Best Camping Cots Reviewed & Rated for Quality and Value
Everybody knows the power of a good night’s sleep, and unless you’ve been doing it for years, sleeping out in the open, or in a tent can sometimes be a difficult thing to master. However, one thing that can turn a difficult time sleeping on the ground into a wonderful sleep under the stars is a camping cot. These do a few important things, they keep you off the ground, so no bugs and no roots and rocks digging through your sleeping bag, and when they’re well-made they’re a mini-mattress that will help you drift off to your favorite sleepy place as well and as easily as your home bed. So we’ve decided to put a few of our favorite on display for you. As always we’ve looked for all kinds of products and price ranges so come on in and look around.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Incredibly easy setup
BEST CAMPING COTS REVIEWED & RATED FOR QUALITY AND VALUE
1. Byer of Maine Easy Cot
Incredibly easy setup
The height and length are not accommodated by all tents
This has been on the market for years. It is a reliable and sturdy tool that stood the test of time. To set up, remove it from the carrying bag and open it. No tools are required to set up the cot in a matter of seconds. It is just as easy to fold and store. The cot folds to a relatively small size.
Construction includes 600 denier polyester, multiple fabric reinforcements, and welded steel legs. The strong construction guaranteed a 330-pound capacity. Extra webbing pieces beneath the bed fabric reinforce the strength.
People who sleep on their sides or back sleep comfortably on the 78” x 31” size of the bed. It is 18 inches above the ground. All of the length is usable. No end bars are in the foot and head area. There are also no back-breaking bars beneath the fabric. It is all canvas. No unpleasant metal touches the sleeper on a cold night. The design of the cot covers the sidebars completely.
Cost and Value
Possible uses include beaches, regular camping places, summer open-air music festivals, trailhead hotels, and vacations. It also comes in handy for sudden overnight guests. The nice designed cot is easy to fold and store. The price is on the higher end of the spectrum, but is a reliable tool and receives high ratings from people who purchase it.
2. Coleman ComfortSmart
Can hold a lot of weight
The fabric on the mattress can tear
Legs can be difficult to lock in place
This thick foam cot with some impressive spring coil suspension strives to be as comfortable and durable as possible. The heavy-duty steel frame holds a lot of weight and can fit even your tallest hunters. It also gets compact and folds up easily for transport and storage to make it easy to pack and carry around as you move through your hunt or hike.
The mattress combines thick foam for comfort and mattress memory as well as spring coil suspension to keep you as stable and comfortable as possible throughout the night.
Can Hold Anyone
This has a durable steel frame support system that can hold up to 300lbs. It’s also built to house anyone up to 6ft 6in. This means you can fit your largest party member on it or have some kids share it to avoid carrying around too many.
Coat and Value
This is a little more up there in price but you’re getting a pretty impressive mattress system for that price. It also holds quite a bit of weight, so if you’ve got several little campers, it’ll save you money in the long run.
3. Tough Outdoors Camping Cot
Long and Wide
Strong Aluminum Frame
Legs Can Be Wobbly
This military-style option has all the trimmings and all the Fixin's to guarantee you a good nights sleep. It puts you more than a foot off the ground and comes with an incredibly handy set of pockets that hang off the edge so you can put all your ‘stuff’ right next to you without worrying that a raccoon will wander off with it in the night.
Side Hanging Organizer
Glasses, phone, sunglasses, snacks, the organizer that comes with will allow you to put whatever you need in its sizable pocket and keep it handy all throughout the night. There is a mesh see-thru pocket and a couple of zippered pockets that come included with this bag.
Plenty of Room
A number on our list are a bit cramped in both length and width, but this baby has a lot of room for even the biggest person and will support someone as heavy as 300 pounds. The all-aluminum frame is sturdy and will remain steady as you try to get comfortable. This solves one of the biggest issues, the lack of width.
Cost and Value
This comes in at a solid mid-range price. It has all the features you could want. It’s lightweight, it packs easily and the organizer that comes with it for free really puts this over the top and makes it worth every cent you pay for it.
