7 Best Camping Cots for a Great Sleep in 2021

Last Updated: February 2021

Quick Recommendations


No one likes to be uncomfortable when camping in the great outdoors.

However, trying to get a good night's sleep on a thin sleeping pad just doesn't cut it when you're used to the comfort of a supportive mattress.

Thankfully, with a quality camp cot, it is possible to sleep well when camping under the stars.

We know how important it is for you to get your beauty rest in the mountains, so we've put together this guide to finding the best camping cot for your needs. 

Up next, we'll give you the low-down on our favorite models and offer some top advice for selecting just one for your upcoming adventures.

Best Overall Camping Cot

Helinox Lite Cot

The Helinox Lite Cot proves that durability, portability, and comfort can come mixed up in one comprehensive package.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2lb 12oz (1.2kg)
  • Dimensions: 72.5 x 23.5 x 5in 
  • Supports: 265lbs (120kg)

Pros: 

  • Ultralight design is great for any adventure
  • Highly packable construction.

Cons: 

  • Low weight capacity

The Helinox Lite Cot is made with an extra durable aluminum frame that can support up to 265lbs (120kg) in weight. Setting up the cot is quick and easy thanks to its tension-lock handles that snap into place after unfolding.

When it comes to catching Z's in the outdoors, the Lite Cot's polyester top fabric comfortably forms to the shape of your body for added back support throughout the night.

Since the cot is lower to the ground, it also helps preserve your body heat on cold nights.

Finally, when it's time to head home at the end of your trip, the Lite Cot packs up into a little zippered carry bag for easy transport.

The entire setup weighs just 2lb 12oz (1.2kg), making it light enough to take on any car camping or backpacking trip where comfort and portability are both top priorities.

Most Comfortable Camping Cot

Byer of Maine Swedish Bed 

When comfort is key, the Byer of Maine Swedish Bed is hard to beat. This extra plush cot system allows you to be just as cozy in bed while you're outside as you are at home.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 28lbs (12.7kg)
  • Dimensions: 75 x 31 x 17in 
  • Supports: 300lbs (136.1kg)

Pros: 

  • Plush mattress topper for added comfort;
  • High height makes getting in and out of bed more convenient;
  • Removable and washable cover.

Cons: 

  • Heavy

The Byer of Maine Swedish Bed is made with extra heavy gauge steel throughout the frame for added durability. As a result, it can support up to 300lbs (136.1kg), making it a solid choice for most campers.

As far as your comfort goes, Byer of Maine left no stone unturned. This cot comes with a 3" (7.6cm) thick mattress topper that offers ample back support and cushioning for a great night's sleep.

Once it's time to pack up camp, this cot simply folds up and snaps shut with its tethered closure system. Then, at home, you can remove the fabric mattress cover and give it a quick wash before your next adventure to keep things neat and tidy when you're outside.

Best Camping Cot on a Budget

Coleman Camping Cot Kit

Designed to appease your wallet without getting in the way of your sleep, the Coleman Camping Cot Kit is a budget-friendly option for price-wary campers.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 20lbs (9.1kg)
  • Dimensions: 80 x 44 x 17in
  • Supports: 300lbs (136.1kg)

Pros: 

  • Can accommodate campers up to 6'6" tall;
  • Includes a carry bag for transport;
  • Comes with a removable side table.

Cons: 

  • Heavy

The Coleman Camping Cot Kit features a sturdy steel frame that folds up quickly for convenient storage when you're not in camp, this cot is an easy to set up choice for car camping trips.

When it's not in use, the entire cot packs up into a small carry bag that's portable enough to toss in the back of most vehicles.

While you're in camp, the Camping Cot Kit comes with an extra-wide design that provides more sleeping space without a massive increase in price.

The cot is also designed to accommodate campers up to 6'6" tall for added comfort in the mountains.

Plus, for increased convenience, this cot comes with a removable side table.

The side table even has an integrated cup holder, making it a simple way to stay organized. And to ensure that you have everything you need to sleep well in your tent at night.

Best Camping Cot for a Bad Back

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

A bad back can really be a downer when you're trying to get some rest during a camping trip. Thankfully, a well-padded option like the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot can often help alleviate some of the problems.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 21lbs 8oz (9.8kg)
  • Dimensions: 80 x 30 x 15in 
  • Supports: 300lbs (136.1kg)

Pros: 

  • ComfortSmart coil suspension system provides back support; 
  • High height makes it easier to get in and out of bed;
  • Strong steel frame for durability.

