Nothing beats a good night’s sleep after the enjoyable day in the wilderness. While most people are comfortable sleeping on a sleeping pad, others prefer an elevated surface that provides more comfort and keep them safe from creepy crawlers. If you are one of those people who is looking for a luxurious home-like sleeping arrangement and does not mind accommodating some extra space and weight in your vehicle, then a camping cot is a perfect sleeping gear for you.
But which are the best camping cots for a comfortable overnight sleep in the outdoors?
In this article, we will look at answering exactly the same question and list some of the best camping cots available in the market. Our primary focus would be on portable cots that can provide enough sleeping surface for one or two people – be it adults or kids, tall or short and male or female.
These camping beds are compact, reasonably lightweight and work well for truck or car-camping, RVing or even as an additional guest beds in the house. We will also list some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best camping cot for your needs and share our top picks.
You can also check out our article on the best camping hammocks for an alternative elevated sleeping gear for camping, hiking and backpacking.
Best camping cot listSome of the best camping cots and portable camping beds for a comfortable sleep are listed below:
|Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot||Open: 85” x 40” x 19”|
Folded: 42” x 12” x 7”
|Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Cot||Open: 80” x 30” x 15”|
Folded: 34” x 25” x 5”
|Byer of Maine Easy Cot||Open: 78” x 31” x 18”|
Folded: 41” × 7” × 7”
|Timber Ridge XL Camping Cot||Open: 83" x 31" x 20"|
Folded: 40" x 7" x 5.5"
24.7 lbs./27.5 lbs.
|Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot||Open: 80” x 44” x 17”|
Folded: 40” × 5” × 5”
|Mountain Trails Base Camp Cot||Open: 74.8” x 30.3” x 6.7”|
Folded: 32” × 7” × 3”
|Therm-a-Rest Mesh Camping Cot - Large||Open: 77” x 26” x 4”|
Folded: 18” × 7” × 6”
|KingCamp Folding Camping Bed Cot||Open: 75” x 27” x 15”/19”|
Folded: 41” × 9” × 7”
|Texsport Deluxe Folding Camp Cot||Open: 75" x 26" x 16"|
Folded: 36" x 12" x 11"
|Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot||Open: 85” x 55” x 19”|
Folded: 43" x 11" x 11"
|Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk Cot||Open: 82” x 32.5” x 36”|
Folded: 32.5" x 15" x 5" each
|Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot||Open: 78” x 59” x 22”|
Folded: 39” x 12” x 12”
** The open size mentioned above are the overall dimensions of the cot. The sleeping surface would be a little smaller than the overall size.
What is a camping cot and how can it be useful?
In simplest terms, a camping cot is a portable camping bed that features a taut fabric surface mounted on a collapsible metal frame. Camping cots allow you to sleep at an elevated level off the ground, thereby making them more comfortable than using ground-level gear like sleeping pads.
Camping cots can be used with or without a sleeping pad or mattress and the preference depends upon the type of sleeper you are. A back-sleeper would typically prefer a taut, solid support base that a cot provides while a side-sleeper would look for something that is softer and provides some cushion.
Even though camping cots are portable, they are not the lightest camping gear and take a considerable packing space because of the rigid metal frame. Therefore, camping cots are most suitable for car camping, RVing or glamping; they are not the best sleeping solution for hiking and backpacking.
Some of the major pros of using camping cots are summarized below:
- Camping cots provide an elevated sleeping surface like what you have at home. So, they provide a uniform sleeping base free from the uneven ground surface, pebbles or pinecones – something that most people would find a lot more comfortable.
- Because of the elevated surface, camping cots provide additional protection from insects and other creepy crawlers.
- Elevation from the ground means that camping cots can also be used in rain and wet weather when the ground is not totally dry.
- The Off-the-ground setup also means that camping cots provide better air circulation in summers and protection for the cold ground surface during winters.
- The metal-frame design of camping cots provides a better utilization of the space when compared to air mattresses and similar products. You can utilize the space under the bed to store items. Moreover, most camping cots even come with side pockets and organizers (or have such products available separately) to store necessities.
- When compared to airbeds and other portable inflatable mattresses, camping cots are more durable because of the metallic frame and high-density fabric construction. There is no problem of a punctured bed or leaky valves.
Some of the major limitations associated with using camping cots are listed below:
- Because of their rigid frame and substantial carrying weight, camping cots are not as portable as sleeping pads or even air mattresses. Hence, they are not suitable for hiking or backpacking.
