15 Best Camping Cots in 2019 (Review and Buying Guide)

Any experienced camper or backpacker knows that having the right gear can make or break a trip.

You have a few bedding options when you’re camping. One of the most comfortable and easiest options is a camping cot. Cots are used by every military branch because they’re easy to set up and are much more comfortable than sleeping mats for long term use.

Sleeping mats are also a good option if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking. They’re lighter than cots but aren’t nearly as comfortable.

In this review, I’ll be discussing what features to look for in a camping cot, how to choose the right one for your needs, and what I think are the best camping cots currently on the market. I’ve actually compiled a comprehensive list of things you should consider when choosing a cot just below the table of contents here.

Camping Cot Being Set Up by Sailors

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cot

There are many things you need to take into account when you’re choosing a cot. The best cot for one person won’t necessarily be the best for another. Things like size, material, portability, and price are major factors for most people.

Also, if you do buy a cot and you’re planning on placing it in a tent, you may want to keep the cardboard and put it beneath the feet of the cot to prevent damage. I haven’t personally done this, but I read about this online and think it’s actually a pretty smart idea.

When is it Best to Use a Cot?

Are you looking for a cot for camping or backpacking? Your intended use is a HUGE factor you should be considering when choosing a cot.

Campers and backpackers are going to both love lightweight and compact sleeping systems. Although they do have similar goals, campers, in general, are going to be a little less worried about weight since they often use vehicles to reach their camping destinations.

When I’m camping, I much prefer spending the space and weight on making my sleeping situation more comfortable than sacrificing more weight and space for sleeping on the rough ground. This is why I recommend a cot system over a sleeping mat/bag for camping.

If you’re going to be covering long distances on foot, sometimes less is more. Backpackers usually are going to lean towards just taking sleeping mats because of their lightweight and flexible characteristics.

If you’re planning on taking a cot backpacking. You’re going to want to make sure you’re choosing a cot that is lightweight and compact when disassembled.

If you’re someone who has back problems or finds it hard getting off the ground from a laying stance, I’d highly recommend a cot over other systems. Thanks to the elevation, getting out of bed in the morning will be a lot more natural.

Ease of Setup

The last thing you want when you’re out camping is to be frustrated. A well-designed cot will make your life a lot more enjoyable. 

You don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time setting up camp for the night. That’s why choosing a simple cot is going to save you valuable time and unneeded hassle.

Many of the cots on the market are actually so poorly designed that people break them when they’re assembling and disassembling them because they’re poorly designed and have vague instructions.

Size

You’re going to want to make sure it fits in your tent or vehicle.

I’ll list the dimensions of all the products on this list along with the reviews, so you may want to get a measuring tape and measure the area you’ll be placing it in. 

If you’re planning on placing it in a tent, you can usually find the product specifications of the tent online and just compare them. 

The most important thing about your cot’s size is that it fits your body.

Portability and Design

If you park far away from your campsite or you’re planning on taking the cot along with you while hiking, strongly consider the weight and size.

Size, when collapsed, is essential. A well-designed cot will be easy to set up, disassemble, and be compact when placed in a carrying case or pack. 

A cot that is poorly designed will be unwieldy and uncomfortable to carry. It will also take up more storage space when not in use.

Another thing to consider when making your cot purchase; if you’re a heavier built individual, make a note of the weight capacity. A sleeping system that doesn’t sturdily support your weight could end up in an unpleasant awakening amid the night.

Comfort

Some cots have padding, so if you don’t plan on bringing a sleeping mat too, consider getting a cot with adequate padding. 

You’ll also want to make sure it’s long and wide enough for your specific physique. The last thing you’ll wish after an exhausting day is finally laying down on your cot and having your feet or shoulders hanging off the ends.

Crossbars, especially poorly placed crossbars, can make for a very uncomfortable night’s sleep. You want to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud as much as possible, not feeling metal bars being forced into your body.

Weight Capacity

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. If you buy a cot with low weight capacity, it’s more likely that the frame will bend or break over time. 

Cots with stell frames will typically have a higher weight capacity.

 If you’re buying a two-person cot be sure you have a ballpark of how much the two people sleeping on the cot will be.

Height

One of the main benefits of choosing a cot for camping over a sleeping mat is getting to sleep off the ground. 

Sleeping on an elevation is perfect for hotter climate since your body is laid on a thinner fabric. This will allow you to cool off easier compared to being bundled up on the ground. The flat elevated surface will allow your body to air out more.

Chances are you’re used to sleeping on a bed at home, a cot is going to replicate the feeling and security of your bed the most compared to your other camping sleeping options.

Saving space when camping is imperative, thanks to an elevated sleeping surface, you can now store things underneath your cot. The more height you have underneath, the more space you have to store your other essentials.

