Cots come in a variety of designs and sizes. Although the vast majority are designed with a rectangular surface, there are a number of innovative features which can make one cot separate from the rest. Higher quality materials such as a steel frame provide durability, while certain types of fabrics and cushioning add comfort. Others offer dual functions and can be transformed into a chair or serve as a one-man tent. Meanwhile, collapsible and lightweight designs are preferred choices when camping in more remote destinations that require some walking. Here, you’ll find the five best camping cots from $39 to $289 worth buying.

What You Will Learn from This Guide:

What to Look for When Buying

When choosing a cot, consider the following:

  • Who will be using the cot?
  • What is their height and weight?
  • Where will the cot be used? Outdoors? In a tent? In a home?
  • Will you or someone else need to carry the cot for a considerable distance? If so, how much weight are they able to carry?
  • Does the person who will be using the cot have any specific sleep preferences such as softer or more firm support?
  • Would it be beneficial if the cot served more than one purpose, such as being able to double as a chair? Or will the cot primarily be used as a bed?

Use these questions to help guide your buying process when choosing the best camping cot for your needs. With so many options to choose from, it’s best to start with an understanding of what your needs are. That way, it’s easy to narrow down your final selection because you can easily weed out those that don’t suit your needs.

Top 5 Best Camping Cots Review

Best for Comfort - ComfortSmart Cot by Coleman

ComfortSmart Cot by Coleman: photo

This cot utilizes a coil suspension system to offer ample support, more like a bed instead of a basic cot. It comes complete with a foam mattress that is plenty thick, to provide a high level of comfort. Able to hold up to 275 lbs., this cot features a steel frame. However, taller individuals may have a hard time getting cozy on this cot, as it’s best suited for individuals 5’ 7” and shorter. On the plus side, this cot is lightweight and requires very little effort to lift.

Reason for Recommendation

This is an ideal choice for picky sleepers who want to enjoy the closeness to nature that camping provides, without sacrificing the comfort of their regular mattress. Consumers who have purchased these cots in the past say that they last for years, and even the foam mattress retains its shape and comfort for the long haul.

Best for Larger People - Trailhead Cot by Coleman

Trailhead Cot by Coleman: photo

This cot is designed in the standard, military style that most people imagine when they think of a typical cot. It features organization pockets so that phones, flashlights, car keys and medications can be kept close at hand during the night. This cot can hold up to 300 lbs., thanks to the support offered by its steel frame and thick, polyester fabric. A great option for sleepers who need a bit more length than the standard cot can provide, the Trailhead can fit individuals up to 6’2” tall.

Reason for Recommendation

Although assembling the cot can pose a few minor challenges and takes a bit of strength to get the last bars locked into place, most consumers who have purchased this cot were impressed with its durability. It is perfectly suited to any larger individuals who are looking for a sturdy and reliable cot that will allow them to toss and turn freely during the night.

Best for Easy Setup - Folding Camping Cot by KingCamp

Folding Camping Cot by KingCamp: photo

KingCamp’s folding camping cot truly reigns supreme when it comes to providing a cot design that is both lightweight and easy to set-up. Simply unfold the cot to set it up, and to put it away, simply collapse it back down and slide it effortlessly into its carrying case. As added features, the cot comes complete with a 3-in-1 pocket, large enough to hold books, mobile devices, and anything else you’d like to keep close at hand during the night. Furthermore, the cot comes with an angled headrest, providing an extra measure of head support, comfy enough to sleep on, even without a pillow! The cot can hold up to 220 lbs., and accommodate sleepers up to 6’2” in height.

Reason for Recommendation

The reason why this cot ranks tops really boils down to its quick set-up design. Even in its folded-up position, the cot keeps together thanks to a Velcro strap that wraps around its perimeter, helping it to slide easily into its storage bag. Compared to other cots on the market, this design is also quite lightweight, but not necessarily something you’d want to take on a long trek to a camping site. So, that is something to keep in mind. Overall, this cot is a great option for anyone who wants to enjoy more of a hassle-free setup experience.

Best for Outdoor Sleeping - Oversized Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite

Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite: photo

This cot is unique in its tent-like design, which offers an enclosed sleeping area around the cot. Anyone who intends to sleep outside will appreciate the way this cot will keep them dry and bug-bite-free throughout the night. The cot can be transformed into a lounge style, chair style, or flat cot style, making it super versatile. Although the cot looks way more complex than a standard cot, it actually only takes seconds to get set up and ready to go!

