Author Topic: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?  (Read 4246 times)

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Offline BikingBrian

Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 01, 2014, 12:45:36 am »
I'm in the market for a new tent. The primary consideration is that it's for one person (I don't want it too big/heavy) and freestanding (for camping opportunities which would preclude stakes). Most other considerations are secondary. Any suggestions?

Offline janetanorth

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 03:40:32 am »
i know you said freestanding, but you might give this a look at:    www.moosejaw.com
the terra nova zephyros 1; incredible price, additional 5% off with code: RMN5
i bought one mostly to use the fly as a tarp.
cheers!

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 09:39:21 am »
I have used a Hilleberg Allak for several years, but they have more compact models with the Soulo and the Unna - vestibule and no vestibule, respectively.  They have more recently offering the same designs in a more light weight material too.  Don'T go on their web site because you'll fall in love and be ruined for other tents that are all mere compromises for quality, features, durability etc.
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline BikingBrian

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 12:13:57 am »
I went to REI this afternoon and I was intrigued by their Quarter Dome T1. It's called "semi-freestanding" which from what I can tell means that the tent is freestanding, but the fly would have to be staked. That's OK by me because if I need to be freestanding, it's probably on a concrete pad with a canopy above it. Or if I had to put the fly up, I could tie it to something rather than stake it. It was too close to closing time for me to ask someone at REI to set it up in the store, I may do so later.

Offline briwasson

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 08:19:22 am »
I've been pleased with my MSR Hubba for my solo tent. I also have an REI Half Dome as my two-fer, and like that, too. (Same tent as the Quarter Dome, mostly.)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 09:34:23 am »
I normally recommend you get a tent advertised for one more person than you plan to have sleeping in it; for one person, get a two-man tent.  It gives you room to wiggle, some extra room for "dump the load inside the tent when it's raining and then spread it out while keeping everything dry," and some room for gear.  Do you really want to leave your camera in the bar bag, and risk it being stolen, when you might have room to keep it beside you?

Others may have different opinions, of course.

Two other recommendations: (1) Decide what you want, but try to stay flexible.  Are you willing to spend $200, $300, $800?  Can you carry an extra pound to save some of that?  Two pounds? Do you want the lightest possible weight (probably a bivy sack), or are you hard over on stand-alone?

Once you've got initial answers to those questions, (2) go to an REI or similar store.  Try to do it during a weekday, or early on a rainy weekend.  Go through their selection, and try putting up the tents that match your criteria.  You'll find some take an architecture degree to set up (how will you get that done in a rainy dusk?) and may be very light, and some are no-brainers but weigh more.  If you're over 5'8" or so, crawl inside the erected tent.  Ask yourself some questions: how do you fit (the REI tents usually have an "extra" version that'll fit taller people), how much room you have to sit up, and stretch out your arms (like you would putting warm clothes on in a cold morning).  How easy is it to get out of the tent and fly in the dark when your bladder is really, really full; or to get back in without soaking everything in the tent when it's raining and blowing?

Pick out the tent you like best and buy it.

Once you've bought your tent, don't look at any tent sites or discussions -- especially this one! -- until you've toured with it for a week or two.  By then you'll think more about the owl hooting over your head at 2:00 in the morning than about how you might have saved 2.75 ounces for only $55 more.  There's always another choice you could have made.  After you've built up a few memories with new gear, you won't care anymore.  You'll end up happy and content, which was really your goal to begin with!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 12:46:58 pm »
I also like the N+1 approach. But if you're set on getting a one-person tent, I'd recommend getting one of the larger ones. Note that the larger tents are not necessarily the heavier ones, but the lighter tents are usually the more expensive ones.

REI lists 17 one-person tents, 14 of which are freestanding. They range in price from $130 to $400. They range in square footage from 16 to 28, with vestibules from 4 to 10 square feet, and weight from 1 pound 10 ounces to 3 pounds 10 ounces. Pay more attention to the "packaged weight" rather than the "minimum weight". What you carry will be somewhere in between, but probably closer to the packaged weight.

I think a good overall compromise is the Marmot Eos 1 at $250, 2 pounds 7 ounces (minimum) or 2 pounds 13 ounces (packaged), 21 square feet with 7.85 square feet of vestibule.

Offline BikingBrian

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 01:24:37 pm »
In addition to a bivy sack, my current tents are the Sierra Designs Lookout CD (which I've used for 2 people) and a Kelty Zen (which I've used solo, but it's not freestanding). Looking back at the specs, their advertised capacities are really N+1. So I'll expand my search to 2 person tents. BTW, I'm also tall at 6'2", so that may play into tent selection. It also needs to be able to fit my long version of the NeoAir XLite sleeping pad, which is 77" in length.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 01:59:54 pm »
First, understand that "free standing" does not mean no stakes. My tent, which I like,
https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/SeedhouseSL1,
needs stakes to be usuable, while meeting the industry definition of free standing.

As  to two person tent for one, I have had a number of two person tents for mostly solo use; I am more happy with the one person tent above.

Offline mbattisti

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 08:49:31 pm »
another vote for the Hubba Hubba

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 09:16:29 am »
 "Big Agnes" or "Hubba Hubba" are both popular tents. Do you suppose the very cool names have something to do with it? Mine is the Hubba Hubba, and it has served me well. Their customer service is great. I packed my fly wet and left it too long. When I finally unpacked it, there were ugly dots of mold all over the fly. The company was very helpful in getting me a new fly without buying the whole tent.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 09:37:24 am »
BTW, I'm also tall at 6'2", so that may play into tent selection. It also needs to be able to fit my long version of the NeoAir XLite sleeping pad, which is 77" in length.

Definitely try the tents.  In several tents I was brushing the head and foot when I lay down.  Just like the time in the Tetons when the mosquitos were chewing my feet because they were up against the side walls.

Offline bong_crosby

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 08:28:35 pm »
A little more info would help.  What's your budget?  How many consecutive nights are you looking at sleeping in the tent?  What part of the country will it be used?  Stuff like that.

So, with that said, if you're planning on spending more than a couple weeks on the road, then like others have said, a 2-person would be the way to go.  Having a place to spread out at the end of the day or when the weather turns is worth the weight penalty.  Big Agnes is a quality company and you can get a 2P that weighs less than some 1Ps, but they are spendy.

If you're going to be using the tent in a humid or wet environment, check reviews to make sure it's well ventilated and dry. 

Offline lvmelini@comcast.net

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 09:40:59 pm »
PDLamb gave great advice. My wife and I exclusively use 3-person tents (REI or Big Agnes) for bike touring. For the extra pound (or less over a 2-person tent) we have much more moving about space and headroom. However I am just under 5'6" and my wife is a bit shorter so I use the length of the tent for storing gear. At 6'2" you will need the length to be comfortable. I would look at the  head room and length of the tent and not worry so much about weight. I doubt if you will find this in a one-person tent. Perhaps you will.

Offline DaveB

Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 09:53:07 am »
For comfort I've always taken the N+1 advice a bit further and recommend 2*N as a size to get. For 2 people I want a 4-person tent. That can get either heavy or expensive or both but it assures you aren't continually bumping into each other and gives space for your needed gear inside with you.  I've camped with two of us in what was advertised as a 3-person tent and three of us in a 4-person tent and it was really crowded.