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why do so many tents have a single front-opening door? Is there an advantage to it (other than weight savings for a smaller door)? It seems much less comfortable to me for multiple people than a double-or-single side door.
I think primarily just weight... I suppose with only one door that means half the amount of zippers for the tent and fly/vestibule; even though it'd be minor, there's still weight savings in that.
You are correct though, with two or more people, having double doors is MUCH more advantageous; much easier to use when getting in and out of.
weight AND cost are the main factors, but also there are a lot of people who don't mind or might even prefer the door at the head. There are also the structural implications. Almost every mountaineering tent has the door at the head, and if there are two doors, then they are at the head and foot. Offhand, I can't think of a mountaineering tent that has a door on the sides.
REI Co-op Quarter Dome SL 2 Tent has 2 side doors, but I guess that doesn't qualify as a mountaineering tent.