Camping is about having fun and spending time with friends and family members. So, why spend the night sleeping on a rock-hard floor,
especially when there are several wonderful camping cots on the market. Using the right cot for camping can let you not only enjoy the outdoors but your nights in the tent, too.
With the right gear, camping can be a joyful experience. And, the right camping cot can make your experience unforgettable in the right ways.
However, like most experiences today, the wrong gear actually can create more trouble than not using gear at all. There are several features to consider when you are looking for the best cot for camping.
Choosing a camping cot is a fun process. There are so many available and they all promise good nights of sleep. While shopping for a camping cot, you get to look at the different styles, sizes, fabrics, frames, and carrying options.
It is wise to consider the type of camping that you do. For example, if you backpack to camp, then a heavy coat is not a good idea. There are portable cots that are easy to carry from place to place.
However, if you camp close to your car or SUV, you can invest in a heavy coat with a large frame, because you have an area to carry it to your spot.
Camping cots can make a camping trip exceptionally fun because you can sleep well in them.
This will make you ready for the adventures you get to have during the day. If you do not sleep well, then the daytime experiences are not as much fun. There are several good reasons to use a camping cot, besides sleeping well.
First, camping cots can give you some extra storage in your tent, because they provide space under them. No sleeping bags offer this. If you are camping in excessive heat, they can help cool you down because they are lifted off of the floor and offer more air circulation.
They also are easy to get in and out of. And, best of all, camping cots keep you off of the ground – which can be quite uncomfortable. By getting up off of the ground, you are kept away from creatures like little insects that wander on the floors of tents.
Consider the Weight of the Cot
There are several features to consider before you purchase your camping cot. For some campers, weight is extremely important. Some cots can weigh up to 20 pounds, which is quite heavy for people who do any type of minimalist camping. Some cots weigh between two and three pounds, which is rather manageable for backpack campers. The heavy cots usually have steel frames and no one wants to lug one of those too far away from the car.
What is the Size of the Cot
Another consideration to make before buying a cot is the actual size of it. They are usually rather narrow – about 25 inches across. Most measure 75 inches in length. But, there are larger options for people who prefer more room, and there are smaller options for children. Since camping is a family event, there are true sizes of cots for everyone.
How Portable is It
The portability of the cot is also important, especially since it has to travel with you, no matter what way you choose to travel. Some cots need to be assembled and disassembled and are transported in a bag.
Some cots collapse down to rather small spaces, especially those that are only two to four pounds in weight. Usually, cots can be carried by one person, even the ones that weigh up to 20 pounds. Along with portability, it is a good idea to pick a cot that can be assembled by one person.
What Type of Textile is on the Cot
Many people like to buy the best cots for camping that are comfortable to lay on without a sleeping bag or other covering. This means that the textile that is on the cot needs to be soft, durable, and easy to clean.
Today’s cots are usually made out of polyester and nylon. These synthetic fabrics can keep people cool and are easy to care for. Most older cots used cotton canvas, which is heavy and can develop odors. It was much more difficult to clean.
What Support Does the Cot Offer
The last feature that buyers consider is comfort and support. Since cots are technically sleeping systems, you do want your body to be supported. No one wants to wake up with kinks and knots in their muscles after a night in an uncomfortable sleeping position.
The textile and the tension of the cot are what provide the support. Some cots have springs that offer tension and some rely solely on the fabric of the cot (almost like a hammock). Many new cots have adjustable tensions so you can set them to your preferred support.
Consider How You Will Use the Cot
When you start to look for a camping cot, think about how often you plan to use it. Cots are good options for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, living in and out of tents. They are more cumbersome than camping pads, so they are not always convenient for all campers.
They are great options for people who car camp or conduct outdoor research. The best cot for camping can be used in a wide variety of situations, is comfortable, durable, and provides the right amount of support.
Our Reviews: The 7 Best Camping Cots
#1, Teton Sports Outfitter XXL
The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL camping cot provides plenty of space for comfort every night you are out camping. This cot is larger than a twin-size mattress with a measurement of 85X40 inches and can support up to 600 pounds. The cot folds in half, making it easy to carry.
The cot has supportive legs with a Steel S-leg design; this design is what makes the cot so supportive and strong. It comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty from Teton Sports.
It is so comfortable that it can also be used as a guest bed in your home. It uses durable poly-canvas and the entire cot weighs 26 pounds. The frame is made of extruded aluminum, but the legs are steel. The cot is available in a neutral brown color.
- The cot is one of the most supportive on the market.
- It is easy to unfold and assemble.
- It is easy to fold and disassemble.
- It can withstand children bouncing on it.
- It is a higher-priced option.
- The cot has plastic feet that are easy to lose.
- Some pieces can be challenging to secure.
#2, Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe
This cot is a great option for people who like to have a mattress while they are sleeping in a tent. The Coleman Comfortsmart is properly named. The cot has a thick foam mattress that rests on a spring coil suspension frame.
It is durable and has a heavy-duty steel frame that can hold up to 300 pounds. The cot is smaller than a twin bed and measures 30 inches by 80 inches. The mattress is 15 inches off of the ground, so it provides plenty of air circulation for those hot nights in the tent.
