Outdoors Gear The 9 Best Camping Cots of 2023, Tested and Reviewed By Alex Temblador Alex Temblador University of Central Oklahoma and University of Louisiana at Monroe Alex Temblador is a freelance journalist specializing in travel, the outdoors, and arts/culture. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 12/02/22 Share Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. TripSavvy / Nathan Allen Camping can be a fun experience, but even we can admit that sleeping on the ground isn’t the most comfortable. Foam pads and air mattresses have been standard sleep tools for campers, but they have drawbacks. Air mattresses can often deflate at night, and you’ll likely have to add a footprint to the bottom of the tent to put a foam pad down. And again—who wants to sleep on the ground? A camping cot is a better option. We tested 19 camping cots, and trust us when we say these are not your grandfather’s old-fashioned camping cots. Over the years, we’ve seen camping cot technology improve, becoming lighter and easier to set up. Many of our testers took these camping cots into the wilderness to try them out, considering everything from ease of setup to comfort, weight, size, and durability. Our top pick was the L.L.Bean Easy Cot which is super easy to put together—hence the name. It’s comfortable, durable, and big enough for people of varying sizes. The L.L.Bean Easy Cot wasn’t the only camping cot that impressed us. Read on to discover camping cots that are good for backpacking, will fit two people, and are affordable to boot. The Rundown Best Overall: L.L.Bean Easy Cot at L.L.Bean Jump to Review Best Budget: Coleman Trailhead II Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best Value: OSAGE RIVER Standard Folding Camping Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget Backpacking: FE Active Folding Camping Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best Backpacking: Helinox Camp Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Beginner Campers: Byer of Maine Easy Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best Double: Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Camp and Home: Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot at Opticsplanet.com Jump to Review Best Extra-Large: ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL at Amazon Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks Other Camping Cots We Tested How We Tested What to Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall L.L.Bean Easy Cot 4.8 L.L. Bean View On L.L.Bean Our Ratings Ease of Use 5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 5/5 Durability 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Super sturdy Easy to set up Large weight capacity Includes a carrying bag Can fit in a two-person tent What We Don't Like Requires a lot of storage space It may be too heavy for some When our tester unpacked the L.L.Bean Easy Cot, they looked for instructions but couldn’t find any. And that’s because it’s so easy to set up. All you do is unfold it. To test out this camping cot, our reviewer took it to Joshua Tree and set it up in a two-person tent. It took up a lot less space than an air mattress would and, at 79 inches long, was well equipped to fit someone up to 6 feet, 5 inches tall. While sleeping on the cot, our tester found it sturdy and provided enough support to prevent back issues. The rugged polyester fabric could get a tad hot if slept on directly, but it’s easy to clean if needed. You’ll appreciate the soft nonmarring feet which won’t damage the flooring of a cabin or a tent. Some may find the 21-pound L.L.Bean Easy Cot heavy to carry and bulky in terms of storage, especially if you live in an apartment. However, the cot can come in handy even if you’re not camping, as it’s a great additional bed option for guests, and it won’t deflate like an air mattress in the middle of the night. Price at time of publication: $140 Dimensions: Open: 17 x 30 x 79 inches; Closed: 6 x 7 x 40 inches | Capacity: 330 pounds | Weight: 21 pounds Best Budget Coleman Trailhead II Cot 4.3 Amazon View On Amazon View On Dick's View On Coleman.com Our Ratings Ease of Use 4/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 4/5 Durability 4/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Super affordable Folds to a compact size Better suited to car campers Wide design for more sleeping room What We Don't Like Requires a two-person setup It could be heavy for some The Coleman Trailhead II Cot is incredibly affordable, and according to our tester, it’s comfortable too. We like the wide design of this cot as it allows you to stretch out in your sleep. But what makes it even better is that it folds into a nice compact size that will fit inside