View Full Version : Are the extra tent lbs worth it?

04-22-2011, 16:31
I am looking at a lightweight 1 or 2 person tent and see more weight on the 2 person. I also read reviews advising 1 prrsonis sometimes cramped.

I plan to be solo and will be doing sections of the AT


04-22-2011, 16:38
Hey Dlittle, welcome to the forums. I would suggest you do a little search on the forums cause there are a ton of these, including my own. You need to give a little more info on what your looking for. Size that you are, how much you want to spend, tent/tart/hammock, do you need a little bit more/less room, when your going, new/used? I can throw 20 different tents at you and thats not going to help you much at all. Lets us know...

04-22-2011, 16:41
It really depends on your size, your skill/comfort level, and how much gear you want to bring into your tent.

I am a big guy, so I like a 2P tent - it not only gives me flexibility for bringing my son, but I can roll around/move across the tent floor and find a better spot if need be at 3AM. I like that I can stretch out in the AM, especially if it is raining. In addition, I have extra room to change clothes and be comfortable.

Some folks may desire bringing everything into the tent with them. In a 1P, This can be a hassle in the rain, when everything is wet, so having the extra floor space of a 2P is nice.
Unless it is cold and I need my pack under my feet, I usually hang it and its contents from the closest tree and thereby affords me extra floor space in a 2P.

Having had both 1 & 2P tents over the years, for summer/hot weather I really liked the lightweight features of 1P and don't need the flexibility as much -Such tents as the old Jack Wolfskin Soloist, a hooped bivy sack or the SD lightning. I hang now in summer, so it isn't an question for me anymore. For shoulder months, I like the flexibilty of 2P for the reasons in paragraph 1..

04-22-2011, 16:44
Agreed with the posts above, need more information.

Just an FYI, you could always get a 1+ person. Something that's meant for one person but can fit 2 in a squeeze. This will also provide you with some extra room in the tent for whatever you néed.

Feral Bill
04-22-2011, 16:46
I find that the weigh difference is small and worth it. I am tall and like to lounge around out of the bugs. If you want space and light weight, consider a tarp and bug net. Cheaper, too.

04-22-2011, 16:56
Sorry guys, new here

5'11 190 lbs
Plan for most trips to be less than 5 nights out.
Will b doing sections of AT
Price range less then $300
Don't have big love for crawly things so an attached floor would be preferred.

What else can I provide?


04-22-2011, 17:14
A great little tent is the Sierra Designs Light Year CD. It is like 9 feet long and has plenty of room for gear inside even though it's a one person model. This tent has been around for years and I think Campmor still offers it. Weight and price are very good. No one ever mentions it any more because it is somewhat dated.


04-22-2011, 17:19
dlittle -

For me, it was worth it. I thrud in 2010 and started with a Tarptent Moment at around 2 lbs. I couldn't make it work for me - condensation was too extreme. I changed out to a Hubba Hubba HP I already owned but had never used at around 4 lbs. The extra space and security/solidness of the tent was certainly worth the 2 lbs.

Also, I'd say the weight mattered less after I got started. Yes I was aware of it, yes I thought about how much weight those 2 lbs of peanut M&Ms added coming out of town, but it didn't matter as much as in the prep phase. Just hit a point of what works for me is what I want to use.

04-22-2011, 17:24
Look at the Big Agnes Flycreek UL2, which only weighs 6oz more than the 1p. Packed weight is 2lb 6oz.

04-22-2011, 17:24
Here (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=70963) is a recent thread about using the Hubba Hubba as a 1-person tent.

04-22-2011, 17:36
Look at Tarptent.com, too. The Contrail has lots of trail miles on it, is economical, and very large for its weight.

04-22-2011, 20:00
Look at the Big Agnes Flycreek UL2, which only weighs 6oz more than the 1p. Packed weight is 2lb 6oz.


I have the UL1 but I am only 5'3". I get all my gear inside with me (pack outside) and use the vestibule for boots and waterbottle. I still had room to change.

04-22-2011, 21:05
I went with a Rainbow. Should be in the mail now and hope to use it next week. Ill let you know. If I didnt get the Rainbow it was possibly a Hubba or 2x hubba or the moment(much less room). Lunar Duo is huge from what Ive heard or even try the Lunar.

