Best backpacking, one-person tents for hiking from Vango, Snugpak, Decathlon

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Our premium backpacking tents are lightweight, portable and perfect for adventure

best lightweight one person hiking tents 2022

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Not all tents are created equal – they range from huge, family-friendly designs with as much room inside as a small cottage, to lightweight and portable one-person tents that fit in a small backpack.

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Backpacking tents are at the smallest end of the tent spectrum and, as the name suggests, are designed to be taken with you on your adventures – portable and compact enough to fit in backpacks or panniers, they are designed with hikers in mind , wild campers, bike backpackers and everyone else who travels long distances and sets up a new camp every evening.

The best backpacking tents at a glance:

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What size should I take?

You’ll find that tents are sold by the number of people they can sleep – one-person tents really only fit one person, and you may still want to choose a two-person tent if you want extra space and comfort wish. Most two-person tents should fit two campers plus their backpacks, and while these are heavier they can usually be split to share the weight.

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What is the ideal weight for a hiking tent?

When it comes to hiking and fast-packing adventures, weight is a big factor – after all, you have to take all your camping gear with you. A one-person tent weighing less than two kilos or a two-person tent weighing less than four kilos is the best choice, although there are also tents in our roundup that weigh as little as 700g.

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Warning: hiking tents are small

While a good night’s sleep is important, a backpacking tent isn’t as roomy as family or party tents – many have low ceilings and limited space as they are only used at night rather than as living space.

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We recommend choosing a tent that you can at least sit in, and tents with an outer canvas that can be tucked out to create a porch are also useful and provide extra storage for your boots and other gear.

Make sure it stays dry

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Waterproofing is your other priority. The model you choose should be a “twin skin” (a tent with an outer “fly” layer plus an inner tent) and have a waterproof rain tent as well as a built-in nylon floor to keep water out of the ground.

You’ll see rounder dome tents as well as narrower tunnel tents – if you’re planning on sleeping on exposed mountain slopes, a dome-style tent is a good choice for better wind resistance, and guy lines will also help you secure the tent against strong winds.

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Kelty Dirt Motel

Key Specifications – Capacity: Two people; Weight: 2.19kg;

Kelty’s Dirt Motel may sound playful, but it’s an apt name for this lightweight tent – it really offers comfort and space even when you’re camping in the wilderness.

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The Dirt Motel is an easy to pitch tent and once pitched it offers plenty of headroom as well as two wide doors and two porches making it an easy tent to share as a duo.

An inner mesh tent can be used alone in warm climates and protects against insects, or add the waterproof flysheet which we have found reliable against inclement weather even when testing the tent in the wet and windy Welsh mountains.

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Ideal for backpacking and traditional camping trips alike.

MSR Elixir 2 backpacking tent

Key Specifications – Capacity: Two people; Weight: 2.77kg;

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We’ve never met an MSR tent that we didn’t like – they excel at quality and are a great choice if you’re looking for a backpacking tent that’s built for years of camping trips.

The Elixir’s poles take only minutes to snap together, and the tent’s interior is spacious enough for two, with more than enough room to sit and well-placed pockets for your belongings. In front of the two doors are wide porches perfect for storing extra gear.

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On a hot night, you can even pitch the mesh inner tent by yourself, which is great for stargazing. The outer fly is waterproof in the rain, but in really stormy weather some water will seep in.

A one-person version is also available.

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Vango F10 Project Hydrogen

Key Specifications – Capacity: One person; Weight: 700g;

The impressive Project Hydrogen is one of the lightest backpacking tents on the market at just 700g.

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It folds down to the size of a loaf of bread, making it a breeze to carry in smaller backpacks or panniers – even when you’re walking, cycling or running you’ll hardly notice you’ve got a tent with you for long distances.

Inside there is enough space to comfortably fit one person, but there is still room to sit and the lanai has space for additional gear.

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The Project Hydrogen is an air tent and its hollow poles inflate quickly and easily with an included bicycle pump, and well-placed guy lines keep the pitched tent stable in stormy weather. An expensive option, but worth it for dedicated ultralight explorers.

Decathlon Self-standing 3-season trekking

Decathlon Self-standing 3-season trekking

Key Specifications – Capacity: One person; Weight: 1.3kg;

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The cheapest backpacking tent in our roundup is the rather nifty 3 Seasons Trekking from Decathlon, which we think is perfect if you’re looking for a one-person backpacking tent on a budget on the market.

It only weighs 1.3kg, but it doesn’t pack down as small as some other one-person tents we’ve tested, so you’ll need a larger backpack to carry it in. The 3 Seasons Trekking is a good size for one person large storage bags and a porch.

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We’ve found it to be waterproof and windproof enough on testing to work for most camps except high mountain conditions, although it needs to be dried regularly to prevent condensation from forming, so it works best in dry weather.

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Snugpak ionosphere

Key Specifications – Capacity: One person; Weight: 1.52kg;

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If small and compact is at the top of your tent shopping list, choose Snugpak’s chic Ionosphere.

Sitting low to the ground, the Ionosphere feels more like you’re sleeping in a bivy sack with a little more headroom – there’s limited room to move inside, but its design means it packs down into a compact package that fits in just can be set up in a few minutes and weighs only 1.5 kg.

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This tent was clearly designed for adventure racers, and its dark green color scheme also makes it a subtle choice for discreet wild camping. You can sleep alone in the inner mesh tent in hot weather, or add the waterproof flysheet for wet conditions, and a repair kit is also included – great if you venture far off the beaten track.

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Vango Nevis200

Vango F10 Xenon UL 2

Key Specifications – Capacity: Two people; Weight: 1.8kg;

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This tent offers a low pack weight, small size and decent living space in an easy to set up two man tent that is ideal for your next wild camping, backpacking, hiking and bike packing adventure.

The Vango Nevis has a waterproof, durable shell, a highly waterproof and durable groundsheet, and a simple hoop bar construction with struts for easy deployment and maximum interior space.

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This tent has two side entry doors to facilitate access for two people and is built to withstand strong and changeable weather.

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Berghaus Grampian 2 tent

Key Specifications – Capacity: Two people; Weight: 4.24kg;

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The spacious Berg Grampian 2 from Berghaus is a great all-rounder if you’re looking for a two-person tent. Well-suited for festivals and traditional camping weekends, as well as dedicated backpacking trips, it can easily be split into two packs to share the 4.24kg load.

Two generous canopies accommodate additional gear and the Grampian’s geodesic design leaves plenty of living space inside and makes the tent stand up very well in windy or stormy weather.

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Our only gripe would be that this bright red colorway isn’t exactly subtle – go for the green version if you’re into wild camping.

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OEX Jackal III

Key Specifications – Capacity: Three people; Weight: 3.37kg;

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As a trio on an adventure? The affordable Jackal III from OEX offers a great space-to-weight ratio, accommodating three people if you don’t mind a little coziness inside, or two people with plenty of room.

At 3.37kg, the Jackal III is as light as some two-person tents we’ve tested, and it also comes complete with two stuff sacks and is designed to easily split between two packs for transport.

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The waterproof outer tent and groundsheet are sturdy and weatherproof, although setting them up is a bit fiddly. There is also a spacious porch for storage.

Overall this is a well designed tent at a very reasonable price.

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