10 Best Camping Cots | March 2017

10 Best Camping Cots
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 36 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Just because you're heading into the wilderness for a few days, doesn't mean you have to roll around on a cold, dirty floor all night long. Add a little luxury and comfort to your outdoor excursions with one of these camping cots that will up your overall experience. You'll be well rested and refreshed for all that awaits the next day. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best camping cot on Amazon.
10
The World Outdoor Military is built to last in all weather conditions, with mildew-resistant fabric and an anodized aircraft grade aluminum frame. It's very lightweight, at only 13 pounds, but it's also a bit narrow, which may not work for larger adults.
  • low to the ground for easy access
  • includes an led flashlight
  • can be noisy if you toss and turn
Brand World Outdoor Products
Model 77
Weight 13.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
9
The Vivo V01 is a great buy and is so comfortable that users have reported their toddlers sleeping through the night on it. It folds down thin enough to slip under a bed for easy storage when not in use, however the surface material feels a bit flimsy.
  • 3 rows of crossbars for stability
  • perfect size and weight for scouting
  • can't support over 250 pounds
Brand VIVO
Model pending
Weight 12.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Texsport King Kot has an end piece designed slightly wider than the cot for extra leverage, making it easy to move without collapsing it. There's no need to air it out either as it has no harsh chemical smell right out of the box.
  • water-resistant nylon cover
  • minimal end to end rocking
  • a bit heavy to carry at 20lbs
Brand Texsport
Model 15049
Weight 20.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
7
The Mountain Trails Base Camp has a completely stainless steel frame, meaning if your tent leaks and your cot stands in water all night long, it will not corrode. Unfortunately, the surface can't handle too much pressure on one single point.
  • makes a good bed for elderly dogs
  • has a nice springy feel
  • very difficult to assemble
Brand Mountain Trails
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
You can't go wrong with the popular Coleman ComfortSmart. It features a nicely padded foam mattress and spring coil suspension that ensures a good night's sleep while away from home. It's also priced right to meet anyone's budget.
  • easily fits in a trunk when folded
  • includes a one-year warranty
  • best for kids and short adults
Brand Coleman
Model 2000020271
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
5
Embrace the outdoors with the high-quality Byer of Maine EasyCot, which has multiple fabric reinforcements and conforms to your body for a comfortable night's sleep. It also has soft covers over the hinges, so the entire surface is smooth.
  • very spacious at 31 inches wide
  • appealing blue and tan colors
  • packs away easily in the storage bag
Brand Byer
Model 311-EC
Weight 22.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik is sturdy enough that you can sit on the side and tie your shoes without it flipping over thanks to its rugged frame and good weight distribution. Also, it doesn't have the crossbars on the end that many models do, making it easier to set up.
  • hanging mesh storage pocket
  • accommodates a twin air mattress
  • legs don't lock open when extended
Brand Kamp-Rite
Model 3897765
Weight 23.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
Enjoy nature in a luxurious fashion with the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL. It features a patented steel S-leg design that can hold up to 600 pounds, and a heavy duty canvas top that won't rip or sag even under the greatest tension.
  • quick and easy one-person setup
  • includes a drawstring carrying bag
  • sturdy protective rubber feet
Brand Teton Sports
Model 120-Parent
Weight 29 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
2
The Coleman Pack-Away makes for the perfect spot to rest, relax and read outside or indoors, featuring a removable side table with a drink holder and enough space for snacks. Plus, it feels durable and will last through years of use.
  • rust-resistant frame
  • generous size can hold large people
  • good value for the money
Brand Coleman
Model 2000020273
Weight 19.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
The versatile Disc-O-Bed Bunk will keep you and a friend sleeping easy on your travels with its polyester surface built for two. Its double-decker style makes it great for when you want to conserve floor space, plus it converts into a couch for relaxing before bedtime.
  • available in black or green
  • nearly two feet between cots
  • lots of storage room for gear
Brand Disc-O-Bed
Model 30001BO
Weight 74.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Luxury Of Sleeping Anywhere

I've often bragged about my ability to sleep anywhere, any time, on any surface. I've slept on gravel in the blazing sun, on cold slabs of concrete in the dead of winter, even on a set of grated metal stairs in a dusty, noisy factory space. Sometimes the talent gets out of hand, like when I'm driving long distances and I start to fade, necessitating a quick stop by the roadside for a 20-minute nap before I continue.

