Is a camping cot worth it?
Many people wonder whether they really need the best cot for camping when they could just carry a sleeping bag.
Well, the truth is that you never know, until you are forced to cut your camping vacation short because of a sore back. If you have a bad back, it becomes worse from sleeping on a rocky ground.
As you will see when reading reviews for camping cots, they do much more than prevent you from suffering a sore back.
They do insulate you from the cold.
So, yes! A cot is definitely worth it!
Table of Contents
Benefits of camping cots
A camping bed, also called cot, will benefit you in many ways. For example:
- Avoid damaging a good sleeping bag on rocky ground when camping
- Use at home as an extra bed when you have guests
- It will enable you to go camping even if you have a sore back
- Give you just about the same comfort that you enjoy at home
- Keep you suspended and safe from vermin that crawl and creep on the ground
- Keep your from catching a cold as a result of sleeping on soggy ground
- Use the cot as a seat during the day
What is the best cot for camping?
Which one will you choose since all the cots in the market claim to be the best? Reading camping cots reviews can help you get a good deal.
But first …
Which is better cot or air mattress? Well, each has its own distinct advantages. An air mattress is virtually weightless and so easy to pack.
On the other hand, a cot is great for helping you sleep elevated from the ground, keeping you safe from vermin and creepers such as copperhead snakes.
Besides, the powder-coated finishing of some cots makes them resist bacteria and germs. Bottom line is: You are safer on a cot than on an air mattress.
Now, here are a just a few of the best ones:
TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Cot
From the name alone, you can learn a few important things. First, this is a high quality cot because TETON is one of the most respected brand names in the hiking, camping and backpacking industry. The second thing is that this cot is XXL, meaning that it can take two of the largest persons you have ever met.
Let us look at its features:
- It is rated for 600 pounds/272 kg weight capacity.
- Strong steel frame/legs that have been made using a patented folding design will never give up
- Will measure 84 by 40 inches /216 by 102 cm when erected
- Measures a portable 42 by 12 by 7 inches/106.6 by 40.8 by 18 cm when it is packed
- It is sold with a carry bag
- Rubber bushings for protecting your tent floor
- Can be used together with the TETON Sports XXL Camp Pad for more comfort
- Frame is made of extruded aluminium
- The bed fabric is 600D poly canvas heavy duty
If you are looking for a cot that you can use both outdoors and at home when you have guests, this is it. It will take the heaviest person around without sagging.
Coleman Pack Away Cot 80 x 32 inches
Coleman is another of the highly reputed brand names in the world of adventure. It does not disappoint, as you will see when you buy it.
- Coleman 2000020273 Pack-Away Cot measures 80 by 32 inches/203 by 31 cm when erected.
- Removable side table that you can use to place your cup and snack when you are relaxing – that’s dope
- Bed is made of hardy polyester that can take up to 300 pounds/136 kg without sagging
- Sold with one-year limited warranty from manufacturer
- Can be erected to a maximum height of 17 inches/43.2 cm. That is enough elevation from the ground.
- You can use it as an extra bed at home when you have guests
- Has a heavy-duty frame made of steel
- The shipping weight is indicated as 20.8 pounds/9.4 kg
Coleman ComfortSMART Cot
This is one of the best camping cots for 2017 and you will see why. Its features include:
It is padded – well, well, that means carrying some extra weight with you, doesn’t it? But if you have a bad back, and you have a car to drive you to the camping site, you know very well that the trouble will be more than paid for by the comfort you will enjoy.
- Has a weight rating of up to 300 pounds/136 kg
- Spring coil suspension for added comfort
- Steel frame – heavy duty
- Can fit a person of 5 ft 7 inches/167.5 cm comfortably
- Folds to compact size of 34 by 25 by 5.5 inches/86 by 63 by 14 cm, enough to fit into the car trunk
- Covered by limited one-year warranty
- Shipping weight is indicated as 15.9 pounds/7.2 kg
Cons – Many users say that the cot is noisy.
Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot
Kamp-Rite Oversize Kwik Cot is one of the large camping cots in the market today. It measures a full 85 by 33 inches/215 by 84 cm. This cot can fit a 6-foot person comfortably. If you are looking for the best large size sleeping cots for your hiking or camping vacation, or both, and one that you can also use at home, you have found it.
- It has a weight rating of 350 pounds/159 kg
- Measures a compact 43 by 10 by 9 inches/109 by 25 by 23 cm
- Weighs 25 pounds/11.3 kg when packed
- The cot is sold with two pouches for storing your personal effects as you sleep
Cons: The legs do not have a locking mechanism
Coleman Trailhead II best cot for camping
One of the most loved cots for backpacking, this one weighs 18 pounds/8.2 kg, is simple to set up and the price makes it affordable for any hiking enthusiast with any budget. It is made of high quality material. The frame is heavy duty steel while the bed is made of strong polyester.
Here is a sneak peek at its features
- It measures 70 by 30 by 17 inches/175 by 75 by 42.5 cm when erected
- Measures 40 by 8 by 4 inches/16 by 3.2 by 1.6 cm when it is folded
- It has a weight capacity rating of 300 pounds/136 kg
Oversize Kamp-Rite Tent Cot
This one is both a tent and a cot. We mean it comes with its own tent.
It is actually one of the best camping cots for 2017. With dimensions of 90 by 32 by 36 inches/ 228 by 81 by 91 cm, you can see that the elevation is quite high, at 91 cm.
No vermin will get near you and the space beneath is good for storage.
