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The 5 Best Camping Cots (2023 Review)

Even when you’re camping, you deserve a good night’s sleep. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best camping cots on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Coleman Trailhead Cot and Kid-O-Bunk Children’s Camping Bed isolated on a green graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

A camping cot gives you a comfortable sleeping area while you’re out exploring the wilderness. These portable beds are also useful for car camping, overlanding, and accommodating house guests. Since they come in various sizes, materials, and more, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best camping cots on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Compare the Best Camping Cots

Product Mattress Size Weight Capacity Frame Material Weight Dimensions
Product Mattress Size Weight Capacity Frame Material Weight Dimensions
Coleman Camping Cot and Air Mattress Combo Queen 600 pounds Steel 23 pounds ‎59 x 22 x 78 inches
Coleman Trailhead Cot Twin 300 pounds Alloy steel 20 pounds ‎73 x 35 x 17 inches
TETON Sports Camping Cot Full 600 pounds Steel and aluminum 26 pounds ‎86 x 19 x 45 inches
‎ARAER Camping Cot Twin 450 pounds Steel 16 pounds ‎75 x 27 x 14 inches
Kid-O-Bunk Children’s Camping Bed Dual twin 200 pounds per bed Steel 45 pounds ‎34 x 16 x 9 inches

In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | More Tips | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House


Top 5 Camping Cots


Best Padded Cot: Coleman Camping Cot and Air Mattress Combo

White Coleman camping cot and air mattress combo

Coleman Camping Cot and Air Mattress

  • $209

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This cot features a water-resistant zip-up cover that keeps the mattress protected from the elements. Whether your shoes get dirt on it or rain soaks through it, you can easily clean it in your washing machine to have it ready for your next trip.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes an air pump to blow up the mattress
✔ Comes with a carrying bag
✔ Has built-in mini tables with cup holders on each side

✘ Can’t fit in small tents
✘ Can rip the fabric of the included carrying bag easily

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers found the combination of an air mattress, air mattress cover, and cot to be a convenient and money-saving bundle. Tall and larger people said that it was able to accommodate up to two sleepers with room to spare. However, other customers found that the mattress slid around the cot. Customers also complained about the included storage bag—while handy, it ripped easily.


Best Basic Cot: Coleman Trailhead Cot

Tan Coleman Trailhead camping cot

Coleman Trailhead Military Camping Cot

  • $60

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Accommodating individuals who are up to 300 pounds and six feet, the taut bed of this camping cot is made from long-lasting, water-resistant fabric. The cot also features X-shaped legs with bonus crossbars for more stability. It’ll fold compact enough to fit in most car trunks.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a strong alloy steel frame
✔ Has a 300-pound weight limit
✔ Features a simple folding design for portability

✘ Has small holes along the edges that can lead to discomfort
✘ Can’t accommodate taller individuals over six feet

What Customers Are Saying

Campers found the cot to be relatively comfortable. They also reported that the quality of the cot was on par with their expectations, lasting many years of gentle use. Alternatively, other customers found the cot to be too heavy for its size. Despite the cot’s bulk, customers also stated that the legs began to bend and warp after only a few uses. Users provided mixed reviews about the cot’s ease of assembly, with some reporting that the last bar was challenging to secure into place.


Best Large Cot: TETON Sports Camping Cot

Black TETON Sports camping cot

TETON Sports Camping Cot

  • $170

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Despite its larger size, this camping cot is still easy to transport, weighing only 26 pounds and coming with a waterproof fabric carrying bag. The frame is made from aluminum to decrease its weight, while the legs are made from steel to give it more stability.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features a pivoting arm for easy and secure setup
✔ Made from a combination of steel and aluminum to balance durability and portability
✔ Can pair with a pad on top for additional comfort

✘ May not work for hot sleepers because it has a black fabric surface that may retain heat
✘ Can tear the fabric surface easily

What Customers Are Saying

The included tote bag and generous size of this camping cot were highlights among many positive reviews. Customers appreciated how small the cot was when it was folded and how expansive it felt when it was set up. Conversely, other customers experienced issues with the durability of the cot’s fabric, saying that it ripped after only a few uses. Heavier sleepers also found the cot to be fairly unsturdy despite its weight limit.


Best Angled Cot: ‎ARAER Camping Cot

Grey ARAER camping cot

‎ARAER Folding Camping Cot

  • $80

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The bonus storage pouch that’s attached to this camping cot keeps your phone, book, or other necessities close to you at night. Ideal for hot sleepers, the cot’s breathable woven fabric bed prevents sweating, even with sheets, blankets, and sleeping bags.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a side storage pocket
✔ Stays secure with anti-slip feet
✔ Made from breathable, durable fabric

✘ Requires a pillow for comfort even with the raised head
✘ May feel the support legs through the fabric

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers praised this camping cot for its large size, sturdiness, and ease of setup. Even heavier sleepers found that this single-person cot was able to comfortably and securely support them during multiple nights’ sleep. Unsatisfied customers found the fabric of the cot to be unforgiving. While the cot felt sturdy due to its heavy-duty metal frame, they stated that a mattress was necessary to sleep comfortably.


