Why You Need a Camping Cot
The most prominent feature of all camping cots is that they are elevated from the ground. This slight elevation provides you with a reliable flat surface to sleep on no matter how rocky or uneven the ground may be. Any campers who hate sleeping on rocky surfaces or have physical problems like low back pain will appreciate the comfort and stability of camping cots.
Not only will the camping cot’s design help you avoid uncomfortable nights sleeping on the ground, it also helps keep you warmer. Cool air settles on the ground at night; so, if you choose to sleep against the ground, most of your body heat will be lost through the process of conduction. In a camping cot, however, you won’t have to worry about losing your body heat to the cool ground since you’re already well above the ground.
On the flipside, camping cots can also help campers in warmer climates cool off. Remember, camping cots are elevated from the ground, which helps air to circulate both above and below your body. If you’re someone who travels to warm regions often, just be sure your camping cot has a breathable fabric.
What to Look For In A Camping Cot
People interested in folding camp cots tend to place a high priority on the comfort of their camping trip. While other features like portability and weight come into play when making a purchase, it’s important to remember that camping cots are primarily designed to provide users with comfort and stability.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the key features every camper should keep in mind when looking into a camping cot.
Invest In A Comfortable Cot
When it comes to camping cots, comfort is king. The main point of bringing a camping cot with you on a car camping trip is to enhance the quality of your sleep.
You’ll soon notice that the major kinds of support offered in camping cots are fabric tension and spring construction. As the name suggests, fabric tension construction usually involves a thin synthetic fabric that’s stretched out and held together either in aluminum or steel frames. It’s best to use a traditional sleeping bag on top of most fabric tension frames to get extra warmth.
Spring mattresses, on the other hand, have a bit more give thanks to the use of coils and an insulator. Campers who want more of a traditional bed feel will prefer spring construction beds. Just keep in mind that these cots tend to be heavier and more difficult to pack.
Note, not all tension and spring-designed products are adjustable. Be sure to check your cot’s design specifications before purchasing if this is an issue for you.
If you’re someone who needs extra padding while you sleep, you’ll have no issues finding luxurious padded cots for sale. You will, of course, have to pay a premium for these products. Also, most padded cots are more cumbersome than non-padded cots.
Stability: Feel Secure Through The Night
One of the most important features of any camping cot is stability. When you sleep on your cot, you it shouldn’t hear creeking noises or feel at all unbalanced.
One of the best ways to figure out a camping cot’s stability is to look at the leg design. The three best styles of leg design in the camping cot industry include vertical, X-shaped, and C-shaped with a horizontal bar. Of these three styles, most campers don’t recommend C-shaped because it tends to be weak.
Pro Tip: Protect Your Tent
Anyone wanting to use their camping cot inside a tent should be sure the legs have rubber caps. These rubber caps will prevent the legs of your camping cot from making tears in the tent’s bottom layer.
Strength: How Much Can Your Cot Hold?
Related to camping cot stability is the issue of strength. You have to be sure the material your cot is made out of can safely hold your body weight. Manufacturers always list the amount of weight their cot can withstand in the product description.
Take a good look at the frames used in your camping cot’s design. You’ll find that most companies like to use aluminum because it offers a good balance of lightweight construction and durability. Stronger (and heavier) camping cots, however, tend to be made out of steel or tin.
The Ideal Size And Weight For A Camping Cot
The standard size of a camping cot is 75 inches long and 25 inches wide. Models that go beyond these dimensions tend to be bulkier and made of stronger materials that can hold a more weight.
There are also specialty camping cots on the market including camping cot for two and bunk-bed style cots that are larger and can accommodate two campers. For campers with children, there are kid camping cots available.
That being said, the lightest camping cots are those made with aluminum frames and legs. Aluminum-constructed cots tend to average between 15 and 20 pounds. Since steel cots are sturdier, they usually weigh over 20 pounds. The heaviest cots, however, tend to be those with extra padding.
Common Camping Cot Fabrics
The fabrics you want in your camping cot are nylon, polyester, or some combination of the two. Thankfully, both of these synthetic fabrics are the most commonly used in camping cot manufacturing. A few reasons campers prefer these fabrics are that they are naturally antimicrobial, lightweight, and durable.
