Traveling and camping can be enjoyable or miserable, depending on how you approach it. Pitch your tent over a rock and try sleeping on the ground and you’re guaranteed a terrible time.
Head out into the wild with great gear, plenty of knowledge, and a comfortable camping cot to sleep on and you’re guaranteed a much more restful sleep.
While even the best camping cots aren’t the solution for backpacking and hiking, they are a great solution for car camping or campgrounds.
Load up the car, the kids, and the dog with your new cots and everyone will have a much more restful and enjoyable vacation. We’re going to help you understand what makes some camping cots stand out from the crowd.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Camping Cots For 2017
- Coleman Pack-Away Cot
- Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
- Vivo Camping Cot
- Byer of Main Easy Cot For Camping
- Teton Sports Outfitter Cot
- Forfar Portable Camping Cot
- Timber Ridge Deluxe XL Camp Cot
First lets take a look at the cots, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you. Here is a feature overview of my top 3 overall picks, full reviews and our buying guide is below.
Best Camping Cots
Camping Cot Reviews
Accommodating taller individuals is no problem with the Coleman Pack-Away portable cot. This cot can easily handle sizes up to 6’ 8” and 300 lbs.
There’s no sweat here, if you need an extra bed around the house or around camp, this cot should be up to the task for any visitor or camper.
One cool feature is a removable side table with cup holder. I’m not sure how useful this will prove over the long run (I know I would forget to bring it with me on camping trips and probably leave it in the attic) but it’s a fun addition and one of the most comfortable camping cots I have slept on.
Steel folding frame and polyester sleeping surface are both high quality materials means this heavy duty sleeping cot should last years under any use.
Did we mention that it packs up into a convenient fabric case for transport and storage? Perfect. In my opinion, this is the best camping cot under $50, and is an excellent option!
Measuring up at a cool 7’ long, this cot has more than enough room for anybody. Sleep comfortable yourself or have space for an unexpected guest with this roomy cot. We don’t see any reason the generous 33” wide cot can’t accommodate even the most restless sleeper.
With two pouches on each side of the cot for storage, I find them much more practical than the Coleman removable table. These pouches are always attached and take up no extra room whether you choose to use them or not!
Another neat feature is that this cot folds up into a compact and easy to carry bundle with no extra storage bags. The cot its self has integrated handles so there’s no extra bag to carry, keep track of, or get lost.
Supporting more than a 100 pounds (up to 400 pounds) more than its competitors, this is the best camping cot for heavy people.
Heading back to the less expensive realm of camping cots, we’re going to take a look at this budget-minded cot made by VIVO. At a real bargain price, we’re not expecting anything majestic but this cot is light, small, and up to the job.
Aluminum construction, polyester fabric, and a narrow but long cot surface make this ideal for smaller people on a budget. The cot its self weighs 12lbs and can hold up to 250lbs and comes with its own carrying case.
Overall this cot is a great choice to save money, save space, save weight and enjoy the outdoors. With everything a cot needs and nothing extra, we’re pretty happy with the simple design and function of this cot. This is the best camping cot for the money.
Just because your camping doesn’t mean you have to have an uncomfortable nights sleep. The Easy Cot may not look like the most comfortable cot but one night sleeping in it will convince you otherwise.
When you take it out of the included carry bag if it takes you over a minute to have it ready that will be a long time.
This is a full size, large cot that measures 78 inches (6 ½ feet) long and 31 inches wide and keeps you 18 inches off the ground so you don’t feel like you are sleeping on the ground and easy to get in and out of.
The Easy Cot has a surprising large weight limit of 325 pounds, while weighing just over 20 pounds.
It folds up to a pretty small package and will fit in just about any trunk, unless you drive a Mazda Miata, you shouldn’t have any problems. Its solid construction gives you confidence it won’t collapse on you in the middle of the night.
Video: See how easy it is to fold/unfold the EasyCot.
It’s a little odd that there is no locking mechanism on the legs like most cots do but honestly it really doesn’t need them.
It doesn’t have any cushion just a mesh but if you need to just put down egg crate or a sleeping bag, but you really shouldn’t need it.
I personally much prefer sleeping on a cot vs a sleeping bag, I think you will agree as well. You won’t be taking it backpacking but for car camping, it’s a great solution.
The Easy Cot is quality made and even with minimal care it will last you a long time. I think this is one of the best cots for tent camping you can buy.
With a heavy price tag, this cot costs more than the other cots on our list. With this price, however, comes several additional options. Insulated cot pad for comfort and warmth, as well as hanging cot organizer. Each of these features is an extra cost, however.
Your cot its self will weigh 26lbs (which seems a bit much) and spread out to a generous 7’ long and 40” wide. This is a mega-cot with enough room for a mosh pit at a thrash metal show. Just kidding – don’t take your cot to a metal show.
Aluminum frame, steel legs, and canvas sleeping surface are all designed well and the cot is reliable. We think you’ll get years of great use out of the giant cot with a smile on your face.
The sheer size and cost of the cot, however, are not for everyone and we highly recommend this cot for serious users who need plenty of room to spread out!
This is the best camping cot for side sleepers or if you have a bad back because of the extra padding.
I’m a big fan of the mesh sleeping surface. Mesh is ideally suited for warm/hot weather and the extra airflow and ventilation of it makes for a comfortable night’s sleep. At 75” long, it will accommodate just about anyone so your feet are not hanging off the end of the cot.
The light but strong aluminum frame gives it a max weight limit of 260 pounds. The frame has a baked on coating so it will not corrode over time like steel can. The PVC coated oxford sleeping surface won’t mildew and dry’s fast if it gets wet.
