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.
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 2018
- Coleman Pack-Away Cot
- Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
- Vivo Camping Cot
- Byer of Main Easy Cot For Camping
- Teton Sports Outfitter Cot
- Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Camping Cot
- Timber Ridge Deluxe XL Camp Cot
Let’s take a look at the top rated cots, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
Best Camping Cots
Camping Cot Reviews
Accommodating taller individuals is no problem with the Coleman Pack-Away portable cot. This sturdy cot can easily handle people 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!
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 of this sturdy cot, is that it 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 up to 400 pounds, more than a 100 pounds than its competitors, the Kamp-Rite 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 weighs only 12lbs but can hold up to 250lbs and comes with its own carrying bag.
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 carrying bag, if it takes about 60 seconds to have it ready to go. (see the video below)
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 with it’s super easy setup it’s one the best cots for tent camping you can buy.
With a heavy price tag, the Outfitter XXL cot costs more than the other cots on our list. With this price, however, comes several additional options.
With an insulated foam mattress for comfort and warmth, as well as hanging cot organizer. Each of these features is an extra cost, however.
Your cot weighs 26lbs (which seems a bit much) and spreads 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 foam matress sleeping surface. Foam over a coil suspension system is ideally suited for a comfortable night’s sleep. At 80” long, it will accommodate just about anyone so your feet are not hanging off the end of the cot.
The light but strong steel frame gives it a max weight limit of 300 pounds. The frame has a baked on coating so it will not corrode or rust over time.
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, it’s as close to sleeping in your bed at home as you can get!
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 sturdy 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 easy setup as soon as you take it out of the carrying bag.
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 heavy duty cot and I don’t think you can go wrong with it.
Camping Cot Comparison Table
|Camping Cot||Size||Weight Capacity||Cot Weight||Features||Rating|
|Coleman Pack-Away Cot||80"L x 44"W||300 lbs||20 lbs||Removable side table & cup holder||4.3 / 5.0|
|Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot||84"L x 33"W||350 lbs||23 lbs||Side storage pockets||4.4 / 5.0|
|VIVO Cot||75”L, x 25”W||250 lbs||12 lbs||Carry bag with shoulder strap||3.6 / 5.0|
|Byer of Maine Easy Camping Cot||78"L x 31"W||330 lbs||21 lbs||Carry bag with shoulder strap||4.6 / 5.0|
|Teton Sports Outfitter Camping Cot||85"L x 40"W||600 lbs||26 lbs||Lifetime Warranty||4.3 / 5.0|
|Forfar Portable Camping Cot||71"L, x 25.6"W||260 lbs||17 lbs||Carry bag with shoulder strap||4.5 / 5.0|
|Timber Ridge Deluxe XL Camp Cot||83"L x 31"W||300 lbs||27 lbs||Carry bag with shoulder strap||4.6 / 5.0|
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Cots For Camping
- Packed Size
- FAQs For Camping Cots
- Best Camping Cot Brands
There is no question a cot for camping is a heavier, bulkier option as compared to a sleeping bag or foam mattress. So why would 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.
There is one other huge advantage, when you get home from camping, the cot can be used for at home for guests. Just because its called a camping cot, doesn’t mean its just for car campers.
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 or hanging off the end of the cot!
So be sure to check the length and width dimensions of the tent floor and 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.
Don’t forget the width, at least as important if not more important than length. The last thing you want is your shoulders laying on the frame. It will make for a miserable night.
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 and the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL 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, a sleeping pad or sleeping bag is advised when cot camping. Make sure to take along warm clothing to sleep in like a merino base layer for 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 – Maybe the most useful feature available. Keep your phone, GPS, a drink or your glasses handy so you can keep everythiing in one place.
Storage Pockets – This super handy feature allows you to keep you reading material or other misc items handy and from getting lost.
Carrying Case – Not so much a feature as a nessity. You need some way to carry and store your cot. Make sure it has a shoulder strap or at least some carry handles.\
Foam Mattress – Want to spend the night camping and feel like your in your bed at home? Get a cot with a mattess and they are even available with a spring coil mattress for the ultimate in comfort.
Rubber Feet – Most cots come eith rubber feet so they don’t tear the tent or scrach up floor if your using it indoors.
Mosquito Netting – Those pesky mosquitoes alqys seem to get into your tent. By rigging up some netting you can sleep while not being annoyed by them.
FAQs For Camping Cots
Q: Do I need a camping cot?
A: There are a few reasons to consider a cot as your camping bed. First if you are camping in a rocky place you will sleep much better being elevated off the ground in a comfortable cot. They can also help keep the bugs off you vs laying on the ground. Even if you close up the tent, bugs always seem to find a way in!
Q: What are cots made of and which is best for me?
A: All of the cots on our list are made from nylon, polyester or canvas. You won’t find a spring coil mattress, they are just too heavy. You will better off choosing one from a synthetic material like nylon because it is extremely tough and durable. Synthetics like nylon and polyester also tend to last longer and easier and also dry faster should they get wet.
Q: Are camping cots hard to assemble?
A: Modern camping cots are usually very simple to assemble requiring few if any tools. Many come right out of the box ready to go like the Bayer Cot or the Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe but even if it takes a bit of assembling by following the directions that come with the cot you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Q: Will I have room for a cot in my tent?
A: To make sure you do it is best to measure your tent then when ordering your cot you know much room you have. You can then take the measurements of the cots and see if it will fit or how many you can fit. If you determine that they will not, you may have to go with a larger family size tent.
Q: Are camping cots heavy?
A: All of the camping cots on our list have aluminum frames which are lightweight and strong. The average cot weighs between 10-20 pounds depending on its size and construction. Either way, camping cots are not designed for trekking into the backcountry. There you will need to go with a traditional sleeping bag and pad.
Q: Can I use the cot in my house?
A: Absolutely, that’s what great about a “camping” cot. They are not just for camping, they are perfect to keep in your house for guests. While certainly not as comfortable as a bed, it sure beats sleeping on the floor!
Q: Are camping cots portable?
A: Cots are designed for “car camping” only meaning you are not going to be putting one in your backpack and taking into the woods! Almost all camping cots come with a storage bag and have a shoulder strap so you can easily transport it from the car or RV to the campsite. Even if it doesn’t, since cots don’t have spring coil suspension like your home mattress they are not too heavy that you cant just throw it over your shoulder to transport it.
Q: What considerations are there for buying a cot?
A: You need to consider how you will be camping and for how long. Size and weight will determine where you will store it when you are not using it. If you need to carry your cot a longer distance from your car to the campsite then look for a lighter cot with a carry strap. Also consider if you will be sleeping with someone so you can purchase a double size camping cot to sleep two. Have back issues? You may want to consider a thick foam mattress for extra comfort.
Tips For Camping Cots
Now that you have decided on a cot, you will quickly realize they are not just or camping. Here are some other good uses:
Sleepovers – Kids having a slumber party? Unpack your cots and have the kids sleep in them. It will be fun and a comfortable nights sleep for them!
Guests – Have some friends or family staying over? If you don’t have enough beds, pull out those cots and they can have a good nights sleep.
Trips – Staying in an AirBNB and there are not enough beds? Well your camping cots are perfect so more guests can stay and be more comfortable than sleeping on a couch or the floor!
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.
Best Camping Cot Brands
There are quite a few quality manufactures of camping cots on the market. No coincidence they are all in this article:
- 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, tents and of course the the Kamp-Rite cot.
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.