Camping is usually associated with sleeping on the ground, but it doesn’t have to be. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be uncomfortable in order to reestablish your connection to the great outdoors. Therefore, as an alternative to sleeping in a bag, or even on the floor of a tent, many people opt out for a portable bed – also known as a camping cot. If you're out looking for a portable bed to use outdoors; keep in mind that the best camping cot will depend on your requirements.
Best Camping Cot Reviews
The best place to start looking for a good portable bed is online, by checking out various reviews. 2017 is officially over and the holiday season is on its way out, but it still might not be too late to get a good discount deal on a good camping cot if you act quickly. Below are just a few examples of good quality, affordable cots that you should consider.
This cot features stainless steel legs for good durability and weight rating, able to hold up to 250 lbs. It also has a special polyester cover that makes the cot water-resistant – a must in moist weather with frequent showers. This is technically a low-end cot, but thankfully it doesn’t suffer from any of the durability and comfort issues that cheaper beds usually feature.
Chinook Padded Heavy Duty Cot
Also known as the Chinook Padded Outfitter Cot, this bed is made of aluminum and nylon, which means that it’s water-resistant, sturdy and easy to clean. The downside is that it is a bit on the heavy side (17.5 pounds to be exact), so it’s best suited for short trips where you won’t have to carry it around a lot. A cool feature is that the legs are adjustable, so you can customize the height of the cot to your needs. Since this item is pricey, you may want to check out the eBay promo code and deals offer.
Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe
This is the go-to Coleman pack away cot for cold weather, as it includes a foam mattress that will keep you toasty and comfortable even without a campfire nearby. It’s also very durable and can hold up to 300 pounds. An issue that many users of this cot report is the noise that it makes, so it might not be suitable for you if you’re a light sleeper.
Magshion Military Portable Camping Cot
With a length of 72 inches and a width of 24.5, this is the probably one of the most comfortable cots for adults of significant height. Like the Coleman, this bed has an impressive weight rating of 300 lbs. A carry bag is included which makes transporting this cot rather simple, and the bed itself features steel legs and cotton for the fabric.
Slumberjack Big Cot
The Slumberjack uses a combination of steel and aluminum to put together a frame that is practically noiseless. It is, therefore, a perfect fit for individuals that have trouble getting to sleep which can often be a problem, especially for first-time campers. It can hold up to 325 lbs, and if you want additional comfort, you can opt out for the Lux model that has some extra inflatable padding built-in. Finally, this item is available at the world’s largest online marketplace. This means you’ll be able to use one of numerous Amazon coupon codes and offers to get reduced pricing.
Earth Ultimate Extra Strong Military Style Camping Cot
This bed has an amazing 450 lbs weight rating, making it suitable for nearly everyone. It’s also fairly large (77 inches in length) to accommodate even the tallest individuals. The Earth Ultimate features velcro straps on the downside of the cot for adjusting fabric tension, and the fabric is 600D polyester. It also includes a carry bag that can be attached to the bed itself and removed if necessary.
Teton Sports OutFitter XXL Cot
This is probably one of the largest and sturdiest portable beds on the market. It is easily able to accommodate sleepers nearly 7 feet tall and 600 lbs in weight, due to the support of strong, durable steel legs. The only downside to this camping cot is that the end bars do not lock, so it’s possible that they can come loose over time.
KingCamp Folding Camping Bed Cot
The best aspect about the KingCamp is its easy assembly; all you have to do is unfold it and you’re good to go. The weight rating is 260 pounds, and the triangle structure of the bed provide stability and firmness that a lot of portable beds lack in. If you’re interested in this camping cot, Walmart usually retails it for around $100.
Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
This is a pretty good solution as far as twin portable beds go. Extra-wide and able to withstand 600 lbs, it can easily accommodate two people at the same time. The frame is built out of steel and aluminum and the fabric is 600 denier poly-canvas, which is resistant to water and mildew. And to spice things up, Walmart discounts up for grabs!
Who said that bunk beds had to be limited to the bedroom? This innovative camping cot is a two-in-one that is a great space-saver if you happen to use a tall tent, and each of the beds has a weight rating of 500 lbs.
Fairly light and thin, the Vivo is an excellent choice if you’re looking for convenience and portability. It weighs in at 12 pounds so you can carry it around for long periods of time, but for that weight it’s surprisingly wide (25” to be exact) and able to accommodate even the largest of sleepers.
Byer of Maine EasyCot
The EasyCot is a spacious cot with a high-quality fabric that adapts to the shape of your body for maximum comfort. The fabric is designed so that the hinges of the bed are covered, making sure that the hard uncomfortable steel doesn’t dig into your back if you slip into an awkward position while sleeping.
Forfar Portable Camping Cot
The Forfar Camping Cot is measured to be able to withstand 260 pounds, which is mostly sufficient for bearing the weight of a single person. The frame is covered with PVC, making it resistant to corrosion in wet environments. It’s super-easy to assemble, and at 15” it’s also higher than most camping cots out there.
