One person, solo backpacking tents are ideal if you’re thru-hiking, fast-packing, or backpacking big miles and want to trim your gear weight as low as possible. More livable than bivy sacks, one-person tents are designed for sleeping and bad weather protection. While some solo tents are more plush and spacious than others, you almost always have to choose between competing priorities including weight, ease of use, durability, and cost when selecting one. This can make it tough to choose between tents, especially since few stores have display models anymore.
Taking these different priorities into consideration, here are our picks for the top 10 one-person tents of 2022.
1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 is a spacious, freestanding double-wall tent that’s easy to set up and has a trail weight of just 34 oz. With a “porchable” side door, a high vent, and two-way door zips, the Copper Spur has lots of options to vent extra moisture, increase airflow, and reduce internal condensation. The side door makes getting in and out easy and the large front vestibule lets you store gear without blocking access. A ceiling pocket, media pockets, and internal hang points help keep your gear organized and tucked out of the way. A longtime backpacker favorite, the well-appointed Copper Spur strikes an excellent balance between luxury and low weight.
The REI Quarter Dome SL 1 is a one-person double-wall tent that weighs 31 oz. Despite its low weight, the interior is remarkably livable, with vertical sidewalls, numerous internal pockets to keep you organized, and a roof vent to help minimize internal condensation. A large vestibule provides plenty of extra gear storage, while the dual-zippered door makes it possible to vent the top while keeping the bottom sealed for wind protection and better privacy. Read the SectionHiker review.
Gossamer Gear’s “The One” is an ultralight, single-walled trekking-pole tent that weighs 17.7 oz. It has a spacious interior that’s a palace for one, with excellent ventilation to help prevent internal condensation. Made with 10d Sil/PU ripstop nylon, the One is factory seam-taped so you can use it without seam-sealing. The front vestibule is quite large with a zippered center opening which can be closed shut in inclement weather, or rolled back for views and ventilation. The vestibule is also large enough to store your pack under half the vestibule and get in and out through the other. Read our review. The One is also available with a Dyneema DCF rain fly and weighs 15.3 oz.
The 2022 Durston X-Mid 1P is a 28-ounce double-wall trekking pole tent that is exceptionally easy to set up. This 2-door tent is made of 20D polyester with a 2500mm sil/PEU coating and requires trekking poles to pitch. All of the seams are taped and the inner tent is optional so you can just use the rainfly if desired. The X-mid can be set up fly first in the rain to keep the inner tent dry and has plenty of interior gear storage space. This mid-style tent is quite stormworthy and includes extra guy out points for extreme conditions. Read the SectionHiker X-Mid 1P (V1) review. An updated two-person X-Mid 2P (36 oz) model will be available in autumn, 2022 with even more internal space.
The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 1 is a spacious 30 oz high-volume, double-wall tent with an easy-to-setup hubbed pole architecture (tent pole included). The large, dual-zipper door makes entry and exit easy and creates a large vestibule for ample gear storage. A large ceiling pocket and side pockets provide excellent storage space, while mesh sidewalls provide extra privacy. The high quality of the Tiger Wall and its durable construction have made it a backpacker favorite.
The newly redesigned 2022 MSR Hubba Hubba 1 is a freestanding 34 oz double wall tent with a side entrance and vestibule so you can store your extra gear undercover and still get in and out of the tent easily. The tent is easy to set up with a dual hub pole structure that provides excellent head and foot room, in addition to an overhead eyebrow pole that creates vertical sidewalls to increase livability. The carbon fiber pole structure provides excellent stability in wind conditions, while the rain fly vents help prevent internal condensation.
The 13.9 oz Zpacks Plex Solo is a single wall trekking pole tent made with Dyneema DCF which doesn’t stretch or sag at night and is extremely waterproof. It has a deep bathtub floor to keep you dry, steep walls to shed strong wind and snow, and a rainbow zipper that makes it easy to get in and out from either side of the front vestibule. Setup requires one trekking pole. If you’re a taller hiker or you want even more headroom, we recommend sizing up to the Zpacks AltaPlex Tent, which is virtually identical but has a longer bathtub floor. Read our review.
The Tarptent Aeon Li single-wall tarp tent has a floating bathtub-style floor and mesh front wall. Weighing 15.8 ounces, the Aeon Li is sized for one person plus their gear. It requires one trekking pole to pitch and has a front vestibule that can be fastened open in good weather. The Aeon Li is made with Dyneema DCF which is a very lightweight and waterproof laminate that doesn’t stretch under tension or when it gets wet. Dyneema DCF can be rather noisy in heavy rain and provides limited privacy since it’s translucent, but it is puncture resistant and easy to repair with Tyvek tape. Read our review.
The Sea-to-Summit TR 1 is a one-person 33 oz semi-freestanding double-wall tent that is lightweight and easy to pitch in tight spots. It has a single side door and vestibule that’s large enough to hold your pack without compromising access and is well ventilated to keep you cool and reduce internal condensation. One of the stand-out features of the tent is its interior volume in terms of headroom and spaciousness. The near-vertical walls and a five-sided inner tent make it possible to sit up fully, change your clothes, and store extra personal items inside that you want close to hand at night. Read our Review.
Weighing 33 oz, the NEMO DragonFly 1 is a lightweight double-wall tent with a side entrance and large vestibule for ample gear storage area The freestanding inner tent and hubbed pole architecture provides easy setup, with excellent ventilation between the inner tent and rainfly to help reduce tent condensation. Kick-stand vents encourage airflow, while the high bathtub floor prevents cold wind from chilling you inside. White mesh on the tent sides provides extra privacy, while black ceiling mesh is virtually transparent to provide bug-free star-gazing. The DragonFly has a 20d floor and 15d rainfly for increased durability and waterproofing.
Here are the most important variables to consider when buying a backpacking or camping tent.
WEIGHT/TRAIL WEIGHT – The total weight of a tent usually measures the tent and all of its packaging, while the trail weight is the weight of its poles, inner tent, outer rain fly, minus any tent stakes. Why the difference? Most people replace the tent stakes that come with a tent with lighter weight or stronger ones and leave all the extra stuff sacks and packaging at home rather than carry it.
TENT POLES – Tent poles are made using fiberglass, aluminum, or carbon fiber. Aluminum is the most durable of the three, while carbon fiber is normally only used in very high-end tents where the focus is on low weight. Fiberglass poles are the least durable tent poles and break frequently. So much so, that we recommend avoiding any tent with fiberglass poles. All the ones above have aluminum poles or use trekking poles. Most manufacturers who sell trekking pole tents offer regular tent poles as an add-on purchase.
DURABILITY – The floor of a tent is the part of a tent most likely to be punctured or torn as a result of ground abrasion. While using a footprint on floors that are 20 denier thick or less is always recommended, it’s far less necessary on 30 denier or higher floors, except on highly abrasive or rough terrain.
DOORS – Tents with two side doors are often preferable when purchasing a tent for two because it means each occupant can each get in and out without disturbing one another.
INTERIOR STORAGE – Interior pockets and storage organization is a plus in a multi-person tent. Look for internal pockets and gear loops to hang gear from the ceiling. A gear loft is an added bonus. Vestibule space is always a plus as well, but especially if there are multiple doors, so that gear storage does not block entry and exit.
VENTILATION – All tents experience tent condensation, but good tent site selection and ventilation are the best ways to avoid it. Look for tents that have lots of mesh netting to facilitate airflow, top vents to release moist air, and door tie-backs to roll up tent doors and keep them open at night.
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