While not as common, there are a few mesh camping cots on the market. Mesh fabric is a good idea if you frequently travel to humid areas because it is highly breathable.
How Easy Is It to Put a Cot Together?
Another issue that’s crucial to consider when purchasing a camping cot is how easy it is to open and close your cot. New campers should look at standard aluminum frame cots to save time and aggravation. Usually aluminum cots have an easy design with joints that unfold and lock in place when they’re fully opened.
While not all camping cots are as simple as these aluminum cots, most don’t require more skill than is required to put up a tent. If you feel comfortable putting together a standard tent already, then you shouldn’t have issues putting together a camping cot.
Camping Cot Reviews
Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
Best Camping BedSaleKamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
- Made of highest quality material
- Manufacturer: Kamp-Rite
- Tent cot oversized kwik-cot FC421
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot is a heavy-duty camping cot made with a 190T nylon fabric and a powder-coated tension frame and steel tubing. Manufacturers claim this cot has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
To help the Oversize Kwik Cot stay firmly on the ground, there are two double support legs on the sides. This Kwik Cot has a multi-function hinge design so you could convert your cot into a lounge chair if you so desire.
Kamp-Rite didn’t use the traditional cross-bar design because the company felt it wasn’t ideal for back comfort and support. For neck comfort, Kamp-Rite included a layer of padding in the head area.
When unfolded, the Kamp-Rite Kwik Cot provides you with at 84 x 33 inches of sleeping surface. In it’s in its folded position, the Kamp-Rite Kwik Cot will take up 42.3 x 8.2 x 7.8 inches of space in the provided waterproof 600D carry bag. The total weight of the Oversize Kwik Cot is 23.3 pounds.
As a bonus feature, Kamp-Rite includes clips under the frame you can attach to store a few essential items.
Taller campers in the market for a sturdy and portable camping cot able to comfortably handle one person should look into the Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot.
- Spacious 84 x 33 inches frame.
- Strong steel tubing can handle up to 350 pounds.
- Ergonomic back and neck support perfect for people with physical issues.
- Waterproof carry bag included to make it easier to pack.
- Requires a bit of patience to setup properly.
Teton Sports Outfitter CotTETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot; Folding Cot Great for Car Camping
- PIVOT ARM REVOLUTION: Cot setup just became child’s play; The pivot arm…
- STRONG AND STURDY: Reinforced steel S-leg assembly strengthens the cot and…
- GET OFF THE GROUND: Take the comfort of a bed to the outdoors; Sleep free…
- SIZE DOES MATTER: Larger than a twin bed and supports up to 600 pounds (272…
- TETON SPORTS PROMISE: Reach out to our AMAZING product support team if you…
Although the Teton Sports Outfitter Cot’s frame is made with aluminum, it can handle up to 600 pounds. Without a doubt, this cot is a great consideration for people who need a cot able to withstand a great deal of weight. It’s also ideal for couples thanks to its size, which is larger than a double mattress.
When it’s unfolded, the Outfitter Cot measures 85 x 40 x 19 inches and folds down to 42 x 12 x 7 inches. This cot will add 26 pounds to your car.
The company’s patented steel S-leg leg design provides this cot with great stability. There are also rubber feet on this cot to help with shock absorption and prevent tears in your tent. The fabric used in the frame’s canvass is 600D polyester.
To unfold this cot, you first have to lay it flat on the ground, swing the legs around, and then open the legs up. You’ll then have to apply two safety end bars to the top and bottom of the cot for increased stability.
Anyone who’s a fan of Teton Sports’ product line will appreciate that this cot can accommodate many other items offered by the company. For instance, you can hang Teton’s camp pad, cot organizer, and/or cot understorage on the Outfitter Cot. You will, of course, have to purchase these products separately.
The Teton Sports Outfitter Cot is perfect for couples who are looking for a sturdy cot.
- Has one of the highest weight limits in the industry
- 85 x 40 x 19 inches frame provides plenty of space.
