a comeback amongst ultralight backpackers with gear weights that rival their single-walled competitors. Double-wall tents have many advantages over single-walled tents, including:
- Less internal condensation
- Less drafty because they don’t have to be wind tunnels to combat internal condensation – meaning you can use many double-wall tents in autumn or winter when you’d freeze in a single-wall tent.
- Better privacy because they have less open mesh showing.
- Deeper bathtub-style floors that protect against accidental flooding on compacted tent sites.
- Factory seam taped, so you don’t have to seam seal the tent with silicone and paint thinner in your basement.
For example, compare the following two-person single-wall and double-wall tents. There are quite a few two-person double-wall tents available today that weigh less than their single-wall counterparts.
Lightweight Tents made with Conventional Fabrics
I’ve owned and used many single-wall shelters in my backpacking career, but my motivation to use them has diminished as double-wall shelters have come down in weight. There’s a lot to be said for a more comfortable double-wall tent when gear weight ceases to be a differentiating factor.
And while single-wall tents still tend to be lower cost, the pricing difference is not as great or universal in the two-person size. Many double-wall tents are also discounted by retailers, while those produced by cottage companies are almost never on sale.
- What’s your preference: a single-walled or a double-wall tent?
- Would that change if there was less of a price or weight difference between the two types of tents?