In a hurry? We found that The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is the best option available today.
Believe it or not, camping requires much more than a tent!
There’s a laundry list of gear that the wife, kids and I love taking along for our camping trips. One of the most essential items for happy campers is a cot – that’s the thing you sleep on if you’ve never heard of it before.
However, not all cots are created equal. In this article, we’ll be discussing tent cots. These are cots that come with a built-in tent. This makes it so you can carry less to the campsite, yet still, have the comfort of a cot and the protection of a tent.
If you already have a tent, you don’t want a tent cot, since it’ll be difficult jamming the tent cot inside your tent. In that case, you’ll want a camping cot.
Here are some of the best options for today and beyond. After trying out a bunch of tent cots, these are the best for durability and space. These all ensure that your camping trip is both happy, comfortable, and refreshing.
Table of Contents
Best Tent Cot: Our Top Recommendations
- The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot (Best Tent Cot Overall)
- TANGKULA Tent Cot 1-Person (Best For Cold Weather Camping)
- Outsunny Compact Portable Mattress (Best For Larger Campers)
- Kamp-Rite Tent Original (Best For Smaller Campers)
- The Winterial Tent Cot (Best For Couples)
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot
It’s comfortable, durable, and easy to set up. Made from strong materials, it’s stood up well to several camping trips. We’ve even used this one outside of camping when we needed a mattress for a guest.
On top of that, you can also use this cot as a chair or table, too. With a few adjustments, your bed becomes a chair in the blink of an eye.
This tent cot is one of the best ones on the market if you want to take the comfort of your bed at home to the campsite.
- Tons of space, definitely “oversize”
- Sets up and tears down in minutes, without fumbling with poles and screws
- The Kamp-Rite is slightly higher than other camping cots, lifting you 11” off the ground. This is great from keeping crawling critters from bugging you.
- It’s well-resistant to all types of weather conditions, and can even stand up to pretty heavy rain conditions with the added rainfly.
- Side door can be propped up to be used as a mini-porch to give even more space
- For a cot plus tent, very affordable considering all you get
- Available in cool green or grey
- The first-time set-up might take a little longer, especially if you’ve never used a cot before
Best for: Larger campers who want a full-tent experience from their cot, or people who want more legroom.
TANGKULA Tent Cot 1-Person
If you’re just going camping by yourself – or even if you’re taking a few people along for the trip – the TANGKULA Tent Cot is one of the best ones that you can buy. Whether you’re new to camping or you’ve been doing it for years, this one stands up well in any weather conditions and was more comfortable than I thought.
If you’re going on a camping trip by yourself – which I’ll still do now and again, at least once every two years – you want to take this one alone. It’s easy to set up, and just as easy to carry.
- It’s made from only the most durable materials, and it stands as completely waterproof as well as pretty resistant even to heavy rain
- If you’re looking for carry-able comfort in a tent cot, choose this one. It can be set up in under ten minutes, and it’s great for a quick solo camping trip
- It anchors well and it’s unlikely to fall over, even when it’s in full wind.
- This tent cot is 12” off the ground, making sure no one’s butt touches the ground
- Simple, direct construction and quality materials mean this one will last for years
- Not as much space as the Kamp-Rite oversize
- There are fewer options for opening up the windows and getting a view, so the inside might feel tight
Best for: Cold weather campers who are OK sacrificing windows for weather protection.
Outsunny Compact Portable Mattress
The Outsunny Compact Portable Mattress is a great choice for solitary camping trips, but just as great for group camping trips. This is the one we’ve chosen for a bed for the boys on a few camping trips, and as hard as this might be to believe, neither of them had any complaints!
This tent cot is easy to set up, just as easy to take down, and it’s comfortable enough to sleep well through the whole night.
The best part of this item is that it comes with EVERYTHING you need to go camping. That includes the tent, cot, air mattress, air pump, sleeping bag, pillow, and storage bag. Wow!
It was the addition of the air mattress (and accompanying pump that I didn’t have to buy as an added extra) that sold this tent for me when we were planning a hiking trail getaway last September.
- The sheer size makes this one a worthy tent if you’re someone who likes to stretch out a bit more in their sleep.
- Tent portion can be removed, which means you can use just the cot inside a larger tent if that suits your fancy.
- It comes with the cot, tent, air mattress, air pump, sleeping bag, pillow, and storage bag. Who said camping should be uncomfortable?
- Amazingly affordable, considering everything that comes with it.
- Supports people up to 300 lbs, meaning anyone can sleep soundly on this tent cot.
- It weighs in at about 26lbs, which is a little heavier than I would have liked.
- The outer fabric of the cot is likely to catch heat, so open the windows at night.
Best for: beginners who don’t want to deal with decision making and buy everything in one fell swoop.
Kamp-Rite Tent Original
At this point, you know we’re big fans of Kamp-Rite’s reliable tents. We have several of them in our camping gear collection, and the original tent cot is one. Although we prefer the oversized tent cot (reviewed earlier), the original is a great option for when you want to spend less money and have a little less space/weight.
The Original Kamp-Rite is a great addition to your list if you’re looking for a durable one-person camping cot that doesn’t take long to set up, and is somewhere in the middle between comfort and bare-bones camping.
This camping cot is great for us and great for the kids.
- The Kamp-Rite products are made really well and from good material. This one’s nylon helps to keep it resistant to weather.
- It measures 11” above the ground, more than enough of a distance to keep you away from the ground below, or any bugs that are crawling around.