- S-shaped steel leg design with aluminum frame provides good stability.
- Under storage pouches are sold separately.
- Difficult to pull in and out of car quickly at 26 pounds.
Forfar Portable Camping CotForfar Folding Camping Bed Portable Lightweight Comfortable Cot Green
- Military-style foldable camping cot, durable and comfortable
- High quality standard for outdoor equipment, strong and stable
- Easy to set up or fold, convenient for carrying or storage with package bag
- Dimensions of 71″ L, by 27″ W and 15″ off the ground; Holds up to 260…
- Perfect for camping, hiking, travelling and other outdoor activities
The Forfar Portable Camping Cot is a good choice for thin campers who are looking for an easy-to-pack lightweight cot for one person.
Forfar’s Portable Camping Cot is made out of a special aluminum alloy and a PVC coated Oxford cloth. The cloth used on this frame has thousands of tiny holes that help enhance the fabric’s breathability. When fully opened, this cot measures 75 x 25.6 inches at 15 inches above the ground. Forfar claims this camping cot can hold up to 260 pounds.
One of the nice features about the Forfar Camping Cot is that it’s easy to open and close. All you have to do is unfold it and the legs instantly straighten out. There’s no special tools or assembly required to get this cot on the ground.
You can fold the Forfar Camping Cot into 35.8 x 6.3 x 6.3 and carry it around in a provided carry bag. You’ll only add 16.6 pounds to your travel gear with the Forfar Portable Camping Cot.
The Forfar Camping Cot is ideal for campers who want an easy-to-assemble, lightweight, and breathable camping cot.
- Ideal for short camping trips and occasional campers.
- Very easy to pack at only 16.6 pounds
- Collapsed size is a convenient 35.8 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches.
- Can only handle 260 pounds
Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Camping Cot
Best Value Camping CotColeman Camping Cot with Sleeping Pad | ComfortSmart Folding Cot with Mattress Pad
- SLEEPING PAD: Thick foam offers superior support
- Built to Last: Durable Steel Frame
- SUPPORTS: Up to 300 lb.
- Max Height: 6 Ft. 6 Inches
- DIMENSIONS: 80 x 30 x 15 Inches
Coleman’s ComfortSmart Deluxe Cot is a heavy-duty foldable cot made with a unique coil suspension system. The Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot is perfect for campers looking for a durable cot at an affordable price.
When the Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot is unfolded it measures 80 x 30 x 15 inches and has a polyester fabric on which to sleep. Coleman manufacturers say this cot is ideal for campers who are under 6 feet 6 inches. The max weight a Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot can handle is 300 pounds.
A nice feature about this cot is that it comes with a comfortable foam mattress layer you can put on the top of the polyester frame. When you want to fold up your cot, you can place this foam mattress below the legs for safe storage.
Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot weighs 21.5 pounds. When the cot is closed, it’s held together by a Velcro strap. All you have to do to get your cot on the ground is open the Velcro strap and let it gently fall.
Campers looking for a sturdy cot at an affordable price will enjoy the Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot.
- Easy assembly for beginners; simply open Velcro strap.
- Sturdy steel frame construction for an affordable price.
- Can hold up to 300 pounds.
- Comfortable coil suspension and mattress layer included.
- Can’t fit in smaller car trunks when folded up.
Disc-O-Bed BunkSaleDisc-O-Bed with Organizers, Black, Large
- Bunk it, bench it, turn it into two cots
- Rounded frame won’t sink into the ground
- Organizers for easy access to your gear
Anyone who often goes camping with a friend or significant other should look into the Disc-O-Bed Bunk. Instead of a single frame, this unique cot folds out into a standard bunk bed. Each bunk can handle at least 500 pounds each, so there’s no need to worry the person sleeping on the top bunk will come crashing down.
The reason the Disc-O-Bed Bunk is able to hold so much weight owes to its steel rail construction. There’s also powder coating on these legs to help prevent rust damage.
When you unfold this product you’ll find that it gets 11 inches off the ground. The person on the bottom bunk will have 21 inches above him/her for breathing room. Each frame has a contoured polyester fabric for enhanced comfort. The total dimensions of an unfolded Disc-O-Bed Bunk is 79 x 27.75 x 32 inches and the weight is 60 pounds.
