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Best Camping cots for 2021

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

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Why you need a camping cot?

Why you need a camping cot is an interesting question and one that will very much depend on your personality and your personal preference. There is nothing inherently wrong with sleeping on the ground or an air mattress, but some factors make a cot preferable to those options when you can use one. These are factors that include your health and potential dangers that can be on the ground when you are camping. What cot you should buy will also depend on your personal preference and needs during your camping adventure, this is why we have a comprehensive list of cots for you.

Why should you sleep off the ground?

One of the first reasons you should camp off the ground when you can is local wildlife. This wildlife can be anything from small bugs to spiders to snakes. All of these can be a risk if they are present in your area when you are camping. Your tent should preferably be sealed from the outer wilderness, but the extra assurance of height from these animals is good to have. Now, if these are not the most common problems in your area, then you may think that you don't need a cot, but the more I thought about it, there are a few other reasons that you may want a cot.

The second is your exposure to the elements. Suppose you are two low to the ground than you are in greater exposer to the night air and the chill that may come with it. If you are too high, the heat will be higher and be more uncomfortable. Water, rain, and humidity is always a consideration when you are camping as they can soak you, your bedding, and even your clothes. This problem is why a cot can improve oversleeping on the ground as it avoids exposure to these elements.

The last reason why you should sleep off the ground and on a cot is that it can help with your comfort. For your physical comfort, having a place to come back and lay down that is comfortable and safe is essential. If you have had a full day of hiking or fishing and your muscles are starting to ache, then the last thing that you are going to want to do is lay on the hard ground. You could use an air mattress, but that may not be the best thing for the reasons listed above. On the other hand, if you have a nice comfortable cot to come back to, you can make all of the difference to your rest.

How high should a cot be?

There are many varying sizes and heights when it comes to cots, but the good question is, how far do I wanna be from the ground? The simple answer is that you want to be a few feet off the ground. Far enough that nothing can immediately climb up onto the cot with you but not so much that you would need a step later to go to sleep at night. Fortunate, most cots will adequately fit this description, and you can sleep warm and safe in your tent.

Should I go with a camping cot or air mattress?

That is a personal preference that you will have to ask your self, is it a good idea to sleep on the ground here? There are many places that it is perfectly fine and safe to sleep on the ground, so it just becomes a matter of preference. I think that an air mattress would seem more comfortable than a cot because of all the cushion that you get from the air, but this is not necessarily true.

Air mattresses are closer to the ground. Because of this, you are going to want to make sure that your mattress provides plenty of cushion for when you are sleeping. If it does not, you will be sleeping on the hard, possibly uneven ground. So if you a looking at an air mattress, you are going to want to look for one that is reliable. It might help to look for a name brand or higher-end mattress.

On the other hand, a cot takes a lot of the guesswork out of what you need to be comfortable on your camping trip. Picking the type of cot is just as important as picking the type of tent or clothes you will wear. We have more to say on this in the review section, so go ahead and look there to see what type of cot will be good for you.

Can I fit a camping cot in a tent?

Yes. You absolutely can fit a cot in a tent, but the question is what type of tent you want to put the cot in and what type of cot that you want. Cots are as varied as anything in the world now, and with the internet, you have access to a ton of them, so the first question that springs to mind is what kind of tent you have. If you have something like a bell tent, then you can have any kind of cot that you want as your tent shines in size though the type of cot will become more specific.

Suppose you are something like the bell tent mentioned above tent, then you are going to have a lot of room and may be able to fit something as large as a double cot or a queen cot in the tent. If you are in a full-sized tent, you could probably fit a regular single cot in, it would be snug, but it would fit. If you have a small tent, then you probably can't fit a kind of cot in it, with no tent at all though you gain an interesting option, a cot that is also a tent. We go into more detail into those below.

What cot should I buy?

This is a good question, and the answer may surprise you.

Best portable cot.

REDCAMP Folding Camping Cots for Adults Heavy Duty, 28" - 33" Extra Wide Sturdy Portable Sleeping Cot for Camp Office Use, Blue Gray Green

Click here to see on amazon.

The first cot on our list is the Redcamp folding camping cot for adults. This cot is a heavy-duty cot designed for real adults who like to go on camping trips. This cot can hold up to 500 pounds on its collapsible frame. This factor makes this an all-around good cot in every other respect as well. The cot is portable for camping and is easily unfold once you reach your camp. There are a few flaws with this cot, but the most common is that it can be squeaky on occasion. Not the worst problem to have for a cot that you can sleep on.

