Tent. Sleeping bag. Air mattress. For me, I have combined these three items into a compact system using a piece of gear designed for bike touring. More on this in a a later post, I have used the modular tent attachment to my Axiom Bicycle Panniers to stuff these three things into one easily packable bag.
Below on the left is my single person Kelty Salida 1 single person backpacking tent emerging from an inexpensive stuff sack from Wall-Mart. In fact, both the 40 degree bag with attached stuff sack and self-inflating packable air mattress are made by the Ozark Trail company, a Wal-Mart brand.
Below you can see the air mattress before and after it is inflated.
I absolutely love how packable these little 40 degree bags are. I actually own two. Because of their rectangular shape and double zipper, they can be zipped up together to create a larger bag. I use one bag inside of another as a substitute for a more expensive and bulkier warm bag.
You can see how effective the compression straps are on this little bag.
Here is the mattress and bag together. Another thing I like about the bag is its rectangular shape. I feel so trapped in mummy style bags, and my bag-in-bag layering system keeps me just as warm as a mummy. One trick I use is to alternate the zipper side of the inner bag with the folded edge of the outer bag.
Here is my Kelty one person coming out of its bag. As you can see, it packed down quite a lot in the stuff sack.
This tent is so well designed that set up is a breeze. As you can see, there is no threading of the poles through loops on the tent body. Instead, the tent is secured through hooks that snap over the poles. The poles securely snap into a plastic mount on the corners of the tent, and it is very easy to set up solo.
As you can see, there is plenty of height to sit up right in this tent.
The rain fly attaches quickly and easily as well, though it does require two stakes. When set up, it gives the feeling of a lot of extra room in the tent.