- Though almost all camping cots come with floor protectors on the frame legs, they can still harm the tent footprint and cause wear and tear.
- For side-sleepers, air beds and inflatable mattresses may provide a better sleeping surface as they provide better cushion and tend to distribute the weight more evenly across the surface.
From the above discussion, it is clear that camping cots are an excellent choice for a sleeping system for outdoor family camping. And they can also be used around the household as guest beds or during emergency situations as temporary beds.
In the next sections, we will list our picks for the best camping cots for outdoor adventures and also list out the factors to consider before picking the best camping cot for your next wilderness trip.
Which are the best camping cots for a comfortable sleep?
Material: 600D polyester canvas cot mounted on a tubular anodized aluminum frame with powder-coated steel legs.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 85″ x 40″ x 19″.
- Folded: 42″ x 12″ x 7″.
- Weight: 26.0 lbs.
- Supports one person (or two kids) up to 7′ tall and weighing up to 600 lbs.
- Best-selling, spacious camping cot featuring a 600D PVC-coated poly canvas fabric cover mounted on an aluminum frame with powder-coated steel legs. Made in China under Utah, US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a patented pivot arm which is a built-in lever that makes putting the last end bar into place quick and easy. This makes set up and take down easy and convenient. Make sure to opt for the option with pivot arm for the latest model.
- Patented S-leg assembly provides a better distribution of weight and keeps the cot surface firm and stable. Innovative rubber bushings on the legs absorb shock and prevent any wear and tear of the tent floor.
- Best-in-class size-to-weight ratio provides a wide sleeping surface that is larger than a twin bed and supports up to 500-600 lbs. of weight.
- Comes with a high-quality, duffel-style carry bag for easy storage and transportation.
- Available in a black color combination and backed by a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Competitively priced at under 120 USD. Other smaller, cheaper camping cot designs are also available from the same manufacturer.
The Utah-based Teton Sports has been a popular outdoor gear brand and the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot is their best-selling camping cot model. And there is a good reason for that as we found out while evaluating this product.
The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot features a 600D PVC-coated polyester canvas cot cover mounted on an anodized aluminum frame. The cot has powder-coated stainless-steel support legs that are smartly attached to the frame to provide convenient folding and expansion. Like other Teton Sports cots and tents, the cot is made in China under the company’s strict quality control measures.
With an expanded dimension of 85″ x 40″ x 19″, the XXL Camping cot is larger than even a twin bed. The cot can fold down to about half the size – 42″ x 12″ x 7″. The whole setup weighs about 26 lbs. and is suitable for one person or two kids up to 7-feet tall and weighing up to 600 lbs. In fact, there are videos online of the cot supporting even a higher weight.
The latest Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot model has gone through a bunch of design improvements to make this spacious cot a truly remarkable sleeping cot. The upgraded model features a patented pivot arm which is essentially built-in lever that makes putting the last end bar into place quick and easy. This design improvement is a big plus as it makes setting up and taking down the “huuge cot” a lot easier and more convenient.
When it comes to the cot supporting system, the Teton Outfitter Cot has a patented S-leg assembly that provides a better distribution of weight and keeps the cot surface firm and stable when in use. And that is not all – innovative rubber bushings on the legs absorb shock and prevent any wear and tear of the tent floor.
Unlike the older camping cot models that came with tote-style bags, the latest Teton Outfitter cots come with a high-quality duffel-style carrying bag for easy storage and transportation – a big plus indeed.
The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot is available in a single black color combination and competitively priced at under 120 USD. And like other high-quality Teton Sports products, the cot is backed by a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects – a big testament of the superior quality this cot offers. If you are looking for cheaper, smaller cots, you can also check out some other camping cot designs by the same manufacturer.
Material: 600D oxford canvas fabric cover mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame. Foam mattress with canvas cover.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 69″ x 25″ x 15″.
- Folded: 32″ x 20″ x 5″.
- Weight: 18.1 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 5’7″ tall and weighing up to 275 lbs.
- Open: 80″ x 30″ x 15″.
- Folded: 34″ x 25″ x 5″.
- Weight: 21.5 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6’6″ tall and weighing up to 300 lbs.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the model.
- Best-selling camping or household cot with a 600D oxford fabric cot mounted on a durable powder-steel frame. Also comes with a soft sleeping mattress. Made in China under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a fabric-covered 1.75″-2″ foam mattress pad with the proprietary ComfortSmart coil suspension system. The mattress offers a bed-like feel with a soft yet stable base. The cot and mattress can be separated to double the sleeping surface.
- Comes with three, evenly-spaced, folding support legs to provide steady support to the cot and mattress when expanded. Rounded bar-type legs provide protection to the tent footprint from wear and tear.
- Collapses to a small size to fit most car trunks and kept secure by Velcro straps. However, does not come with a carry bag.
- Available in two colors – black and grey and two sizes, suitable for people up to 6.5 ft tall. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
- Competitively priced in the range of 60-80 dollars, depending upon the size and model. An in-between model – the 74″ x 26″ x 15″, Coleman Ridgeline III is also available from the same manufacturer.
If you are looking for a camping cot that can provide a soft sleeping surface and do not want to spend a fortune, then the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is a perfect choice for you. This cot plus mattress combo may not be the cheapest camping cot, but it truly offers the best value-for-money.
The best-selling Coleman ComfortSmart Cot features a 600D oxford fabric cover mounted on a durable powdered-stainless-steel frame. The frame is totally rust-resistant. The fabric cover is attached to the frame using a steel-spring tensioning system that keeps the cot firm and stable even after prolonged use. Like most other Coleman products, the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is made in China under Coleman’s quality control processes.
The ComfortSmart cot also includes a soft fabric-covered foam sleeping mattress which provides a home-like comfort for back and side sleepers both. The mattress is about 1.75-2 inches thick and equipped with the proprietary ComfortSmart coil suspension system that provides a soft yet stable sleeping surface. The best part is that the cot and mattress can be separated (it is attached to the cot through a Velcro strap) to double the sleeping surface.
The frame of the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is made of powder-coated stainless-steel that is both sturdy and lightweight. The frame has three evenly-spaced folding support legs that provide a rounded metal-bars type support system to the cot and mattress. This design ensures that the cot would not cause undue wear and tear to the tent footprint or the ground below.
The Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is available in two wide-spread sizes with another option – the Coleman Ridgeline III providing an in-between option. The standard 69″ x 25″ x 15″ cot is suitable for kids, teenagers and adults less than 5’7″ tall and weighing less than 275 lbs. while the Deluxe 80″ x 30″ x 15″ cot is suitable for persons who are up to 6’6″ tall and weigh up to 300 lbs. The Coleman Ridgeline III has dimensions of 74″ x 26″ x 15″ and works for persons up to 6’2″ tall.
The ComfortSmart Cot is designed to fold down to a small size which would fit most car trunks. The mattress secured the underside along with the cot legs. A cot comes with a Velcro strap to secure the setup for storage and transportation. The cot, however, does not come with a duffel or any type of carrying bag and you will have to get one separately.
The ComfortSmart Cot is competitively priced in the range of 60-80 dollars, depending upon the size and model. It is available in two colors – grey and black and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Material: 600D polyester fabric cover mounted on a tubular powdered stainless-steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 78″ x 31″ x 18″.
- Folded: 41″ x 7″ x 7″.
- Weight: 21.0 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6’2″ tall and weighing up to 330 lbs.
- High-quality camping cot featuring a 600-denier reinforced polyester fabric surface mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame. Made in China for a 100+ years old US-based company.
- Sturdy and comfortable sleeping surface with a reinforced center and five reinforced side panels to increase the strength and durability of the fabric. Cross-bar design with non-marking feet.
- Most-convenient to set up and fold down – collapses easily for storage and transportation. Comes with a carry bag with a sturdy shoulder and carrying strap.
- Available in a single blue-tan color combination and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. Priced at under 85 USD for a single unit.
- Additional camping cot designs are also available from the same manufacturer.
Material: 600D ripstop polyester fabric surface mounted on a tubular rust-resistant steel frame and legs having rubberized floor protectors.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 83″ x 31″ x 20″.
- Folded: 40″ x 7″ x 5.5″.
- Weight: 24.7 lbs./27.5 lbs.
- Supports one person (or two children) up to 6’11” tall and weighing up to 300 lbs.
- Extra-wide camping cot featuring a heavy-duty yet soft ripstop polyester fabric cot cover mounted on a sturdy steel frame and legs. Made in China.
- With an 80″ x 30″ of sleeping surface, bigger than other XL camping cots, suitable for a single person up to 7 feet tall. Can also work well for two kids or an adult and a toddler.
- Extra-high ground clearance, well-supported by a cross-legged steel frame that is rust-resistant but not rust-proof. The head section is padded for soft support without a pillow.
- Easy, tool-free setup and foldable design. Comes with a high-quality carrying bag for storage and transportation.
- Available in a single black cover with or without the side pocket organizer. The side removable mesh bag is perfect for holding necessities such as keys, phone, bottle etc.
- Priced at under 80 USD and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Material: 600D oxford canvas fabric cover mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 80″ x 44″ x 17″.
- Folded: 40″ x 5″ x 5″.
- Weight: 23.0 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6’6″ tall and weighing up to 300 lbs.
- Over-sized camping cot designed specifically for big, tall persons with a wide 80″ x 32″ sleeping area. Made in China under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a 600D oxford canvas fabric cover mounted on a tubular powder-steel frame. Unique adjustable design suitable for sitting, reclining and sleeping.
- Comes with a removable side table with a drink holder that provides additional space for snacks and personal items. The table can be installed on either side.
- Foldable design collapses to a compact size that fits most car trunks. Comes with a polyester carrying bag for easy transportation.
- Available in a single grey color and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
- Competitively priced at under 60 dollars.
Material: 600D polyester fabric cover mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 74.8″ x 30.3″ x 6.7″
- Folded: 32″ x 7″ x 3″
- Weight: 9.8 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6.0 feet tall and weighing up to 225 lbs.
- Value-for-money camping cot featuring a 600D polyester fabric cover mounted on a powder-coated, stainless-steel frame. Made in China for a Colorado, US-based company.
- Lightweight design that stands only 6.7 inches clear of the ground resting on four evenly-spaced, rounded steel legs.
- Extremely easy to set up and take down. Packs to a small size and comes with a polyester carrying bag for easy storage and transportation.
- Available in a single blue color and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Competitively priced at under 40 USD.
Material: 500D scrim fabric mesh with a poly-vinyl coating, mounted on an anodized aluminum frame with nylon feet.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 72″ x 24″ x 4″
- Folded: 18″ x 7″ x 4″.
- Weight: 3.6 lbs.
- Open: 77″ x 26″ x 4″.
- Folded: 18″ x 7″ x 4″.
- Weight: 4.0 lbs.
- Open: 77″ x 30″ x 4″.
- Folded: 18″ x 7″ x 4″.
- Weight: 4.4 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6′ – 6’2″ tall and weighing up to 325-350 lbs.
- Ultralight camping cot featuring a stretch-free, breathable mesh fabric surface mounted on an anodized aluminum frame with durable nylon feet. Made in the USA.
- Patented Bow-Frame design eliminates painful crossbars and squeaky joints and keeps the overall weight of the cot manageable. Compact design can fit in the included storage bag or even a backpack.
- Features a meshed fabric surface that provides excellent ventilation in hot weather. The cot surface is rip-resistant and durable.
- Extremely easy to set up and disassemble without tools with its shock-corded poles and pre-assembled feet design. Comes with a deluxe carrying case for easy transportation.
- Cleaning only by hand wash and air dry. Do not machine wash.
- Available in three sizes and a standard blue color and backed by a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Costlier than most other camping cots at over 150 USD, but the lightest and most compact of the lot.
Material: 600D double layer oxford fabric cot mounted on a tubular steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 75″ x 27″ x 15″/19″.
- Folded: 41″ x 9″ x 7″.
- Weight: 15.9 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6’2″ tall and weighing up to 265 lbs.
- Uniquely-designed, budget folding camp cot featuring a 600D weather-resistant, double-layer, oxford fabric surface, mounted on a tubular anodized steel frame. Made in China.
- Foldable bracket and triangle structure provides maximum stability on the ground and a compact folding size. Plastic floor protectors prevent the cot legs from harming the tent footprint.
- Has an elevated/raised end to act as a head-rest and provide comfortable sleep without pillows. The head-rest is, however, non-adjustable.
- Easy to set up and fold down without tools. Comes with a polyester carrying bag for easy transportation.
- Available in three colors – blue, grey and green and with or without the side pockets. The 3-in-1 pockets provide extra storage for magazines, pad, phone and other accessories.
