I’ve gone backpacking many times in my life, and over the years I came across many different problems, but the toughest ones I had were with the tent I was carrying. It’s difficult to find an adequate tent for backpacking and I had to re-learn a lot of what I learned when buying tents for camping. However, after some years I finally learned my lessons.
Today, I will help you find the best 1 person tents for backpacking and learn what kind of things you should look for in a tent like this.
What to Consider When Buying
Getting a tent for backpacking is quite a different endeavor than getting one for regular camping. You need to weigh your options a little differently, and today I will tell you just how to do it.
This is one of the first things you should think about when purchasing a tent that you plan to take with you when backpacking. You’re going to be doing a lot of hiking and lugging around a huge tent on your back is not going to do wonders for you unless you’re quite strong. I don’t know how strong you are, but you can probably guess what you can or can’t carry comfortably.
Some might think that buying a lighter tent also means that you’re buying a lower quality tent – this is simply not true at all. These days even some lighter materials can be quite sturdy, and weight is not a good judge of quality so don’t buy a heavier tent that you can barely carry just because you think that weight equals durability. It might just break your back in the long run.
Another greatly important factor is the size of the tent. For starter, it’s important because it greatly affects the weight of the tent. You shouldn’t get a tent that’s incredibly large unless you can comfortably carry it or stuff it in a bag. When backpacking, you always ought to keep the weight you’re carrying to a minimum.
On the other hand, you also shouldn’t get a tent that’s too small for you to sleep in comfortably. You won’t cover a lot of ground if you’re waking up each morning hurting all over because you can’t sleep comfortably. You should always look for a tent that you can comfortably fit in and sleep in. Even when you buy a tent like this, you shouldn’t instantly go backpacking without at least trying it out once. Go camping for a night and see if the tent fits you properly. Once you are on the road, it’s a bit more difficult to get a different one.
You should also consider if the tent you’re getting has enough space for your gear. You don’t want to leave everything you’re carrying outside and if you can’t fit it into your tent that is a huge issue.
Not all tents can withstand any weather, and you should keep that in mind when purchasing them. There are tents made for just one season, that are only useful in the summer and those built for two, three or even all four seasons, each type being sturdier and more resistant to harsh weather than the last.
However, while multi-seasonal tents are better for shielding you from the elements they are also made from thicker materials and are bulkier. If you don’t need a tent that can withstand heavy rain and you’re just backpacking during a summer vacation, you ought to get a tent that’s fit for one or two seasons.
Overall, your choice depends on the time of year when you’re going backpacking and the places you intend to visit on the way.
Last, but not least, is the durability of the tent you’re getting. If you’re going backpacking to unknown places the chance of being able to replace a tent that breaks on the way is quite small, which is why buying a durable tent is high on the priority list.
You need to examine each part of the tent and make sure they are all well-made and able to withstand a lot of punishment. There are the obvious parts, like the poles, the stakes, and the walls, but you should also make sure the floor is not prone to ripping or leaking. Another often overlooked part is the zippers – if they don’t close properly or don’t have covers they are the parts that most often let water into the tent.
Make sure that the tent you buy will at least last you for the entire trip unless you want to lose your precious travel money on buying a replacement or staying at a motel.
Top 5 Best 1 Person Tents
Before I settled on a few tents which I like the best and which work well for backpacking, I tried a lot of different ones. Here are some of the best ones I used over the years.
#1 ALPS Mountaineering Lynx
This is quite a good tent that might be a bit snug for larger people but will fit most quite well. It is durable and resistant to most of the elements, so you can use it in almost any weather. It won’t break or rip easily though the stitches are a bit suspect and you might want to reinforce this tent with something if you’ve been using it for a while.
One of the great things about this tent is the gear storage compartment that it has. It allows you to easily store most of your gear without having to compromise sleeping space in favor of it. It has been one of my favorite things about it.
Another useful thing is the easy setup process. I usually have some trouble setting up tents, but this one was quite easy, even for someone as clueless as me.
However, it was a bit difficult to carry due to being a bit heavier than average. Even the lighter version of this tent weighs in at almost 4 pounds while the total weight is well over that. It packs up quite nicely, but some of you might find the weight to be a serious negative, just like I did.
#2 Eureka! Solitaire Tent
One of the best parts of this tent is just how compact and light it is. It’s not even 3 pounds! You can carry it around with ease, and it won’t take up too much space in your bags.
