Like a mattress, each camping cot will vary greatly in terms of the overall level of firmness it offers. While some folks tend to go for the softest unit available, you may find said unit to hurt your back. Or perhaps softer cots and mattresses are the only way for you to get a sound sleep in the first place. However, while cots have many of the same variables as mattresses, picking out a cot is somewhat of a different process, being that it isn’t a mattress.When the idea of spiders and insects scares you away from a hammock and the idea of sticks and stones scares you away from lying on the ground in a sleeping bag, picking yourself up a nice camping cot can seem like a great idea.
Camping Cot Reviews
Cots can come in many forms and with a variety of different features. While the level of firmness is one of such features, you’ll often find each cot carries a different ability to hold more than one person at a time. Some cots are almost more resistant to tears while others get scraped up the second they are rubbed the wrong way with a sharp object. As such, it can’t hurt to take the amount of time necessary to find out which cot is going to give you the best night’s sleep. With that said, let’s take a look at three of the very best camping cots currently available on the market.
Best Overall Camping Cot
As its name quickly goes on to illustrate, this incarnation of the TETON line of camp cots is extremely large. It spans eighty-five inches from top to bottom and clocks in at a whopping twenty-six pounds. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is only suitable for larger folks. Whether you plan on sleeping in the bed with another person or would simply enjoy a bit of extra room to toss and turn in your sleep, getting a double extra large camping cot such as the TETON can prove to make way for a very comfortable sleep.
The TETON can support up to six-hundred pounds, which is a feature I particularly like. While many of us may throw things on our sleeping bags while we camp, you’ll find that you can’t always pile things on top of cots. Of course, this isn’t an issue with the TETON. This gives it a large degree of durability, one which is backed by its included warranty. It’s comfortable, it’s durable and it can support anything you can possibly throw at it. The TETON XXL is always a great choice.
– Jonathan Maxwell
Best Overall Camping Cot – Runner Up
The Kwik Cot is another camping cot which specializes in offering a large degree of comfort and durability through both its size and its ability to support a large amount of weight at any given time. At eighty-four inches long and twenty-five pounds in weight, it is roughly the same size as the TETON. It also comes with two pouches which allow you to store things safely by your person as you sleep. Upon folding up the cot, the pouches in question will turn into handles for easy carrying. The cot can be opened up and folded over a matter of seconds, which is a huge plus.
One thing you’ll notice about this cot immediately is that it is an incredibly convenient bed relative to its size. While many oversize cots have a tendency to make setting up camp a bit of a complicated ordeal, this is not so much the case with the Kwik Cot. While it certainly still carries a bit of weight about it, you’ll find setting it up and taking it back down to be a breeze. You’ll likely most appreciate the Kwik Cot if you’re the type who hates the act of setting up camp and taking it down, as this makes things run a bit more smoothly.
– Jonathan Maxwell
3. Coleman ComfortSmart
Best Budget Camping Cot
The Coleman is a little bit more of a lightweight model when stacked up to the two above cots. While it’s certainly not small, its six feet six inch length and its 300-pound weight capacity aren’t nearly as high as they could be. This; however, doesn’t have to be a bad thing by any means. If you know you’ll be sleeping alone and won’t be piling all of your possessions onto your cot, you’ll likely find the Coleman to be much more agreeable when it comes to its overall level of convenience. This is a characteristic which comes from both its small(er) stature and its included storage pouches. It also tends to be a bit softer than the two above cots.
My favorite part about the Coleman is how easy it is to set up. While all smaller cots are typically more favorable when it comes to setup time, this is even more so the case with the Coleman. Relative to its overall size, you’ll find it extremely easy to set up and take down. This is obviously a huge plus if you plan on actually using your new camping cot outside of the house.
– Jonathan Maxwell
Summary of Our Top Picks
One of the considerations which must be made when you pick out your camping cot is how much time you’re willing to spend setting up your cot and how much extra effort you’re willing to put into the process in return for getting a larger, more durable and more comfortable unit. While included pouches certainly add a degree of convenience to a cot, this is nothing compared to the overall size of a unit. It’s just a matter of deciding which size happens to be right for you and picking out your model accordingly.
When all that matters is getting the best night’s sleep you could possibly get through having a very large camping cot, the TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot is easily your best choice. If a quick setup time and having less weight to carry around is high on your priority list, the Earth Products Jamboree Military Style Folding Cot will prove to suit your needs well. For something that meets somewhere in between and offers the best of both worlds, the Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot might be a good choice, assuming you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of weight capacity.
