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Camping is a great escape, a way to reconnect with the outdoors. But just because you want to be close to nature doesn’t mean you want to be close to the ground. Camping cots provide an excellent option for those who want to spend the weekend in the mountains or woods but don’t want to give up all the comforts of home.
There are a variety of camping cots on the market, and there’s a lot to consider when choosing the one that’s right for your family. Everything from material and design to weight and durability can play into your decision.
In this guide, we’ll outline our top picks for the best camping cots and provide a buying guide with factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a camping cot. Soon, you’ll be on your way to a camping trip that’s actually restorative.
The EasyCot by Byer of Maine is our “Editor’s Choice” for 2019. It’s an all-around well-built camping cot that lives up to its name. It folds to fit in a carrying bag and assembles in seconds just by unfolding the legs. There’s no threading of poles or clicking parts together.
With its sturdy steel frame and welded hinges, the cot has a relatively high weight limit of 330 pounds. That combined with its 78” length and 31” width means it can accommodate adults of various sizes.
The cot’s cover is made from 600 denier polyester and has reinforced panels. The EasyCot is heavier than some others on our list, but it’s worth it when you consider its quality construction and durability.
The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL is our pick for “Best Oversize, Luxe Cot.” It’s a great buy for larger individuals or those looking to stretch out, the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL is the perfect option.
Measuring 85” long and 40” wide, the Outfitter XXL is larger than a standard twin bed. It can also support up to 600 pounds, one of the highest weight limits on the market. You can choose to pair it with the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad for added comfort.
The aluminum frame means the cot is relatively lightweight for its size. Steel, s-shaped legs provide durability, and they’re also equipped with rubber bushings to act as shock absorbers. Assembly is also fairly simple. Just remove the cot from its storage bag, unfold it and snap the end rails in place.
The Alpcour Folding Camping Cot is proof that an ultra-sturdy cot doesn’t have to be a heavy one. This efficiently designed cot weighs 13 pounds but can support up to 300 pounds. It’s a great choice for campers of any age or size.
The cot comes with a pillow, providing you with optimal head and neck support. There’s also a side pocket for you to easily store food or accessories. When you’re not using your cot, you can fold it up and store it away or carry it around with you until you find a place to sleep for the night.
Alpcour’s Folding Camping Cot is made of a double layer of breathable polyester material and supported by a durable steel tube frame. It’s also water-resistant and easy to clean.
Comfort is key for many campers, and the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot offers a plush sleep surface without sacrificing ease of use. That’s why it’s our choice for Best Padded Cot.
Its sturdy spring coil suspension supports a relatively thick foam mattress pad. Many padded cots are bulky and wear out quickly, but the ComfortSmart folds up to fit in most trunks and is built to last.
The cot will accommodate individuals up to 300 pounds and 6’6”, so it can fit most campers. It’s also easy to assemble. All you have to do is unfold the legs and lock them into place. The cot won’t fold up to be as compact as other cots, but if comfort is on the top of your list, that’s an easy trade-off.
For campers who want a sturdy cot that will protect you from the elements, we highly recommend the Kamp-Rite Oversized Cot. On top of providing a cozy sleep surface, its additional legs allow it to be used as a chair or place to lounge during the day.
The cot’s domed shape creates additional interior space to prevent you from feeling cramped. Also, its sheer no-see-um mesh flaps help protect against flying insects like mosquitoes. Kamp-Rite’s cot also includes a waterproof rain fly for wet days.
The cot takes just minutes to set up or put away. It also comes with a heavy-duty carry bag that lets you more easily transport the cot from one place to the next. The Kamp-Rite Oversized Cot is made of heavy-duty 190T nylon and is available in green and grey.
Like sleeping mats and air beds, camping cots are a popular choice for providing an outdoor sleeping surface. They range in size and features, and there are certain benefits to choosing a cot over other sleep options. In this buying guide, we’ll discuss common considerations such as durability, portability, and average cost.
Using a camping cot has both its perks and its drawbacks. In this section, we’ll consider both the pros and cons of buying and sleeping on a camping cot.
Some positives of using a camping cot include:
As for the cons of camping cot usage:
As you can see, buying and owning a camping cot has its advantages and disadvantages. You should keep this information in mind while planning your purchase.
There are different sleeping options for campers, and camping cots are one choice. In the chart below, we’ll compare the most common outdoor sleep surface options in terms of comfort, durability, portability and cost.
|Type of Sleep Surface for Camping||Comfort||Portability||Durability||Average Price Range|
|Camping Cot||Good amount of support, especially for back sleepers. Side sleepers might not feel as comfortable.||Foldable camping cots are portable, and depending on the weight can be comfortably carried around.||These are very sturdy, designed to support a lot of weight and to stand up to hot and rainy weather conditions.||$35 to $220|
|Sleeping Mat||Modern sleeping mats are fairly comfortable, especially those designed to compensate for how uneven and hard the ground feels.||Very portable, although how easy it will be to carry will depend on the shape/design.||Sleeping mats are designed to be durable enough to sleep on very rough outdoor surfaces.||$20 to $200|
|Air Mattress||Generally the most comfortable of the three. The high/elevated air mattresses tend to be the most comfortable, and can give you the sensation of sleeping on a real bed.||Easy to move around, but impractical to carry a long distance. Heavy when deflated, so hiking with it might not be practical.||Vulnerable to getting punctured by sharp rocks or surfaces and deflating.||$20 to $150|
Especially if you’re an avid camper, your camping cot may take a beating from the elements and repeated use. You’ll want to choose one that’s durable and well-made, which is highly dependant on the materials used to make the cot. Common materials include:
Design can make all the difference when it comes to how well your camping cot fits with your camping style. Top design considerations include:
Camping cots are an investment. Most will run you several hundred dollars, and you expect them to last for years. For those reasons, you’ll want to choose a camping cot with a good warranty and return policy.
Most camping cots come with a one-year limited warranty, meaning it covers manufacturing defects but not wear and tear from normal use. Some companies offer lifetime warranties, but the longer period probably won’t matter if the terms are still limited to defects.
A thirty-day return window is fairly standard for most camping cots, though some companies offer longer trial periods.