How to Decide on the Best Camping Cot (2020)
Sleeping on the ground may seem exciting but it can also be cold and uncomfortable. A good camping cot will let you get a full night’s sleep, wherever you are. After all, camping doesn’t mean forgoing all of life’s luxuries.
But which is the best camping cot for you?
We have prepared a list of designs you can choose from. Some are lightweight, others are very comfortable. Furthermore, we covered some important points you should keep in mind when you shop.
Without further ado, please enjoy our selection of high-quality, durable camping cots.
Table of Contents
Best Camping Cot for Couples: Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot
This queen-size camping cot comes with a durable air mattress. It’s designed with comfort in mind. Furthermore, it’s a great choice for people with heavy frames.
If you’re looking for a long-term investment, this could be the best option for you. Coleman offers a short introduction to the proper maintenance of airbeds here:
Why are airbeds so loved among campers?
You can adjust the firmness level to suit your needs. Thus, you can get a good night’s sleep regardless of your sleeping style. The Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot is a great choice for campers who have to deal with aches and pains.
Portability is crucial when it comes to camping cots, so going for an inflatable option is a great choice. But inflating your airbed can present a challenge, especially if you’re in a hurry.
Coleman offers a high-quality air pump to go with this camping cot. This pump that operates on 4D batteries can inflate your mattress to its full size within minutes. All you need to do is make sure the batteries are fully charged before you set off from home.
Since the frame of the cot folds up, it’s easy to pack. Additionally, it won’t take up much space when you put it in storage. To store the airbed, you should simply deflate it, roll it up, and place it in the stylish carry bag.
You never know when you might need to sleep on your camping cot for an extended length of time. It can make a great temporary bed while you’re moving. Furthermore, a cot is a great addition to your guestroom.
Hence, you want a cot that won’t get worn out too quickly. The Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot is an excellent long-term investment. The mattress is sturdy and the frame is made of durable steel.
Now let’s look into the most significant upsides and downsides of this camping cot.
- A Good Option for Most Body Types
If you usually find camping cots too narrow, you might want to go for a queen-size option. This one can hold up to 600 pounds. Since the firmness levels are adjustable, you can be sure you won’t sink in.
Alone or with a partner, you will enjoy the stability this cot has to offer. You will definitely have enough space to rest your arms in any sleeping position.
Tall people may struggle to find a camping cot with the right dimensions. This one can accommodate anyone up to 6’2 in height. If you sleep alone, you can always position yourself diagonally for some extra leg room.
- Comfort-Oriented Design
The Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot stands out when it comes to comfort, even among other airbeds. But what makes it so comfortable?
This mattress comes with a special coil construction. Hence, you won’t have to worry about lying on an uneven surface. This is especially important if you intend to share your cot with a partner.
You won’t have to worry about bumps or sagging. Additionally, you can change the firmness levels to fit your needs.
Air leaks are a concern when it comes to this type of camping bed. However, the double-locked valve is extremely secure. If you take proper care of your airbed, it will provide you with comfort for a long time.
The steel frame is very durable as well.
- Quick Setup
Setting up your cot needs to be a simple affair. After all, your goal is to explore nature and you don’t want to waste your vacation time on trivial things.
Unfolding the frame of your cot is extremely easy. The 4D pump provided by Coleman will let you inflate your airbed within minutes.
- You Can Use the Cot without the Mattress
For maximum comfort, we recommend placing your mattress on the steel frame. However, if you have to house a number of guests on short notice, this cot and mattress combo is like having two separate beds. After all, you can simply set the air mattress on your floor.
Without a mattress, the cot may be too firm for comfort. Hence, it’s a good idea to use a sleeping bag for some extra cushioning.
- Easy Storage
The Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot is fairly portable and it comes with a carry sack. You can easily put it away in storage.
- Convenient Side Tables
You and your partner both get fold-out bedside tables. These are great for keeping your thermos and your phone nearby.
- One-Year Warranty
Coleman offers a limited one-year warranty to go with this cot.
- The Weight
If you’re looking for a lightweight option, this cot isn’t the best option for you. We recommend it to campers who can drive right up to their chosen campsite. Additionally, you may want to enlist help when it comes to carrying your cot.
- No Washable Cover
Unfortunately, the mattress isn’t washable. Thus, it’s a good idea to purchase a mattress protector for your airbed. After all, it’s impossible to avoid stains when you’re out camping.
- Too Noisy
Unfortunately, the frame of this camping bed tends to creak. If you’re a light sleeper, this isn’t the best cot for you. There are noiseless options you can get in the same price range.
- The Air Pump Uses Batteries
Your best option is to take a set of spare batteries with you. It is difficult to tell when you’re going to run out. Always test your pump before you leave home with it.
The coil construction in your airbed makes it a good choice for people with back pain. The frame of this cot is made of high-quality, durable steel.
