Best Camping Cots
There are many ways to maximize comfort while camping in the great outdoors. You can bring a durable waterproof tent, a heater (or even a wood stove), and plenty of snacks, but one of the most important ways to keep comfortable is to bring the right sleeping gear. You can get a heavy-duty sleeping bag that will help you wrap up warm and snug throughout the night, and in many tents, you can even fit a cot inside to keep you off of the cold ground. There are many different excellent camping cots on the market, each with its own pros and cons, and there is no shortage of tents to choose from when it comes to finding a model that will fit a cot.
Let’s start by looking at some great tent options that can easily fit cots inside without causing any hassle. Elk Mountain Tents has two great options in this category, their Canvas Wall Tent and Yukon Bell Tent. Both of these tents are made of a unique polyester material that is both breathable and excellent for helping you stay warm. These tents last a long time and have a higher break and tear strength as their inclusion of a stove jack is one of the primary reasons these tents are so comfortable, allowing you to put a wood stove inside to keep you warm and toasty all throughout the night, even during the coldest winters. The Canvas Wall Tent has vertical walls that provide a lot of space as well as large doors that make moving things in and out simple and convenient. The floor space in Elk Mountain’s wall tent models is large enough that you can easily fit a wood stove inside as well as at least a couple of cots, providing luxury during your hunting or camping adventure. The tent is available in 3 sizes, 13 x 13 ft., 13 x 16 ft., and 13 x 20 ft., and is available online starting at about $800, with more expensive options with extra bells and whistles like an awning and front screen door.
Elk Mountain’s Yukon Bell Tent is another durable option for cot camping. Bell tents in general have become quite popular for glamping in particular, so they are built with the idea of being able to fit a large mattress, or even several cots, inside for maximum comfort. This tent has a remarkably high center-height, giving it the appearance and comfort of a portable yurt, and it is versatile and well-ventilated thanks to mesh windows and rooftop vents. The Yukon Bell is available in 3 sizes, a 13 ft. diameter (costing $650), a 16 ft. diameter ($800), and a 20 ft. diameter ($950).
Great Cots to Buy for Camping
If you have a tent that can fit a cot or at least have an idea of what you plan on getting, it’s time to look at some of the highest-quality cot options on the market. They all have different features, so it’ll be up to you to decide which is right for you.
If you are looking for a strong cot that can support a lot of weight or want something large in case you move around a lot during the night, you should check out the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL. Since it is built to offer stability and support, it is a bit heavier than many other cots at 26 lbs. However, this does stem from being built out of high-quality materials, including 600D Polyester Canvas for the bed and a frame and legs built out of steel and aluminum. It is quite large for a tent cot, with dimensions of 85 x 40 x 19 in., and it can hold up to 600 lbs. While tents as heavy-duty as this one can sometimes tear the bottom of the tent, this one comes with rubber feet to help you avoid that issue. The biggest cons of this model are its weight and difficulty to carry thanks to its large size, but this is partially combated by the convenient and easy carry bag included. The Teton XXL is available online for around $150.
The Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to take a cot backpacking. It takes on a minimalist design to help reduce its weight, and it certainly does the job right, weighing just 2 lbs. and packing down small enough (16 x 4 in.) to fit in your backpack even with your tent and other gear. It is easy to assemble and has shorter legs to make it compatible with many backpacking tent options. It is more expensive than a lot of other cots at $200, and it is only 72 in. long, so it might not be the greatest option for taller campers, but if you want a lightweight backpacking option, you won’t find much better than this!
A great eco-friendly cot is the Byer of Maine Heritage Cot. It is built using natural materials, including a frame made of North American White Ash that comes from a small wood production company. Its sturdy design is based on those used in the military, with a bed made of 600D polyester material that can hold up to 375 lbs. It is a great option if you are tall or if you toss and turn in your sleep, with a length of 84 in. and a width of 30 in. The biggest drawback to this model is its 24 lb. weight, so you wouldn’t want to bring this cot on a hiking or backpacking trip, though it can fold up easily enough if you do have to carry it around for a little bit. It does have an aesthetically pleasing design, and the cot is quite easy to put together. The Byer of Maine is a bit more expensive than other cot designs, costing about $200, but it is a fantastic heavy-duty option that will last a long time. If you are an eco-conscious camper, this option is certainly worth checking out.
The Tough Outdoors Camp Cot is a great option if you want some extra storage space in your tent, as it comes with a 7-pocket canvas organizer that can be attached with Velcro and bungee cords or can be kept separate. This is super helpful if you’re worried about losing some of your smaller gear items or your wallet, watch, and phone. While you wouldn’t want to take this cot backpacking, it only weighs 15 lbs. so it isn’t too difficult to transport it from place to place, especially since it can easily fold into a canvas carry bag. It offers 19 in. of elevation off the ground, and with dimensions of 75 x 25 in., it offers a decent amount of room for most campers. One of its best features is its sturdiness, thanks to lightweight aluminum and steel legs making up the frame, combining with 600D canvas to support up to 300 lbs. The main disadvantages of this cot are that it can be difficult to set up the first time and the canvas sling is pretty tight, which some people aren’t a fan of. This is offset by the cot’s great value, however, as it can be purchased online for $75 (with a slightly larger 83 x 32 in. model available for about $90).
The REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot is a great middle-ground between maximum comfort and minimum weight. It is quite sturdy, thanks to a steel frame and 600D ripstop polyester material. The cot is a bit on the heavier side at 16.5 lbs., and it has dimensions of 75 x 25.5 x 17.5 in. The material is a tight fit on the cot, so if you need back support this is a great tent to go with. Other pros to this model include its excellent comfort and a great price, (available online for just $80). Some of the cons of the REI Co-op are that it is pretty bulky when packed down, not the easiest to store or transport, and it can squeak and make a lot of noise when you move around during the night.
Another middle-ground cot is the Eureka Camping Cot. The advantages of this model are in its size and capacity, with 82 x 32 x 19 in. dimensions and support for up to 300 lbs. The material it is made from is 600D x 300D polyester, which is a quality material, though it isn’t the most durable and can start to wear out over time. It is also pretty heavy, weighing 18 lbs. 1 oz. It is reasonably priced for its quality, and a great option to go with if you don’t camp very frequently.
These are a few of the best and most popular cots on the market to take on a camping adventure. Whether you are looking for something sturdy and durable that will last you for years, light enough to take backpacking, or somewhere in between, you are sure to find the right cot for you. Get ready for more comfort and better nights of sleep on your next outdoor adventure!