any car trunk. This cot is best used for car campers, not hikers because it’s slightly heavy. While our tester noted that the fabric easily stains, their biggest concern was how it takes two people to set up the cot. The last knob connecting to the main bar requires some extra strength from an additional person. They also warned that the edges of the bars are sharp and could hurt your bare hands if not careful. Despite all that, the Coleman Trailhead II Cot is worth the buy. It is affordable and will fit someone up to 6 feet tall and 300 pounds. Price at time of publication: $55 Dimensions: 73 x 35 x 17 inches | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 21.5 pounds TripSavvy / Joy Kim Best Value OSAGE RIVER Standard Folding Camping Cot 4.8 Walmart View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Osagerivergear.com Our Ratings Ease of Use 5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 4/5 Durability 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Lightweight, set-up takes seconds Elevated headrest Waterproof fabric Includes a carrying bag Accessories pocket attached to the cot What We Don't Like Not very wide It may not be as durable as advertised The OSAGE RIVER Comfortable and Lightweight Standing Folding Camping Cot takes a few seconds to assemble. You simply remove it from the carrying bag and unfold it. Then press down along the joints, and you’re done. Folding is easy, too—our tester explained, “Just flip it on its side, pull down on the single-leg posts, and fold it like an accordion.” This cot is lightweight, though it is not ideal for backcountry camping that requires hiking. It comes in multiple colors and is outfitted with a waterproof fabric to withstand wet elements. You’ll enjoy the elevated headrest, and though the brand advertises that you could go without a pillow, our tester suggests you use one. An accessories pocket is attached to the side of the cot and offers three different pockets in one. The OSAGE RIVER cot is decently priced, doesn’t take up too much room if you're using a camping tent, and is long enough to fit campers who are 6 feet tall, like our tester. We wish our tester had provided notes about the comfort of this cot because, according to Amazon reviewers, it’s not very wide, and some of the bars cut into the shoulders of those who have slept on it. Even worse, there are many reviews about the cot’s bars breaking within the first year. Although listed as able to withstand 300 pounds, many Amazon reviewers who ranged from 140 to 270 pounds found the cot less durable than desired. Price at time of publication: $77 Dimensions: open: 28 x 75 x 18.5 inches, closed: 5 x 8 x 40 inches | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 12.45 pounds TripSavvy / Patrick McGowan The 9 Best Camping Pillows of 2023 Best Budget Backpacking FE Active Folding Camping Cot 4.5 Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart Our Ratings Ease of Use 4/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 5/5 Durability 4/5 Value 4/5 What We Like Attached side pocket Compact and super lightweight Includes a carrying bag and additional pouch Made with water-resistant polyester fabric What We Don't Like Set up takes some time If you're new to backpacking, when choosing a camping cot you must ensure that it’s light and compact enough to carry. Our tester did a hiking test with the FE Active Folding Camping Cot and found it a lightweight addition to their backpack. The cot breaks down into a water-resistant fabric piece and aluminum legs in a carrying bag. However, the setup is a bit tricky and will take some time to complete. Our tester had some trouble putting the cot together for the first time. Connecting the base components (legs) to the top components (pole railings) wasn’t easy, though the second time around, it seemed a little better, though not significantly so. When fully assembled, the cot is about 6.5 inches off the ground and will fit someone 6 feet tall and up to 250 pounds. While our tester found it sturdy enough and could toss and turn without the cot squeaking or moving much, they were wary to ‘plop down’ on the cot. Attached to the cot is an additional pouch for storage. The cot also comes with a small pouch that can be packed with clothes and used as a pillow or to store emergency kit items. Overall, our tester found the cot comfortable to sleep on, and with a price below $100, it’s a pretty good deal. Price at time of publication: $70 Dimensions: open, 74.5 x 27.5 x 6.5 inches, closed, 18.8 x 5.9 x 5.1 inches | Capacity: 250 pounds | Weight: 4.6 pounds Best Backpacking Helinox Lite Camp Cot 4.7 Amazon View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On REI Our Ratings Ease of Use 