One-person tents are a bit of an enigma in the outdoors world. On the one hand, their small size makes them lighter, more compact, and (usually) more affordable than their larger siblings. On the other hand, a smaller footprint has its sticking points: There's less room to stretch out, less space to store gear, and less room for features that increase livability.
If you're shopping for the best one-person tent for your next solo adventure, there are six words you'll want to familiarize yourself with: "Lightweight, comfortable, and affordable: Pick two." It's a tough decision, but here are six of our favorite models to get you started in the right direction.
Sea to Summit Alto TR 1 Tent
The Alto TR1 is a classic Sea to Summit design: High-quality materials, innovative construction, and a premium price tag to match. In our testing, this shelter performed well in every metric: It's lightweight, packs down small, stays dry in the worst weather, and provides excellent ventilation in all conditions.
Sea To Summit's tension ridge system makes the most of the Alto's available interior space (it's the tallest tent on our list), and the exterior vestibule provides ample storage for your pack and boots. You'll pay extra for Alto's tech, but it's worth every penny if you've got the budget.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1
Big Agnes' Copper Spur line of shelters is known for delivering outstanding livability without a weight penalty, and the Copper Spur HV UL1 is one of the most comfortable "ultralight" options out there for solo campers.
It features top-notch material quality, storage is fantastic both inside and out, and the rainfly even converts into a shady awning with the help of your trekking poles when the weather is good. The floor and rainfly are made from thin materials (to help keep the Copper Spur's weight down), so you'll want to be mindful of where and how you pitch it, otherwise, this shelter earns high marks across the board.
REI Co-op Half Dome 1 Plus
The REI Co-op Half Dome 1 Plus falls under the "comfortable and affordable" category, but this shelter is by no means cheaply made. REI specs the Half Dome with a high-quality DAC aluminum pole set and a rugged 70D nylon floor, so it's built to go the distance.
The Half Dome also boasts the roomiest interior on our list with over 24 square feet of floor space, 40 inches of headroom, and vertical walls, so if you don't mind taking its 4-pound weight penalty, you'll enjoy every moment you spend in this shelter.
Nemo Hornet 1P
The Nemo Hornet 1P weighs in at just 2 pounds even. Typically to get a one-person tent that light, you have to sacrifice some serious interior space, but through some kind of technological wizardry, Nemo managed to pack over 22 square feet of floor space into the Hornet (making it the second-largest option on our list) and it has an impressive 39 inches of headroom.
Its single-pole design is quick and easy to pitch, its sil-nylon fabric is rainproof and surprisingly tough, and the whole thing takes up less than 1.5 liters of space in your pack.
Marmot Tungsten Ultralight 1P
If ever there were a one-person tent that broke our "pick two" rule, it would be the Marmot Tungsten Ultralight 1P. The Tungsten might not have made our list under normal circumstances, but it's currently on sale in many places for well under $350, which is a great deal for a tent this good.
The Tungsten UL weighs in at a respectable 2 pounds 9.5 ounces and uses premium materials (we particularly like the polyester fly/nylon canopy mix). It boasts respectable interior dimensions with just under 20 square feet of floor space and 38 inches of headroom. It's a smart compromise at the current price, and also happens to come with a lifetime warranty.
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1P
If you're looking for a high-quality, one-person tent on a shoestring budget, the Alps Mountaineering Lynx should be at the top of your list. Simple, robust, and effective, the Lynx provides a respectable 20 square feet of floor space, durable waterproofing, a simple freestanding "clip-in" design, and durable 75D polyester in both the fly and canopy.
It's not quite as spacious as the Half Dome and weighs about the same at just over 4 pounds, but the Lynx is almost always on sale for under $200, making it an outstanding value for the money.
Well, there you have it. Six of the best one-person tents currently on the market that represent every possible combination of the "lightweight, comfortable, affordable" continuum. Regardless of your budget, any one-person tent you choose strikes some degree of compromise between the three. If you don't mind carrying a larger and/or heavier pack, by all means, buy as much tent as you want. Otherwise, it's time to figure out how much (or how little) sleeping/storage area you're willing to live with and narrow down your search from there.
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