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Best Camping Cot [2019]

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot
  • Aluminum frame
  • Maximized underneath storage space
  • Lightweight


The Teton XXL camping cot is comfortable while also being designed to maximize the storage space under the sleep surface. In fact, it doesn’t even have crossbars! It also comes with a convenient drawstring carrying bag for those times when you want to pack your cot with you on a hiking trip.

The aluminum frame makes it durable, without making it heavy. It’s a great cot for sleeping in a small tent while keeping all your gear organized underneath.

It also looks nice enough that you can use it as a spare bed at home or in the RV while still making your guests feel like they are in for a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t come with any sort of pad or air mattress, but the frame is the right size to accommodate an aftermarket one.

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot with carrying Bag
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Designed to pack easily
  • Breathable pad for hot weather sleeping


At first glance, the Osage River Folding Camp Cot might seem a little basic. In truth, it’s meant to be a very basic utility cot for those times when you want to take it with you to a hike-in campsite. Still, for something intended to utilitarian, it has the quality and comfort where you want it. All at a very nice price point.

The sleep surface made from breathable material. This is nice for the times when you are sleeping in hot conditions and you don’t want to bear the added weight of a battery-powered tent fan. It’s also 75 inches long to accommodate people who are just over 6 feet tall and rated to handle up to 300 pounds. The basic dimensions of the sleep surface will also accommodate a single high air mattress for those times when you are staying at a more traditional campsite.

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Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
  • Steel frame
  • Air pump included
  • Mesh bag for firm fit and abrasion resistance


If you want to get up off the ground, yet still sleep in comfort then the Coleman Airbed should be near the top of your list. It also comes with side tables that snap onto the cot for added storage.

This camping bed also includes a microfiber bag that you slip over the air mattress. You then seal it before setting it on the cot. The microfibers help hold the air mattress in place while also providing it with superior abrasion resistance.

It is rated to hold up to 600 pounds which means it can accommodate two sleepers. The queen size mattress fits snugly with full-size sheets. An air pump is even included in the purchase. Though you will need to buy the four D batteries it’s designed to run on.

All in all, Coleman Airbed gives you the creature comforts of home out in nature. With more than enough floor space for your gear, and a high frame keeping you off the ground.

How We Picked

By their nature camping cots are a little on the basic side. Most are meant to be packed with you for times when space and weight are at a premium. Only a few come with an air mattress included, and the quality of some of those air mattresses can be a little dubious.

If you do want a soft sleep pad or an air mattress, it’s typically better to buy a quality cot, then shop for a secondary mattress to add to it. That way you know you are getting the best possible combination. If you are going to prioritize an all-in-one combination purchase, then you should prioritize a manufacturer with a reputation for providing quality units.

Storage space under an air mattress can also be a major factor. Especially if you have a smaller tent or you are going to be hiking to your campsite. The organization is key in these times, and wrestling with complicated crossbars can be more than a little frustrating.

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

Coleman Camping Cot

Specs:

  • Comes with an air mattress to add comfort
  • Side snap-on tables to keep your keys, phone, and camera close
  • Steel frame giving you the ultimate support
  • Priced reasonably with all the added features

The Coleman Airbed is one of the more comfortable camping cots on the market The air mattress is a queen-size, with enough room for two people. The cot sits high off the ground giving you enough space from the floor of the tent. It offers you a perfect place to store your gear.

Coleman Camping Cot

The Coleman Airbed also comes with side tables that snap onto the side of the cot so you can bring those little extra comforts from home with you. Coleman includes a microfiber bag in the purchase. You slip the air mattress into and seal it before you set it on the cot. The microfibers then stick to the fibers on the cot keeping you in place during the night. It also helps with abrasion resistance.

Coleman Camping Cot close up of mattress

Even though the air mattress claims to be a queen, you will find that full-size sheets fit tighter. Just don’t forget the 4D batteries if you are planning on using the air mattress as you’ll need them to use the pump to blow it up.

Couple on the Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

The Coleman Airbed can hold up to 600 pounds due to the steel structure. But just remember that with a steel frame, you’ll be adding weight to your pack. So, keep that in mind if you are planning on getting this camping cot.

All in all, Coleman Airbed gives you the creature comforts of home out in nature. With more than enough floor space for your gear, and a high frame keeping you off the ground.

What We Liked

This combo comes with pretty much everything you need all in a single purchase. You don’t have to buy the air pump separately as you do with many other air mattresses in the Coleman line. The fact that it comes with some extras like the mesh cover and side tables is definitely a feather in its cap.

Overall

This air mattress kit has pretty much everything you want in a single purchase. Though the cot base, like many of its competitors, does squeak a little bit. This is usually related to the joints flexing.

