The 8 Best Camping Cots of 2021

The perfect products to get you off the ground and sleeping soundly

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The Rundown

Best Overall: REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3 at REI

"If you’ve got space in your vehicle for this plush cot, this sleeper knows no equals."

Best Buy: REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot at REI

"This simple camping cot lets you sleep off the ground without breaking the bank."

Best Accessories: Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot at Amazon

"The Pack-Away Camping Cot comes with a pop-up side table complete with a cup holder."

Best Lightweight Cot: Helinox Lite Cot at Amazon

"With a pack weight of only 2 pounds, 12 ounces, this is one of the lightest cots available."

Best for Overlanding: Luno Air Mattress 2.0 at Luno Life

"When it comes to plush comfort for your next overland outing, Luno can’t be beaten."

Best for Backpacking: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot at Amazon

"Weighing in at 2 pounds, 10 ounces, this cot goes wherever your adventure takes you."

Best for Added Space: ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL at Sportsman's Warehouse

"If you like to sleep sideways, this cot offers the extra space you need."

Best for Couples: Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot at Amazon

"Capable of handling up to 500 pounds, this cot provides plenty of space for two people."

Using a camping cot rather than dropping a sleeping pad on the ground or floor of your tent assures that you’ll never have to endure the discomfort of pesky rocks or roots endemic to the outside world. The elevated structure also frees up storage space inside your tent, lets cool air circulate to combat hot weather, and prevents cold earth from sucking your body heat in the winter. Most also pack down into a transport-friendly package ideal for either car camping or backpacking, and all of them provide solace for when slumber calls.

Behold the best camping cots for your next camping excursion.

Best Overall: REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3

REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Fully padded

  • Dries quickly

  • Generous size and weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • May be heavy for backpacking

If you’ve decided to go the cot route while camping, why not go all-in when it comes to comfort and add-on features? REI’s Co-op Kingdom Cot 3 provides just that, with a fully padded, plush, quilted bed made from quick-drying polyester that won’t leave you longing for your mattress back home. With a footprint of 82 x 31.5 inches, it’s plenty roomy. Plus, it boasts a slightly curved architecture that makes you feel nestled into the cot rather than lying on top of it.  The three sets of legs provide reliable support for up to 300 pounds, with oversized feet that offer stability on uneven ground. The folding frame assembles and collapses easily, while a twist knob allows you to set a variety of back positions. The frame itself is constructed of rugged powder-coated aluminum, along with aluminum-steel tubing for reliable strength.

At 20 pounds, it’s not the cot a backpacker would consider—and unlike some cot designs, it doesn’t collapse fully into a tube-like shape—instead, it lies flat. But if you’ve got space in your vehicle, this sleeper knows no equals.

Best Buy: REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot

REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Generous size and weight capacity

  • Lightweight

  • Includes a carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note it can be squeaky

REI’s Co-op line continues to offer the budget-conscious camper and traveler plenty of high-quality products at a price that won’t break the bank. Witness the Co-op Camp Folding Cot, a simple and elegant camping cot that lets you sleep off the ground and in comfort. Sitting 17.5 inches high, the pop-up cot uses a steel frame to support sleepers up to 300 pounds with 600-denier ripstop polyester fabric that stays taut and supportive across its 75 x 25.5-inch surface. Pull the straps at its four corners to help dial the set-up. The cot weighs just less than 17 pounds, folds up easily, and can be stored and transported without hassle thanks to the included carrying bag, which comes with a shoulder strap, pull handle, and a cinch cord to keep the bag shut.

Best Accessories: Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot

Coleman Pack-Away Cot. Amazon photo
Coleman Pack-Away Cot. Amazon photo.
What We Like
  • Generous size and weight capacity

  • Includes a table and cup holder

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • May be heavy for backpacking

In addition to providing a comfortable, secure place for campers up to 6-feet, 6-inches tall, and weighing as much as 300 pounds, the Pack-Away Camping Cot from Colemen also comes with a pop-up side table complete with a removable cup holder. The extra-wide 31-inch design allows for more sleeping room, and the strong steel frame is both durable and reliably stable. The whole package folds up and can be stored in the included bag for easy transport with two wide handles that make hauling the 20-pound cot fairly manageable.

Best Lightweight Cot: Helinox Lite Cot

Helinox Lite Cot. Helinox image
Helinox Lite Cot. Helinox image.
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Generous weight capacity

  • Removable legs

What We Don't Like
  • Narrower than other options

With a pack weight of only 2 pounds, 12 ounces, the backpacker-friendly Helinox Lite Cot is one of the lightest camping cots available. Even better, it packs down into a 20.5-inch package but is robust enough to support sleepers of up to 268 pounds. The fabric bedding sits 5 inches off the ground on four removable legs made of a high-tech aluminum alloy that clips into the frame. The cot provides comfort for most campers thanks to its 72.5-inch-long polyester platform. But serious ounce-shavers can ditch one of the legs to lighten things up even more—the cot will still be fully supported. The 23.5-inch width is narrower than most car camping cots but will provide plenty of space to stretch out after a long day. Bonus: The cot comes with a 5-year warranty.