4.5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 5/5 Durability 5/5 Value 4.5/5 What We Like Lightweight Includes a carrying case Can fit inside a two-person tent What We Don't Like Expensive Too narrow for some Set up will take some time The person who tested the Helinox Lite Cot took it on a backpacking trip near Big Bear Lake in California and had rave reviews. They’ve used a blow-up backpacking pad and a foam pad on past backpacking hiking trips and found that the Helinox Lite Cot was far more comfortable than anything they’ve ever experienced. The Helinox Lite Cot weighs less than 3 pounds and is so compact that you’ll have no trouble fitting it in your backpack. The assembly instructions are easy to follow, but it will take a few minutes to set up. Be prepared to use some strength to “get the four bars that touch the ground around the two parallel bars that run the length of the cot,” said our tester. Our reviewer did admit that this cot is narrow, and while that’s good for a two-person tent and smaller-sized individuals, it could be an issue for others. Side sleepers may not have as much of a problem with the narrowness of the cot. We should also mention that it’s only 73 inches long, meaning anyone over 6 feet will have their feet dangling off. It’s an expensive buy, but if you do a lot of backpacking, it’s a good investment. Price at time of publication: $300 Dimensions: open, 73 x 23.5 x 5 inches, closed, 5 x 21 inches | Capacity: 265 pounds | Weight: 2 pounds, 13 ounces TripSavvy / Nathan Allen Best for Beginner Campers Byer of Maine Easy Cot 4.7 Wayfair View On Amazon View On Campingworld.com View On Overtons.com Our Ratings Ease of Use 5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 4/5 Durability 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Non-marring legs Straightforward set-up Suitable for tall people No cross beams to dig into the back Includes a carry bag with printed instructions What We Don't Like A bit bulky If you’re a newbie or a first-time camper, make your experience better with the Byer of Maine Easy Cot. Our tester took this cot to a drive-up campsite and slept on it in a six-person tent. The non-marring legs shouldn’t damage tent floors, and the carrying bag has the instructions on it. You don’t really need instructions because it only takes unfolding the legs to set the cot up. As far as comfort goes, our tester found this cot to be solid, durable, and quite comfortable. Designed without cross beams, you don’t have to worry about them digging into your back. If you’re a larger person in terms of height and size, the Byer of Maine Easy Cot is a good choice because it is 6.5 feet long with no end rails, making it more comfortable for taller people. The width—31 inches—is also on the wider side of the cots. Priced exceptionally well, this cot may be bulky, but that’s because it’s for car campers first. Price at time of publication: $120 Dimensions: 78 x 31 x 18 inches | Capacity: 330 pounds | Weight: 21 pounds Best Double Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot 4.5 Target View On Amazon Our Ratings Ease of Use 5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 3/5 Durability 4/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Easy setup Includes a carrying bag Designed for two people Mesh storage hammock under the cot What We Don't Like Heavy and will take up some storage space Difficult to level this cot If you and your partner want to sleep on cots, it’s wise to invest in a double camping cot as they save a little more space than placing two cots side by side in a tent. The Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot was our favorite double cot because the setup is quite easy. At 33 pounds, it’s on the heavier side, which makes sense with two cots in one, but the carrying bag will help to move it from your car to the campsite. Our reviewer tested this cot in a four-person tent and noted that it was somewhat of a tight fit. You might have to set it up outside the tent before putting it inside. The cot was sturdy and comfortable, though the tester had a slight issue leveling it to the ground. Keep in mind that there is a bar that separates the double cot in two but add some padding, and it’ll feel like a double bed. Fun fact: A bonus feature underneath the cot is a mesh storage hammock where you can store your belongings off the ground. Price at time of publication: $190 Dimensions: closed, 42 x 11 x 11 inches, open, 85 x 55 x 19 inches | Capacity: 500 pounds | Weight: 33 pounds TripSavvy / Joy Evans Best for Camp and Home Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot 4.7 REI View On Opticsplanet.com View On REI Our Ratings Ease of Use 5/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 