Disc-O-Bed used a unique modular disc system to help you assemble and disassemble this product with ease. Manufacturers say you don’t need any additional tools to set up this bunk bed on the spot.
Everyone who purchases the Disc-O-Bed Bunk gets two side organizers free of charge. You’ll also get stack adapters and a travel bag.
Campers who often travel in pairs will love the Disc-O-Bed Bunk’s sturdy design and unique construction.
- Bunk-bed style cot ideal for pairs of campers.
- Steel frame can hold 500 pounds for each cot.
- Patented disc design allows users to unfold and fold without tools.
- Contoured polyester fabric for optimal comfort.
- Very cumbersome to pack at 60 pounds.
- Pointless if you’re traveling alone.
Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot
Best Lightweight Camping CotTherm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot, Regular – 24 x 72 Inches
- Lightest outdoor cot on the market
- Compact design fits easily in the included carry-bag
- Stands up to heavy use
- Standard and lightweight setup options
- Fast and easy assembly – no tools required
The Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot certainly lives up to its “ultralite” name weighing only 2 pound 12 ounces in the regular size. The main reason the Ultralite is so light has to do with its aluminum-based construction.
All Ultralite Cots are made with a specially designed BowFrame technology, so you won’t have to worry about noisy joints or annoying crossbars while sleeping. The nylon fabric used on this frame has been laminated with a waterproof coating.
When it’s unfolded, the regular Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot measures 72 x 24 x 4.5 inches. The size of the regular Ultralite Cot measures 6 x 15 inches when folded up. You will receive a carry-bag with your purchase of the Ultralite Cot to help you bring it with you in the backcountry. If these measurements don’t meet your needs, Therm-A-Rest also sells an Ultralite Cot in a long format.
Although aluminum isn’t as strong as steel, Therm-A-Rest anodized all of their aluminum poles to increase their durability. Manufacturers claim these legs can hold up to 325 pounds.
One con with these feet is that they tend to stain or tear the bottom layer of the tent. It’s a good idea to put a protective layer between these feet and the tent bottom if you’re using the Ultralite inside.
Campers who prioritize lightweight construction and portability in their camping cot need look no further than the Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot.
- At only 2 pound 12 ounces, you could bring this cot on backpacking trips.
- BowFrame technology can handle an impressive 325 pounds.
- Folds up to a portable 6 x 15 inches.
- Waterproof nylon fabric good for camping in damp areas.
- The cot’s feet can damage bottom floor of tent over time.
Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-CotSaleKamp-Rite 3897864 Tent Cot Double Kwik-Cot FC321
- Made of highest quality material
- Manufacturer: Kamp-Rite
- Tent cot double kwik-cot FC321
Kamp-Rite’s Double Kwik-Cot is designed for two people to sleep on side-by-side. With a sleeping area of 85 x 55 inches and a weight threshold of 550 pounds, you can easily share your Kwik-Cot with a significant other.
Kamp-Rite claims it only takes about two minutes to fold or unfold the Double Kwik-Cot thanks to the companies patented folding technology. All you have to do is pull out the middle layer of legs, put the product on its side, and open upwards. The two side layers of legs will spring open automatically.
When you’re ready to leave your campsite, simply fold up the Double Kwik-Cot into its zippered 46 x 13 x 13 inches carrying case. This case weighs approximately 33 pounds.
For stability and comfort, Kamp-Rite designers decided to use a combination of aluminum and nickel in their leg design. The fabric used on this cot is 600D polyester with a mesh storage area underneath. For added comfort, the headrests on this cot are padded.
The Kamp Rite Double Kwik-Cot is perfect for couples who love to go on camping adventures together. Not just sturdy, it’s also the most comfortable cot on our list thanks to its mixture of mesh and polyester fabrics.
- Can comfortably fit two campers with 550 pound threshold.
- Patented construction makes set-up a breeze.
- Specially designed headrests for ergonomic neck support.
- A bit cumbersome to pack at 30 pounds.