What’s the Difference Between a Camping Tent and a Backpacking Tent?

By Robert Palmer

Camping and backpacking tents are two different types of shelters that are designed for outdoor use. While both provide coverage from the elements and a place to sleep, there are a few key differences between the two.

The first difference is the size. Camping tents tend to be larger than backpacking tents and can accommodate more people. They also have more features, such as pockets and vents, to make them more comfortable. On the other hand, backpacking tents are typically smaller and lighter in weight so they can be carried with ease while hiking.

Another difference between camping and backpacking tents is the material used in their construction. Camping tents are usually made of heavier materials, such as canvas or nylon, which provide more weather protection but also add extra weight. Backpacking tents use lighter materials such as ripstop nylon or polyester to keep them lightweight but still provide enough protection from the elements.

Finally, camping and backpacking tents also differ in terms of setup time. Camping tents are usually easier to set up since they require fewer poles and stakes than a backpacking tent does. Backpacking tents usually require more poles and stakes because they need to be staked down securely so they don’t move around when there is wind or rain.


In conclusion, camping and backpacking tents differ in terms of size, material used in construction, and setup time; camping tents tend to be larger with heavier materials while backpacking tents rely on lighter materials for portability. Ultimately, each type of tent has its own advantages depending on your needs.