Best One Person Tent Under $100: 5 Light & Waterproof Individual Tent Options

Whether you’re going out exploring the wilderness by yourself or just want a tent that’s going to be easy to carry around, finding the best one person tent is essential.

They are small and compact, offering the space you need in a size that’s easy to transport whether you’re moving around on foot, on a bike or in the car.

But not all one person tents are created equally. Some are certainly better than others, and there are different models that suit the various needs of different people.

What To Look For in a Single Person Tent

Firstly these reviews focus on personal tents with poles and not a supported tarp shelter or bivy sack which are slightly different. The distinction is important because of the bearing it has on average weights and the materials used for construction.

It Should Be Light To Carry

The fact that you’re looking for a tent to house just one person probably indicates that you’re likely to be backpacking. Weight and getting weight down is probably a priority, no one wants to hike for miles with a huge weight on their back.

A one person backpacking tent can weigh as little as 1lb 4 oz (packed weight). That’s for brands such as Terra Nova, MSR and Big Agnes with prices up to $1000. Given our review price point of under $100 you can’t expect this kind of weight without cutting corners.

Realistically for the money you need to be looking at a tent that will weigh between 2-4lb. Not a huge amount heavier given the x 10 multiple on price for the ultra light ones.

What Material Will It Be Made From?

The material and specifically the thickness of the fabric has the biggest impact on the overall weight. It also effects waterproofing and in such a tight space comfort and ventilation. Cheaper materials and tents will be less breathable.

Ultralight tent fabrics are usually Nylon based with a polyurethane coating to make them waterproof. As you spend more the weight to strength ratio of the fabric improves. Furthermore the actual fabric gets thinner and thus lighter to carry.

More expensive backpacking tents are made from Silnylon and Dyneema. Dyneema is the holy grail for minimum weight fanatics, this clever stuff is also used to make parachutes and high performance sails.

Interior Living Space

OK so we’re talking about a single person tent. It’s never going to be that roomy. In fact this kind of tent is really purely functional. You’re not going to be lounging around in it for hours. Rather you’ll pitch up, sleep, pack away then go.

If you want space for any gear or a backpack ensure you read the reviews thoroughly as many literally have the enough space to sleep in. If you factor in a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, yourself and essential lighting most 1 person tents will be full. Some you can’t even sit up in.

If you’re claustrophobic you might be better opting for a 2 person tent rather than trying to save a few ounces. For most buyers of this kind of tent interior space won’t be a big issue. Just be realistic about what you’re getting in terms of volume so you’re not disappointed come the first time you camp out in it.

How Long Will It Take To Setup These Tents?

If you’re backpacking either alone or even with a friend or two chances are that you’ll be solely responsible for setting up your own tent. This might be in the dark and more than likely of the beaten track. You therefore need a one man tent that’s quick and straight forward to setup.

There really isn’t much to tents like this. Generally an inner mesh with floor and an outer rainfly plus a couple of poles and ground stakes to help form the structure. Setup times should really be a matter of a few minutes for this type of tent.

On With The Reviews

All the one person tent options discussed below are reasonably light and waterproof and are the next size up in terms of space from a bivy tent or even a one man cot tent. On top of that, they can all be bought for under $100 because we know that the majority of us don’t want to break the bank when buying a single person tent.

Read on to learn about these 5 individual tent options.

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent – An easy to setup and light single man tent

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx single person tent is designed specifically for people who enjoy mountaineering, as the name suggests. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used in other ways, however.

Key Product Info

ProductAlps Mountaineering Lynx
Shelter MaterialPolyester
PolesAluminum
Weight3.94lbs
Base Size 2'8 x 7'6

Firstly the ventilation on offer is good thanks to the half mesh walls. There is also a vestibule for extra storage, which will be useful to most people allowing you to fit vital bits of gear.

Alps Mountaineering inner tent
Inner tent of the Alps Mountaineering Lynx with side entry and front gear pouch

 

The tent weighs 3.94 lbs, meaning it’s reasonably lightweight and easy to transport. You should have no trouble fitting it in your backpack once it’s all packed up correctly. The rainfly is one of the better ones available, so you will remain protected from the rain while you sleep.

