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What is the Best Single Person Tent?

I’m looking to get a new one-man tent – the £40 one I lived in for a year as I cycled across Asia is due a graceful retirement.

Last year I asked what was the best expedition backpack. The feedback on that piece was so helpful.

So I would really appreciate any suggestions you may have. Pop them in the comments section below…
Thank you.

I have written about other expedition kit topics here. You can read about all my expedition experiences here.

The collective wisdom of Twitter came up with some good suggestions:

andy kirkpatrick psychovertical: The Exped Vela extreme is a nice tent, and works well with just the fly (v light) http://bit.ly/emXsmo

Sarah Outen SarahOuten Sarah Outen: Hubba XP by MSR is pretty good. Has vertical walls so you can sit up.

Russell Mills touchtherock: Another vote for the Terra Nova superlight Voyager, good stability/weight ratio with plenty of room for 1, or friendly 2.

Phil Turner PhilOutdoors: The Rab Summit Superlite is available for £250, otherwise look at Lightwave tents, or @hrXXLight‘s suggestion of the Black Diamond Firstlight is good.

Ross Worthington monkeyboyraw: Check out the new Terra Nova Solar 1, updated and super lite but not true self support.

Pete Webb webbpete Pete Webb: Got one of these, not for the extreme though. http://www.rab.uk.com/equipment/bivvis/summit_mountain_bivi—140/

Fearghal O'Nuallain Revolution_Ferg: This was diamond, really light, and free standing. http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba-hubba/product

Andy Ward ward_andy: Not ultralight (by @PhilOutdoors standards anyway) but have heard rave reviews about the Hilleberg Soulo http://is.gd/ky9c8

Benjamin Moryson hrXXLight: BD firstlight

Neil K. Sheridannksheridan : I’m for Hilleberg Akto!

tookiebuntentookiebunten: for the top of a Scottish mountain in the full clutches of winter?

Ben Collins benlcollins: I used Golite Shangri-La 1 on my walk last yr: brilliant lightweight option, 500g, pitches with trek poles http://bit.ly/i8VBT3

Alistair Pearson alistairpearson: By 1-person tents, I assume you mean 2 person tents. The former being always too small. I swear by my Vaude Taurus Ultralite.

Lucy Wallacesnoweider: I have macpac microlight- tough, but not the lightest, plus probs with condensation compared to my old wild country zephyr.

Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Read Comments
 

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Comments

  1. After watching the video from your tweet yesterday about skating Peru and Bolivia I noticed that the guys in the movie seemed to inflating their tents.

    A quick web search found http://www.nemoequipment.com/nemo2010-gogo-tent weighing in at a very light 900gm.

    I know nothing about this brand of tent but it seemed to survive the camping treatment the long boarders gave it in Peru OK.

    Reply
  2. It’s worth mentioning your specifications – four season, free standing, mountain top UK use. Limits things slightly and prevents me from suggesting one of those pop-up tents from Decathlon…

    Reply
  3. Do you want any space whatsoever for gear/movement inside? I’ve used a Vaude Hogan Ultralight 2-man tent for myself for years which gives me just enough space for a couple of panniers and to while away the evenings with the diary/book. Just under 2kg inc groundsheet, very very strong in high winds, totally watertight even after hundreds of days pitched, the best shade of green I’ve ever seen for wild-camping stealth, etc.

    The only caveat is that it’s not 100% freestanding and the foot end is a touch cramped, but I believe Vaude now make one that remedies both of these things, not that they should stop you getting one. It’s well designed for mountain use, not sure how well it will do in super cold weather but I can let you know pretty soon ;)

    Google “Vaude Hogan Ultralight” and you should get my review of it.

    Reply
  4. I really like my MSR Hubba HP: Light, easy to put up and durable. Not much space inside, but I don’t feel I need more.

    A photo: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2010/11/day-37-ruse-varna/

    Thomas

    Reply
  5. I guess it depends what you are looking for. If you want a one-man that can cope with 4 seasons, resist proper winds and also use during winter conditions then I would definitely go for Integral Designs. I know Corax uses this tent in all conditions such as Patagonia and Chang Tang. Nice shot of the tent in the Baltoro region taken by Corax.

    You would be looking at around 2kg. If you go down to 1.5kg you will get a 3 season which would not cope with severe winds quite the same.

