The Best One Person Tent for Lightweight Backpacking

Home » Camping » Shelters » Tents » The Best One Person Tent for Lightweight Backpacking


If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best single person tent is, we recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx One Person Tent.

For some, camping is a way to have a unique family vacation. Pack up the cabin tent, grab a few cots to sleep on, and don’t forget the grill because kabobs are for dinner tonight! For others, camping is a means of exploration, adventure, and escape, which means being weighed down with a lot of gear is antithetical to their purpose.

Tents are especially well known for adding a lot of bulk and weight to your pack, and sometimes even a 2 person tent is still too much…tent. If you feel the same way, take a gander through this review where we’ll be talking about some of the best one person tents.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following one person tents:

Space

tent pitched on cracked desert land

If you want to go with a single person tent, hopefully you know what you’re getting into when it comes to space. Gone will be the days of storing your pack and boots inside the tent with you. In fact, you might even have a hard time fitting you in the tent, if you consider yourself to be a big person. A one person tent is essentially a glorified bivy sack – there’s enough there to keep you sheltered from the wind and rain, but barely enough to keep you from feeling claustrophobic.

Of course, if you just see your tent as a place to crawl into for a few winks of sleep before getting on with your life, there’s nothing better than a single person tent. Just remember that your gear will be outside, unprotected if a storm rolls through. Make sure you have a good backpack rain cover to help keep the weather from wreaking havoc on your food and spare clothes.

Weight

Possibly the whole reason you’re getting a one person tent in the first place is because of the weight. If weight doesn’t matter to you, than you might as well upgrade to a 2 person tent and give yourself that extra room to move around in and store your gear.

Many single person tents hover around the 2-3 pound mark, while it’s common to find 2 person tents in the 4-5 pound range. That additional pound or two might not seem like much, but if you’ve ever been backpacking before, you know that every ounce counts. Some folks even take this philosophy so far that they cut their toothbrushes in half in order to stay lighter. If that sounds like something you would do…well, no judgment here.

At the end of the day, will you really feel that extra pound? Probably. When it comes to backpacking, never underestimate the fatigue that extra water bottle, lantern, or other item will give you after carrying it for your 8th straight hour. It does add up, and the difference between a single person tent and a 2 person tent is substantial.

Packaged Weight vs. Minimum Trail Weight

camping backpack on a man hiking up a snow covered mountain

As a little aside, while we’re still talking about tent weight, I’d just like to briefly explain the difference between packaged weight and minimum trail weight. You’ll often see these specs on any tent that you’re looking to buy, and the various numbers are notorious for confusing campers.

See, while practically every tent manufacturer lists the weight of their product, there’s actually no standardized way to measure tent weight in the industry. Because of this, you’ll sometimes see companies exaggerating how light their product actually is.

But for a broad definition, we’ll put it this way:

Packaged weight refers to the total weight of your tent and all of its accessories (i.e. tent stakes).
Minimum trail weight can be a little trickier to explain, but it’s generally referred to as the weight of all components needed to keep you dry. This does not include tent stakes, a footprint, guylines, or stuff sacks.

Packaged weight is going to be the more accurate number to go by, since it’s likely that you’re going to want your tent stakes! Among many of the other things too, for that matter. In general, don’t get thrown off guard when you see multiple weights listed next to the same product – just scan for the packaged weight, and you’ll be golden.

Easy Setup

tent and bike set up next to trees and a lake

If you’re buying a one person tent, you’re probably camping by yourself. That means, you’ll have to do everything by yourself, including the process of pitching your tent. No one wants to waste time with complicated instructions, or mechanisms that are hard to put together. Finding a tent that’s simple to set up, even when you’re alone, is one of the top qualities that we look for in a product.

Seasonality

green tent pitched by a rock and sign in the mountains

Most folks only pitch their tent during the more temperate months of the year, unless they’ve discovered the joys of winter camping. As such, 3 season tents are by far the most popular style on the market. Because it isn’t as important to stay insulated against cold temperatures, 3 season tents tend to be lighter, have more mesh panels, and sometimes fewer poles, making them perfect companions on long backpacking trips. Most of the time, you can get away with using these tents until the beginning of winter, depending on where you are in the world.

On the other hand, 4 season tents (sometimes referred to as “mountaineering tents”) are designed to withstand strong winds and heavy amounts of snow. To reach this level of stability, more poles are typically used, and extra layers of fabric make up the walls to provide better insulation and durability. As you might expect, this makes the tent substantially heavier than its 3 season counterpart, but there’s not much you can do about that if you want to stay alive in rough conditions.

Durability

And finally, it’s incredibly important to find a shelter that’s going to hold up for a long time. Camping is rough, especially on your tent which is taking the full force of the wind, rain, and other elements. Maybe it’ll survive your first couple of trips, but what about a year or two down the road? Some tents start off strong, only to have their poles snap or the waterproof coating come off after a handful of uses.

