Updated August 09, 2018 by Joseph Perry

The 6 Best Tent Cots

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This wiki has been edited 25 times since it was first published in December of 2016. If you've ever experienced a poor night's sleep outdoors due to rough or wet conditions, you know how important an off-ground solution can be. Providing a convenient and compact combination of both shelter and raised sleeping platform, these tent cots will keep you dry and off the ground on your next camping, fishing, hunting, or photography expedition. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tent cot on Amazon.

6. Tangkula Folding

5. Kleeger Premium

4. Kamp-Rite Compact Collapsible

3. Winterial Double

2. Kamp-Rite Oversize

1. Outsunny Compact Portable Pop-Up

A Wild State Of Mind

Every state in this country has a park system that allows people to come and visit nature, to camp and reconnect with their friends, their family, and their environment.

We live in a time when people are spending more and more hours each day planted in front of screens. For many of us, our day jobs involve the use of a tablet or computer for the majority of our tasks. And whatever the work day holds, plopping down in front of the television after a long day on the job is a common way for people to cope with the stresses and tedium of their work week. The problem with this is that, even though decompressing in front of the boob tube might offer some temporary feeling of mental escape, the reality is that it is almost identical to the physical and psychological state that you experience at work.

If you were to take a look at your level of physical activity and mental exertion during a given work day in, say, a typical office setting, and then compare that to the level of activity you experience at home, you’d find startling similarities. We tell ourselves that the exhaustion we experience from a day at work leaves us feeling sapped at the end of the day and the end of the week, so that there's little more we can do than vegetate. But the reality is that we're exhausted from vegetating at work. What our bodies need in response to this isn't more of the same sitting and staring at screens, repeating the same actions we profess to despise for 40 hours each week. What our bodies need is movement, fresh air, new scenery, and above all, a form of entertainment that doesn't rely on pixels or electricity.

Fortunately, that kind of activity is incredibly inexpensive and accessible to nearly everyone. Every state in this country has a park system that allows people to come and visit nature, to camp and reconnect with their friends, their family, and their environment. As long as you have the means to get to the park and a day or two to spare in your schedule, you can dramatically reset your body and mind, preparing it to endure the tedium of your work life in a far more profound way then trading one seat in front of a screen for another.

The Advantage Of Elevation

One of the things that's so attractive to most people about camping is the fact that it will force you to think and act on your feet in order to keep yourself dry, rested, fed, and comfortable, not to mention safe. Even glampers, with their mobile fortresses and excessive comforts, still have to endure the presence of bugs, the danger of wild animals, and the realities of the weather. For the rest of us, when we head out into the wilderness, we usually have little more than a backpack with basic supplies, a tent, and a sleeping bag.

With a tent cot, however, your body and your belongings will be elevated off the ground.

With such simple tools at our disposal, it's important to completely evaluate the quality of your campsite to ensure your comfort and safety. For many, comfort and safety alike are most at risk when laying down to sleep. From a comfort standpoint, one of the most difficult aspects of sleeping outdoors is the feel of the ground beneath your body. Rocks, twigs, and uneven surfaces beneath a normal tent can easily make for a terrible night’s sleep.

From a safety standpoint, that tent setup is often vulnerable to moisture, especially moisture along the ground. Many tents are good at keeping out rain from above, and a variety of models included additional rain covers that are small enough and light enough to easily pack into your backpack, but a wet ground can be a significant hazard. Even if the tent manages to keep all of that moisture out, its presence will still pull warmth from the tent and your body as you sleep. And if you do your camping in the mountains, then there's a good chance that a sudden downpour or even a melt from the mountain’s snowy peak can create a flash flood or a landslide. And even on a very small scale, such a natural event can flood your tent, and pose a great risk to your safety.

With a tent cot, however, your body and your belongings will be elevated off the ground. That means that any wet conditions stand less of a chance of pulling the warmth from your bones. It also means that a rush of water or mud stands less of a chance of flooding your tent, ruining your stuff, and endangering your life.

Tent cots are also downright more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. And if you line yours with a simple inflatable sleeping pad, you may get the best outdoor night's sleep you've ever had.

How To Choose The Perfect Tent Cot For You

Just as there is a very wide variety of tents on the market, there are a lot of different choices among potential tent cots. Finding the right model for you is going to have a lot to do with the gear you already own and your intended use for the item.

Just as there is a very wide variety of tents on the market, there are a lot of different choices among potential tent cots.

Regarding the gear you already own, you may want to find a tent cot that breaks down small enough to fit in your current pack. At the very least, you want something that you can easily lash to your bag if it won't fit inside. If you already own an inflatable mat for sleeping, you want to make sure that the cot you have your eye on can accommodate it. If the sleeping surface is a little too large, you may find yourself sleeping on the bare cot, which can be rather uncomfortable if you end up with a model who's frame protrudes a bit into the floor of the tent.

How you plan on using your tent cot will also help determine which one you should buy. There are models made of extremely lightweight and rugged materials that are waterproof and spacious, and that are ideal for more serious campers. There are also models that are suitable for the backyard camper in you, and even some designed specifically for pets. If you find yourself falling in love with this product, there's no reason you can't own a variety of styles.

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Joseph Perry
Last updated on August 09, 2018 by Joseph Perry

An avid reader and outdoors enthusiast, Joe earned his doctorate in literary studies before making the lateral leap from academia to technical writing. He now lives and works in the inter-mountain West where he creates technical and marketing content, including white papers, solution briefs, and courseware for some of the world’s largest information technology companies. With more than 14 years of experience in the field, he has learned more than he ever thought he would know about such enterprise IT topics as cloud computing, storage, databases, business software, and networking. When he’s not writing about business computing, he can be found outdoors, probably hiking with his family and dog.

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