Sleeping is one of the most vital parts of any adventure or activity that spans over multiple days, and without sleep we simply would not survive. When you are out in the wild a lack of sleep can lead to an unproductive, or possibly dangerous day.
A lot of backpackers find that sleeping in sleeping bags or on mats can be quite uncomfortable. If you do feel like that then there is a viable option, a camping cot. Camping cots offer additional support and comfort when compared to other sleeping areas, and they can prove to be an incredibly worthwhile investment.
Choosing the best sleeping cot for you can be difficult, as there are a lot on the market that would fall apart underneath you.
Sleeping cots are also beneficial for people that currently suffer with joint conditions, or people that are recovering from older injuries. You may also find that by sleeping higher up than you usually would in a tent, off of the ground, you will not be exposed to either the uncomfortable bumps in the mud or the cold that radiates from the ground underneath you.
Even air mattresses do not offer as much comfort as travel cots do, and this is one of the reasons why a travel cot is commonly considered to be a luxury item.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Just like any product that has been designed and made for camping, camping cots do come with their own advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages of a good camping cot is the amount of comfort that they can offer to the average camper, and another advantage would be the additional storage space.
The majority of camping cots that are readily available on the market are at least 10 inches off of the ground, and you can use that additional space to your advantage.
Another one of the advantages that a camping cot could offer you will only be obvious during the warmer months of the year. A travel cot has the ability to keep you cooler than the average sleeping bag can, and they are often made of materials that are highly breathable.
Children will find it easy to use travel cots, as they are easy to climb on to and off of. They also keep you away from the ground, and the insects that might be lurking down there!
One of the few disadvantages that you will find while researching camping cots is the fact that the majority of them are not easy to carry around. A lot of the ones that are not suitable for long hikes will actually slow your adventure down, and there are only a few on the market that could really be considered to be portable.
The best locations to use a travel cot would be static, so a holiday spot that will not move or a base camp location. Although they can also be found in a variety of locations, including shelters. Another thing to consider is that while they are good for keeping cool in summer, they do feature any insulation for use in the winter.
What should you consider when you are looking for a camping cot?
There are actually quite a few different things that you should take into consideration when you come to purchase a camping cot, especially if it is your first time purchasing one.
While they are an ideal investment, they are only worth it if you make the right investment. A good sleeping kit is essential, and to land yourself with a poorly crafted one would be terrible. Some of the main things that you should consider are:
Is the camping cot that you are looking at suitable for your height?
One of the first things that you should consider is whether or not the camping cot that you are looking to purchase is suitable for your height. It really is a make or break design feature. Taller people often struggle when it comes to finding a suitable camping cot, although there are some longer options that are suitable for people of around 6’6”.
Is the camping cot that you are looking at suitable for your weight?
Another make or break feature of a camping cot is whether or not it has the ability to support your weight, or the weight of the person using it.
The majority of camping cots that are readily available on the market can support 300 – 600 pounds, and that can vary on a model by model basis. You should take extra care and be cautious if you plan on using a double travel cot for two people.
What are the dimensions of the camping cot?
The dimensions of a camping cot are highly important for two different reasons, and in two different ways. You have to be aware of how large the camping cot is when it is erected, as you need to make sure that it fits in your desired sleeping space.
This is incredibly important, especially if you plan on using a camping cot with a bunk function. The last thing you need is someone’s head hitting the ceiling!
You also need to be aware of the dimensions of the camping cot whilst it is folded-away, to make sure that it is portable in the way that you need it to be. For example, if you plan on moving your camping cot with your car then you need to make sure that it fits in the car!
How much does the camping cot weigh?
The weight of a camping cot is an important thing for anyone that is considering manually moving their cot, hikers for example. If it does weigh too much then it is going to be hard to carry and move around, so you need it to be as light as possible. The one downfall to a lighter camping cot is that heavier options are usually much more durable.
What type of material is the surface of the camping cot made out of?
Another thing that you should consider when purchasing your first camping cot is the material that the surface is made out of. This is a vital thing to consider as the wrong material can lead to a very uncomfortable sleep.
Ideally you should look for a material that is sturdy, and that will not leave a valley underneath you over time. You should also make sure that the material is breathable, so that you do not get too warm on top of it during a summer night.
How durable is the camping cot?
The durability of a camping cot is highly important due to the impact that it can have on your own health and safety.
A general rule of thumb would be that if the cot does not feel sturdy then it probably isn’t sturdy, although some lightweight models will feel slightly less sturdy than their heavier counterparts. Keep an eye out for strong legs, and strong material bases.