04-22-2011, 21:10
The sad truth is that you won't really know if you really like the benefits of a 2 person tent vs a 1 person tent unless you have actually tired both of them.

My first lightweight tarptent was the Anti Gravity Gear "Brawney" tarp tent at 24 ounces and a lot of space. It took a while to learn tarptent basics, but after a few poorly selected tent sites and a few poorly oriented pitches, I got it right. I like it a lot, and have been toying with some modifications for increased ventilation at the very top.

I also was taken with the features of another ultralight tarptent (a hybrid, actually) the LightHeart Solo. Unfortunately, I had medical problems develop suddenly and had only slept 2 nights in it last summer. This summer I will spend some late spring time camping and will know by summer which tent I will carry on my AT section.

I know I would like the space of a 2 person tent/shelter, but at my advanced age, I am picking out all the ounces I can to be able to still backpack.

I have an old Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD tent that is for 2 people but is "snug" for 2 people, and it comes in a 4 pounds 8 ounces with all the stakes and poles and fly and stuff sacks. I really like that for solo bicycle camping, but those extra 2 pounds or so are just too much for an older gentleman's backpack.

For $300 there are several excellent choices for you well under 3 pounds in 2 people tents and tarptents. If you havent learned about tarptents, start at www.tarptent.com and then do google searches for other suppliers. Or someone will type you up a list of suppliers. Mostly, there won't be any of the old line [heavyweight] backpacking firms supplying these lightweight items.

Good luck. There are a few more modern ultralight backpacking books around to help you, but they aren't as current as magazine articles or internet forums.

04-22-2011, 21:15
Check out the new Six Moon Designs Skyscape tents. They will not be shipped until July 13th, but you can preorder now. This tent looks very promising. Roomy, almost completely double wall and you can get it as light as you want it! Starting with the Scout Model at 34 oz and $90 (if ordered before May 31st). The Trekker model, at 24 oz and $175 (if ordered before May 31st). Then there is the X. This one is made of cuben fiber, so it is lighter (16 oz) but a little more $$$, $450. They are definitely worth looking into...

04-22-2011, 22:30
For me, a light 2-man is worth it (Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight, ~4 pounds w/ mods).

When I thru-hiked I experimented with going without a lot of things & wound up re-adopting a number of creature comforts the ultralight crowd tends to frown on. A tent was one of them. Worth it for the flexibility, protection, and privacy.

04-22-2011, 22:36
STICK, thanks for posting the information on the Skyscape tents. I like what I see there and at a good price.

04-22-2011, 22:41
Is the extra weight worth it. For me it's a big yes. I've used a tarp, but sleep better not having to fight bugs, blowing rain, noisy flapping. I could go back to a tarp in a pinch, but prefer my tent much more.

04-23-2011, 01:54
I had a TT Contrail for 3 seasons and sold it for a TT Moment which is 4 oz. heavier at 28 oz. BUT... this tent is so much better in so many ways that I don't mind the extra few ounces.

Rocket Jones
04-23-2011, 09:02
I bought the Tarptent Double Rainbow and have never regretted it. I'm usually by myself, but the weight penalty isn't terrible and it was cheaper than buying a second 2-man tent for the few times I need one.

Papa D
04-23-2011, 09:08
I think that my single MSR Carbon Reflex is PLENTY big When I'm camped, I place my pack upside down inside my pack cover and place inside the vestibule and place my shoes on top of it. Food is hung or in a bear box (whatever) and all of my sleeping and personal gear is placed inside the tent with me. For cooking in the rain, I open one side of the vestibule. It is perfectly compact and comfortable for a backpacker. I can't imagine needing more space. The better your camping skills, the less space you need - carrying a 2 person tent would seem sort of silly to me but HYOH.

05-04-2011, 21:59
I'm a geezer (68) and to me even my 29 oz. TarpTent Moment is a bit on the heavy side when I look at a 16 oz. Six Moon Designs Skyscape X (Cuben cloth) tent.

But I love the design of my Moment and will keep it until I wear it out. That sucker is fast to set up - less than a minute. Plus it's very wind-worthy and has room in the vestibule to store my pack AND let me cook out of the weather if necessary.

Geezerhood makes one very cognizant of every extra ounce. ;)