Single Skin or Hybrid Tents. Are they worse for condensation? Side By Side Test.
Single skin or hybrid tents. Are they worse for condensation?
After a few nights camping with the kids. Me with a 3FUL hybrid tent, and the kids with double layered Vango NYX 200's or Soul 200's (which are the same thing), I've come to some conclusions regarding the suitability of single skin / hybrid tents 'v' double layered tents.
But for those unsure of the terminology, A brief explanation.
Single skin / single walled tents do not have an inner tent. Think of them like a normal tent but without an inner sleeping compartment. In its most basic form, think of a tarp being used on the ground as a shelter as opposed to being hung over a hammock.
Hybrid tents will often feature one or two fly mesh walls between the vestibule / porch, depending on layout and design. But will have a single skin wall on the roof and other wall if having only one mesh fly screen.
Double layer tents will have an inner sleeping compartment that is often erected separately to an outer flysheet.
On with the discoveries.
My kids were using the Vango NYX200, and they have one each, which gives them plenty of space for their kit to be inside with them as the porch area is tiny. Whilst I was using my own 3F UL Gear one man hybrid tent. The weather was muggy, foggy, rain at times and quite warm. Min 11 degrees c at night. All the tents had all the vents open.
The Vango's were so heavy with condensation that the flysheet was sagging and touching the inner tent. So much so, that good proportion of the inner tent was soaked. If we'd been backpacking this would have added a lot of extra weight to the load, as we wouldn't have been able to dry them. Meanwhile, my hybrid tent did have condensation in it, but not anywhere near as much. What was there, I was able to dry off very quickly with a small travel towel and able to pack it away dry. A massive benefit had we have been backpacking rather than at a static camp.
I'm pleased to have had this experience, as I've read a lot about the pros and cons of single skinned and hybrid tents 'v' double skinned tents, but rarely had the opportunity to test side by side.
You may be wondering why I have Vango NYX200's for my kids and the 3F UL for myself. My kids are 11 and 9, I wanted them to be independent and needed a less "fragile" / expensive tent for them to 'cut their teeth on'. I'm a great believer in learning from experience and as the kids get older and get into this, and learn how to look after lighter weight kit, then they can have what 'daddy' has.
If you're after lightweight tents, don't assume that a double layered tent will offer you the best option. It all depends on priorities. Your priorities. I'm just offering some experiences to help you align your own priorities.
Please feel free to add your own comments and experiences.