Is the camping cot easy to assemble?
How easy a camping cot is to assemble might not be something that you initially think about, but you should. The last thing that you want is to be stuck in your tent with several different pieces of your bed scattered across the floor, with no obvious fittings and fixtures.
An ideal cot can be assembled within minutes. It would be highly advisable to have a trial run while you are still at home, so that you know whether it will be easy or difficult while you don’t have to worry about it too much!
What sort of situations are camping cots suitable for?
Camping cots are actually suitable for a variety of different uses, and almost everyone could find a use for a cot within their own lives. Even people that do not like adventures could find that a travel cot is ideal for use when you have an unexpected house guest, especially if you do not want that house guest to have to sleep on your sofa!
One of the main uses for a camping cot is as literal as it sounds, for camping! Unfortunately, it isn’t always that simple.
Camping cots are more suitable for camping where you are using a static camping location, so that you do not have to change your location too often. Otherwise you may find your camping cot too difficult to carry around with you, and they are often quite bulky.
A lot of really adventurous travellers use their camping cots at base camp. While travellers that enjoy using hotels might find that they have a child that would benefit from a camping cot, so that they don’t have to sleep in a make-shift bed.
Our Top Camping Cot Reviews
Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Cot
Dimensions: 11 x 16 x 34 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold 500 pounds, and a sturdy steel frame.
Best Uses: Static camping, and home-use.
If you are looking for a camping cot that would be suitable for use by two people, two children for example, then look no further. The Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Cot is literally a bunk-bed, and it has the ability to carry two different people of up to 500 pounds. It can do that safely, as it features incredibly strong, rust-resistant steel legs.
Both of the actual bed spaces include two separate side organizers, and these can be used to store a variety of personal belongings. We believe that these are an absolute necessity for any belongings that could be broken if they were left out on the ground, the last thing you want to go home with is a shattered smartphone screen!
For additional ease of use this particular travel cot has been designed so that it can be taken apart, that way you can throw the fabric into the washing machine opposed to just wiping it down!
Kamp-Rite Tent Cot
Dimensions: 6.8 x 34.2 x 37 inches.
Top Features: A waterproof outer-layer, and a sturdy aluminium frame.
Best Uses: Static camping, hiking, and home-use.
One thing that a lot of campers don’t like about their camping cots is that they have to set them up inside tents, so why not skip a step?
The Kamp-Rite Tent Cot literally comes with a tent attached to it, and the tent material is highly waterproof. The actual tent also features a rain-fly that has been specifically designed to handle tough weather conditions.
An additional feature of this particular camping cot is that it is both versatile and durable. It is versatile because it can be used as either a lounge, chair, or a flat cot. While the durability that it offers is quite unique. It features a cot frame that is made out of aluminium, so it is lightweight.
While the majority of the lightweight camping cots on the market are not durable, this particular model is renowned for being incredibly sturdy.
Coleman ComfortSmart Cot
Dimensions: 15 x 25 x 69 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 275 pounds, and a comfortable foam mattress.
Best Uses: Camping, static-camping, and hiking.
Comfort is one of the key things that camping cots are known to provide campers, and the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is an excellent example of just how comfortable they can get. It features an incredibly thick foam mattress, with a spring-coil suspension insert.
This means that the mattress has the perfect balance between been too soft, and too hard. A lot of consumers with joint problems have found that it offers them the right amount of support.
It is also one of the few camping cots that we would advise people to hike with, as it can be folded up into an incredibly compact size. At a weight of just 8 pounds it won’t weigh you down as much as the majority of cots. So, if you are looking for a comfortable place to sleep after a full day of exploration, this particular model could be ideal for you.
Mountain Trails Base Camp Cot
Dimensions: 7.5 x 75 x 30 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 225 pounds, and a durable frame.
Best Uses: Static-camping, base camp, and home-use.
If you are looking for a portable and yet durable camping cot, then the Mountain Trails Base Camp Cot could have your name written all over it. It actually comes with a carry bag that it can be stored in, and the carry bag isn’t bulky while in use. Once you take it out of the carry bag you can actually assemble it within just minutes.
An additional benefit that you will get out of this particular camping cot is the lightweight durability, as most lightweight camping cots are quite flimsy. This particular model has a powder-coated steel frame that is known to last without getting rusty or damaged.
Coleman Cot with Side Table
Dimensions: 11.25 x 10 x 39.5 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 300 pounds, and an incredibly long design.
