There is something quite freeing and exhilarating about heading out to the country or the wilderness alone. It takes confidence and guts to head out with a pack, a tent and basic supplies and spend a weekend – or maybe more – away from the urban world. These solo adventures require a secure, suitable camping tent in order to make the most of the experience. There are lots of options here. Some like to take a 2-person tent to the wood and create a spacious home-from-home for a few days. Others prefer something cozier that it truly a one-person tent.
The following tents are great examples of cozy, protective shelters where solo travelers can make the most of their trip. There are two different approaches here. The first set of tents are basically smaller versions of more typical camping tents. Some have pop-up, free-standing designs while others need a little more work. They should all offer the weatherproofing, storage and comfort required. The second set are bivy tents. This design won’t suit everyone, as they can seem a little to restrictive. However, these offer a cozy space and simple set up. Whichever style that you choose, it is important to look at the capacity, features and ease of use. Remember that there is no second pair of hands to help with the assembly process. This will be your trusted friend for the trip ahead, so it needs to be the right choice.
Best Lightweight 1 Person Tents
1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
To start things off, we have two tents from ALPS mountaineering. Both of these tents have different approaches to their style. But, the construction and features show the attention to detail that runs throughout this range. This first model is a cozy little backpackers tent with a lot of potential for the wet weather. The name Lynx suggests something powerful but compact, and there is something to that. The dimensions aren’t enormous, so there is little chance of sneaking in another person unless you are well acquainted. Those measurements are 2’8 x 7’6. There is also the issue that the center height is only 36’’. Even for a solo traveler, this is a bit short. Yet, this small size does help with a lower weigh. There is a total weight here of just 4lbs and 4oz, which means that it should be pretty easy to carry around.
The other benefit to this single person option is the promise of no “assembly frustration”, as they like to put it. The aim here is to have a completely free-standing tent with a simple two-pole design with helpful pole clips. Those poles are aluminum, which helps to explain the lighter weight. Other features of note here include the vestibule for extra storage space, which frees up some of that precious floor space, and the additional supports and weatherproofing items. There are stakes, guy ropes and a UV and water resistant fly.
2. ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1-Person Tent
There is a lot about this second ALPS Mountaineering tent that is very similar to the first. The name Mystique suggests that buyers might be in for a surprise here, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Instead, this model offer the same quality and attention to detail on the different elements as before. There are the same details to the weatherproofing. This includes the UV and water resistant fly, the covering over the vestibule and the ventilation of the mesh on the doors. There are also many of the same features within, such as the storage options and durable zippers. This means internal pockets and gear loft and more. Therefore, this is yet another top of the line tent that will keep solo travelers secure.
The main difference between these two models is the measurements. The dimensions here are 3’6 x 7’10. This might not sound like much on paper, but it does mean that there is a significant difference to the interior space when you compare them side by side. This may mean a little more room to stretch out at night, or a little more room for gear. Of course there is also that vestibule for gear storage, as needed. The downside here is that the center height is still just 36’’. Again, this is a lightweight, easy-to-use model with the aluminum two-pole structure. This extra inches only add a couple of ounces to the overall weight. This pack also retains the stakes and guy ropes that are so helpful on the other model. All in all, this is another, cosy and secure option for one-person camping.
3. Pop-up Tent An Automatic Instant Portable Cabana Beach Tent
The models above are both great examples of what can be achieved with minimal dimensions and the right materials. They show that even a small one-person tent can hold up to the elements and the wilderness. Then there are those tents that take a different approach. There are some small, one-person tents that are designed for more of a short-term deal. These pop tents are great little shelters for a day on the beach or one night in the woods, but not much more than that. This Cabana beach tent is a great example. This is a fun, open tent with great views of the world outside and easy access. Is has double doors and lots of mesh, but there are also nylon privacy flaps when required.
The use of the terms automatic, instant and portable in the product name show that there is a clear desire to seem like the quick and easy option here. They claim that it is up and ready to go in the blink of an eye, thank to the pop-up design. This is great for day trips and couples that don’t want to spend their afternoon messing with ropes and instructions. It should also be a great approach for first time solo travelers. However, there are some issues with the security here. It is all a little to simple and perhaps a little flimsy. There are concerns that this isn’t really built to last, and certainly won’t cut it against some of the tougher 3-season options.