Coleman Trailhead II Cot

Click here to see on amazon.

So when I think of a standard cot, I think of the cross-legged design with a sheet of material that you sleep on. This design is the most basic, but there is a reason for this, and that is because this type of cot allows you to bring it along easily on camping trips. The cot that holds the number one spot on this section of the list is the Coleman Trailhead II cot. There is a very specific reason why well this portable camping cot has been reviewed. There are many reasons why this cot struck a chord with people, and we are going to go into why.

One of the advantages of this cot that makes it so popular among users is that it can hold three-hundred pounds, a good amount of weight for a cot, and it holds it well. The other advantages of the cot are its comfort due to how well the bars cradle the body and how strong the actual canvas is that you physically can sleep on. The setup is fairly easy (more on that in the next section), and the fact that it fits in a carry bag makes it convenient for camping trips.

The last thing that any camper should know about this particular cot is its flaws. The major flaw is that while the physical canvas that you sleep on is strong, the edge is not as strong, and there have been some cases of the edges ripping. The first thing you should do is not sleep there unless you have a mattress over the crossbars. In the morning, you should send pictures of the tear and report the critical failure to Amazon and Coleman. There is no guarantee that they will cover this unless you got a specific warranty. Still, they are usually pretty good about it.

Best two person cot.

Kamp-Rite Tent Cot with Rain Fly

Click here to see on amazon.

If you are looking for a two-person cot (or just a cot for yourself), then the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot with Rain Fly is a good one to start with. A cost-effective cot that can fit up to two people will be the cot for you. It's good for beginners and has a quick setup time, which is good for beginners. The cot itself is weatherproof, and it can sustain up to three hundred pounds. It is a sturdy cot that works well for a couple.

So are there any downsides to this cot for a couple that is going camping? Yes. These aren't deal-breakers if you are not used to camping. They are things that you should know about before you buy. The first is that there is a central bar that sticks upright through the centerline of the cot. This bar isn't terrible if you sleep apart, but I'm afraid that this would be a hindrance if you used to be close to your partner. This bar can be made less obtrusive by placing a mattress or padding of some kind, but it will still be there. This cot design's side effect is that it requires a little balance for two people to sleep on it without tilting the cot. There are only a few of these complaints, so I think it may be due to the ground.

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo | Folding Camp Cot and Air Bed with Side Tables and Battery Operated Pump

Click here to see on amazon.

The Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo take the top spot for two-person camping cots. The cot serves as an effective base for an air mattress, providing stability while you are sleeping. There is still a chance that a balancing act could be required on uneven ground. The other fact that makes this mattress preferable is that it can support up to 500 hundred pounds and a minimum of four hundred pounds. This weight is probably closer to what you would have with a couple. The fact that the mattress inflates by a pump that is battery powered makes this great for camping. To answer your next question, they are d batteries.

This cot's downsides are not as pronounced, but they are worth listing, so let us go ahead and get to it. The first is the one that we mentioned before, the balancing act you need to do to get in or out of bed. It doesn't seem uncommon among two-person cots to have this issue, but it is still worth learning about before you buy one. Another issue that seems to occur on occasion with this cot is that it sometimes becomes very noisy. This noise seems to be caused by the friction between the air mattress and the physical cot itself. It is important to remember that this is because air mattresses are not regular mattresses. I think there are very few that come close to real mattresses. In the end, I think that thesis a good cot for a couple, but if you use it or more than a few days, then the air mattress may wear on you.

Best camping cot and mattress combo.

ELTOW Cozy Folding Camping Cot

Click here to see on amazon.

The ELTOW Cozy Folding Camping Cot is a good cot that is portable and has a mattress as well as a sleeping bag as well as a pillow. A complete package like this is a good choice and is pretty affordable if you start out camping. The cot makes its portability even easier because it comes in an easy to carry bag that you can place it into after folding it down. The cot itself can support a weight of up to four hundred pounds, making it good for many people.