Available in five colors - green, lime green, red, teal blue, and navy
No pads are needed for the sleeping system
The frame is made from powder-coated, anti-rust steel
Included are two side organizers and two carry bags
Requires assembly, no tools are needed
This incredible camping bed is a versatile, portable, and collapsible sleeping arrangement for two kids. It is suitable for outdoor or home use. Kids love the unique system. It has three modes - bench, two single cots, or a bunk bed.
Great for Kids
They are made for young children under three years of age. The system is useful when visiting grandparents, for sleepovers, travel sports teams, summer camps, ordinary camping, or vacations with the kids.
The bench configuration is very useful It transforms the beds into a sitting area. There is no need to pack extra chairs. The beds pack separately. Each organizer has multiple pockets and a bottle holster. The organizers are removable and washable. The bed fabric can also be removed and washed
Cost and Value
It is hard to find a product as versatile as the Disco-O-Bed Youth Kid-O-Bunk. The system is not cheap but reviews state it is appropriately priced for what it offers. The configuration works well in large tents especially those having a standard hub design with vertical walls.
5. Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot
Easy to Assemble
Can Sag To the Ground
This is an interesting entry as it has a number of legs that guarantee the stability but it doesn’t get too far off the ground. So, if you want to be high up like a bed this might not be for you. But the multiple points of contact ensure a bit more stability than others that have 4 or 6 legs making contact with the ground. And while it looks complicated this is very easy to set up and in no time at all, you’ll be lounging in the outdoors.
A lot of good things go along with this lightweight option. It’s easy to carry, it’s easy to set up it’s easy to bring into the outback and it folds into a small easy to carry bundle. And with no tools required for setup, it means all you need to do is bring the small bundle that it folds into.
Easy to Use
This is something you don’t realize you need until you need it. When the sun is going down and you want to get set up before you can’t see then this is for you. It has a few bells and whistles but it’s really quite user-friendly and you’ll get it up, and you’ll be down in no time.
Cost and Value
This is expensive, no other word for it. But we like its stability and its lightweight and its simple carrying case and we like the way we sleep when we’re on it.
Fabric can tear
This is all about, as the name suggests, quick and easy opening. It opens in seconds with ease. It’s oversized to hold large users or several users, it also comes with two storage pouches that become a carrying handle when moving it around. It also comes with a zippered bag for easy mobility.
While many on this list focused in on weight requirements and durability, this is all about the quick setup and easy use. This sets up in seconds and can be carried around easily in the included carrying case the easy to use handles.
Also unlike many on this list, this one comes with some storage options for you. Two pouches are available to you when this is in its folded-out position. They’re ideal for holding small valuables like keys, phones, or wallets.
Cost and Value
This is another one that’s got an average price for some above-average amenities. For all its ease and extras, this is a pretty good price to go off of and the value is certainly in your favor.
7. Teton 120
Can be difficult to assemble
This is a large model with an excellent weight capacity to match. It features a patented design with S leg steel for sturdiness throughout use. It’s got comfort and a nice warranty to protect your purchase if anything happens.
As the name on this one suggests, this is an extra-extra-large cot. So keep that in mind when thinking about your camp size and your needs as far as that is concerned. It’s wide though, bigger than a twin mattress and can hold up to 600 lbs if you need to sleep, multiple people.
To be that wide and hold that much weight, you’ve got to have a solid and trustworthy design going on. It features a patented s-leg steel design that can hold a solid amount of weight.
Cost and Value
This is one of the best options out there in terms of size and durability, so the price matches that but it’s a great investment for any future camping trips.
8. Coleman Pack-Away
The canvas on the mattress can tear
While this is another wide design, it’s not nearly as large as the Teton. But not everyone needs one that large. This is a twin size with a heavy-duty frame and some tough polyester on the mattress that can hold up to 300 lbs throughout the night. It also comes with some nice removable amenities like a cup holder.
This design is wide and extra long to fit someone up to the height of 6’8’’ and 300 lbs. For kids, this means you can sleep multiple people without having to back extra sleepers. It’s not extra-large, but it’s big enough to comfortably fit one adult or several kids.
Unlike the Teton, this one actually comes with some comfort perks. There is a removable side table included that features a cup holder, room for snacks, magazines, or any personal items you want to keep off of the wilderness or tent floor.