It’s Compact But Aren’t All One Person Tents?

In terms of size, the tent is certainly compact. Bigger people using the tent might find the space a little cramped, but this won’t be a big problem for the vast majority of people. Still you might not be able to sit up inside it comfortably.

One user on the Whiteblaze.net forum commented that the only downside to this otherwise very good tent was that it’s small and claustrophobic.

Another implication of the compact size is that some people can find it challenging to get in and out of, especially when the vestibule is deployed. The tent is just under our ceiling price, offering decent value for money.

There are cheaper one person tent options out there but because of the particularly light design, storage options and waterproof quality, the price is more than fair

Pros:

  • Good value for your money: it offers more than you’d get from more expensive tents
  • Very lightweight: it’s easy to move around without it causing you any major headaches
  • Vestibule storage: if you’re carrying things with you, you’ll have somewhere to put them
  • Good ventilation: the half mesh walls mean condensation won’t become a problem
  • Easy assembly: there is nothing complicated about putting up the tent; it’s small stature aids this

Cons:

  • Very compact inside: taller or larger users might find they feel a little cramped
  • Vestibule storage use impacts on entry/exit: some people will find it harder to get out of when the vestibule storage is being used
  • Hard to sit up comfortably: even people of average height will find it difficult to sit up comfortably

Conclusion:

Overall, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent is a good tent for people who need protection from the elements and want to move around easily.

The lightweight design and strong waterproof features make it useful for people who are hiking and mountaineering, as well as campers who just like to do a lot of walking.

It’s not such a good product if you want a bit of extra space inside the tent. Given the type of buyer this product is aimed at those people will be few and far between. Bear in mind though if you are large or a tall person double check the floor foot print size so that you can sleep comfortably.

 

2. Winterial 1 Person Tent – Low cost and easy to transport single man tent but not great for taller people

Key Product Info

ProductWinterial 1 Person Tent
Shelter MaterialNylon
PolesAluminum
Weight2lb 9oz
Base Size 90" x 38"

At a good chunk under our $100 target the cost of the Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent is very impressive. For people who are not experienced campers with specific needs, this price will attract them. But what do you get for your money?

One of the heavier options being reviewed

For a start, the tent weighs 4 lbs when packed, meaning that it’s reasonably lightweight and won’t weigh you down when getting around. However it remains one of the heavier options on test here.

The size is 22” x 7” x 6” when packed so given the length will slot in a backpack of approx 40litres or above. Of course you could always fasten it to some lower loops that most packs come with.

The assembly is very easy, so even beginner campers shouldn’t have much trouble here.

The waterproof features are adequate but not the best. If it rains, you won’t get wet. But if that rain turns into a torrential storm, the tent will be pushed to its limits, and it might not always hold up.

Winterial inner tent with hooped construction
The main inner tent of the Winterial with mesh lining and hooped construction.

 

One clear problem lies with the ventilation in the tent. The mesh roof is poor, and many people find that condensation becomes a problem during humid nights.

Cheap and affordable but not durable

The overall durability of the tent is not the best. It’s cheap and affordable, but it won’t last forever as a result of this. The stakes are a little shorter than they could otherwise be, and this makes surviving storms that bit more tricky. There’s also not much on offer in the way of storage.

Pros:

  • Very quick and easy to assemble: the poles snap together easily and it uses two hoops
  • Low cost: this is one of the most affordable one person tents on the market
  • Lightweight: the tent is very lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack
  • Access is always easy: the zippered doors are large and offer plenty of space to get in and out of

Cons:

  • Too compact for some: for those over 6 foot, the space will probably be inadequate
  • Stakes are not the most durable: the stakes are relatively short and don’t always stand up to testing conditions
  • Condensation problems: ventilation is a clear problem, meaning that you could wake up with a lot of condensation on the inside of the tent

Conclusion:

The Winterial tent is best for people who want to go hiking in mild conditions. If you are planning on camping in extreme weather conditions, this is probably not the tent for you.

It should also be avoided if you’re tall and need more space than this compact tent has to offer. But if you’re shorter the lightweight design and easy assembly will appeal and are what make it stand out, alongside its low cost.

