There’s really no correct answer to this.
My wife and I went into the Cederberg just after we got married It was a notoriously hot that March.
We drove up to Algeria in the afternoon camped over night and took a bit long packing up so only started hiking around 10:00.
We stopped at every pool to cool off and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly but by the end of the first magical days hiking hadn’t reached the Cathedral to camp yet, and it was getting dark plus we were hungry…
So placed our 3 man tent on the path… Foot print be damned!
This was a long time ago but serves to answer the question that in a bind anything will do and a cheap tent has more sites than an expensive tent…
Every trail has a different requirement, generally in African Hiking we dont spend much time inside a tent, just sleep in it, and dry the condensation out in the morning. Occasionally we need the vestibule for shelter whilst cooking but if conditions turn bad and youre wet and miserable, a bigger tent afford a more pleasant environment to dry off and warm up in than a 1 man coffin!
Ive found the First Ascent Luna to be a fantastic all around 2 man hiking tent for African conditions, (if a little heavy with a trail weight of 2.6kg,) Its big enough for 2 man camping with ease of changing inside and theres two entrances for each person. Vestibules are large, and if you peg out one side the flysheet you get good rain protection, if you roll up the flysheet door and it rains the rain will fall inside the tent.
If its hot and theres no shade you can open both sides and get a great breeze.
This has to be about the tightest spot we’ve pitched in and my 2.1x 2.1m fly sheet coverage just squeezed in between some rocks, As you can see were pretty much onto of each other, leaving a clear space for the Game trail to go past. (You cant actually see the NH Spire but its in between the rocks and weighing a trail weight of 1.25kgs without the hiking pole is about the lightest I can imagine (Includes 1/2 a tennis ball for pole tip -tent protection Foot print and longer tent pegs
A collection of “1 man” tents with the triangular NH Spire in the foreground. I particularly like this for its triangular extra space compared to any similar tent hiking pole tent.
The Lighter orange Nemo Hornet is pretty neat, as are the1 man MRS tents, (but Im not a fan of the Y shaped yoke tent pole joint.
I notice that 3f UL Gear
who made the Lanshan range so popular have expanded to include other copies of freestanding tents. I do like their quality and the addition of a range of freestanding lightweight tents with roomy space around the heads I think is great.
To answer your question, a tent with space in the headroom is much more comfortable than a tent with pointed Apex peak. My First Ascent Lunar has a flysheet footprint of 210L x 260W and the Nature Hike of 210 x 210 the First Ascent comfortable sleeps two people in 210 x 140 and the Nature Hike Only 1 in 210 x 80
I dont use the old Cadac 3 man tent on “hikes” but do regularly when vehicle camping, or family outings and overnighters where we squeeze two of us and the dog inside. If I were to only have one tent it would be something like the First Ascent Lunar.
More Durable than the SiNylon tents hence more versatile and the FA back up is brilliant especially if you live in the Cape. In the real world this is quite unlike the support you get from international tent manufacturers.