    Reply
  6. I could not attach the image in the previous post, but here it is: http://www.summitpost.org/photo-3-i-m-backing-off-a/126995

    Reply
  7. I brought a Terra Nova Laser Comp a couple of years ago and it has served, and is still serving, me very well. I believe they are the world’s lightest (or at least were) at just under 1kg. however, scrap the flimsy pegs they give you and use decent aluminium ones.
    As for it being three season, it is about to hopefully get me through a Tibetan winter so it better be up to it!

    Reply
  8. I also would go with a Hilleberg. I had the Akto for my world cycling tour and it was just perfect, not even the strongest sandstorm in Mongolia caused any damage.
    When I had problems with the inner tent, I still could use it, but Hilleberg immediately sent me a new one for free. The only disadvantage of the Akto is, it is not a free standing. If I have enough money for my next trip I would choose the Soulo or Unna.

    Reply
  9. Yeah, Integral Designs are a good bet – they’re now owned by Equip UK (who own Rab) and you’ll notice similarities with the Rab Summit Superlite and Black Diamond FirstLight mentioned earlier. These single-skin tents are bomb-proof, but you’re going to have to think about condensation management/ventilation more than with a double-skin shelter.

    Out of interest, what was your old tent?

    Reply
  10. I do have to agree with Dorothee Fleck on the Hilleberg Akto, it is a spectacular tent in practically all conditions. The only disadvantage I have found is the not being able to absolutely stand free (without pegs), though that is only a disadvantage in the mountains (rocks could be used as alternative to pegs).
    It has also enough space for a tall bloke like me (192cm/6’3″) with size 11 feet to lie down and not touch the inside of the tent.

    Reply
  11. I can’t find a single bad review about the Hilleberg Soulo. Bo Hilleberg spent two and a half years designing it as a free standing version of the world famous Akto. It is absolutely bombproof, loves to operate above the snowline in harsh wintry environments and has the bonus of enough space to live comfortably in without having to sleep wrapped around your gear. Yes it is (much) more expensive than the alternatives but it will last that much longer and as Dorothee Fleck pointed out the after sales service from Hilleberg is second to none.
    Having been involved with several expeditions above the Arctic circle and worked with projects in other harsh environments I would only ever use Hilleberg tents judging from the track record we’ve seen.

    Reply
    • I used the Soulo during a months climbing in the alps last year and found it very stable. Also extremely easy to erect and fully free-standing. The only things I could remark on would be the unnecessary vestibule which is so narrow that it does not serve much purpose, instead they should have used the extra space inside the tent. And like you say its quite pricey compared to other tents, but it will also last for many many years.

      Reply
    • Cheers Andy – it’s usually true that you get what you pay for.

      Although my little Coleman tent did endure some extraordinary gales in the Taklamakan desert.

      Reply
  12. Al

    For summer use and using a bivy bag you should go light.

    I can’t speak highly enough of the Mountain Laurel Duo Mid. Lots of space for one and very light. Available in Cuben Fibre (very tough) or the slightly heavier sinylon.

    I use mine with a ML bivy with built in midge net and don’t even use a ground sheet. But ML do a very lightweight inner tent which might be good for insect summers.

    These Pyramid tents give a lot of space for one and a lot of headroom which is why I always chose this now every Aktos and other conventional tents. They are very stable in storms.

    For me they are worth serious consideration. My cuben version only weighs 340 grams and the bug nest another 240 grams

    Reply
  13. Having used a DuoMid I am yet to be convinced they are very stable in a storm. My picks are:

    Tarp Tent Scarp 1 or the Terra Nova Voyager superlite.

    Scarp 1 is so stable in winds it is just the best tent I have ever used.

    Reply
  14. Check out the tarptent rainbow, see google. I use it for 3 season bike trips.

    Reply
  15. I have a Karrimor X-lite 100, i have no complaints at the moment, but it needs more rigorous testing before i’d fully recommend it. It is very lite and it only cost me £50 from sportsdirect.com.

    Reply
    • Hi Matty. I realise your comment is over 3 years old and my message probably has little chance of being seen… but worth a shot! How did you find the X Lite 1 in the end? Anyone had any experience with it? Thanks!

