5 Best Camping Cots On The Market Today [With Video Reviews]

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: October 26, 2018

camping cotFACT: Camping is way more fun when it’s comfortable.

So if you’re like me, you’ve come to the conclusion that sleeping on the ground in your camping tent is becoming less and less appealing.

No matter how nice your sleeping pad is, getting up and down off the floor is becoming a real pain in the…

But you don’t need to buy an expensive RV in order to eliminate this hassle, instead, you just need a quality camping cot.

A cot you can fold down, pack, take with you and set up in minutes.

A low hassle upgrade to your camping sleeping arrangements.

So today I’m going to share everything I know and have learned about camping cots; specifically:

**Note: If you just want our top recommendations, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

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emegency cots in shelter


Cots have long been used by the armed forces and emergency agencies as mobile single-person beds. We’ve all seen images of cots lined up in rows with military precision.

Well, a camping cot is similar – just designed to be a super portable and lightweight bed for camping.

They are made for situations when a full-size bed is too large or inconvenient.

Most cots are made out of a wood or metal frame, supporting a fabric sleeping surface made of linen, canvas, or nylon.

The fabric is stretched over the frame, allowing the best cots to support hundreds of pounds.

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camping cot sitting outside a tent


The main reasons to get a camping cot are pretty straightforward – portability and comfort.

The folding design allows them to break down into a manageable travel size. Making a camping cot a storable bed for your vehicle, boat, or cabin.

Compared to a full-size bed, they’re easy to move around. Giving you flexibility and allowing your space to adapt to multiple uses.

Cots provide overflow sleeping arrangements when you have unexpected guests. Making them helpful in an emergency when you may need to shelter more people than planned.

Beyond these benefits, cots can often provide a level of comfort that’s hard to beat sleeping on the ground.

The taut fabric sleeping surface keeps you up off uneven stones and roots and above any water and mud.

In warm climates, it also allows air to circulate underneath, cooling you while you sleep. Add a portable tent air conditioner and you can camp in even unbearably HOT temps.

As I get older, I appreciate one other aspect of sleeping on a cot in camp; getting up in the morning is much easier than when I sleep on the ground.

In a cot, you can swing your feet off the edge and sit up while you put your boots on and get dressed.

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep.

In an emergency situation, sleep can be hard to find and short. So make the best of it and get the best sleep you can when you have the time.

Imagine how much easier it is to get through the day with a full night’s sleep!

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The best camping cot depends a lot on how you plan to use it.

The best cots are those with solid wood or metal frames and durable canvas fabric.

This durable construction makes them sturdy, comfortable, and reliable.

But that same construction makes these cots unsuitable for some situations.

Like when you need to break camp and move on a daily basis. Or where storage size and weight are a concern, like on a boat.

In these cases, a lightweight aluminum and nylon cot is best. Allowing you to pack it down to a small size and weighing only a couple of pounds.

1. Best Traditional Cot – Byer of Maine Heritage Classic Cot

Byer of Maine has an updated version of the traditional wood and canvas folding cot that’s been in use for decades.

The hardwood frame lasts for decades, and the durable polyester provides an even, taut sleeping surface. In fact, it’s so tight that some people have difficulty putting it together the first time!

But be patient and follow the directions.

The tight assembly is part of the design and will keep you from sagging in the night.

Look no further than this classic cot if you’re looking for traditional styling and attention to detail.

Byer has an excellent reputation and stands behind their warranty if you have any issues.

2. Best Camping Cot For Two – Kamp-Rite Double Kwik Cot

The Kamp-Rite Double Kwik cot is the perfect solution for those looking for a cot big enough for two.

It’s over 7ft long and 4.5ft wide and capable of supporting 550lbs!

Yes, that’s the same dimensions as a queen-size bed!

It’s even a full 18” off the ground, which makes getting out of bed easy. Of course, that large a cot doesn’t fold up super small (43”by11”x11”) and it weighs in at over 35lbs.

While it might be the ideal option for cabins and car camping, I wouldn’t want to carry it very far from the road!

3. Best Folding Camping Cot – Coleman Trailhead Folding Cot

Chances are, you’ve seen a cot similar to the Coleman Trailhead.

It’s a clone of a longtime military design that’s given our troops a place to sleep for decades.

Coleman has versions with and without organization pockets. But both are the same construction and can easily hold up to 300lbs.

The durable steel frame and polyester fabric are built to last.

Some users note that the fabric is very tight. But the design relies on a snug fit to keep the surface taut and comfortable at night.

When it’s time to pack up camp, just fold the Trailhead cot up and put it in your rig!

4. Best Lightweight Camping Cot – ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite

Most camping cots have a reputation for being heavy. You certainly don’t see many of them outside of roadside campgrounds.

ALPS Mountaineering decided to see if they could lighten the bulk.

First, they swapped out the heavy canvas or packcloth decks with ripstop nylon. This helped to drop the cot’s weight without sacrificing durability.

Next, they replaced the steel rails and braces with 7000 series aluminum. These design elements bring the whole package down to under 5lbs!

When disassembled, the entire system rolls up into a compact 7”x17” case.

While this would still be a heavy item in a backpack (and still too heavy for minimalist camping), it’s far more portable than a traditional heavy cot.

I’d love to have a couple on my next river trip, where they’d fit nicely in my canoe!

5. Best Bunkbed Style Camping Cot – Disc-O-Bed Kid-O-Bunk

When you’re camping with kids, you know their stuff can take up an extraordinary amount of space.

Inside a tent, this is magnified since everything can be a little cramped to start.

Once there’s more than one kid, the space problem grows exponentially.

At bedtime, you can reclaim some of your space with this innovative bunk bed camping cot. The Disc-O-Bed is versatile as well!

You can use it as a stacked bunk bed, a bench with a comfortable back, or as a pair of single cots.

With a sturdy polyester fabric deck and no center brace, it’s comfortable even without a mattress!

The frame is modular and breaks down into two durable bags for transport and storage.

It’s made of durable powder-coated steel and can support up to 200lbs PER bunk!

Plus, they can be assembled in minutes without any tools.

This is a great feature when arriving at camp late, and you’re just trying to get things set up so everyone can get to bed!

But the best parts are the organization pockets along each bunk.

This provides your kids with a place for all their toys, water bottle, flashlight, and even a stuffed animal.

Don’t feel left out if you’re too big for the Kid-O-Bed, they make one for Mom and Dad also!

Check Out Today’s Price For Kids Bunk Cot – Check Out The Price For The Adult Bunk Cot

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.


While sleeping in a cot can be a lot better than sleeping on the ground, there are a few things that make it even easier.

Sleeping Pad

Yes, a cot looks a lot like a bed. But tight assembly means sleeping on the fabric can leave you with sore pressure points.

Take your sleeping pad and use it with the cot for a great night’s sleep.

The Big Agnes Q-Core pad is super comfortable and even adds insulation on cold nights.


Just like in a sleeping bag, you’re going to want a pillow.

Take a stuff sack with a soft liner, fill it with your spare clothes – an instant pillow!

This one from Thermarest is a great option!


If your cot doesn’t come with an organizer, you should definitely look into getting one.

In the middle of the night, it’s much easier to find those crucial items under the bed when you’ve got a place to store them.

Teton Sports makes an aftermarket cot organizer that fits most full-size cots with side rails.

It’s even got a drink holder!


If the idea of a camping cot appeals to you, check out some of these other cool camping gear options as well!

With so many camping cot options on the market, there’s a camping cot for nearly every situation.

And while I can’t categorize it as a camping essential, the portability and comfort of these camp cot beds are a game-changer!

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

Photo Credit – Cots Lined Up

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