What Is A Single Wall Tent?

If you’re a beginner backpacker or camper, you might be wondering what the different tent types are. In this blog post, we’ll explain what a single-wall tent is and whether you should choose one for your next camping trip. Stay tuned!

Related: Need a big tent? No problem. Check out our review of the best 12 person camping tent.

What is a single wall tent?

A single wall tent is a tent that only has the outer layer of the tent to stop moisture from getting in. This means there is no mesh inner tent, which can lead to condensation forming on the inside of the tent in humid climates. They are best used in dry climates or during mild weather conditions.

What is a single skin tent?

A single skin tent is just another name for a single wall tent.

What are the advantages of single wall tents?

The advantages of a single wall tent are that they are usually cheaper than a double walled tent.

They also tend to be lighter and less bulky, which is particularly helpful for hiking as they take up less space in your pack. Single-walled tents are particularly popular with ultralight backpackers.

What are the disadvantages of single wall tents?

The main disadvantage of using a single wall tent is that you can develop condensation problems on colder trips. This is because there is no mesh layer to allow the moisture out and thus it tends to build up on the inside of the tent.

When should you use a single walled tent

Single-walled tents are best used on trips where there is no chance of rain as you cannot open them up to let air flow through. They’re also popular with ultralight backpackers and hikers as they tend to be lighter than double-walled tents.

Essentially, if you’re camping in a humid climate, avoid a single-walled tent. For most other purposes, they will likely be fine.

Tips for camping in a single walled tent

The most important tip for camping in a single walled tent is to make sure it’s not too humid when you go inside. This means completely drying out your clothing and gear, since this is likely to be wet with moisture from the outside of the tent.

You also need to ensure that you don’t cook inside the tent – while this is the case for most tents, it’s even more important with a single walled tent.

Make sure you pack your bag without wet clothes in – this might seem obvious, but you can’t sleep in wet clothes!

Having an extra tarp to lie down on will also help you avoid getting moisture on your sleeping bag. You also want to try and keep the moisture on the ground away from your bag.

At higher altitudes, you’ll need a lot more ventilation than normal and may even want to use a bivouac sack instead of a tent. This is where there is just a waterproof outer layer with no inner tent at all – not ideal, but better than nothing.

It’s also worth noting that if you are camping in extremely cold conditions, condensation can form on the inside of the tent even if it isn’t humid outside. This is because your breath creates moisture, which then freezes against the sides of the tent.

The only solution to this problem is to use a thicker sleeping pad or purchase a warmer sleeping bag. A thicker pad will provide some insulation against the cold ground, while a warmer sleeping bag can compensate for the lack of an inner tent.

So, if you want to avoid condensation entirely on colder trips you’re better off with double-walled tents.

Otherwise, it’s important to make sure that your sleeping bag is warm enough before camping in a single walled tent.


A single walled tent is a great option for those looking for a lightweight and less expensive tent. However, it is important to be aware of the condensation issues with these tents before making your purchase.

Next up: Single wall tents? Double wall tents? What’s the difference? Check out our guide to what are double wall tents.

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Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.