I like the 15” height; its feels like you are sleeping in a real bed and not a cot. Weighing under 20 pounds it is easy enough for almost anyone to carry.
There is no assembly required unlike most every other camping cot. You literally take it out of the shipping box and unfold it and it’s ready to sleep on in a matter of seconds!
This is a great option for a camping cot or in your home for guests. It even comes with a carry bag that the cot fits into easily enough and a carry strap so you can sling it over your shoulder.
Without a doubt one of the best cots for camping.
If you are in need of a camping cot that can handle over 300 pounds and a shade under 7 feet long, the Timber Ridge is a solid option. The 600D polyester rip stop polyester is tear resistant and doesn’t smell if it gets wet and dry’s fast.
The Timber Ridge has a heavy-duty steel construction that weighs a few pounds more than the other cots reviewed but in my opinion, the extra durability of steel is worth it. You will notice the quality construction as soon as you take it out of the box.
Heavy duty rivets and joints that flex easily, no struggling to get it folded up. It comes with a convenient carry bag with a carry strap for easy transport to the campsite. With a generous 31 inches wide, you won’t have your shoulders rubbing against the frame.
There is not much to dislike with this cot and I don’t think you can go wrong with it.
How to Choose the Best Cot For Camping
There is no question a cot for camping is a heavier, bulkier option as compared to a sleeping bag or air mattress. So why your you even consider one?
For me anyway is the fact that you are off the ground. Being somewhat elevated makes it more like being at home and makes for a more comfortable nights sleep. It also has the added advantage of being cooler in the hot weather of summer. The extra airflow being elevated will make for a better nights sleep.
Too often camping cots are poorly designed and lead to terrible sleeping situations. When purchasing a camping cot, it’s critical to ensure the cot will fit your body stature.
If you’re a particularly tall individual, ensure that the cot will extend enough to accommodate your full length. Nothing is more bothersome than sleeping with your legs tucked in all night.
So be sure to check the length and width dimensions of the cot. Make sure there is a few inches to spare, especially if other people will be using it. Consider the height of the cot as well. A higher cot will give you the additional benefit of having extra storage under the cot.
In a small tent this is a huge benefit of using a cot. Many camping cots also come with storage pockets and even side tables.
Two critical factors to consider with weight are: the weight of the cot, and your own weight. Some cots are made of ultralight materials to help lighten the carrying load of the cot. This is nice for carrying and storing more cots with less effort. However, lightweight materials sometimes sacrifice durability.
Be sure to check your cot’s weight rating before purchasing to be certain the cot can easily support your weight. It’s never fun to wake up on the cold, hard ground in the middle of a good night’s sleep.
The cot fabric is an important consideration. The cot fabric is usually rated in Denier or ”D”. The higher the Denier the better the quality and strength of the fabric. The minimum you should look for is 600D, unfortunately not all manufacturers tell you the Denier of the material so you will have to trust their weight rating.
A quality frame is probably your most important consideration. A cheap frame that breaks or collapses is useless. If the fabric tears you can always repair or replace it. If the frame breaks its useless and you will end up throwing it out.
The main difference will be the thickness of the frame and the joints. Cheap cots will be made of a thin gauge metal and cheap joints that don’t flex well. Be sure to buy one that folds and unfolds easily and doesn’t require tools to setup. The Byer of Main Easy Cot reviewed above is your best bet for a cot that is easy to setup and take down.
Consider the weather you intend to be camping in. Because cots are most often designed with thin fabric as a sleeping surface, this leaves room for convective cooling. Cold air moving under the cot can suck away body heat.
For cold weather camping an insulated cot or insulating mattress is advised when cot camping. Make sure to take an appropriate sleeping pad and sleeping bag in cold weather camping – even when sleeping on a cot.
Of course we all want to save money, but sometimes saving on a cot can mean disaster. Cheaper cots can often be flimsy, fragile, or too short and narrow to comfortable sleep on. Of course there are good deal to be had but be sure to check cheaper cots before purchasing. Ensure your new purchase will last by checking the materials, weight, and size of the cot you’re purchasing.
Camping cots come in a WIDE range of prices. Like most things, you will be better served by buying quality cot vs a cheap budget one. That doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money. They are several reasonably priced, quality camping cots available. Be prepared to spend at least $50 for a good cot. If you plan of using it frequently or use oi for guests, be sure to buy one that can accommodate your needs.
In order to maximize efficiency when traveling and storing cots, you’ll want to check how small the cot packs down. Most cots for camping fold into themselves to save space.
Don’t forget to measure the trunk or back of your car to ensure your cot will fit in the car once folded up. To keep the cots out of sight and mind at home, check your basement, attic, closet, or other storage space for adequate room before purchasing your cot.
Cots now come with a variety of accessories for you to consider and some of them are definitely worth considering. Such as:
- Side table for drinks or your phone.
- Storage pockets for reading material of toiletries.
- Storage compartments for clothing
- Mosquito netting
Buying a cot doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve reviewed a range of cots from inexpensive to luxurious. Remember to choose a cot based on your needs.
Will you be car camping? Using the cot in a spare bedroom? Do you like to spread out when you sleep? These questions are all critical to making a good cot selection choice. It’s always wise to err on the side of caution as you never know when you might want to share that cot with someone.
Best Camping Cot Brands
- Coleman – Perhaps the best known maker of camping equipment. While not always the best quality, their equipent is always reasonably priced.
- Teton – Teton is no doubt one of the best manufactures of all types of outdoor equipment.
- Byer of Maine – A small family owned company in Maine that make high quality cots and hammocks.
- Kamp Rite – Another small company that make a small line of camping gear like stoves, cots and tents.
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best camping cot to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a cot I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
Have fun and be safe out there!