Solo Tent Selection: 1-Person or 2-Person Tent?

1-Person vs. 2-Person Tent: Hiker seated next to a 2-person tent at sunset in a picturesque mountain range

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just getting started, the question often arises: As a solo camper, should you go for a 1-person or a 2-person tent?

In this post, we’ll explore this tent dilemma. We’ll look at factors to consider, the advantages and disadvantages of each tent size, and help you make a smart choice for your solo camping journeys.

Tent Selection Factors for Solo Campers

1-Person or 2-Person Tent: An ultralight 2-person MSR tent set up in a stunning mountain range

When choosing between 1-person and 2-person tents for solo adventures, consider these key factors:

1. Gear Storage Needs

Adequate gear storage is essential for a comfortable camping experience. Consider the following:

  • 1-Person Tents: These tents provide limited space for storing your gear. If you tend to pack light or prefer to keep most of your equipment outside the tent, a 1-person tent can be a practical choice. It’s worth considering using waterproof bags for your gear if you opt for this tent size, as they’ll help protect your belongings from the elements.
  • 2-Person Tents: With more interior space, 2-person tents offer additional room for your backpack, gear, and personal belongings. This can be especially advantageous during adverse weather conditions or when camping in colder climates.

2. Cooking Requirements

Your cooking preferences can also influence your tent choice:

  • Simple Meals: If you’re content with basic meals or plan to eat pre-packaged foods, a smaller 1-person tent may suffice, as it leaves less space for cooking gear.
  • Elaborate Cooking: For campers who enjoy preparing elaborate meals, including hot dishes and beverages, a 2-person tent provides more room for cooking equipment and allows for a comfortable cooking experience inside the tent when necessary.

3. Weather Considerations

When deciding on a 1-person or 2-person tent for solo adventures, consider the weather conditions you may encounter:

  • Tent Comfort: 2-person options, provide extra room to move around comfortably when you’re confined to your tent due to inclement weather. Being able to sit up, stretch out your legs, or change clothes without feeling cramped can be a game-changer during extended rainstorms.
  • Warmth: In cooler conditions, smaller tents have an advantage. With less interior space, there’s less air to heat, making it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. If staying warm during cold nights is a priority, a 1-person tent may be your best bet. However, it’s important to note that most 1-person tents are more likely to experience condensation in bad weather.

4. Tent Weight and Packability

When on solo adventures, the weight and correlated packability of your tent are crucial considerations. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Weight: Typically, 1-person tents are indeed lighter than their 2-person counterparts. Their compact design and lightweight materials make them ideal for those who prioritize carrying less weight on the trail. It’s worth noting that while this holds true for most tents, high-end 2-person counterparts, like those from Zpacks, can be an exception to this rule.

When considering a tent for 3-season camping, and if you prefer the roomier 2-person option, there are many excellent choices that don’t add much more weight compared to the 1-person alternative. However, if you require a 4-season tent, the weight difference becomes significant.

Which to Buy?

So, which option should you choose?

You should choose a 1-person tent if…

  • You want the lightest option.
  • You don’t need a large vestibule for your gear.
  • You prefer easy meals and don’t cook inside when the weather is bad.
  • You want to stay as warm as you can.
  • You are not afraid of condensation management.

You should choose a 2-person tent if…

  • You want a tent with the most space for you and your gear.
  • You enjoy using your stove and cooking regularly.
  • You’re okay with giving up some warmth to prevent condensation.
  • You want to have the option for multiple doors.


To sum it up, 1-person tents prioritize compactness and light weight, perfect for those who want to minimize their trail burden. Yet, it’s vital to recognize their limitations, particularly in terms of space.

Conversely, 2-person tents, though a tad heavier, offer additional room for gear storage and increased comfort during challenging weather conditions.

When making your tent selection, consider your camping style, expected weather conditions, and cooking preferences. Additionally, ensure that the tent’s weight aligns with the seasons of your trips. Happy camping!

Interested in an ultralight 1-person or 2-person tent? Check out our TOP 5 guides that cover the lightest tents on the planet.


Can 2 people sleep in a 1 person tent?

Sleeping two people in a one-person tent can work in emergencies, but it’s not a great idea for regular camping. The small space can be uncomfortable, and you’ll likely have issues with condensation, which can make things damp inside. It’s better to use a tent that’s designed for the number of people camping to stay comfy.

How heavy is a normal 1 person tent?

A normal one-person tent for camping typically weighs around 3 to 4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kilograms). It’s worth noting that 3-season tents, designed for spring, summer, and fall use, are considerably lighter compared to 4-season tents designed for winter camping. If you’re looking to reduce weight while backpacking, there are also ultralight options available that can weigh as little as 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms).

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