Compact tent for kayak camping

Have a Perception Carolina 14.6, she’s red/yellow, her name is “Wacissa”…lol… Looking for a compact tent to store in the hatch. I have a tent from Wally World. Too much space for 1 person. Any suggestins for this rookie kayak camper?



Too much space?
I also started kayak camping with a cheap tent for Wally World but once I decided I needed a more “serious” shelter I still chose a 2 person tent.

Packing size and weight not much different and I appreciate that extra room for gear.

And you never know… you might get lucky and find somebody you want to share the tent with :wink:

Hennessey Hammock
Compact, comfy, adaptable to rocky or hilly sites.


lots of single or 2 person
tents out there. Sportsmans guide had a big sale on tents. I use a Gander Mtn. Dragonfly , if I use a tent at all for camping. I like the gear storage space outside the tent under the rainfly. Keeps my boots ,and dry bags outside ,instead of in the tent.

Backpacking tents
I would check REI or someother outfitter for backpacking style tents they are usually more compact and lighter than the Wally World variety tent. Of course they can be 2-4 times the price. They usually show the packed dimentions in the description. Note a lot of 1-2 backpacking tents aren’t free standing meaning they need to be staked down to stay standing… which may or may not be what you are looking for.

Henry Shires Tarptents are awesome!

– Last Updated: May-06-05 7:41 AM EST –

Being from many outdoor worlds and pre dating the ultra light fad I
go very very light.

Weigh as little as 19 oz. and size of grapefruit!

Henry Shires has a series of incredibly compact ultro light tents and tarps and tarptents that are NOT pricey and very well made. You will be amazed. Used all over the world, I have gone to 16000 ft. with them as kayaked all over. Icredibly strong in winds they have survived when the high priced spread tents all around me shattered.

I hope you don’t mind, but I looked…
at your profile to see where you are from, since there are good cool/cold weather backpacking tents and good summer ones.

If most of your paddling will be in south Georgia or Florida, you might like The North Face Kestral.

It is an ideal warm weather tent and is very compact and light. When it is in it’s pouch it is about 16" long and about 5" in diameter.

It has a vestibule on both sides which is nice for leaving your wet sloppy stuff protected but still not in the tent.

Happy yak-packing !


is a good site. They show sizes and weights for most tents and have some good sales.

+1 on the Dragonfly…

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Great for 2 people, EXCELLENT for 1 person! Easy set up, plenty of room & vestebule is acessable from inside the tent witout opening the door. Had one till the ex swiped it during the break-up. Went & got a "prospector" one man bivy from Gander Mountain ($20), similar to the Eureka Solitare
, for myself. Usually use acouple ponchos, but for waterborn treks, bugs are alittle more healthy & a tent works better.

For other ventures I have a Eureka Apex 3XTA

& a military shelterhalf system .

Paddle easy,


another for for Hennessey Hammocks
have 2 currently, gave the third to my oldest daughter…have been using them backpacking for almost 3 years now…longest stretch in a hammock was 19 nights…even have a hammock stand inside a bedroom. they are that comfortable.

just know they sleep cool and in winter cold.

This company:

makes a down underquilt I have used for a year now. It suspends under the hammock so you dont crush and negate the insulation. I have slept warmly using it and a top quilt down to 17F on the Appalachian Trail.

Hammocks can solve many physical ailments but they are not for everyone, stomach sleepers have trouble, but side and back sleepers do not…and yep to having set up the hammock where no tent would ever go.

the model i carry on the trail is the Light Racer at 1 pound and 6 ounces.

couple of choices
I have a Eureka! solitare, and i love it. They have jsut redesigned it a bit, and they claim it is better. It sounds like it too, basically my VERY few complaints are almost entirely taken care of. It is compact and only 2 pounds 9 onces, so they say. I have alos seen alot of Eureka! Zeus tents around. They look super neat, but i don’t know much about them.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and Gander Mountain usually have a tent that is almost identical to my Solitare that is a bit less money.

My Solitare is very small and light, but I also have an Academy Broadway two man dome tent that I inherited. It isn’t that much larger when folded, and has alot more room for comfort space. The solitare is not a tent to hang out in, but the Zeus you can sit in and move a bit more.


