There is something so calming and romantic about sleeping under the stars. Unfortunately, sleeping under the stars may also expose you to insects, rain, and weather. And sleeping on the ground can also lead to uncomfortable nights and stiffness in the morning.
Campers and hikers know that the best days in the outdoors start with a good night’s sleep, and that tent and camping cots can make all the difference in the quality of your rest. Tent cots are not only comfortable for sleeping, but they make your camping gear more convenient and efficient by reducing the need for separate tents and cots.
Even better, most tent cots are designed to be set up and usable in just minutes at your campsite. But it’s important to choose a high-quality tent that won’t disrupt your sleep, and that is also designed to suit your body and your style of camping.
Choosing the wrong tent cot can lead to uncomfortable nights camping in the outdoors, so here are our top picks for the best tent cots.
Best Tent Cots – Product Reviews
This is another double tent cot, one that comes in at 85 x 46 x 41 inches, which is more than large enough to fit 2 people comfortably. It has a very large sleeping area, so you shouldn’t be squished or hard-pressed for sleeping space. What you might also like about this tent cot is that it is fairly lightweight, it can fold down, and when folded the dimensions are 48.5″ x 33.5″ x 8 inches, which is fantastic because it makes the Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot highly portable. Now, although it is lightweight and portable, it does also have a 500-pound weight capacity, which is not too bad, although 2 very heavy people might have some issues with the weight capacity.
The Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot is made with heavy-duty nylon fabric, which is durable, tear-resistant, and water-resistant. It’s not 100% waterproof, but very close at least. It comes with a large door with mesh, for easy entry and exit, plus 3 large windows, also with mesh, so you can get some good ventilation without letting insects in. The elevated base is also ideal, as it helps keep out moisture and cold air from the ground.
- Very durable frame and walls
- More than enough room for 2 people
- Elevated base
- Lightweight and portable
- Mesh windows are not the most durable
Many tents for cots are made of lightweight, packable nylon, which is great unless you are camping in difficult weather conditions and need a tent that is especially rugged and durable. In that case, the Tangkula tent cot is made of tough oxford canvas and can withstand even the most severe weather.
The Tangkula Tent Cot Folding Waterproof 1 Person Hiking Camping Tent is made of 420D PU coated oxford and 600D waterproof oxford canvas for exceptional water protection and durability. It has micromesh windows and a lightweight aluminum frame. It sets up as a full-size one person cot tent and then packs down conveniently into the included carry bag.
With the Tangkula Tent Cot, you sleep 12 inches above the ground, on a roomy cot that measures 81.5 x 32 inches. It is fast and easy to assemble, with detailed setup instructions.
The cot has a weight capacity of 275 lbs., and the packed tent cot weighs over 30 lbs.
- Excellent water protection
- Rugged material
- Heavy to transport
- If the windows aren’t open, condensation can collect inside the tent
- Carry bag isn’t very durable
- Small ventilation window opens and closes from the outside, which may reduce convenience and privacy when inside the tent
This is a one-person sleeping tent and cot, one that is actually quite large. In terms of size, the Kamp-Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot comes close to the other KampRite 2-person tent we just looked at, but it’s made extra big for a single person. The sleeping area is 84 by 32 inches, so it does have plenty of room for a single person, or maybe even for a fully grown adult and a child.
One thing that does need to be mentioned is that the Kamp Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot does not come with any kind of bed or mattress, so you will need to provide your own.
In terms of durability, the Kamp Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot is made with nylon, so it shouldn’t rip, plus it can hold out some light rain too, although it is not fully waterproof. What’s nice about the Kamp-Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot is that it folds down into a compact size that is easy to transport, but keep in mind that it does have some weight to it. Something else you might appreciate here is that it has legs to keep it off the ground, so moisture and coldness from the ground cannot get to you.
- More than enough room for a single person
- Compact and foldable
- Durable and water-resistant
- Mesh windows and doors
- Not totally waterproof
- Quite heavy
If you are on the hunt for a small and portable camping bed and cot combo, the Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot Camping Bed for 1 person is a good option to consider. This model is designed for a single person, and yes, it does have enough length and width to fit a one person with ease, but you definitely won’t be fitting a second person in it. What is beneficial here is that the Kamp Rite Original Tent Cot Camping Bed is made with a lightweight aluminum frame which folds down into a small package with ease. It’s more than easy enough for a single person to transport, set up, and fold down with relative ease.