The downsides of this cot are few and far between, and two of the four that we are going to talk about are not even directly about the cot itself. The first and most drastic is that there are a few cases of the cot breaking. Not much can be done about this other than sending away for a replacement. The second is that the cot is a little bulky when it is completely folded. This bulk is expected because of everything that comes built into this cot, although it leads us to both the third and fourth problems. The third is that the bag may be slightly too small, making it hard to fit the bag's cot. The fourth is that the base material is not the strongest and can get holes from excessive use,

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Click here to see on amazon.

The Coleman ComfortSmart cot takes number one on this list because of the sheer amount of positive reviews around this particular cot. The cot itself is a folding type that you can fit inside a car trunk to take on your camping adventure. The steel frame used for this particular cot is sturdy and capable of supporting a person of two-hundred and seventy-five pounds five feet seven and under. I feel that these specifications are a bit more restrictive than some cots, but it works very well for all of the people who have tried it. The mattress provides good cushion, and it makes the experience of sleeping in a tent more comfortable than if you had slept on an air mattress or the ground. Adding to this comfort is that the cot's underside is a spring suspension that adds to the support. I bring this up because I have found it on very few cots.

So the chiefest complaint is that this particular cots spring sag after a while. This issue is the most common complaint that occurs about this cot. Still, this complaint doesn't appear that much when people talk about the cot in general. There are varying accounts of how quickly this effect might happen, and Coleman's customer service is well known for helping people when it does. I don't think that this is a deal-breaker for the cot, but you should know it beforehand.

Best tent cot.

Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot Camping Bed for 1 Person

Click here to see on amazon.

So with the subject of tent cots, we will start with the one that fits a single occupant. The Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot Camping Bed for 1 Person is a fantastic cot that doubles as a tent. I view this as a great bonus for backyard tenters as well as hikers. For the former, this doubles as a lawn chair that you could set up for your back yard, and for hiker, it is one less item that you would have to have to carry on your hike. The item's weight is somewhere between twenty to twenty-two pounds, and the cot itself can hold up to 350 pounds. The design makes it easy to set up for a quick stay.

There are a few downsides that we should look at before we move on with the reviews. The first is that this cot only folds in half, this makes setup quite the breeze, but it means that the cot is not very compact when you pick it up. The tent itself is also small and not recommended for people who may have an issue when it comes to tight spaces. The last thing that should be noted is that extra padding may be required as this is a basic cot and does not have any kind of mattress. These are the defect that seems to be the most noticeable or occurred the most, so we thought that it was worth bringing these up before you bought the cot.

Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot, Elevated Sleeping Platform with Collapsible Aluminum Frame

Click here to see on amazon.

The factor that you can only fit one person on a cot isn't always convent, and sometimes you need to be able to fit two people in a tent. For that purpose, we have the Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot. This cot can hold two people in a snug embrace that only allows you to carry one cot. This tent cot can hold up to five hundred pounds of weight and only forty for pounds itself, making it valuable on camping trips. The tent itself is made out of nylon and appears to be water-resistant, which is good because the last thing that you want is to wake up by a soaking wet tent dousing you in the middle of the night. There are mesh doors and windows for ventilation and for keeping bugs out of the cot.

So we have talked about the upsides of this particular tent cot, but what about the downsides. Well, one is that while this tent can hold two people, it may be a bit snug depending on the size of the occupants, and two is the maximum that it can hold, not wiggle room on that front. The tent and the bag have been said to be somewhat bulky but combine that with the forty-four-pound weight, and this is not a tent cot that recommends hiking. The last thing that we should mention is that this tent is easy to set up as it requires no tools or equipment, but it is much easier to do with two people as the cot has both sets of legs slide out simultaneously.

Cots with mosquito netting.

Rothco Free Standing Mosquito Net Tent

Click here to see on amazon.

So maybe all you want is a cot to sleep under the stars. The problem with this is because you don't have a tent, you are plagued by mosquitos and other nasty bugs that just won't leave you alone. Well, we have found a cot that is both mosquito-proof and not a tent, allowing you to have the best of Both worlds. The Rothco Free Standing Mosquito Net Tent is the solution to the question.

This cot is still a free-standing tent cot that is more netting Than tent and is for those that want that open-air experience. The pro of this tent is in the name. It keeps the bugs and mosquito of you while you are sleeping. If there is a real downside to this tent, it is tedious to take up and put down, but many tents have this problem, so it is not unique to this one. You should also be careful not to rip the bug screen when setting it up or taking it down.

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