It has its own 210D tent. It also has a rainfly, making it the best camping cot for all seasons. That is not all however, since the incredible design of this cot makes it usable as a chair, a lounge as well as an open cot.
Remember, even with so many uses, it is still very easy to set up.
Features and benefits
- The carrying weight is only 34 pounds/15.4 kg
- Frame is made of heavy-duty steel
- Has weight capacity rating of 350 pounds/158.8 kg
- Measures 36 by 34 by 7 inches/91.4 by 86 by 17.7 when it is folded
- Bed is made of 190T nylon fabric, which is also easy to maintain
Cons: It is heavy.
Things to consider when buying a cot for camping
Light travel cots – In this age of super light travel cots, there is no reason why you should not bring your camping bed with you. The best one is sturdily built to withstand many years of use.
Thus, even for the most ardent camper, a sleeping cot for camping is most definitely a one-off buy. And then it will be a long time before you go back shopping for another one.
Get value for your money – No two ways about that. That is why it is important to read a buying guide for any outdoor use-intended product.
Adventurers abuse their gear unintentionally of course, because sometimes the outdoor conditions get really rough. Thus, on that account, you want to read a few camping cots reviews before you buy one.
I know, you have heard about this so many times it has become cliché. In fact, I did mention “travel cot” in my first section of this post but tell you what, cliché wins all the time.
From where you park your car to where your tent is … it could be just 40 yards, again, it could be 200 yards. Or maybe you are going for overnight hiking and you would like to carry your camp bed with you. Short or long, it is distance traveled. You do not want a cot that will cause you to call the army to help you carry it. If you have backache, you do not want a portable cot that will strain your back.
So what is the ideal weight of a camping or travel cot? This depends on a few things;
The size of the cot – The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL camping cot is large enough to fit two people comfortably. Thus, it would only be fair to expect it to be heavier than the best cot for camping for one sleeper. When buying your cot, read carefully the shipping weight, because that is most likely what you will be carrying on your shoulders.
Some of the best travel cots are made for women, others for children, some for really large people and some for regular sized people. Some cots are made for women. Thus, if you would like the best service, just buy the one suited for your gender, size and weight.
100 to 200 lb/ 45 to 91 kg weight-rated cots are suitable for children of 100 to 135 lb/45 to 62 kg
225 to 275 lb/ 102 to 125 kg weight rated camping cots are suitable for regular men, women and youths who weigh 150 to 180 lb/68 to 82 kg
300 to 375 lb/136 to 170 kg weight rated cots are suitable for extra large men weighing between 200 and 275 lb/91 and 125 kg
400 to 600 lb/181 to 272 kg weight rated cots are suitable for people who weigh more 275 lb/125 kg
Cot size when erected
How wide and long is the camping bed when it is erected? This brings into consideration the size of your camping tent. The cot should fit and leave space for you to stow the rest of your gear. How high or low is the tent that you will be using? If it is a high tent, then you do not have to worry about the vertical height of your cot unless it is a double-decker cot.
Make use of the space under your cot. Stow most of your gear there. For a low tent, buy a cot whose height can be adjusted or one that is basically a low elevation from the ground.
Read the cot dimensions before you order yours online or before you buy from an outdoor store. Remember also that a cot with bigger dimensions will be heavier and vice versa.
The cot frame carries the weight. Forget the cot bed for a moment as that will only distribute the weight. The frame will have to take all the bulky abuse. You want a cot that you can sleep or sit on without it collapsing under you.
Ensure that the cot frame is built with heavy-duty aluminium or steel. Consider also the shape or the structure of the legs. Mostly, many cots have vertical legs. Others come with X-legs, and lastly, cheap cots come with C-shaped legs that are joined by a horizontal bar.
Go for rounded or plastic-capped legs to protect the tent.
The best fabrics for cot beds are nylon or polyester. Both are very easy to clean. They are more preferable than natural fiber fabrics like cotton which retain dirt. If you are going for summer camping, you can look for a cot with meshed fabric for more airflow.
Look for double-stitching in the fabric. Also make sure that the stitching is straight, without veering too close to the edge. Stitching on both sides is better
High thread count is better because it means a lot of thread has been used in the stitching and thus it is stronger.
Is it easy to erect?
After a long journey to the camping site, you will feel beat. You may lack the patience to take a full hour or so to set up your cot.
Therefore, what you want is a cot that you can assemble as fast as possible. Packing, unpacking and setting it up should be easy and thankfully, manufacturers are considering this fact. When thinking of how to choose the best camp cot, consider buying one that you can erect in a few minutes.
Make sure you know how to assemble your cot. You see, for maximum comfort, today’s cots come with many accessories. Apart from the fabric and the frame, there are the tension springs to snap into place and cords to pull. Read the user manual carefully and practice a few times before leaving home.
Not many people remember this important consideration when they are buying a camping bed or cot. Some of the accessories to look for include pouches for keeping your personal effects as you sleep, carry bag, sleeping pads and so on. The more accessories it has, the better for you.
Support, comfort and others
You do not want a cot that is rated for a certain weight capacity and then starts sagging. If it sags, it will hamper your comfort when sleeping. Also, do consider travel cots that come with lockable legs, low to no noise levels and so on. If a cot comes with foam mattress, it will be comfortable, especially if you have a bad back.
You have now seen how to choose the best cot for camping as well as a few brands and models available in the market.
When you go hiking, you will need all the sleep that you can grab at night, to rejuvenate you for the following day’s adventures.
Cots keep campers comfortable, dry and safe since you do not have to sleep in contact with the ground. With the information, you can buy a camping bed that will give you good value for your money.