 

3. Eureka! Solitaire Tent – One of the lightest 1 man tents around but build quality suffers

Key Product Info

ProductEureka! Solitaire Tent
Shelter MaterialPolyester
PolesFiberglass
Weight2lb 9oz
Base Size 96" x 32"

The Eureka! Solitaire Tent is aimed at people who want a starter tent at a low cost. Indeed the Eureka is among the cheapest one person tents on the market.

It’s also reasonably lightweight at only 2.9 lbs. If you want something small and easy to pack away, this could be an option. Still it’s not quite the light weight option that the more expensive Andake Ultralight tent represents.

However, people who are looking for a tent that they can rely on long term should look elsewhere.

Many users have found that the fiberglass poles simply break or shear after a few uses, while this wasn’t the case with our test model this is a trend too common to ignore. The poles have clearly been specified cheaply to get the price down and under tension they can fail.

Thinner denier material is light but can rip easily

Some reviewers have reported that hail storms have also been known to rip the tent material too. Again in an effort to get the price down a thinner denier rating of fabric has been chosen. This leaves the tent prone to rips and tears.

Unfortunately the overall flimsiness and poor specification of the tent negate any of the positive things it has to offer. You’ll spend a long time setting it up and that time will be wasted if it breaks quickly while on the trail.

Pros:

  • Low cost: it’s a cheap tent, but you get what you pay for here
  • Decent option for single man use: if you want a cheap tent to use once for a festival it could work
  • Very light: it’s one of the lightest tents around, making it easy to transport

Cons:

  • Weak and poor quality fiberglass poles that can break
  • Overall flimsy material design
  • Difficult to get in and out of: access is difficult
  • Tricky to set up: it takes a lot of effort to put in place, and the instructions are not very helpful

Conclusion:

Considering the major downsides of the Eureka Solitaire tent, it’s impossible to recommend it. It’s a bad product with a track record for not lasting long and breaking on users. You can’t help but feel that a few more dollars spent on manufacturing per unit would have resulted in a superior product.

The only single tent that employs fiberglass poles

The fiberglass poles are the major problem here with the competition all opting for aluminum alternatives. You’ll be lucky if they last more than a couple of uses without snapping on you. Once that happens, the tent is pretty much useless.

It could be a semi-decent option if you only want to use it once and could replace the poles with stronger alternatives. This then is not the best solo tent on test and buyers should look elsewhere. The Eureka brand does have more to offer than this dud though.

 

4. TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent – Great ventilation and an easy setup single person tent but with some minor niggles

Key Product Info

ProductTeton Sports Mountain Ultra
Shelter MaterialNylon
PolesAluminum
Weight3lb 3oz
Base Size 82" x 32"

The standout feature of the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent is the micro-mesh material that’s used to keep the tent properly ventilated all year round. This ventilation technology is better than you’ll find on any other tent in this price range. The TETON is well under the $100 dollar price category for one person tents at the time of review however the price of the Teton has been known to fluctuate.

It’s simple to put up and take the tent down. It’s also taller than many of the options on this list, so you will have room to sit up comfortable when inside the tent especially if you’re a six footer.

However you probably won’t be able to fit it in a backpack, and it’s more weighty than the other options on the market.

Prone to minor leaks

One criticism that has been made of the tent numerous times is its tendency to leak. The leaks people experience only tend to be minor. It’s also vital to use the rain-fly and the footprint to minimize this. It’s not ideal to be using this tent if you are expecting poor weather conditions overnight or if you frequently camp out in such conditions.

Pros:

  • Room for storage in the vestibule: easy to store what you need to store
  • Good ventilation: micro-mesh material allows for very strong ventilation in all conditions
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty: the tent comes with a warranty to protect you against defects
  • Plenty of room inside: even tall users should have no problems here

Cons:

  • Quite heavy: it’s a tent that’s heavier than many of the other options
  • Difficult to carry in a backpack: the weight and bulkiness make it difficult to carry around
  • Minor leakage: many users complain of minor leakage after rain and storms

Conclusion:

If you want something that is going to be easy to carry around and pack away simply in your backpack, the Teton isn’t the tent for you. It’s a good product for people who don’t mind the size and weight of the product.