- Backed by a six-month hassle-free satisfaction guaranteed or money back commitment.
- A bigger, 1200D oxford fabric two-person camping cot is also available from the same manufacturer.
Material: 600D PVC-coated polyester fabric surface mounted on a sturdy aluminum frame with steel legs.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 75″ x 26″ x 16″
- Folded: 36″ x 12″ x 11″
- Weight: 14.0 lbs.
- Supports one person up to 6’2″ tall and weighing up to 250 lbs.
- Standard camping cot featuring a water-resistant, 600D PVC-coated polyester fabric surface mounted on a sturdy aluminum frame having steel legs. Made in China.
- Features a hook-and-loop Velcro wrap around the closure for quick set up and a sag-free sleeping surface.
- Extremely easy to collapse and open. Comes with a heavy-duty carry bag with a shoulder strap for easy storage and transportation.
- Available in a single forest-green color and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. Competitively priced at under 60 dollars.
- A bigger, Jumbo folding camp cot is also available from the same manufacturer.
Material: 600D ripstop polyester fabric cover mounted on a tubular powder-steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 85″ x 55″ x 19″
- Folded: 43″ x 11″ x 11″
- Weight: 33.0 lbs.
- Supports 2-person up to 6’2″ tall and total weight up to 550 lbs.
- Versatile double cot made of 600D polyester fabric mounted on a powder-steel frame. Made in China for a US-based company.
- Features a smartly-designed cross-legged support base that balances the two cot sides separately. The padded head section provides a soft pillow-like surface while sleeping.
- Comes with a unique mesh hammock storage underneath the cot. Comes assembled and easy to collapse and carry. A matching 600D polyester carrying bag with strap is also included.
- Available in a single black color combination and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. Priced at under 120 USD for a twin-bed cot.
- Some other camping and tent cot designs are also available from the same manufacturer, including the best-selling covered tent cots.
Material: 600D PVC-coated polyester fabric cover mounted on a tubular powder-coated stainless-steel frame.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 82″ x 32.5″ x 36″ each.
- Folded: 32.5″ x 15″ x 5″ each.
- Ground Clearance: 11.0″; Clearance between bunks: 21.0″.
- Weight: 60.0 lbs. total.
- Supports 2-person, each up to 6’4″ tall and weighing up to 500 lbs.
- Premium bunk-able cot system with two cots featuring 600D, PVC-coated polyester fabric cover mounted on a tubular powder stainless-steel frame. Made in China for US-based world best-seller of bunk beds.
- Extremely versatile and can be used as 2 separate cots, a bench, or space-saving bunked beds with a wide 28″ sleeping surface. Provides tool-free assembly and comes with installation instructions for each configuration.
- Each bed comes with an organizer pouch with zipped sleeves and open pockets to accommodate personal belongings and easily attach to the sleeping deck with a Velcro hook and loop arrangement.
- All-inclusive bundle includes 2 cots, 2 side organizers, 2 individual carry bags, set of stack adapters, and 2 locking straps.
- Available in three color combinations and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Other bunk bed designs are also available from the same manufacturer.
Material: 600D oxford canvas fabric cot mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame. Inflatable coil mattress with a canvas fabric cover.
Size and Weight:
- Open: 78″ x 59″ x 22″.
- Folded: 39″ x 12″ x 12″.
- Weight: 41.9 lbs.
- Supports 2-person up to 6’2″ tall and total weight up to 600 lbs.
- High-quality, portable queen air mattress and cot combo for elevated sleeping support. Made in China under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a versatile 600D oxford canvas fabric cot mounted on a tubular stainless-steel frame. An inflatable air bed with ComfortStrong coil construction is mounted on top of it. The cot and airbed can be separated to double the sleeping surface.
- The air bed features an airtight double lock valve system that is guaranteed not to leak. A 4D battery-operated air-pump is also included for easy inflation and deflation.
- The cot features two side tables with cup holders for storing drinks and other essentials.
- Easy to set up and fold-down. The airbed and cot fold easily inside the included carry bag for convenient toting and storage.
- Available in a single color combination with a black cot and a white air bed. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. Competitively priced at under 200 USD for the whole setup.
- A smaller, cheaper Coleman Twin Airbed Folding cot is also available from the same manufacturer.
How to pick the best camping cots and portable camping beds?
