Camping Cot Buying Guide for Outdoor Adventurers

Many people wonder whether they really need a camping cot when they are going camping. Well, the truth is that you never know, until you are forced to cut your camping vacation short because of a sore back, from sleeping on a rocky ground.

A camping bed, also called cot, will benefit you in many ways. For example:

  1. Avoid damaging a good sleeping bag on rocky ground when camping
  2. Use at home as an extra bed when you have guests
  3. It will enable you to go camping even if you have a sore back
  4. Give you just about the same comfort that you enjoy at home
  5. Keep you suspended and safe from vermin that crawl and creep on the ground
  6. Keep your from catching a cold as a result of sleeping on soggy ground
  7. Use the cot as a seat during the day

We could go on and on about the benefits of carrying a cot with you when you are going away on the camping vacation. However, the main benefit for using camping cots is to enable you sleep sweet and sound at night and wake up refreshed, reinvigorated and rejuvenated for hiking, or for whatever activity you have planned for the day.

Things to consider when buying a camping cot

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 will be 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.

Portability

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 camping cot 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.

Weight rating/capacity

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.

See below:

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.

Cot frame

The cot frame will be responsible for carrying 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 on, 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.

Ensure that your cot legs are either rounded or capped with plastic to protect the tent. Make sure of that before you buy.

Cot Fabric

The best fabrics for cot beds are nylon or polyester. Both are very easy to clean and are preferred than natural fibre fabrics like cotton which retain dirt. If you are going for summer camping, you can look for a cot with meshed fabric to keep your back well-aerated.

Ensure that the fabric is double-stitched, and that the stitching is straight, without veering too close to the edge. Also, make sure the stitching is on both sides. 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 be tired and you will not have the patience to take a full hour or so to set up your camping cot. Thus, 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. Thus, when thinking of how to choose the best camping cot, consider buying one that you can erect with your eyes closed.

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.

Accessories

Image of camping cot carrying bag

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.

6 of the best camping cots in the market

 Now that you know a few things for helping you choose the best cots for camping, what 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. These can be professional or buyer reviews. That way, when you are ordering your cot online or are buying from the local outdoor store, you will have an easy time.

Here are a just a few of the best ones:

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Cot

Image of camping cot TETLON Sports Outfitter XX

From the name alone, you can learn a few important things. One of them is that 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 2000020273 Pack-Away Cot 80 x 32

image of camping cot Coleman 2000020273

Coleman is another of the highly reputed brand names in the world of adventure. The reason for that is that 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

Image of 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

Image of 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 Cot

Image of Coleman Trailhead II camping cot

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.

  • 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

Image of Oversize Kamp-Rite Tent Cot camping cot

Many so-called camping cots will come and go but this one, this one right here will remain one of a kind. It is a tent cot. 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 dare come near you and the space beneath can be used 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.

  • 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.

 

Conclusion

You have now seen how to choose the best camping cot as well as a few brands and models available in the market. When you are 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.


Leave a Reply