Single Wall Vs. Double Wall Tent

When it comes to camping, picking up the right kind of tent is always a crucial decision. You must have gone through this dilemma of whether you should pick up a single wall tent or double wall tent for your upcoming camping trip, if you are into camping for a while.

Although the two primary tent styles are sometimes pitted against one another, in reality, they are far more suited to distinct situations and users. While double walled tents are more suited to pleasant camping and severe weather, single walled tents are more portable as well as function well in warm and dry areas.

To make things easier for you, we have come up with this single wall vs. double wall tent comparison so that you can decide easily which one you should go with. So, let’s get started!

tent in mountains

Single Wall Tent

A single wall tent is usually made of just one layer of fabric. A single sheet of fabric covers the sides, ceiling, and bottom of the tent; separating the interior from the exterior. The sleeping area and the rainfly are both made of the same material. Single wall tents include waterproof materials on the top, sides, and the floor to make you feel fresh and dry.

High-end single wall tents often come with waterproof and breathable material for climbing. Some inexpensive lightweight s-wall tents are equipped with coated impermeable fabric that is not breathable.

Double Wall Tent

A double wall tent is simply made of dual separate fabric material layers. The inner part of it is the breathable body of the tent. The external wall works as a rainfly to resist water from coming in. The design of the tent makes it breathable and waterproof.

The interior of the tent is often made of permeable fabric panels, netting of mesh bug, or a blend of both sometimes. This makes it purely breathable. A non-breathable waterproof material is used to make the outer layer. This is known as a rainfly. A strong waterproof floor is connected to the interior of the tent.

Pros Of Single Wall Tent

#1. They Weigh Less

Since they just have one wall, single walls are significantly lighter. Because of this, considerably less fabric will be needed which will result in a significant weight reduction.

Trekking poles as opposed to tent poles are frequently used to anchor single wall tents to the ground. Though they often aren’t used, trekking poles have numerous advantages over tent poles. Trekking poles may be used for trekking and backpacking and are often lighter.

#2. They Are Cheaper

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars extra for a tent, single walls are ideal. Because of this, many newcomers begin by using a single wall tent. They are less expensive and lighter since they make use of less material.

Although single walls are generally less expensive depending on the fabric used, certain single walls may cost more than double walls.

#3. Anywhere Can Be Used As A Pitch

Single walls can be pitched practically anywhere because of their lower size. This is excellent if your campground is tiny or congested since a double wall tent would not fit.

They are excellent for hiking for this reason as well, because it might be difficult to find a decent location for a double wall tent.

#4. They Are Portable

Single wall tents have a small volume and are also lighter. They can therefore fit in a variety of compact areas.

These tents are ideal for hiking because they don’t take up a lot of space. You can store more necessities such as food and water. Who doesn’t appreciate more food?

Cons Of Single Wall Tent

#1. They Are Weaker Than Double Ones

Since there is no structure to support the tent, single walls are weaker than double walls. If you’re heading to a place where there are strong winds, don’t buy or bring a single wall one. Your tent will likely collapse in strong winds, and they could even rip your trekking poles out of the ground! You will thus need to re-erect your tent.

Additionally, if your tent is alone and the wind is strong enough it might go off into the air. You wouldn’t want to go camping without a tent. I assure you.

#2. Only Suitable For Dry Weather

When camping in a single wall tent in an area with high humidity, condensation will nearly always be present there, making you feel uncomfortable.

Additionally, you must be careful to avoid pitching your tent on any grass or in a meadow. Your tent will have a greenhouse effect, and as a result, you’ll undoubtedly get wet.

#3. They Do Expand

When nylon is contacted with moisture, it will sag and stretch. When faced with heavy rain, the tent will stretch, resulting in damp walls. Your walls will become wet if anything touches them, including you! You will definitely not wish to have a damp sleeping bag when you wake up from sleep!

Pros Of Double Wall Tent

#1. They are Stronger

If you’re going to be traveling or camping in inclement weather, a double wall tent is a necessity. Unlike a single wall that frequently collapses, the tent’s self-standing structure and poles will prevent it from doing so.

In addition to being ideal for inclement weather, the double wall tent structure will also be perfect if you want to camp in windy places.

#2. Simple To Set-up

They will include tent poles as opposed to single wall tents. This implies that unlike the case with single walls, you won’t need to purchase items like trekking poles.

Nearly all two-layer tents are free-standing, therefore they do not require pegs to maintain their upright position. Unlike single walls, they are therefore excellent for pitching in inclement weather or strong winds.

#3. It Keeps You Dry

Condensation will be stored on the outside of your tent since a rainfly covers the internal wall. You will always be completely dry since the moisture will pass through the inside wall and land on the rainfly.

