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Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot Review: An Affordable Alternative to a Rooftop Tent?

We have liftoff — the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot will help keep you high, dry, and well-ventilated on any car camping trip you bring it on.

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot review; (photo/Nick LeFort)(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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Lately, everyone is doing everything they can to keep from having to sleep on the ground when they head out into the outdoors. A few years back, hammocks were all the rage. Now it’s rooftop tents. And I totally get it. Having been camping since I was a kid, I’ve found plenty of rocks and tree roots over the years, that were seemingly not there when I set my ground tent up. (Either that, or I just wasn’t paying attention.)

Twenty-five years ago, Sacramento-based Kamp-Rite set out to create a solution that took you off the ground, away from the elements. As a result, they pioneered the tent cot — an elegant solution to a well-grounded problem.

I had the opportunity to test out the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot and after sleeping in it through a frigid night out back with the dog, I can safely say this is solo glamping at its finest.

In short: Kamp-Rite has found a way to give you a great night’s sleep in the outdoors, with minimal setup, for a fraction of the cost of some of the more popular solutions out there today. A sleep system like the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot makes me wonder why someone would even consider dropping a mortgage payment on a rooftop tent. It also makes me wonder why anyone would ever sleep on the ground again. I got some of the best sleep I’ve had out in the outdoors in a very long time in this unique tent.

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot


  • Materials 190T nylon tent, powdercoated steel frame
  • Setup 90″ L x 32″ W x 47″ H
  • Bed 90″ L x 32″ W
  • Tent 90″ L x 32″ W x 36″ H
  • Weight 32 lbs.
  • Capacity 350 lbs.
  • Folded 36″ L x 34″ W x 7″ H

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot Review

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot review; (photo/Nick LeFort)
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

First Impressions

The Oversize Tent Cot comes with a fitted waterproof rainfly and a heavy-duty 600D carry bag. All of which came in an equally oversized box, which revealed the contents weren’t much smaller.

So, let it be said here: this tent cot is not for backpacking.

But let it also be said that because it’s a big unit, the accommodations are quite lush. To give you an idea of just how big it is internally, both my daughters, myself, and our dog fit inside of it during a test setup in our kitchen.

It was so easy to set up, I had it assembled and ready for occupancy within 2 minutes. Here’s a video to benchmark your setup times.

As far as the build is concerned, the whole unit is well-built from the frame up. The four legs notch into place to create the rigid platform, which, by design, pops open the whole tent. The only thing you are left to do is add in a couple of included tent poles to flex out the ceiling. The tent cot has beefy zippers for the doors, windows, and screens, all of which can be opened or vented in a myriad of ways depending on the conditions you’re camping in.

I was initially concerned about overall stability, being that the tent cot does live on four 11-inch legs. But it wasn’t an issue out in the backyard (or my kitchen). Of course, that could be a concern on different, more variable terrain, but it would be for any tent, and it’s much less reliant on your surroundings like a hammock.

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot review; (photo/Nick LeFort)
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

In the Field

Cold-weather camping is a vibe all its own that you really need to prepare for. In the case of the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot, you’re being lifted off of the cold ground so that your body heat can’t be sucked out of you.

I can attest that the cot is comfortable without anything between you and the canvas. But the addition of the Kamp-Rite Fleece Cot Pad not only added a layer of insulation but one of comfort as well. Whether that’s what you use, or a foam sleeping pad, doesn’t matter — you’ll want something underneath you. Kamp-Rite also has a series of self-inflating mattresses. I could see those being a nice addition as well.

Again, this isn’t the type of gear you’re going to strap to your pack and hike a few miles with. So you might as well bring all the soft and fluffy things you can.


Condensation is a big issue when winter camping. Frost builds up overnight and can turn into moisture outside and inside (from your body heat and the cold air). Most folks who camp in a tent in winter can attest that this turns into wet walls in the morning.

But Kamp-Rite has worked through that, by adding in two, small Velcroed ventilation flaps over the two main doors. I opened those up right before bed. And in the morning, both Cassie and I were dry — as were the tent walls, the Fire Quilt, my pack, etc.

