Home Outdoor Furniture and Camping Camping Cots and Beds

Camping Cots and Beds

A camping cot (or camping bed) is essentially a raised portable bed that is ideal for use when camping. However it can also be used as a temporary bed in your home, for example. when you have guests staying over.

Due to the lightweight design of sleeping cots for camping, they are for many, a better choice to take camping compared to a portable hammock stand set. They are also quicker and easier to set up. Camping cots often come complete with a carry bag which makes transportation, storage and carrying by hand an easier task.

Most Camping cots feature a handy storage pouch to keep accessories close at hand.

Generally speaking camping cots have lesser weight capacities than portable hammock stands do, however this is mainly due to the fact that they are designed for single person use. There are some very heavy duty ones available however such as this 500 lbs weight capacity Redcamp camping cot.

Take a look in the next section to see our top 3 best camping cots.

Camping Co

Things to consider when looking for a Camping Cot

As with all furniture style items there are a few things you should take into consideration when looking for the ideal cot for you. Below are some of the main things to consider when looking for the best camping cot for your needs.

If you have any trouble finding this information in the manufacturers product descriptions also take a look at the buyer reviews and FAQ’s as there is always a lot of additional product information to be found.

#1. Size and Weight Capacity

Before considering anything else you need to ensure the camp cot you are looking at is large enough for you comfortably rest upon, and strong enough to take your weight. In the USA there are a wide range of camping cots available and they all differ a fair deal in size and strength, however in the UK many of the cots are fairly similar in size.

For example the 3 UK camping cots listed above in our recommended section All fall with 189 – 191 cm in length and 68 – 71 cm in width.

Redcamp Folding Camping Bed for adults, 28

The Redcamp camping cot is a good choice for larger users

However the weight capacities of these 3 tables differ significantly – 500 lbs, 330 lbs and 240 lbs (226, 150 and 110 kg).

If you are looking for a strong and large camping cot the Redcamp camping bed is our recommendation due to its 28 inch width and above average 500 lbs weight capacity.

When searching for a camping cot you should be able to find size information very quickly as most manufacturers will list it very clearly.

As is also recommended to look at buyer reviews to see how others found the size and strength. You will often find other buyers stating their height and weight and commenting on how adequate (or inadequate) the camping cot is for someone of their size.

You will also quickly see if anyone had a bad experience with regards weight capacity as bad reviews will often highlight if the camping cot broke under a certain amount of weight.

#2. Comfort and Support

Comfort is obviously a very important aspect and one that goes hand in hand with the size of the camping cot.

Unlike other features such as the size, comfort cannot be easily measured and therefore to find out how comfortable a particular camping cot is you will likely have to search in the buyer reviews, unless you have actually tested the camping cot previously.

Teton Sports camping pad

Camp pads can be used provide additional comfort

Luckily, buyer reviews are a great way to gain this sort of information and most reviewers will mention how comfortable the camping cot is.

You will generally find that most camping cots use a stretched fabric across the frame for support while sleeping. Some more guest bed style camp beds may also use a spring system.

While most camping cots are not going to provide you with exceptional comfort, you will probably be surprised at how effective, comfortable and supportive many find the majority of camp cot beds to be.

You may also wish to use a padded foam camping pad like this one from Teton (Pictured) that can be placed upon the camping cot for further comfort. However, if you are planning on camping with the cot, bear in mind that this will add to the overall weight of your load. Also camping pads are an additional cost and are rarely included in a camping cot package.

#3. Portability and Transportation Weight

An important consideration if you plan to take your camping cot camping or hiking, although it can probably be overlooked if you are simply looking for a temporary bed for guests to use when they visit.

Although if you are in need of a temporary bed for when guests stay the storage dimensions are something you should seek out, as some camping cots are more space effective when folded or disassembled than others.

When it comes to portability there are some camping cots that are easier to carry, lighter to carry and easier to set up than others.

Outsunny Folding Camping Cot 26.5

Lets use the 3 recommended cots above to see their average weights.

  • Redcamp camping cot –  14.7 lbs / 6.7 kg (Carry Bag included)
  • FE Active camping cot – 4.6 lbs / 2.1 kg (Carry Bag included)
  • Outsunny camping cot – 12 lbs / 5.5 kg (Carry Bag included)

As you can see, the weight of a camping cot can vary a great deal and therefore if you are going hiking some of the heavier cots may be a bad choice.

The FE Active camping cot is by far the the lightest out of the 3 examples, hence why we have recommended it for portability. In many cases the heavier a camping cot is, the larger and more robust it is. For example the lightweight FE Active cot has the lowest weight capacity, whereas the heavier Redcamp camping cot is larger and has a higher weight capacity.

Once again, be sure to read the buyer reviews for any camping cot that catches your eye, as you will soon find many buyers will have noted how easy that particular camping cot is to transport, store and carry. Or how un-portable that particular cot may be.

It is also worth adding almost every camping cot comes complete with a carry bag for easier transportation.