3/5 Durability 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Easy setup Affordable price It has a side pocket Felt secure and stable, even on uneven ground What We Don't Like A bit heavy for some Requires more set-up time than other camping cots on this list For nearly $100, you get a pretty good camping cot in the Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot. According to our tester, this cot was secure, stable, and held up on uneven ground. It also remained in place with any movement they made. The side pocket is a nice touch, allowing you to store items like your phone or a water bottle at your side throughout the night. This isn’t the cot you can take on a backpacking trip. It’s got some weight to it, which means it’s better suited for a drive-up campsite. Setting up the cot takes about 5 minutes, and you’ll need to insert two poles into the cloth piece and then connect it to the accordion-style legs. It won’t take much effort, but it’s more set-up time than other car camping cots we’ve featured. Price at time of publication: $100 Dimensions: 75 x 27.55 x 14.5 inches | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 18 pounds TripSavvy / Jessica Hill The 9 Best Three-Person Tents of 2023 Best Extra-Large ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL 4.4 Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Basspro.com Our Ratings Ease of Use 4/5 Comfort 5/5 Portability 4/5 Durability 5/5 Value 4/5 What We Like Easy setup Extra-long and wide It has a side pocket Includes a carrying bag Higher weight capacity than most What We Don't Like It may require two people to set up and break down In our opinion, the most significant drawback of camping cots is how many aren’t that wide or long and thus not accessible to all body types. But you don’t have to worry about that with the ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL. It’s like the luxury version of a camping cot—you have so much room to stretch out in terms of length and width. In fact, anyone that’s up to 7 feet tall can sleep on this cot without their feet hanging off. Plus, it has a higher weight capacity of 325 pounds. Just keep in mind that because of its wider and longer size, you need to ensure that it will fit in your tent. Setting up the cot is not tricky, but our tester advises that it might be easier with two people—especially at the end of the trip when you need to break it down. To set it up, you unfold the cot and add two end poles into the sleeves. Our tester appreciated the extra space this cot afforded them and found it comfortable as far as cots go. The side pocket and the included carrying bag are bonuses. The ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL is somewhat heavy, but even with its longer and wider design, it’s lighter than many other cots on this list. You shouldn’t have issues getting it from your car to the campsite. Price at time of publication: $200 Dimensions: open, 86 x 40 x 22 inches, closed 49 x 8 x 5 inches | Capacity: 325 pounds | Weight: 19 pounds Other Camping Cots We Tested Other tents we tested included: Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot, Coleman Airbed Cot, Coleman ComfortSmart Deluxe Cot, Helinox Cot One Convertible, Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot. Alps Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot, KingCamp Ultralight Folding Sleeping Cot, Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot, Big Agnes Goosenest Inflatable Cot, and Luno Air Mattress 2.0. TripSavvy / Nathan Allen How We Tested We sent cots to testers around the country and had them take multiple camping trips with the cots. We then asked the testers to rate each cot on a five-point scale for the following attributes: ease of use, portability, size, comfort, durability, and overall value. We then averaged those scores to award each cot an overall score. We tested tents in backyards, Big Sur, Joshua Tree, Big Bear Lake, the Santa Monica Mountains, and Alabama’s Sipsey Wilderness. We tested cots backpacking, and car camping. TripSavvy / Taysha Murtaugh What to Look for in a Camping Cot Weight Camping cots aren’t necessarily lightweight. Of course, those designed for backpacking should be less than 5 pounds, but car campers may find their camping cots heavy. One of our testers described a 21-pound camping cot as weighing about the same as a card table, and while it may be a struggle to carry it from your car to the campsite, the distance shouldn’t be that far, and carrying shouldn’t necessarily require two people. That said, buy a camping cot that you can easily carry, and if you go for something heavier, make sure you have someone to assist you. Legs Camping cot legs come in various sizes and feature