4. Earth Products
6. Coleman Airbed
7. Trademark Innovations
8. Coleman Converta
10. Kamp Rite Economy
Camping Cot Buying Guide
What is a Camping Cot?
Camping cots are a great way to get outside and experience the outdoors for a night without getting too close to the outdoors. Camping cots almost resemble a hammock which has its own stand reaching low to the ground, removing the need to tie your hammock to trees in the exposed outdoors. You might consider a camping cot to be halfway between a hammock and a mattress.
Much like any other mattress or mattress-like product, whether you find yourself able to get a good night’s sleep entirely depends on whether or not the camping cot you have chosen for yourself is compatible with your sleeping habits and preferences. As such, this review aims to help you find the best possible camping cot to suit your needs, giving you a great night’s sleep wherever you may be.
Clearly, a few considerations need to be made if you plan on getting the best possible camping cot for your needs. To get a better idea of just what type of cot would best suit your interests, ask yourself the following questions.
What type of mattress do you enjoy sleeping on?
If your answer is anything but a quick “firm,” you’ll most likely want to look for the very softest camping cot available. Your average cot is much more firm than your average mattress. The softest cots tend to have lower weight capacities.
How much time are you willing to put into setting up your cot?
While there are a few exceptions, a good general rule to go by is that bigger cots take longer set up. If you’re looking for a cot that takes a second or two to unfold, you may want to settle for something smaller and lighter in stature.
How many people will be sleeping in your cot?
Unlike shopping for mattresses, shopping for cots requires you pay careful attention your model’s weight capacity. Remember, the actual part of the cot that you lay on consists of a very small piece of fabric. Take a cot’s advertised weight capacity as law.
Types of Camping Cots
There are several types of camping cots at your disposal. You’ll find each one offers its own list of pros and cons. Do you know which type is the best for you?
Oversize Camping Cots – We covered two of these in the list above. An oversize camping cot can typically hold at least four hundred pounds without risk of breaking. They also tend to be about as wide as a double bed, if not wider. These are best for those who plan on sleeping in the cot with someone else or like a bit of extra wiggle room as they sleep.
Portable Camping Cots – Of course, all camping cots are portable. Some; however, are much more portable than others. Typically, these will be lower in weight and take a very small amount of time to set up and take back down. While portable camping cots and oversize camping cots are usually exclusive categories, you may find some overlap with a bit of searching (as is the case with the Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot).
Military Cots – Military cots come with a variety of features which one may consider as being “tactical.” Typically, these cots are rather small, can hold a large amount of weight relative to their size, are easy to set up and come with pouches in which you can store items as you sleep.
Common Camping Cot Features
As you can see, each camping cot is best suited toward a different person. Whether or not you prefer a soft, hard, big or small camping cot is up to you to decide. There are; however, several features which can benefit everyone, no matter their camping cot preference.
A Large Weight Capacity – Now, it goes without saying that larger cots will generally be able to hold more weight on average than smaller cots. However, it can’t hurt to look out for a cot which can hold a large amount of weight relative to its overall size and level of softness, as this will also increase its level of durability.
Pouches – Unlike many features which can be detrimental to your camping experience depending on your own preferences, an abundance of pouches can never steer you wrong. While I would never recommend paying an extra fifty dollars or more for a pouch, it certainly can’t hurt to keep an eye out for cots which have some included. Although many people are unaware, camping cots are far from guaranteed to be equipped with pouches of any sort. If you can get an extra pouch or two, you’ll most likely thank yourself later when they come in handy.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you; having the largest cot possible, having the most convenient cot possible or meeting somewhere in the middle by way of compromise. While we’ve covered three of the very best camping cots currently available on the market, each one of them belongs to one of the above three categories, requiring that you decide where your priorities lie.
You’ll also have to decide how soft or firm you want your cot to be. Generally speaking (once again, this is a rule which has a few exceptions) cots with a larger weight capacity will be more firm than those with a very small weight capacity. For this reason, you may find it beneficial to skimp on the weight capacity and only get what is needed.
Do you need a large or small cot? Would you prefer a softer model or a firmer one? Is the ease of setup important to you? By figuring out just what it is you’d like to see in your dream cot before you begin shopping for one, you’ll be able to walk away a happy camper.