This article will save you a lot of time. We’ve reviewed over 100 camping cots for a variety of needs including camping, backpacking, couples, heavy adults, shelters, and bunk beds to identify products that will delight you and satisfy all your needs. We eliminated many from consideration because of flaws and a few because none of the sellers had reputations we considered worth the risk since there were similar products at similar price points from reputable sellers.
When purchasing a camping cot, your height and weight are two of the most important considerations. Adult cots tend to be rated for weights between 250 – 500 pounds; we’ve included one that is rated up to 600 pounds.
The different ways you might want to utilize the cot is another consideration. If you backpack and camp, it makes sense to buy a cot that will be useful in both situations rather than having a separate cot for each type of camping. If you’ll be using it in a tent, you’ll want to pay attention to the feet to be sure they won’t damage the floor of your tent. If the model you prefer isn’t completely safe for your tent, you could use it and just take care to protect the floor against punctures.
Many people use these cots for dual purposes as guest beds and camping cots. If you backpack, there are several fine options that weigh less than 5 pounds and one as light as 2.8 pounds.
We’ve arranged the ones that merit our recommendations by price and use including a couple’s cot, bunk cots, backpackers’ cots, cots for heavy people, and with shelters built into the design. Prices range from less than $50 to nearly $300. In general, the higher the price, the better the quality and durability the cot will have.
A camping cot is better than an air mattress because it can’t deflate. It’s better than a sleeping pad by itself because you’re off the ground, away from dirt and rocks and creepy crawlies. Most camping cots are also much easier to get in and out of, more like a bed.
Round Up of the Best Camping Cots
Every cot in this review is a good value for the money. That being said, if we were buying a cot for our own use, some choices are better than others.
Best Camping Cot for a single Side SleeperWe like the Coleman Deluxe ComfortSmart Cot because its 30-inch width provides more room for side sleepers to roll from side-to-side and the mat provides some cushioning for the lower shoulder. With a steel frame, 1-year warranty, and 300-pound capacity, it’s a good choice for single sleepers.
Best Budget Camping CotThe OSAGE RIVER Folding Camping Cot with Carry Bag weighs only 13 pounds but it will support sleepers up to 300 pounds. With the built-in elevated head, your pillow is less likely to slide off and stomach sleepers can probably forgo a pillow. It folds up like a camp chair and sets up in less than a minute.
Best Wood Frame Camping CotIf you prefer a traditional wood frame camping cot, Byer of Maine makes an ash framed cot that will hold sleepers weighing up to 375 pounds on its traditional design. The 600 Diener fabric is removable and washable. At 84″ length, it is as long as a California King bed and the 31″ width provides ½ the sleeping room of a queen size mattress.
Best Side Sleepers for CouplesSide sleepers need some give under their shoulder to sleep comfortably. The Coleman Camping Cot and Mattress has an air mattress that makes it comfortable for couples who sleep on their sides. The air mattress also allows couples to sleep close together. Some couple’s cots have a metal bar in the middle that makes cuddling difficult.
Best Bunk Bed Cots for Adults and ChildrenIf you need to sleep more people in less space, or you just want a durable camping cot that will last for decades. The Child Size Disc Bed Bunks hold up to 200 pounds per bunk and the Adult Size Bunk Beds hold up to 500 pounds each. Both styles convert into daytime seating. These innovative bunks are impressive!
Best Camping Cot for BackpackersBackpackers need a lightweight durable cot because they’re too far from civilization to run to Cabela’s or Bass Pro if something goes wrong. The DESERT WALKER Ultra Lightweight Cot only weighs 2.8 pounds but will hold sleepers up to 440 pounds. It also sets up quickly so when you’re tired at the end of a long hike, you don’t have to fiddle with it when you’re tired.
Best Covered Camping CotThe Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot is the most expensive cot on our list but it is durable and sleeps two. When compared to the price of two cots, the price is reasonable. It will keep you dry and mosquitoes away. It will hold up to 500 pounds in a cozy den without a metal bar between the sleepers.
Reviews: Best Sleeping Bag Cots under $50
1. Coleman ComfortSmart Cot
This cot is narrower and shorter than the Deluxe version and the mattress is thinner. The price difference between the deluxe and this smaller cot was barely more than a large Frappuccino when we reviewed it. Unless you’re dealing with very tight size restrictions, I’d go with the deluxe, even for kids since they grow. Both these cots will last for years. The cover is a nylon taffeta fabric that can make a slight noise when you move. Covering it with a fitted sheet will help.