Timber Ridge Deluxe XL
The Timber Ridge is made of rip-resistant 600D polyester, making the fabric super-durable and resistant to wetness and mildew. The joints and rivets are high-quality and easy to deploy and fold back up, without sacrificing stability under the strain of weight.
Regalo My Cot Portable Bed
If you’re looking for a sturdy and comfortable camping cot option for your children, you might want to check out Regalo. This bed is waterproof, easy to clean with just a simple cloth and water, and the fabric is actually machine washable, so you don’t have to do it by hand. The most important factor when it comes to children’s camping cots is safety, which is why this bed is constructed with steel and features reinforced stitches. It’s also easily foldable, and when packed the length is reduced to 24 inches.
If you’re looking for a lightweight option, this is probably it. Weighing in at only 2 lbs, the Therm-a-Rest is an absolute breeze to carry around on your back. Despite its small size, it has an impressive weight rating of 325 lbs. The cover is nylon, which might pose a problem to individuals with sensitive skin, but other than that this bed is a solid choice.
Best Camping Cot
There are several reasons why using a bed in the outdoors is a good idea. First of all, you’re elevated from the ground, which can do wonders for your comfort level especially if you’re out in rocky terrain. Second, there’s the factor of heat. Our body temperatures naturally plummet a few fractions of a degree while we’re sleeping due to a decreased heart rate. Because of this, sleeping on the ground in cold weather can quickly become a problem. Being elevated will put a physical barrier between you and the ground and keep you warm. Alternatively, if it’s really hot outside sleeping on a cot makes it easier for the air to circulate around you and cool you down.
Choosing the best camping cot
The good news is that there are plenty of choices out there when it comes to camping cots. You might have already heard of the Helinox High Camp or the Chinook Heavy Duty, but it is recommended that you do a bit more research when it comes to choosing the right one. Every bed will have certain pros and cons, and there are certain traits that are important to consider if you want to make the right choice.
Weight, size & packed size. Every additional pound that you have to carry in your backpack is a hindrance, especially on long camping trips. You should, therefore, do everything you can in order to minimize the weight, and choosing the right bed is no exception. Almost all camping cot reviews will explicitly state the weight of a bed, as it is arguably one of the most important factors. You also need to make sure that the cot can fit in your tent, and that it isn’t too large to carry on your back. If you’re planning on sharing a bed with a friend or your significant other, then size is, unfortunately, a necessity – the best camping cot for two people will naturally be larger than one meant for just one person.
Ease of assembly.Most cots out there are fairly easy to assemble, so you’re probably okay with this one. However, it’s still something to take into consideration as some of the more innovative designs require a bit more fiddling around before you set them up. It’s probably safe to say that if you’ve ever set up a tent before, a cot should be no problem.
Frame. The frame of the cot is very important and will determine how much weight the bed is able to bear. Most camping cot frames are made of aluminum because it is both sturdy and light, as opposed to steel which can weigh quite a bit. Check the weight rating before you purchase a cot, as the last thing you want is for it to give beneath your weight as you’re going to sleep. The best ones, such as the REI camping cot, can withstand substantial weights without sacrificing portability.
Fabric. The fabric of the cot will impact how comfortable it is and how easy it is to clean. The majority of modern cots are made of polyester or nylon, primarily because it’s easy to clean, as opposed to cotton. Cotton is also a heavier material than polyester. If you have a skin condition or an allergy/intolerance to synthetic materials, however, you might have to opt out for a cot with a cotton fabric.
Weather. This is very important. Are you primarily going to be camping in cold weather? It’s probably a good idea to get a cot with some padding and insulation to keep you warm. Sleeping on a single stretched-out piece of fabric when it’s cold outside doesn’t do much for your body heat, but a little padding can go a long way. Also, since your bed will be on your back for a large part of your trip, there’s a possibility that it’ll get wet if it rains. The best camping cots are waterproof, or at least they dry pretty quickly in the event of a shower.
Accessories. Some manufacturers include useful add-ons to their camping cots, like a side storage bag, a pillow, a carry bag, and so on. These can make your experience with your cot more comfortable and convenient, so it’s definitely something to consider.
Price. Of course, the price of the product always has the final say and the best camping cot for you should provide the best bang for the buck. Camping cots typically cost from $50 to around $400, but pricier doesn’t necessarily equal better. In fact, some of the most expensive cots, while super comfortable, are simply too large and heavy to be practical at all (the REI Comfort Cot is a good example of this). On the other hand, if you’re opting for a low-end cot, just make sure that it can do the job in terms of durability and comfort. Finally, if you don’t find Walmart, Amazon, or eBay deals fascinating, try picking out one of many Groupon discounts and save additional money for supplies.
To sum up our guide and camping cot reviews, 2017 introduced a lot of great models, and 2018 offers look just as appealing. Cots are truly an integral part of your camping arsenal and can mean the difference between a wonderful experience and a sleepless nightmare. Sturdiness and comfort are important to consider, as is portability; you want a bed that is large enough, not too heavy to carry around, and comfortable enough to get some quality sleep in. Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough information to choose the best camping cot for your particular needs, so you can start enjoying the great outdoors to their fullest. Good luck!