The Best Camping Cots in 2021

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Lookig for a camping cot to make your night’s sleep a little more enjoyable?

But not sure where to start?

We’re here to help you wade through the technical specs and features and find the best camping cot.

Now, a cot isn’t a necessary camping item, but it can be more comfortable than sleeping on the dirt or worrying about popping a hole in an inflatable mattress.

Read More : 5 Things to Know Before Buying Camping Cots

Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for a camping cot :

  • Weight limit. Most handle at least 300lbs, but it’s good to know if you’re sharing a cot with a kid or dog.
  • Length and width. You want to make sure the cot is long enough to fit your height and wide enough to move around comfortably.
  • Durability. Understand the different materials used to make cots to buy something that’ll last a long time.

Our top picks

Here’s a quick summary of our favorite cots for camping. Read on for more recommendations.

Budget Option : Kelty Discovery Cot
“A great value as the cheapest camping cot on this list.”

Best for Car Campers : Eureka Camp Cot
“Can be assembled in no time thanks to its innovative steel frame that seamlessly folds together.”

Best for Tall Person : Helinox Cot One Convertible Long
“Feels like a full-sized bed, it rolls up into an easy-to-pack storage bag.”

Best for Warm Weather : Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot
“Perfect for those long backpacking or motorcycle camping trips.”

Best Lightweight : Helinox Lite Cot
“Falls into the luxury category for camping cots.”

Best Quality : Snow Peak High Tension Cot
“A super-high-quality, Japanese-made cot that could very well last you for the rest of your life.”

Kelty Discovery Cot

Kelty Discovery Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Kelty
  • Size : 83.0” x 32.0”
  • Weight : 18.9lbs / 8.5kg
  • Weight Limit : 300lbs / 136kg

Praised for its compactness and lightweight frame, the Kelty Discovery Cot is also a great value as the cheapest camping cot on this list.

Some users have complained it doesn’t do well on uneven campgrounds, so you’ll need to evaluate the types of sites you usually camp before buying.

The storage bag this Kelty cot folds up into can double as a doormat for your tent, allowing you to sit on the cot and take your shoes off on the bag.

What We Like

  • Easy to transport. It folds up to 41” x 8.5”, which means it won’t take up a ton of car space.
  • Affordable. This budget cot won’t put a big dent in your wallet.
  • Very quiet. No need to worry about rolling over in the middle of the night and waking up others.

What We Don't Like

  • Wobbly. Some users have complained this cot can sleep unevenly.

Eureka Camp Cot

Eureka Camp Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Eureka
  • Size : 82.0” x 32.0”
  • Weight : 14.8lbs / 6.6kg
  • Weight Limit : 300lbs / 136kg

The Eureka Camp Cot can go from your car to the campsite and be assembled in no time thanks to its innovative steel frame that seamlessly folds together.

This quick-assembly car camping cot is also pretty light for being able to hold up to 300lbs.

In terms of price, this Eureka cot falls on the lower end for camping cots, making it a great option for car campers who don’t want to spend a lot right now.

What We Like

  • Relatively light. 14lbs is an easy weight to carry from the car to the campsite.
  • Durable carry bag. It features a reinforced bottom, so no worries about it breaking.
  • Comfortable headrest. It doesn’t look like much, but the faux-leather headrest is actually quite comfy.

What We Don't Like

  • Destructive legs. You’ll want to put some cushion under each leg so it won’t damage the floor of your tent.

Helinox Cot One Convertible Long

Helinox One Convertible Long Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Helinox
  • Size : 82.6” x 26.8”
  • Weight : 5.5lbs / 2.5kg
  • Weight Limit : 319lbs / 145kg

The Helinox Cot One Convertible Long falls into the more premium category of camping cots.

For about triple the price of some of the budget models above, you get a lightweight cot that’s also extremely compact, and the strength to hold more than 300lbs.

That type of toughness doesn’t come cheap and, sometimes, it’s not easy to assemble either. Some users said they struggled to put this Helinox cot together because they weren’t strong enough.

What We Like

  • Perfect for tall campers. The long version of this cot extends to accommodate a camper who’s 6’ 10”.
  • Surprisingly compact. For a cot that feels like a full-sized bed, it rolls up into an easy-to-pack storage bag.

What We Don't Like

  • Extension is extra. If you need the extension to make this cot longer, it’s going to cost you extra.

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Therm-a-Rest

Size : 72.0” x 24.0”
Weight : 4.3lbs / 1.9kg
Weight Limit : 300lbs / 136kg

The ultra-light Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot is perfect for those long backpacking or motorcycle camping trips. It only weighs 4lbs and can handle roughly up to a 300lbs person.

Therm-a-Rest’s patented BowFrame design doesn’t just allow for a sturdier sleep. It also keeps you lower to the ground, which is nice for camping in warmer weather.

