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The Best Camping Cots of 2023

A camping cot can keep you warm, elevated, and comfortable outdoors. Here are the best camping cots currently on the market.

Best Camping Cots ReviewA camping cot offers both a comfortable place to sleep and hang out; (photo/Matt Granger)
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For many people, a good night’s sleep in the outdoors is an elusive goal. Sleeping on the ground, even with the help of inflatable or foam sleeping pads, is still sleeping on the ground. For folks seeking a comfortable and elevated sleeping experience while camping, a cot is a great choice.

When car camping, cots can easily be stowed away with the rest of your gear and set up anywhere. Whether you prefer sleeping in a tent or under the stars, cots are a portable luxury that can fit into just about any vehicle.

Though the majority of camping cots are far too heavy for backpacking, certain models are impressively lightweight and relatively portable. On this list, the Helinox Lite Cot weighs just 2 pounds, 12 ounces. 

You’ll need to ask yourself if you are looking for the maximum in comfort, or if portability weighs heavier on your decision-making. Our detailed buyer’s guide and comparison chart are chock full of information to guide your choice, and our frequently asked questions section will help to mop up any lingering queries. Wondering how we got our camping cot chops? Check out why you should trust us.

If you’re looking for a versatile way to sleep comfortably outdoors, read on. You can scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the camping cot you’re looking for:

The Best Camping Cots of 2023

Best Overall Camping Cot

Coleman Airbed Twin Cot


  • Weight 14 lbs.
  • Weight limit 300 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 74 in. x 40 in. x 23.5 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 38 in. x 11 in. x 9 in.
  • Bonus Included electric pump inflates and deflates the mattress in mere minutes
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Sturdy frame
  • Very comfortable
  • Not prone to leaks


  • Bulky
  • Difficult to wash
Best Budget Camping Cot

Coleman Trailhead II Cot


  • Weight 21 lbs.
  • Weight limit 300 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 73 in. x 35 in. x 17 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 40 in. x 8 in. x 5 in. (approx.)
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Comfortable
  • Roomy
  • Side pockets


  • Large packing size
  • Heavy
  • Assembly requires some muscle
Best King Sized Cot

Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot


  • Weight 26 lbs.
  • Weight limit 600 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 85.7 in. x 41 in. x 19.2 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 42 in. x 12 in. x 7 in.
  • Bonus With a capacity of up to 600 lbs., it can easily accommodate two to three sleepers.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Huge sleep space
  • Easy assembly
  • Pairs with Outfitter XXL Camp Pad


  • Large packing size
  • Heavy
  • Doesn’t fit in smaller tents
Best Lightweight Camping Cot

Helinox Lite Cot


  • Weight 2 lbs., 12 oz.
  • Weight limit 265 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 72.5 in. x 23.5 in. x 5 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 20.5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Comfortable


  • Price
  • Lots of pieces (6 poles and cot)
  • Muscles necessary for setup/breakdown
  • Can not use leg extensions on this model
Best Bunk Bed Cot



  • Weight 72 lbs. (36 lbs. per bed)
  • Weight limit 1,000 lbs. (500 lbs. per cot)
  • Unfolded dimensions (per cot) 79 in. x 28 in. (L x W)
  • Total height 36 in.
  • Packed dimensions 34 in. x 16 in. x 11 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Huge
  • Comfortable and sturdy
  • Bunk style saves floor space


  • Heaviest cot on this list
  • Only works in larger dome-style tents
Best of the Rest

REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3


  • Weight 20 lbs.
  • Weight limit 300 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 82 in. x 31.5 in. x 14 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 33 in. x 32 in. x 8.5 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Very comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Adjustable firmness
  • Easy to assemble (as easy as it gets, really)


  • Large packing size
  • Heavy

Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Cot


  • Total weight 28 lbs., 6 oz.
  • Weight limit 400 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 83.5 in. x 32 in. x 19.5 in.
  • Packed dimensions 42.1 in. x 5.1 in. x 8.3 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Huge footprint
  • Lever system helps with set up
  • Thick durable fabric