The Kamp Rite Original Tent Cot Camping Bed is made with very durable nylon, so it shouldn’t rip, plus it is water-resistant, although not totally waterproof. What’s cool is that it can be used as a cot, tent, or just a lounging chair. You can choose to set up the roof or not, so it works as a chair, cot, and tent. Moreover, it has a base that keeps you a full 11 inches off the ground, which is great if you are worried about keeping warm and dry. It also features no-see-um mesh doors and windows to keep bugs out.
- Mesh doors and windows
- Fairly durable build
- Lightweight and easy to set up
- Can be used as a tent or just a chair too
- Not waterproof
- Legs are not very durable
Here we have a nice double tent cot that can easily fit 2 people. The tent itself is 53”W x 84”L x 40”H, and the included bed is 53”W x 84”L. This should be more than large enough to fit 2 full-grown people with ease. The fact that it comes with its own soft bed is a bonus because it means that you don’t need floor mats or air mattresses. The bed is designed to be soft enough to sleep on, but also durable enough to last for quite some time, and it is also moisture resistant, so it shouldn’t get wet, even with a high level of humidity.
The tent itself is made of high-quality nylon which is highly tear-resistant, plus it’s water-resistant too. No, it’s not 100% fully waterproof, but it should do fine in some light rain. What’s also beneficial about the Kamp Rite Double Tent Cot is that it has an elevated base with legs to keep you off the ground, therefore preventing moisture from getting in through the bottom.
You may also like how the Kamp Rite Double Tent Cot is very easy to set up, and it folds down to size with ease as well. In terms of tent cots, it’s actually quite a compact and portable option, at least when folded up. It comes with a large door opening as well as several mesh windows, so you can get light and air without letting bugs in.
- Foldable and compact
- Durable design + water resistant
- Large doors and windows with mesh screen
- Off the ground
Not totally waterproof
The Kamp-Rite Insect Protection System is designed to fit over any standard camping cot, offering you lightweight, versatile protection from weather and insects. It’s a great option for hikers who want versatile insect and rain protection, with a light carrying weight.
The Kamp-Rite Insect Protection System can be used on the ground, as a portable shelter, or can be placed on top of a camping cot for increased comfort. The “No-See-Um” mesh top protects you from insects while still allowing you to sleep peacefully under the stars. In poor weather, or for added privacy, the included rainfly slips securely in place.
The Kamp-Rite Insect Protection System measures 84 x 28 inches and is 40 inches tall at its highest point. It packs down into just 6 x 6 x 14 inches and weighs lbs.
High-quality materials, including corrosion=resistant zippers and quality clips, hooks, and buckles make the Kamp-Rite Insect Protection System a simple, durable, convenient solution for camping in comfort.
- Can be used alone or over a cot
- Included rainfly protects from the weather as well as insects
- High-quality materials and construction
- Packs down small and light
- Easy to set up and takedown
- Doesn’t actually attach to a cot; just sits on top of it, and may shift around during use
Top Tent Cot Buyer’s Guide
When considering the right tent cot for your needs, it’s important to determine how you will use it, and who will use it, so that you can make the right purchase. Here are some important factors to consider.
Will You Drive or Fly to Your Campsite?
If you will be driving or flying to a campsite, the overall weight and size of the collapsed tent cot aren’t as important. However, if you need to pack your tent cot, then the packed size and weight become critical. Most tent cots are too large and heavy to carry comfortably, but some are designed to be small enough to pack. If you plan to carry a tent cot, pay attention to the size and weight, and other features of the carrying bag, like water resistance, heavy-duty handles or attachment points. Also, look for water-resistant nylon material that can pack up small and light even after it has been rained on.
Who will be Using The Tent Cot?
Keep in mind that you may want a tent cot for one person or a double to share. You may also have camping gear, a pet, or other items that take up space in the tent cot.
