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The Best Camping Cots for 2023

In this post, we’re sharing our top-rated camping cots for 2023.

Getting a good night’s rest while camping can be an incredibly hard thing to achieve.

Even when you’re completely exhausted, if your sleeping arrangement is uncomfortable, you won’t get a good night’s rest.

This is where camping cots can be a great solution. A cot lifts you up off of the ground onto an even surface, provides some support, and even can provide a bit of cushion.

When compared to their air mattress counterparts, camping cots are far more reliable as they never go flat during the night and don’t need to be blown up every time you need to use them.

When paid with at least a decent sleeping bag and even better, a sleeping pad as well, camping cots can give you the best night’s rest you can hope for in the wilderness.

So here are our picks for the best camping cots for a great night’s sleep.

camping in the mountains

Our Top Camping Cot Picks

Best Overall
REI Kingdom Cot 3

Best Value
Coleman Trailhead ii

Lightest
Helinox Lite Cot


Best Overall Camping Cot

REI Co-Op Kingdom Cot 3

The Best Camping Cots for 2023 1

Who says camping cots can’t be a little luxurious? The REI Co-op Kingdom Cot is a plush foldable camping cot that will make you feel like you’re glamping but has the durability to handle the most challenging camping trips.

This foldable cot has a sturdy base made of aluminum and steel tubing that can hold up to 300 pounds. It sits fourteen inches off the ground, giving you extra storage space under your cot if your tent is lacking.

Lying down on this fully padded mat will make you feel like you’re sinking into your favorite recliner. Some camping cots claim they are plush, but this one lives up to the hype. You will have incredible sleep as you sink into the thick padding that’s made from quick-drying, water-resistant polyester material.

The feet on the Kingdom Cot 3 are oversized which helps reduce stress on your tent floor and prevent the feet from sinking into soft ground. An extra third set of legs under your midsection will give you extra support and help to distribute your weight on the legs. No matter how much you toss and turn, this camping cot can handle it.

As a bonus feature, the cot back can be adjusted to an incline so you can sit up and lounge during the day.

The REI CO-Op Kingdom Cot is the best camping cot for your next trip as it will give you the best chance of good sleep.

Features & Specs:

  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Unfolded dimensions: 81 x 31.5 x 14 inches
  • Folded dimensions: 33 x 32 x 8.5 inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Twist knob multi-position back
  • Oversized feet
  • Quilted top

Best Value

Coleman Trailhead ii Cot

Coleman 765353 Trailhead II Military Style Camping Cot

The Coleman Trailhead ii camping cot is a popular camping standard that has been around for years. The reason this cot is still so popular is because of its affordability and durability.

Coleman gives us a cost that not only fits any camper’s budget but should last them many years and loads of camping trips.

This isn’t a lightweight cot, nor is it the most comfortable on the list. It weighs in at 21.5 lbs and I would personally rate the comfort as Better Than Sleeping on the Ground! A small pad or extra blanket underneath you can make a huge difference.

Features and Specs:

  • Low Cost
  • Supports Up to 300 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 73 x 35 x 17 inches

Best Lightweight Camping Cot

Helinox Lite Cot

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If you are going on a backpacking trip or hiking into your campground, then you want a camping cot that is lightweight and packs small like the Helinox Lite Cot.

A standard camping cot typically weighs about 20 lbs, but the Helinox Lite Cot weighs in at a mere 2 lbs 13 oz. which makes it about the lightest cot you could hope for.

Amazingly, this lightweight cot is also incredibly well-made and can support up to 265 lbs.

This isn’t witchcraft, but rather a specially designed, proprietary aluminum alloy that ensures strength with minimum weight. The legs are pressure-fit, which makes them lightweight but still able to hold a full-sized human.

One negative of this cot is that it is the most expensive on this list by a wide margin. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

It comes with a durable, thick cover and carrying case so that it stays dry when traveling. It folds down to a slim 5×21-inch rectangle, which can be easily plopped into your backpack. And setup happens in no time thanks to an internal bungee cord that self-assembles the poles.

