CAMPING & HIKING

Best Solo Tent: Staying Comfortable in The Elements

Best solo tent
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

One of the most important things needed to have for successful camping is a good tent that is made of good materials. If you’re interested in getting the best solo tent, these are the things you should pay attention to: firmness, interesting design, durability, proportions.

Your choice of tent is the most  important, since without it there is no camping.  If you go only for the weekend, the size of the tent is not crucial, but if you plan to walk a lot, then it is advised to choose a smaller tent that will fit just your sleeping bag, so you do not wear too much weight on your back.

So how do you go about looking for a great solo tent? It really depends on what your needs are. Going to the store and buying the first one you see could be the worst decision you ever make when it comes to planning your camping trip.

Tents are now made with plenty of features and functionality in mind, as well as for different kinds of weather. Knowing what these features are beforehand should help you to make the best choice so that you can feel comfortable and safe in your camping tent.

Different Kinds of Solo Tents

You would think that a tent is just a piece of fabric stretched across some poles, but technology has changed them significantly so that they can fulfill any purpose.

Double-wall solo tent

They have their pros and cons, however, so know what they are and how they’re designed to function will help you make the best purchasing choice.

  • Double-wall tents: double-wall tents are designed with three main parts: inner tent with a waterproof floor and non-waterproof roof, a waterproof outer tent (which is called the rain fly), and the poles. Double-wall tents can be further divided into three types:
    • self-supporting tents: the poles hold up the majority of the tent
    • tunnel tents: hoop-shaped poles are used and rely on guylines for support
    • freestanding tents: don’t need guylines and stand up entirely by themselves

    Because of the added layers, these are considered to be the heaviest tents.

  • Tarp tents: these are basically walled shelters that have bug netting and sometimes a built-in floor. They are usually much easier to set up, a lot lighter to carry, and still offer protection from the elements, but they don’t offer much in the way of ventilation so it’s easier for moisture to accumulate on the inside. Tarp tents also have a few varieties, including:
    • Pyramid: these are extremely weather-resistant and pitch with only one or two poles. That makes them very convenient for those who don’t have the time or the patience to set up a larger tent. The steep walls of the tent make it easy for the rain and snow to slide right off, so there’s no gathering or weighed-down roof for you to worry about.
    • A-Frame: this is considered to be the lightest and most adaptable kind of solo tent. It’s great for those who are interested in lightweight backpacking, and provide versatility when it comes to setting up the tent.
      It is open on both ends, so it’s important that they be placed properly to minimize the wind and rain coming into the tent. They have no footprints, so that means you’re sleeping on the bare ground. This is definitely the kind of tent you’ll need a sleeping bag for.

As you can see, finding a tent requires you to take a lot of considerations into account if you want to be comfortable and safe. You should put as much thought into your tent as you do to picking your camping spot.

Features to Consider

Tents may fulfill only one function when you’re camping – to keep you warm and dry – but there are many ways that they do this, through the use of material, how they’re set up, and how much room they have.

Solo tent features

You’re also going to need to carry your tent to and from your campsite, so that’s another consideration as well. So what considerations should you keep on your checklist when you’re comparison shopping for solo tents?

  • Weight: Maybe you think that this information is not important but if you need to carry your gear, even for a few kilometres, it is very important that the tent is light. The weight of your tent should be printed on the packaging of your tent so that it’s easy for you to find the lightest ones for your need.
    Don’t get the absolute lightest one, however; a tent that’s much too light may be made of flimsy material that will blow over too easily in the wind.
    Look for a balance between weight and price; quality tents will be made of durable materials while still being easy to carry at the same time.
    If you want really want to save on weight, go for a minimalist tent that only has the bare essentials of what you need. They’re designed to be extremely lightweight and easy to pack away so you won’t have to carry a huge, bulking tent bag with you while you hike.
  • Size: although you’re only going to be getting a tent for yourself, the dimensions are very important. Not everyone is made in the same size, so if you’re a much larger person, a two-person tent may be a more suitable fit for you.
    You also want somewhere to store your gear and leaving it out in the rain can lead to it getting destroyed by the elements. Consider a tent that is sizable enough for you with a little extra room so that you can keep your things with you as well.
    To choose the right size, look at the floor dimensions and peak height. You want a tent that you can easily move around in without having to be a contortionist.
  • Material: There are a large number of materials used for making tents. This is also a very important issue because of the material depends on whether we will remain dry when it rains or snows.
    Choose material that is waterproof, including the floor of your tent, as you don’t want to the damp ground to seep through into your camping bag or clothing while you sleep. There are usually three kinds of materials that most tents are made from:

    • Polyurethane (PU) coated fabrics: you’ll find this on cheaper tents, as it’s the easiest way to achieve a waterproof fabric. However, these coatings can break down over time, making your tent less effective during each trip.
    • SilNylon: this is a combination of silicone and nylon, and is used on higher quality tents and tent bags. It’s waterproof, elastic, and resistant to both UV and temperature changes. It’s also stronger and much lighter than PU coatings, so they’ll last much longer. One downside to the use of this coating, however, is that the seams can’t be factory taped, which exposes the seams of your tent to the elements.
    • Cuben Fiber: this is considered to be the lightest, strongest, and most durable material to be used in outdoor products. The threads of this fabric are considered to be 50-70 percent lighter and 400+ percent stronger than Kevlar, so you know it’s going to withstand a lot of punishment that nature has to offer.
  • Season: tents are available in two kinds of seasons: 3-season and 4-season. Three-season tents are designed to be used during the spring, summer and fall, as they are milder seasons, while four-season tents are essential for the winter, as you need to trap all the heat you can.
    However, you want a four-season tent that’s also breathable, as the warmer it is inside your tent, the more condensation will occur, and you’ll end up being colder than you want to be.
    Now that you’re aware of the basic features you should be keeping an eye out for, here are some products in the market that customers are raving about. Keep in mind that not all of them will fit your needs, so it’s important to keep those in mind when browsing through this list.

Top Product Reviews

Eureka Solitaire – Tent

Eureka Solitaire – Tent

Weight: 2.9 pounds

Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 6.89 inches

Specific Features: tunnel design, fiberglass, two doors, two pockets, nylon pool sleeves

Best Use: for camping and hiking

Description: Eureka Solitaire is perfect harbor for experienced hikers, especially if they use it in light weather. It will keep you safe in warm days when you need to escape from a sun, or to stay warm during those chilly nights.

The poles are strong and secure enough that they can withstand even the worst conditions. One cool characteristic is the zippered roof, which can be used if you want to watch the stars if the weather is nice or let some air in.

This product comes with interesting design, so even the most demanding customers will not be disappointed. Good news is that is lightweight, so do not worry about carrying to much weight on your journey if that’s important to you.

One downside is that it may not have much room for the rest of your gear, and some people complained that it is not best solution when you need protection from the rain.

First Gear Cliff Hanger 1 person Camping backpacking tent

First Gear Cliff Hanger 1 person Camping backpacking tent

Weight: 4 pounds

Dimensions: 4.5 x 5 x 43 inches

Specific Features: aluminium stakes, fiberglass poles, 2 air vents, flame-resistant.

Best Use: Camping, hiking

Description: This shelter of simple design gives you ultimate pleasure even in the most demanding trips you can imagine. The green color makes it very visible so you won’t get lost, and you can use it during all three seasons, in spring, summer or in fall.

You can breathe freely while you sleep, thanks to its good ventilation. This First Gear Cliff Hanger 1 person Camping backpacking tent is not too heavy, so people can carry it freely on their trips. It is also very is very reliable and stable, thanks to the strong materials of which it is made.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent

Weight: 3.6 pounds

Dimensions: 36 x 44 x 86 inches

Specific Features: pole design, aluminium poles  Two-pole Freestanding, 3 season, Weatherproof Fly Buckles, 8 Zippers, uv damage resistance

Best Use: Thru-hike

Description: This ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent is made of high quality materials  and it is a great choice for people who seek good ventilation, strong protection from heavy weather conditions, and protection against the sun.

With the large space for gear storage, it is perfect for people who need more room inside. This tent also has good ventilation through the addition of mesh in the walls, so you won’t be sweltering on those warmer days.

It can be used in all three seasons, but it is not recommended for use during winter. It also has singular 2-pole design, so it’s easy to set up.

Eureka Midori Solo – 1 Person Tent

Eureka Midori Solo - 1 Person Tent

Weight: 5 pounds

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 18 inches

Specific Features: aluminium poles, v3 system, Polyester fly, 2 interior pockets, fire retardant

Best Use: Thru-hike

Description: If you want a tent that you can sleep comfortably in at night, then Eureka Midori Solo – 1 Person Tent is the tent for you. It has amazing ventilation that allows for great air flow, and the two interior pockets allow you to store your things so that they’re not always underfoot.

