Backpacking and hiking are great sports, hobbies, pastimes, or whatever else you refer to these activities as. They let you get outdoors, see Mother Nature, and you get some exercise, plus you also get to spend some valuable time with your family or friends.
One thing you are going to need if you plan on going on a real hiking, backpacking, or an exploration-heavy camping trip is a nice tent. You will need a place to sleep that is out of the wind and rain, and away from all of those blood-sucking insects. Of course, a tent is the way to go.
You might be by yourself, which means that you only need a 1-person backpacking tent. On the other hand, you might be with other people, but often it is the case that people do not want to share the same tent, therefore also calling for multiple 1-person tents for multiple people.
Either way, 1-person backpacking tents can easily fit a grown adult, they are easy to set up, lightweight and portable, and often quite durable. That said, finding the right one for you can be very hard seeing as there are so many options out there. However, this article was written to help you find the best 1-person backpacking tent out there, and to talk about how you would go about choosing the right one for you.
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent Review
When it comes to the best 1-person backpacking tent out there, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is a really nice option for you to take a closer look at. This is a very affordable 1-person backpacking tent, as it is a cost-effective option. Backpacking, hiking, and camping are already expensive enough as is without the tent, so anywhere we can save a bit of money is just fine with us. At any rate, we really are not here to look at the price of this tent, but all of its features which make it such a great backpacking tent for everybody and anybody.
For one, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is extremely portable and lightweight. It weighs around 4 pounds, which is not very heavy considering that it is quite a durable tent. It is more than light enough to be considered highly portable.
Moreover, this tent also comes with a nice carrying case. It’s easy to put away, put in the case, and sling right over your shoulder. The fact that it is very compact also helps because you can shove it into your backpack without much worry or the need to engage in a game of Tetris.
Something else you might appreciate about the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is that it is extremely easy to set up. This is a freestanding tent which only requires 2 aluminum poles to set up. Simply snap the poles together, feed through the guides, secure them, and you are good to go. In terms of ease of setup, this has to be one of the most user-friendly 1-person backpacking tents that we have seen.
Yet another point worth noting here is that the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is made of a mix of really durable materials including nylon and polyester. It should be able to resist some sharp rocks and sticks poking into it. The material is designed to be outdoors and to resist a range of weather, as well as people being a bit rough with it too. It’s not something that is going to come apart at the seams, which is also thanks to the factory-sealed seams. Not only does this make this tent tougher, it also helps keep rain and wind out much better too.
Speaking of the weather, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is designed to resist a variety of weather conditions. It comes with a tent fly that is water resistant and resists UV damage, plus it helps keep the wind at bay. We have to say that the rainfly is not totally waterproof, which makes this tent ideal for fairly nice days and maybe some occasional rain, but you probably don’t want to get caught camping in a huge rainstorm with it.
That said, it does have coated taffeta floors, which are both very tough and waterproof, so at least no moisture is going to get in through the floor. Do keep in mind that the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is built for only one person, but it does have enough room for a small matt or air mattress, plus it has a 3 foot center height.
1 Person Backpacking Tent: A Buyer’s Guide
Before you buy the first 1-person backpacking tent you see, there are some things that you need to keep in mind because chances are that you will regret it on the first night you have to sleep inside of it. Take a look at the following purchasing considerations before you go shell out a bunch of cash on a tent.
The Setup and Poles
For one, when it comes to a backpacking tent that is easy to set up, one thing you want to look for is that it is a freestanding tent; this means that it does not require any stakes to set it up. Simply run the poles through the guides, secure them with the loops, and you are good to go. It’s much easier than having to use stakes and hammers to set up a simple little tent. Being freestanding also means that you can move it at will before staking it into the ground, plus shaking dirt and debris off of it before packing it back up is made much easier.
Moreover, you should look for high-quality aluminum tent poles that have been treated to ensure durability. They should be easy to snap together and take apart at a moment’s notice. Moreover, for a 1-person backpacking tent, a 2-pole setup will probably suffice. Yes, there are some with only 1 pole, but those tend to not be that stable, but anything over 2 poles tends to be overkill. The fact of the matter is that 2 poles allow for a really fast and easy setup so you can get to making a fire and do whatever else needs to be done. Make sure to look for color-coded poles and corners too, another thing which really helps with ease of setup.
The next thing that you should look for here is how large the 1-person tent is on the inside. This is important, because after all, you need to stay inside of it, so it better have more than enough room to house you comfortably. All too often it is the case that people will buy tents that are not nearly large enough on the inside for a comfortable fit. This tends to be the case more with multiple-person tents, with many 4-person tents only being adequate for 3 people, and 3-people tents only being adequate for 2 people. However, this is usually not a huge problem with 1-person tents.
Either way, you do want to pay attention to how much room there is on the inside. Yes, how large of a tent you need will depend on how large you are. In terms of lengths, you do probably want to look for one that is around 6 feet long at the least, or longer if you are taller. Remember that you may be using a floor mat or air mattress in there.
Moreover, the width of the interior is pretty important too. You may not be particularly wide, but you will still need a decent amount of room. Usually something like a width of 2.5 or 3 feet should be fine for a single person. In terms of center height, generally speaking these 1 person tents will top out at 3 or 4 feet, but some are large enough to stand up in. However, as far as we are concerned, if you are just using the tent for sleeping after a long hike, you really don’t need to be able to stand up inside of it. There’s really no point in spending extra on a tent that you can stand up inside of when you won’t be standing up in it.
