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Camping Cots – Reviews and Buying Guide

Our Research

27
Cots Considered
52
Hours of Research
3
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

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.

Best Camping Cots

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.

Our Top 5 Picks

The Best Camping Cots – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Byer of Maine EasyCot

Editor's Pick – Byer of Maine EasyCot

Highlights

  • Easy to assemble
  • 330-lb. weight capacity
  • Durable steel frame
  • Reinforced panels
  • Weight: 21 pounds
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Editor’s Pick Overview

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.

Best Oversize Luxe Cot – Teton Sports Outfitter XXL

Best Oversize Luxe Cot – Teton Sports Outfitter XXL

Highlights

  • 600-lb. weight capacity
  • Larger than a twin bed
  • Durable steel legs
  • Rubber bushings for shock absorption
  • Weight: 26 pounds
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Best Oversize Luxe Cot Overview

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.

Best Lightweight Cot – Alpcour Folding Camping Cot

Best Lightweight Cot – Alpcour Folding Camping Cot

Highlights

  • 300-lb. weight capacity
  • Comes with built-in pillow
  • Side pocket for easy storage
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to clean
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Best Lightweight Cot Overview

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.

Best Padded Cot – Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Best Padded Cot – Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Highlights

  • 300-lb. weight capacity
  • Plush foam mattress pad
  • Sturdy coil suspension
  • Easy to assemble
  • Weight: 21.5 pounds
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Best Padded Cot Overview

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.

Best Tent Cot – Kamp Rite Oversized Tent Cot

Best Tent Cot – Kamp Rite Oversized Tent Cot

Highlights

  • Extra legs for additional support
  • Includes mesh doors keeps out insects
  • Comes with rain fly
  • Easy to set up
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Best Tent Cot Overview

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.

Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Camping Cot

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.

Pros and Cons of Camping Cots

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:

  • Very durable: Camping cots are for outdoor use and are often designed to stand up very well to rugged conditions. They’re very sturdy and often water-resistant, so they’re great to sleep on in rainy or wet conditions.
  • Easy to get into and out of: Some outdoor bedding can take a while to snuggle into and then struggle out, but with cots, you can usually get on and off it very quickly.
  • Avoid dirt and insects: You’re less likely to worry about bugs crawling over you when trying to sleep at night thanks to camping cots being raised off the ground.
  • Allows cool air to circulate: Because camping cots are up off the ground, the air can circulate under the cot, creating a cooling effect that can be crucial on hot nights.

As for the cons of camping cot usage:

  • Usually only accommodates one person: The average camping cot is designed to hold one sleeper. Even if it’s sturdy enough to hold the weight of two people, its height and width make it impractical for a pair of people to share.
  • Can be uncomfortable for side sleepers: If you prefer to sleep on your side, you might experience some discomfort as cots tend to get taut once weight is applied, causing some pressure on the shoulder pressing into the material.
  • Not a lot of space to move around freely: For sleepers with a tendency to roll around while unconscious, you might find yourself rolling right off your cot and onto the hard ground.

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.

Camping Cots vs. Sleeping Mats vs. Air Mattresses

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

Camping Cot Buying Considerations

Material and Durability

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:

  • Metal frame: Almost all camping cots are made with metal frames, usually constructed from aluminum or steel. While both are good options, they each have pros and cons. Aluminum is lighter than steel, but steel is more durable and can withstand higher weights.
  • Cover: A fabric cover stretched over the frame forms the sleep surface, and is usually made from polyester, nylon or cotton. While cotton can resist rips and damage, it’s also hard to clean, so we would recommend polyester or nylon. Also look for a cover that’s rip resistant and waterproof or water resistant.
  • Mattress pad: Many camping cots just have a frame and cover, but others include a mattress pad for added comfort. Foam mattress pads atop coil suspension tends to be the most durable option and holds up better than a cover that simply includes extra padding.
Design

Design can make all the difference when it comes to how well your camping cot fits with your camping style. Top design considerations include:

  • Single or bunk: Camping cots come in a variety of sizes and constructions. While a single cot works for more campers, a bunk is a great option for kids or those with smaller tents who want to save space. You may want to consider a wider camping cot if you prefer sharing your sleep surface with a partner or child. Pay attention to length as well. Some camping cots are so compact that they’ll leave taller individuals with their feet hanging off the end.
  • Ease of assembly: Just like tents, some camping cots are easier to put together than others. While some simply need to be unfolded, others require threading poles through the cover and/or locking frame pieces in place.
  • Storage: Camping equipment can take up a lot of room, so you’ll likely want a camping cot that can fold up into a compact size for storage. Lighter, more minimal cots tend to fold up smaller, while those with more padding tend to take up more space.
  • Weight: Weight may not be a big concern if you can pull your car right up to your campsite, but with everything you have to haul for a camping trip, you may still want a lightweight cot. Cots with aluminum frames tend to weigh less than those with steel frames. If you’re not very tall, you can probably also get away with a cot that’s shorter and therefore lighter.
  • Portability: Even if you wouldn’t take a camping cot backpacking, you still have to carry it to and from your car and campsite. Some camping cots are designed with portability in mind. Many fold up into a compact size that fits into a storage bag for easy transport.
  • Weight capacity: All camping cots are designed to hold individuals up to a certain weight. Many have a max weight of around 300 pounds, though some will hold up to 600 pounds. Wider cots designed for two individuals have higher weight limits, as do cots with steel frames.
Warranty and Return Policy

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.

Additional Tuck Resources

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