Before you leave on your camping trip, you should give them joints a careful spray with a penetrating lubricant like WD40. Then use a clean paper towel to wipe down any accidental overspray. The goal is to get the joints moving fluidly without dealing with a greasy cot base when you set up camp.

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Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

  • Steel frame
  • Air pump included
  • Mesh bag for firm fit and abrasion resistance

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot with carrying Bag

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot

Specs:

  • Quiet
  • Comfortable
  • Folds out like a lawn chair
  • No bars in the middle to cause discomfort
  • Elevated head area

Weight and portability are at a premium when you are planning a hiking or rustic camping trip. If this sounds like you, then the OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot is a great place to start shopping. It’s lightweight, folds up easily and stretches out to full-size cot made for one.

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot

The Osage River base does allow airflow to come up through the material which is nice if you will be sleeping in hot conditions. If you plan on camping where night temperatures dip below 55-degrees, you might want to also bring a pad to place on top before placing your sleeping bag.

Folded OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot

It’s rated to handle up to 300 pounds, which is sufficient for the average person. The total cot length measures in at 75-inches, and there is a slight incline in the head area for those times when you don’t want to pack a pillow with you.

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot

What We Liked

The lightweight durable construction makes it easy to pack with you for times when every ounce of weight matters. The elevated head area even spares you having to pack out your pillow.

Overall

This is a utility cot for the times when you just want a place to lay your head. It has the durability where you need it. As you might expect, it can be a little stiff when folding it out and makes a little bit of noise if you roll over a lot. Those are all common complaints you will find in other cots in this niche.

OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot with carrying Bag

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Designed to pack easily
  • Breathable pad for hot weather sleeping

Nice way Oxford Portable Folding Bed Camping Cot with Storage Bag

Nice way Oxford Portable Folding Bed Camping Cot

Specs:

  • Folds out easily
  • Great for those looking for a firm bed
  • Lightweight and portable for backcountry camping

Niceway offers you a firm cot that was designed to pack out easily. The mattress top is intended to keep your spine is in line.

Nice way Oxford Portable Folding Bed Camping Cot

If you like to sleep on a semi-firm bed and you want that in a camping cot, the Nice way Oxford is a decent place to start. It doesn’t include a separate mattress which makes it lighter to pack. If you want to add an air mattress it will accommodate a single.

Nice way Oxford Portable Folding Bed Camping Cot with Storage Bag

The Niceway has a slight incline for the head, which will spare you having to pack a pillow if you need to pack a bed with you on a hiking trip. It’s technically rated to handle up to 400 pounds, but this can place a lot of stress on the joints of the frame. 250 pounds is more realistic.

What We Liked

Niceway did their best to create a cot that was lightweight and portable while offering you the comfort of a semi-firm mattress. It’s the sort of thing you can take with you on a rustic hiking trip, or simply tuck it away for the times when you need a “Maintenance Nap” at the office.

Overall

This is another utility cot that’s meant to pack away easily. It has a comfortable price point and a semi-firm top. It doesn’t come with a dedicated air mattress or comfort pad.

Nice way Oxford Portable Folding Bed Camping Cot with Storage Bag

  • Lightweight
  • Easily portable
  • Semi-firm sleep top

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Specs:

  • Traditional sleeping cot
  • Folds up for tight storage
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up

Comfort is the name of the game with the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot. It is a little bit wider than your average cot, giving you the space to move and shift in your sleep. It’s also high enough off the ground that you can store your gear under it to free up floor space in your tent.

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

The ComfortSmart is sturdy and won’t tip on you if you shift your weight quickly. You will also notice there is a bar running down the center of the cot to add to the firmness of the frame. Fortunately, it includes a four-inch-thick foam pad that keeps you from feeling the frame components.

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot in tent

The Coleman ComfortSmart is relatively simple to use. However, it does weigh in at 25 pounds, which might be a little bit heavy for a pack-in hiking trip. If you are staying at a drive-up campsite the weight won’t be a problem.

What We Liked

The ComfortSmart is another utility cot. You can use it for camping trips when you want to get up and off the ground. The space underneath nicely accommodates basic storage to help keep your tent space organized. It’s also comfortable enough to pull double duty as a traditional home cot for the times when you have sleepover guests.

Overall

This mattress will take care of you when you need to sleep in general comfort while camping. It does take a little bit of practice to fold it up properly. Once you do, you’ll find it’s easy to tuck away and helps keep things organized.

