A Buyer’s Guide To The Best Camping Cots

A Buyer’s Guide To The Best Camping Cots

Investing in a brand new camping cot may seem like a daunting decision. There are so many different styles and brands of camping cots. It’s hard to know which camping cot is the best camping cot until you’ve tried it out for yourself. But at that point, it’s too late. Thankfully, we have here a guide featuring some of our top picks when it comes to camping cots.

We have included the best camping cots under $100 for those of us who have a tight budget. Money not an issue? We also have information on the best camping cots over $100. Not to mention, we have also reviewed the best portable folding cot in all categories.

But before we get into the details about each of the camping cots, let’s review some important things to consider when buying a camping cot.

*Notice: ​On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Important Things To Look Out For When Buying A Camping Cot

Not all camping cots are made equal. So that you can judge for yourself whether or not a particular camping cot is right for you, check out its important features.

Weight Limit

Camping cots are just made of fabric slung across a frame. It is important to check if the camping cot is capable of supporting your weight.

Check the manufacturer’s recommendation on your camping cot as to how much weight it can support. If you overload it, you might get a nasty shock in the middle of the night and find yourself lying amongst a broken metal frame.

Size

Generally, camping cots are designed for one person to sleep in. However, there are slight variations in camping cot sizes. It is possible to find some that are wider and allows the sleeper to roll around in their sleep without bumping into the side rails.

Some camping cots are large and sturdy enough to fit two adults.

Other camping cots are only long enough to accommodate people under a certain height.

Make sure you take a good look at the height of the person able to sleep in the camping cot – you don’t want to have your feet hanging over the edge for the entire night.

Woman and camping cot

Let’s not forget, camping cots take up space inside your tent. If it’s nice weather and not too cold, that won’t be much of a problem since you can sleep on your camping cot under the stars. Temperature can change drastically overnight so it’s best to be bundled up inside your tent.

Luckily, your items and bags can be stored underneath your camping cot to save up on cluttering space inside your tent. But how much aisle space will there be? How many camping cots are you going to try and fit into a single tent?

It is also worth checking how big the camping cot will be once it has been folded up. This will let you know how much space you need to store it. Most camping cots can easily fit under the bed, in a wardrobe or on the roof of your car (if you are taking it on camp with you).

Portability

As the name suggests, camping cots are most commonly used when you are camping. Therefore, it is crucial that the camping cot is light enough to carry. Most camping cot frames are made of aluminium. This is because aluminium is lightweight yet durable and it is also rust-resistant.

Black bag for camping cot

Some camping cots are made of steel. Though they are slightly heavier, they can withstand greater weights and are less prone to developing bent legs after extended use.

Other camping cots are made of an aluminium frame for the lightweight strength but have reinforced steel legs.

This allows the camping cot to be stronger than just a standard aluminium frame but also lighter than one with a complete steel frame.

Fabric

Choose a fabric which gives you some insulation and strength. Just remember, the camping cot is only made from the frame and the fabric stretched out across it. No matter the strength of the frame, if the fabric is one that tears easily, your camping cot will not be supporting much weight.

The outdoors can get messy. Or you might just be clumsy and accidentally spill some food onto your camping cot. Either way, the fabric from which the camping cot is made should be easy to clean. Try going for nylon or polyester. Nylon or polyester will also provide better insulation, keeping you warm during the night.

It is generally best to avoid canvas. Canvas is durable but quite heavy and also hard to clean.

Comfort Level

Look at the position of the crossbars on the frame. If there are any crossbars in unfortunate places (i.e. on your back), it will be a long and uncomfortable night.

 However, if you intend to add a foam mattress or extra padding onto your sleeping cot, then crossbar placement is less of an issue.

Camping cots are raised above the ground, allowing cold air to flow underneath, cooling you down in the middle of the night.

Camping trenton cot

Insulation in camping cots is quite minimal but some do come with more padding for more warmth – at an extra cost, of course. With other camping cots, sleeping pads will be an extra cost.

Assembling

After a long day hiking, the last thing you want to do is spend 30 minutes setting up your portable bed to sleep in. If this is your first camping cot, choose a frame that is easy to assemble. Frames with U-shaped legs do not require any assembly; just unfold the legs from under the frame, snap them into place and you’re done. As easy as setting up a lawn chair.

Frames with X-shaped legs require a little assembly and can be somewhat trickier, but should be no more difficult than putting up a tent. Always read up on the instruction manual on how to set up a cot with X-shaped legs before you leave!

Dangers Of Choosing The Cheap Camping Cot

The cheapest camping cots come at the bare minimum when it comes to everything. Minimal warmth, minimal comfort, minimal weight limit.

Take care with cheap camping cots. You may end up buying multiple cheap camping cots, in which case you would have been better off investing in a slightly more expensive but better quality camping cot.

Green camping cot

The frames may not be as sturdy and may collapse long before their time. The legs of your camping cot may bend if they have not been reinforced.