I love nature and the wilderness, but the last thing I want is to wake up with ants crawling on my face. Sleeping off the ground won’t guarantee me that insects will bug-off, however, it will reduce the chance of them trying to sleep with me.

Material

Most cots frames are made from steel or aluminum. Generally, steel is harder and over 2 times more dense than aluminum. This makes it less likely to bend and warp under pressure. The downside with the steel is that it’s much heavier than aluminum. 

Most cots will tell you what the frame is made of and how many pounds it can hold. Just keep in mind there is a tradeoff between strength and portability, especially with a budget in mind.

The most common materials for cots to be made from is polyester and nylon. Some types of nylon are more durable than others.

Length

Being a guy that’s 6’5”, the length is something I always pay close attention to. If you buy a cot that’s too small for you, it will be very uncomfortable. Your feet will hang off the edge, and the metal frame will dig into your Achilles tendon.

Width

Width is vital for the same reason length is. If your shoulders are broader than the frame, the hard metal frame will dig into your shoulders.

If you’re someone who tends to move around a lot in their sleep, choosing a cot with more width is going to pay off. Waking up from falling on the ground won’t be a so pleasant “good morning” after a long day.

Weight

Typically, if you want a cot that is both lightweight and durable, you’re going to have to pay a little more.

If you’re a smaller-stature person, then this should be pretty easy for you. A lightweight cot made from aluminum will probably suit you fine.

A larger-statured person will have to spend more for a sturdier yet lightweight cot. However, if you are on a budget, you may have to settle for a heavier cot that will support you better.

Included Accessories

Some camping cots are going to be just the bare minimum sleeping stations, while others are going to have some extra added on gadgets that are going to add a little more use. 

Depending on what you’re looking for, it may pay off to invest in a more versatile cot. Some cots come with extra storage, some come with cup holders and tables, and some even serve with dual-purpose as a tent!

If you just need a sleep station that you want to pair with your tent, I’d just stick with a simple cot.

But if you want to use the cot as your primary shelter, I’d strongly consider investing in a cot tent hybrid. This way, you have a bed that also serves as protection from the elements.

Durability

Some cots will actually break if you set them up on uneven ground and put weight on them.

That’s not safe at all. You don’t want to end up on the reboot of 1000 Ways to Die as the guy that breaks his neck because his cheap cot broke when he was trying to sleep. 

I’m actually kidding, you probably wouldn’t break your neck. However, trying to sleep on a broken cot would be extremely aggravating. 

That’s why when you are trying to decide on what cot to buy, pay close attention to the materials used and weight limit.

Weather

Sleeping on a bare cot is best in warmer temperatures. Camping cots typically have a very thin sleeping surface that allows body heat to escape through convection.

 If you’re planning on camping in cold weather, don’t worry, laying down on a sleeping mat or sleeping bag on top of your cot will help to keep your body heat in. 

If you’re camping without a tent, a tent cot hybrid is a great idea, especially if rain is in the forecast.

Warranty

Before you go ahead and purchase your camping cot check out the company’s warranty information.

You can tell a lot about a company’s warranty. The better the warranty, the better the indicator is of how much you can trust the product’s quality.

If the company offers an excellent long-term warranty, it’s safer to assume that they trust their product and you more likely can too.

Price

When it comes to cots, for the most part, you get what you pay for. 

Investing in quality cot will save you headaches down the road. A quality cot will also last much longer and save you money over time.

With some exceptions, the price is going to directly impact the key factors of what makes a suitable camping cot:

  • Comfortability
  • Durability
  • Compactness
  • Weight
  • How easy it is to assemble/disassemble

A cheaper cot will weigh more, be harder to assemble/disassemble, be less comfortable, and be more prone to breaking.

A cot of more quality will weigh less, be sturdier, be easier to assemble/disassemble, and more comfortable.

Here at Marine Approved, we understand that there are happy mediums and we’re going to help you choose the best camping cot for your money.

Sleeping Surface

The sleeping surface of camping cots may end up being too stiff for your liking. The flat surfaces make great foundations to place your sleeping bag and sleeping mats.

Depending on your preference sleeping mats/bags will give additional comfort against the cot’s hard surface.

 Here Are the Best Camping Cots

1. Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot (Best Value)

Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot
(1251)

My review: Coleman is the industry leader when it comes to cots, and you’ll see that reflected on this list.

They have a number of great cots available, and this one here is one of my favorites.

I’m not the only one that’s a fan of this cot, though, it’s one of the most popular and highest rated cots out there. It has a simple design that rugged and durable, but also very comfortable and sold a reasonable price point.

Design and Durability

This is easily one of the best-designed cots for the money. It’s 6’6” inches long and can hold up to 300 pounds. It’s easy to get in and out of and doesn’t make creaking noises when you move around like some poorly built cots. On top of being durable and sturdy, it’s also very comfortable.