The Oversize Tent Cot features four doors, all with screens so that you can vent it out sufficiently in almost any condition. I have four-season tents that aren’t nearly as dialed in and proficient at ventilating and circulating air.

I didn’t see any need for using the rainfly, as it was a clear night outside. But the rainfly does have two ventilation ports at the bow and stern to alleviate condensation buildup if you’re stuck inside during a winter storm or on a humid day in the rain. It’s more than obvious that ventilation was a major consideration in the design of this tent.

Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot review; (photo/Nick LeFort)
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Size Matters

Knowing that I would have my dog with me when I was using the tent cot, I asked Kamp-Rite to send me the Oversize version. After experiencing it firsthand, I’ll be honest, it’s so roomy that you might be fine with the standard model if you were wondering which one to pick up for your next glamping expedition.

The oversize version is 90” x 32”. That’s 7.5 feet long. The Original version is 84 inches long, which puts that at 7 feet long. So, both models provide ample living and storage space. As someone who likes to bring his gear inside with him, this was a plus.

Cassidy slept up by my head, and I kept my pack down at my feet. I had plenty of room to do the electric slide. I am a noted night roamer and had no issues moving in any direction, or with stability for that matter.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

The Overlanding Solution

Although they’re quite popular, Rooftop Tents (RTTs) are expensive and cumbersome. They also eliminate any hope of storing gear up top as they generally take up your whole roof. I could bring up the whole clearance thing, but as someone who drives a jacked-up 4Runner with a box, awning, and Maxtrax I’m no one to talk on the subject.

As far as size goes, however, there’s no denying that the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is large. But it is manageable by a long stride in comparison, both in weight and size, next to an RTT. It’s also a quarter of the cost and can be left at a campsite to claim your spot instead of having to dive away with your tent.

Still not picking up what I’m putting down? They make a model for two people as well.

I’m not trying to upturn the apple cart on trends here. But I can’t find anything about an RTT that gives it more appeal than a Tent Cot. You could bring three or four Tent Cots along with you on your next adventure and provide weather-ready, comfortable sleep solutions for more people, taking up less storage space, and still costing you less money.

Kind of mind-boggling, if you ask me. But RTTs have become a bit of an Overlanding fashion show anyway (and there goes any hope of ever testing an RTT for GJ). I digress.

A quick note on the OG overlanders, the Australians: they rely on Swags when they’re roaming around in the Outback. These are essentially single-person standing tents. Just recently, some of the major swag manufacturers started offering collapsable platforms to elevate their swags off the ground. Take, for example, the swag stretcher from ARB. It fits under the SkyDome swag just like a cot. Sound familiar?

Kamp-Rite has been doing that for 25 years. The Australians are apparently starting to take note. That should mean something coming from the country that has something like 90% of the deadliest species of everything, anywhere, crawling around on the ground.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Overall: Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot

As a tent and hammock guy — and totally not an RTT guy — the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is way more than anything I would have expected. It’s easy to set up. It provides ample protection from the elements, with significant ventilation. And it’s comfortable, even with a large dog and all your gear inside. Yes, it’s heavy and it’s big. But, it’s also meant for car camping where those factors matter less.

I spend a lot of nights car camping out in remote areas and I think a solution like this is top-notch. It encapsulates you and elevates you off the ground from the cold in the winter months. And it mitigates the chance you’ll be washed away or slithered up next to during warm months. It takes the worry out of where you decide to bed down at night.

And it’s wicked comfortable.

I didn’t toss and turn nearly as much as I do in my own bed at home. And the dog was completely content. There’s some flexibility between the cot and the tent. But you can cozy up to the walls, get yourself in a really nice blanket nest — maybe even with a cuddle buddy — and you’re not going to shift or move enough to impact the overall stability of the tent cot.

There are a lot of other great cots out there. And there are a lot of great tents, too. But few brands make a tent cot as a single product, and fewer still make one as functionally satisfying as Kamp-Rite’s.

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Nick LeFort

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