When looking at the weight rating of a tent cot, remember that you need to account for not only your own weight but also for any gear you may be storing with you inside the tent. Many campers prefer to store some of their gear in the cot with them, for extra security as well as protection from the weather. And remember that items tend to weigh more if they have gotten wet. Be realistic about your weight requirements when planning your camping trip.
As with sleeping bags, most tent cots are not designed to be comfortable for people who are above average height. Tall people will need a longer cot in order to sleep comfortably, which will also increase the size and weight of the tent cot and make it more difficult to transport.
How High is The Cot from The Ground?
One of the main advantages of sleeping in a tent cot is that sleeping off the ground keeps you warmer than sleeping on the ground when camping. It reduces the need for insulating pads, giving you less to pack and carry. But the ground clearance of tent cots can vary dramatically.
Higher tent cots can be more comfortable and natural for seating if you intend the cot to double as seating space. It also gives you more room for storage beneath the tent cot, where many campers prefer to keep their gear and personal items. Higher cots can also be more comfortable and accessible for people with reduced mobility.
However, a higher ground clearance makes the tent cot bigger and heavier, making it less portable. It can also be less accessible for kids or pets.
Other Important Tent Cot Features
Cot Tent Materials
Most tent cots feature tents of nylon, canvas, and other tent materials. Many cots that are designed to be lightweight and portable are made of aluminum, while cots that are designed to be strong and durable are made of steel.
Seams, zippers, clips, and components
While this kind of attention to quality in fine details can add up to quite an increase in the purchase price of a tent cot, they are worth the cost. High-quality construction prevents leaks, rips, corrosion, and makes a tent cot last longer. Good zippers are also easier to use in the dark, when your hands are wet, or when you have other distractions and last for longer.
Sleeping pad attachment points
Some tent cots do not attach securely to each other, and/or do not attach to a sleeping pad or sleeping bag. This can lead to shifting during use or shifting during wind and bad weather.
Like many conventional tents, some tent cots can build up moisture and condensation inside the tent, that may drip down on you or your belongings while camping. In a tent cot, condensation builds up even more quickly and has a greater likelihood of dripping. To avoid this, look for a tent cot that has multiple ventilation options, so you can maintain airflow even in poor weather.
Camping Cot Tent Review Conclusion
Keeping all these factors in mind, it’s no wonder that we have two top picks for the best tent cot.
We give two thumbs up to our favorite tent cot, the award-winning Tangkula Tent Cot. It’s ultra-compact and portable, so it’s suitable for camping, hiking, biking, and all kinds of outdoor adventures. But it unfolds and assembles into a full-sized, sturdy, comfortable cot for one. It can even be used at home as a spare bed for guests.
Thoughtful details, like breathable mesh, and a highly waterproof exterior, really set the Tangkula Tent Cot apart and push it to the top. It’s fast and easy to assemble, and a truly versatile piece of outdoor gear for almost anyone. It’s our top pick for camping.
However, the Tangkula Tent Cot isn’t the top choice for big or tall people, or for families who need a bigger, more robust, more comfortable tent cot. For car campers, glampers, couples, and families, or simply taller people, our favorite tent cot is the Kamp-Rite Double Tent Cot. The choice of sizes, high-quality construction, and steel frame make this tent cot exceptionally comfortable, reliable, and durable for car camping.
The fact that it detaches, so it can be used separately as a tent or as a cot, makes it even more versatile and family-friendly. It offers protection from rain and insects, has a generous capacity, and doesn’t have horizontal support bars that can be uncomfortable. It goes together quickly and securely and has ventilation to prevent condensation drips.
The Kamp-Rite Double Tent Cot has everything you need in a tent cot, including a roller bag to help transport it to your campsite. For those who don’t need an ultralight, ultra-portable tent cot, the Kamp-Rite is a fantastic choice that will last for years of fun and enjoyment in your outdoor adventures.
Tent cots are a great way to make camping more fun and simple, offering fantastic comfort and convenience without the bulk and weight of tents, cots, chairs, and other camping furniture. With a tent cot, you can have truly restful, comfortable sleep on all of your outdoor adventures. Choose the best tent cot for your needs, and make the most of your time in nature.