  • Heaviest single-person cot on the list
  • Three pieces (2 extra poles)
  • It rocks back and forth a bit

King Camp Folding Cot


  • Total weight 12 lbs., 6 oz.
  • Weight limit 265 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 74.8 in. x 26.8 in. x 18.9 in.
  • Packed dimensions 41.3 in. x 9.1 in. x 6.7 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Simple set up
  • Hanging pocket with three compartments
  • Lightweight


  • Can not be adjusted flat (head always tilted up)
  • Water bottle pocket can only fit small bottles

Coleman Camping Cot with Side Table


  • Total weight 20 lbs.
  • Weight limit 300 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 80 in. x 44 in. x 32 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 41 in. x 6.3 in. x 6.3 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Comfortable
  • Small pack size
  • Attached table and cupholder


  • Too firm for some users
  • Legs don’t lock into position

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot


  • Weight 20 lbs.
  • Weight limit 275 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 80 in. x 30 in. x 15 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions ‎33.6 in. x 25.2 in. x 5.5 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Soft mattress
  • Easy to set up


  • Bulky
  • Heavy

Kamp-Rite Kwik Cot


  • Total weight 19 lbs.
  • Weight limit 300 lbs.
  • Unfolded dimensions 79 in. x 29 in. x 19 in. (L x W x H)
  • Packed dimensions 15.1 in. x 40 in. x 22.6 in.
The Best Camping Cots of 2023


  • Sturdy
  • Does not creak or squeak
  • Affordable


  • Heavy
  • Stiff fabric

Camping Cot Comparison Chart

Camping CotTotal WeightWeight LimitUnfolded Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Packed Dimensions
Coleman Airbed Twin Cot14 lbs.300 lbs.74 in. x 40 in. x 23.5 in. 38 in. x 11 in. x 9 in.
Coleman Trailhead II Cot21 lbs.300 lbs.73 in. x 35 in. x 17 in.40 in. x 8 in. x 5 in.
Teton Sports Outfitter
XXL Camp Cot
26 lbs.600 lbs.85.7 in. x 41 in. x 19.2 in.42 in. x 12 in. x 7 in.
Helinox Lite Cot2 lbs., 12 oz.265 lbs.72.5 in. x 23.5 in. x 5 in.20.5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in.
Disc-O-Bed72 lbs.
(36 lbs. per bed)
1,000 lbs.
(500 lbs. per cot)
79 in. x 28 in. (L x W)34 in. x 16 in. x 11 in.
REI Co-op Kingdom
Cot 3
20 lbs.300 lbs.82 in. x 31.5 in. x 14 in.33 in. x 32 in. x 8.5 in.
Cabela’s Alaskan
Guide Cot
28 lbs., 6 oz.400 lbs.83.5 in. x 32 in. x 19.5 in.42.1 in. x 5.1 in. x 8.3 in.
King Camp Folding Cot12 lbs., 6 oz.265 lbs.74.8 in. x 26.8 in. x 18.9 in.41.3 in. x 9.1 in. x 6.7 in.
Coleman Camping
Cot with Side Table
20 lbs.300 lbs.80 in. x 44 in. x 32 in.41 in. x 6.3 in. x 6.3 in.
Coleman ComfortSmart
20 lbs.275 lbs.80 in. x 30 in. x 15 in.33.6 in. x 25.2 in. x 5.5 in.
Kamp-Rite Kwik Cot19 lbs.300 lbs.79 in. x 29 in. x 19 in.15.1 in. x 40 in. x 22.6 in.
Camper Laying On Top of the Helinox Lite Cot Inside Tent
Testing camping cots is hard work, but someone has got to do it; (photo/Justin La Vigne)

Why You Should Trust Us

The GearJunkie team includes a broad spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts. From hunters and anglers to overlanders and rock climbers, there is one characteristic that we all have in common: a multitude of nights spent sleeping outside. Over many years, we’ve tried just about every sleep system for camping, and cots remain a tried-and-true favorite.

