What Is the Difference Between a Camping Tent and a Backpacking Tent?

Camping tents and backpacking tents are both used for sleeping outdoors while camping, but they have different features that make them better suited to certain types of camping trips. Camping tents are usually much larger and heavier than backpacking tents, making them better for car camping or basecamping.

Camping tents are designed to accommodate multiple people and provide plenty of room for all their gear. They also typically have more features like more pockets, loops for attaching accessories, and waterproof fabric.

Backpacking tents are much lighter than camping tents, making them ideal for hikers who need to carry their shelter with them on the trail. They also feature much fewer features than camping tents, often coming with just a single door and vestibule or no vestibule at all, as well as fewer pockets or loops. Backpacking tents also typically use lighter fabrics and have less insulation or none at all, so they may not be ideal if you’re expecting cold nights.

In summary, a camping tent is best suited to car-camping or basecamping trips where you don’t need to carry your shelter with you on the trail. It is usually much larger and heavier than a backpacking tent and has more features like extra pockets or loops for attaching accessories. A backpacking tent is best suited to hikers who need to carry their shelter with them on the trail as it is much lighter in weight than a camping tent and has fewer features like fewer pockets or loops.


In conclusion, the key difference between a camping tent and a backpacking tent is the size, weight, features, and insulation levels of each type of tent; camping tents being bigger and heavier with more features whereas backpacking tents being smaller and lighter with fewer features but often having higher levels of insulation making them better suited for cold nights outdoors.

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Samantha Mckinney