Your Eureka Solitare is…

– Last Updated: May-06-05 7:54 AM EST –

The tent that my ($20) Gander Mountain "Prospector" is duplicated... I wanted the Eureka Solitare to match my Eureka Apex 3XTA but didn't feel like paying $70 for a single to match my $150

NICE tent though!

Paddle easy,


I day trip in North Florida. The tent is for James river in Virginia and looking at doing the Buffalo River starting Spring 2006. But if I see a trip on the Buffalo for this Fall, I’d probably go.

what I just bought…

I have a decent 2-3 man tent already for car camping, but I wanted something ultra portable for my ridiculously low volume kayak. For the price I couldn’t really complain and we’ll see how it performs when I receive it. (what I liked was that the fly and floor had a thicker poly coating that other ultralight tents)

Re tents
… i would goto Campmor in NJ… and buy a solo backpacking tent… cAMPMORE even has older models at discounted prices…

Kelty makes excellent tents, and stand behind them

I would stAY away from Bivy Sacks as they are too small to stay in for several days and ride out storms

Suggestion: Think about combining…
…the best of both worlds. I use an MSR Trekker INSERT ($100) and a 10ft x 12ft nylon tarp (I made my own for $25; Siltarps sells one for $189). With this combination I have an unlimited amount of options. The Trekker insert is a no-see-um mesh bonded to a tent bathtub floor, has three doors, weighs 2 lbs, and stuffs into a sack the size of a Nerf football. The tarp weighs 1.5lbs and stuffs into a similar size sack. Not much stowage room required and very easy to stuff into irregular sized pockets in your yak. I have about six different ways tha I can rig the tarp to accomodate varying weather conditions and seasons. I use this arrangement YEAR ROUND. Depending on what nature presents me I sometimes rig the tarp and sometimes do not. It is great to sleep under the sky without having to consider biting/crawling things looking for either a meal or a warm place to hang out for the night. If I am backpacking I use my trekking poles as support and if I am kayaking I use my paddle sections. Of course, I almost always am able to incorporate a tree or two in the set up (but trees are not required; have used it in an open field and on the beach). I do not know about you, but I like a lot of ventilation and the tents over the past 10 years or so have taken more and more of this away. I have rejected tents entirely. Something to consider. I wish you luck. Paddle often.

REI has an award winning tent
…the light weight 1/2 dome at 4lbs. I have the regular rei 1/2 dome and love the hell out of it…ck it out 2 vests. 2 doors self standing and roomy enough to spend time in during bad weather…

light tents
I’ve had a NF Tadpole that I was happy with and was able to pitch the fly alone for ultralight trips. REI currently has it on sale:

I’m currently using an REI Half Dome - only 2 poles, all-clip set-up, dual doors and vestibules, and light.

I use tarps and bivys when I backpack but I like a free-standing tent when I may be more likely to be with a group or if I’m likely to be camping in the open (like beaches and sandbars)

My 2cents. Best of luck in your search…

REI Half Dome 2 Tent
I used my REI Half Dome 2 Tent for a week kayak camping in Maine. Despite heavy rain it was always dry. Large enough to keep all my gear inside with me, and the two large vestibules kept my muddy shoes and such out of the weather and out of the tent. I also use it for quickie camping when I don’t want to spend the hour or so setting up my 8 by 10 palace.

Eureka Mountain Pass XT1
I bought mine from Campmore in late 2003. This model has been changed but if you look at the specs, you’ll find whatever it has morphed into. There are very few freestanding 1-person tents, and this is one of them. Cost me $120.

I used the XT1 on the Inside Passage trip (a month of kayak camping along the southeast AK coast). It is warm, watertight, and easy to pitch. Also very compact due to their use of shorter poles. I bought it mainly for the compactness, because I needed every bit of space I could get in my kayak.

You might also consider their 2-person version, which has two screened doors. (The 1-person tent has one screened door and a small hatch-like opening on the other side for putting muddy shoes through–no bugscreen on it.) Both versions are the same length, about 8’, but the 2-person tent is slightly wider. The 2-person tent compacts to almost the same size as the solo; if I’d looked at this fact I would have bought it instead of the solo.

If money is no object, consider a Hilleberg solo tent. They make several of them, and all their tents feature a fly that sets up first, BEFORE the main tent body. A great feature for setting up or taking down in rain.