These camping cot reviews can give you an in-depth look at the best features each model has to offer, ease of use, size, and overall quality. Camping cots are collapsible beds that are lightweight and ideal for camping. They’re typically made from wood, stainless-steel, or aluminum and they’re overlaid with a tough fabric for the sleep surface. Most models can easily collapse for transportation. Unlike a traditional cot which only folds once and takes up quite a bit of space, these camping cots are designed to fold multiple times and take up as little space as possible. The best camping cot is made of polyester or nylon, with a rust-resistant frame.
Camping Cot Buying Guide
For some campers, using a cot, mattress, or airbed takes away from the true roughing it aspect that many diehard outdoorsman love, while for others, using a camping cot can make their time in the great outdoors just a little more comfortable and convenient.
The biggest advantage of a camping cot is that it keeps you off the ground. On uncomfortable terrain, this significantly improves your comfort, ensuring a good night’s sleep. They’re also a good solution for people who have arthritis, or joint pain and have a hard time getting up and off the ground. However, they’re also a great idea for anyone who wants to enjoy a more comfortable camping experience.
Sleeping off the ground also regulates body temperature. Typically, cold air settles at night and the cold ground can leech body heat through conduction. Sleeping on a camping cot can solve this issue, keeping you warm and comfortable, especially if you’re camping on rocky terrain.
In warmer conditions, sleeping on a cot can help to keep you cool by allowing air to circulate freely below and above you.
A camping cot is a great choice for tent camping, camping out under the stars, canoe camping, and car camping. They can also be a great choice for long-term camping trips.
Camping Cot Features
If you’re shopping for a camping cot, portability, weight, and comfort will be the most important factors. A comfortable cot is usually heavier and not the best choice if you have to carry it for long distances. Cots that are portable and light can be on the pricey side.
The frame and support structure is one of the core components of a cot. Most frames are made from thin aluminum which is very lightweight, yet incredibly durable.
Most heavy-duty cots are made from stainless steel which can hold more weight. Be sure to check a cot’s max weight before you buy.
Cots also feature a few main leg styles. There are models with legs connected by a horizontal bar, military style X legs, and vertical legs. The horizontal bar style setup is often used on lower priced cots and is best suited for indoor use. If you plan on using a camping cot inside a tent, you’ll need to make sure that the legs come equipped with rubber end caps. It’s pretty common for cot legs to tear, puncture or abrade the tent floor. Some manufacturers even sell separate coasters which attach to the feet of their cots, specifically for this purpose.
Newer models of camping cots are made with a single layer of nylon fabric or polyester, which is easy to clean and very supportive. You should avoid cots that use canvas fabric made from cotton because cotton retains stains, odor, and dirt and debris.
You can also find models that use mesh fabric, which can be a great choice if you’re camping out during the warmer months of the year.
Support and Comfort
These cots rely on spring systems and/or fabric tension to provide a more supportive sleep space. Some of these tension systems are highly adjustable, allowing you to choose your level of comfort and support. Spring systems can also be adjusted by removing or adding supports.
As we mentioned earlier, there are also models that come with heavy padding. Some are so comfortable that they resemble a traditional twin sized bed. These cots will offer the ultimate comfort, but they’re much heavier than most models of camping cots and can be a bad choice if you have to hike to your campsite.
As an alternative, you can use a camping pad or foam mattress topper for extra cushioning and warmth.
Steer clear of cots that use ill positioned crossbars, especially if you’re familiar with the pain and discomfort that’s associated with a pull-out sofa with a cross bar placed right under your back.
On average, when opened, cots measure in at twenty-five inches long and twenty-five inches wide. This is usually large enough to accommodate most users. However, there are longer models out there that are designed for taller campers. You can also find shorter cots that are designed for children. An extra wide cot measures at about forty inches wide, but these models are usually heavier and can also support the most weight.
An average aluminum framed cot will weigh about fifteen to twenty pounds. Choosing a steel or longer cot will add extra weight. A cot with a lot of padding will also be heavier.
You can also find cots that weigh around two to five pounds. These cots are designed for backcountry use and are a great choice for hiking trips.
If you’re looking for a cot for a semi-permanent or permanent structure, then weight won’t be an issue. But if you’re out hiking and move around a lot, you’ll want to go with a lightweight model.
Warranties on these cots will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some have a limited warranty for one to five years while others are covered by a lifetime warranty.
A limited warranty will cover factory defects, but won’t cover damage caused by normal wear and tear or abuse.
The manufacturer can determine if the damage was due to workmanship or factory defect.
If you try your cot out early, during the allowed return period, you’ll find it much easier to return it for a refund or exchange it for an undamaged model.
When Portability Matters
All camping cots will collapse to a degree for ease of storage and transport. Some can even fold over into smaller sections, while others can be completely disassembled. The packed weight and size are what will determine a cot’s portability.