Even in the most unexpected weather, you can count on staying safe and dry, worry-free.. It is easy to use, and the aluminum poles are not only lightweight, but they’re rugged enough to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

The fly of this amazing product provides maximum protection when you use this shelter in bad weather. However, one downside to this is that there isn’t more room to store your backpack and muddy shoes.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Person Tent

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Person Tent

Weight: 3.6 pounds

Dimensions: 30 x 86 x 42 inches

Specific Features: small size, 3-season, Aluminium poles, mesh pocket, superlight aluminium stakes, ultralight

Best Use: camping and hiking

Description: This awarded Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Person Tent can be used in three seasons: summer, spring and fall. The poles are made of TH72M aluminium, so they’re proven to last very long, while the body of the tent is made of nylon and polyester.

It is very easy to set up and allows even beginner hikers to set it up with no trouble. It is very light, so you won’t have to worry about aching backs and shoulders during your hike.

The minimal design makes it easy to pack up and be on the go, so you won’t waste the energy you could be using for hiking. It even comes with bags to put each part of the tent inside, allowing you to place some of them in your backpack to minimize the number of bags you’re carrying.

ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1.0 Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1.0 Tent

Weight: 6 pounds

Dimensions: 36 x 42 x 94 inches

Specific Features: 2-pole design, lightweight Weatherproof  Polyester Fly, 2 mesh doors, Aluminum Stakes, sewn instructions

Best Use: Camping and Hiking

Description: This ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1.0 Tent is good for people who seek for top quality hideaway on their trip, which also comes in reasonable price and is not too heavy. It has enough space inside, so you can easily store your gear when you need to.

You are fully protected from the rain, even in the worst storms. This is may be one of best product when it comes to price and quality.

The bright orange color makes it very visible at night, and the minimal design means that there’s not a lot of set-up before you can crawl inside and get a good nap in after a long hike.

It does come with an added vestibule for you to store your gear in, so you’re not tracking your wet and muddy things through the main area of your tent.

MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent

MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 21 x 7 x 6 inches

Specific Features: 3 season, StayDry™ door, durable nylon fabrics, bathtub-style floor, lightweight

Best Use:  Camping and Hiking

Description: If you want a tent that has a lot of headroom, you’re looking at it. This MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent is designed to be as room as possible so that it doesn’t feel like you’re sleeping in a coffin.

Getting in and out is made easy with the large door, and it’s been manufactured not to let any of the rain in so you can stay even drier and warmer when a rain storm hits.

The rainfly vents and venting vestibules make it easy for air to travel through your tent so that it’s not stifling, and the compression sack for this tent fits very easily into a backpack.

Conclusion

Now that you’re aware of what’s out there in the market, and what key features you should be looking for, you’re much better prepared for your shopping experience than you were before this article. Hopefully, we’ve helped you on the right path to finding the best solo tent for your needs and your wallet.

Choose your Solo tent

Have you purchased any of these products before? What has been your experience with them? Are there other products you’d like to see us review in the future? Feel free to leave a comment below, and we may include your suggestion in a future article.

And please share this article with your friends and family who are struggling to find the right tent. This article could help them to find exactly what they’ve been looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Elisa Blair

    I love my Alps mountaineering Zephyr! I camp in the mountains and have never been out that it didn’t rain on me. It kept me dry always! But it’s the perfect choice for the campers who wish to feel the cool breeze on those hot and muggy summer nights, as well. Great tent!

    • Daniel Carraway

      Thanks for your post regarding the Zephyr! I know for a fact that a lot of people are so pleased with this tent. Not only is it durable and sturdy, it’s affordable, as well. It is easy to set up and affords a lot of room for you and your gear. Great ventilation, too!

  • Jack Wilcox

    At first I was worried about the functionality of a solo tent – mainly in terms of space – but I needn’t have worried with the Eureka Midori. I’m only 5’ 9’’ so I can’t say how it would suit a taller guy but I would think it would be spacious enough for most. Doubles up as a nice den for my little ones at home. The kids often end up sleeping in it at the weekend so it’s definitely value for money!

  • Daniel Carraway

    I bet your kids are having a blast – their own tent! You won’t have any problem with the Eureka Midori, though – spacious and durable, too. Aside from the elements, it can aptly withstand kids!

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