Difference Between Touring and Camping Tents. If you plan to go camping with an overnight stay or need to spend an extended period in outdoor conditions, it’s essential to consider acquiring the right tent. However, there are several varieties of these makeshift “dwellings.” Let’s focus on two of them and find out the difference between touring tents and camping tents.

General Information

A tent is a structure that, when set up, consists of a waterproof canopy stretched over a frame or supported by poles or guy lines. It primarily serves as shelter for people spending time outdoors, protecting them from wind, cold, and precipitation.

Tents are used by both tourists and professionals, such as archaeologists, surveyors, and military personnel. In this context, we’ll specifically discuss equipment designed for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. A touring tent is one of its variations and is sometimes referred to as a hiking tent.


In each case, these items are designed for use in specific conditions. A touring tent is indispensable for lightweight hiking trips and is also popular among anglers and those who enjoy long bike rides. The simplicity of its design and compact size differentiates touring tents from camping tents.

As a result, such equipment is relatively lightweight and can be carried in a backpack. Setting up such a “home” is quick and straightforward, and folding it down is also easy. This is very convenient for daily travel with short breaks for rest and sleep.

However, if you’re planning to spend time outdoors with friends or take a family camping trip, and multi-day stops are expected along the way, a camping tent would be more suitable. Camping tents can accommodate more people (unlike touring tents, which can be single-person) and offer spacious interiors, often divided into compartments. They usually include a vestibule, where you can store gear or set up an outdoor kitchen.

One significant advantage is that many camping tents are designed with full-height interiors, allowing individuals to stand upright comfortably. Features like awnings, mosquito nets, and other extras provide maximum comfort in such models. You could say that camping tents are created for luxurious relaxation rather than long journeys with short stopovers. However, setting them up can be somewhat more complex than their touring counterparts.

Naturally, “feature-rich” equipment tends to be heavier and can be challenging for hikers to carry. However, if you plan to travel by car or boat, transporting a camping tent should not be too much trouble. Keep in mind that in cold weather, the air inside such a voluminous structure can be quite chilly, as it cools quickly and heats up slowly.

When it comes to cost, camping tents are generally more expensive than touring tents. If you’re going on a short, minimalist trip, the additional expenses may not be justified. However, for a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience with more extended stays, investing in a camping tent can be well worth it.