Cost and Value
Owing to the size difference, this is also a much lower price than the Teton and you’re getting less with that. However, the added bonuses with this are pretty great, so the value vs. the price is certainly in your favor
9. ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Cot
Easy to Carry
Carry Bag Included
Feels a Bit Unstable
This short stable version is made with a steel frame and comes in a light and easy to carry bag that’s just about perfect for your forays into the outback. It’s wide enough for big folks and strong enough to handle a lot of weight.
A lot on our list have aluminum frames to keep them lightweight, but the ALPS cot manages to keep their's lightweight but do it with a steel frame. This is the best of both worlds, strong and light.
Comfortable and strong. Unlike some others that will sag a bit, this one should keep even the heaviest camper wall off the ground.
Cost and Value
A great price, definitely on the low end. This makes our list easily for its combination of lightweight, stability and lost cost.
10. Mountain Trails
Easy to use
Easy to transport
Best used for children and youths
This is another one on the slightly smaller side but still boasts a lot of holding power when it comes to fitting sleepers. The weight capacity is less at 225 lbs and it’s an inch or so shorter when it comes to length. But it’s rugged make and a quick assembly. It also comes with transport and storage bags for easy mobility.
Like many of the beds on this list, the frame is made of quality steel. However, the steel on this one is a rugged, powder-coated frame to take on weight and the elements that might come your way.
Ease of Use
This bed prides itself on being quick and easy to carry around and assemble. It includes a carry bag for easy transport and quick storage when you need it. It’s also quick and easy to put together.
Cost and Value
This is fairly low priced, but keep in mind that’s for a reason. This will get the job done but it won’t offer you anything new to add to this. So keep that in mind while looking at the price.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Mostly, camping cots are manufactured from polyester and nylon. Some will also be manufactured from cotton. We would advise you to select one made from either nylon or polyester fabric. When compared to cotton, these two types of material are easier to clean. Apart from being harder to clean, cotton also takes a longer time to dry. If you always camp in hot weather, check out ones manufactured from mesh fabric; it’s much cooler in warm weather.
The average camping cot frames are made from aluminum. What this means is that most people favor aluminum. The reason behind this is that it is strong yet lightweight. If you want a heavy-duty one, then you should go with a steel frame. This type of frame will take more weight. However, if you are concerned about the weight it will take, always check the weight rating supplied by the manufacturer.
There are different sizes. However, the average size is about 75 inches long and 25 inches wide. Most adults will fit comfortably on this size. If you are taller than the average person, look for a longer one. If you also happen to be heavier than the average person, you can find ones measuring up to 40 inches wide. You can also get some that are shorter than the average, especially if you are buying for kids.
Mostly, they will fit into a tent that is designed to fit one or two people. These will weigh an average of 3 pounds. These cots are usually designed for use by backpackers. However, if you are going to buy one like this, you have to do so with the understanding that they are minimalist. They are not very high up the ground. Also apart from talking a lower weight capacity, don’t expect them to be durable.
Portability is one of the main features you have to look for. All models made for camping should collapse somehow so that they can be transported easily. Apart from transporting, it should also be easy to store when you are not using it. It mustn’t take lots of space. Some will collapse into something smaller and others will totally disassemble. Check the size when still packed and its weight; this will give you an idea of how portable it will be.
Check whether it has a carrying bag and shoulder straps. If it does then you know it was made to be portable. If you always have transport to carry this around, portability may not be such a big issue. So, you may have a bigger leeway when you select your camping cot.
Ease of Use
The way you mount your camping cot will depend on how it’s made and the type. However, there are a few tips which you can follow to make your life a little easier. If they have manufacturer instructions that came with it, check and see how many pieces you should have. You don’t want to end up struggling to put them together only to realize that there is a missing piece.
Most of the time the camping cot will come with three parts, a metal frame attached to a canvas and then another two independent rails. Once you are done putting all the parts together, according to the specifications of the manufacturer, test it to ensure that it sits still when you sleep. You wouldn’t want to leave it until the middle of the night to see that something is wrong. Can you imagine attempting to fix one when you are half asleep?