Cons: 

  • Mattress cover isn't removable.

The comfortable Coleman ComfortSmart Cot has a strong steel frame that folds up to a compact size for easy storage.

This frame also stands at a respectable height of 15 inches (38.1cm), making it easier to get in and out of bed at night.

This cot comes with a ComfortSmart coil suspension mattress system on top of this sturdy frame, which provides ample back support as you sleep. The mattress has a foam topper for a plush sleeping experience while outside.

The entire cot can support up to 300lbs (136.1kg) and is tall enough for folks up to 6'6" tall. This makes it an ideal choice for nearly every camper looking for a bit of extra back support at night.

Best Heavy Duty Camping Cot

TETON Sports XXL Camping Cot

If durability is your top priority, a cot like the TETON Sports XXL Camping Cot is a great companion to take on a camping trip.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 26lbs (11.8kg)
  • Dimensions: 85 x 40 x 19in
  • Supports: 600lbs (272kg)

Pros: 

  • Very high maximum weight limit;
  • Burly steel S-leg design for durability;
  • Robust 600D Oxford canvas topper for long-term use.

Cons: 

  • Not very well padded

The extra-burly TETON Sports XXL Camping Cot sleeping system is made with a patented steel alloy frame in a unique S-leg design.

As a result, it can accommodate a staggering 600lbs (272kg) of weight, making it suitable for use in the most rugged of conditions.

Meanwhile, the top of this cot is crafted from a single sheet of 600D Oxford canvas, designed to last throughout years of regular use.

Thanks to TETON Sports' patented pivot arm system, the entire thing sets up in just a few minutes.

Although the cot itself isn't very well padded, it has a wide layout that can happily accommodate a foam mattress topper or a camping sleeping pad for extra comfort at night.

Best Lightweight Camping Cot

Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot

When thoughts of weight savings keep you up at night, the Therm-a-rest Mesh Cot is a go-to piece of gear.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3lbs 9oz (1.6kg)
  • Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 4.5in 
  • Supports: 325lbs (147.5kg)

Pros: 

  • Very strong for its size; 
  • Lightweight and extremely packable;
  • Breathable fabric for use in hot environments.

Cons: 

  • Low lying construction can be tricky to get in and out of.

The Therm-a-rest Mesh Cot is a go-to piece of lightweight gear.

Boasting an ultra-compact design, this cot rolls up into an impressively small stuff sack for use on backpacking trips or any adventure where weight and space are an issue.

However, despite its small packed size, the Mesh Cot is easy enough to set up, thanks to its shock-corded pole structure and pre-assembled feet.

On hot nights, the Mesh Cot's breathable fabric actively works to help keep you cool, especially in muggy conditions.

Meanwhile, the cot's durable construction is strong enough to support up to 325lbs (147.5kg), which means it has one of the best weight to strength ratios on the market today.

Best Double Camping Cot

Coleman Deluxe Double Cot

Crafted with a sturdy steel frame that can support up to 600lbs, this camping cot is ideal for couples that prioritize comfort and durability in their gear.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 41.9lbs (19kg)
  • Dimensions: 78 x 59 x 22in
  • Supports: 600lbs (272.2kg)

Pros: 

  • Well padded air bed topper mattress; 
  • Includes a quick pump system for fast set up;
  • Extra strong steel construction.

Cons: 

  • Heavy and bulky

The Coleman Deluxe Double Camping Cot is crafted with a sturdy steel frame that can support up to 600lbs (272.2kg).  And it is long enough to accommodate anyone up to 6'2", so it's perfect for most campers.

Since many double cots have an uncomfortable metal bar running down the middle of the sleeping area, Coleman designed this model with an integrated air mattress.

The mattress' ComfortStrong coil system provides ample back support, and the AirTight system allows you to adjust the bed to your desired level of firmness.

To ensure that your camping adventure goes off without a hitch, the mattress is attached to the cot using a sewn-in cover.

At the end of your trip, the entire mattress deflates and folds up neatly within the cot for easier transport to and from the campsite.

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Camping Cot Buying Guide


With so many great camping cots to choose from, it's understandable if you're overwhelmed by all the options.

So, here are some of the top things to keep in mind as you shop for your next camping cot.

Camp Cot Features

Camping cots are surprisingly feature-rich pieces of gear.