Who It’s Best for:
If you’re looking for comfort and durability, the Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot is your best option. It’s a good choice for couples as well as for single campers. However, it may be too heavy for some.
To learn more about this camping cot, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Airbed-Folding-Tables-Battery/dp/B00AU6AVLW/
Best Backpacking Cot: Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot
Because of the ultralight design, this is the best camping cot for backpackers.
You can fit it in your backpacking bag. Setting it up is simple and it doesn’t require tools, so you can be done within minutes. Here is an instruction video by the manufacturer:
This cot is designed to be as comfortable as possible without weighing you down. Additionally, it can keep you warm during the night. While it doesn’t come with a mattress, the polyester material will protect you from the cold.
Therm-a-Rest also offers an impressive lifetime warranty. Thus, you can be sure this cot will last you a long time. You can take it anywhere without having to worry about tears and loose parts.
So, what are the best things about this product? And what are some of the downsides?
What makes cots popular among campers? Keeping warm is a top priority for many people. After all, sleeping on the cold ground can seep away your body heat.
The Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot is one of the best-insulated cots available. It’s made of 20D polyester with ThermaCapture technology. This means it will keep your body heat from escaping.
- Quick Setup
Since you won’t need any special tools to set it up, you can have your cot ready in less than five minutes.
- Two Different Sizes
This cot comes in two sizes. The regular version is 72 inches long and 24 inches wide. You may prefer the large cot instead, which is 77 inches long and 26 inches wide.
- Extremely Lightweight Design
If you need a cot for all-day backpacking, the Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot is your best bet. It’s also great for kayaking as well as mountain climbing.
The regular option weighs 2 pounds and 10 ounces. Hence, it’s one of the lightest cots available on the market. The large version weighs around 3 pounds, so it’s also extremely easy to carry.
To make it simpler to pack, this cot comes with a high-quality sack as well.
- Lifetime Manufacturer Warranty
The lifetime warranty makes this an appealing option for campers who like to explore nature in extreme conditions.
- Heavy People May Find It Unsafe
Since the frame of this cot is as light as possible, it bends easily. Thus, the Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot isn’t the best choice for all body types. If you require some extra support, there are safer options you can get.
- Stability Issues
This isn’t the most stable cot available. So, if you intend to use it on uneven terrain, it might take you some time to position it safely.
- Discomfort Might Be a Problem
If you prefer a soft camping bed, this cot isn’t the best choice for you. People who deal with pain issues may want to look for a different model. It’s particularly uncomfortable for side sleepers.
Why is this cot so much lighter than others? The poles are made of anodized aluminum. Thus, they are very easy to carry but they may bend under pressure.
The legs are equipped with circular nylon feet. They may wear out the floor of your tent.
The top fabric is made out of light but durable polyester. Every component of this cot is made in the US.
Who It’s Best for:
Do you need an extremely light camping cot for backpacking? If so, the Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot is the most durable option. But although it keeps you warm, this isn’t the most comfortable cot you can get.
For more information, go here:
Best Affordable Option: REDCAMP rc18101Sa Camping Cots for Adults
This cot is very simple and it provides a great combination of stability and portability.
To set it up, you simply unfold the frame. Here is a demonstration video:
Although its legs are made from steel, this cot weighs less than 13 pounds. Thus, you will probably be able to carry it to your campsite without any problems. Setting it up takes around ten seconds.
You won’t have any complaints when it comes to stability or durability. Additionally, this cot is fairly versatile. Its length is around 75 inches and it can support 250 pounds.
The REDCAMP Camping Cot is a great choice for summer adventures. The sleeping surface is solid and breathable. It can also withstand rainy conditions.
Here is a quick look at the upsides and downsides of this camping cot.
- The Price
If you’re on a tight budget, the REDCAMP Camping Cot is a great option. Despite the low price, it’s made from extremely durable materials. It’s sure to last you a long time.
- Easy to Carry and Set Up
It’s extremely easy to fold this cot up. There is a carry bag included with the product.
While it’s too bulky for backpacking, it’s not too difficult to carry this cot. Once you reach your destination, you can set it up instantly.
- A Great Locking Mechanism
If you dislike sleeping on bed that feels unstable, the REDCAMP Camping Cot is a good choice for you. When you fold it out, the frame will lock into place. You will have an extremely sturdy cot you can use on any terrain.
- There Is an Angled Headrest
The top of your cot is slightly tilted. Hence, you can arrange your pillow more comfortably.
- One-Year Warranty
REDCAMP has excellent customer service. Additionally, it offers a one-year warranty on this product.
- Too Noisy
This cot tends to creak as you move around. So, if your main goal is to enjoy some peace and quiet as you camp, this isn’t the best option for you.
