Last Updated: July 19, 2022

Beach Tent Vs. Camping Tent: What’s The Difference?

Not sure if you should pick up a beach tent or a camping tent? Then you’re certainly in the right place! This guide to the key differences between beach and camping tents will help you figure out which is the better option for your next adventure!

Read on to see what the differences are between beach tents and camping tents, what the ideal use for them is, and why they’re not as interchangeable as you might think.

Beach Tent Vs. Camping Tent: Key Differences

beach tent

A beach tent – protection from the sun and wind

What’s the difference between beach tents and camping tents? The main difference is in the materials they are made of.

Beach tents are designed to be windproof and UV resistant, and they’re often made from lightweight fabrics. Whereas proper camping tents are usually made to withstand the elements and are made of more heavy-duty fabrics. 

In other words, a true camping tent is much more durable and weather-resistant than a beach tent. It offers better insulation, and it can generally keep campers comfortable even if it’s snowing or raining outside. But It’s not UV resistant, which is why it’s not a great option for the beach.


A camping tent – a place to sleep and protection from the elements

Beach tents are usually open on one side, or at best have a zippered door for easy access, and their main purpose is to provide shelter from the sun. They’re not really designed for sleeping in, and they’re generally not made to withstand such heavy use, or provide full protection.

Camping tents, on other hand, are available in a wide variety of sizes. It’s possible to buy tents that can comfortably sleep 12+ people, which isn’t the case with beach tents. They’re usually quite small and dome-shaped, and they can rarely sleep more than two people inside.

Another difference between beach and camping tents is how they are secured to the ground. Beach tents usually have bags that you’re supposed to fill with sands, so they stay in place on the beach. Camping tents usually have poles at the corners that you need to nail into the ground. Once properly secured, a camping tent won’t move regardless of how strong the wind is.

Because of this, it takes much longer to set up big camping tents. It takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to set up a proper camping tent, whereas it only takes about 5-10 minutes to set up a beach tent. That’s because most beach tents are designed to be pop-up tents, and filling up the bags with sand takes just a few minutes.

Which Is Better For You?

Beach Tent

It really depends on what you need the tent for.

For The Beach

Although it’s possible to take a camping tent to the beach, you won’t get the same level of enjoyment as a proper beach tent. Beach tents are way easier to get in and out of because of their open design. And their UV resistance means they will last in the summer sun.

RELATED: Going on a beach camping trip? Aside from a beach tent, here are other beach camping essentials to bring on your trip. 

For Camping

Camping tents are designed to provide shelter from the rain, snow, the wind, and other elements, but not the sun. They’re rarely made from UV-resistant materials, meaning you could still burn at the beach, and it’s the reason why most camping tents deteriorate over time.

So, if you need a tent specifically for the beach, get yourself a nice beach tent. They’re cheaper than camping tents anyway, easier to carry around, and they’re perfect for providing protection from the sun. However, if you’re going camping, you should look into getting a proper camping tent.

It’s worth noting that a beach tent can be used for a summer sleepover in the backyard or at a park. If there’s no rain or wind and you can comfortably fit inside the tent, there’s no reason it couldn’t work for a night or two. But if we’re talking about a true camping trip in the woods, it’s recommended to use a proper camping tent instead of a lightweight beach tent.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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