So, I am wanting to purchase a solo backpacking tent. I keep reading of people with tents around 2lbs, or 22oz, et cetera. The price for one is out of my range. I have found one that is phenomenal, but it weighs 4lbs. I’ve told various groups I belong to about it, and I get the wildest looks like it’s outrageous.
Haven’t people hiked the AT with 40lb packs before? Is a 4lb tent, actually 3lb 14oz, really all that astronomical?
I'd suggest a bivy for cheap solo backpacking. It's light and packs smaller than your sleeping mat. My go to is the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy which comes in at 1.9 lb and is a 4 season setup. If you're still deciding on a tent instead of that, look into Big Agnes. They have a lot of lightweight backpacking tents.
I would say that a solo tent that weighs 4lbs is on the heavy side but if it's in your price range and your comfortable with it that it should be fine. What you want may depend on a lot of other factors like the distance you are hiking and how much elevation you go up and down. I use to backpack with a tent that weighed 4lbs or more way back in the day. It also depends on how miles you plan on hiking. If it's under 4 miles than it definitely shouldn't be a problem but that's my opinion.
As for me, solo tent weight 4lbs is not so heavy, I'm sure you will be comfortable with it. I'm using a solo tent that weighs 3.6lbs. And I can say that it is enough easy to carry this tent in my backpack even when I'm hiking a difficult trail in the mountains. Of course, I saw lightweight tents, but not sure how strong they are. Anyway, it's up to you.
A four-pound tent should be very comfortable, though bulky and inconvenient.
Various Asian-made "no-name" tents are available with increasingly various designs. Coated variants on the "pup-tent" theme are often dirt cheap, and effective if you carefully seal the seams before use.
If you throw away the steel stakes and fiberglass poles, the smaller ones are two pounds or less. You might get a little damp in them at times from condensation in really wet weather. But not necessarily a big deal in warm weather. They keep the bugs out and are so cheap as to be disposable!!
They tend to be small and uncomfortable -- but that's the definition of a "solo tent."