This list of recommendations is the result of thorough testing and careful comparison. When we test camping cots, we consider numerous factors, including durability, weight, value, and most of all — comfort. It’s impossible to gauge the quality of a cot without actually sleeping on it. We did our due diligence and caught some Z’s on numerous cots until we identified the best.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Camping Cot

Ease of Setup

Any piece of gear is useless if you can’t set it up. The bed of a cot is generally composed of a material that is stretched tight over a frame that supports your body.

Pulling the material tight enough to support your weight requires a good amount of tension. Many people find it challenging to pull the last section of material over the frame, often requiring help from another person to pull with enough strength.

In our experience testing these cots, we’ve found that the smaller a cot packs down, the more complicated it is to set up. Generally, there are more pieces to put together, and there are more parts that have to be secured to create and maintain tension. Also, there are often snap-together or folding sections that can pinch your fingers if you’re not careful.

A cot with a lever arm, like the Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Cot, makes stretching the canvas much easier; (photo/Justin La Vigne)

We’ve even had a tester make the mistake of trying to assemble a backpacking cot with his down sleeping bag lying on top of it. In the process, he snapped two pieces together over the sleeping bag material, causing a small tear in the bag.

The result was clouds of fine down puffing out and filling the air in the tent every time the bag moved, which led to a late-night search for duct tape (and a lot of swearing).

As is often the case when it comes to gear, there is always a tradeoff when it comes to how easy a camping cot is to set up. In general, the bigger and bulkier a cot is, the easier it is to set up. Smaller cots require more pieces to be broken down, but they weigh less and pack smaller. Larger cots are harder to carry around, but they usually require one or two steps to set up.

Decide whether you prefer convenience or mobility, and choose the best cot for your needs. On this list, both the King Camp Folding Cot and the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot stand out for their quick and easy setup.

REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3
With a simple flip, the REI Kingdom Cot 3 is ready for a night under the stars; (photo/Andrew Potter)


Again, there’s a tradeoff here. Larger camp cots with plenty of space and padding are universally more comfortable. However, they’re all but impossible to pack with you on a long hike or backpacking trip. Although smaller camp cots are a lot more mobile, they lack the frills and creature comforts of a larger cot.

If you’re going backpacking, comfort is secondary to ease of transport. Ideally, you’re going to want to go with a cot that is lightweight and packs down to a manageable size. If you’re camping next to your car, comfort is a priority, so consider the additional details below.

From this list, we’d consider the Coleman Airbed Twin Cot among the most comfortable camp cots on the market.

Woman Reading on the King Camp Folding Cot Inside Cabin
(photo/Justin La Vigne)


It’s worth noting that sleeping on a camping cot is much like sleeping in a camping hammock. Without the insulation of the ground underneath, you’re more likely to become cold. It’s important to either bring an under quilt or pair your cot with an insulated sleeping pad.

Sleep Area

Before buying a cot, you’ll want to first ensure that the cot is big enough for you to sleep on without resting on the frame. Most cots are long enough to fit people as tall as 6 feet and run just over 2 feet wide.

If you’re on the taller or wider side, many cots offer XL or XXL versions. These cots are generally longer and wider to accommodate larger people.

On this list, the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot offers a whopping 81 inches from head to toe. If you’re not sure whether a cot will fit you, look for the specifications online. The specs page will show the cot’s dimensions, so you’ll be able to see whether it’s a good fit for you.

(Photo/ Teton Sports)


Most cots don’t have cushioning — the sleeping area is a piece of material like polyester fabric stretched tight to provide support. Many campers find these cots to be too firm, so they’ll add a sleeping pad of some kind to provide cushioning.

If you’d prefer to sleep on something that feels like your bed at home, look for a cot that comes with cushioning attached, such as the Coleman Airbed Twin Cot, or the REI Kingdom Cot 3.