However, it is quite a roomy tent, and most people will be able to fit into it, along with their gear. You won’t have to worry about not having enough space.
While fitting into it is easy, getting out of it is a different matter altogether. If you happen to get up a lot during the night, this tent is just not for you. Crawling out of it in the morning is a long struggle that I wouldn’t wish upon most people.
Another issue with it is the fact that it isn’t exceptionally well made. Most of its parts are quite flimsy, and this is certainly a situation that doesn’t defy the stereotype of light tents being incredibly flimsy.Despite that, it is well-insulated, so you won’t be cold inside of it, but it might not last for long which is quite a shame since it is good.
#3 Snugpak The Ionosphere
This tent is quite low-profile, easy to pack up and doesn’t weight too much for something of this size. Most people will be able to fit well inside of it along with some of their gear. I haven’t had problems fitting into it.
Getting in and out of it is a bit of an issue though. It’s not impossible, just difficult, and a zipper on the side would help a lot in that regard.Still, even if you struggle a bit with getting in and out, you won’t have to worry too much about ripping it. This tent is made from some highly durable materials that won’t budge easily.
Sadly, it’s not as waterproof as I may like, but it does come with a tent fly that can make it better for harsher weather.
Another great addition to this package is the repair kit. It’s surprisingly rare to see that, but it’s an awesome addition that will allow you to make repairs while on the road if anything happens to the tent.
Overall it’s a great tent for almost any type of weather, though you might get a little bit hot inside of it during the summer months due to lack of proper ventilation.
#4 ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr
This is a tent that’s made so that even two people can fit into it, making it great for backpacking and you can share it with someone who’s in trouble. However, for one person, it’s quite large, and anyone can fit into it with ease.
That’s part of the problem though – it makes this tent quite heavy, almost five pounds. It’s almost a pound heavier than most other backpacking tents you will come across, and if you can’t afford the extra weight, it’s not for you.
With that said, this is also quite a sturdy tent that will be able to withstand most types of harsh weather and won’t break easily. It can suffer a lot of abuse and come out the other end in one piece.
You might have some trouble setting it up though since it has a peculiar shape and the instructions are bad. It took me quite a while to get the hang of it.
Unlike most other backpacking tents, getting in and out of this one is not difficult and it has two doors that you can use to comfortably get in or out.Though it is a well-made product, it does cost a lot and doesn’t come with a footprint, which you have to buy separately.
#5 Mountainsmith Morrison
Here we have quite a sturdy tent that’s meant to last through a lot of harsh weather. It’s a three season tent so that’s to be expected and it won’t leak or anything of the sort. It's solidly built, and most parts of it are made from durable materials.
There’s plenty of space in this tent, and two people can fit into it if it’s needed. Getting in and out is easy through the two doors that are on it, and you won’t have trouble assembling it either. It’s good for the most part.
Of course, there are some issues, but they are not huge. The ventilation is not great, so it will be hot in the summer months, but you also won’t be cold in the fall and spring, so that’s a decent compromise. The vestibules on it are also not large enough, or so it seems.
The worst part is the weight – it’s almost 6 pounds, and with the footprint, it’s even more. It’s more than most backpacking tent and if you want to travel light, this is not the tent you should be carrying with you even if you’re traveling with another person.
These are all fine tents, and I mostly enjoyed using all of them, but the one I still use to this day is Snugpak The Ionosphere since it is so good. It’s a compact tent that’s incredibly lightweight, and it just doesn’t break down, even in the harshest conditions. Getting in and out of it is a chore, but I got the hang of it after a few dozen times, so it’s not that big of a deal for me now. Overall, it’s a great tent, and I would recommend it for most backpackers, especially those keeping a low profile.
What are your favorite tents for backpacking? Comment on that and share this article if it was helpful to you.
- How To Pick The Right Camping Tent – Let’s Find The Best Outdoor Shelter!
- Choose the Best Eight Person Tent and Enjoy Your Camping With Friends and Family
- Tired of Time Consuming Tent Setups? Take a Look at 5 of the Best Pop-Up/Instant Tents
- The 5 Best Single-Person Tents To Have When Backpacking
- The 5 Best 4-person Tents You Can Buy Right Now
- Going On A Camping Trip With Your Family? Take A Look At The Best 12 Person Tents On The Market First