The feet of the cot are wide enough that you don’t have to worry about them poking a hole in the floor of your tent.

An important note about this cot is that it does not lock open. The legs are at an angle, and it’s held open by your body weight. This design makes the cot super easy to set up, but it also makes it even more important to make sure you set this cot up on flat ground.

Ease of Use and Portability

Once you get some practice, you can set up this cot and break it down for storage in literally seconds. The side table just hooks and is sturdy enough to hold a drink and other camping tools like a flashlight.

The cot itself comes in a durable bag. The side table comes in a separate bag that fits in the main bag.

Key Features:

  • 80 inches long (over 6.5 feet)
  • 44 inches wide
  • 44 inches wide
  • Supports up to 300 pounds
  • Great foldable design
  • Removable side table

2. Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Sale Coleman Camping Cot with Sleeping Pad | Folding...
(2944)

My review: Coleman often sets the standard for budget gear, and the ComfortSmart Cot is no exception.

Not many cots you see in the stores will come with mattresses built onto them, so it’s nice to see manufacturers making a change for comfort.

The cot folds up well, but not well enough to where I’d recommend someone to take it on a backpacking trip because it’d be far too bulky.

Ideally, this cot is for the camper looking for a solid alternative to a sleeping mat that wants to be elevated off the ground, hence the comfort.

This cot would be great for men, women, and children who aren’t experienced campers and are a little more picky about comfort.

Design and Durability

Designed for ultimate comfort at an incredible price this cot from Coleman comes with a foam mattress and coil system to give you improved comfort sleeping out on your excursions. The mattress system isn’t the most comfortable padding ever, but it sure beats a military cot.

Since a built-in mattress comes with the cot,  you won’t have any need to tote your sleeping mat into the words to put on your cot since it already has one!

At 30 inches wide, it works well with people who are a little wider statured or if you move around in your sleep. 

It’s almost like a mini-bed.

Its frame is made out of steel and pretty bulky coming in at a near 20 pounds — heavy but sturdy.

Ease of Use and Portability

It features a folding design that can easily fit into most car trunks. 

It’s super easy to fold and unfold, but not super portable at its weight.

If you’re driving in a car or truck to your camping destinations transporting it will be no problem, but trekking it long distances would not be ideal.

Key Features:

  • Length: 80 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Height:15 inches
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds
  • Weight: 19.6 pounds

3. Kamp-Rite Oversized Tent Cot

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot
(602)

My review: For those of you that haven’t seen a tent cot before, they’re essentially a cot with a small tent around them to provide you shelter. 

A tent cot typically takes less time to set up than a tent and cot individually and also takes up a lot less space in a vehicle or when being stored.

My favorite thing about this cot is its versatility of uses. You get a tent, cot, and lounge chair all in one

During the day you have a chair to lay down and relax. At night, you now have a secure, cozy shelter.

The rain cover transforms it into an all-weather sleeping system. Even if it gets cold, this cot can keep the heat in perfectly. It might keep the heat in so well that you will need to open up some of the air vents.

Overall the Kamp-Rite Oversized Tent Cot content is an excellent camping system. It’s too big to go backpacking with but perfect for storing in a vehicle to transport to your camping location. 

If you’re looking for a system that will solve your shelter and sleeping necessities while out in the wilderness, then this is the camping cot for you.

Design and Durability

Due to its over-sized design, there is extra length and width room, enabling you to move around more in your sleep. It’s also perfect for larger-stature individuals.

The aluminum steel frame keeps it sturdy while maintaining a decent weight and ideal strength to weight ratio. The fabric is made from heavy-duty 190T nylon.

This cot-tent is a heavy-duty sleeping system, and perfect for almost anyone of all sizes.

Ease of Use and Portability

Kamp-Rite designed this cot for quick and easy setup. Once you learn how to put it together, you’ll be able to put together and dismantle it in a few minutes quickly.

This cot isn’t really meant for backpacking, but it’s perfect for camping. Throw it in the trunk of your car, and you now have your full shelter setup.

When it’s time to pack up, the cot tri-folds into a rectangle of 36”L x 34”W x 7”H. 

Key Features:

  • Length: 90 inches
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 47 inches
  • Ground Clearance: 11 inches
  • Ground Clearance: 11 inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds

4. Desert Walker Camping Cot

DESERT WALKER Camping cots, Outdoor Bed Ultra...
(185)

My review: Not many cots come as portable as the Desert Walker. Coming in at a slim 2.6 pounds, this cot is one of the most portable cots on our list, making it perfect for backpackers.

Because of its portability, the size of the cot and comfort are sacrificed a bit. The width is under 2 feet, so if you are a wiggler in your sleep, you may not prefer its slim design.