4. Kelty Salida 1 Person Solo Camping Tent
There are many brands that will try and create a broad range of tents with the same features and design ideas across different capacities. Kelty is one such brand. The Salida range of tents is well-loved by backpackers and campers, with groups of different sizes enjoying the space and features within. The range is also a one-time award winner, which shows that the features really impressed critics when it first came out. The range may be a few years old now, but these tents still hold up to expectations with their ease of assembly and great features. This free-standing tent has a simple assembly process with color coded clips and attachments for the fly. There are also plenty of helpful storage solutions, from the internal pockets to the gear loft loops and vestibule for wet gear.
Another interesting features with the assembly is the fact that poles fold down. This creates a more compact form that is ideal for backpackers and solo travelers. The same is true of the cube carry bag that aids with transportation. This Salida model is more appealing to backpackers as a one-person tent because of these features and the dimensions. It has an internal floor area of 30.5 ft2, a vestibule of 10ft2 and a center height of 43’’. this means that it is the coziest Salida, but also the tallest in this list. In fact, there are some couples that could squeeze into this tent if they wanted with that headroom, as well as the large door.
5. Eureka! Solitaire 1 Person Camping Tent
Then there are the bivouac style tents for one-person traveling – or bivy tents for short. The style of these tents isn’t going to appeal to everyone. There is something familiar and pleasant about the headroom of the larger dome tents and the construction of a pop-up model. These options can seem a little cramped and short by comparison. However, there are also plenty of backpackers that appreciate the low profile and simple construction of these models. For example, this Eureka model has a basic two hoop frame with shock-corded fiberglass and nylon pole sleeves. This means that it should be up and ready in no time at all. An interesting addition to the design here is the extra entrance on the back of the tent. This is designed for ease of access, but also to open the tent up a little in kinder weather.
Of course the dimensions of this tent are always going to some small compared to the option above. This one is 96’’ long, 32’’ wide and just 28’’ high. This doesn’t allow for much room to move. However, there are still plenty of helpful features within the tent. There are two storage pockets inside, which provide ample room for personal devices and valuable, and also a flash light loop. This means you can rig up some make shift lighting to work, read and undress with two hands. This is also a 3 season tent, so there are no concerns about the waterproofing.
6. Snugpak The Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent
This SnugPak tent is a great example of that divide between dome tents and bivouac tents. This is sold as a dome tent – it is right there in the name. Yet, the sales photos and dimensions clearly show that this is a bivy tent at heart, and it doesn’t just have a “low profile”. Perhaps they felt that they would draw more people in with that dual name of Ionosphere and dome tent. This comparison to the bivy tent is clear when we look at the dimensions here compared to the Eureka tent above. This model is 94’’ long and 39’’ wide. This makes it just two inches shorter and 7 inches wider. It may not be as long and thin, but the shape is comparable – as is the 28’’ center height. This is a compact, cozy set-up with a single entry point, a breathable no-see-um mesh material and Featherlite poles.
Still, there are lots of additional positive points with the weatherproofing. This tent is definitely up to the task of protecting solo travelers for long periods. There is waterproofing on the polyester flysheet, 5000mm PU coated rain-fly and the secure seams. The anodized poles should also be quite strong on windier days. An added benefit here is the repair kit. This little pack is easy to carry round and offers peach of mind in case the worst happens. This tent may not be as big as some may have imagined, but it is still a secure, comfortable home-from-home for one-person camping trips.
7. Winterial Single Person Tent Lightweight Backpacking Tent
This final model in this guide to the best camping tents for single person camping is another well-designed bivouac-style tent. This is sold as a personal bivy tent – so this time the designers are completely upfront about their design. The dimensions are comparable to both models above. It isn’t as long and thin as the Eureka, which may mean a little more freedom of movement. There is a length of 90 inches, a width of 38 inches and that same center height of 28 inches. The curious extra stat here is that it only weighs 3 pounds and 3 ounces when packed up. This adds to its appeal as a lightweight backpacking tent. This has to down to the light mesh on the roof and simple two hoop frame.
The other benefit to this single person tent is that it is a three season model. The design and materials mean that solo travelers can had out through most seasons and not worry about the conditions. The hotter days are manageable with that large mesh roof, which means ventilation and a good view of the starry sky. Users can then add the full coverage rain fly if the weather turn. This is waterproof enough to handle a good shower. Other features of note here include the large door and the extra supplies for securing the tent. There are 14 stakes and 3 rope bundles.