Reason for Recommendation

Although this cot is much lower to the ground than a typical cot, it still ranks supreme due to its outstanding multi-functional design. It’s a tent, chair, and cot all rolled up into one--it’s hard to ask for much more from just one piece of gear. Best of all, this cot can comfortably sleep larger-sized individuals, with one customer stating that it worked just fine for them, being over 6 feet tall and 240 lbs.

Children’s Bunk Bed Cot by Disc-O-Bed

Children’s Bunk Bed Cot by Disc-O-Bed: photo

Cot Description

This children’s bunk-bed cot features a fun and unique multifunctional design that allows the cot to serve as both a bunk bed, a bench for sitting, or can be separated to form two individual cots. Although these cots are meant for children, they are rather strong--each one can support up to 200lbs. This feature, combined with its steel frame, means that the cot can tolerate a lot of rough-housing and rambunctious children, who will naturally enjoy climbing all over these cots.

Reason for Recommendation

Although these cots do take a bit of time to property set-up, they are lightweight enough that a child can carry it on their own, and include an over-the-shoulder carrying case. We have chosen this cot set as one of the top 5 best cots because it is multifunctional, durable, and portable. As a bonus, each cot comes with an organizer pouch which can easily hold water bottles, coloring books, flashlights and other toys.

FAQ

Q: How much weight can a cot support?

A: Each cot is different. The weight it can support is determined by the material used in both the frame and the bed fabric. Usually weight capacity information is presented in the cot specs. Most cots on the market are designed to support between 200-300 lbs.

Q: I am too tall for my cot, so what are my options?

A: If you find a cot that you like, but are afraid it may be too short, you can always opt to go for a creative DIY solution. For example, stack up luggage at the end of the cot to create some extra foot room. Of course, it’s best just to choose a cot that is long enough from the get-go, if possible.

Q: What type of bedding do I need for a cot?

A: Most cots just require a standard sleeping bag. Some models come with a bit of extra padding or foam mattress. If you choose a model that doesn’t, you can always add a second sleeping bag on the bottom or a large piece of foam to provide an extra source of comfort.

Q: I will be doing a lot of hiking with my cot in tow; what are my options?

A: Aim for the lightest weight collapsible cot that you can find which can support your weight, and look for one that includes a quality carrying bag with a comfortable handle -- ideally an over-the-shoulder option.

Q: Does a cot have to be on flat ground?

A: A sturdy cot can usually withstand some sort of incline; however, it should be noted that most cots do not have individually adjustable legs, and, therefore, it’s best to keep them on as even of a surface as possible.

Pros & Cons

The alternative to using a camping cot is typically a foam mattress on the floor or ground, or an air mattress. Obviously, a mattress on the ground is going to be the least comfortable, while an air mattress tends to deflate overnight and requires constant fill-ups, which also requires a lot of time or a battery-operated air pump. Either way, both of these options are generally inconvenient and uncomfortable. Cots, on the other hand, resolve all these issues. Not only do they offer a more bed-like comfort, but they require virtually no maintenance throughout their use.

The downside, however, is that when using the cot on outdoor excursions, it can be bulky and heavy to carry around, which tends to make it less ideal for adventure camping or hiking. Despite this, there are some models which are better suited for portability than others.

Tips & Tricks

Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help keep your cot game on point:

  1. Clean your cot before storage -- cleaning your cot of any dirt and debris before storing it is the best way to extend the life of your cot.
  2. Splurge on a quality cot -- not only will your mind and body thank you after a restful night’s sleep on your cot, but paying a little extra for a better quality cot means that you will have a product that you can trust and rely on whenever you need it.
  3. Get a cot with a storage bag -- The best way to store and transport a cot is to buy one that comes with its own storage bag with handle.

Comparison Chart of Camping Cots

Product Weight - lbs. /
Dimensions - inches
Carry weight
pounds
Price
ComfortSmart Cot by Coleman
ComfortSmart Cot by Coleman min: photo
275 /
69 x 25 x 15
14
Trailhead Cot by Coleman
Trailhead Cot by Coleman min: photo
300 /
75 x 30 x 17
18.3
KingCamp
Folding Camping Cot by KingCamp min: photo
220 /
74.8 x 26.8 x 18.9
16
Kamp-Rite
Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite min: photo
240 /
90 x 32 x 36
24
Disc-O-Bed
Children’s Bunk Bed Cot by Disc-O-Bed min: photo
200 /
34 x 16 x 9
45