Buying Guide for Camping Cots
Why buy camping cots?
Camping cots elevate you off of the ground and place you on a level, supportive surface for relaxation or sleep. For extra comfort, some are cushioned or come with pillows. They can also help you sleep at a comfortable temperature by getting you off the frigid ground in colder weather, while in warm temps, it enables free air circulation underneath to keep you cool. Additionally, camping cots are easier for you to get into and out of than something that rests on the ground, which may benefit campers with joint, bone, or muscle issues.
What should you look for in camping cots?
- Sturdiness: If a camping cot is not sturdy, stable, and flat, you are going to have a hard time getting comfortable enough to sleep. For this reason, seek out a model with sturdy, heavy-duty construction. Sturdiness is also a good indicator of a cot’s long-term durability, so paying a little extra for high-quality materials is never a bad idea.
- Weight Capacity: Before purchasing a camping cot, check out its weight capacity to ensure it can handle your body weight. A higher weight capacity is usually a good indicator of durability, so purchasing a cot that can handle well above your weight may help ensure that you can use your camping cot for many years.
- Portability: Realistically, camping cots are not ideal for sleeping when backpacking or traveling light. However, some are light and compact enough to take backwoods camping if you can handle carrying the extra weight. At the very least, look for a model that is easily folded or stored and can be conveniently placed in your car’s trunk so that you can transport it to a campsite.
Should you use a sleeping pad when using a camping cot?
A sleeping pad can be a terrific addition to your cot if you want extra comfort during your camping experience. Camping cots are generally made to keep you supported and comfortable, but a sleeping pad on top of the cot can add extra cushion and help you feel more like you’re on a mattress. However, you’ll want to consider whether or not you have space available for this extra piece of equipment during your trip.
Our Picks for the Best Camping Cots
Coleman Trailhead II Cot
This cot is sturdy and functional, supporting up to 300 pounds.
Pros: The Coleman Trailhead II Cot is a secure, durable, and functional camping cot at its price point. Featuring a strong steel cross-bar frame that keeps the cot flat and secure with up to 300 pounds of weight on it, this cot handles heavy loads well. It is also suitable for those up to 6 feet, 2 inches tall, making it somewhat longer than many similar products.
Cons: This cot is not the lightest or most cushioned and may take a little patience and muscle to assemble.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a durable and solid cot from a well-known brand at a reasonable price, you may want to consider the Coleman Trailhead II. You may consider using a sleeping pad or topper to increase its comfort.
Outsunny Two-Person Folding Camping Cot for Adults
At close to 50 inches in width, this cot allows two adults to sleep comfortably.
Pros: This cot from Outsunny features two-person support for up to 300 pounds. The military-style cot elevates you off the ground by more than 15 inches and allows air to circulate freely on all sides. It is constructed from durable 600D Oxford cloth to resist wear and tear. The sturdy feet and lightweight steel frame assure stability and levelness. During use, the cot’s dimensions are 76 x 49.2 inches, weighing 24 pounds when folded. Thanks to its compact design and travel bag, you can transport the cot easily while on the go.
Cons: With a total weight limit of just 300 pounds, this cot may not fully support two adults of average weight. However, it may work well for two smaller adults or youths.
Bottom Line: This cot is easy to set up and transport and has good elevation off the ground. To avoid mishaps during your camping trip, keep in mind that the weight limit is 300 pounds total to ensure safety and stability.
NAIZEA Folding Camping Cot
A sleeping pad covers the entire top of this comfortable and supportive cot.
Pros: NAIZEA’s folding camping cot features an optional sleeping pad that covers the entirety of the cot to help you stay warm and cushioned. The cot’s surface is constructed of a double layer of 1200D high-quality striped Oxford fabric for strength and durability. When open, it measures 75 x 28 x 15.7 inches, and when folded, 41.3 x 9.8 inches. There is no assembly needed for a speedy and straightforward setup. The camping cot may be quickly folded and placed in its carrying bag for easy travel.
Cons: You may still feel the metal supporting the cot through the pad. Consider adding a quilt over the pad for even more cushioning.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent choice if you don’t want to spend time shopping elsewhere for a sleeping pad along with your cot. In addition to the optional pad, you may consider adding extra cushioning with a blanket or quilt.
Regalo My Cot Extra-Long Portable Bed
This cot is perfect for kids, whether they're camping or having a sleepover.
Pros: The Regalo My Cot Extra-Long Portable Bed is a multifunctional cot for a child who needs a comfortable place to sleep for camping, sleepovers, and naps. The 54-inch long cot can support youngsters weighing up to 75 pounds and is well-suited for children aged two to five. Its all-steel construction, setup in seconds, and compact fold are designed for strength, safety, and convenience. The cot is lined with sturdy canvas material, and a fitted sheet is included.
Cons: A storage/carrying bag was included with this cot in the past, but it has since been discontinued. This can be quite an inconvenience if you need to travel with the cot.
Bottom Line: This cot will be good to have on hand if you have a child who’s regularly on the go or likes to have friends over for slumber parties. Sleeping bags for girls or boys can do the job, but the cot provides elevation to allow for sleeping off the floor.
Tangkula One-Person Tent Cot
It's a tent, cot, sleeping bag, and air mattress all in one convenient setup.
Pros: With a roomy interior and a half-dome-style roof that optimizes space, this tent cot is a cozy shelter in the great outdoors. For all-in-one convenience, it comes with a sleeping bag, pillow, and air mattress, so you’ll have everything you need for adequate rest. This tent cot boasts several mesh windows for good ventilation. There’s also a retractable awning to sit under, so you can enjoy cozy evenings in the open air.
Cons: The tent may leak if it rains since it doesn’t include a built-in rainfly. You may want to carefully check the forecast for the area you’ll be camping in before your trip.
Bottom Line: With a carrying bag and folded dimensions of 39 x 9.5 x 9 inches, this multifunctional tent cot is easy to transport while offering you four types of camping equipment in one. This cot should keep you comfortable and secure throughout your trip as long as the weather stays dry.
Kid-O-Bunk Children's Portable Mobile Camping Bed
Double the camping fun with this bunk-style camping cot set.
Pros: Get the fun and convenience of kids’ bunk beds while camping with these stackable cots. The components of this portable set fit into two included carrying cases for easy travel and storage. The set is available in lime green and teal blue and may be utilized as two single cots, a bench, or bunk beds. Each cot has a weight limit of 200 pounds and is made with anti-rust, powder-coated steel. You can be confident your children have a pleasant place to sleep since there are no metal braces that protrude through the middle of the cots.
Cons: Although assembly can be completed with no tools, quite a few pieces must be put together. Putting so many parts together for just one night may not seem worth it, so you may want to reserve this cot set for longer trips.
Bottom Line: Bunk beds can be great space savers, and conserving space is always a good idea while camping or traveling. This cot set can add a fun element for your kids during their trips, and you can feel good knowing they are comfortable.
Although you might consider yourself “roughing it” on a camping adventure, the cold, hard ground doesn’t have to be your sleeping companion. With these camping cots, you and your family can get the rest you need to make the most of your trip.