Best Bunk-Bed Cot: Kid-O-Bunk Children’s Camping Bed

Bright green Kid-O-Bunk children’s camping bed bunk bed

Kid-O-Bunk Children’s Camping Bed

  • $300

Prices taken at time of publishing.

These cots come with everything you need to set them up, including four stack adapters and two locking straps. For a comfortable night’s sleep, they support up to 200 pounds each and don’t have a center beam. The cots can also be combined to create one large bed. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a weight limit of 200 pounds per cot
✔ Has a convertible design to function as a couch, a bunk bed, or two separate beds
✔ Has separate carrying bags for each bed

✘ Takes a lot of effort to assemble because it has two beds as opposed to one
✘ Can’t accommodate adults

What Customers Are Saying

Parents appreciated the versatility that this convertible cot offered. They reported that it comfortably supported two kids at once and had a relatively safe and easy-to-access top bunk. When kids weren’t sleeping in the cot, many users converted it into a couch for daytime use. Unfortunately, some users experienced broken poles after a few uses. Others stated that the seams of the cot started to tear prematurely.


Buyer’s Guide

A comfortable alternative to a regular sleeping pad, a cot gives you restful sleep when you’re far from home. This buying guide will help you find a camping cot that fits your needs.

Setup

Most camping cots are set up similarly to tents. They feature a frame with metal poles that snap or clip together. They also have a mattress or pad that ties or hooks to the frame.

Comfort

Camping cots are generally more comfortable than sleeping bags. Some also come with cushions, pillows, or air mattresses for more support. If your camping cot isn’t padded, consider purchasing separate cushions for it.

Size

A children’s cot can feel too cramped for a fully grown adult. Conversely, a full- or queen-sized camping cot may be overkill for a small child. As a reference, most camping cots measure 25 inches wide and 75 inches long; this is a good baseline size to accommodate most adults.

Weight Capacity

More important than the weight of the cot is its weight limit. Look for the weight capacity from the manufacturer—many adult cots are designed to support up to 300 pounds, but oversized models can support 500 or 600 pounds, which is enough for two sleepers. Children’s cots can usually support up to 200 pounds.

Material

The frames of camping cots are typically made from lightweight, rust-resistant metal. Aluminum is the most common frame material, but stainless steel and alloy steel are also popular. The fabric beds are made from polyester or nylon because of their waterproof and easy-to-clean properties. Any cushions and pads have synthetic filling rather than natural cotton or feather filling to prevent waterlogging.

Portability

Choose a cot that’s easy to carry from your car. Many camping cots fold down into a small size to fit into a bag or an included carrying case. For backcountry or ultralight use, you’ll want a cot that’s made of lightweight polyester fabric and designed for easy setup.

Additional Features

Most camping cots are fairly straightforward in terms of their features, but some models have built-in cupholders or storage pouches on the sides. Others have an elevated headrest to act as a pillow. You may also find bedding for the cot that’s specific to the model or from the same manufacturer.


More Tips To Help Make Camping More Comfortable

Spending time outdoors underneath the stars offers a myriad of physical and mental health benefits. Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or ready to graduate from day hikes to your first night in a tent, camping can be as grizzly or plush of an experience as you want it to be. Though you can always opt to rent an RV, cabin, or yurt, we’ve outlined some tips below to help make the traditional camping experience more enjoyable.

  • Choose a good campsite. Beautiful scenery and privacy from neighbors are integral to a positive camping experience. If you’re backpacking, make sure to camp near a water source. To feel more at home inside your next and next to your camping cot, you can add a side table.
  • Shower before you leave home. It’s normal to get a little gritty when you’re spending one or more nights at a campsite. Accept that dirt, bugs, and inclement weather may be a part of your camping experience. Dry shampoo, baby wipes, and deodorant are easy ways to feel clean without having access to a shower.
  • Eat better than you do at home. Make camping feel special by taking a stove and cooler. Consider bringing alcoholic beverages and desserts. Make sure to understand and comply with any food storage protocols if bears are active in your area.
  • Lighting is key. Although headlamps are a convenient way to see where you’re going at night, they can blind others and seem chaotic with their light bouncing around as you move. Use one or more lanterns to gently light your entire campsite.
  • Bring plenty of warm, waterproof clothing. A good rain jacket or poncho is your best friend if it starts raining. Durable boots or sneakers are also essential. If you’re camping in the cold, bring long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and pants.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a camping cot cost?

Camping costs usually cost anywhere between $30 to $150 or more for top-end models. The cost of a camping cot depends on its materials, thickness, weight, portability, and included features to make your camping trip more comfortable.

What are the benefits of a cot over a sleeping bag?

With a camping cot, the primary benefit over a sleeping bag is that users don’t have to sleep on wet or bug-infested ground. These cots are also more comfortable than sleeping bags, as they can support cushions, pillows, and mattresses. You can also combine the two by sleeping in a sleeping bag on top of a camping cot.

How many people can sleep in a camping cot?

Most camping cots are designed for a single person. However, some queen-sized or bunk-bed camping cots can fit up to two people. Even if the cot looks big enough for two people, still check its weight capacity to ensure that your combined weight doesn’t exceed this number.

Can I use my camping cot outside?

Camping cots are generally made from waterproof fabric and rustproof metal for outdoor use. However, if you’re using non-waterproof blankets, cushions, or pillows, keep your camping cot inside your tent.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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