The 8 Best Camping Cots of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Osage River Folding Camping Cot has a trouble-free setup and it’s incredibly comfortable to sleep on.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

8-best-camping-cots-of-2022-tested-tout

Travel + Leisure / Jennifer May

If you’re ready to upgrade your sleeping arrangements while spending time outdoors, consider getting a camping cot to (literally) elevate your sleep. A camping cot is the closest portable thing to a typical bed, so it’s a must-have for campers who don’t feel like roughing it on the ground.

Our team of outdoor enthusiasts tried 19 camping cots to find out which ones are the most comfortable, durable, and easiest to put together for your next camping trip. The Osage River Comfortable and Lightweight Standard Folding Camping Cot earned its spot as our top pick by being exceptionally easy to put together and comfortable to sleep on inside of a tent. An additional seven cots landed on our list as well, with picks for campers looking to splurge on an ultra-lightweight option and a double cot for pairs. We even found a cot that is so comfortable, it could easily replace the air mattress you use for house guests. 

Best Overall

OSAGE RIVER Standard Folding Camping Cot

4.8
OSAGE RIVER Standard Folding Camping Cot

Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    5/5

Why We Love It: The cot is a breeze to set up and was long enough to comfortably fit our 6-foot-tall tester. 

What to Consider: It’s a little too big to carry long distances. 

From setup to breakdown, the Osage River Standard Folding Camping Cot was a tester favorite, earning the highest scores in every one of our testing categories. We discovered that in just a few short minutes, the cot can easily be assembled by stretching out the canvas fabric over the metal frame that folds out, and it simply folds back down when the time comes. The cot fits perfectly in its carrying bag, and our tester noted how easy it is to transport it to and from the car. Although it might be a little big to carry far distances, it’s extremely portable for car campgrounds or to use around the house. In fact, our tester said that they wished they had bought two of these cots for their home a long time ago since they are more comfortable than air mattresses. 

Our tester used the cot during a camping trip and was impressed that the size is convenient for both placing in a tent and getting a comfortable night’s sleep. “I'm 6 feet tall and this cot is plenty long enough for me to fit comfortably on it. I set it up in a small-ish four-person tent and you could easily fit two of these side-by-side in there,” said our tester. The build and materials of the cot feel exceptionally sturdy and durable, so we’re confident it will last for years to come. And if you weren’t already sold, the affordable price of this cot makes it a no-brainer. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Dimensions: 75 x 28 x 18.5 inches | Weight: 12.45 pounds | Capacity: One person

Best Overall, Runner-up

L.L.Bean Easy Cot

4.8
L.L. Bean Easy Cot

L.L. Bean

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    4/5

Why We Love It: The frame and canvas material feel exceptionally sturdy and durable. 

What to Consider: It’s on the larger side. 

According to our tester, L.L Bean’s Easy Cot was “super easy” to set up, requiring the same low effort as unfolding a camping chair or table. When the cot is unfolded, we think there’s plenty of room for one person thanks to the generous 79-inch length. This was one of the biggest camping cots we tested, so even when it’s folded up, it takes up a little more space than we wish, but our tester said it still fits nicely in their storage closet in an apartment. The canvas material is especially taut and the frame is sturdy, and our tester got a good night of sleep while laying on it with just a blanket. “I actually haven't used a cot while camping, normally I use an air mattress. [I’m] never going back. The cot is way easier to set up and take down,” our tester raved. Although the heftier size and price were the ultimate reasons why this cost wasn’t our top pick, we still think it’s an excellent option if you have extra storage space for it. 

Price at time of publish: $140

Dimensions: 79 x 30 x 17 inches | Weight: 21 pounds | Capacity: One person

Best Splurge

Helinox Lite Camp Cot

4.7
Helinox Lite Camp Cot

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    4/5

Why We Love It: The cot is extremely lightweight at just 2.13 pounds, and the comfort it provided our tester is unmatched. 

What to Consider: It takes some extra strength to unfold the cot the first few times.

If you have some wiggle room in your camping cot budget, the Helinox Lite Cot is worth the splurge thanks to its ultra-light weight and comfortable design. Helinox is known for its lightweight outdoor gear, and we found that they deliver on expectations with this 2-pound cot. Our tester used it for a camping trip that included sleeping in a two-person tent, and although the width is on the smaller side at 23.5 inches, we loved that two cots could easily fit in the smaller tent if needed. “I’ve been blown away by the comfort of this cot. There have been times when I've felt like I preferred it more compared to my normal mattress in my bed,” our seriously impressed tester said. “This [cot] doesn't weigh much more than backpacking pads and definitely weighs less than some more plush air mattresses. The long thin design of it when it's in its carrying case is ideal for sliding long-ways into a backpacking backpack.” The only downside is that it takes some extra strength to unfold the cot the first few times, but after a while, it gets less strenuous to put together. 