It does fold in half to fit in a car trunk. The cot comes with a one-year limited warranty. The cot weighs about 19 pounds.
- It provides long length for tall campers.
- The included mattress is very comfortable.
- Affordably priced, especially with the included mattress
- The heavy-duty frame is quite durable.
- The mattress and spring tension can become overstretched.
- Folding up the cot can be difficult
- It is not a good cot for backpacking.
#3, Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
Oversized camping cots like this one from Kamp-Rite can turn an average camping experience into a luxurious one. This cot is easy to open and provides plenty of sleeping space.
The cot measures 84 inches by 33 inches when it is unfolded. It has two storage pockets on the side, so you can keep your smartphone, keys, and flashlight right by your side.
The pouches do double duty; they serve as the carrying handles when the cot is folded up. You can keep the coat clean and dry by putting it in its zippered case when you are not using it. The cot weighs 25 pounds and can hold up to 400 pounds. The cot is 21 inches tall.
- The cot is quiet and does not squeak when people lay on it and move around.
- It is easy to fold up and carry.
- The long length is great for tall people.
- It might be too big for a small tent.
- Legs can be difficult to lock into place.
- It sometimes bows like a hammock.
#4, Therm-A-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot
When you need to worry about the weight of your cot, it is nice to know that the UltraLite from Therm-A-Rest is available. This cot was designed with backpackers in mind. The cot has a patented BowFrame that is free of any uncomfortable and heavy crossbars.
It also is free of squeaky joints that tend to be common in camping cots. It is the lightest cot available today, weighing in at less than 3 pounds. The cot can be packed up so tightly that it can be carried in a backpack or portage bag.
It is waterproof and has a stretch-free nylon cover. The poles are made of lightweight anodized aluminum. Despite the lightweight factor, the cot is incredibly durable and is very easy to set up with no tools required. The cot is low to the ground, but it is not on the ground.
- It comes in two different sizes: regular and large.
- Set-up instructions are easy to follow.
- The low profile makes it a good cot for sleeping in cooler weather.
- The feet can damage the floor of a tent.
- One of the higher-priced options.
- Support poles can bend.
#5, Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot
For a truly unique way of enjoying your time camping, the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot removes the need for an actual tent. This cot includes everything you need to stay off of the ground and out of the elements.
The cot itself measures 90 inches by 32 inches. The tent is 36 inches high, providing plenty of room for sleeping and lounging in comfort. The cot is about 11 inches off of the ground.
The frame of the cot is made of lightweight aluminum with anti-vibration nuts and bolts. They are designed to stay tight and rust-free. The tent uses 420-denier nylon fabric with mesh doors and windows to keep the bugs out and let the air in. The mesh doors do zip closed when you want your privacy. The tent also includes an encapsulation rainfly to keep you dry in stormy weather.
- Heavy-duty tent and cot will weather the conditions
- Sets up quickly – in just a few seconds.
- Affordably priced, considering it has a tent and a cot
- Not a lot of headroom in the tent.
- The carrying case is substandard
- With the rainfly, the tent can be stifling
#6, Kamp-Rite Double Kwik Cot
When you need to preserve body heat or you just want your partner nearby, the Kamp-Rite Double Kwik Cot is a good option. This cot provides 85 inches of length and 55 inches of width for a large sleeping space.
Two people can find comfort on this cot. It does fold to compact dimensions of 42”x9”x11” for easy carry and it does have a zippered carrying bag. The cot does weigh 32 pounds and it has a weight capacity of 550 pounds. The cot is 18 inches off of the ground, so there is plenty of space under it for storage.
- It will hold a queen size mattress on top of it.
- Highly durable and holds up to a lot of movement.
- Quick to set up.
- There is a bar between the two sides of the cot.
- The cot does not always lay flat when opened.
- Not good for one person to lay on alone due to weight distribution.
#7, Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Cot
The ultimate camping space saver is the bunk cot from Disc-O-Bed. This is cot has two beds, with one atop the other, just like traditional bunk beds. It will fit in a wide variety of tents, especially those with taller ceilings.
The bottom cot is 11 inches off the ground and the upper cot is 21 inches above the lower one. Each cot will hold up to 500 pounds due to the strength of the powder-coated steel frame.
The cots are each 28 inches wide. The cot fabric can be removed for cleaning and the fabric dries very quickly. Both cots have side organizers that can hold flashlights, phones, and other necessities. The cots can be configured to look like a couch or they can be separated if the bunk option is not needed. They store in a small carrying case that fits easily in a trunk.
- Space-saving bunk beds are comfortable.
- The canvas on the cots cradles the body as hammocks do.
- Useful as extra beds for visitors.
- Cots are 62 pounds total.
- Pricy option.
- Heavy to move
When it comes to choosing the best cot for camping, there are plenty of good options. There traditional single cots that are easy to pack up and throw in the trunk. There are also lightweight options that can be used on backpacking trips.
There are also specialty options like bunk-bed cots and cots that come with the tent on top. It is a good idea to choose the cot that meets your needs for camping and your home. With easy-to-clean fabric, durable frames, and convenient cases, the best cots for camping have a lot to offer.