Advantages of Lightweight Double-Wall Tents

Double-wall tents are making a comeback amongst backpackers because they’ve become much lighter with gear weights that rival their single-walled competitors. This is especially true in the two-person (non-Dyneema) tent category where several 2-person, double-wall tents including the NEMO Hornet 2P and the Durston Drop X-Mid 1 which both weigh 2 pounds or less, making them lighter weight than most other two person single-wall tents.

Double-wall tents have many advantages over single-walled tents:

– Nearly freestanding since they include tent poles, so you can pitch them quickly without having to worry so much about staking and surface conditions (making setup virtually idiot-proof)

– Almost zero internal condensation transfer from tent walls to your gear since the moisture is captured by the rain fly

– Less drafty because they don’t have to be wind tunnels to combat internal condensation – meaning you can use many double-wall tents in autumn or winter when you’d freeze in a single wall tent.

– Double-wall tents tend to have better privacy because they have less open mesh showing.

– Deep bathtub style floors protect against accidental flooding on compacted tent sites.

– Factory seam taped, so you don’t have to seam seal the tent with silicone and paint thinner in your basement.

For example, compare the following two-person single-wall and double-wall tents. There are quite a few two-person double-wall tents available today that weigh less than their single-wall counterparts.

I’ve owned and used many single-wall shelters in my backpacking career, but my motivation to use them has diminished as double-wall shelters have come down in weight. There’s a lot to be said for a more comfortable double-wall tent when gear weight ceases to be a differentiating factor.

And while single-wall tents still tend to be lower cost, the pricing difference is not as great or universal in the two-person size. Many double-wall tents are also discounted by retailers, while those produced by cottage companies are almost never on sale.

  • What’s your preference: a single-walled or a double-wall tent?
  • Would that change if there was less of a price or weight difference between the two types of tents?




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