Price at time of publish: $280

Dimensions: 73 x 23.5 x 5 inches | Weight: 2.13 pounds | Capacity: One person

Helinox Cot

Hang Pham / Travel + Leisure

Best for Extra Room

ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL

4.4
ALPS Mountaineering Camp Cot XL

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    4.5/5

Why We Love It: The length and width provide generous space for campers in need of the extra room. 

What to Consider: It feels a bit bulky and heavy to carry around. 

We love that the Alps Mountaineering Camp Cot XL provides a generous amount of space for campers at 86 inches long and 40 inches wide. For the most part, the cot was simple to put together and take apart since it comes with just a few pieces, but assembly might be easier with two people because of the heavier weight of the materials. We think having an extra-taut canvas to sleep on is worth putting some extra effort into getting the canvas onto the frame. The cot is comfortable to sleep on, but if you want to add extra cushioning, a Therm-a-rest pad or blanket could make it even more comfortable. Additionally, our tester noted that in a six-person tent, the cot took up a good amount of space, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough room to fold it out comfortably. 

Price at time of publish: $200

Dimensions: 86 x 40 x 22 inches | Weight: 19 pounds | Capacity: One person

Alps Mountaineering Camp Cot XL

Hang Pham / Travel + Leisure

Best Double

Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot

4.5
Kamp-Rite Double Kwik-Cot

Target

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Size
    5/5

Why We Love It: The setup is incredibly intuitive and simple. 

What to Consider: It's noticeably heavy because it’s two cots in one.

For pairs that like to go camping together, the Kamp-rite Double Kwik-cot is a must-have. The two-in-one style cot is impressively easy to put together and take apart thanks to its intuitive design. Because the cot is the size of two put together, you’ll need quite a bit of space to set it up, and since it weighs 33 pounds, you might need two people to carry it. Although it’s a little heavy, our tester found that it was still portable enough to transport between the car and the tent, but you might not want to go much further with it. Our tester used the cot to camp in a four-person tent and found that the cot was a little too tight to fit comfortably, so we recommend only opting for this cot if you plan to use a six-person tent or larger. Sleep was comfortable and sturdy throughout use thanks to the plastic reinforcements. The materials feel high-quality enough to last even through many camping trips over the years.

Price at time of publish: $190

Dimensions: 85 x 55 x 19 inches | Weight: 33 pounds | Capacity: Two people

Best for Car Camping

Byer of Maine Easy Cot

4.7
Byer of Maine Easy Cot

Wayfair

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    4/5

Why We Love It: The setup instructions are straightforward and it took just seconds to put the cot together. 

What to Consider: The heavy weight makes it impractical for some trips.

Setting up a tent can be no small feat, so for additional ease while car camping, the Byer of Maine Easy Cot is your best option. Out of all the cots we tested, this one had the easiest setup by far, and it only took a matter of seconds to have the bed ready to go. The instructions are easy to follow and they’re printed on the side of the bag to make the setup that much more trouble-free. Keep in mind that the cot itself weighs 21 pounds, which is on the heavier side, so we think it’s best suited for campers who don’t have to carry the cot far (or at all for car camping). Our tester slept on the cot in the back of a hatchback car and noted that it was exceptionally comfortable to sleep on. They did add a Therm-a-rest for extra cushioning, but we don’t think that’s necessary for a good night of sleep. “This cot was set up in a matter of seconds — it's hands down the easiest cot I've ever used. It's definitely bulkier than the backpacking cots I've used in the past, but it didn't take up a ton of room in the back of my hatchback and was easy to stack with other similar-sized gear,” our tester shared. 

Price at time of publish: $105

Dimensions: 78 x 18 x 31 inches | Weight: 21 pounds | Capacity: One person

Byer of Maine Easy Cot

Kate Donovan / Travel + Leisure

Best Lightweight

FE Active Folding Camping Cot

4.5
FE Active Folding Camping Cot

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Size
    5/5

Why We Love It: It’s noticeably lightweight and the carrying bag makes it even easier to transport. 

What to Consider: There's a learning curve for setting it up and breaking it down.

We think the lightweight FE Active Folding Camping Cot is ideal for hikers, backpackers, or campers looking for a cot with superior portability. It only weighs 4.6 pounds, and our tester particularly liked the carrying bag it came with for additional portability. “The bag is the perfect fit to carry all of the items for the cot. It is hard to break down the cot, but the portability portion is prime for a hike,” our tester shared. The tautness of the canvas makes it slightly tricky to attach it to the base, but after the first few times of putting it together, we found that it gets easier. And even though the canvas is tight around the base, we found the cot very comfortable to sleep on with the perfect balance of stiffness and cushioning. It feels sturdy and didn’t wobble when we sat or slept on it, and our tester felt confident in its durability.

Price at time of publish: $52

Dimensions: 74.5 x 27.5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds | Capacity: One person

Best Multi-use

Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot

4.7
Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot

REI

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Size
    5/5

Why We Love It: The cot is so comfortable and easy to set up that house guests could sleep on it. 

What to Consider: It feels heavy to carry around in the bag.

