Whether they’re going camping solo, or they just like to have their own sleeping quarters, a lot of outdoor enthusiasts prefer the privacy that comes with having their own one person tent. If you’re looking to buy a single-occupancy tent for your next camping or hiking adventure, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before stumping up your hard-earned cash.
What can you afford?
Figure out how much you’re prepared to shell out for your new tent. There are one person tents at prices to suit every budget – anywhere from less than $50 to over $1000 – but remember that you’ll get more or less what you pay for.
How often do you plan to use it?
If you’re a frequent backpacker, kayaker or climber, you should go ahead and spend as much as you can afford on a good-quality tent that will give you many nights of dry, comfortable shelter. If you’re not sure that the outdoor life is really your thing, you might be better off with a cheaper product, since you can always sell it and upgrade to a fancier one later on. Alternatively, you could rent the tent you need for a one-off wilderness trip from your local camping store or scout association.
What kind of size and design do you need?
Tents made for solo use are actually available in many different sizes and configurations. Some have only enough space for an average-sized person to lie down in with his elbows tucked in, while others can fit a tall and/or heavy person, along with his pack and boots. Ask yourself whether it’s essential that you can sit up inside the tent, as many are rather short on headroom. Or maybe you should go for one of the pricier models with a vestibule where you can stash your kit, relax or prepare your food under cover. And although a one person tent is, by definition, designed to be easy enough to set up by yourself, you might also consider getting a pop up camping tent that virtually assembles itself.
How much are you prepared to carry?
Tents made for single occupancy tend to be light, weighing in at between 2.5 and 4 pounds. Even so, you should make sure the one you buy is light enough for you to carry around comfortably on the trail, in addition to all your other equipment. Also, don’t forget to check the size and shape of the packed tent, to ensure that it fits securely onto your backpack.
Do you plan to use the tent all year round, or only in the warmer months?
Many tents are designed for use only in warm and temperate weather, and won’t give you the protection you need in cold, windy or snowy conditions. Think about which seasons you want to use your one person tent in, and make sure you choose a three- or four-season model if necessary.