      Reply
  16. Clive Rogers Posted

    I have used the Terra Nova Quasar for many cycling trips, and for a total of 7 months in 2008. Across Africa and USA. It is Super quick to put up and very stable in high winds. The integral net doors are great in hot conditions, and having them at both ends is handy.
    The only problem i have encountered was with the zips in the desert, which was probably partly due to my lack of maintenance, so i would recommend the Heavy Duty model now on sale.
    As always, The Quasar is sold as two man tent, which must be very snug. I have only used it as a single with plenty of room for gear inside.
    The present range includes the ETC version which doubles the length of the flysheet, which might be handy, it can be bought separately so could be combined with the heavy duty inner.

    Reply
  17. This Big Agnes is light and spacious, i’m considering that in 2-p version
    http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/CopperSpurUL1

    Reply
  18. Made your mind up yet Al?

    Reply
  19. A comment from Ruthie:

    One more tent for your consideration: Tarptent Scarp 1. It’s
    freestanding with the optional crossing poles, very roomy, doors and
    vestibules on both sides, lots of headspace, easy to pitch, and
    pitches fly-first. It’s also very lightweight: including the crossing
    poles, it weighs a few grams less than the non-freestanding Hilleberg
    Akto.

    I will be using mine for my solo bicycle tour across the USA this
    summer, with the mesh inner tent rather than the standard tent.

    Information: http://www.tarptent.com/scarp1.html and
    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=16822
    Autumn testing review:
    http://sectionhiker.com/scarp-1-tarptent-autumn-field-testing/
    Winter testing review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XLt4ND1fJM

    Good luck picking a tent!

    Cheers,
    Ruthie

    Reply
  20. Chris W Posted

    Great website I really enjoy it!

    A bit late to this but I just stumbled upon these tents:

    http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents.html

    Never used them so can’t comment on their quality etc but they definitely tick a few boxes for me, light, cheapish and best of all very long which suits me being 6’6″!

    Reply
  21. Wesley Posted
  22. thankyou for your site, very useful

    Reply
  23. I find the Saunders Spacepaker very good
    Single pole setting up
    Double entries so two storage areas depending on wind etc direction
    Fly sheet first
    Take inner down space for personal toilet ect
    This is the second one I have used for cycle camping

    Reply
  24. Vaude Power Lizzard SUL is a 1-2p tent that is 1kg. I am looking to get this to replace my aged Vaude Hogan, which has survived storms that have flattened campsites. Both the LIzzard and the Hogan pitch outer first, or both inner and outer together, which I think is a necessity in a good tent.

    Reply
  25. I use a Mont Moondance 1 (On Mont’s website: http://www.mont.com.au/blog/the-mont-moondance-1-tent/ ).

    I absolutely love it. It’s lightweight but you can still sit upright in it, which is perfect for rainy days or when the mosquitoes are too thick to sit outside for long. I’ve had mine about 18 months and it’s perfect for just about everything (I’ve used it motorbike touring, bikepacking, hiking and canoeing). Here’s a pic of my tent pitched in an awkward mountain location where there wasn’t much in the way of flat ground http://transtri.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/dscf0410.jpg

    Reply
  26. I rate the Wild Country Zephyros1 tent. It’s from the same company as Terra Nova, just cheaper. I’ve used mine over 4 years and it still performs well. Enough room for me 5′ 10″ about 12.5St and a 50l rucksack. Porch is roomy enough for cooking / brewing up. Pegs are a bit naff but Alpkit can sort that for you cheaply enough.
    , though I got mine for less from SportsDirect.com though they seem to be out of stock these days.
    The one on the left

    Reply
  27. I have had this tent the terra nova voyager for just under a year now mostly took out out in fair weather I decided to camp on top of Pen-y-fan 11/04/15 the wind condition’s were moderate to strong at the time’s but with this being rated a 4 season tent I was confident it would withstand the weather being thrown at it , but boy was I wrong the arch pole over the door kept being blown back onto the tent and me inside all night despite being pitched correctly the result in the morning was a broken pole and where the red pole sit’s over the two blue horizontal poles it had rubbed holes in both pole sleeves and the stitching inside was tearing through the inner tent where the pole sleeves attach, now I cannot insert the poles through the sleeves without them coming through the holes . I contacted terra nova about this they were useless after many emails and pictures of the damage were sent I had to send it off to them, 2 weeks for them to look at it and after they make a dissension another 2-3 weeks for them to repair it at my expense when it is clearly a design fault as there is no reinforcement protection where the poles overlap on the front of the tent but there is protection on the rear. Truly disappointed in there poor customer service I expected more form a British company I have lost faith in there product’s and will buy a Hilleberg for a better experience .

    Reply

 
 

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