The Helinox Lite Cot can be your secret weapon to making it through the most arduous expeditions.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz.
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 73 x 23.5 x 5 inches
  • Folded Dimensions: 5 x 21 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Material: Rip-Stop Nylon
  • Frame: Aluminum

 Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot

The Best Camping Cots for 2023 3

One of the best parts of camping is sleeping under the stars. If it’s a nice night out, you don’t want to stay cooped up in the tent. But you also want to ensure that you can sleep well. The Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot is the best camping cot for stargazing and dozing off outside.

It’s easy to set up and lightweight, making it a cinch to open and close for a pivot to stargazing if the weather holds out. The easy-fold frame, constructed of hardy steel, enables quick unfolding. Don’t waste precious time getting the cot set up and miss a shooting star.

It can handle up to 300 pounds, and its own weight is under twenty pounds. And you can easily store phones and other important items in a convenient side pocket hanging off the bed.

While this camping cot may look simple in its construction, you can have a great night of sleep on it.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 18 lbs.
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 75 x 27.5 x 14.5 inches
  • Folded Dimensions:
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Material: Polyester
  • Frame: Steel

Osage River Camping Cot

OSAGE RIVER Camping Cot Portable Foldable Sturdy Durable Supports Adults Kids up to 300 lbs for Travel, Outdoors Beach, and Sleepovers with Bed Carrying Case.

The Osage River Camping Cot fills a middle ground on this list. It’s not on the heavy end, but it’s not exactly light either.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly light cot, this one is for you.

The Osage River cot weighs in at 13 lbs, making it about 7 lbs less than a standard cot, but still about 10 lbs more than an ultra-light cot.

In my opinion, this cot is perfect for car camping, canoe camping, and a short hike in the campground.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 28 x 75 x 18.5 inches
  • Folded Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 40 inches
  • Material: PVC Coated Polyester
  • Frame: Carbon Steel

ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot

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With 5 sets of legs, the ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot comes with added support to ease the tension for you and your back. It’s designed with a two-layer top that creates a sleeve for an additional sleeping pad.

It is also the second lightest camping on our list, coming in at 5 lbs, second only to the Helinox Lite Cot.

Many times, sleeping on a pad and a cot can be cumbersome, with the pad slipping and sliding around. ALPS recognized this problem and engineered their cots to be specifically used with a pad that can be tucked into its fabric. Your back will appreciate the extra support, and you won’t spend the night constantly readjusting your pad.

Additionally, the shock-corded poles give you easy setup, and its aluminum frame provides durable support without the weight (only five pounds). Venture into the great outdoors with the wind at your back, but not sharp pains.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 78 x 28 x 6 inches
  • Folded Dimensions: 17 x 7 x 3 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Material: Ripstop Polyester
  • Frame: Aluminum

Coleman Cot Queen Framed Airbed

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo | Folding Camp Cot and Air Bed with Side Tables and Battery Operated Pump

If you’re looking for something big and extremely comfortable, then this is the cot for you.

But be warned, you’ll be sacrificing a lot of weight to lug this big bed around. It weighs in at a hefty 41.9 lbs.

The solid construction supports up to 600 lbs, making it great for two people. It can even act a foldaway guest bed in your home when needed.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 41.9 lbs.
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 59 x 22 x 78 inches
  • Folded Dimensions:
  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
  • Material:
  • Frame:

Big Agnes Goosenest Inflatable Cot

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If you do go with the decision to use an inflatable bed, the best camping cot is the Big Agnes Goosenest Double-Decker, which is large, long, and oh-so-comfortable.

With its double-decker height, you get lots of room from the ground and lots of back support. The i-beam construction of the cot gives you stability on the ground no matter how rocky or rooty the terrain beneath you is.

You will sink into sleep thanks to large outer rings that essentially cradle you in the bed. You won’t be falling out of this bed. If you want to add a sleeping pad to increase comfort, it comes with buckle straps to secure it in place.