The Desert Walker is very simple to put together, and because of its size, it won’t become a burden on your camping trips.

If you’re looking more for something to carry on you while you backpack, then this is the cot for you. Lugging a 20-pound cot to sleep on every night will be daunting  — a rolled-up bag that weighs less than a newborn baby will be perfect for carrying miles every day.

Design and Durability

The design of the Desert Walker is meant for outdoorsmen looking to travel as light and portable as possible.

The frame is constructed with easy-attach pins and from a lightweight yet sturdy 7001 special aviation aluminum frame.

It can safely support weight well over 400 pounds making it very stable for most users. Because a cot so compact can support so much weight, it did sacrifice some height, but if the height isn’t a big deal to you, then it’s perfect.

Despite its relatively high weight limit, it’s recommended to be more gentle while laying down and sitting down on the cot. Laying down too fast and hard could compromise the structural integrity.

Ease of Use and Portability

The big kicker about this cot on our list is that it excels with ease of use and portability. Take it with you anytime and anywhere.

Desert Walker’s mission is to be the most high-grade and lightweight gear supplier.

The cot is super light and easy to put together, you could just throw it in the backseat and be ready to go. You could take it anywhere.

As far as ease of use and portability goes, I rate this an easy 10 out of 10.

Key Features:

  • Length: 72.8 inches
  • Length: 72.8 inches
  • Height: 5.9 inches
  • Weight limit: 440 pounds
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

5. Coleman 2 Person Cot with Air Mattress

Sale Coleman Camping Cot with Air Mattress | Folding...
(2736)

My review: If you like to travel with your spouse or you have kids that you want to take on your adventures, then the Coleman 2 Person Cot with Air Mattress is perfect for you. 

The downside about air mattresses is you usually have to put them on the ground, which takes up more space. At least with this air mattress, you can store things underneath.

At 42 pounds this is a no-go for backpackers, but a definite for comfort camping with couples.

Design and Durability

The design wasn’t meant to be lightweight and super portable, unfortunately. However, it was designed to be super sturdy and comfortable for two full-sized adults. 

Coleman’s Airtight System guarantees that there will be no leaks. Most of the time when you’ll find yourself pumping it up is when the air temperature has fallen — condensing the air and losing firmness. To combat this just keep your 4D battery-operated air pump handy.

The frame is made from steel, adding more weight, but the sturdiness of steel comes along with it.

Since the length is 78 inches, I wouldn’t recommend people over 6’5 to use this bed if they don’t want their feet hanging off the end.

Ease of Use and Portability

Although it’s a heavy option for camping, assembly is quick and easy and requires basically no skill.

To assemble the cot, just open up the frame like an accordion. No screws or pins are required for setup. The most time-consuming part of the assembly is waiting for 5-minutes while you wait for the mattress to be pumped up to your preferred firmness.

At 42-pounds this cot isn’t ideal for transporting long distances on foot, but for an added feature the carry case comes with wheels that make it simple to roll around on flat surfaces.

Key Features:

  • Length: 78 inches
  • Width: 59 inches
  • Width: 59 inches
  • Weight limit: 600 pounds
  • Weight: 41.9 pounds

6. Alpcour Folding Cot

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot - Deluxe Collapsible...
(337)

My review: This cot is excellent for anyone looking for a simple sleeping solution while camping. 

Because of its ease of use — not only can you take the cot camping, but you can also use it at on your patio, the beach, your cabin, and anywhere other outdoor destination you love traveling to.

I like the side pouch, it’s great for putting any personal accessories in or a bottle for a drink. 

Design and Durability

The Alpcour Folding Cot is designed for simplicity, comfort, and to get the job done. 

Size-wise, this cot will fit most people 6-foot and under. Also, with a width of over 2 feet, you have a decent amount of shoulder room for a cot.

The cot’s fabric is 600D double-layered polyester, supported my a solid collapsible steel frame.

For a cot with a steel frame, 13 pounds for a place to sleep isn’t too shabby.

Because of the cot’s leg’s small point of contact with the ground, you’ll want to be a little more careful about what’s under your tent when you place your cot. If your cot is placed on a flatter and stiffer surface, then you’ll be okay. For softer and uneven surfaces, place a tarp on the bottom of the tent.

Ease of Use and Portability

Coming in at an easy-going 13 pounds, this cot is perfect for camping. It’s not very compact, but it’s super easy to set up. It’s actually about as easy as unfolding a lawn chair. Not to mention that it takes up nearly as much space as a lawn chair as well.

It doesn’t get much easier than this for assembly, you can literally have it out and ready in 15 seconds.

