Camping cots aren’t uncomfortable, especially when it comes to tent camping. Long gone are the days of sleeping on hard and often cold ground that made it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep!
What’s the secret to a comfy tent camping experience? A high-quality camping cot!
We know what it’s like to spend an hour clearing away the natural debris under your tent location only to have a small rock keep you tossing and turning all night.
Avoid the hassle, stiff body, sore back, and exhaustion from sleeping on the ground, and invest in any of these best camping cots we test and review below. From size, pros and cons, and price, you’ll be on your way to picking the perfect model to enjoy the ultimate in camping relaxation and comfort!
These things make it really easy to enjoy a night camping by a relaxing campfire!
What Features Are Important In a Best Camping Cot?
There’s more to a great camping cot than being off the ground while sleeping or relaxing in your tent. These are the features that are most important:
- Comfort level
- Weight capacity
- Materials and construction
Camping Cot Comfort
Why pay for a camping cot that ends up being just as uncomfortable as sleeping on the ground?
Comfort should be your number one concern when making a purchase. The cot should be long and wide enough to fit the length of your body and allow you to side sleep or turn over without falling out or smashing up against metal bars.
The fabric should offer firm support but not stretch too tight onto the framing, so it doesn’t allow any give. The best camping cots cradle the body slightly as you sit or lay down.
The stability of the framing is another aspect of comfort that you must consider. Having the cot feel unsteady or wobble when getting in and out will make it harder to relax.
Metal framing parts should attach or lock into position without rubbing or creaking.
Camping Cot Portability
Packing and transporting the cot should be simple, and not add to camping preparation stress.
How compact does the camping cot collapse down? Does the cot come with a durable carry bag to make it easier to pack into your car or backpack?
Are there any small components that could easily get lost during travel?
Find these answers before you decide on a purchase.
Camping Cot Size and Weight
The average camping cot is 75 inches long, 25 inches wide, and weighs between 15-30 pounds. Some models are ultra-lightweight at a mere 3-6 pounds.
Aluminum frame cots will be lighter than those made of steel, and a more oversized cot, such as a double size made for two people, will weigh more than a single.
Depending on how you plan to camp will determine how much concern you’ll have with size and weight.
Backpackers need to keep things as light and compact as possible, but car campers have the luxury to choose a heavier and more luxurious model of a cot.
Camping Cot Materials and Construction
The materials that go into a camping cot play a huge role in longevity and comfort.
Fabrics must withstand a variety of weather conditions and be durable against the wear and tear of use as well as being folded, stored, and opened continually.
Framing needs to be thick enough to support body weight without bending, cracking, or snapping. Attachment points and rivets or bolts need to hold firmly and function smoothly.
Heavy-gauge aluminum framing is better to avoid rusting or corrosion, but steel framing can handle more weight.
Look for locking mechanisms on the legs and framing to ensure they don’t accidentally collapse if the cot gets bumped or shifts when you roll over.
Please check that the leg bottoms offer the protection of rubber covers or large plastic feet so they won’t tear tent flooring fabric.
The design of the leg supports is another feature you need to consider. The pattern will determine how stable the cot feels and how easily the legs can accidentally buckle when you sit or lay down.
After our testing and reading customer reviews, we agree that legs in a U-shape are the weakest, while X-shape and vertical legs (with or without extra angle supports) are more sturdy.
Camping Cot Weight Capacity
How much can your sleeping cot hold? Each model should indicate the max weight it can support.
Try to purchase a camping cot with more weight capacity than you need. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and the weight capacity of the cot is 200, look for a model with a rating of 250 or higher.
Pushing the design limits of a camp cot structure on every use will cause it to break or wear down faster, which is a waste of your money.
Top 5 Best Camping Cots
1. Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot
Weight: 26 pounds
Size: Open – 85″L x 40″W x 19″H / Closed – 42″L x 12″W x 7″D
Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
The Teton XXL Camping Cot is the best camping cot for adults as it can handle more weight than other cots at a similar price point and is plenty wide to accommodate any sleeping position.
We found this one of the easiest camp cot models to open and close, and the extra-wide width downright luxurious. Two slim adults could nap together side by side without much trouble.
Three sets of sturdy steel legs with rubber feet support the square aluminum framing with spring-loaded connection pins and durable 600D Oxford Canvas topper.
The patented S-shape leg design offers stable support, while the patented pivot arm hastens the speed and ease of setting up because you don’t have to struggle to get that last corner in place.
The durable canvas topper stays taut, and the storage bag with handles makes it easy to transport.
The size and weight make it too big for trail camping and will be a tight fit in smaller tents.
People over 200 pounds mention using a foam pad or the Teton mattress topper if you want an even better night’s sleep.
We did notice it was easy to bump into the bars that stick out from the head and foot of the cot, which was frustrating.
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2. Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
Weight: 23.24 pounds
Size: Open – 84″L x 33″W x 22″H / Closed – 43″L x 10″W x 9″D
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot is a top contender for best tent cot, especially for taller people, as the 7-foot length provides more than enough room to stretch out.
The heavy-duty steel frame and tension rods are powder coated for longevity, and the 190T nylon is tear-resistant.
What really makes this one of the best cots for camping is that there are no support bars directly under the topper, so you don’t feel hard metal pressing against your body when trying to relax and get to sleep.
We gave it a good test, and even side sleepers found the cot comfortable.
The carry handles are part of a convenient design that incorporates pouches that hang from the side of the sleeping cot to store personal items within easy reach.
