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Gear Guy

Is there a way to combine two separate one-person tents?

Are there any one-person tents that you can combine to make into a two-person tent? Denise Centennial, Colorado

A: Put it this way: There should be. It's a pretty good idea—a full-size tent that can be split in two and used as a solo shelter. But, all the extra zippers and pole sleeves and so on would largely stymie the weight-saving goal of its solo configuration.

What we have instead are plenty of two-person tents that bridge the gap between single shelters and two-person tents by virtue of their already compact size. The classic example of this, of course, is Sierra Designs' Clip Flashlight ($169;, now one of the longest-lived tents in terms of time on the market (about 18 years, if I'm not mistaken). It weighs less than four pounds (three pounds, 15 ounces to be exact), sleeps two snugly but comfortably, and is semi-palatial for one. It has even been reconfigured as the slightly lighter Ultra Flash—with lighter poles and materials—for $239. There's also the Hilleberg Nallo 2 ($460;, which uses tough but super-light materials and an efficient design to cut weight. Alas, the price is somewhat steep.

A new entrant in this crossover game is the REI Coupe ($169;, which is a few ounces heavier than the Clip Flashlight (four pounds, six ounces) but has doors on each side (more convenient) and twin vestibules (better gear coverage).

Several companies are also selling single-wall tents that eschew the traditional super-expensive use of breathable materials in favor of completely waterproof tent skins that keep condensation fairly low through good ventilation. Examples include Marmot's AT ($179; and Mountain Hardwear's Waypoint 2 ($250; I've used both recently—the AT is a little heavier, but, unlike the Waypoint, also has a vestibule. Both allow some condensation in still conditions, but it's tolerable. The Waypoint in particular is extremely roomy for its svelte weight of just over three pounds.

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