I understand that not everyone is as blessed (cursed?) as I am in this regard, and that finding a comfortable and safe way to fall asleep in a difficult setting presents a challenge to most folks.

That's where these camping cots come in. Each of these units is designed to produce the most comfort possible from as simple a device as you could imagine. They pack up into small, usually lightweight packages for transport through a rough hike or road trip.

The idea itself is pretty simple: it's a piece of fabric stretched out across a series of supporting legs. Usually, the legs cross each other to create a triangle with the ground, which adds immense stability to the cot, and they recur down its length so that stability is evenly distributed, preventing any one part of the cot from sagging more than another. You get yourself a solid, even surface that will support your weight and quickly carry you off to the land of nod.

The fabric stretched between the supports is usually a thick canvas, which is naturally water-resistant and treated for further durability, though some cots use synthetic materials that claim greater staying power and lighter weights than most canvas mats.

Sleep Easiest: Choosing The Best Camping Cot

In order to select the best cot for your needs, it's important that you consider the environment in which you plan to use it. If you're planning a trip deep into the wintry woods with not much more than a good knife, a bow and arrow, and a few water purification tablets, then you're probably the type who doesn't put comfort at the forefront of your wilderness sleeping decisions. If, on the other hand, your idea of a walk on the wild side involves a large, late-model RV; several cooler's worth of caviar and foie gras; and the word 'glamping,' then your camping cot will have to be the most comfortable thing on our list.

What makes one camping cot more comfortable than another has to do with the quality of its surface material, the layout of its frame, and its size and weight capacity.

Most camping cots consist of three primary support structures, one at each end in addition to a central support. This configuration places its central beam around the lumbar area in the majority of sleeper' backs, making it about as comfortable as possible while maintaining a system that can easily collapse for portability in the wilderness. Additional supports may decrease the amount of sag points on your sleeping surface, but they also might create protrusions in uncomfortable areas, such as the thighs or upper back. Some models boast no additional support beyond the ends to which your surface affixes, and this configuration is often found on more expensive models made with non-traditional surface materials that are less likely to sag over time.

Pay close attention to size and weight restrictions, as well. Some cots are simply not made for the big and tall among us. Most people only consider cot length when discussing size, and, while the length of a cot is certainly a vital aspect of its comfort, so, too, is its width. If your cot accommodates your body head-to-toe, but fails to meet the demands of wide-set shoulders, you could be in for a long night.

Similarly, just because a cot is advertised to support your weight, that doesn't mean it will do so comfortably. Try to find a cot that's built to support a great deal more than whatever it is you weigh. A cot rated to hold 300 lbs. would be plenty comfortable for someone who only weighs 185, but it might not rock a 290 lb. camper off to sleep so easily. As an added bonus, buying a cot that far exceeds your current weight will future-proof it against any gradual slowing of your metabolism.

A Brief History Of The Camping Cot

When people think of cots, the traditional image is one of a sheet of military-green canvas stretched out between two x-shaped supports. The association between cots and the military is no coincidence, as the likeliest creator of the modern cot was the Roman military.

There are plenty of examples throughout history of the ways in which human sleep evolved along with our agricultural domestication, from piles of filthy hay more than 10,000 years ago and the more sophisticated apparatuses of Native American tribes to the inflatable monsters owned by modern glampers, but the cot in its most recognizable form comes to us from that great Mediterranean empire.

The Romans were known for developing a slew of military innovations, including segmented armor and a device called a corvus, which was a retractable bridge with a large metal spike on its boarding end that stuck into the hull of enemy ships and allowed soldiers to cross over and seize the vessel. Despite these mechanisms of active warfare, it was the Romans' use of sophisticated tents and cots that gave their fighters the added advantage of a good night's sleep.

Still, cots didn't serve much of a recreational purpose until some time after the second world war. In the 1960s and 70s, as the greatest generation first started settling down into retirement, all that leisure time led to an increase in outdoor activities, from camping and skiing to mountain biking and surfing. The 1970s saw a significant uptick in the development of camping gear, as well as the introduction of new outdoor sports. As the 80s rolled on, advancements in materials design gave us enhanced waterproofing and overall durability in our tents, backpacks, and cots, leading to the enormous assortment of high-priced, durable outdoor goods available today.



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Last updated on March 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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