Key Features:

  • Length: 75 inches
  • Width: 26 inches
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds
  • Weight: 14 pounds

7. Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot

Sale TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot; Folding Cot...
(1746)

My review: If you’re a large person, cramming yourself onto a skinny cot is so annoying when you’re trying to get a good night’s rest, that’s what makes this extra large cot so nice. 

This cot is a safe option for anyone. 

If you’re a large guy like myself, then you probably have had your fair share dealing with the frustration of nights of sleeping with your feet hanging off of a bed.

You can’t go wrong with an extra-large cot. Out of all of the cots on our list, the Outfitter gets an A+ for space.

Design and Durability

The durability of this cot is excellent. With a weight limit of 600 pounds, there are no worries of this cot coming apart from regular use.

The noticeable aspect of this cot is the size. 40 inches of width is more than enough for a single person. This cot’s so wide you could probably squeeze 2 adults on it, not very comfortably, but possible. This cot is perfect for tall people as well, at 85 inches long people up to 6’6 can comfortably enjoy this cot without their feet hanging off the end.

The frame is made from sturdy aluminum with solid steel “S-legs” to maximize the weight capacity. 

Ease of Use and Portability

Setup with the Outfitter XXL cot is extremely easy. Just unfold the cot and place the ends to the aluminum frame and you’re good to go.

The structure of this cot is very good, however, added weight comes with the strength. The weight isn’t terrible for the size of the cot, but it is notably not very lightweight.

When the cot is folded, you can fit it in a car or trunk. Going on long-distance treks would become a hassle because of the bulkiness of the cot when it’s folded.

Key Features:

  • Length: 85 inches
  • Width: 40 inches
  • Height: 19 inches
  • Weight limit: 600 pounds
  • Weight: 26 pounds

8. VIVO Cot

VIVO Green Camping Cot, Fold up Bed, Carrying Bag...
(309)

My review: For the average-joe looking for a cot that they can trust and not be carrying around a 20-pound sleeping system into the woods, this cot would be ideal for you.

The size will fit most average-sized people, and there are a fair 16 inches of height under the cot that can be used for storing your other camping gear to save space.

During assembly, you may find putting the last end bar on a little tricky due to the tightness of the fabric. Using a sturdy stick or screwdriver to pop the last piece on should resolve the issue.

I find it reasonably spacious with over 2 feet for the shoulders, so rolling around while you sleep shouldn’t be a problem.

Design and Durability

The VIVO is modeled after the military-style of cots that we all know and love, although this one is made for camping.

The design of this cot is meant to be super portable, so it may not be as comfortable as larger and heavier cots.

In order to be easy and as portable as possible, you may not consider this cot to be as durable as our other top picks since the weight capacity may be too low for some campers. 

Ease of Use and Portability

This cot was specifically designed to be easy to use and portable.

No tools are required for set up, just unfold the frame out of the bag, and install the end bars and you’re ready to get some rest.

Coming in at a lightweight 12-pounds, this cot is very easy to carry around compared to its competitors.

If you’re a camper who needs a solid cot and likes to stay lightweight, then this cot would be a fantastic choice for you.

Key Features:

  • Length: 75 inches
  • Width: 25 inches
  • Height: 16 inches
  • Weight limit: 250 pounds
  • Weight: 12 pounds

9. BYER of Main EasyCot

BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot, Full Size 78'L X 31'W X...
(468)

My review: Well it’s in the name. This cot is very easy, that’s its whole purpose. 

Take it out of the bag and have it ready to lay down in it in seconds and have it back in the carry bag in a minute.

Easiness is simplicity, and that’s what this cot is, easy. It doesn’t take a gear guru to take the Easy Cot camping.

It’s perfect for everyone including men, women, and children alike who are looking for simplicity.

If you’re not picky about weight and want something easy, then look no further — this is an excellent pick.

Design and Durability

This cot is long and wide enough for a full-sized adult and high enough off the ground that the extra space can easily be used for storage.

The frame and legs are constructed from steel. You can never go wrong with steel even if it’s not the most lightweight.

Most people won’t have an issue with the surface area of the cot and the weight capacity that withstands up to 330 pounds. 

The fabric is made out of a tough 600 denier polyester five-panel reinforced fabric.

Ease of Use and Portability

Assembling and disassembling the Easy Cot is very — shockingly — well — easy! Who would have guessed that one? Once you get familiar with the setup, you’ll be able to set this cot up as easy as a lawn chair.

The ease of use for this cot is excellent.

The weight for this sleeping system is about average at a decent 21 pounds. You can take this with you anywhere you can carry. Ideally, you’d want to transport it in a vehicle since the design isn’t lightweight.

