Sleeping out in the wilderness may seem like a rather charming experience, but without the right gear, you’ll be spending the night tossing and turning. Camping, hunting, and fishing adventures will always leave you feeling connected to your surroundings. Unfortunately, a stiff back or neck in the morning will not. In fact, it could just ruin your outdoor adventure altogether. While sleeping pads can do the trick on a backpacking adventure, a top-notch camping bed can guarantee you a better night’s sleep. The best camping bed will keep you off the ground while providing a bit of under bed storage space for any equipment or gear you have in tow. Additionally, you won’t be spending the night counting just how many rocks are currently sticking into your back.

Right now, there is a large variety of camping bed cots to choose from. While choosing the right cot or camping bed can be a chore, your body will thank you after a thorough night’s rest out with mother nature. Below, we’ve laid out the best camping bed cots available today. No matter what your needs or budget, you can find a great camping bed for your next outdoor endeavor.

Best Camping Beds of 2020

1. Magshion Portable Military Fold Up Camping Bed Cot

Magshion Portable Military Fold Up Camping Bed Cot

Easy to set-up and totally portable, the Magshion Portable Military Fold Up Camping Bed Cot is a great option for someone who doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a camping bed. This is a very stable bed that can be used in a tent, home, or on the back of a pick-up truck. The legs are a combination of u-shape bars on both ends plus two standard legs down the middle, making for a very stable design that feels durable.

Unlike older cot models, the Magshion does not place any bars directly under the bed fabric, meaning you can garner a comfortable sleep without feeling the cot construction. The bed folds up in a breeze and comes with a generously sized cover bag. The packed size is just 36 x 24.5 x 4.5, meaning storage is simple. This is a great all-season cot priced for accessibility and storage.

Read Full Review

2. Coleman Pack Away Cot w/ Side Table

Coleman Pack Away Cot with Side Table

It goes without saying that Coleman knows campers. The Coleman Cot Pack Away w/ Side Table proves this with great ease. This is a lightweight easy-to-set-up cot that can be put into place in around 30 seconds. With a powder-coated steel frame for endurance, this is a cot that can hold even the tallest of people. Unlike most cots, it can easily accommodate those up to 6 feet 8 inches in height and up to 300 pounds in weight. Though it does not lock into place like many camping cots, it is sturdy and stays in place when you lie down to sleep. The frame never wobbles and nor does it feel unsteady.

A unique detachable side table helps to keep your items neatly organized while providing a deep cup holder for any sized beverage. The bed itself is designed to be extra-wide, allowing for one to turn comfortably without fear of flipping the cot over. Additionally, one can simply sit on the side of the cot without the worry of the dreaded cot flip. Overall, this is an excellent cot choice for anyone who wants an easy to use cot that never flips.

Read Full Review

3. Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Coleman has been helping campers find comfort for decades. The Coleman ComfortSmart Cot proves that the brand has not given up on its pursuit of quality comfort for all. This is a quality camp bed that stands at 15 inches high. When open, the cot measures 5 foot 7 inches long, which is more than adequate. As a result of its size, it can fit in almost any tent. The legs are made from durable rounded bars that will not damage tent flooring. It folds up easily and can be stored in any size trunk. Of course, comfort is what makes this one of the best camping beds.

This Coleman cot uniquely comes equipped with a mattress that has a thickness of 1.75 inches. The built-in spring coil offers generous support without that squeaking feeling we’ve all come to dread. This is a cot that makes you feel right at home. Highly versatile and durable, this is a cot that can easily last you for a decade or more with proper maintenance.

Read Full Review

4. Coleman Trailhead II Cot

Coleman Trailhead II Cot

A comfortable cot that screams simplicity, the Coleman Cot Trailhead II is a great choice for someone who wants a durable basic cot with added comfort. This is a generously sized bed that measures 75 by 35 inches once unfolded. It can easily accommodate most people, even if you are taller or heavier in stature. The built-in X-frame makes the cot highly convenient. With 6 legs and 4 pole sides, the bed is supportive yet strong. Unfortunately, this does make it a bit heavier than other cot models.

Despite its heft, the Coleman Cot Trailhead II is quite portable and easy to fold. It is able to pack up to a size of 36 by 7 inches and is a great space-saving option for those who don’t have much in the way of storage. The cot also boasts a unique pocket that allows you to stuff important gear or items within reach. Overall, this is a bed that is comfortable and high enough off of the ground that it can provide a great night’s sleep.

5. Teton Sports Camp Cot

Looking for the best camping bed that can stand the test of time? Look no further than the Teton Sports Camp Cot. This is a military-style collapsible high capacity cot that is equal parts strong and sturdy. It has been on the market for a number of years and has proven to stand the test of time. As a high-capacity cot, this bed can hold individuals up to 400 pounds. The cot does require simple assembly due to its ability to fold down into a durable carry bag. However, assembly is easy and does not require any tools or force. At around 85 inches long, it is suitable for taller guests or campers.