These are the most important things that you should know about these sleep systems before you buy.

Padding & Mattress

The classic camp cot features a piece of thick canvas stretched over a metal frame. This canvas is generally stiff but flexible, allowing it to provide a good mixture of back support and comfort as it conforms to the shape of your back.

However, taking things a step further, some companies add a mattress or padding to the top of their camp cots.

Doing so allows for a much more comfortable sleeping experience, without the need to place a sleeping pad on top of the canvas cot topper.

In general, air mattresses are the most comfortable option because they can be blown up to a specific firmness level based on your needs.

Cots with air mattresses are generally the more portable option because they can fold down to a smaller packed size. However, they also tend to be quite expensive, and they take longer to set up.

On the other hand, some cots come with a thick foam topper instead of a mattress. These foam toppers provide a decent amount of comfort without a large increase in price. But, they are often less packable than their air mattress cousins.

Side Table

Some camp cots come with a side table. These side tables are often removable or foldable for packability in transport.

They are designed to provide you with a small area to place all of your most important bits of gear at night.

Some of these side tables also come equipped with a water bottle holder, so you don't have to reach down to the ground to get your gear off the floor at night.

Carry Case

Although not every camp cot comes with a carry case, many of the most portable options do.

These carry cases can make transporting something like a camp cot, which can be upwards of 30lbs (13.6kg) much easier. 

Additionally, carrying cases help to protect your camp cot in transport, ensuring that it will be in good working condition for years to come.

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Camping Cot Buying Considerations

When buying a camp cot, there are a few things that you ought to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important things to consider before you buy:

Weight

Even if you plan on camping very close to your car in a campground, weight is an essential metric in any piece of gear, including camp cots.

The average camp cot weighs about 15-20lbs (6.8-9.1kg), which isn't very light, but it's still more than reasonable in transport.

However, some very lightweight options weigh under 5lbs (2.3kg), and some heavy-duty models that tip the scales at over 30lbs (13.6kg).

In some instances, weight is correlated with strength, but this isn't always the case. Some ultralight camp cot models can support well over 300lbs (136.1kg), and some heavier options that can't accommodate anyone over 250lbs (113.4kg).

In general, the lighter the camp cot, the better from a portability point of view. However, if you need a cot that can support more than 300lbs (136.1kg), or one with a lot of padding, it will likely be on the heavier end of the spectrum.

Packed Size & Portability

Packed size and portability are important for camp cots because you often have limited room in your car or backpack.

Most camp cots are designed for use in a campground or other car camping contexts. Thus, they are often about the size of a folding lawn chair when collapsed down. 

Alternatively, some of the lightweight options can pack down to the size of a compact backpacking tent for easier transport to and from camp.

Assembled Size

The assembled size of a camp cot affects your camping experience in key ways.

First and foremost, a camp cot needs to be the right size for your tent. If you have a cot that's too big for your tent, you're either going to struggle to fit it inside your shelter, or you'll have an uncomfortable night's sleep.

It's particularly important to check out the length and width of a cot before buying so you can decide if it will actually fit within your tent. Also, don't forget to look at the cot's height, as some tents have very low center heights and can't accommodate tall cots.

Second, larger camp cots tend to be more comfortable because they provide you with a larger sleeping area. That being said, these larger cots tend to be heavier and less packable, so there are some drawbacks to purchasing a bigger model.

Comfort

The main reason that people buy a cot is for added comfort while sleeping under the stars.

In a cot, comfort is a function of the size of its assembled size, which we've already discussed, and the sleeping surface.

For the most part, cots with a foam top or an air mattress will be more comfortable than those with just a canvas surface.

However, since these same cots are also usually heavier and more expensive, you can always choose to bring a camping sleeping pad to place on top of the canvas for added comfort at night.

Ease of Setup

No one likes to spend hours setting up their gear when they arrive in camp, and cots are no exception.

Thankfully, camp cots are generally relatively straightforward to set up. Most just require that you unfold them from their collapsed size.

Keep in mind that models with an attached air mattress often have a more involved setup process. Thankfully, this typically doesn't take more than a few extra minutes once you get the hang of the process.

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Final Takeaways

No one likes to be uncomfortable when camping in the great outdoors that is why we put together this guide to finding the best camping cot for your needs. 

With countless options to choose from finding the right cot is not easy. 

However, after reading our reviews and buying guide you should now have no problem finding the best camping cot for you.

Happy Camping!

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