Outsunny Folding Camping Cot 26.5

#4. Price

Most camping cots can be purchased for under £100/$100, however there are exceptions that can cost a bit more.

If we take the average price at the the time of writing the 3 recommended cots above average at around £59.

This average is however lowered by the inclusion of the Outsunny camping cot (our recommended low price option) which currently retails at half the price of the other two cots.

Most of the camping cots that have a strong steel framework tend to retail at around £50 – £100.

#5. Materials

Teton Sports XXL Camping CotYou will find that the majority of well rated camping cots are made from fairly high quality materials, so this is probably one of the lesser features you need to concern yourself with.

The majority of cots will feature a steel frame that is powder coated to add a layer of protection against wear and rust. You will also find some of the more lightweight camping cots feature Aluminium frames to make them more portable.

Generally the fabric on most camping cot beds will be 600 D (denier) Polyester fabric, a fabric that is both strong and durable, it is also considered by many to be very comfortable and supportive.

You may also find some camping cots with 1200 denier Polyester beds and other cots with lower denier values such as 420 D. The higher the denier the stronger the fabric is.

#6. Additional Storage and Shelter Features

Extra Storage

Most camping cots have an accessories storage pouch included for keeping personal items close to hand. Usually these pouches are attached to the fabric bed area.

On some models of camping cots you can also buy organisation pouches separately. For example the Teton under cot storage organiser (pictured)

Tent Cots

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent CotIf you felt like having a waterproof cover for your camping cot, you can even find camping cots that have a tent inbuilt into them, such as this Tent Cot from Kamp-Rite (pictured) and you can even get camping tent cots that are big enough for the whole family.

Camping tent cots are very easy to set up and some can be erected in seconds providing a quick all in one solution to sleeping in the outdoors.

You can even get some tent cots that weigh around the same as standard camping cots making them a fairly portable solution that can be easily transported.

Tent cots are generally more expensive that regular cots and are roughly around double the price for a single person cot.

Do you feel the bars across your back while laying on a camping cot?

No. The way camping cots are designed ensures that there are no bars running horizontally across the bed area to interfere with your comfort.

What is the maximum weight capacity of this camping cot?

This information should be very easy to find and if it is not clearly listed then you should probably consider another camping cot. The weight capacity should be one of the very first things listed by the manufacturer and if it is hard to find this information, it could be considered a little untrustworthy from the manufacturer.

You are however, very unlikely to find a camping cot where the weight capacity isn’t clearly stated. It is therefore, a little bizarre that this question pops up so frequently.

How much does a camping cot weigh?

As with the weight capacity this varies from cot to cot and the manufacturer should clearly state this information.

If however, you are having trouble finding the portable weight of a certain camping cot it is worth looking in the buyer faq’s and perhaps the buyer reviews as you will probably find this information there.

Should I use an air mattress / pad with this camping cot?

You will often find that most people consider camping cots to be comfortable enough as they are.

However, if you are a light sleeper or often have problems when sleeping on unfamiliar surfaces, you can always look to invest in a camping pad for use with the cot as mentioned in the camping cot buyers guide.

There are also manufacturers that suggest you can use double mattresses with dual camping cots.

Redcamp Folding Camping Bed for adults, 28

Do I need to assemble the camping cot?

This question is dependent on what camping cot you choose. Some such as the Redcamp (pictured) and Outsunny camping cots in our recommended section simply fold out and can be folded back in without any real effort.

Others however, do require a little assembly and some are easier than others to set up. When deciding on a camping cot you can check if the manufacturer has a video on the product page and watch it to see how straightforward the assembly actually looks.

You can also read the buyer reviews and buyer FAQ’s as these will always have plenty of assembly information about the particular camping cot and often state how quickly and easily most found the assembly process.

Top 3 Best Camping Cot Recommendations

Best Heavy Duty

ALPHA CAMP Camping Folding Bed - 26.4" Width 280 kg Weight Capacity

Alpha Camp Camping Bed

A very heavy duty camping cot ideal for larger users

  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs / 280 kg
  • Length: 74.8″ / 190 cm
  • Width: 26.4″ / 67 cm
  • Weight: 11.9 lbs / 5.4 Kg
  • Assembly required?: No

Also a good heavy duty choice:

KingCamp Lexus XXL Camp Bed

Best for Portability

FE Active Folding Camping Cot 27.5" Width

FE Active Camping Cot

A very lightweight camping cot that is easy to set up

  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs / 110 kg
  • Length: 74.8″ / 189.9 cm
  • Width: 27.6″ / 69.85 cm
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs / 2.1 Kg
  • Assembly required?: Yes (Minor)

Also a good portable choice:

KingCamp Camping Cot

Best low priced

Outsunny Folding Camping Cot 26.5" Width

Outsunny Camping Cot

A great all rounder at a low price

  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs / 150 kg
  • Length: 74.8″ / 190 cm
  • Width: 26.7″ / 68 cm
  • Weight: 12 lbs / 5.5 Kg
  • Assembly required?: No

Also a good low priced option:

Suyi Ultralight Camping Cot

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