If you have size restrictions, this is a great option. People who buy it are happy with it.
This is super easy to setup and put away. It folds the same way folding game day chairs fold, so you don’t have to add pieces to finish putting it together. Don’t try to sit on the ends of the cot. Get up by going off the side, not one of the ends as they are likely to break if your weight is concentrated on the end.
600D PVC coated waterproof fabric also prevents moisture build up and mildew
Includes a carrying bag to keep it clean while stored
Measures 75″ x 28″ x 18.5″
In carry bag, 40″ L x 8″ W x 5″ H
The headrest is elevated
Weighs 13 pounds
Black, Blue, Red, Green, Grey, and Pink color choices
Reviews: Best Sleeping Bag Cots over between $50 – $100
4. PORTAL Folding Portable Camping Cot
This portable camping cot comes with great benefits. An extra-long 83″ length (that’s longer than a King-sized bed and just 1-inch shorter than a California King). It holds up to 300 pounds with ease. The higher rise (19″) makes it easier for folks with bad knees to get up. A handy bedside pocket holds gear close and off the floor. A carrying case keeps everything neatly together. Available in Navy and Black.
Steel, powder coated frame
Weighs 23.5 pounds
Fast set-up (2 minutes if you’re experienced)
Oxford canvas polyester fabric is durable and comfortable
This army style cot has a bar on each end with a storage bag and a handy area on the side of the cot to keep track of your flashlight, glasses, keys, and other things you can waste so much time hunting for in a congested tent. Its sturdy assembly is easier after the first few times. The height is well off the ground and leaves room to store gear under the cot.
Weight limit: 300 lbs.
Weighs about 18.1 pounds
600D (diener) Oxford canvas
Your choice of 83″ x 32″ or 75″ x 25″ (make sure you order the right size)
Break it in by setting it up and leaving it for 1 – 2 days
If you’re looking for a cot that will hold up to 300 pounds and accommodate a 6’6″ sleeper, almost everyone who purchases this cot is pleased. The durable steel frame provides a sleeping surface that is 80-inches long, 30-inches wide, and has a height of 15-inches including the mattress. Sleepers who have bad knees might prefer a taller mattress but other than that, this is a product that is sure to please. Whether you’re looking for a guest bed that can be folded up and put away when not in use or a cot that allows you to sleep comfortably on camping trips, this one will do the trick.
Coleman and camping equipment are synonymous because they’ve been providing reliable camping gear for generations. This cot comes with an air mattress, a D-cell battery-operated pump, and two side tables with drink holders.
Each side has a night table with a cup holder
Inner coils in the air bed keep it firm and it is leak proof so it will remain firm
The mattress cover is attached to the cot, so it won’t slide off the cot
78″ x 59″ x 22″ (similar to a queen-size mattress)
This cot is perfect for couples who want to sleep together when they’re camping. The metal support bar in the middle makes it necessary to use an air mattress or thick topper if you want to cuddle. If you just want to share the same bed, each on your own half, you can use it without a pad or use a separate pad on each half. It holds up under plenty of weight for most couples.
Holds up to 550 pounds
Carrying case has wheels
1200 D (diener) fabric
It has elastic straps to keep your mattress on top of the cot
Disc-bed camping cots are innovative. They come in a style that is perfect for children up to 200 pounds and an adult style that has a 500-pound per bunk capacity, and an XL size that holds 600 pounds per bunk. I’m so impressed with these products that I’m going to check to see if the company is publicly traded. Both the child size and adult product can be used as single cots, a 2-story high bunk bed that can be expanded to allow more distance between the bunks, and as a bench with a back for daytime seating.
10. Child Size Disc Bed Bunks (two cots)
The child’s size is large enough for small adults, providing 62-inches (5’2″) of sleeping space. They are 27.7 inches wide so almost ½ the width of a Queen bed. The fabric can be removed for washing and also wipes down easily.
