7 Best Camping Cots for Sweet Dreams Under the Stars
We've found the best camping cot to help keep you comfortable as you rest in the great outdoors.
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If you were to ask a group of campers what household item they miss the most while outdoors, a comfy mattress would probably be at the top of most people’s lists. Air mattresses are a good alternative but can add considerable weight to your gear (not to mention they’re also a pain to deflate and repack). The best bet is investing in the best camping cot for a good night’s sleep.
We’ve rounded up the best camping cots for couples, backpackers and those seeking extra support. No matter your choice, you’ll feel much more comfortable than you would on the cold, hard ground. With a camping cot, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed for whatever outdoor adventure lies ahead.
Best camping cot picks
- Best overall: Helinox Lite Camp Cot
- Best value: Coleman Trailhead II Cot
- Most lightweight: Marchway Ultralight Camping Cot
- Best for couples: Big Agnes Goosenest Double Decker Inflatable Cot
- Best for car camping: Byer of Maine Easy Cot
- Most body-inclusive: Coleman Big-N-Tall Camp Cot
- Most versatile: Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk
Helinox Lite Camp Cot
As the best camping cot, the Helinox Lite Camp Cot packs a ton of features into a small package. It weighs just under three pounds and has a durable aluminum frame and polyester ripstop fabric that keeps you comfortable with or without a sleeping pad. Polyester keeps you warm when temperatures start to drop, and it lasts longer than cotton.
Some reviewers say this camping cot is difficult for camping beginners to assemble the first or second time of use. We think it’s worth the challenge since you won’t find many other lightweight cots that feel this good. Plus, it packs easily into a carrying case.
- Lightweight model
- Durable frame holds up to 265 pounds
- Comfortable polyester fabric
- Packable design
- Available on Backcountry, Helinox, Amazon and REI
- Challenging assembly
- Low to the ground
Coleman Trailhead II Cot
If you’re looking for an affordable, no-frills camping cot, we recommend the under-$60 Coleman Trailhead II Cot. The stainless steel X-frame and rubber feet keep your sleeping place stable. It’s also simple to assemble and requires no tools. (Just make sure you put in some elbow grease to attach the rods, reviewers say.)
An impressive 300-pound weight capacity also ensures a sturdy slumber. Keep in mind that it weighs more than 20 pounds, so it’s not the best choice for backpackers or those who aren’t car camping.
This budget-friendly camping cot has earned nearly 15,000 five-star Amazon ratings. Janet Hemnes is one such reviewer, writing, “This cot sleeps better than any bed I’ve ever had. The first night on the road my dogs and I slept 12 hours. I haven’t done that in years. I bought the Thermarest pad as well and they delivered great restful nights every time.”
- Wallet-friendly option
- Sturdy frame
- Requires no tools
- Spot cleans easily
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Available on Amazon, Coleman, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Weighs 20 pounds
- Tricky to assemble, according to reviewers
Marchway Ultralight Camping Cot
Backpackers or campers simply looking to pack light will love the Marchway ultralight cot. When disassembled, it weighs in at just under five pounds. Aluminum legs and ripstop nylon fabric support up to 275 pounds. It assembles in minutes and can be packed away in a travel sack when not in use. Stow the sack in your travel backpack without weighing it down.
Five-star reviewer Punsie McKale said the cot exceeded their expectations. “I took this for a three-day camping trip. Our site was rocky and uneven, so I was a bit concerned about sliding around,” they explain. “However, once I set up my tent with this cot and lay down, I unintentionally fell asleep for hours. I cannot believe how comfortable this thing was. Once I woke up, I did not want to get out of bed.”
- Weighs under five pounds
- Durable ripstop nylon fabric
- Supports up to 275 pounds
- Available on Amazon and Wish
- Close to the ground
- Isn’t the best for taller people
Best for couples
Big Agnes Goosenest Double Decker Inflatable Cot
If you’re hiking with a special someone, the Big Agnes Goosenest Double Decker Inflatable Cot is a comfortable option for two. The dual air pads can either be stacked to gain even more elevation or placed side-by-side. The cradle-like design also keeps people comfortably in the cot, so there’s no fear of falling off. Camping under the stars could be your next romantic date idea.