Key Features:

  • Length: 78 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Height: 18 inches
  • Weight limit: 330 pounds
  • Weight: 21 pounds

10. Timber Ridge Folding Cot

Timber Ridge Utility Folding XL Camping Cot...
(52)

My review: The main reasons why you would want this cot are because it’s very durable and it’s one of the most spacious on our list.

One of the biggest cons to choosing a cot most of the time is the lack of space. Choosing a cot that comes with extra length and width like this helps reduce the discomfort of feeling confined to a skinny cot.

The cot has an organizable side pouch added as an accessory to the cot. Little added accessories like this can just make your trip just a little easier. you can use this pouch to keep overnight necessities within reach, like a phone and flashlight.

Design and Durability

The Timber Ridge Utility Folding Cot is made to be tough and comfortable.

No worries if you’re a taller person too, this cot comes in an extra-large size that will suit most people who are 6’4 and under. Even if you’re not over 6-foot, the added size will make you feel cozier at night.

To increase sturdiness — the frame is constructed from heavy-duty steel. Steel is awesome for creating a super stable sleeping system, but it does come with one caveat, added weight.

The fabric is made from a trustworthy 600D Polyester material. 

Overall this cot excels with durability and can hold a load of up to 300 pounds.

Ease of Use and Portability

Putting this cot into action is extremely easy, just collapse the frame and fold it in half. No tools are required. 

The super-easy assembly makes this cot perfect, even for novice campers.

When the cot is folded up, it takes up about as much space as a folding lawn chair. The compactness is decent. You could easily store this in your car, taking up limited space.

The biggest downside to this cot is the weight that comes with the heavy steel frame. A sleeping system that weighs 25 pounds isn’t lightweight, so consider this cot for when you don’t need to travel far on foot.

Key Features:

  • Length: 83 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Height: 20 inches
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds
  • Weight: 24.7 pounds

11. Tough Outdoors Camping Cot

Tough Outdoors Camp Cot [XL] with Free Organizer &...
(131)

My review: The Tough Outdoors Camping Cot is a perfect match for outdoorsmen who are looking for something that is rugged and will get them some peace throughout the night.

Be prepared to use your strength to put it together for the first time. The first-time assembly can kind of be hell.

If you are doubtful of the toughness of this cot, it also comes with a 1-year warranty with no questions asked. 

I love practicality with all of my gear, and that is why I’m glad they added a side organizer bag to attach to the side. This bag is a great place to store essentials for the night like your phone, lights, bear spray, etc.

Design and Durability

Overall the design was made for ultimate support and sturdiness. 

The design is so sturdy in fact that it may actually piss you off when you’re putting it together. Be ready to stay patient and take your time to break it in.

The legs are made from steel, the frame is made from lightweight aluminum and heavy-duty 600D Oxford canvas.

Ease of Use and Portability

Setting up this cot is simple. However, setting it up the first time may be difficult due to the tightness of the fabric. I recommend when you first purchase the cot, set it up and keep it up for 24 to 48 hours.

For a reasonably spacious and study cot sleeping system, the cot maintains a decent weight of 18 pounds. This is a fair weight to be toting around the woods, but the compactness is what you’d expect for most cots, making it not the most ideal for backpacking.

Key Features:

  • Length: 83 inches
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Height: 16 inches
  • Weight limit: 310 pounds
  • Weight: 18.1 pounds

12. Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot

Sale Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot, Regular - 24 x 72...
(14)

My review: Unfortunately for most backpackers, carrying the extra weight of a cot isn’t something they can afford. 

Lucky for them, there are options available for them, and this is one of them.

If you want a lightweight sleeping system that won’t break your back, then this cot is for you.

Because of its minimalist design, comfortability is unfortunately sacrificed. If you are considering this for your camping sleeping system, then strongly consider using a sleeping mat on top to prevent the crossbars from causing discomfort.

Design and Durability

This super portable cot comes in two sizes; a 72 and 77-inch length cot. Thankfully you get to choose a size that suits you best so you will be more comfortable.

The frame is constructed from aluminum, and the fabric is made from nylon laminate, which is lightweight and durable.

The height is just enough to get you off the ground. I see it more as n elevated sleeping mat instead of a cot. You won’t be able to use the bottom for storage as well.

Ease of Use and Portability

The Ultralite Cot is one of 2 of the cots on our list that I could definitely recommend for backpacking. 

It rolls up nicely with compactness and doesn’t even weigh more than 3 pounds. The portability rating for this cot gets an easy A+.

The assembly process isn’t too daunting, but it’ll take a few minutes.

Key Features:

  • Length: 72 inches
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Height: 4.5 inches
  • Weight limit: 325 pounds
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

13. Coleman Trailhead 2

Sale Coleman 765353 Trailhead II Military Style Camping...
(1463)

My review: The Coleman Trailhead 2 is the best cot on this list for people who are keeping a budget in mind. It’s difficult to complain about a military-style cot unless you’re looking for something a little fancier.