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Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

  • Provides space for under cot storage
  • Four-inch thick mattress pad
  • Weighs 25-pounds

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot

Specs:

  • Easy to open and close
  • Comes with a bag for tight storage
  • Simple design and comfortable
  • Plenty of storage space under the cot for your gear

The Teton camping cot was designed to let you take comfort with you when you camp. It offers an ample amount of space underneath to store your gear. Teton specifically designed it so that it doesn’t have the crossbars underneath for maximum space.

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot carrying bag

It’s doesn’t come with a mattress pad. However, the sleep top was designed to help cushion the back when sleeping flat. There’s also a convenient drawstring carrying bag for the times when you want to pack this lightweight cot with you for a hiking trip.

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot outdoors

If you are looking for a backcountry camping cot that you can take with you for rugged camping trips, the Teton is a great place to start shopping.

three TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot outdoors

At the same time, it is equally at home for the times when you are tenting out at a drive-up campsite or you need an extra bed in your RV.

What We Liked

The lightweight aluminum frame makes it sturdy and easy to pack with you. The innovative frame design doesn’t call for crossbars, which gives you added storage space underneath. It’s a great option for times when you are sleeping in a small tent.

Overall

This cot was designed for comfort and portability. It also stores away nicely when you need to pack it with you, while also giving you somewhere to stow your gear at camp. Still, it would be nice if the Teton included an optional air mattress or sleeping pad in the initial purchase.

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot

  • Aluminum frame
  • Maximized underneath storage space
  • Lightweight

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot – Deluxe Collapsible Single Person Bed in a Bag with Pillow

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot

Specs:

  • Comes with a side pocket to keep your keys or phone
  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Enough height to store small things under it like a camelback
  • Quality material that won’t fray or rip

By their nature camping, cots can be a little bit basic. Yet, Alpcour did their best to design this cot to be as innovative as it is durable.

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot

You get the feeling that it was specifically designed for backcountry hiking trips, yet it can also be equally at home in a traditional drive-up campsite.

Someone sleeping on the Alpcour Folding Camping Cot

It’s very easy to open and close, noticeably clicking as the joints lock in place. The nylon cot is also very durable and abrasion-resistant. It’s rated to handle up to 300 pounds. It even comes with a rudimentary pillow. There’s also an innovative side pocket to help hold things like your keys or phone, which is a nice touch.

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot in the carrying bag

The nylon sleep top is very breathable. This is great for the times when you are hiking and sleeping in hot conditions. If you are going to be camping in colder temperatures you might want to put down an additional mattress pad or make sure that your sleeping bag is rated for at least 10 degrees colder than the forecasted low.

What We Liked

Alpcour did their best to apply a little bit of added durability and innovation in the design of this cot. The breathable nylon is really nice if you want to sleep comfortably on a hot summer night. The side pocket might not seem like a big deal at first. Yet knowing where your keys and phone are at all times is nice for peace of mind. Especially, if you’ve lost them before on a previous camping trip!

Overall

This is another basic utility cot, that isn’t going to knock your socks off. Still, it has the durability you want in a reliable lightweight cot. If you are going to be sleeping at a drive-up campsite, you might want to spend a few extra dollars to get an accessory air mattress of mattress pad for added comfort.

Alpcour Folding Camping Cot – Deluxe Collapsible Single Person Bed in a Bag with Pillow

  • Accessory pocket
  • Abrasion-resistant nylon
  • Breathable sleep top

BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot, Full Size with Travel Bag

BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot

Specs:

  • Lightweight and easy to open
  • No center bar to hurt your back
  • Quieter than most cots due to the material wrapped around the bars
  • Plenty of storage space under the cot for gear

The Byer camping cot was designed with an overlay of material that firmly wraps around the bars. This reduces a lot of the telltale creaking noises that you get with traditional utility cots. It also was designed without a center bar, which makes the sleep top more comfortable than some of the competition.

BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot Travel Bag

The natural shape of the sleep top makes it comfortable enough for a single person. It also is just the right shape to accommodate a mattress pad or an inflatable air mattress.

Kid sleeping on the BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot

It comes with a travel bag to hold it compact in storage. It is lightweight and durable enough to pack with you on hike-in camping trips. The joints are also designed to hold the frame sturdy. This allows it to accommodate up to 330 pounds.

What We Liked

The lack of a center bar really helps with sleep comfort. It’s also very easy to pack up and take with you. The material of the sleep top is easily removable and can be washed with care.

Overall

The 330-pound weight rating is nice for heavier individuals who also prioritize comfort. If you want a lightweight durable camping cot that you can hike with you in your pack, the Byer deserves to be on your list. If you are going to be staying at a drive-up campsite, you should easily add a single air mattress.