Weight & Packed Size

Most of the camping cots on the market are designed for car camping, where pack size and weight are less of an issue. Camping cots tend to be on the larger side, weighing anywhere from 12 pounds on the lower end to around 30 pounds on the higher end.

If you’re seeking minimal weight and maximum portability, check out the ultralight Helinox Lite Cot.

The ultralight Helinox Lite Cot is gossamer enough to take on certain hike-in trips; (photo/Justin La Vigne)

Car Camping

If you plan on camping next to your car, the main thing to consider is how much space you have available in your mode of transportation, and whether you’ll have enough room for your cots and the rest of your gear. If you have ample space, comfort often becomes the first priority.

Choose the biggest, cushiest cot you can find, and don’t worry about the weight. Just make sure you have enough room in your car for it.

Hike-In Camping

People who camp in spots that require a short hike from the car have additional considerations. If you have to hike to your campsite, make sure that your camping cot is light enough to carry to the site. Also, ensure that the cot isn’t too bulky to carry alongside the other necessary gear.

Look for a camping cot that is stowed in a bag, preferably one with handles or a shoulder strap. You’ll be thankful for details like this when it’s time to hike your gear from your car to the campsite.

The Helinox Lite Cot weighs just 2 pounds 12 ounces, which is ideal if you have to hike to your campsite.

Helinox Camping Cot


In general, camping cots are not very compatible with backpacking. Cots are heavy and bulky — two words that backpackers avoid at all costs.

If backpacking is your primary style of camping, and you absolutely must sleep on a cot, consider one of the lightweight cots we profile above. The Helinox Lite Cot is light enough to take into the backcountry, but is still comfortable enough to sleep on if you occasionally go car camping.


Durability varies widely with camping cots. We’ve found that there’s a proportional relationship between weight and durability with this type of gear. Generally, the heavier a cot is, the tougher it is.

Heavy car camping cots are made up of sturdy frames composed of steel or steel alloys. These heavier metals give the cot an exceptionally durable build. This makes them more resistant to drops, exhausted campers flopping down on them, roughhousing kids, and whatever other vigorous activities a bed might face.

Lighter cots have frames that are built with aluminum or some other lightweight material. The lighter weight is great for trekking it into the woods, but they’re often much more fragile.

Lightweight cot frames are sturdy enough to support campers’ weight while they sleep but must be treated with more respect. In our testing, we’ve found that these lighter-weight cots are best eased into when it’s time for bed.

If you’re camping next to your car and weight is no issue, you can opt for a heavier cot and rough it up a bit. On this list, the Coleman Trailhead II Cot is supremely durable, but it weighs a hefty 21 pounds. If a lighter, more packable cot better suits you, make sure that you’re more careful with it than you’d be with a 30-pound behemoth.


The camping cots that we profile here represent an accurate sampling of the prices you’ll see when shopping for a cot. They vary in price from $45 to $80 for simple, no-frills models, but cots can reach $300 and above at the higher end. When shopping for a camping cot, weigh the options you need against how much money you have to spend.

If you want a simple cot to keep you off the ground when you sleep next to your car, start with the lowest-end cot and think about what you’d like to add to it. A simple car camping cot consists of a folding frame with material stretched over it and should cost somewhere south of $100. On this list, the Coleman Trailhead II is our Best Budget pick at just $55.

Want added cushioning or organization options? Be prepared to spend a little bit more on an upgraded option, somewhere in the range of $150-250.

Looking for a cot that is light and easy to carry into a walk-in campsite? These options will cost a little bit more because of the lightweight materials and design that go into the construction. These generally cost around $200-250 and can reach $300 and above with add-ons like rain flies or integrated tents.


Camping Cots vs. Sleeping Pads: Which Is Right for Me?

The question of camping cots versus sleeping pads depends on how you plan to travel. Consider how you plan to use your sleeping system and look at the options below.

