Single person vs two person lightweight tents

Jan 18, 2014
Needin some feedback of th space or lack of space in two vs one person tents…lookin to lighten th load by a few more ounces. The one person ones seem to be more “ coffin “ like. Gimmee some input with pics if ya have em.

I prefer the room of a 2 man vs a 1 man tent and the ability to go with my son, brother or friend and share the tent if needed. But I'm willing to haul more weight for camp comforts that allow me to sleep and recuperate better.
Needin some feedback of th space or lack of space in two vs one person tents…lookin to lighten th load by a few more ounces. The one person ones seem to be more “ coffin “ like. Gimmee some input with pics if ya have em.


Here are some shots of my one-man tents, or "coffins" as you say. :)

The Sierras

Foot room

The Sierras

Crescent Lake, Yellowstone

A messy look inside

Two-man versus one-man - Yellowstone River

Castle Creek, Teton Wilderness

View from the door of my one-man tent on Mist Creek, Yellowstone

Mallard Lake, Yellowstone

My one-man on the left - Toiyabe Range, Nevada

Arc Dome Wilderness, Nevada

Foot room


Night Lake, Wyoming

Bechler, Yellowstone

Douglas Knob, Yellowstone

I must say that I do like the side entrance better than the front entrance on my one-man tents. Both are kind of cozy, but I have gotten used to that.
Is Th REI th one ya had next door in Yellowstone? I like th side door better nowadays..easier to get out.
Difference between my 1P and 2P is less than a pound. Honestly I could skip a few snacks and shed the same weight without giving up all the extra tent space that the 2P offers ;)
For short, solo trips when the weather is pretty predictable I go w/ a very light 1P tent (and often just sleep on top of it). For longer trips when the weather is less predictable (or when I just know it's gonna be bad) I take the 2P tent. When I'm sleeping I don't really care about the size, but if I have to "hole up" for a bit it's nice to be able to move around. (For reference - my 1P is ~15oz and my 2P is ~27oz.)

If I'm giving advice, I'd say - all other things similar - err on the larger side.

I also agree that side entrances are superior.

Below is a picture of my 1P tent in the Alaska Range during a storm - not a great time to be in a 1P silnylon tent. I upgraded after that trip. Poles blew out a few times, too, which has never happened in my 2P DCF tent, even in higher winds. (Fun Fact: picture is at 12a w/ no flash... good old Alaska summer.)
I prefer 1 person tents, generally, but I am not a large person (5'8"). 2 person if there is bad weather or other need to spend a lot of time in a tent. If conditions allow I'll take all the weight savings I can get. Been using a tarptent Notch and that is just enough room for me. Can sit up or lay down but not much else!

If you're actually planning to share a tent with 2 people often I recommend a 3 person tent, then split it between 2 people... but you probably already knew that.
I love my BA UL copper spur 1p tent. It feels like you have more room because of vertical walls with the cross bar that goes across the top. Doesn’t feel like a coffin. I’m 6’and I can sit up in it and my head doesn’t hit the top. My pad has enough space on the sides of it to put my clothes bag or any other stuff I want to next to me. It weighs 44 oz with the footprint. I just sent the dimensions to a friend so I’ll add it here as well. Not sure what’s up with the dog in the pic. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Had a tarptent rainbow single and a tarptent bowfin single... Both just over 2 lbs. Plenty room for me and my pack if bad weather....
it's definitely more of a spectrum rather than discrete. like Bob says there are 1-persons that will take your pack and also single tents that really won't do that, comfortably. I've shared a one-person shelter with both of my kids at one point or another. on the other side there are some fairly small tents listed as 2 people, where you'd want to be real close friends with whoever you're sharing it with. so anyhow it's not so much about the label as whether your specific requirements (sitting up, changing clothes easily, holding your pack, holding a friend in a pinch, or whatever) are met
Idk, you planning on doing calisthenics in there, spending the day hanging out, or do you just need a place to sleep at night?
I'm all about minimal shelters, since I'm just there to sleep, am mostly concerned about bulk/packed size, and to a lesser degree, weight.

My Integral Designs eVent Unishelter bivy was great for me, except for not being able to sit up to get dressed, and it being open to rain or snow when getting in/out...
Screenshot_20220417-154802_Facebook.jpg I got a Tarptent Notch that fixed all that while weighing less.

The Notch can be used as fly-only with a groundsheet...

...with a mesh inner...

...or a semi-solid one, per the expected conditions.

Loved the Notch, but eventually wore it out after ~8yrs and >325 nights' use.
At that point, I decided I wanted a relatively similar shelter that was more "bombproof", and got a MLD Solomid XL.
Bombproof it was, as quickly proven in its second use, being unfazed by continuous 40mph winds without even using the extra tieouts, or being particularly well-pitched.

Whether using the fly alone, or the mesh inner, the shelter's weight is a hair less than that of the Notch, though the total package is about the same due to using more stakes. It also packs down better, lacking the Notch's integrated struts.


That would be my only shelter, except that a friend gave me a ZPacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp, as it was too minimal for him. It's become my "fair weather" shelter, though it can handle wind and rain, too, as long as it's pitched low enough, and in the right direction.
If it had doors like the current version, it would get 90% of my use.

Not only does it pack up quickly and easily, it's incredibly light. 397g/14.0oz for the tarp, bathtub floor, extra guyline, stakes, and pole extender.
This is the fly and ZPacks Solo Plus bathtub floor:

I enjoyed the ID bivy, and loved the Notch, but these 'mids are so versatile, stout, and easy to set up that I really can't see myself using anything else.
With shelters this light and compact, I have no qualms about carrying my 7.5oz Katabatic bivy to add even more versatility.

I've even thought about getting a little 5oz Hummingbird hammock for days that end early...
Last edited: