Sleep Soundly in the Best Camping Cots of 2017
There are many options for sleeping in the great outdoors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the climate of your destination and what kind of camping you’re doing, this decision could be the difference between sleeping like a baby under the stars and a long eight hours of tossing and turning. Knowing the conditions of your locale and being prepared for the widest range of possibilities is always the best way to plan for a camping trip, regardless of its length and available amenities.
The three main options for sleeping outdoors are cots, air mattresses and sleeping pads. Air mattresses are probably the most luxurious option as they are usually large and guaranteed to be the closest thing to your bed at home. They don’t always compact well, however, and often deflate or puncture easily. Some mattresses and air compressors require you to have a source of power, which is obviously not always an option – especially when backpacking in the wild. Sleeping pads are extremely lightweight and portable for more mobile journeys, but offer the smallest amount of comfort when used without anything else.
Camping cots nestle between these first two options – they are both comfortable and stable, but often quite bulky and not really suitable for backpacking. They are usually made using an aluminum frame with a sturdy fabric stretching across, which should remain taught but flexible once assembled. Another advantage of this sleeping arrangement is a little distance from the ground, which helps to keep you cool on those sticky summer nights and also elevated off of the earth’s rock-hard surface when it’s cold. An added bonus is the storage space for water bottles, lanterns, bags and boots. While their weight and assembly size make cots impractical for long hikes and minimalist camping, they are the ideal choice in situations where you’ll be staying in one place for an extended period of time, such as a hunting camp or inside a cottage. This article will help you make an informed decision in terms of which brand and style is the best camping cot for you and your trip.
Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot
The Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot is a large, sturdy product that comes with a mattress pad to sit on top of its spring coil suspension system. The frame is made of steel and would be able to support a person up to 6’6” in height and weighing 300 lbs. The cot and pad together weigh about 20 lbs and are fairly easy to assemble, though require an amount of space to work with, as the pad will not fold up directly into the frame.
Due to its fair price and trustworthy durability, this product is a perfect middle-of-the-road choice for someone who is not willing to sacrifice comfort. It would be perfect for a few days out in a tent, or even as a guest bed for short periods of time. Customer reviews indicate that after extended use of the Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot, the mattress pad can show signs of wear and slight sagging in the middle. However a thick sleeping bag or blanket would ensure it remains extremely comfortable. Overall, it is a reliable cot that is rated well and won’t break the bank.
Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot
The Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot is a top-of-the-line product whose price reflects its superior quality and design. Its sleeping area is bigger than a twin mattress and comfortably supports up to 600 lbs., making it possible even for two moderately-sized people to share. The frame is made of extruded aluminum with reinforced steel for its patented “S-leg” assembly, which is responsible for the incredible strength and weight capacity. The bed is made of a stretched heavy-duty canvas that is comfortable enough for use without a mattress pad.
Depending on your needs, the increased size of this product can be a blessing or a curse. A perfect fit for use in permanent homes or trips to a cabin, this cot would only really be suitable in a tent if you had quite a bit of spare space. It weighs a solid 26 lbs. and as a result comes with some assembly required. Once it is set up, though, this product is of impeccable quality and comes highly recommended. Users suggest it’s comfortable to sleep on without a pad and lasts forever. This cot is definitely the right choice for someone who is looking for long-term use and isn’t worried about spending a bit more.
Magshion Portable Military Fold-up Camping Cot
Truly the quick and easy solution to a single-night’s sleeping arrangements, the Magshion Portable Military Fold-up Camping Cot is incredibly lightweight and portable at only 8 lbs total weight. The steel frame and Oxford cloth surface support a maximum of 300 lbs, and has a sleeping area of 6 feet. Users are split between whether or not you need a mattress pad to set on top of the canvas, as heavier buyers say they can feel the middle support bar without a layer of cushioning.
This product would be best utilized for short periods of time, like daily campsites set up on either end of a drive in the car. While it is extremely portable as far as cots go, it still may not be suitable for backpacking trips where you’re carrying the whole site with you. The Magshion Portable Military Fold-up cot is perfect as a quick solution and is the cheapest option listed here by far.
At the end of the day, the best camping cot for your trip really depends on the conditions you’ll be facing once it comes time to lay your head down. How long you’ll be staying and the amount of space you’re working with are the key factors here, and no single product is going to perfectly satisfy every situation. It seems to me that the Coleman Comfortsmart Deluxe Cot would be ideal in most situations where storage space is not an issue, as it is large and durable without costing as much as the luxurious Teton Sports Outfitter XXL. Regardless, any of these options would typically last longer than an air mattress, offer more comfort than a single mattress pad, and beat sleeping directly on the ground even for one night. We hope this article has made your decision a little easier, and happy trails!