I consider buying my first tent. I do night-day hiking (once in several months). I am still a newbie.

I have very hard choice: either to buy 1-person tent or to buy 2-person tent.

Currently prices are "good" 2-person tent (60 eur), 1-person tent (100 eur), "advanced" 2-person tent (150 eur).

Someone said to me that it is impractical to buy 1-person tent. 2-person tent always has more space, maybe you will want to share the tent with someone else. But 1-person tent is more personal and more compact.

Usually during hiking we carry only daypack with essential stuff, tent and heavy stuff we leave on parking slot.

  • 5
    This question is a recommendation question. Moreover it's more about outdoors than travel.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 7:01
  • Flagged for migration.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 8:25
  • 4
    So you never intend on carrying the tent? One person tents are typically only used when weight is an issue.
    – user2766
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 12:34

3 Answers 3


Before deciding on the tent to buy think about the characteristics of your different options.

  • Tent size (how many people does it hold, is there room for luggage or even indoor cooking?)
  • Tent weight (you want to keep that as low as possible obviously)
  • Type of construction (generally this doesn't matter too much unless you have a favorite)

In terms of weight-per-sleeping-space you can generally say that the bigger the tent, the more efficient it is. So while a one person tent is slightly lighter overall, a two person tent is a lot lighter when the load is shared between two people (or as a probably more realistic example: one person will carry the tent, and the other the cooking equipment). And again a three person tent will be more efficient for three people, etc.

The one person tent

Will have a slightly lower weight generally, but much less space. I'd say that you are generally saving at best 20-30% of the weight as compared to a two person tent, but have something like 50% less space.

The two person tent

Will generally be a bit heavier, but will also provide much more space. Not only can you bring a friend along in the future, but if you are using it alone it will also be a lot more comfortable, there will be room for the backpack, to get dressed inside, etc...

To sum it up:
Unless weight is a very critical factor that you need to minimize absolutely - for example when doing very long (10 day+ hikes) - I would go for the two person tent. It is more versatile, more comfortable and the weight savings of the one person tent are just not worth it.

  • When I hike with a friend we bring two one-person tents...
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 17:54
  • 2
    2xOne man tents weighs so much more than a single 2 person backpacking tent.
    – Shrewd
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 16:11
  • I often go on long treks, so weight is an issue for me. And to be honest I'd also not go on a trek with somebody I'd not be comfortable sharing a tent with.
    – fgysin
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 16:38

Since you are not carrying the tent, I would buy a 2 person tent for the extra space. This will allow more room for clothes, sleeping stuff, changing your clothes etc. If it rains it would be easier to stay away from the wall of the tent.

If you are carrying the tent, then you need to think about weight and a 1 person might be better.


When camping near my vehicle, I use an old A-frame, 4-man tent. There's room for all my gear with plenty of sleeping and dressing space. I can stand up to change clothes.

If I am planning on an extended stay, 3 nights or more, I usually pitch a 12x14 foot tent. Table, chair, cot, stove. Nice and comfortable.

If I'm backpacking, I either leave the tent at home and use a simple sheet of plastic that is large enough to fold over me in case of rain, or I pack a small, light two-man tent that has enough height for me to sit or kneel while changing clothes.

Using just the sheet of plastic is great for late summer / early fall, when there are not many mosquitoes and there is little to no threat of snow. While backpacking in late fall / early winter, I always bring the tent.

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