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Camping is usually a good time, but waking up to backaches and stiff neck is a not. In fact, it’s a little discouraging and the sleeping arrangement is probably one of the main reasons people don’t camp. This is where camping cots come in.
These are lightweight collapsable bed meant to elevate your sleeping conditions when camping. Here’s a guide to finding the best camping cot and a list of our top picks.
- Camping Cots Are Ideal For…
- Camping Cot Considerations
- 5 Best Camping Cots for comfort
Camping Cots Are Ideal For…
Camping cots are great for camping trips that don’t require you to carry the cot too long. For instance, when you go car camping, canoe camping, or bike trips. It’s also great situations that require a long time of camping (like base camps), where the extra bulk is worth the comfort.
For those who have limited mobility, a cot is better than a sleeping mat. It makes getting up and down easier because you’re not on the ground. Also, camping cots keep you off the ground so that you won’t feel the rocky terrain. This can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. During the day, you can use it for lounging around the campsite.
Camping Cot Considerations
When buying a camping cot, keep in mind, though, that comfortable ones are usually heavier. These aren’t ideal for long distance carrying. Also, light and portable and durable costs more. Below are more considerations you have to take:
Size and Weight Capacity
The average size of a cot is around 75 inches long and 25 inches wide, which is enough for most adults. You should also check how much weight it can support. Note that the larger the size and the better the support, the more expensive it will probably be.
You also have to consider the size so you can match it with the size of your tent. You don’t want to end up with a large cot that won’t fit into your tent. The folded size is also important for storage and portable reasons. Many cots may fit in the trunk of your car, but maybe it won’t.
Carrying Weight and Portability
Most cots weigh around 15 to 20 pounds. It’s critical to consider the weight because it affects the portability. The pack size also affects portability, so check how folds or collapses. You’d want a lightweight one, especially if you were carrying it for long distances.
Frame and Fabric
It’s crucial to consider what the frame is made of because it’s a good indicator of how strong, durable and lightweight the cot will be. For instance, steel frames are durable and can withstand heavier weights better than aluminum. However, steel is heavier compared to aluminum, therefore less ideal for long distance carrying.
The fabric material is also crucial. Ideally be polyester or nylon because they are supportive, easy to clean up and dries quickly. Avoid cotton canvas fabric because it is harder to clean and easier to get dirt and stains.
Setting up a cot should be simple and straightforward. It should be as easy as unfolding joints and snapping them into place.
However, there are also more complex designs that require a more mechanical assembly. But even they are easy to setup and will only take a few minutes.
Some camping cots have built in pockets or compartments, cup holders, mosquito nets and additional sleeping pads. The compartments can help you keep your space organized and makes finding things easier.
Just remember that the more compartments and accessories it contains, the more expensive it usually is.
5 Best Camping Cots for comfort
We can’t say that there’s a single best one because it also depends on who’s using it and how it’s going to be used. For instance, if you are car camping, getting a large yet comfortable and sturdy cot is no problem. However, if you are backpacking, you’re probably going to want something light.
1. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot
Teton Sports is a top outdoor gear brand that sells backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, cots, camp pads, and more. Their Outfitter XXL Camp Cot is seven feet long and three feet wide and uses a steel frame.
Amazingly, it can support up to 600 pounds! It also uses a canvas fabric that is durable and suspends the weight from the frame. You can match this cot with the Teton Sports camp pad.
- It’s huge. The sleeping area is larger than a twin size mattress. But it also folds into a more compact size, so it’s still easy to transport.
- It’s very durable and sturdy; it can support up to 600 pounds.
- Setting up the cot is easy. You just have to fold out the legs. You can check the instructions here.
- It folds into a drawstring bag, so it’s easy to store and transport. However, it is quite heavy compared to the others on this list.
- Though it is compact, it is heavy. It weighs 26 pounds, so it will be tiring to carry around. It’s ideal for camping and other situations that don’t require lifting it for long periods.
- This cot is expensive compared to the others on this list.
- It takes up a lot of space in a tent.
- You have to buy a camp pad separately. It pairs with the Teton Outfitter XXL Camp Pad.
2. Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot
This cot is superior to the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot. It has the same coil suspension, and it also uses heavy-duty steel for the frames. One difference between the Comfortsmart and the deluxe is that the latter can support more weight. It can hold up to 300 pounds, and it fits people up to 6 feet and 6 inches.