Cots that are the most portable can pack down into the size of a one person tent and only weigh a couple of pounds. These are the type of camping cots that are often used by avid backpackers. But the real downside to this style of a cot is that they typically sit pretty low to the ground and have a very low weight capacity. They’re also not very durable, but this is commonly the case with all types of outdoor gear that’s designed to be more portable.
Most of these lightweight cots will come with a carry bag complete with shoulder straps to aid in easy transportation.
Camping cots are pretty easy to use. To set them up, you just have to unfold the cot along the joints, snapping them into place. Most models of aluminum cots work this way.
Cots with a more innovative design will require light assembly. Setting up some of these models is similar to setting up a tent. You’ll have to snap the shock cord poles together, threading them through the fabric. Additionally, you’ll need to assemble tension springs, inserting them into the body of the cot. However, even these more complex models are still a cinch to set up and will only take about ten minutes to assemble. If you’re used to setting up a tent then you’ll be able to easily handle this type of assembly, no problem.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Camping Cots
A camping cot isn’t a must for everyone, however, they can offer many advantages to sleeping on the cold hard ground.
Here are some of the advantages that come with using this type of camping accessory:
• You can avoid bugs and insects, which is a huge advantage for some campers.
• Unlike a camping pad or air bed, a camping cot provides space underneath which you can use to safely store your gear.
• If your tent leaks, you’ll avoid getting soaked from the wet ground.
• A cot is much easier to setup and travel with compared to an air bed or camping pad.
• People with arthritis or damaged knees enjoy using these cots because they reduce pressure on the joints.
• For hiking and backpacking, some of these cots can be a little on the heavy side, although you can find lightweight versions.
• They’re not quite as comfortable as an air mattress.
• During the summer, the space under the cot can allow air to circulate, keeping you cooler during the colder months of the year. However, this type of air circulation can make it difficult for you to stay warm during the fall and winter months.
Choosing the Right Camping Cot
The right camping cot for you will really depend on how you plan to use it. If you’re a car camper who prefers to bring all the comforts of home to the woods, then you should consider a sturdier, padded cot. This is also a good option if you have back or joint problems because padded models tend to offer more support.
There are several styles and sizes of camping cots to choose from. Some of the major brands include Coleman, Moon Lence, and Kamp-Rite.
If you love hiking in the backcountry, then a lightweight aluminum cot is the best way to go. These types of packable cots are designed for easy travel. They can even be set up under a bug net or tarp, so you can leave your tent at home.
These camping cot reviews provide you with an unbiased look at how each of these top models holds up in the back country, what you can expect as far as portability, ease of assembly, and general comfort. We’ve done all the hard work for you by researching what each cot has to offer, in the hopes that our reviews will help you narrow down your choices for the camping cot that fits your outdoor needs and your budget.
|Product||Max User Weight||Cot Weight||Cost|
|Coleman 2000020273 Camping Cot||300lbs||6.5 lbs||$|
|Moon Lence Ultralight Camping Cot||440lbs||2.5lbs||$$|
|Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot||350lbs||24 lbs||$$$|
Coleman 2000020273 Camping Cot:
This camping cot is perfect for heavier, taller campers and comes with a detachable nightstand for ultimate convenience. It’s reasonably priced and durable, but its heavier frame makes it a poor choice for use as a cot you can take on longer hikes through the backcountry.
Moon Lence Ultralight Camping Cot:
The ultimate cot for the avid hiker, this compact, lightweight cot will keep you happy and comfortable at night when you’re on a longer hiking trip in the backcountry.
Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot:
This cot and tent hybrid provides a fun way to camp out while enjoying the benefits of both a tent and cot in one. This cot is actually pretty roomy and can even accommodate user’s over six feet tall. You’ll also love the fact that it can be changed into a lounge chair or a traditional cot, if you want to remove the waterproof tent cover. Overall, most consumers can agree that this cot is easy to use and a great alternative to a one-person tent.
The Coleman 2000020273 camping cot is perfect for consumers who enjoy longer camping trips with a little touch of comfort. The cot also features a higher than average max user weight and comes with a detachable nightstand so you can keep your important personal items close by your side.
Preparing for a long hiking trip is all about focusing on ways to keep the weight of your pack down. Fortunately, the Moon Lence camping cot is incredibly lightweight and folds down into a compact bundle that can easily be attached to the outside of your packed or stashed inside. The cot is made from aluminum and has a reputation for durability and comfort. It’s also priced affordably, so it’s the perfect option for hikers on a tight budget.
The Kamp-Rite oversize camping cot is a fun way to sleep outdoors. This cot comes equipped with a tent cover that’s waterproof and equipped with two windows and two doors, which provide much-needed air circulation during the hotter months. You can take the tent cover off and enjoy sleeping on a traditional cot, or it can be changed into a lounge chair so you can relax beside the campfire. This model also features a lightweight aluminum design, a waterproof tent cover, and an easy fold up design that allows you to quickly pack it up and store it away.