You may be asking yourself why you need a camping cot if you’re going into the woods to rough it inside a sleeping bag. Though roughing it in may sound fun, not everyone can do it. Instead of sleeping inside a bag, you may want to try buying a camping cot instead.
The question is, which camping cot should you buy? There are so many brands and product models for you to choose from that it may be a bit hard to make the best choice. That’s why we will do the choice for you. We have a list of the 6 best camping cots you can pick.
This is the ultimate buying guide that you can use to narrow down your choices for the best camping cot and to have criteria that will let you pick the most suitable one for your own needs.
In short, it will let you have a more informed buying decision.
Comparison Table for the Best Camping Cots
Short Reviews for the Best Camping Cots
The Niceway Oxford Portable Camping Cot is known for its very thick mattress fabric. To be a little more specific, it is made out of a double layer 1200D Oxford fabric. Because of this, you can feel the comfort of this cot. Due to this, the Niceway Oxford Camping Cot is multipurpose. It can be used as an office bed, a guest bed, or even a relaxation chair.
Aside from just its material, it also has a strong steel frame that does not rust. The legs also come with anti-slip caps that allow your cot to stay in place even if it rains. Its frame also has a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. The combination of all those features allows it to be a comfortable and sturdy cot.
- Anti-rust steel frame material
- Curved built for the head
- Double layer 1200D Oxford fabric material
- Weight capacity of 300 lbs
- Anti-slip leg caps
Out of all the choices, we’d say that this is the one that’s easiest to set up. So far, this is the only cot that has the pivot arm revolution feature. This feature includes a built-in lever or pivot arm that allows you to position the last end bar without resistance. If you’re a first time user, you’ll appreciate having this kind of feature ready.
You’ll also appreciate the strong and sturdy reinforced steel S-leg frame. This type of steel is extremely strong and will ensure that the cot can take your weight without bending.
- Pivot arm revolution feature included
- The frame is made of reinforced steel S-leg
- Has a big size and a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds
- Wide dimensions of up to 42x12x7 inches
- Strong oxford fabric material
This is the only double bunker bed on this list. However, it is not just a double bunk cot per se. It is actually very versatile and can be turned into a cot-sofa and can even be split into two. The split feature is especially very useful if you and your friend do not like sleeping on bunk beds. It allows you to have two separate beds to sleep on.
Since we’re talking about a double bunk bed, then you can assume that the frame is extremely sturdy to carry two bunks. The frame has extremely thick rods that can give full support to both beds no matter how you fold it and put it out.
- 500-pound weight capacity
- Double bunk bed feature
- The patented lock-in disc system
- Zippered sleeves and pockets that allow you to put stuff inside
- Side organizers to fit in the smaller stuff
If you are looking for a very light cot that you can bring around anywhere you want, then the Desert Walker Camping Cots is the cot that you will want to buy. To get straight to the point, this cot only weighs a total of 2.8 lbs. That’s the lightest that you can find in any cot! However, that doesn’t mean the frame is flimsy and can easily break.
In fact, it is actually made out of very strong 7001 aviation aluminium material and has a weight capacity of a total of 440 lbs. It is most likely lightweight because aluminium is actually lighter than steel but may also be as strong anyway.
- Has dimensions of 72.8 X 23.6 X 5.9 in
- Has a total weight of 2.8 lbs
- Weight capacity of 440 pounds
- Made out of 7001 aviation aluminium rod material
- Beautiful light green colour
This is probably the best cot for those who are on the tall side. As compared to the other cots on this list, this one, in particular, reaches up to 84 inches in length. So if you have a long body or long legs, then this is the type of cot that you should buy.
The great thing about this cot is that even if it is pretty long, it can be folded to an even more compact form where it has dimensions of only 43x10x9 inches making it easy to bring along.
It also has a weight capacity of 350 lbs allowing people below this weight class to take stay on the bed without it creaking. This is a great bed for those who are tall and thin.
- Folded dimensions of 43x10x9
- Has a length of up to 84 inches
- Has a weight capacity of 350 lbs
- Side pockets to be able to hold small objects such as keys, pens, and phones
- Comfortable material to lie down on
If there is one thing that makes this camping cot unique as compared to the other camping cots in this list is that it comes with a removable side table. This side table can be used as a cup or food holder that allows you to keep food or drinks near you while you lie down. It also has a lot of room for you to move in. After all, it comes with dimensions of 80x44x17 inches.
Other than that, it also comes with a carry bag that you can fold and keep inside. That way, you won’t have any problem bringing it around with you during your camping trips.
- Comes with a side table that can be removed
- Has dimensions of 80x44x17 inches
- It has a strong steel frame
- The weight capacity is 300 lbs
- Comes with a carry bag
Buying Guide for the Best Camping Cots
Above, we’ve listed down 6 of the best camping cots you can choose from. The next question you should ask yourself is which one is the right one to buy? Even if you do camp a lot, you don’t need to buy all of them.
Besides, each cot has its own set of unique features that are set for certain individuals. That said, you need a buying guide that can help you determine which of the cots the best is for you. This will serve as a grading system to help you choose one out of the six. Here are the factors that you should consider:
The first thing you should take into consideration is weight capacity. This is extremely important because it determines whether the cot can take your weight or not. You need to find a cot that can be able to take your weight without breaking down. The trick here is to make sure that you are lighter than the weight capacity of the cot you buy.
For instance, if you are about 200 lbs, you should get a 350 lbs cot so you can be sure it can take your weight. Besides, you might be putting other stuff on your bed like pillows and blankets. These things will further contribute to weight.
That said, it’s better to give your cot some room in this case. Typically, most camping cots have a minimum weight capacity of 300 to 350 lbs. However, some cots have weight capacities of 500 to 600 lbs. Choose the one that suits you the best.
The cot dimensions determine the length and width of the cot. This is important because it will determine whether you can fit in the cot or not. If you are on the thin side, you can get a cot that’s not too wide.
If you are on the bigger side, it will be good to get a wider cot. Same if you are tall or short. If you are on the tall side, get a lengthier cot while you should a less lengthy one if you’re short. Some of the wider or bigger cots have dimensions of up to 80 x 44 x 17 in. However, the dimensions may differ for product variants and brands.
The frame refers to the legs and the bodies of the cots. The frame holds up the cot and is the main determinant of weight capacity. When you choose a cot, you should check to see what kind of material the frame is made out of so you’ll know if it is strong or not.
As a general rule, we prefer steel over aluminium because steel is much sturdier than aluminium. However, aluminium material tends to last longer and doesn’t rust or corrode as steel does. So your choice depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for strong support, steel is a good choice. But if you’re after longevity, then aluminium is a better choice.
Ease of Set-Up
The next thing to think of is the ease of set up. As a general rule, we are always looking for the easiest cot to install. You see, these cots are foldable but not all of them are easy to install. Some need to be manually set up while others can be erected by a pivot arm. If you can find a cot with a pivot arm revolution set up the system, might as well get that.
You also need to take into consideration the cot fabric. More often than not, Oxford fabric is used for these cots. We prefer the 1200D Oxford material since it is a thicker double-layered material that is more comfortable. But if you can’t find that type of material, one layer Oxford material will do.
The last thing to consider is how many bunks your cot has. Usually, there is only one bunk for cots. However, some cots come with two bunkers. We have one cot that has two bunkers. This is usually used if you have a camping partner with you so both of you can sleep comfortably. Again, this depends on your own preferences. If you prefer to sleep in bunks, buy the double bunkers. If not, you and your friend can always buy two single bunk beds.
To add to your arsenal of information, we decided to answer a few questions about cots that you may have at the top of your heads. Here they are below:
Will lying on a camp cot result in back problems?
No, because cots have very good support for the back. The Oxford fabric material used for making these cots is very sturdy and will not contort your body. In fact, it is even better for your back than a sleeping bag because sleeping bags usually stay on uneven and hard ground. If your back is not exposed to that kind of surface, it won’t result in any problems.
Can you use a sleeping bag while on the cot?
Yes, you actually can. You can either lie down on the cot directly or put your sleeping bag on the cot. The advantage of doing that as compared to sleeping on the ground is that the cot will make sure your sleeping bag will be kept clean. The sleeping bag won’t be exposed to the earth, to moisture, and to bugs that may be on the ground.
Is the fabric of camp cots durable?
Yes, they are. They do not snag that easy. In fact, the material of sleeping bags tends to snag much easier than the Oxford material of camp cots.
Can a camp cot be used for other purposes aside from camping?
Absolutely! A camp cot can actually be used for an overnight activity. It can also be used for overnight office stays. If you need to work late and can’t go home, you may want to consider buying a camp cot for your office instead of relying on a bench or a sleeping bag.
What are some of the camp cot accessories that I may want to consider buying?
There are several accessories that you can add to your camp cot. You can install a bug net to protect you from insects and you can also install a chair tray. The chair tray allows you to keep your cups or food close to you while you’re on your cot.
How to Set Up a Camping Cot
Despite what most people think, camping cots are very easy to set up if you know how to do so. While some come with a pivot arm revolution setup others don’t. However, they are still pretty simple to install. All you need to do is follow these steps below:
Unfold the Frame
The first thing you should do is unfold the legs and rails. Right now, they are folded up. All you have to do is open them up and extend them.
Spread the Side Rails
Open up the side rails so the legs will open up. Make sure that the side rails are parallel to each other when you open them. You should be able to pull out legs in an X position.
Straighten the Cot
Now that the legs are up, just turn the cot over and straighten the fabric. Once the fabric has been straightened up, sit on it to see if it stays still. If the frame falls a bit, then it hasn’t been installed properly. Make sure all parts are tightly fit and try again.
As you have seen above, all of these cots have their specific features and advantages. That’s why you need to know how to choose the best one for your own needs. We already made things pretty easy by narrowing your choices down to just 6 choices. Now all you need to do is use the buying guide to further narrow your choices to the one that you need.
Aside from that, we also added some extra information that can be valuable to you. We gave you some answers to a few common questions that you may have about camp cots. We also included a guide to help you set up your cot with ease.
Now that you have all the necessary information you need, you can now choose one of these best camping cots as your own. Once you make the right choice, you can now go camping and enjoy a good and comfortable sleep under the stars.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and learned something new.