Another cool feature is moving the hinges to turn the cot into a lounge chair for more seating flexibility at the campsite.
Thick padding on one end provides neck and head support and you can zip up the folded cot inside the waterproof carry bag.
We feel the length of this cot can make it challenging to fit in some tents, and the height of the bed is a bit high for shorter people to sit and have their feet touch the ground.
We also found the setup to be slightly time-consuming, even with a few practice runs.
Reviews note that some cots arrived with poor stitching, which led to rips, but the company promptly sent replacements.
3. Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot
Weight: 2.4 pounds
Size: Open – 72″L x 24″W x 7″H / Closed – 16″L x 5″W x 5″D
Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
The Therm-A-Rest Ultralite portable sleeping cot is the ideal model for trail camping as the size and weight allow you to strap it on or pack it inside your backpack for off-grid adventures. This best tent cot model comes in a 5-inch longer, 2-inch wider option if you want a larger version.
We found the simplicity of design and setup makes this the best cot choice for any camping situation where you want to elevate your body off the ground. The short height is excellent for kids too.
We all found the comfort of the sleeping cot very surprising, even those of us who weigh over 200 pounds. You think you’ll hit the ground when you lay down, but you feel like you’re floating!
Three-minute assembly gets you ready for bed fast after a long day of outdoor exploration.
ThermaCapture technology film under the topper reflects body heat for more warmth.
Bowframe technology eliminates painful crossbars, and there’s no squeaking or creaking from any of the components. The breathable laminated ripstop fabric won’t sag, rot, or deteriorate from sun or saltwater exposure.
The feet of the cot will not cause any damage to tent floors and comes with a ripstop nylon carry bag.
Initial setup takes some time, and instructions may be a bit confusing. Watch a tutorial video if possible.
4. Naturehike Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
Weight: 5.7 pounds
Size: Open – 74.8″L x 24.5″W x 6″H / Closed – 25″L x 7″W x 7″D
Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
The Naturehike Ultralight Folding Camping Cot is another best portable camping cots that will clip onto a backpack and won’t weigh you down.
We found the setup to be straightforward and quick, with all components fitting together without struggle. When it came time to test the comfort, everyone from short to tall found it cozy, with the lack of bars pressing on your back a huge selling point.
Aluminum alloy legs are lightweight yet durable. Aluminum shock cord framing supports break down quickly for storage.
The triangular framing design delivers extra strength, while the ripstop oxford canvas topper is breathable and easy to clean.
It comes with an integrated hook to hang the canvas to dry or air out.
The width of the cot is a bit slim, so if you move about a lot during sleep, you’ll hit the side framing.
5. Coleman ComfortSmart Cot
Weight: 19.5 pounds
Size: Open – 69″L x 25″W x 15″H / Closed – 34.5″L x 25″W x 5.5″D
Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
The Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is the best-padded camping cot for those of us who like more cushion when sleeping and are more petite in stature. The length of the cot is best for people or kids under 5′ 7″ tall. Move up to the Deluxe size for more length.
The separate foam pad sits atop a coil-spring canvas platform that provides the perfect balance of bounce and support. We all found the padded camping cot comfortable, but our taller testers did hang over the edges.
Three sets of durable steel support legs prevent annoying mid-back sagging. You can sit directly on the outer edge without the steel upper frame bending.
Folds up into a slim package for transport and, when open, is compact enough to fit into even smaller tents.
When folded shut, the dimensions are still fairly large, which may cause packing issues.
The regular length is best for kids or short adults only.
Best Camping Cot Wrap Up
If you love to camp but hate waking up with a sore back from sleeping on the ground, investing in any of the quality sleeping cots above can upgrade your camping experience.
Whether you choose a lightweight, portable model perfect for backpacking trips or a heavier and more rugged camping cot for RV, car, or truck camping, you won’t regret “elevating” your camping game!
- What are the key features to consider when choosing a camping cot?
When choosing a camping cot, key features to consider include its weight and portability for easy transportation, the material and construction for durability, and the comfort level for a good night’s sleep.
Additionally, factors like size (both when set up and when packed), ease of assembly, weight capacity, and any additional features like storage pockets or an included mattress should also be taken into account.
- How does the comfort level of a camping cot impact the overall camping experience?
The comfort level of a camping cot significantly impacts the overall camping experience as it directly affects the quality of sleep, which is crucial for energy and mood during daytime activities.
A comfortable cot can help prevent back pain and discomfort, ensuring a more enjoyable and rejuvenating outdoor experience.
- How does the weight and size of a camping cot affect its portability?
The weight and size of a camping cot significantly impact its portability; a lighter and more compact cot is easier to carry and transport.
Larger and heavier cots, while potentially more comfortable, can be more challenging to move, requiring more space in a vehicle and more effort to set up and take down.
- What role do materials and construction play in the durability and comfort of a camping cot?
Materials and construction are crucial to the durability and comfort of a camping cot.
High-quality materials like reinforced steel or aluminum for the frame and durable, breathable fabric for the sleeping surface ensure longevity and comfort, while a well-constructed cot with sturdy joints and a stable design can withstand outdoor conditions and provide a comfortable sleep.
- How does the weight capacity of a camping cot affect its performance and longevity?
The weight capacity of a camping cot significantly impacts its performance and longevity.
A cot designed for a higher weight capacity typically uses more robust materials and construction techniques, ensuring it can comfortably support the intended weight without sagging or breaking, thereby enhancing its performance and extending its lifespan.
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-- John Muir