With so many different designs and models available in the market with a wide variation in prices, picking the best camping cot for outdoor adventures and more can be a challenging proposition. After all, you would like to pick a camping cot that provides a stable sleeping surface and does not leave you stiff and sore in the wild.
Once you have decided on the broad budget that you have, you need to look at a few important factors before picking the best camping cot for glamping, RVing, boondocking or other outdoor adventures. These major considerations are summarized below:
- Building material of the cot
- Size and weight of the cot
- Packing size and portability
- Additional Factors and Considerations
Building material of the cot
The construction material of the camping cot – specifically the fabric of the cot cover and the material of the frame and legs, is an important factor as it governs the durability and reliability of the cot. Why else do you think there is so much variation in the price of these camping cots?
Specifically, the construction quality governs the following major things:
- The durability of the camping cot to last more than a few camping trips.
- The firmness of the cot and sag-free surface even after frequent usage.
- Noise-free and stable frame, even during weight-shifts and twisting-turning.
- The weight distribution and leg protection to prevent wear and tear to tent floors.
- The ability of the cot cover and frame to survive inclement weather.
All the options that we listed feature a cot cover made of high-quality 600 denier or more synthetic fabric that is stretch-free, durable and comfortable, and noise-free too. The nylon or polyester fabric is also PVC-coated to provide superior weather-protection.
The cot frames are made of generally made of hollow stainless steel or anodized aluminum tubes, with additional welding at stress points. The legs are generally made of steel with plastic or rubberized floor protectors to prevent wear and tear to the tent footprint. The frame and legs are coated with a rust-resistant paint, making them more durable and weather-proof. The only exception to this is the Therm-a-Rest Mesh Camping Cot which features a meshed cover with lightweight nylon frame legs.
The cot cover is attached to the frame through a hook-and-loop arrangement, Velcro straps or a combination of the two. We prefer the hook-and-loop arrangement as it tends to prevent sagging of the cot even after multiple uses. In terms of construction quality, our top pick – the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot offers one of the best build quality and design.
Check the overall building material of the cot cover, frame and legs before picking the best camping cot for your outdoor trip. If you are in doubt, pick one of our recommended products – you will find them pretty durable and sturdy.
Size and weight of the cot
The size and weight of the cot is also an important consideration to keep in mind as it governs the height and maximum weight that the camping cot can support.
The size of a camping cot is expressed in terms of its length, width and height or clearance from the ground. Of these, the length and width are most important, especially if you are someone who is extra-tall or extra-healthy!
Among camping cots for one person, all the options that we listed support adults up to 6-6.5 feet tall and weighing up to 225 pounds to 400 pounds. The cheapest option in our list – the Mountain Trails Base Camp Cot has the minimum supported weight of 225 lbs., while the Coleman ComfortSmart Standard Cot has a model that supports persons only up to 5’7″ tall. In all regards, our top pick, the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot offers the best-in-class sleeping surface and can support persons up to 7 feet tall and weighing 500-600 lbs.
The height of the camping cot is also something to check if you have specific preferences or are looking for a higher ground clearance to utilize the space beneath the cot.
If you are looking for a camping cot for two people, the options we have listed, such as the Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot and Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk Cot have a sleeping surface that is larger than a twin bed, making them excellent choices for adults and children alike.
While most camping cots are too heavy to be suitable for backpacking, the overall weight is also something to look out for. After all you would not want to haul a heavy load even in your car and at the same time pick an option that is sturdy enough to not bungle under your load while sleeping.
All the options that we listed have a manageable weight ranging from 10 up to 60 lbs. for two-person camping cots. The only exception is the Therm-a-Rest Mesh Camping Cot which weighs only 4.0 lbs. and is perfect even for backpacking.
Check the overall size, clearance from ground and weight of the camping cot before picking the best camping cot for your needs.
Packing size and portability
Closely related with the overall size and weight of the cot is its packing size and portability. It is important to pick a camping cot that packs to a size which can fit in the car’s trunk (and if not trunk at least in the backseat).
The best camping cots are ones which collapse to at most half their full-size and pack small to be carried in an included carrying case. We have indicated the folded size of all the options that we have listed to give you an idea of the packing size you would need to account for.
Along with the packing size, it is important to pick a model that is easy to take down and fold without the need for any special tools or techniques. All the options that we have listed, especially our top picks are extremely easy to collapse. Off-course the two-people camping cots would require a slightly more effort to fold down, so keep that in mind before picking the best camping cot.