For this type of engineering, this Therm-a-Rest cot isn’t cheap, but it’s not outrageously priced, either.

What We Like

  • Unique design. BowFrame design keeps you above the ground and feeling extra-sturdy.
  • Extremely compact. It folds up into a nice compact bag that won’t take up much room in your car.
  • Multiple sizes. Regular, large, and extra-large sizes; each size bigger is more expensive.

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult assembly. Some users have complained it takes too much strength to properly assemble.

Helinox Lite Cot

Helinox Lite Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Helinox
  • Size : 73.0” x 23.5”
  • Weight : 2.8lbs / 1.2kg
  • Weight Limit : 265lbs / 120kg

The Helinox Lite Cot falls into the luxury category for camping cots for some obvious reasons.

One, it’s extremely lightweight, which makes it highly desirable for backpacking and motorcycle campers. But two, customers have reported that it’s extremely durable. It can handle about 265lbs of weight.

There are some complaints that this Helinox camping cot is difficult to pack back up and that its polyester material can be a little loud at night.

What We Like

  • Unbelievably lightweight. At a little more than 2lbs, this is by far the lightest camping cot on our list.
  • Quick setup. A single bungee cord self-assembles the poles to have you up-and-running in about two minutes.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive. Lightweight, high-quality products don’t run cheap and this cot is no different.

Snow Peak High Tension Cot

Snow Peak High Tension Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Snow Peak
  • Size : 78.0” x 25.2”
  • Weight : 13.2lbs / 6.0kg

The Snow Peak High Tension Cot is the most expensive camping cot on our list. In return, you get a super-high-quality, Japanese-made cot that could very well last you for the rest of your life. A side sleeper would appreciate how firm this cot is.

Now, this isn’t a lightweight cot by any means, but if you need something that’s dependable, and if you have the means to buy it, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s important to note that this Snow Peak cot is about 4-feet long when it’s folded and stowed away.

What We Like

  • Extremely durable. This Japanese-made cot is one of the highest-quality cots on the market today.
  • Excellent weight capacity. The manufacturer doesn’t market a weight capacity, but its design likely allows for at least 300lbs, if not heavier.

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy. For the price, you’d expect a lighter frame.

REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3

REI Co-op Kingdom 3 Camping Cots
Photo Credit : REI
  • Size : 82.0” x 31.5”
  • Weight : 20.0lbs / 10.0kg
  • Weight Limit : 300lbs / 136kg

There’s nothing minimal about the REI Co-op Kingdom cot.

But the cot’s bigger size and heavier weight definitely come with some positives. It allowed REI to include a large, plushly-padded top, and oversized feet, which can handle the uneven ground.

We really like the easy-to-use twist knob that can adjust the part of the frame that supports your back. This REI cot is big in the tent and when packed away in a car, but if a comfortable camping cot is a top priority for you, it’s worth the extra space.

What We Like

  • Super comfortable. Many users have compared its comfort to their bed at home.
  • Doubles as a lounge chair. When you’re not sleeping on it, raise the top of it and relax on your campsite.

What We Don't Like

  • Bulky. When folded up, this cot can take up a lot of space in the car.

Teton Sports Somnia Camp Cot

TETON Sports Somnia Camping Cots
Photo Credit : TETON
  • Size : 74.0” x 28.0”
  • Weight : 10.0lbs / 4.5kg
  • Weight Limit : 275lbs / 125kg

The first thing you’ll notice about the Teton Sports Somnia Camp Cot is that it’s unbelievably light, but still features a weight limit of 275lbs.

Even better, customers have said the strong, aluminum x-frame construction, paired with durable canvas bed make this camping cot very comfortable and adequate for adventures that last more than a weekend.

For campers who use a pickup truck’s bed as their sleeping quarters, this Teton cot fits perfectly over a wheel well, giving you even more space in the back.

What We Like

  • Extremely lightweight and strong. This 10lbs. cot can handle up to 275lbs. of weight.
  • Comfortable design. There’s no crossbar at the head or feet of the sleeping area.

What We Don't Like

  • Rubber mallet required. While little effort is required, you’ll need a mallet to tap the pins into the legs.

Travel Chair AirTite Cot

Travel Chair AirTite Camping Cots
Photo Credit : Travel Chair
  • Size : 79.5” x 25.5”
  • Weight : 8.5lbs / 3.8kg
  • Weight Limit : 300lbs / 136kg

The Travel Chair AirTite Cot actually integrates an air mattress into its design, which provides some extra cushion for a better night’s sleep.

While it’s more expensive than other cots on this list, in exchange, you get a cot that is easy to set up and put away and one that’s relatively light at 8.5lbs.

The taller design is perfect for heavier packers who need storage space in their tent. And on that same note, this Travel Chair cot could also make a nice bench outside of the tent thanks to its 300lbs capacity.

What We Like

  • Taller height makes it great for storing items underneath.
  • An integrated air mattress makes this cot more comfortable.