BYER OF MAINE Easy Cot, Full Size with Travel Bag

  • 330-pound weight rating
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Firm sleep top

REDCAMP Heavy Duty Folding Camping Cot

REDCAMP Heavy Duty Folding Camping Cot

Specs:

  • Compact and easy to open
  • Great for hiking
  • Comes with a shoulder bag
  • Inclined headrest

The RedCamp cot costs a little bit more than some of its direct competitors. Yet it also comes with a little extra quality and comfort in design. It is easy to open and also has a slight incline for the head.

REDCAMP Heavy Duty Folding Camping Cot

The sleep top allows your body to sink into it while the beams of the frame help distribute your weight for superior comfort in the lower back and shoulders. This cot was essentially designed for “Back Sleepers” rather than “Side Sleepers.”

How to fold the REDCAMP Heavy Duty Folding Camping Cot

It’s lightweight for easy portability when you want to take it hiking. The whole thing collapses down into a convenient shoulder bag. It’s also available in various sizes for taller individuals or those who prioritize extra sleeping space.

What We Liked

The incline at the head and neck area is at a comfortable angle. This spares you having to bring a pillow with you for times when you are hiking into a primitive campsite.

Overall

This is a great cot for people who want to sleep on their backs. If you are a side sleeper, you might want to look elsewhere.
The joints on this cot are a little noisier than some of its competitors. Lightly spraying some penetrating lubricant on the joints before a trip will lessen the creaky sounds. Just make sure to wipe away any overspray before packing it in the bag.

REDCAMP Heavy Duty Folding Camping Cot

  • Designed for a “Back Sleeper”
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Available in larger sizes

Buyers Guide

Lightweight durability is typically the name of the game when you are shopping for a camp cot. Yet you also don’t want to sacrifice comfort in the process. At the same time, it’s also nice to have a cot that makes the most out of your tent’s interior space.

The following are some basic criteria to keep in mind when shopping online for a new camping cot.

Comfort

The whole point of camping is to enjoy nature, but if you didn’t get a good night’s rest due to rocks jabbing you, then you can’t really be enjoying the full spectrum of nature. So, when you look for a comfortable camping cot, you have a lot of variety. Cots are intended to keep you off the rocks and away from the critters that can sometimes get in your tent. Plus, they are built in different thicknesses that provide you the support you need to wake up refreshed.

When you’re out buying a cot, you want to think about your current bed. Do you sleep on a firm mattress or a soft one? Do your feet stick out? Or do you like to scrunch them up? Answering these questions will help you pick the right level of comfort. You’ll be able to find cots that are stiff and firm as if laying on the carpet (Military Style Cot) to ones that have added padding (Like the deluxe queen cot).

You’ll also find camping cot that offers an elastic base for added comfort which will allow your body to sink into the frame and hold you snug. For many people, those that get a camping cot with an elastic base or even a padded base find that they retain heat which makes it uncomfortable to sleep on because you get too hot on it.

Figuring out your sleeping style will help you to determine which cot is right for you and will give you the kind of rest you need after a long day on the trails.

Durability

Some poles that hold up the cot are made of plastic; others come in steel or aluminum frames. So you may want to double-check the durability of the cot before you buy it. After all, if you are a smaller person, or you are buying one for your children, you can get away with purchasing a plastic framed cot. For adults though, you’ll want one that won’t bend under your weight and drop you to the floor.

Plus, you have to think about where you are hiking. If you are planning an extreme camping trip out in the middle of nowhere and you are repelling or climbing up to get to your spot, you don’t want to run the risk of damaging your cot by hitting it against something. Or accidentally dropping it, only to watch it smash and crack, leaving you with a damaged cot.

Think about the durability of the frame and where you are going on your trips. Nine times out of ten you will go with aluminum-framed camping cot just to be on the safe side.

Storage

Finding a place to store your cot is tricky, especially if you are going out into the backcountry and the space in your pack is limited. Luckily, you can find camping cots that can be assembled once you get to your camping ground. Then when you are done with them, strip them back down and pack them away for the trek back home.

There are some cots that fold up like a lawn chair and take up the same about of space. So when you’re not camping, they have to go somewhere and usually end up collecting dust in the attic or garage. If you go with the assembly kind, they usually come with a bag where you can stuff them into a corner and tie up the drawstring for a bit more protection.

Weight

Weight comes down to the materials of the camping cot. If you go with one that is plastic, it will be lighter, but not as durable. And if you get steel or aluminum framed cot, then you are adding weight to your hikes. You need to be aware of the added weight to your pack as little things start to add up quickly and you could be in agony from an oversized pack.