Occasionally, a tent that’s normally great will have a bad egg. An error might occur during manufacturing, or it could get damaged during the shipping process – in these cases, there’s not much you can do other than make sure the company has good customer service. Other times, the tent itself is faulty in general, no matter which one is sent to you. These are the ones we want to avoid.

Best One Person Tent Reviews

Clostnature One Person Tent


I always like to save my dessert for last, so I’m just going to jump into what I don’t like about Clostnature’s tent first. Simply put, it’s heavier than I want to see in a single person tent. 3.7 pounds might not seem like much (and it’s really not), but I’ve definitely seen better out there as well. But of course, if you don’t mind, that’s what really matters here.

Other than that, it’s hard for me to find anything to complain about. I’m a big fan of the bathtub style floor, since I feel it’s the best way to protect yourself against ground water. The rainfly is also great at repelling water, and it’s easy for one person to throw on top and strap down into place.

There are 2 aluminum poles, lightweight and incredibly durable, which makes for a solid structure that’s still easy to pack up and carry. There aren’t any sleeves to slide the poles through either, so you don’t run the risk of accidentally putting a hole in the fabric. Just place the ends of the poles in the corner grommets, and snap the tent clips onto them to lift up the roof.

Pros:

– Bathtub floor
– Weatherproof material
– No pole sleeves
– Well ventilated
– Rainfly doesn’t touch the interior mesh, helping reduce condensation buildup

Cons:

– Weight
– It’s not very tall

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx One Person Tent


The Lynx one person tent is powerhouse, great for rough conditions of any kind. Set up is simple, and can be done in under 2 minutes, if you’ve had a little practice under your belt. The tent is freestanding, using 2 aluminum poles to keep it upright, so it’s incredibly easy for one person to put it together. Just make sure you stake it out properly, otherwise water may get in because the rainfly isn’t able to direct the flow like it was designed to do.

If you’re a bigger person, you might notice that the tent doesn’t really leave much room for anything other than you. However, it’s still incredibly comfortable, and having it hug you so snugly means that it’ll heat up fast and keep you warm during the night.

And just because it doesn’t have much internal storage (though there are quite a few mesh pockets), it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your gear protected. There’s a vestibule that you can stake out, creating a good amount of shelter for such a small tent. Depending on the size of your pack, you could easily hide it under the rainfly, and possibly your boots too.

Pros:

– Very durable
– Good sized vestibule
– Fast and easy setup
– Well insulated
– Nice ventilation

Cons:

– Footprint sold separately
– A bit on the heavy side, though it’s not as bad if you replace the steel stakes with aluminum ones

Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking Tent

With a minimum trail weight of 2 pounds, 11 ounces, we’re finally entering the territory of ultralightweight backpacking. Part of the reason Featherstone’s backpacking tent is so light is because of the single pole construction. It’s considered semi-freestanding, but don’t worry about it falling over when you don’t want it to – once you’ve got everything set up, it’s not going anywhere. But because it only has one pole, it’s incredibly easy to pick up, shake out, or move to a new location with minimal effort. I have a 3 person tent with a similar construction, and absolutely love this aspect of it.

In terms of actual design, it’s very similar to the MSR Hubba Hubba, but at a fraction of the cost. Quality doesn’t seem to be an issue, as the stitching is well done, and the bathtub floor is thoroughly taped and sealed. It’s a tight squeeze, especially for larger folks, but that’s not something you can complain about too much if you’re getting a one person tent.

Pros:

– Lightweight
– Well designed
– Sealed well against the weather
– Bathtub floor
– Single pole for easy setup and mobility

Cons:

– Rainfly is a little difficult to attach, unless you’re great at tying knots

TETON Backpacking Tent

A one of a kind on this review, we’ve got our first and only pop-up tent to talk about. Yes, you heard that right: it’s a one person pop-up tent. TETON’s backpacking tent made something that was already easy to put together even easier to set up.

To get it all ready for the night, all you have to do is roll it out, stake it down, lock the poles in place, and pull the drawstring. It’s that simple. Of course, with the addition of the fancy mechanisms needed to make setup this easy, you’re putting on a few pounds of weight. At 5 pounds, you’ll have to decide whether the added convenience is worth the weight. For me, it wouldn’t be, but for other’s I’m sure it would.

The rainfly is waterproof, though it doesn’t extend all the way to the ground. For full coverage, you’ll have to get the Elite rainfly, sold separately for an extra $20. In all, it does hold up against the weather like a champ, and it only takes a handful of minutes to take it down again. If sleeping on the ground isn’t your thing, it is possible to pair this shelter with a cot, to lift you off the ground a few inches.