Best Uses: Camping, static-camping, and home-use.
As we have mentioned in our article, it can be extremely hard for taller people to find high-quality camping cots. Luckily the Coleman Cot with Side Table has filled that section of the market, as it has a length that is suitable for people with heights of up to 6’6”.
It also has the capacity to carry up to 300 pounds, although it has been successfully used by people who have heavier weights than that. We believe that you should always follow the guidelines that are set by the manufacturer.
One feature that a lot of campers could find useful is the fact that this camping cot also comes with a removable side table. The side table features a cup holder, and it has some additional space that would be suitable for a magazine or a map.
Trademark Innovations Folding Cot
Dimensions: 36 x 8 x 4 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 260 pounds, and a lightweight structure.
Best Uses: Camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.
We understand that there are a lot of people out there that want to flee as soon as they read the words, ‘assembly required’. It is completely understandable, as some products that come requiring assembly are almost impossible to assemble correctly without the help of an expert, or the internet.
This Trademark Innovations Folding Camping Cot is rather special, as it does not need to be assembled! All you have to do is unfold it, and you can go straight to sleep.
Trademark Innovations are known for producing high-quality, lightweight products, and this particular product is no exception. It is easy to move around whilst hiking, and it is perfect for use in the great outdoors.
Outsunny Military-Style Camping Cot
Dimensions: 75 x 23 x 11 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 331 pounds, and a durable design.
Best Uses: Camping, hiking, and harsh environments.
One of the best camping cots that you can find on the market is actually the Outsunny Military-Style Camping Cot, for numerous reasons.
One of the most important reasons is the fact that it has been made to be durable, and it is known for lasting incredibly long time periods before succumbing to wear. That is why it is often found in shelters, where camping cots are needed on a regular basis.
This particular model is ideal for use by either adults or children, although children would struggle to carry it over distances on their own.
Simmons Bed Cot with Memory Foam Mattress
Dimensions: 75 x 26 x 16 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 300 pounds, and easy maintenance.
Best Uses: Static camping, and holiday hotels.
A lot of people that purchase camping cots want them to be suitable for a variety of uses. A lot of people that use their camping cot whilst camping will also use it when they go to hotels if they have children.
This is because the ultra-comfortable design of Simmons Bed Cot with Memory Foam Mattress has the ability to lull almost anyone to sleep with ease, as it features a honeycomb cover. The actual honeycomb cover is easy to maintain, as you can simply remove it from the camping cot and wash it.
Your time will never be unnecessarily consumed with this travel cot, as it can easily be assembled within minutes. You can simply fold it up afterwards.
Earth Products Military Style Folding Cot
Dimensions: 17 x 25 x 77 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 350 pounds, and easy assembly.
Best Uses: Static camping, and home-use.
If you are looking for a portable camping cot that could be used in an emergency situation, then the Earth Products Military Style Folding Cot could be exactly what you are imagining.
It is currently used in a wide range of emergency shelters, and out in the backcountry. This is more than likely because of how durable the product is, as the legs have been reinforced with steel pipe inserts. These inserts alone directly affect the longevity of the product.
Campers, scouts, and explorers commonly use this particular model. As well as the occasional unexpected house guest. It is strong, and yet comfortable. Light, and yet durable. It offers the average camper absolutely everything that they would need to get out of their cot.
TETON Sports Outfitter Cot
Dimensions: 85 x 40 x 19 inches.
Top Features: The ability to hold up to 600 pounds, and a patented design.
Best Uses: Any sleeping situation!
Versatility is key with a lot of camping products, and luckily cots are no exception. The TETON Sports Outfitter Cot can be used in a wide variety of situations, as it features a heavy-duty 600D polyester canvas material.
This material is known for being durable, and what makes it even better is the fact that this camping cot has the same sleeping area as the average twin sized mattress.
Your imagination is the limit with this one. Whether you want to use it at base camp before climbing a mountain, or within the walls of your own home, you will never have a problem.
Go get some sleep
So, before you go drift off into a comfortable dream on your own cot, make sure that you remember the key details that you should look for. Always make sure that the camping cot is suitable for you and your own needs, and make sure that you are suitable for it.
Does it fit inside of your car? Is it comfortable enough for you? Will you actually be able to assemble it inside of your sleeping area? Those are the types of questions that you should be asking yourself, and if a product is not suitable for you then you should leave it well alone!
So, what sort of situations would you use a camping cot in? Or, do you currently have a camping cot stashed away somewhere that you use on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments below!