different materials. Aluminum alloy legs are pretty standard, though some camping cots have tubular carbon steel legs. The top things we’d consider when it comes to legs are how easy they are to assemble and if they can support a weight capacity higher than your weight. We’ve found that attaching the legs of backpacking camping cots to the fabric requires some strength to assemble. Additionally, we suggest you buy a camping cot with legs that have non-marring feet or feet that will not damage your tent or cabin floor. Size There are two dimensions you should consider when shopping for camping cots. The first dimensions are those of the camping cot when it's completely assembled or unfolded. Because cots are measured by inches, you'll need to do some math to figure it out in feet. A camping cot 72 inches or longer will be long enough for someone 6 feet tall or taller. But don't stop there. Take a look at the width of the camping cot, too. If you like to move around, sleep on your stomach or back, or have a wider body, you might want to look for an extra wide camping cot or something over 35 inches. Don't forget to look at the dimensions of a camping cot when it's folded down. This will help you determine if you have space in your home to store the camping cot, fit it in your car, or if it's small enough to put in a backpacking backpack. Comfort Most camping cots have a rectangular fabric pulled tautly between the legs. The fabric is not usually padded, but it should be taut enough to support your hips and back. Another thing to consider is the construction of the camping cot. Look for those that are designed in a way that the bars will not dig into your back or shoulders. While you can consider customer reviews for feedback on comfort, you may just need to buy the cot and test it out around the house for a few days before you take it out on a camping trip. TripSavvy / John Somerall Frequently Asked Questions Do you need a sleeping pad or mattress for a camping cot? You don’t necessarily need a sleeping pad or a mattress for a camping cot. Our testers did not use such items to test out our cots (most just placed blankets on them), and many raved about their comfort. That said, if you like more padding, do whatever will make your camping experience more enjoyable. Can you check a camping cot as luggage? There doesn’t seem to be any rule prohibiting checking a camping cot when traveling by plane. It’s considered sporting equipment, so it’ll need to be smaller than the maximum linear size of 126 inches and weigh less than 50 pounds. Of course, if you bring a backpacking camping cot, you can easily fit them in a suitcase, duffel bag, or backpack. How do you clean and care for a camping cot? There isn’t much to cleaning and caring for a camping cot. If the legs get dirty, clean them with a rag dampened with water. If you can remove the fabric piece, throw it in the washing machine occasionally. Otherwise, use water and soap to remove stains. It might not hurt to place a blanket or sheet on the camping cot when you sleep on it so that the fabric doesn’t absorb your body oil, sweat, or any dirt or mud on your clothes. What makes a camping cot better or worse than an air mattress or pad? With an air mattress or a pad, you’ll most likely need a footprint on the ground floor of a tent as you’ll want to prevent such sleeping items from absorbing moisture or chill from the earth. With a camping cot, you don’t need an additional footprint. While a sleeping pad is as easy to set up as a camping cot (and in some cases easier), an air mattress will require more work, and they often deflate during the night, which can cause discomfort in your body and ruin your night of sleep. Sleeping pads and air mattresses offer a plusher sleeping experience, but that’s not to say that camping cots are uncomfortable. Most of our testers say they wished they’d bought camping cots for guests staying in their homes as they were more comfortable than an air mattress or floor pad. TripSavvy / Nathan Allen Why Trust TripSavvy Author Alex Temblador is an outdoor and travel journalist who lives in Texas. In addition to working out–running, lifting, hiking, kayaking, and more–at least five days a week, Alex seeks out adventurous travels all around the world. Throughout her career as an outdoor and travel journalist, she has rappelled in Mexico, kayaked in Puerto Rico and Thailand, skied in Telluride and Montana, surfed in Zihuatanejo, scuba dived in Bonaire, hiked in Peru and Switzerland, and completed a one-day, 100-mile cycling event in 100-degree weather in North Texas. Tested and Reviewed: The 11 Best Camping Chairs of 2023 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 9 below. Continue to 9 of 9 below.