#4. Appropriate For Different Seasons

When you have a double wall tent, you won’t need to worry much about condensation and getting wet while camping in rainy and humid conditions.

If you invest in a good double-wall tent, you can go camping in almost any kind of weather or climate. Whether it be cold, wet, hot, or dry, double-wall tents work perfectly.

Cons Of Double Wall Tent

#1. They Weigh More

Many trekkers steer clear of double wall tents since they are almost always heavier than single wall tents. Additionally, they are frequently heavier than tarps and hammocks.

Although ultra-light double wall tents can be as light as single wall tents, they are highly costly. However, if you’re camping in very bad weather or wind, they are a must.

#2. They Are Pricier

The price of high-quality double wall tents typically exceeds $300, which might be prohibitive for many people on a tight budget. Generally speaking, a double wall tent will cost more the lighter it is.

Double wall tents do use more fabric and are often manufactured from stronger fabric, which is why they typically cost more.

#3. It Includes Tent Poles

The inclusion of tent poles is a nice feature, but they can be weighty and take up a lot of room, which is a concern.

#4. Takes More Time To Assemble and Disassemble

Double wall tents may take up to three minutes longer to set up than single wall tents, depending on the design. To set up a double wall tent, you must first assemble the poles, then build the tent inner, tie the rainfly, and lastly stake everything out. The average pitch time for models is 4-5 minutes.

Due to the necessity to secure and stake out the rainfly, double-wall tents need more time to set up.

Comparison Of Single Wall Vs. Double Wall Tents

Parameters Single Wall Tent Double Wall Tent
Weight 5/5 4/5
Setup simplicity 5/5 4/5
Inside space 3/5 5/5
Waterproofing 4/5 5/5
Condensation 3/5 5/5
Overall Score 4/5 3.5/5

Who are Single Wall Tents Intended For?


You desire a tent that packs up tiny and doesn’t take too much space if you’re already packing your bag with tons of rope and iron to go climbing. For climbers who need to be carrying as little weight as possible, a single-skin tent is top of the list.

Summer Hiking

The weather is often warmer and less extreme throughout the summer. Because single-skin tents can’t withstand severe winds and pouring rain, as double-skin tents can; the summer month is much better suited for them. A single-skin tent’s additional ventilation provides a much-needed reprieve from the summer heat.

Portable Hikers

Through-hikers and long-distance hikers need to minimize their weight as much as possible. You may not like to be bringing more than you require if you’re going on a six-month long-distance walk.

You will replenish food, water, and maybe clothes during your thru-hike. As a result, you may obtain a lightweight tent instead of a bulky pack and simplify your life a little.

When Is a Double Wall Tent Useful?

Winter Camping

Tents with two walls are warmer than tents with one skin. The additional layer serves as some sort of insulation, and the inner flysheet retains heat.

Twin skin tents are frequently semi-geodesic or geodesic. This independent building can survive the wacky weather that winter may bring since it is more durable than a single skin tent.

Double skin tents are a wintertime winner when you combine this with less fog freezing inside your tent.

Bad Weather

In adverse weather, double wall tents are preferable for two major reasons. First off, compared to a single wall tent, they can withstand wind and rain far better because of their freestanding design.

Condensation is also less of an issue thanks to the double layers. Rain and cold weather can speed up condensation buildup, which can be problematic in single wall tents.


There is no arguing that double wall tents are more comfortable than single wall tents. You will surely benefit from being a little more comfortable in camp if the weight or pack size of your tent is not crucial.

After all, you spend a lot of time relaxing in camp or seeking to get a good night’s sleep to recover for the next day, even on long excursions. Double skin tents frequently offer a porch area where you may store bulky backpacks or damp gear while still having full access to the interior.

Final Thoughts

When analyzing single wall and double wall tents, it is obvious that each one has its own share of benefits and drawbacks.

Single wall tents are more portable and lighter than double wall tents. They are therefore perfect for light, quick hikers or backpackers, including thru-hikers. In the summer, single wall tents may also be a great option because of their added ventilation.

Tents with double walls are more comfortable and less likely to accumulate humidity than tents with single walls. A double wall tent often has a greater interior and porch area, and they are far more resistant to inclement weather.

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Fred Hoffman

Hey, I'm Fred Hoffman, founder of The True Wilderness. I've been exploring nature since I could walk, and my passion for it never ends. My mission is to show people that there's more to life than just the city. There's a whole world of beauty waiting for them out there, and I hope to inspire as many people as possible to get out and explore. I love to share the experience I've gathered throughout my life to make everyone's outdoor adventure smooth and enjoyable.

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