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Best One Man Tents for Backpacking

One man tents are perfect sleeping arrangements for the lone adventurers who love to become one with the wilderness. Owning a lightweight, compact tent is crucial when it’s just you and your backpack. But if size and heft play a major role in choosing one person tents, you must also pay attention to setup and takedown ease, as well as weather resistance.

If you’re unsure which tent to go for, check out our tips below to enhance your shopping experience and find the best one man tent for you.

One man tent vs bivy sack

Backpacking and ultralight camping require you to trim off every ounce of unnecessary weight. Sleeping bags are the lightest and easiest to carry, but they hardly offer any protection.

A bivy sack stands in-between a sleeping bag and a 1 man tent. It fits seamlessly in a rucksack and provides an enclosed sleeping space when the night falls. However, bivy sacks can’t accommodate your gear and are impractical if you don’t want to leave your bag or footwear outside.

The best one-person backpacking tents pack almost as compactly as bivy sacks and are roomier. Some even have awnings or porch areas that provide you with additional covered space for your stuff. For these reasons, one person tents are a more reliable option for backpacking than bivy sacks.

What is the best one man tent?

A tricky question, considering that “one-size-fits-all” solutions never fit everyone. The best one person tents for you may not be the same that are the best for the guy next door. Brands rarely recognise that each customer is unique, but if you want to make the most out of your shopping experience, here are some of the most important things to think about before choosing.

Another thing to consider, is where it will be used. The best one man tent UK, will be different to whats needed in say Australia or America. It all depends on the whether where you are going. So do some research for the usual weather.

When are you camping?

Like all tents out there, one person tents are rated as summer, 3-season, or 4-season tents.   

Summer tents: Are often single-wall tents with large mesh windows, doors, and sometimes even mesh ceiling. They provide excellent ventilation and keep you cool on hot summer nights. However, most are only water resistant – as opposed to fully waterproof – and will leak in a heavier downpour. Warming them up and fighting condensation on chillier nights is also an almost impossible endeavour.

·      3-season tents: Are made from sturdier materials compared to summer tents and have overall better weather resistance. They are fully waterproof and often consist of a main structure with mesh windows and ceiling plus a rainfly that covers the main structure. This double-wall design makes it easier to warm up the tent and solves most condensation issues. However, the extra tarp will take up slightly more space in your backpack.

·      4-season tents: Are very similar in design with the 3-season ones, but are made from sturdier, thicker fabrics. Their waterproof rating is also higher, and the poles will not collapse if the tent is covered in snow. While these tents are the most resistant, they are really only suitable for winter camping, as they tend to become very hot in warmer weather.

Most campers will find that a 3-season 1 person tent can suit their needs. If you want to camp in colder weather, we recommend a tunnel tent due to its higher wind resistance.

How much space do you need?

When picking your tent, consider that most 1 man tents are designed to only fit one adult with no (or very little) gear. Women or shorter men might have enough spare space to also keep their rucksack or hiking boots inside the tent. However, if you’re taller or bigger, fitting anything else than yourself in a one-man tent could be impossible.

Most male backpackers find a 2-person tent more comfortable. Alternatively, you could opt for a tent such as the Vango Nevis 100 or the Highlander Blackthorn, both of which feature an additional porch area where you can keep your boots and backpack. Both options are also very lightweight and perfect for all sorts of adventures.

Waterproof rating and weather resistance

Not all 3-season tents were created equal; some have better wind and water resistance than others. Considering how quickly the weather can change, you should invest in a tent that can resist to whatever the day is throwing at it.

The minimum you should consider is a waterproof hydrostatic head (HH) of 2,000mm, which is enough to stay dry in moderate rain. If you’re expecting to camp in heavy rain, go for a HH rating of 3,000mm.

The tent’s shape can determine the wind resistance. Dome or tunnel tents are the most resistant due to their rounded roof. Some of the best 1 person tents also have tension band systems that prevent sideway movements even in blizzards.

One Man Pop up Tent

If speed is the issue, you are wanting a tent you can just quickly put up and not spend too much time, then consider a one man pop up tent. The tent will be up in seconds allowing you more time to do what you want to do.


The best 1 man tent must be lightweight and easy to carry. Aim for an overall weight under 2 kilograms if you don’t want it to have a major impact on your backpack.

Furthermore, you should consider the overall packed size, comprising the poles and any accessories, such as ground stakes and ropes.

Best 1 Person Tents from Renowned Brands

Addressing the needs of all types of campers, we selected a range of 1 man tents from the most popular brands. Browse our selection or check out our other categories to find the best tent for you.

We have a wide selection of one man tents for sale. 

If there isn’t enough space for you in a one man tent, why not check out our 3 man tents UK, giving you that bit more space – but it will weight more. Not ideal for backing solo.

If you are after a bigger tent for backing, then check out the best 2 man tent for wild camping

Our expert writers


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