Best for Overlanding: Luno Air Mattress 2.0

Luno Air Mattress 2.0

Courtesy of Luno

What We Like
  • Fits more than 1,800 vehicles

  • Includes a repair kit

  • Easy to clean

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

It’s easy to understand why overlanding—adventuring into the outdoors and sleeping in your car rather than in a tent—has been trending in the travel space. It combines the simplicity of a road trip with the comfort and convenience of “van life” without requiring you to kit out some old Sprinter van. And when it comes to plush comfort for your next overland outing, Luno’s Air Mattress 2.0 can’t be beaten. As its name implies, it’s not a traditional camping cot. Instead, it’s an inflatable mattress that’s been tailer-sized to fit more than 1,800 vehicles. The kit comes with a topper to protect the mattress, two base extenders to add length, a 12-volt air pump, a carrying case, and a repair patch in the unlikely event of a puncture. The pet-friendly fabric is both durable and easy to clean and can accommodate two sleepers up to 6 feet, 2 inches in height, with a max weight limit of 600 pounds. Set-up can be executed in about five minutes, and the inflated height of 4 inches provides all the comfort you could ever want, transforming your vehicle into a plush bedroom.

Best for Backpacking: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. Amazon image
Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. Amazon image.
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Collapsible legs

  • Generous size and weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Therm-a-Rest already makes some of the industry’s best inflatable camping pads, and they’ve upped their game—and elevated the adventurous backpacker—with their LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. Weighing in at a feathery 2 pounds, 10 ounces, it elevates sleepers 4 inches off the ground with a sleeping surface that measures in at 72 x 24 inches in the regular version (the large adds 2 inches to the width, and an additional 5 inches in length). Stability is assured thanks to five collapsible legs that utilize a tent-like architecture with anodized aluminum poles to assure that the reflective-coated ripstop polyester laminate stays taut and comfortable. They’ve also integrated rounded edges at the feet, which helps prevent damage to the tent floor, and the legs also help more evenly distribute body weight. Rated to handle sleepers up to 325 pounds, it packs down into a modest 16 x 4-inch package, all stuffed in the included carrying sack, so it doesn’t take up much room in your pack.

And if you want to really add more cozy cushioning, the UltraLite Cot also works well with Therm-a-Rest’s award-winning sleep systems. Hot-weather campers should also consider the mesh version, which adds even more ventilation underneath the cot.

Best for Added Space: ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL

ALPS Mountaineering Cot XL. ALPS Mountaineering image
ALPS Mountaineering Cot XL. ALPS Mountaineering Image.
What We Like
  • Generous size and weight capacity

  • Durable

  • Includes a stuff sack

What We Don't Like
  • May be heavy for backpacking

If you like to sleep sideways or tend to toss and turn, a standard cot may feel constricting. Instead, opt for ALPS Mountaineering’s roomy Camp Cot XL, which boasts a width of 40 inches and a length of 86 inches. It sits 22 inches off the ground with sturdy steel connectors anchored to a powder-coated aluminum frame that’s stable and easy to assemble. The bed itself is crafted from 600D polyester that provides just enough give without feeling like you’re sagging into the cot. The whole package weighs 19 pounds, packs down into the included stuff sack, and can handle sleepers up to 325 pounds. Bonus: a small mesh pocket dangles off one side of the cot, keeping essentials like your phone or headlamp within reach.

Best for Couples: Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot

Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot. Kamp-Rite image
Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot. Kamp-Rite image.
What We Like
  • Generous size and weight capacity

  • Durable

  • Includes a carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • May be heavy for backpacking

Couples who want to bed together on their next camping adventure can turn to the Double Kwik-Cot from Kamp-Rite to find their outdoor bedding solution. Capable of handling up to 500 pounds, the two-person cot sits on a heavy-duty powder-coated metal frame, which anchors together with the 600D fabric bed surface. At 85 x 55 inches, there's plenty of space for two campers. But note that the architecture of this cot includes a central bar down its length, so you may not be able to cuddle as you do on a conventional mattress. It sits 19 inches off the ground and weighs 33 pounds. A heavy-duty carry bag is also included, along with a mesh storage hammock that is attached to the bottom of the cot to provide some extra storage space.

Final Verdict

We give the REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3 (view at REI) top honors thanks to its durability and padded construction. It's well-padded and dries quickly so you can sleep comfortably all night long. If you're looking for an affordable option, you can't go wrong with the REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot (view at REI). It's durable, lightweight, and even includes its own carrying bag.

What to Look for in a Camping Cot

Weight

If your camping plans include backpacking, you want a cot that’s light (less than three pounds) and one that breaks down into a compact size so it won’t swallow up tons of space in your pack. Car campers, meanwhile, can go with heavier—and more comfortable—camping cots because weight and space won't be as much of an issue.

Legs

Most camping cots have rounded legs to help prevent damaging your tent floor, but cots with more legs offer better weight distribution, reducing the potential to puncture or scratch your tent. More legs also assure more support and work better on uneven ground. If you go with a standard four-leg cot, consider putting some additional fabric under the cot legs to prevent undue damage.

Size

As with most things, size matters. Go with a cot that’s at least 8 to 10 inches taller than you, which will give you the space you need for your bedding and feet. Widths also vary, but most are at least 25 inches wide. If you’re a restless sleeper or simply want more space, go bigger.

Comfort Levels

Most camping cots are comfortable enough on their own, but to boost your comfort levels, you can also add an inflatable sleeping pad to make things truly plush. Just be sure you measure both the cot and the mattress to assure they’ll fit. Ideally, the mattress will be a bit smaller to keep it from sliding around too much.

Why Trust TripSavvy

From old school camping cots that seemed designed to be purposely uncomfortable to the more modern equivalent, as well as backpacker-specific camping cots, Nathan Borchelt has weathered multiple seasons outdoors in tents, sleeping (mostly) soundly. Extensive research also went into the review and selection of the products in this round-up.

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