- Might Not Be Warm Enough
Since this cot is covered in breathable polyester, it’s a good choice for warm weather. However, it won’t provide you with enough thermal insulation, despite the thick 600D fabric. Thus, you should always use a sleeping bag with this cot.
- Might Be Too Firm for Some
If you prefer to sleep on a softer surface, you may want to purchase an air mattress to go with this product.
The steel frame consists of 16/13mm tubes. You can choose between three different frame colors. The top cover is made of durable Oxford polyester.
Who It’s Best for:
Are you looking for a versatile and affordable camping cot? If so, the REDCAMP Camping Cot might be perfect for you. It provides stability and comfort, though it may be too creaky for some.
Go here to learn more about this camping cot:
Different campers have different needs. Hence, there are huge differences between camping cot models. Here are a few options that could work for you:
If you’re camping with kids, you want something with high weight capacity. The TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot can bear 600 pounds. It is also considerably longer than many other cots. However, it isn’t the most portable or durable option.
The Moon Lence Portable Ultralight Compact Camping Cot is very easy to carry and set up. Additionally, the price is fairly low. But if you’re looking for stability, this isn’t the cot for you.
Would you prefer to use your cot as a chair? If so, the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot Original Size Tent Cot might be just what you need. It’s durable and easy to carry. Unfortunately, it might be too firm for comfort.
What to Look for in a Camping Cot
How do you decide on the best camping cot for your needs? We have prepared a list of important questions you need to ask before you select a cot.
- What is the Top Cover of Your Cot Made of?
Most cots have a polyester cover. Polyester is great because it doesn’t tear easily. You can also scrub it clean when necessary.
Furthermore, you want a cot that will keep you safe from nighttime temperature drops. At the same time, ventilation is important if you have to sleep in a warm tent.
- Will You Use a Mattress on Your Cot?
In most cases, you can use your cot without placing a mattress on top. But people who require a softer surface may want to consider using an airbed or another mattress. For example, you probably need one if you have lower back pain or related health issues.
Keep in mind that certain health conditions also make it harder to get up from a low surface. A mattress will lift you a few more inches from the ground. If standing up is a problem for you, consider getting a firmer mattress.
There is another important advantage. Mattresses offer a great deal of thermal insulation. This can be a big help on chilly nights.
So, what are the downsides of using a mattress on your camping cot?
You will have an extra piece of luggage to worry about. Fold-up mattresses are difficult to pack. Air mattresses require a pump.
There is another concern as well. Your cot has a limited weight capacity. Make sure that it can handle the mattress as well as your own weight.
- Is Stability Your Main Concern?
Some people find it unnerving to sleep on camping cots. The fording mechanism may feel unsafe or unpleasant.
The heavier your cot is, the more stability you can expect. Look for a sturdy iron frame. Using an air mattress is another way you can make your sleeping experience feel more secure.
- Are You Planning a Multi-Day Backpacking Journey?
Backpacking is one of the best ways you can enjoy the great outdoors. But how heavy should your backpack be?
Experts say that your ideal backpacking weight depends on your strength and build. The backpack probably shouldn’t go beyond 25%-30% of your body weight. Some people have to limit themselves to lighter backpacks due to health issues.
So many backpackers choose to rely on sleeping bags and leave their cots at the campsite. After all, they need to carry a lot of equipment. Most cots are too heavy and take up too much weight.
However, there are backpacking cots you can look into. They come with aluminum frames and lightweight fabric. You can find a cot that weighs less than five pounds.
These aren’t usually the sturdiest and most stable sleeping surfaces. However, they can help you wake up refreshed and ready for another full day of backpacking.
- Are You a Light Sleeper?
Creaking is a widespread issue when it comes to camping cots. So, if you have a chance to test your cot before you buy it, pay attention to any unpleasant noises.
- How Much Time Are You Willing to Spend on Setting Up Your Cot?
We recommend going for cots you can set up within a few minutes. Additionally, don’t go for models that have a lot of tiny parts. It’s also better when you don’t need your toolbox to put your cot together.
- Do You Like Having Extra Features?
Some campers enjoy having a side table. It can add a bit of convenience and comfort to your camping experience. Additionally, some prefer using cots that can be folded up into reclining chairs during the day.
A Final Word
Many campers prefer to go for a mattress they can place on the ground. Others like to sleep in the car. Some like to curl up in a sleeping bag and sleep on the floor of their tent.
So, do you really need a camping cot?
It’s up to you to decide how you like to sleep. But camping cots are a smart investment for anybody. After all, you can use them in your guestroom or your backyard.
If you’ve never used a camping cot before, you will be surprised by the comfort. Sleeping on a quality cot can be just as pleasant as sleeping in your own bed. It’s good for your health as well.
Our advice is to take your time. Eventually, you will find the best camping cot for you and your family. It will make camping a considerably more pleasant experience.