You don’t always want to sleep on the ground when you’re camping. Elevating your sleeping bag helps to regulate temperature and reduce the amount of moisture that makes its way underneath your bag. It’s more comfortable to sleep off the ground, too.
At home, you may want a backup plan for unexpected guests that doesn’t involve your couch. Cots can offer a solution for both situations, giving you a place to sleep in a foldable, storable bed. We have reviewed the ten best camping cots, and each one can hold an extraordinary amount of weight despite weighing far less than your average bed frame. Let’s take a look.
Our first cot is a heavy duty, double layer cot with plenty of back support and an attached pillow. It’s made from 600 denier polyester and high strength steel tubes in a triangle pattern for durability and comfort.
It supports over 300 pounds but weighs just 13 pounds itself. It folds up smoothly and fits back into its own nylon bag. The joints are smooth and don’t take much to unfold, so you should have everything set up in just a few minutes. The headrest is slightly inclined, so if you prefer to sleep flat this may not be comfortable. However, we think the incline helps keep the user at a good, supportive position.
Our next cot is a simple design that feels more like a bed. It features a simple folding system with a coil suspension system and a foam mattress pad. Once you get it unfolded, it takes just minutes to get everything set up. It’s a little wider and longer than your average camping cot, so it may take up more space in your tent. That gives you a little more room to move around. It’s lightweight and folds up easily. It holds 300 pounds with no center bar to stick into your back in the middle of the night.
The Kamp-Rite uses a heavy-duty powder-coated frame that resists rust, scratches, and dents. There are two side storage pockets at the head of the cot, and the fabric stretches fully over the frame, so you never feel any of the metal. Plus, there are no squeaks as you move around.
The head of the cot is slightly padded to help support your head and neck. The entire cot allows up to 350 pounds, and it gives you a bit more room to move around. Be advised, it might take up more space in your tent than what you’re used to.
Teton Sports used 600 denier oxford canvas for their cot plus a steel frame. It’s durable, supports a large amount of weight, and snaps into place easily (yes, even that fourth corner). The structure is reinforced in such a way that it can support a significant amount of weight without buckling (400 pounds). It comes with a carry bag and folds up quickly once you’re done. The attach pins make it easy to secure the cloth to the cot, and it holds well for most users. It comes with a lifetime warranty from Teton Sports and is compatible with most cot pads.
This military style cot uses a simple steel frame with oxford cloth to create a lightweight cot that even a child could move around. It weighs just eight pounds but supports up to 300 lbs. It has a case that keeps dust away, and the cot folds in half for easy storage.
If you’re planning on hiking in, it may be a little bulky to carry around for camping, but it does offer a basic way to get your sleeping bag off the ground. It’s comfortable and has no center bar that can dig into your back during the night.
Helinox is a lower-to-the-ground cot that elevates your sleeping bag without adding too much height. It’s better for smaller tents that don’t have as much headspace. It comes with its own storage bag for easy transport. The structure is aluminum with a breathable nylon pad. It helps air circulate underneath your sleeping bag and prevent moisture even if you’re sleeping in a single tent. The fold motion is smooth and doesn’t catch. Plus, the leg style extends the cot edges out further, so you don’t risk rolling off in the middle of the night.
This ultralight cot has a low profile and uses 100% polyester for a breathable, tear resistant platform. It supports up to 265lbs despite weighing just 4.9lbs. It folds up to a small size suitable for going into a larger pack for short hiking. It unfolds smoothly and uses an aluminum alloy for a durable yet lightweight frame. The fabric is 420 denier polyester, easy to clean, and easy to fold. It comes in five different colors and gives you just enough space for your sleeping bag or maybe a small camping pad.
The Timber Ridge uses a steel frame and 600 denier polyester for a durable and breathable cot. It sits a little lower to the ground and has pockets for coordinating all your little things located along the side of the cot. It folds smoothly and comes with a carry bag for easier transport. It supports a good amount of weight and is wider than standard camping cots, giving you space for a pad or larger sleeping bag. Also, if you tend to roll towards the edges of the cot at night, you’ve got a little more forgiving space.
This simple folding cot offers plenty of space for most average sized adults and children. It has welded steel legs and 600 denier, reinforced polyester fabric to support high amounts of weight without itself weighing too much. The carry bag has a shoulder strap for easier transport. The folding mechanism is smooth and easy to set up and take down. Rubberized feet prevent marks on your floor and create traction in places such as tents where cots can slide around. The legs are pre-attached, so there’s no awkward straining or loose parts.
Our final cot uses aluminum alloy framing and 420 denier polyester for a durable cot that supports up to 350 pounds. It’s quick to unfold, requires no tools and folds up to a small enough size to put in some packs. It’s an excellent travel cot and suitable for hiking further distances than car camping.
The cot surface is breathable and waterproof, helping reduce moisture even on cold nights during camping. It’s possible to get replacement legs should one be defective, and the company guarantees the cot for life.