We always advise that buying anything based on price alone is not a good idea. However, we always indicate that you need to look at the cost to decide whether the product is excellent value for your money or not. We tend to expect products that are more expensive to have better features and quality than ones that are less expensive.
When we looked at the camping cots featured here we, first of all, categorized them according to the price range in which they fall. The categorization helps us not to have a list of either expensive or cheap only products. Also, it helps us not to end up comparing two products that are not in the same class.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Even though we may want to test all the products we feature, this is not possible. So, we go online and look at what the people using these products are saying. The great thing about big retailers such as Amazon is that they only permit verified buyers to rate these products. So, we know that the reviews are not just gimmicks by the manufacturers pretending to be users.
When you mount the camping cot, and you notice that the fabric is a bit too firm and somewhat tricky to maneuver, don’t worry, they are like that in the beginning. Once you have it standing on its legs, sit on the canvas. Sitting on it will help it to stretch. Just ensure that you do this carefully because you don’t want to collapse the cot just in case there is a weak link somewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What should I consider before buying a camping cot?
Of course in our list above, we have selected the best ten we could find but we know that like everything else in life, one choice cannot be the best for everybody. The best one for you will depend on a number of things including how you are going to use it, for example, a car camper who has the capacity to carry a heavier camping cot will care more about luxury and comfort. This type of camper will look for something study with more padding.
However, if you are a light backpacker you will have to sacrifice comfort for lightweight. Whether you are buying a more affordable camping cot or one that is more expensive, you want to ensure that it is easy to assemble and also to store apart from being durable and comfortable.
q: Why do I need one?
If you have ever gone camping with children who will not sleep until they are on a bed, you will probably understand the reason why you need a camping cot. Also, some people who are still new to camping may find it difficult to sleep on the floor of a tent. Sometimes you camp in places where there are bugs walking all over the place, so you may want something that will ensure you are not sleeping on the ground.
q: What are the advantages of a having a cot?
The main advantage is that camping cots ensure that you are not sleeping on the ground. Camping sites are different; some will have relatively smooth ground where you can sleep yet others could be rocky. The cot will ensure that your overall sleeping comfort is boosted. If you also have issues getting up and down, the camping cot will give you an elevated platform to make the process easier.
Another advantage is that a cot can keep you warmer on a cold night. Cold air settles on the ground and if you are in contact with the ground, it’s easy for the heat your body produces to be conducted to the ground and leave you feeling cold. The same happens in hot weather, the cot allows air to circulate freely below and top of you when you are sleeping.
q: What is the average weight of one?
A camping cot whose frame is made from aluminum will weigh an average 18 or so pounds. You can also get a cot weighing around 3 pounds. These are designed for backpacking in the countryside. The weight depends on the material used to manufacture it. For example, if you select a heavy-duty cot made from steel, it will be much heavier. Also, ones that are oversized will generally be heavier than the average or smaller ones.
You should really worry about the weight of the camping cot if you will be moving around a lot. However, if you are going to be using it for extended periods in a single place and you have sufficient transport to carry it around, weight should really not be an issue. You would rather worry about comfort and support.
q: How can I assess how much comfort and support a cot will give?
It depends on the fabric and springs used to make it. You will discover that you can adjust some tension systems to attain the level of comfort and support you require. You should also check whether the spring system you want to buy can be fine-tuned by manipulating the supports. Another way to make the cot more comfortable is to consider those that come with extra padding. However, the more comfortable you want to be, the more weight you have to accept.
Another way of creating extra comfort is to use a foam mattress topper or camping pad. This will not only make you more comfortable, but it will also make you warmer on those cold nights. Look out for those cheap models that compromise on quality so that they can have a lower price. Look at the way the crossbars are positioned. You don’t want the discomfort of sleeping with a crossbar pushing against your back.
q: Can I use one for daily use at home?
We think that the name camping cot means that it was made for camping. Most of these cots are not manufactured for daily use across the year. Of course, some are heavy duty but we would rather advise you to sleep on a bed if you are at home; that would be more comfortable. However, if you need extra space for visitors and you have a camping cot, by all means, you can temporarily use it as it is better than sleeping on the floor.