Furthermore, some cheap camping cots may not have special rubber attachments on the ends of each leg.

This may seem like a minor detail, but these rubber additions increase friction and prevent the cot from sliding around in your sleep.

They also prevent your camping cot from damaging the fabric of the tent floor or from catching on your carpet. There will not be any form of insulation at all, just fabric and metal. Any accessories for additional warmth, you’ll have to fork out some extra cash.

Of course, there’s also size. Perhaps this cheap camping cot is only long enough to accommodate a child? Other camping cots fit an adult of average height. So, if you’re extra tall, you may need to look carefully into the dimensions of the cot.

Selecting The Right Camping Cot For You

Not everyone will require a high-end state-of-the-art camping cot. There are plenty of cots suitable to each person’s needs and budgets.

If your camping cot is only for inside use, then perhaps the cot with the U-shaped legs would be more suitable rather than the traditional army style X-shaped legs. The U-shaped design reduces the amount of stress the cot places on the carpet by distributing weight more evenly across the surface.

If the camping cot isn’t going to be moved often and you will be using it for an extended period of time, consider buying one with a sturdier frame and more padding for comfort. Sleeping on the camping cot should feel just like sleeping on a standard bed.

Best Camping Cots

Now that we have taken a look at different aspects of a camping cot, let’s look at the best camping cots currently available.

Best Camping Cot Over $100

Whether you’re an avid camper, you’re looking for a permanent bed, or you just have a bit of extra cash to spend, a camping cot worth over $100 is a good investment. You can get a lot in your camping cot for $100.

Winner: TETON Camping Cot

Features

Black camping cot
  • Supports up to 600 lbs.
  • Large size
  • Easy to assemble and portable

Disadvantages

  • Not much insulation
  • Takes up a lot of space inside a tent

OUR RATING:

At a little over $100, the Teton XXL camping cot is the best camping cot.

Worried about the weight limit? Measuring 85” x 40” x 19”, this cot can support up to 600 lb.– enough to snuggle up with a friend to keep out the chills.

Due to its size, you might think the Teton camping cot will be ridiculously heavy but it only weighs 26 lbs. This is due to the lightweight aluminium frame but strong steel legs, providing the Teton camping cot with portability and durability.

When you pack it up, the camping cot only measures 42” x 12” x 7”. Easy to pick up and move around without any help. The fabric of the camping cot is heavy-duty 600D Poly Canvas, adding to some of the weight. Though it may be harder to clean, this canvas is quite strong and contributes to the cot’s ability to support up to 600 lbs.

You also have 19” clearance off the ground which should be far enough away from the insects and quite similar to that of a standard bed. This should make getting out of bed in the mornings easier and can also provide a comfortable seat.

Teton also offers many other accessories to enhance their camping cot. This includes their camping pad for extra warmth and comfort, a quick tent, and under the cot storage and organizer.

Overall, the Teton camping cot is the best camping cot over $100. The frame is durable and sturdy, allowing much usage of the cot over its lifetime. For its size, it is easy to transport in terms of weight. This type of frame is also quite easy to assemble, making for a convenient and comfy bed at the end of a long day.


Runner Up: Kamp-Rite Tent Cot

Features

  • Comes with a built-in tent
  • Free 3/8 inch foam insulating pad included
  • Flexibility in use – use as a tent cot, flat cot or recliner
Kamp-Rite oversize tent cot

Disadvantages

  • Harder to assemble than most cots
  • Slightly more expensive

OUR RATING:

The Kamp-Rite tent cot is second to the Teton camping cot in terms of best camping cots over $100. Priced at around $170, the main difference between the Kamp-Rite and Teton’s camping cots (aside from price) is that the Kamp-Rite is basically a built-in tent.

Now there’s no need to pack a tent and a cot – you can have it all in one.

Camping cots take up a lot of space inside the tent. With the Kamp-Rite tent cot, you have a fully framed cot surrounded by nylon fabric on all four sides – just like having your own personal tent with a cot inside. The door and windows of the tent cot is made of a no-see-um mesh fabric.

The fabric of the tent portion is made from durable 420D nylon fabric. Not so easy to tear and also keeps you warm and dry in most wet weather conditions. The tent cot also comes with a complimentary 3/8 inch foam insulating pad, good to keep out the night chills.

The cot is about 90” x 32” in size. The size of the tent is 90” x 32” x 36”. This is plenty of space for two people to sleep in comfortably. At 11 inches above the ground, the cot is 8 inches lower than the Teton camping cot, but still at an acceptably high enough level to stay away from insects, mice and the uncomfortable ground.

Camping oversize green cot

Made from lightweight aluminium, the tent cot weighs in at just 25 lbs. and folds up to only 32” x 36” x 6”.

The Kamp-Rite tent cot is bigger than the Teton camping cot but still manageable to move around.