Camping Cots

Camping cots elevate you off the ground, providing a softer night’s sleep. They also help to prevent the cold ground from chilling you as you sleep.

They also provide a much larger sleeping space. This makes it less likely that you’ll roll off of it in the middle of the night. However, cots tend to be heavy, and they’re much bulkier than sleeping pads. This makes the majority of them less than ideal for portable use.

For people who only sleep a short distance from their cars, camping cots are a great choice. Since they won’t be hauling their cots far, the added weight and bulk aren’t as much of an issue.

In this case, comfort and ease of setup are generally the biggest concerns. Because camping cots are generally a closer approximation to the average bed, they are usually more comfortable than sleeping pads.

Sleeping Pads

Sleeping pads are much lighter and more compressible than cots. They are also generally softer than cots that don’t have integrated cushioning.

However, they do require you to sleep on the ground. This exposes you to the ground’s hardness and can let cold transfer from the ground into your sleeping bag.

Because backpackers have to carry all of their gear with them while they hike, weight and packed size are huge considerations. Many backpackers are willing to sacrifice the added comfort of a camping cot for lighter and more packable sleeping pads.

Many pads are also designed to add some of the amenities that cots provide. Insulated pads are built for cold-weather camping. The insulation within the pad absorbs some of the cold coming from the ground, preventing it from sapping heat from your sleeping bag.

Inflatable sleeping pads keep you off the ground and allow you to sleep on a cushion. These are softer than non-cushioned camping cots but are usually louder, as the lightweight material can make a crunching sound when you move on it. The most common description is that it’s like sleeping on a bag of chips.

Camping Cots & Sleeping Pads

If luxury is the goal and weight isn’t an option, a camping cot plus a sleeping pad is the way to go. A camping cot paired with a foam sleeping pad provides the best of both worlds.

The cot will elevate you off the ground and give you a bigger space to sleep on, while the pad adds a good amount of softness. It’s similar to the function of the box springs and mattress of your bed at home.

If you want to combine a cot and a pad, check to see if the cot you’re looking at has an add-on pad. Some companies offer pads designed specifically to work with certain cots. This ensures that your pad will fit perfectly with your cot. Some also have securing systems to attach the pad to the cot, which prevents it from moving around or sliding off while you sleep. For a cozy, all-in-one pad and cot option, check out the REI Kingdom Cot 3.

What Is the Most Comfortable Camping Cot?

Comfortable is a subjective term. It can depend on many things, such as how firm or soft you prefer your sleeping space, as well as whether you sleep on your back or side.

The most common complaint about camping outside is how firm sleeping systems are, so a cot with some cushioning is ideal. Our choice for the most comfortable is the Coleman Airbed Twin Cot for its soft cushioning, contouring, and adjustable incline settings.

Are Cots Good for Camping?

Because they closely mimic the feel of sleeping in your bed at home, cots are an extremely comfortable option for car camping. However, as we’ve stated above, traditional camping cots are too heavy and bulky for backpacking.

There are a few ultralight “backpacking cots,” but many backpackers choose sleeping pads because they are lighter and more packable.

Is a Cot More Comfortable Than an Air Mattress?

A good full-size air mattress is the closest you can get to sleeping on your bed at home. However, they are bulky, and they usually require an external power source to fully inflate. They are also difficult to clean after a camping trip.

Camping cots are often less comfortable than an air mattress but are more durable, easier to transport, and easier to set up. A high-quality cushioned camping cot can come close to, or even surpass, the comfort of an air mattress, plus they take much less time to set up.

How Wide Is a Camping Cot?

Many of the camping cots that we have tested are generally around 25 inches in width. This is wide enough for most campers. If you need a wider cot, many cots offer larger versions for bigger sleepers. These can range from 30 inches to over 40 inches in width. The 32-inch Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Cot is a perfect example.

The Best Camping Tents of 2023

The Best Camping Tents of 2023

Make the most of your home away from home by choosing the best camping tent for your adventure. We found the top car camping and family camping tents for every budget and use.

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