Let’s talk about comfort. The Teton Sports Camp Cot is adequately comfortable and does not wobble or feel unsteady when tossing or turning. The frame and bars are a combination of aluminum and steel while the rubber capped feet offer floor protection. While the cot does require assembly, this can easily be achieved in a few minutes by just one person. Once set up, the cot is durable, comfortable, and not going anywhere!

Why Buy A Camping Cot

Camping can be quite a lot of fun, but the wrong sleeping arrangement can ruin your entire experience. Let’s break down the pros and cons of camping cots below.

Camping Cot Pros

  • More comfortable than inflatable/silicone pads
  • Allows you to sleep off-the-round on an elevated platform
  • Keep you cool in hot weather
  • Under bed storage in a tight tent area
  • Camping Cots can be stored easily
  • You can climb in and out effortlessly
  • Camping cots feature an extra storage pocket
  • Camping cots can help with easing aches and pains

Camping Cot Cons

  • Camping cots can be quite weighty and not easy to transport from one place to another
  • Camping cots do not provide any insulation in cold weather
  • Moving in certain camping cots can be tricky

Advantages of Camping Cots Vs. Other Beds

Camping cots may not be an option for all campers (eg.: backpackers), but for those that don’t need to worry about portability, they can offer a slew of benefits that far outweigh the pros of other beds. Generally when one goes camping, there are a few options for sleep: air mattresses, inflatable pads, foam pads, the ground, or sleeping cots. Let’s take a look at why sleeping cots prove more advantageous than these other options.

Comfort/Ease of Sleep

Air mattress notwithstanding (which isn’t suitable for most tent situations), a camping cot is very comfortable. Aside from helping you to stay cool in the summer, they also keep you off of the ground. Sleeping on a surface higher than the floor leads to better sleep as temperature regulation, freedom from bugs/critters, and a more traditional bed feel ease worries. Additionally, camping cots have either spring systems or fabric tension which grant a helpful sleeping surface. Each is adjustable, which means you can add more support or comfort should you need it.

Easing Aches and Pains

Camping can be relaxing, but some of the activities can also be quite strenuous on the body. Aches and pains are common while hiking, fishing, biking, or simply set up camp. Beds that force you onto the ground can exacerbate these aches and pains, especially mattress pads and simple sleeping bag set-ups.

Not only can ground sleeping irritate joint and muscle pain, but they can make it difficult to rise from a lie-down position, putting more strain on already achy areas of the body. Cots are most similar to a traditional home-bed, which means they offer the support and comfort one needs while allowing you to rise from a higher position.

Multi-Purpose Functionality

Most camping gear is resolved to be used for camping purposes only. The only exception is an air mattress, which can be difficult to set-up and transport in small tent areas. A cot, on the other hand, offers multi-purpose functionality. It does not need to be reserved for camping. In fact, many people use their cots to accommodate extra guests at home or as a simple bench around the firepit. Additionally, cots can be great to have in an emergency situation in which evacuation is in order.

Unlike other bed styles (mattress pads and air mattresses), many camping cots will come with added storage pockets. These are great places to store flashlights, boots, cell phones, and snacks. Many also come with added attachable side tables. Moreover, the elevated nature of a camping cot means that you can store gear and supplies underneath the bed, leaving more tent floor space exposed to other activities.

Important Features When Looking For A Camp Bed

When looking to buy the best camping bed, there are several important features to keep in mind while perusing your options. We’ll break down the most important features when looking for a camping bed down below.

Weight. Without question one of the most important features to consider when looking for a camping bed is the weight. Different kinds of camping cots and beds come with different weights. Some may be as little as 2 to 3 pounds, while others can weigh as much as 15 to 20 pounds. Heavy-duty cots with steel frames will weigh more than lightweight options made with different materials. Think about how and when you’ll be using your bed and keep weight in mind. For example, don’t plan to bring a heavy-duty cot on a backpacking trip.

Size. People come in all shapes and sizes, which means you’ll need to consider a camping bed or cot that suits yourself and those in your party. The most suitable size for most adults is 25” wide and 75” long.

Assembly. No one wants to fight with a cot or camping bed in order to set it up. Keep assembly in mind when looking for a camping bed. There are many cots that are so simple you can just unfurl them, others will require a bit of assembly.

Portability. Not every camping bed or cot will be easy to transport and different kinds of cots or beds will offer different portability. Consider the packed weight and size of any cot or camping bed. Some cots will collapse less than others. Those that are most portable should only weigh between 2 or 5 pounds. Portability is key if you walk a long way to your campsite from the car.

Fabric/material. The fabric of your cot or camping bed truly does matter. Some fabrics are simply more supportive than others. Additionally, you want a fabric that is easy to clean and maintain. In this vein, nylon and polyester fabrics are best. Cotton canvas can be heavy and does collect dust.

Support/Comfort Level. Finally, you must consider support and comfort. Some camping beds offer no support. Cots tend to offer either a spring system or fabric tension for a sleeping surface. You can also find cots with both. Some models are adjustable for more support or comfort, while others or not. If possible, test out your camping cot or bed before you make your purchase.

At the end of the day, the best camping bed or cot should prove adequate respite after a long day of outdoor activities. You should awake to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next day’s adventure, not burnt out or sore from a bad camping bed.