If you are expecting bad weather, always deploy the rain-fly and footprint to avoid leakages. The micro-mesh material that provides good ventilation is its main selling point. Having a warranty that covers you offers another reason to make the purchase. Despite it not being the best on test here this one person tent will get plenty of sales.

 

5. Andake One Person Tent – Lightweight and waterproof making it the best solo tent on test

Key Product Info

ProductAndake One Person Tent
Shelter MaterialSilnylon
PolesAluminum
Weight1lb 7oz
Base Size 81" x 27"

The convenience you get from the Andake one person tent is paramount. You can pack it all up and slide it inside pretty much any decent backpack. The size is very small, and the weight is even more impressive. At just 1.7 lbs, you can carry this tent around with you all day and never feel like it’s weighing you down. This is certainly the most impressive aspect of the tent.

The Andake is made from premium silnylon

The quality of the materials is impressive too. This is not a flimsy tent that will only last a few camping trips, in fact the Andake is made from Silnylon. Sylnylon is a lighter and stronger version of standard nylon. A great specification for a tent under $100. You should be able to keep coming back to it and using reliably it time and time again.

It also has a waterproof rating of PU 2000mm while still remaining breathable, so you won’t get wet unless it rains hard for a long extended period. Don’t get us wrong this tent is not suitable for 4 season use. It won’t shed snow or hold up to persistent wind but for the money it will keep you safe and dry for the majority of the year.

Andake single person tent shown open

Setup can be tricky

On the negative side a few people have found that the trekking pole doesn’t always stand up to harsh conditions when the wind picks up. And the setup can be tricky if you don’t watch the instructional videos. But these are relatively minor complaints once you’ve mastered the setup.

The main problem for people who are trekking with a lot to carry is that the vestibule storage space is very limited – like the other options on test. Perhaps as you would expect from a small tent. It’s also fair to say though that backpackers on the whole do try to carry light.

Overall the price tag is fair and reasonable considering the high quality of the materials and the very minor quibbles.

Pros:

  • Fits in backpacks easily: one of the easiest tents to transport and carry
  • Ultra lightweight: the lightest one person tent on test
  • Made from Silnylon (silicone treated nylon) which has a great strength to weight ratio
  • Waterproof: leaks shouldn’t be a problem here
  • Good quality YKK zippers
  • Lantern hanging hook

Cons:

  • Tricky setup: the setup can be a little complicated the first time but instructional videos are available
  • Weak trekking pole: the trekking pole isn’t suited to strong winds but replacements are available
  • Limited storage space in the vestibule: not a great deal of storage space for hikers but is that anything new?

Conclusion:

If you don’t need much storage space, but you want to keep dry, the Andake is the tent for you. It’s good for people who are walking casually and want nothing more than a strong tent that is easy to carry around. It will even fit in a small day pack.

Once you’ve mastered the setup all will be well. Masterwoodsman explains just how to do that with this personal tent in the video below as the included instructions are non-existent.

You won’t find a tent lighter than this one under $100, and the way it packs up makes it extremely portable too. All in all, the Andake Tent is a very good product with a lot to offer. Against the rest of the competition here this is the best solo tent reviewed

 

The Overall Verdict & The Best One Person Tent Revealed

Of these one person tents the Andake tent is a clear winner when it comes to quality on offer.

The materials that are used to construct the tent are of the highest quality, and no other tent on the list can compete with them.

Yes, it’s the most expensive tent on this list, so maybe the fact that it’s won is not a surprise. But it still comes in at under $100. The Andake is the best one person tent of the 5 reviewed here.

Another admirable tent worth a mention here is the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx tent. It offers great value for money, it’s really easy to set up and carry around, and ventilation won’t be a problem.

Of course, the best ventilation can be found on the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra tent. But the weight, bulkiness and fluctuating price make it less appealing.

The tent to avoid is the Eureka! Solitaire tent. It’s simply too weak to be able to do the job properly for you. The poles break far too easily, and the design simply isn’t good enough for what most people expect from a tent.

While all these personal tents offer a good degree of waterproof protection out of the box, so to speak, it’s still worth following the tent waterproofing advice here.

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