They may not come with many bells and whistles. However, there is one thing they’ve always been known for — getting the job done.

Design and Durability

 

This cot comes with the same rugged military-style design that has been trusted by the U.S. military for decades.

 

The frame is constructed from strong steel in a folding X-design for max support. The fabric heavy-duty polyester fabric is supported by steel crossbars. All of the materials used were chosen for max stability.

 

Supporting up to 300 pounds, most people will be satisfied with the durability. 

 

The width is spacious at 30-inches, so you’ll have some room to roll around. This cot has excellent support; however, this cot is the wrong choice for anyone over 6’2 because of the 75 inches in length.

 

Ease of Use and Portability

 

The Trailhead 2 folds up enough for you to fit into the trunk of your car. Even when folded, at 40 inches, you’ll still want to transport it by vehicle to your camping spot. 

 

Because of the cot’s weight, it’s not for a backpacking trip by any means. For the cot to be sturdy, Coleman added some extra heft and bulk as a trade-off. 

 

Don’t buy this cot if you’re looking for something that will be easy to carry around.

As far as cots go, it doesn’t get much more basic and simple than the Trailhead. To put the cot into action, just unfold it in half, extend the x-frame, and install the crossbars on the ends.

No tools are required to deploy this sleeping system. What is needed is the strength to install the last crossbar. A little brute strength and you have a sturdy platform to sleep on with no worries of it coming apart.

Key Features:

  • Length: 75 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Height: 17 inches
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds
  • Weight: 18.3 pounds

14. Trademark Innovations Portable Camping Bed

Sale 75' Portable Folding Camping Bed & Cot - 260 lbs....
(377)

My review: The Portable Folding Camping Bed by Trademark Innovations is a fantastic match for people looking for a portable sleeping system that also doesn’t sacrifice too much support. 

With a price that’s under $40, there are few cots can match the portability and support of this cot. Everyone loves saving money, and this cot is a bang for your buck. 

Since this cot is 75 inches long, I only recommend this cot to people 6’2 and under

Anyone taller, won’t comfortably fit their whole body onto the cot.

The feet of the cot can damage the bottom of your tent, so consider placing cushioning under the legs.

Design and Durability

 

Despite being under 15 pounds, this cot holds sound with a steel x-styled frame.

 

One thing to be careful with this cot is the frame is thin and may cause trouble for heavier campers or under heavy-use.

 

The design of this camping bed is meant for portability and sturdiness. Usually, cots that are intended to be “portable” lack height and stiffness. This camping cot is the exception, you get 17 inches of height, which is more than enough to use for storage.




Ease of Use and Portability

 

This portable camping bed easily folds open, but just like many other cots, fitting the last crossbar might be difficult due to the tension of the fabric. Once you set up the cot for the first time, keep it assembled for a couple of days to break it in.

 

13 pounds for a sturdy sleeping cot that easily folds up into an easy-carry bag isn’t bad by any means. It could be less, but then it wouldn’t have the same support.

 

For campers, the portability of this folding cot is excellent. For backpackers, it’s sturdier than other “portable” cots, but I still wouldn’t consider it as a compact option.

Key Features:

  • Length: 75 inches
  • Width: 25 inches
  • Height: 17 inches
  • Weight limit: 260 pounds
  • Weight: 12.8 pounds

15. Redcamp folding cot

REDCAMP Folding Camping Cot for Adults, Portable...
(16)

My review: The Redcamp Folding Cot is ideal for the camper wanting comfort and support, but doesn’t want the heaviness of a steel cot.

The nice thing about this model is Redcamp offers three different size options to choose from. I personally prefer the 33-inch wide version because of the increased shoulder room and support.

Not many cots that are under 15-pounds can support weights up to 500 pounds.

I wouldn’t recommend the smallest version to anyone other than kids because of the mediocre weight capacity of 225 pounds.

Added features of the Folding Cot include a compact pillow and a side pocket to store all of your essentials as you rest.

Design and Durability

Redcamp’s folding cot is made very sturdy, giving you comfort while you sleep.

The frame is constructed from aluminum tubes to save weight, this may not be as strong as steel, but the design is sturdy. If you choose the largest option with 33-inches of width, the weight limit goes up to 500 pounds.

The fabric is made from a double layer of 600D oxford fabric.

If you’re worried a cot made from aluminum might break, Redcamp offers a 365-day warranty. If the cot fails you within the year, you get a replacement or refund.

Ease of Use and Portability

The ease of use for this cot is effortless, it folds up and collapses just like a big lawn chair. No tools required. Once the cot is collapsed, it fits snuggly into the carry case that can be slung around your back.