65″ x 32.5″ (exterior measurements)
They assemble quickly without tools, your child can do it
Take it apart and store it in an easy to carry bag for convenient transportation
The company provides cots to FEMA, the Red Cross, and the US Military
This light weight cot is ready for your backpacking adventures. Weighing under 5-pounds and folding up into a compact 5″ x 17″ narrow case, lightweight backpackers can bring a bed with them. Since sleep is essential for your body to repair muscle damage from the day’s hike, a comfortable bed is important. Assembling the legs requires a bit of strength but anyone who is over age 10 who doesn’t have a partial physical disability should be able to do it. Practice assembling it before your trip.
The frame is a 7000 series aluminum design and the 420D polyester honeycomb rip stop fabric securely supports heavy bodies. If the ground is uneven, use shims (small pieces of wood, rocks, or even folded jeans to keep it from wobbling. It requires some strength to put legs on it, but you can apply your body’s weight to make it easy. Don’t try to assemble in the dark the first time.
The legs distribute your weight over the length of the cot, so it won’t create pressure points in one area of your tent.
If you want a light backpacker cot that will hold a big man, this Desert Walker is rated for over 440 pounds and weighs just 2.8 pounds. However, it’s just 23.6 inches wide so make sure it’s wide enough for your needs. The lightweight is the best feature!
Very easy to set up and a great price for a steel tube cot that will hold someone weighing up to 400 pounds. The pillow and organizer pocket add convenience.
Weighs only 18 pounds
Includes a matching tote bag for easy storage
74.8″ x 26.8″ x 15″
Polyester twill fabric is water resistant and easy to clean
Folds quickly like a camp chair
Organizer pocket keeps your phone and keys handy
Alpcour offers another version with a raised head that is only designed to hold up to 300-pounds, but the price difference is less than the cost of a piece of pie at many restaurants. We don’t see any reason to recommend the lower priced one.
Keeping your gear close at hand is easy with the storage bags that come with this heavy-duty cot that is built to hold up to 450 pounds despite its 17.5 pound weight. This army style cot is made with a washable 600 Denier Polyester mildew resistant fabric held by reinforced aircraft-quality aluminum.
Although sleeping under the stars where you can see their brilliance without the air pollution in the city is wonderful, sometimes the weather, mosquitoes, or crowded conditions make you want more privacy while you sleep. Cots that come with built-in covers are perfect for those situations.
19. Gymax Waterproof Covered Camping Cots
The 2-person cot is only 46.5 inches wide. A full-sized bed is 54″ so it is pretty narrow for two full-sized adults. It would be fine for an adult and child or an adult and dog. It does provide a nice place for gear for a single person who is car camping. Stay dry in most weather.
This cot with built-in bug netting and rain fly has some thoughtful features. Under the cot is a shelf where you can keep your shoes off the ground. If you want to be able to see the stars without mosquitoes, leave the rain fly off and stargaze to your heart’s content.
The elevated Winterial tent camping cot is more expensive than some of its competitors but those who buy it and compare it to the competition think it is worth the extra money. The sleeping surface is 46-inches wide and 84-inches long with no bar underneath to keep lovers apart. The rain fly keeps you dry in a downpour.
When choosing a cot consider the types of camping you want to do, who you want to do it with, the potential weather conditions, and where you want to do it.
In this review, we’ve included products at different price points because not everyone wants the best possible quality. If you seldom need a camping cot, one of the lower priced models may be more than adequate for your needs. If you’re a 3-season camper, you’ll want to invest in a shelter cot if you don’t use a tent.
If you have a bad back or bad knees, you’ll want a camping cot because a height about 17 inches off the ground makes it easier to stand up without putting stress on your joints. As long as the cot will keep you off the ground, it will keep the dampness at bay.
If you’re backpacking, weight and size are critical features. If you’re motorcycle camping, the folded-up size is the most important factor although you’ll also want protection from the weather, either from a tent or a cot with an attached shelter. If you’re camping in the backyard or car camping, as long as the cot fits in your vehicle and is light enough for you to set it up where you want it, you should be good. You’ll want something that is easy to set-up.
Cots can be made from wood, aluminum, or steel. The fabrics used for the cot should be durable and rip resistant. Look at the size of the sleeping surface, some of them are very narrow, and consider how much weight the cot is rated to hold.
If you have a dog, choose a cot with legs that are sturdy if your pet stands up on one end of the cot when you’re not on it.
If the bar in the middle is uncomfortable, you can slide a pool noodle over it. You can also cover the edges of the cot with pool noodles if they’re uncomfortable.