If you want to share your bed, you can convert the double-decker to a side-by-side inflatable double bed. And the whole thing folds up into a travel-ready seven-pound pouch.

Prepare to sleep like a baby in the arms of Big Agnes.

Features and Specs:

  • Weight: 3 lbs 1 oz
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 78 x 26 x 6.5
  • Folded Dimensions: 28 x 5.5 x 6
  • Weight Capacity:
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Frame:

REI Co-Op Trailgate Vehicle Sleeping Platform

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Lots of campers choose to sleep in their car rather than in a tent. Perhaps the elements are too harsh, or there are lots of bears roaming about. Whether you are sleeping on the bed of a truck or making it work in the backseat of your SUV, you can still sleep in comfort.

The REI Co-op Trailgate Vehicle Sleeping Platform is engineered for sleeping in your vehicle. It has three sets of adjustable legs that can create a level sleeping surface in most trucks and SUVs. If part of the cot sits on the car’s backseat, you can adjust the legs to be shorter and then longer for the part hanging off the seat.

Longer front legs can fit perfectly into the space behind the front seats, and the shorter middle and back legs can easily rest on the cargo floor. Front legs adjust up to twenty-seven inches. You can also swap the extended front legs for shorter legs if you have a flat floor for the cot, meaning this will work just as well for sleeping on the ground as it will in your car.

There are two widths available: The twenty-five-inch model, which keeps things compact, and the forty-inch, for couples or spooning with your pet. The forty-inch model can hold up to 400 pounds.

The camping cot comes with a plush foam mattress stitched into the bed and will let you melt into a luxurious slumber. You won’t be sacrificing quality sleep.

Need A Cot For Your Dog?

Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed


Veehoo Cooling Elevated Dog Bed, Portable Raised Pet Cot with Washable & Breathable Mesh, No-Slip Rubber Feet for Indoor & Outdoor Use, XX-Large, Black

Humans and dogs have been going on adventures together since the beginning of time. It’s a camping rite of passage. You want your four-legged partner to be just as comfortable as you. And you don’t want them trying to jump up onto your cot.

Dogs sleep better on a bed, so investing in a camping cot for your dog will benefit them greatly. The Helinox Dog Cot is specially designed to keep dogs comfortable. It is built with a monofilament mesh which allows better air circulation through the cot. It will keep dogs cool and their skin breathing well. The cot is very easy to clean and wipe off if you have a breed that sheds.

The aluminum poles are durable and easily foldable, making it easy to set up and take down. Since your dog can’t help with this part, you won’t waste time getting things packed up.

The camping cot comes in two sizes. Its medium size is built for dogs up to 132 pounds, while the large size supports dogs up to 154 pounds. Pretty much all dog breeds should be covered! And both versions of cots weigh less than three pounds in total. They fold into compact squares that are easily stored in your car.

You can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about your dog. They’ll be able to get good sleep and trot alongside you on your expedition.


Kids Bunk Bed Cots

Disc-O-Bed X-Large Bunk with Organizers

Disc-O-Bed Youth Kid-O-Bunk 62 x 28 Inch Portable Folding Bunked Double Camping Cot Bed with 2 Organizers and 2 Carry Bags, Navy Blue

Camping can be a family affair with these nifty stackable cots.

Space is usually tight in a shared tent, even more so when a group of people are stuffed in there. By having stackable cots, you can maximize space while still having everyone together for bonding time.

The Disc-O-Bed camping cots can be arranged as stacked bunk beds or side by side for your kids. While they are on the bulkier side, coming in at sixty-two pounds, they can easily be set up by one person. Set up doesn’t require any tools and only takes a few minutes.

Their anti-rust steel frames are incredibly strong and stable for any size child or adult. That’s right, we said adult. With a thirty-five-inch width and 500-pound weight limit, they are one of the roomier brands of cots, so they can be used by adult campers and even grow with your kids.

The sleeping decks themselves are woven with water-resistant polyester fabric that can conform to any body type. You won’t sacrifice comfort with a stacked cot. Even better, there are no middle bars in the cot, so you can avoid a bar digging into your back in the middle of the night.

And they disassemble just as easily as they come together, making for an overall easy experience that can bring you and your family well-deserved sleep.


Camping Cot Buyer’s Guide

How To Choose A Camping Cot


Orange tent cot camping in mountains

What Type of Camping Will You Be Doing With This Cot?

If you’re mainly a car camper, where you can drive your car right into the campground, then weight shouldn’t matter. In this case, you can choose a comfortable or low-cost cot without any problems.

If you’re a backpacker, then weight and pack size matter. In this case, you’ll want to get the lightest (and often times most expensive) cot you can find.

Other types of camping such as canoe camping, hike in, and hunting can usually live with something in between.

Comfort

Comfort is a big consideration when purchasing a camping cot. Yet, most people want a lightweight cot that packs small. But if the cot isn’t comfortable and doesn’t help you sleep better, then why not just sleep on the ground?

If you need to carry your cot for long distances, such as backpacking or long portages when canoe camping, you may have to sacrifice some comfort in order to have as light a cot as possible.

Typically, the more comfortable a cot is, the more it weighs.

Ease of Setup

In my opinion, ease of setup should be low for anyone’s priorities when choosing a camping cot as almost all of them simply unfold.

However, some may be a little more tricky than others or they may combine an inflatable mattress with the cot. If you have an inflatable mattress, you will either have to blow it up or bring a pump to handle it for you.

Warmth

Cots themselves don’t add much for warmth, but they do allow you to create a great setup to keep yourself warm.

If you add an insulating layer between yourself and the cot such as an extra blanket, sleeping pad, or even a light air mattress, you’ll get the best insulation from the cold possible.

Sleep Area – Does it fit your body

You need to make sure that the cot fits your body size or you’ll have a tough time getting a good night’s sleep. Make sure to pay attention to the length of the cot when purchasing.

Width is also important. If you tend to roll a lot while sleeping or if you’re a side sleeper, having extra width can add significant comfort.

Price

How much of a factor price is different for everyone. If you don’t have the budget for an expensive cot, that’s fine, get the cot that you can afford. Coleman makes great cots that are quite affordable.

However, if you can afford a high-end cot, they have many benefits such as better comfort, lighter weight, and smaller pack size.

Camping Cots vs Sleeping Pads

Cots are great for when the ground is uneven or rocky. They will allow you to get up off the ground onto a level surface while providing some support.

Sleeping pads are great if you are in a groomed flat campsite. In many cases, a cot just isn’t necessary as a sleeping pad or air mattress can provide you with plenty of comfort.

However, the best solution can be to use both a cot and a sleeping pad together.

A sleeping pad or air mattress on top of a cot multiplies your comfort and provides the best night’s sleep in my opinion.

Are Camping Cots Worth It?

If comfort is important to you, then camping cots are absolutely worth the investment. They provide extra support and elevate you off the uneven ground.

Which Is The Best Camping Cot

In our opinion, the best camping cot is the REI Kingdom Cot 3 or whatever cot you can comfortably afford!

Can I Put A Cot in a Tent?

You can absolutely put a cot in a tent. Make sure that the feet won’t cause tears in the tent floor and that the cot fits comfortably within the tent and you’ll be fine.

Is It Warmer To Sleep On A Cot Or On The Ground?

Cots elevate you off of the cold ground and are warmer to sleep on than the ground. You can add extra insulation between you and the cot for added warmth.

Should I Use A Cot For Winter Camping?

Cots are a great choice for winter camping. They provide a warmer sleeping area than sleeping on the ground, especially when paired with a sleeping pad.

That’s a wrap on the Best Camping Cots

Our Favorite Camping Cot: REI Co-Op Kingdom Cot 3

If you want to increase your sleep comfort even further, then check out our article on the best sleeping pads for camping.