- This tent cot is pretty light, which means that even the kids can carry it and set it up.
- Converts into a lounge chair in case you want to sit around and take in the views.
- All the reliability of the Kamp-Rite oversize in a smaller package
- It’s durable, but a little harder to set up than you would think if you’ve never done it before
- Not as much space as the oversized Kamp-Rite tent cot, but more affordable
Best for: smaller people who want the quality of a Kamp-Rite but don’t need all the personal space of the oversized model.
The Winterial Adventure Elevated Sleeping Experience
If you want to find a great two-person camping cot, then take a look at the Winterial Adventure Elevated Sleeping Experience. This tent cot is 85” long and 46” wide, giving plenty of room for two people. It is heavy (44 lbs), but is well worth it if you want to bring one big tent cot instead of two smaller ones.
This is an extremely sturdy cot no matter what size you are. It can safely hold a few hundred pounds, and I know this from experience!
It lifts enough off the ground so that bugs aren’t an issue, although isn’t so high off the ground that you’ll injure yourself getting out of it. It’s fine to set up on any surface and even stands just fine at odd angles.
The Winterial tent cot is great if your camping requirements involve more than two people per cot – like taking the wife out on a camping trip for the weekend – and it’s easy to set up even if you’ve never had to do it before. It happens to be just as easy to take down, which makes it an easy favorite.
- The Winterial cot is pretty easy to set up, and you can do it in about ten to fifteen minutes even if you’ve never done it before.
- This is more than just a one-person cot, which is a huge benefit if I’m taking my wife along for the camping trip (extra cuddling)
- Handles up to 500 lbs – allowing two to sleep safely without damaging the frame
- Super rain protection, making sure you and your S.O. are safe and dry
- A rock-solid frame that collapses easy and packs back in the bag easily
- It weighs in at about 44 pounds, which is still light for us, but heavy for the kids or for extended backpacking.
Best for: couples that want the space of a 2-person tent but the comfort of a tent cot.
How To Choose A Tent Cot: A Comprehensive Guide
Choosing a tent cot isn’t as easy as just picking any old one off the shelf.
Of course, we’ve bought some lemons. Don’t worry – that’s none of the ones listed here.
Here’s how you can make sure that you locate the best possible tent cot for your needs and a comfortable camping trip.
Good Factors for a Camping Cot
When you’re buying a camping cot, certain things matter a little more than others. A great camping cot is:
- Water and weather-proof
- Made from high-quality materials
- Easy enough to assemble and take down again when you’re done
Other factors that might matter includes air mattresses, which only some tent cots come with.
Why Buy a Camping Cot?
Sleeping bags are great when you’re camping, but they aren’t always the best tool for the job.
That’s because sleeping bags have to be put on the floor of the tent – or sometimes on the ground. This means a rocky terrain might interrupt your sleep, or a wet ground could make you soggy.
On the other hand, camping cots keep you off the ground and protected from the elements.
A camping cot is usually raised a little bit off the ground for easy access to you, but not as easy access to the bugs crawling under you. Many of them also isolate against weather conditions, too, or convert into camping tables and chairs as a multi-use camping cot.
A tent cot is a type of camping cot that takes this even further. By integrating the tent into the cot, a tent cot is truly the all-in-one solution for sleeping in the wild. Just add a blanket, and you’re good to go.
Spotting the Lemons
All of the camping cots mentioned on this list are great choices – but they might not be great choices for you.
If you aren’t too advanced when it comes to camping, don’t choose advanced camping gear. Small steps apply to everything, including camping.
It can definitely be confusing trying to pick which tent is the best. When it comes to tent cots, start by choosing a cot with a sturdy frame. As long as the frame is strong (and all the tents above meet that qualification), the rest of the cot will probably get the job done.
What’s the Best Way to Use a Tent Cot?
If you’re used to using a full tent, it might be confusing using your tent cot for the first time.
Tent cots are generally easy to set up, and the only thing you should remember is to place it in a level area. Some cots can stand on odd angles, but it’s always best to be on a level surface, more or less.
If you aren’t, one gust of wind can come along and blow your cot right into the water – and yes, this happened to us at least twice, and because it was at an incline.
Tent Cot Precautions
Before you pitch your tent cot, take a few precautions to make sure your camping experience is A1.
First, decide where you’re going to set up your camping cot. From there, be very sure it’s set up in the right, level area.
Don’t set it up under a tree. Yes, there’s such a thing as falling snakes (or squirrels) in some parts, and where there aren’t, you’re risking a falling branch.
Set it up, anchor it well – and keep it away from the fire – and you should be in the clear. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, tent cots are fairly user-friendly.
When you’re in the market for a camping cot, some are better than others – and everyone has a personal preference for their next camping trip.
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is my favorite choice out of all five. The key to this tent’s success lies in the word “oversize.” Whether the boys are sleeping on it or the wife and I are taking it along, it’s got just enough space to give a comfortable sleeping experience.
It also comes with a few extras, including pegs to anchor it. It’s also one of the multi-use camping cots that can easily convert into a chair or table with just a few small adjustments and a little bit of effort. It’s not hard to set up, and it’s not heavy to carry.
For all the camping trips where we’re sure a sleeping bag isn’t going to cut it, we’ve taken the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot and we’ve had a great sleeping experience during every camping trip.
Even when everything else on the rest of the camping trip didn’t go as well as we planned it, this tent always comes through for us.