Check out the overall size (both open and packed), and portability of the camping cot before pulling the plug on a specific model.
Additional factors and miscellaneous considerations
In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular camping cot a preferable choice over other options.
One such consideration is the accessories and replacement parts that come with the camping cot (or are available for purchase in the market). All the options that we listed, except the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot come with a high-quality carrying bag for easy transportation. Moreover, some options such as the Timber Ridge XL Camping Cot and Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk Cot even come with side pockets and organizers to store the essentials. Similarly, Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Cot and other Coleman cots come with side tables and sleeping mattresses, making them an excellent choice for family camping.
The availability of head-rest or a versatile locking angle allowing the cot to be used for sitting and reclining, along with sleeping is also something that you might want to look at.
While it does not affect the utility of the camping cot, another consideration is the color combination in which the cot is available. Most of the options that we listed are available in single standard dark-color combinations – blue, grey, green or black. The exceptions are the KingCamp Folding Camping Bed Cot and Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk Cots which are available in three color combinations, giving you some vibrant options to choose from.
Finally, one of the most important additional consideration is the warranty and after-sales support offered on the camping cot by the manufacturer. The general rule of thumb is that longer the warranty period, the more reliable and durable the cot would be. Most of the options that we listed are backed by one or more year manufacturing warranties, so you can use these cots for a long time without worrying about their durability and reliability. The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot and Therm-a-Rest Mesh Camping Cot score big in this category as they are backed by excellent lifetime warranties against manufacturing defects. Just make sure that you always purchase the camping cot from an authorized reseller and get the product registered if it is required.
You can look at all these features to determine if they make a specific camping cot a better choice over others.
Accessories for camping cots
One of the most common accessories to use with a camping cot is a gear organizer to store your necessary items such as wallet, mobile phone, water bottle and flashlight. If you have a cot that does not come with one or are looking for a replacement, then you can consider the following options:
- Teton Sports Cot Organizer: Best-selling camping cot organizer with a thick tear-resistant canvas fabric body. Comes with eight pockets, a flat-bottom drink holder with a drain hole and a toilet paper clip. Fits any tent cot with a side rail.
- Guide Gear Cot Organizer: Multi-purpose camping cot organizer featuring a 600D polyester with PVC coating construction. Comes with clip-in straps to attach to any camping cot. Also features meshed bottle holder and rifle straps on back safely secure your rifle in place
- Rothco Cot Accessory Pouch: Budget, low-capacity camping cot pouch made of nylon fabric. Comes with sturdy side straps and Velcro pockets for storing the necessities.
If you are looking for more cushion, you may look at purchasing a camping cot mattress or an air bed of appropriate size. Some of the popular options to check out are:
- Kamp-Rite Single Self Inflating Pad: High-density closed-cell foam mattress with overall dimensions of 77″ x 32″ x 4″. Features a soft velour top with a PVC base. Can support up to 275 lbs.
- Milliard Tri-Fold Cot Mattress: Double-layer foam mattress with 3-inches of cushion. Features a 600D removable and washable polyester cover. Measures 75″ x 31″ x 3″ when open and 31″ x 25″ x 9″ when folded.
- Lightspeed Outdoors Super Plush Camping pad: Lightweight sleeping pad made of Lightspeed’s proprietary FlexForm stretch fabric. Measures 77″ x 30″ x 3″ when open and 30″ x 7.8″ x 1.5″ when rolled down.
Finally, another accessory that you might need with your cot is a camping pillow. For the best inflatable and compressible camping pillows, you can check our article on the best camping and backpacking pillows. If space is not a concern, you would find the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow especially comfortable.
Final thoughts on the best camping cots
If you are an outdoorsy person who loves to spend more than a couple of days camping in the wilderness, then you need a comfortable sleeping system that does not leave you feeling cold, stiff or sore in the morning. A camping cot is exactly the gear you need. It provides you with a home-like elevated sleeping surface for a superior shut-eye experience away from all the creepy crawlers and the deformities of the ground.
In this article, we looked at some of the best camping cots for camping and other outdoor adventures. Our primary focus was on sleeping cots that are compact, lightweight and portable enough to be useful for car camping or RVing. We also looked some of the major considerations to keep in mind before picking the best camping cot and shared our top picks.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best camping cot for your next outdoor trip. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy camping!