Pros:

– Nearly instant setup
– Can be converted into a tent cot
– Does well in bad weather
– Quite comfortable when paired with a cot

Cons:

– Honestly, you’ll want to buy the Elite rainfly
– Heavy for a one person tent

Kazoo Backpacking Tent

Known for being eco-friendly, Kazoo only uses recycled materials for their tents, and this product is no different. Weighing in at 3.3 pounds, it’s about what I would consider average for most single person tents. And you know what? I can live with average in this case.

The tent is freestanding, making use of a couple aluminum poles for support. It’s double layered with mesh on the inside and the waterproof rainfly on the outside, helping you to stay both dry and well insulated. The large D shaped door offers good ventilation, and an easier way to get in and out of the tent (though, that can be a struggle no matter what the door shape is).

Additionally, it also comes with decent tent stakes, which is more than can be said about most shelters out there. If you want a vestibule, you’ll have to stake out the entrance flap, which isn’t too big of an issue, on dry nights especially.

Pros:

– Decent weight
– Made from recycled materials
– Doesn’t struggle in bad weather
– Comes with good stakes
– Freestanding with good ventilation

Cons:

– Doesn’t come with a footprint

Price

one person tent price money on a table

It’s really easy to find cheap, one person backpacking tents if you look for them. The issue when you go with any random product, however, is that you may be sacrificing on quality for the sake of saving money.

Now, obviously I don’t want you to go spending a fortune, which is why I did my best to find some of the most cost effective one person camping tents. Find something super expensive, you’re probably paying for the brand more than anything; find something super cheap, and you’ll probably find that it’s heavier than you wanted, or it doesn’t do a good job of keeping the water out.

My mentality has always been to spend a little extra initially, to get a really high quality product, so that I can save money in the future (because I don’t have to keep buying low quality products that I need to keep replacing). This is especially true when it comes to any one person backpacking tent that I pick up. But to get the best of both worlds, I like to combine my two favorite things in the search bar: backpacking and Amazon. Still, for added comfort, durability, and overall longevity, it’s worth it to spend a little more on a high quality shelter that will keep you protected wherever you go.

Wall Construction

one person tent in a grassland next to water and a sunset

When it comes to tent style, their are two different ways you can go: single walled and double walled. If you’ve done any camping in your life, chances are you’ve stayed in a double walled tent, as these are the most common, and the type that we would personally recommend to practically everyone. Comprised of the tent body with mesh walls and roof, and the rainfly for protection from the elements, it’s the most comfortable and sturdy option by far. The mesh helps keep condensation from hitting you after it builds up on the inside of the rainfly, especially when you’re roughing it in a warm and wet climate.

Single walled tents lack the mesh liner, so they’re popular among ultralight backpackers who are looking to ditch whatever weight they can. Obviously, the tent will still keep you dry in a rain shower, but you can expect to get soaked with condensation. It’s not a very pleasant experience, which is why we almost exclusively promote double walled tents! Ultimately, though, it’s up to you what choice you end up going with, depending on your own personal needs.

In Conclusion

tent set up in a green forest

Single person tents are great for those of us who like to explore – and sometimes, when we want to escape from other human contact as well. Most often, you won’t find them in a traditional campground, because the weight of the tent doesn’t matter as much in a car camping situation. No, these tiny titans are often reserved for true backcountry adventures.

Considering what they’re used for, we liked the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx one person tent the most. The weight is average, but it’s possible to get it under 3 pounds if you make a few adjustments (such as switching out the stakes for lighter versions). The design also makes it easy to trap body heat, helping you to stay warm if you’re camping at elevation or during the colder months. Wrap that all up with how easy it is to put together and take down, and the ALPS tent is a great option for backpackers of all kinds.


Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Spencer Yeomans

Spencer Yeomans

A lover of the outdoors, and especially the mountains, Spencer has always enjoyed pushing people to step outside their comfort zones. His mission is to help others get out of their homes to have fun and stay active in nature.

1 thought on “The Best One Person Tent for Lightweight Backpacking”

  1. I enjoy hiking and camping with my 3lb 2 man tent now for30 plus years. Sets up in 5 minutes and tear down in less time. Rated for 180 miles per hour winds, quick snap on rain fly, and most often I never use the stakes. I have camped in a 50 mph wind didn’t stake it down with my 25 lb sleeping bag and pack pack to keep it from blowing away. Can invite a friend to join me with plenty of room to spare. Have camped in 30 degrees and was very warm in my kelty tent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Get My guide for FREE!

New to rock climbing and don’t know where to start? It’s an intimidating sport, but contrary to what you might initially think, it’s not completely inaccessible for beginners. To help you on your way, I’ve put together a guide I wish I had when I first started climbing. Drop your email in the box below to get a free copy today!