Camping cots provide an easy solution to the lack of a traditional bed, and due to being portable and lightweight, they have a variety of useful purposes.
Though they can be used in emergency shelters and even in hotel rooms, today we will be looking at the best cots for camping. After a long day of hiking, then pitching the tent, lighting the fire and setting up camp you’ll want something comfortable and easy to fall asleep on.
Let’s take a look at some of the best options.
- · Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot
- · TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot
- · Regalo My Cot Deluxe, with Sleeping Bag
- · Magshion Portable Military Fold Up Camping Bed Cot
- · 75″ Portable Folding Camping Bed and Cot by Trademark Innovations
How to choose the best camping cot?
Though on the surface, a camping cot might not require the same level of attention as a real bed when it comes to your selection process; ultimately, you will still be sleeping on it so it needs to be comfortable and easy to use.
You should look for a model which easily folds up, but is also sturdy once flattened out; the last thing you want is to turn in the night or move, and for everything to collapse. One way to check if it is sturdy or not, is to have a look what the legs and frame are made of, and if they lock into position or not.
If you intend to use it outside, you might also want to check how far the cot is off the ground, as well as how portable it is. If the frame is extremely heavy, are you going to be able to carry it and set it up? You should choose the cot which best represents who intends to use it, where and for how long.
The advantages of camping cots
The idea of sleeping out in nature on the ground, as the campfire gently flickers away under the stars conjures up a very poetic image—unless you have tried it for yourself!
In actual fact, the ground, even if it seems flat enough, does not make for a comfortable place to sleep, especially when we are so used to the softness of a mattress which acts as a buffer between anything uncomfortable and our spines.
If you are planning a camping trip, it’s a good idea to consider a camping cot. Sure, you can use a roll-up mat, though this comes with its complications, one being that you are still pretty much on the ground and right in the way of bugs, mice and even snakes. Therefore, the elevation for safety purposes, combined with the comfort of a camping cot should not be underestimated.
Things to look for
While camping cots are relatively humble contraptions that haven’t changed much over the years, there are still a few factors for you to consider.
- Firstly, is assembly required? Nobody wants to be in the middle of the forest ready to hit the hay, only to realize they need a set of tools that are in the garage to be able to do so! If at all possible, choose a model that is already assembled and double check before you travel to avoid an Ikea-style dilemma
- Also, what is the upper weight limit? You should factor in not only your own, or whoever will be sleeping on it, but also the weight of any additional mattress which can be placed on top to enhance comfort, especially if it is not just for one night
- Finally, having a camping cot that easily folds up and is portable is also important. Aside from storage in your vehicle and home, you may have to carry it some distance, so you need something that is lightweight and ergonomic enough to do so.
The best way to use camping cots
Camping cots will never be as comfortable as a regular bed. However, depending on how much space you have and if you are carrying the cot for long distances, you can add a mattress topper to the cot to enhance the comfortable level. As well as distributing your weight a little more evenly, it will also act as a buffer between any springs, joins or other uncomfortable areas.
Whether you use the cot on its own or with a mattress, you should consider the position of the cot. If you are exposed to the elements, make sure you place it somewhere sheltered from the wind and the rain. Also ensure the ground is even and you are not on a slope or have rocks underneath any part of the frame, in case it tips over or is uncomfortable.
If you are setting up several cots, make sure you use the best of the space by placing each cot in a row rather than diagonal to save space, but also make sure people can easily access them in case they need to get up in the night, as not to disturb other campers.
Before anyone hits the sack, ensure that the cots are correctly assembled and any safety latches have been secured so that nobody injures themselves. Also, make sure that their positioning isn’t a fire hazard so everyone has a way to escape quickly should a situation arise.
Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot
The Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot features a heavy-duty steel frame, and can accommodate anyone up to 300 lbs./6’ 6”. For added comfort, it has a thick foam mattress and spring coil suspension which mimics a real bed; therefore, it will guarantee a better night’s sleep as opposed to a thin sheet of canvas which can be uncomfortable, especially if used for more than one night.
This cot really looks the part when styled with a duvet and pillows if you want to use it for guests in your home; however, the padding can also be removed to make the cot more suitable for outdoor pursuits.
When not in use, the cot folds up with ease to measure 9.6” x 30.7” x 5.5”.