Scared your inflatable camping cot will pop in the middle of the night? Big Agnes uses ripstop nylon fabric to protect against punctures and backs its products with a lifetime warranty. At more than seven pounds, you may need to ask your partner to carry the load every now and then. Here are more camping tips for a smooth journey.
- Single or dual-use camping cot
- Lifetime warranty
- Cradle-like design
- Includes a carrying bag, patch kit and inflation sack
- Available on Backcountry, Amazon and Moosejaw
- More expensive option, but it’s essentially two for the price of one
Best for car camping
Byer of Maine Easy Cot
RV camping gets expensive. But with more than 1,000 Amazon ratings averaging 4.7 stars, the Byer of Maine Easy Cot is a fan favorite for those who just need a cot in their truck bed or car. Assembly only requires three steps and can be done in under a minute. It also has a 330-pound weight capacity, and there are multiple reinforcement panels to keep you sturdy when it’s time to rest.
We would’ve recommended this for hikers if it were lighter. But at more than 20 pounds we suggest this cot to anyone who’s sticking close to their car. For an all-inclusive setup, check out these car accessories you didn’t know you needed.
- Portable cot that’s perfect for the car
- Easy assembly and disassembly
- Durable frame
- Comfortable polyester fabric
- Holds up to 330 pounds
- Available on Amazon and Wayfair
- Heavier model
Coleman Big-N-Tall Camp Cot
Tired of forcing yourself into the fetal position to fit on your camping cot? Then it’s time to get the aptly-named Coleman Big-N-Tall Camp Cot. It comes with a 600-pound weight capacity and enough room that a 6’8″ person can fit comfortably without their feet hanging over the end.
Most reviewers agree that you should add a sleeping pad for maximum comfort. Theis camp cot is heavy but comes with a wheeled carrying case if you feel like dragging it along hiking trails.
- 600-pound weight capacity
- Large sleeping area
- Comes with a wheeled carrying case
- Sturdy frame
- Available on Public Lands, Coleman, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Heavier model
The Cam-O-Bunk is the closest thing to a futon for campers. Use it as a bunk bed, couch or two single cots depending on what you need at your campsite. There are also two organizers to place any gear you might want to keep off the ground. At more than 60 pounds, this versatile camping cot is best reserved for car camping, beach camping or short adventures.
- Can be used as cots or couch
- No tools required
- 500-pound weight capacity
- Includes organizer pouches
- Available on Amazon and REI
- Weighs more than 60 pounds
What to consider when buying the best camping cot
Searching for the best camping cot is similar to searching for a mattress for your home. Find something that fits your body and shape, keeps you cool at night and can fit in your room—or, in this case, a campsite or camping tent.
The average person will be fine with just about any camping cot on our list, but if you’re a bigger person then we recommend the Coleman Big-N-Tall Camp Cot. For temperature control, look for a cot with polyester fabric (cotton is not as good at retaining heat and is less durable). Also, consider the pack size.
If you’re hiking or backpacking then it might not be a good idea to bring a cot that’s heavier than 10 pounds, though ideally you’d want something under five pounds. If space allows, add a camping pillow too.
How we found the best camping cot
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Is a cot worth it for camping?
Different campers will have different answers, but generally, the answer is yes. A cot keeps you off the ground, is more comfortable than an air mattress and can be customized with sleeping pads. The downside is they add considerable weight to your pack, so keep that in mind if you plan on any extended trips.
What should I look for in a camp cot?
Look for a camp cot that will suit your body, has polyester fabric and comes with a durable frame. Also, consider how you intend to travel. A lightweight cot is best for hikers, while a car cot is best for car camping.
Are camping cots comfortable to sleep on?
For the most part, yes. Camp cots keep you off the ground, unlike a sleeping bag, and you can add a sleeping pad for even more comfort.
How long can you sleep on a cot?
It depends on the quality of your camp cot. Many high-quality camp cots can be slept on for days at a time, though lower-quality ones are generally only good for one or two nights of sleep before getting a sore back.
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