The cot is 30 inches wide, 80 inches long, and 15 inches off the ground. It comes with a nice comfortable foam mattress pad. Together, it weighs 19.38 pounds.
- The cot can support more weight than the previous (up to 300 pounds)
- It can also fit taller people, up to 6 feet and 6 inches. So if you’re smaller than that, you have a lot of comfortable room.
- The mattress pad is thick, so it’s comfortable. You also won’t feel the bar in the middle that is supporting you.
- The frame folds easily into two and can fit most car trunks.
- You can use it for comfortable lounging around the camp.
- The fabric that holds the mattress pad is canvas. It’s easy to clean.
- It’s heavier and bulkier to pack, so ideally, you should use it for car camping or when you won’t hike for long.
- Takes more space in the tent.
3. Coleman Pack-away Cot
Unlike the other Coleman cots on this list, this one packs away in a bag that’s easier to transport. It weighs 7 pounds, which is much less than the others. Despite the lightness, it’s still strong and durable.
The frame is a heavy-duty steel, the fabric is a sturdy polyester, and the cot can support up to 300 pounds. It’s only available in one size, but it’s no problem because the cot can fit up to 6 feet and 8 inches.
- It’s lightweight and packs into a bag for easy portability. It also comes with a bag for easy storage.
- The cot has a removable side table with a cup holder. You can use it or snacks, books, and other personal items.
- The cot is extra wide and long for taller or larger people. It can support up to 300 pounds.
- You won’t feel any bars on your back.
- The price is superb considering the quality.
- The legs don’t lock so it might feel wobbly. However, it stabilizes when weight is on it.
- It’s an upgrade from sleeping on the ground, but it doesn’t come with a cushion. You can add a mattress pad for more comfort if you like.
4. Coleman ComfortSmart Cot
Coleman is already a reliable brand when it comes to outdoor equipment, so don’t be surprised to find a couple of Coleman products on this list.
The ComfortSmart cot is a basic one, offering a comfortable option to a sleeping bag on the ground. It’s 69 inches long, 25 inches wide and 15 inches in height and it uses steel for its frame. This cot can support up to 275 pounds.
- Unfolding the frame is easy to do.
- The coil suspension system and the pad make the camping cot comfortable.
- The steel frame is strong and steady. It doesn’t make any squeaking sounds when you get on it.
- Folds back easily and can fit in most car trunks. It’s ideal for car camping and canoe camping because it’s bulky but worth the extra comfort.
- For the price, it is an excellent cot. It serves its purpose in improving outdoor sleep conditions, but you can also use it at home.
- The size is limited to people under 5 feet and 7 inches.
- Not ideal for long hikes because it’s bulky even when folded. It’s better for car camping.
- The cot legs are not balanced, but it evens out when you lie on it. Otherwise, only the middle leg stays on the ground, while the outer legs go up.
- You can slightly feel the bar in the middle on your back. I’m afraid over time, it might get worse, but you can use a thicker mattress pad if you like.
5. Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
Kamp-Rite is another favorite and reliable outdoor equipment brand. Their Oversize Kwik Cot was designed with comfort in mind. The sleeping area is 84 inches long and 33 inches wide, more than enough to sleep comfortably.
The frame is powder-coated for better durability, and the fabric is also heavy duty. If you want something smaller, you can get the standard size.
- There are no bars that cross on the center; so you won’t feel anything on your back.
- The cot has two storage pockets for books, cell phones, or any personal items. These pockets turn to carry handles when the cot is folded.
- It comes with a zipper carry bag for easy storage and portability.
- The head part of the cot is padded for cushioning.
- The cot is in unusual size and will take up a lot of room in the tent.
- It’s not ideal for lugging around because it’s quite heavy and bulky
- It’s durable, but the legs are quite unstable at times.
Like most things, there’s no single best one because it depends on your preference, who’s using and how it’ll be utilized. For instance, there’s an ideal choice for car camping and another one for situations that require lugging around the cot.
For car camping, when you don’t have to carry cots for long, I would choose TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot. It’s durable and worth the extra comfort. It’s also not overly expensive.
Do you have any experience with any of these cots? We’d love to hear about it! You can also comment your questions, inquiries, and concerns if you have any.