Though, something to keep in mind is due to its added comfort and stability, this does add to the weight factor, meaning it is not the easiest to carry and transport as lighter makes.
TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot
Typically, we associate camping beds as flimsy contraptions, though this is not the case with the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL. Made from heavy-duty steel and a 600D poly canvas top, it is capable of supporting up to 600 lbs. of weight when spread out evenly over the cot.
It is designed with outdoor life in mind, as it includes a portable side-load bag. It is also compatible with the XXL camp pad, so you can add attachments to the side of the bed such as a power organizer and gun sleeve.
Assembly is also a breeze, as the pieces simply lock into place with no external tools or parts required. For extra peace of mind, there is also a lifetime warranty which is excellent in comparison to other models which typically give a year at most.
This Teton camping cot is supplied as a bundle, with the cot and extra-large camping pad also supplied. The pad can be used separately on its own, thereby making 2 beds, or for extra comfort used on the cot.
A possible con to consider with this cot is the feet, which, due to their sharp weight-bearing design could put a hole in the floor of a tent if using it for camping purposes. Though, if you buy boots for the feet, or put additional support, such as cardboard, underneath, this could avoid the issue.
Regalo My Cot Deluxe, with Sleeping Bag
This is a cot with children in mind, being suitable from age 2 to any child who weights below 75 lbs. It is included with a washable fitted sleeping pad and removable pillow, so it ideal for not just camping but sleepovers too.
Storage wise, this cot cascades in on itself to fold into almost nothing, as opposed to half the size of the bed, as is the case with most cots. This would make it excellent for storing and traveling with, especially If you are short on space.
If buying a child-specific cot such as the Regalo, an issue to consider is longevity. After all, kids eventually grow up, so if buying for one child, you may have to buy a new cot at some stage, whereas if you bought a regular sized cot, it could be used indefinitely. This cot is only really suitable for smaller children, so this is something to keep in mind when considering which cot to purchase.
Magshion Portable Military Fold Up Camping Bed Cot
If you want a camping cot that is strong, stable and pretty simple in what it does, then this model could be a good option. It has 3 support beams and folds up flat; if you are buying more than one it will store up very easily. It is available in 5 different colors.
This cot doesn’t come with add-ons in the form of a pillow or mattress, though the canvas itself is incredibly tight which, means better back support and overall comfort. The upper capacity is 300 lbs., though something to note is that for anyone over 6’ you may not have much room to stretch out on, so is perhaps suited for children and those under that height.
75″ Portable Folding Camping Bed and Cot by Trademark Innovations
Trademark Innovations offers a simple solution to the camping cot, in the form of their army green, triple cross-legged design which can hold up to 260 lbs.
While this is a fairly lightweight design, which folds into a supplied carry bag, a possible issue is that it’s not the sturdiest of models, as you may need a crowbar to leverage the last end rail over the locking pins.
Also, the canvas is not as durable as other models on the market, and is prone to splitting and breaking with even light use, so this is also something to keep in mind, especially if you are close to the upper weight limit or require the cot for regular use.
All in all, this is a great model for occasion use, though doesn’t have the best upper weight limit and is not the most robust of makes. If you are out in the sticks and don’t have access to tools and support, you may struggle with this cot.
While the camping cot you choose will depend on certain factors such as how well it stores, the upper weight limit and if it’s for a young person or adult, there is still one clear winner from the list which is the TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot.
Granted, due to its increased weight compared to other models it might be a bit of a pain to lug around, however ultimately, this is the model that is going to give you the most comfort as is not as restricted when it comes to weight limits.
Teton has also thought of handy add-ons that can be purchased separately, meaning you can keep all your valuables and even a gun close by at all times for added peace of mind.
This model also has a lifetime guarantee, which is rare in a camping cot, and shows the quality build, and assurance you will receive for what is an investment purchase over cheaper makes.
If you camp regularly, or even have people stay over a lot and don’t have the room for an extra bed, this could offer a comfortable and versatile solution that is as close to a real bed as you are going to find from something which is not.
After all, if you do buy something cheap and flimsy, there is only so long it is going to last, plus the discomfort could put you off further trips which would be a shame. The Teton has literally thought of everything, and will ultimately give you the best night’s sleep compared with others on the list