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey. It’s on the more expensive side of the camping cot spectrum.

Camping Cots Buying Guide

All you want while camping is a good night’s sleep. But before pulling the trigger on a new camping cot, make sure to understand some of the key features.

This guide can help you along the way.

Cot size and weight

The length, width, and weight of a camping cot is a great place to start in your buying journey.

Length

Your average camping cot is going to accommodate a camper who’s, well, average in height and weight. Scrolling through the product recommendations above, you’ll see most cots can easily accommodate a person who’s at least 6-feet tall, like the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot, which is exactly 72” long.

If you’re 6-feet tall, you’re likely going to want a cot that has a few extra inches on it so your feet aren’t dangling off the edge. At 78” long, the Snow Peak High Tension Cot would give you six inches of extra space.

If you’re really tall (think over 6’6”), the Helinox Cot One Convertible Long has an extension you can buy to accommodate campers who are 6’10”.

Width

Width is also important, but not just to accommodate the body width of a camper. Use this measurement to figure out if the cot can fit inside your tent.

If you camp solo in a tent, then you’ll likely have no problem. But if you and a friend typically share a tent and want to set up two cots, you need to understand the width.

The average two-person tent is about 55” wide, so if you both bought a Teton Sports Somnia Camp Cot, which is 28” wide, it likely would be too tight. At 23.5” wide, the Helinox Lite Cot would likely be a better choice.

Weight and compactness

Finally, you need to understand the weight and compactness of your camping cot.

Weight is only a big deal if you plan to backpack or motorcycle camp, where every ounce is critical. If that’s the case, an ultra-light cot, like the Helinox Lite Cot, which is about 2lbs, is perfect.

Most camping cots range from 8lbs to 15lbs, which is light enough to carry from the car to the campsite.

Compactness can also be an issue. If you go camping in a Toyota Prius, you’re going to notice the space taken up by the REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3. If you have a big truck, maybe it doesn’t matter because you have plenty of packing space.

Make sure to read the dimensions of the cot while it’s folded up.

Read More : How to Pack Light for Your Next Camping Trip

Weight limit

Most camping cots can accommodate up to 300lbs, which is more than 100lbs heavier than the average man and 130lbs more than the average woman.

Weight limits typically come into play when you’re sharing the cot either for sleeping or as a sitting bench in a larger tent. If three adult males are putting all of their weight on a cot, you’ll likely see it strain a bit.

Also, weight limits are likely conservative estimates. So, if you’re on the higher end of the weight spectrum, don’t feel like a cot won’t support you.

If the weight limit is important to you, the Snow Peak High Tension Cot has been engineered to sustain a significant amount of weight. The manufacturer doesn’t disclose an exact amount.

Ease of setting up

One of the top complaints against camping cots is that they are difficult to set up. After buying one, it’s recommended you set it up a couple of times at home before taking it into the wilderness.

Setting up a cot typically requires unfolding it and then assembling the legs and braces. There’s a lot of tension with cots, so sometimes it could require two people to unfold it and snap in the bracing.

The Teton Sports Somnia Camp Cot is one of those products that actually requires a rubber mallet to tap in the support pins. And some customers have complained the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot requires too much strength to assemble.

On the other hand, the Helinox Lite Cot uses a bungee technology that allows you to set it up in about two minutes.

Construction materials

Manufacturers of camping cots need to balance their desire for a low-weight product with durability.

  • Frame. Most cots, like the REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3, use a combination of aluminum and steel, with a preference toward aluminum due to weight concerns. The Eureka Camp Cot goes heavier on the steel, which is why it weighs more than 14lbs.
  • Fabric. Nylon and polyester fabric and the most common materials used in camping cots, and rightly so. These materials have been engineered to be extremely durable, but also lightweight.

Unless you have an allergy to one of these materials, you can’t really go wrong with either one.

Accessories

Some camping cots include some nice extras to make your sleep more enjoyable.

  • Storage pockets. This is a nice accessory where you can store things like your phone or eyeglasses. The Teton Somnia Camp Cot is compatible with various Teton side storage pockets.
  • Side table. Typically this is an accessory that costs extra, but there are a few cots on the market that include it as part of the design.
  • Ball feat. You’ll likely want to invest in these add-ons in order to protect your tent floor. Camping cots tend to have pointy legs, which can cause tears on the floor.
  • Extras. Manufacturers are getting more creative. Travel Chair’s AirTite Cot, for instance, includes an integrated air mattress.

There are obviously lots of accessories on the market today that, once all added up, can become very expensive. We recommend buying the cot first and then going on a couple of trips to see which accessories are most necessary.

Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson is an avid camper who enjoys the great outdoors with his wife and two-year-old son. He resides in Colorado, where you can often find him enjoying hikes with a toddler strapped to his back and mini goldendoodle Percy nearby.