Don’t require the tent portion of the tent cot? No problems! The tent part can be collapsed so that you have just a flat cot. Alternatively, you can turn the tent cot into a recliner by tilting one end upwards.

Now you can lie out, slap on some sunscreen and soak up the sun’s rays.

You get some better components with the addition of the tent and more flexibility with the Kamp-Rite tent cot but it will cost a little more than the Teton camping cot and also be slightly bulkier and more fiddly to assemble. However, the Kamp-Rite is still a top level camping cot and is a great purchase for anyone wishing to camp in comfort and style.


Best Camping Cot Under $100

If you’re looking for camping cots that are more affordable, there are still plenty of good quality options. There’s no need to sacrifice quality for price if you know exactly what you want!

Winner: Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Cot

Features

  • Can support up to 300 lbs.
  • Coil suspension system and thick foam mattress pad – maximum comfort
  • Cheap
Black camping cot

Disadvantages

  • The mattress pad may slide around during sleep

OUR RATING:

The Coleman ComfortSmart cot is a popular choice among many campers. At approximately $70, it does the job just as well as more expensive camping cots, making it the winner for best camping cots under $100. 

Durable and dependable, the Coleman ComfortSmart cot is made from a heavy-duty steel frame, capable of supporting up to 300 lbs.

With a coil suspension system and a thick foam mattress pad, this cot is not called ComfortSmart for nothing. You will feel as if you’re sleeping in your own bed at home. The thick foam mattress pad will also provide extra insulation from the cold, keeping you warm in chillier temperatures.

Unfortunately, the foam mattress pad is not attached to the frame so it may slide around during your sleep. To prevent this from happening, try tying down your mattress pad.

Measuring 30” x 80” x 15” unfolded, this cot can comfortably accommodate an adult of height 6 ft. 6 in. Folded up, it is nice and compact at 39.6”x 30.7” x 5.5” and weighing only 19 lbs. it should fit in the trunk of most cars.

The frame is also easy to assemble, just unfold the legs from under the frame and snap into place. The Coleman ComfortSmart cot offers the most comfort while sleeping outdoors, making it the most popular among campers and the best cot under $100.


Runner Up: Magshion Camping Cot

Features

  • Supports up to 300 lbs.
  • Very cheap, well under $100 – good if you want quantity over quality
  • Very portable and lightweight
Military fold up camping cot

Disadvantages

  • Only suitable for people under 6 ft. tall
  • Little insulation

OUR RATING:

The Magshion camping cot comes in second for best camping cots under $100. Priced at well under $100, this cheap camping cot is ideal for all situations: army cot, emergency cot or just a spare bed for your guests.

This portable Magshion camping cot is quick and easy to set up. Measuring 72” x 24.5” x 13.5” when unfolded and made of steel/Oxford cloth, it is able to support up to 300 lbs. This cot is suitable for anybody up to 6 ft. tall, making it less accommodating than the Coleman ComfortSmart cot.

Upon folding, the Magshion camping cot is only 36” x 24.5” x 4.5” and weighs only 8 lbs.! Easy to assemble, this is great for both adults and kids to carry and set up. There is minimal insulation with the Magshion camping cot, so this will have to come as an additional cost when you purchase an additional sleeping pad.

With its cheap price, low weight and great minimal storage space, the Magshion camping cot is the perfect cot when you need them in large quantities. The reason it is second to the Coleman cot is because the Magshion does not provide as much comfort to its sleepers.


Best Portable Folding Cot By Byer Of Maine

Features

  • Easy to set up
  • Portable
  • Supports up to 325 lbs.
Blue easy cot

Disadvantages

  • Minimal insulation

OUR RATING:

The best camping cot you can purchase for your money is the Portable Folding Cot by Byer of Maine, at just under $90. Easy and fast to set up, this camping cot is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. All you need to do is open up the cot and voila, you’re done!

The cot measures 78” x 31” x 18”, a full sized cot suitable for most campers. Weighing only 24 lbs., this cot is very portable, ideal for carrying on camping trips.

The legs and frame of the Byer of Maine cot is made from sturdy steel. The fabric is 600D polyester, very strong, easy to clean, and provides some insulation. The steel legs and 600D polyester allows this camping cot to support up to 325 lbs.

The legs of the camping cot have rubber ends. These rubber ends allow the cot to sit nicely on the tent or carpet floor without slipping or ruining the floor. There is no crossbar in the middle of the camping cot, so you don’t need to worry about getting jabbed constantly in the back during your sleep.

To get the most out of your money and your camping cot, this portable folding cot by Byer of Maine is your solution.


Conclusion

You should now have a better idea which camping cot is suited to you in terms of price range and features. We have above some suggestions of quality camping cots which will provide campers and users with satisfaction of a good night’s sleep.

Just remember, make sure you choose the cot that comes in the right size and you have all the accessories – not all camping cots come with built-in insulation. Happy camping!

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