However, consider if you will need to be stowing any of your gear, such as your backpack, inside the tent should the weather turn nasty.
Size, Weight, and Portability
The next important purchasing factor to keep in mind when looking for a 1-person backpacking tent is how portable it is. After all, this is extremely important because here we are not talking about camping tents as much as we are talking about hiking and backpacking tents. You will spend the majority of your time on the go, with the tent either slung over your shoulder or inside of your hiking pack.
Therefore, you need a tent that is lightweight and easily portable. Weight is very important here because hiking packs are already heavy enough as is, so you don’t need to be carrying around a massive cinderblock of a tent. Finding a 1-person tent that weighs 3 or 4 pounds at the most is highly recommended.
Any heavier than 4 pounds and it will really weigh you down. Moreover, the tent should also come with a carrying case that is easy to get the folded tent and the poles into, something that has a good handle for easy carrying. It should all form a compact little package that is easy to put inside of your hiking pack without having to play a game of Tetris just to make everything fit. Portability is a really big deal when it comes to backpacking tents for any number of people.
One very important aspect to keep in mind when purchasing any backpacking tent is what materials it is made of. We assume that you are going to try your best not to be too rough with it, but you might trip and fall into the tent, there might be sharp rocks or sticks on the ground, or whatever else. The point here is that you want to find a really durable tent that is made out of solid materials.
Generally speaking, one of the best materials to go with for tents tends to be nylon or ripstop nylon, which is what high-quality parachutes are made of. It helps ensure that your tent won’t rip or tear even when it gets snagged on something. Polyester is another option, but it is not quite as durable, and to make it waterproof or water resistant, it needs a lot of special treatment. Whatever the case may be, you want to find a high-quality and durable backpacking tent that is not going to rip or tear at the first sign of trouble.
Doors and Zippers
The next thing to keep your eye on when you are buying a backpacking tent is what the doors and zippers are like. Now, here we are only talking about 1-person tents, so it is safe to assume that you would only want and need a single door. Where you have the door located on the tent is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. Some people like a side door, but most prefer a door at the foot or head of the tent, usually the foot of the tent, but once again, it is your own preference that will decide this.
Almost more important than the door itself is what kind of zipper the doors has. When it comes to zippers, you want to look for YKK zippers. This is a brand which makes the majority of the zippers that clothes, tents, and other items have on them, and they know how to make a darn good zipper. Yes, there are other zippers out there, but be sure to do your research and read specific reviews. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mosquitos getting into the tent because the zipper got snagged or broke when you were trying to close it quickly.
Windows and Ventilation
Yet another thing that you want to look for is if the tent in question has any windows or other ventilation features. Many tents will come with at least 1 mesh window which is great because not only does it provide you with adequate ventilation so you don’t get too hot while sleeping, but it also allows you to see the stars at night. Moreover, many camping tents also come with various styles of open roofs; some come with mesh roofs that allow for a high level of ventilation, plus they allow you to see the sky.
Now, keep in mind that mesh is not particularly durable, so when it comes to windows and mesh roofs, you want to make sure that the mesh is of a high quality, just so it won’t rip. Something we will discuss later is a rain fly or rain protector, because as nice as mesh windows and roofs are, they don’t fare so well when it gets rainy and windy, so they will need to be covered. In the event that it rains and you have to cover the windows, you will still want a tent with decent ventilation. Tents have varying ventilation slits and features, and some have none. If you value not sweating up a storm inside of your tent, you will absolutely want to look for one with decent ventilation.
Perhaps one of the very most important things to look for when buying a backpacking tent is how well designed it is to withstand the weather. There are cabin-style tents and dome tents. Cabin-style tents have large vertical walls which make them spacious on the inside, but they do not do so well when it comes to rain and wind. If you want a tent that can withstand strong gusts and heavy rains, a cabin-style tent with a well=sloped roof and fairly short walls is what you want to go for.
Next, you do want a tent that has factory-welded seams or double-stitched seams. No matter how waterproof the tent materials themselves are, if the tent is not stitched or welded properly, moisture can still get in at the seams, which is, of course, not a good thing. A big part here is also the rain fly. Every good tent comes with a rain fly that can be thrown over the top of the tent in the event of rain. A rain fly should be made out of highly durable materials, be easy to attach, and be 100% waterproof. Keep in mind that being waterproof is not the same thing as being water resistant.
Finally, also pay attention to the floor of the tent. All too often tents will let moisture in through the bottom, so something like a coated taffeta floor is really important to prevent this.
At the end of it all, pay attention to the price of the tent. While you obviously don’t want to shell out a ridiculous amount of cash for a tent, don’t go the cheap route either. A few bucks can make a big difference here when it comes to ease of setup, durability, interior space, and waterproofing.
There we have it, everything you need to know about buying a 1-person backpacking tent. Yes, of course we would recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent which we reviewed above. Besides the fact that it is not 100% waterproof, it does come with all of the features that we would expect any tent like this to have. It is weather resistant, it has moisture-proof floors, a decent rainfly, good doors and zippers, a spacious interior, it is easy to set up, and it is extremely portable too.
That said, if for whatever reason the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent might not suit you, you will need to keep searching. If this is the case, do not forget to pay attention to all of the purchasing factors we discussed. Weather proofing, durability, weight and size, the interior, storage, the setup, and various other factors all need to be kept in mind before you make a purchase. Have fun on your backpacking trip and be sure to bring along a tent worthy of the adventure!