Best cots for tent camping

Collapsing, lop-sided mattresses are over for us. Does anyone have some great recommendations for easy to set-up and store and most of all super comfy cots for tent camping?

I use a gander mountain61e1y3hsqDL.AC_SX679 my back would like it to be a little more cushy on the lower lumbar but I have an old injury. I just throw an extra sleeping bag under me. It folds flat but it is a little cumbersome. I camp with my truck so I don’t mind. I’m 6’1" and I fit in it.

Camp Time Roll-A-Cot. Easy to set up, not light and not for anything other than car camping or an extra sleeping space in the house, but really comfortable and sturdy. Very well made.

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Byer of Maine Easy Cot. I got mine from LL Bean. They are unbelievably easy to set up. I top it with a cheap self inflating pad that I got at Aldi. I sleep great on it. Reviews on LL Bean site say a lot of people use the LL Bean camp futon with it and love it. Pricey though.

It’s nice to have the space underneath the cot to store stuff. The only down side is that an air mattress definitely packs up smaller and lighter.

My wife and I do exactly the same and love it. Bought ours on Amazon.

For comfort, my husband likes the Cabela’s Alaskan Guide cot with lever arm. He is a pretty big guy and wasn’t all that into camping until I got him this cot. He also uses a self-inflating pad on it to make it cushy and insulated from the air under the cot in colder weather. It is quick to set up this army style cot, but it is heavy and massive at 84" x 30" x 19", so you need a fairly large tent. It folds down to 5.1″ x 42.3″ x 9.1″ into a carry bag, but at 31lbs- it is HEAVY to lug very far from the car.
cabelas guide cot
I also just recently purchased a cot for me after camping on an un-level site in the mountains. (I’d wake up at the foot of my camping pad sliding down to the bottom every night when my husband was fine on his cot) I found this lounge chair/cot at Woods Canada. I can bring it outside to read a book (5 back positions) and back into the tent. It’s padded and cushy already, so my self-inflating pad on it made it too soft for me (I like a firm mattress usually, which is probably why I don’t mind the ground.)
woods lounge cot
woods canada flat cot
The cot folds flat and can be folded into a footstool or shortened chair (However with the bottom folded in, the bar is at your spine sitting and needs a pillow to be comfortable.) I love it as a lounge chair to read a book outside or lay back after hiking all day.
woods folded flat woods reclining shortened woods folded seat
It folds completely flat as a cot (still pretty long at 79" x 30"x 10"). It fits in my 3 man backpacking tent because it is low enough to the ground, but it is also a little hard to get out of because it is so low to the ground. I like the self-leveling feet though if my campsite was on a slight incline. At 21 lbs, it’s manageable, but not lightweight.

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Not to derails the cot-versation, but my wife and I prefer an air mattress. We bring a battery air pump and we’re good to go. We can zip our sleeping bags together when it’s cold and it’s almost as comfortable as our bed at home. We just use a $25-30 single high Intex queen sized air mattress.

There are a variety of common options for a portable camping bed. However, while making a purchase, there are a few things to keep in mind. To put it another way, finding the best camping cot requires combining your own preferences with critical characteristics. I like these three cots for tent camping as they are comfortable and great.

  • ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight
  • Kamp-Rite Compact Double Tent Cot
  • Helinox Cot One