So be sure to check the weight of the cot before you buy and make sure that it isn’t too much for you to handle. Of course, if you plan to drive to your campsite, then the weight isn’t an issue as camping cots are super lightweight and easy to use even for a five-year-old. It is just if you are hiking that you should be aware of the weight.

Basic Dimensions

You want to double-check the length section when buying a cot. There are tons of stories out there about a couple buying a cot thinking it would fit both of them only to find out that it was made for a kid. Don’t be like them. Check the length and make sure your feet aren’t sticking out.

You’ll also want to check the length of your camping cot to ensure that it fits inside your tent. Some people want that added length and buy the cot, only to find out later that it didn’t fit in the tent. So make sure you are paying attention to the length of your cot as well as the width.

As for the width, you can find cots that allow two people to sleep on them. They are really comfortable for one person, but a bit crowded for two. If you like to be close when you sleep great. Otherwise, think about getting a single cot and moving the two together. That way when one person moves, the balance isn’t thrown off, and each person gets the rest they need. Plus, you’ll still be next to each other, just not as close.

Height and Underneath Storage

Another thing you need to focus on before buying is the height. Some people like to be high off the ground in case of critters getting into their tent, or if they are sleeping out under the stars. Checking for the height will make sure that you aren’t surprised by critters.

But, if you are planning on sleeping in a tent, you might want to consider a camping cot that is closer to the ground. This will allow you some space to sit up in your tent without having to duck your head. Plus being lower to the ground when using in a tent will keep you closer to the zippers in case something happens where you need to get out fast.

Material and Build Quality

The last thing you need to pay attention to is the materials used for the base of the cot. Most come in weatherproof nylon that stretches and is easy to dry if you get rained on, or spill something on them.

You may also want to get a camping cot that is fire-resistant if you are planning on going into the backcountry. You never know if the fire you set will get out of hand due to the wind changing directions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can A Camping Cot Be Comfortable?

A: If you are trying to bring the city comforts into the great outdoors, you’ll find that having a camping cot is your best bet for a good night’s rest. They are durable and hold you snug. You will find many of them offer perfect airflow around your body to keep you from feeling overheated. However, if you opt to get on with padding, then you may experience a bit of added heat due to the padding holding in your body heat while you sleep.

But for the overall experience, camping cots work great. They keep you off the ground. Plus, if you are in an area that has mud, you can sit down and knock the dirt from your feet before getting into your sleeping bag. This allows you to keep your bag cleaner than if you were to put the sleeping bag on the ground or air mattress.

Q: What Should I Expect When I Sleep on a Camping Cot?

A: You shouldn’t think that sleeping on a camping cot will feel the same as if sleeping on your traditional home mattress. However, if you get a camping cot that has the padding, you will find that it does feel a lot like a foam mattress and it will contour around you holding you snug.

The camping cot can be creaky when you first get it. To make sure it doesn’t squeak at every turn, add a bit of lubricant like WD-40 to the joints before you go camping. Then when you put the cot together, it should be well lubricated and won’t make a sound.

If you aren’t getting a camping cot that has padding, be sure to bring something other than your sleeping bag to lie down over the top. This will give you added comfort. Using an extra blanket also works well.

Q: Are Camping Cots Worth The Money?

A: If you are going to be sleeping at a primitive campsite where ground quality is an issue, or you simply want to get off the ground, then a camping cot is certainly a great investment. At the same time, you also don’t want to end up with a sore back or neck.

With a camping cot, you don’t really need to spend time clearing a site. A minimal brush over before setting up your tent and then add your cots inside. Makes camping more comfortable all around.

So, if you want to sacrifice comfort for convenience, then don’t get one. But if you are looking for the best experience you can get, then find yourself a decent camping cot and you’re golden.

Q: How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Camping Cot?

A: Just like anything, the more you use it, the more likely your camping cot is to wear out. Typical signs of you needing an upgrade include things like:

  • A sagging base
  • Rips or tears of the material
  • Missing or lose frame components parts
  • Uneven consistency in the sleep surface.

If you are only going to use your camping cot a half dozen times a year, the visible signs of wear and tear will be minimal. A cot used this much typically lasts for years before breaking down and needing to be replaced.

Conclusion

To the uninitiated, a camping cot might seem like a luxury. Yet when you really get out into the wilds being able to get up off the ground can really maximize your comfort. Being able to get a good night’s sleep throughout your trip will go a long way toward making the most out of your day time activities.

A cot that is durable enough to show a return on investment is always nice. If you have a small tent or space is simply at a premium, a cot that was designed for convenient underneath storage is certainly a bonus.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API