When the camping bed is folded up, it’ll be able to fit in the trunk of a vehicle. However, when folded the cot still takes up over 40 inches.

For a cot on the larger size, the weight is impressive. Despite the size, carrying this 14-pound cot on your back is a breeze

Key Features:

  • Length: 75 inches
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Width: 26, 28, 33 inches
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Weight: 14 pounds
Helicopter Delivering Cots
Cots being delivered

FAQ

Can Camping Cots Damage the Floor of a Tent?

Most quality cots will not damage the floor of your tent. If you want to be on the safe side, you can cover the feet of the cot legs. Another thing you can do is keep the cardboard that came with your cot and lay it under the cot like a pad.

If it’s something you’re really worried about, look for a cot that has legs that are rounded instead of pegs.

Are Cots Good for Backpacking?

If you’re going for long-distance backpacking trips, a lot of people will just choose to go with a sleeping mat and sleeping bag to save on space since they’re more flexible and easier to pack.

Although cots may usually be harder to pack, they still have more lightweight and compact options that suit backpackers perfectly.

Should I Use a Mattress with the Cot?

Cots are more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. However, you may be accustomed to your soft mattress at home.

A small mattress or sleeping mat works perfectly with cots for campers looking for extra comfort. This way, you get the best of both worlds. 

It’s really just up to you and if you can afford the space and weight in your pack.

Should I Use a Camping Air Mattress with a Cot?

Air mattresses are great because they’re compact and lightweight. You just blow them up, and you have a comfy mattress just like home, sort of.

If you find an air mattress that can appropriately fit your cot and your pack then — air mattresses are easy ways to get more comfort with your cot.

Just make sure you can secure the air mattress to the cot before you put it in action in the wilderness.

Camping Cot vs Camping Mattress

While there are some quality inflatable mattresses, they aren’t nearly as reliable as cots. Along with having to worry about puncturing them, more parts could fail like the valve. Inflating a camping mattress can be a pain as well. Some camping mattresses are also thin and can “bottom out” leaving your body in an awkward position and often touching the ground. Cots are nice because they typically sit at least a foot off the ground, keeping you away from many bugs and moisture on the ground surface.

The advantage of camping mattresses is that when deflated they’re easier to travel with than cots.

Can I Sleep Shirtless on a Cot?

Yeah, of course!

You may want to have some additional blanket or padding underneath you to prevent chafing against the rugged cot surface.

What Type of Cot Does the Military Use?

When all else fails, mil-spec will always set the standard for reliable gear. The military uses rugged tri-folding cots. You can check out military issued cots here.

Where Should I Set Up a Cot?

When setting up a cot for camping, find the flattest and hardest surface that you can.

You don’t want your cot legs to sink into soft ground, if it has rained recently be especially conscious of this. 

On wet ground, try your best to minimalize the mushiness. Putting flat wooden planks underneath the legs can help prevent you from sinking.

and you definitely don’t want to sleep crooked on a hill.

Creating a Comprehensive Sleep System

A cot alone won’t keep you comfortable out in the wilderness. The stiff, flat surface may prevent you from getting a peaceful night’s rest, so bringing some other accessories along will make the night a lot more prosperous.

If you are backpacking, weight, compactness, and an object’s ability to be used for a multitude of applications is going to help keep you energized when you’re on the move.

Here are some helpful things to include in your pack so you won’t find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night:

Cot

Your camping cot is going to be the foundation of your sleeping system. Once you choose one that fits your specific body size and preference, you can then base your other sleeping accessories off your cot choice.

Sleeping Mat

If you’re someone who isn’t used to a firm sleeping system, then you’re going to want to soften your cot up.

Using a softer foam sleeping mat is going to increase the comfort of your cot drastically. Before you purchase your sleeping mat, make sure that you measure the cot and mat, so they fit well together.

Camping Pillow

Finding the perfect place to put your head after an exhausting day of backpacking/camping is going to be essential to you recharging your body overnight. 

If you have the space in your pack, bringing along a compact yet comfy pillow is going to be a worthwhile investment.

Sleeping Bag

Out of all of the additional sleeping accessories that we recommend bringing, an excellent sleeping bag is the most significant.

Sleeping bags are going to serve as multi-purpose, meaning you can use them as a blanket, extra padding for your cot, another pillow, and a shield from the elements.

Wrap Up

When you’re out camping, you have multiple options of things you can pack to have a place to sleep. If you have the space available in your pack, then I highly recommend adding one of our recommended cots.

You can either choose an air mattress, sleeping mat, or a cot. A cot is going to give you options that no alternative sleeping system will offer.

The ultimate sleeping system for comfort is going to be a combination of the cot, sleeping bag, sleeping mat/portable air mattress. With the combination of the ultimate sleeping system, you get elevation, insulation, comfort, and protection from bugs.

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