Whether you’re going on a camping trip or looking to add an extra place to sleep in your guest room, the versatile Mountain Summit Gear Horizon Cot is a solid choice. We found the setup to be simple and quick as it only took a few minutes to get the four-piece set put together. According to our tester, the size of the cot is “perfect,” and they were able to get plenty of sleep on it since it’s not too big or too small. Our tester added that “the cloth is taut and the legs give great stability, even when on uneven ground. There was no sinking when sleeping on the cot for hours.” The cot weighs 18 pounds, which was noticeably hefty when we carried it in the bag, so we think it would be best for campsites that are close to the car or to set up in your home. The comfort matched with the simple setup makes this cot the best option for a multi-purpose cot that’s long-lasting. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Dimensions: 75 x 27.55 x 14.5 inches | Weight: 18 pounds | Capacity: One person

Other Camping Cots We Tested

Coleman Pack-away Camping Cot: It was easy to put together, and the size is ideal for a four-person tent, but it wasn’t as comfortable as we hoped it would be. 

Coleman Trailhead II Cot: We found this cot to be very comfortable to sleep on, but it does require two people to set it up and it’s on the heavier side. 

Luno Air Mattress 2.0: We love that the air mattress comes custom-fit to your car, but we’re worried that it could possibly tear or get a hole over time, and the $330 price tag felt a bit steep for an air mattress.  

Coleman Airbed Cot: Although it takes a bit of time to assemble, the cot is easy to put together and it was extremely comfortable to sleep on. Still, because it comes with a cot and an air mattress, we found it to be a bit cumbersome to carry and transport.

Luno Air Mattress 2.0

John Somerall / Travel + Leisure

Our Testing Process

Our expert outdoor gear testers tried 19 different camping cots from popular brands like Coleman, L.L. Bean, and Helinox. Whether our testers used the camping cots to sleep in a tent, a car, or at home, they evaluated the product based on portability, ease of use, comfort, size, and durability. 

Alps Mountaineering Camp Cot XL

Hang Pham / Travel + Leisure

To test portability, our testers were tasked with carrying the cot in its case and placing it in a car or rooftop carrier to get a feel for the weight. Our favorite cots for portability were noticeably lightweight and the carrying bag made it even easier to carry the cot around. Next, we took the cots out of the bags and set them up to see how easy (or difficult) it was to put together and break down the camping cots. Since cots can require some extra elbow grease, our testers paid close attention to the time it took to unfold the cots and how much effort was needed to spread the canvas over the frame. Once the cots were unfolded, we judged the size of the cot, with our top performers being those that are the perfect size for someone to sleep on while not taking up too much space in a tent or room.

Helinox Lite Cot

Hang Pham / Travel + Leisure

Then, we spent at least one 30-minute nap and a full night on each cot to gauge the comfort of the canvas and the sturdiness of the frame. The best cots for our comfort category provided our testers with enough support and cushioning for a restful night of sleep. The cots that felt the most durable didn’t wobble when we moved around and the canvas felt tough and durable when we spread it over the base of the cot. After completing the tests, our testers uncovered the price of each cot to judge the fairness of the cost compared to its performance. 

Coleman Airbed Cot

Jennifer May / Travel + Leisure

Tips for Buying a Camping Cot

Consider the size of your space

It’s important to double-check the dimensions of your cot and the space that it will go in whether that's a tent, car, or room in a home. We found that while one cot might fit in a two- or four-person tent, it might be difficult or impossible to fit another in the same space.

Simple setups and breakdowns are essential

The best cots we tested were notable for being trouble-free to set up since no one wants to wrestle with a camping cot during a weekend enjoying the outdoors. While some cots might have a slight learning curve at first, it’s ideal to have one that can be unfolded and folded up in a matter of minutes to make camping easier. 

Think about the distance the cot will travel

Some cots can be cumbersome to carry far distances due to the weight, so if you like to hike into the campsites or backpack, be sure to pick a cot that doesn’t weigh a lot. If you’re planning on transporting the cot a few feet from the car to a campsite, the weight and size may not be a crucial factor.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Does a camping cot need a mattress?

    Generally, a good camping cot should be comfortable enough to sleep on with just a sleeping bag or a blanket. However, if you want to upgrade your sleeping arrangements, another layer of cushioning like a foam pad or Therm-a-rest can add a little extra comfort

  • Are camping cots more comfortable than air mattresses?

    While it ultimately depends on your sleeping preferences, a camping cot might be more comfortable to sleep on, especially if you prefer a stiffer bed. Air mattresses are easier to store, but you run the risk of it deflating or getting a hole, which can happen when you’re camping or using the mattress often. Plus, you can always add more cushioning to a camping cot, but you can’t make an air mattress tauter. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a commerce writer at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and reviews travel products. She spent every summer camping in Oregon with her family growing up and has a keen eye for camping gear, especially for getting a good night of sleep. Anna worked with travel editors to determine the results for the best camping cots based on a series of tests completed by our expert outdoor gear testers.

Up Next: The 12 Best Sleeping Bags, Tested and Reviewed

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles