Spoiler Alert: Conquerwild named the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot as the best tent cot for camping!!
Regardless of what your motive or budget is, the main purpose of camping is to become more acquainted with nature. If a standard tent won’t help you achieve this, then you may want to find yourself a tent cot.
A tent cot is exactly what it sounds like it would be: a portable cot enclosed by a tent. They’re not as commonly used by campers as standard tents, but they offer a more unique and personalized experience with nature.
Depending on the product you purchase, these shelters can be hit-or-miss. So how do you figure out which is the best tent cot for you? To simplify the process, I’ve broken down and reviewed what I believe to be the best tent cots out there today.
What We’ll Be Reviewing:
- Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot
- Outsunny Extra Large Compact All In One Camping Cot
- GYMAX Tent Cot, 1 Person Foldable Camping Waterproof Shelter
- Yescom Folding Tent Cot
- Kamp-Rite Compact Double Tent Cot
Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot Folding Outdoor Camping Hiking Sleeping Bed – Best Pick Overall
One of the most popular and reliable options out there, the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is a home run when it comes to off the ground camping tents. Standing 11 inches from the floor, this product excels in just about all the areas that matter for any outdoor shelter. Its 90 inches of length ensure that even the tallest campers out there will have ample leg and head room. Even with this tent cot’s 2 mesh doors, there’s sufficient protection against moisture and bugs under most circumstances.
Top top it off, its hinge design allows this comfy cot to transform into a lounge chair. This feature is amazing, because it has just as much usability during the day as it does at night. Overall, this Kamp-Rite tent cot is a great product, especially for beginners. Its set-up is easy, its frame is sturdy and it will likely make for a satisfactory, comfortable night out in the wilderness.
- With a 90” length and 32” width, there’s more than enough room for most single campers.
- 350 pound weight capacity.
- Easily fits into most cars.
- Well ventilated with two zippered, mesh and polyester doors.
- Has interior storage pockets.
- Set-up is easy to complete with one person.
- Made of 190T, heavy duty nylon.
- Comes with a rainfly and a convenient carry bag.
- Weighs a total of 34.4 pounds, meaning it’s not great for backpacking long distance.
- The cot pad is a bit thin and may need additional padding.
- It’s not completely water-resistant.
Outsunny Extra Large Compact Pop Up All in one camping cot – Most Comfortable Tent Cot
Luckily, not all tent cots are made for just one person. The Outsunny Extra Large All In One Camping Cot has more than enough room for two campers to sleep comfortably side-by-side. It’s clear this tent cot was designed to be customizable. The beauty in this product is its all-inclusiveness. It comes equipped with not only a standard cot, but also an air-mattress, a sleeping pad, a pillow and mattress cover. The best part is that all these items are detachable and can be used separately from the cot. This is one product that doesn’t require you to spend extra money for a comfortable night of sleep.
As far as durability goes, this tent cot combo holds up pretty well against the forces of nature. It’s got a polyester and canvas combination that resists water in mild rainstorms. It also offers protection from bugs and UV rays, which are two issues that most campers worry about. The Outsunny Extra Large All In One is undoubtedly one of the best double tent cots for camping in its price range.
- Includes comfortable sleeping pad, pillow, mattress cover and air-mattress with foot pump (all detachable).
- Can support up to 330 pounds.
- Utilizes a sturdy, aluminum frame.
- Water resistant.
- Offers UV and insect protection.
- Lots of room for 2 people with a 76” length and 53.5” width.
- More affordable than most double tent cots.
- Weighs 45 pounds: too heavy for most backpacking trips.
- Not ideal for heavy wind, hail or snow.
- Not completely waterproof.
GYMAX Tent Cot, 1 Person Foldable Camping Waterproof Shelter – Most Water Resistant Tent Cot
Being the most durable tent cot on this list, the GYMAX Waterproof Shelter contains a heavy-duty waterproofing layer that can handle most wet weather conditions. Including a resilient tent layer and a thick, oxford rainfly, this is a great cot to choose if you’re concerned about staying dry. At first glance, it definitely looks a bit intimidating, but that’s because of its focus on durability.
This tent cot stands a foot off the floor, which is tall enough to avoid ground moisture, but short enough to remain stable. It’s got large, D-shaped screen doors which makes the tent super easy to crawl in and out of. This is in addition to a breathable mosquito mesh that allows for a good dose of ventilation. This is a great shelter that will give you that sense of nature and ruggedness, but still allow you to feel safe and comfortable.
- It’s made of 420D polyurethane coated oxford and a 600D oxford layer of waterproofing (the tent portion).
- Includes waterproof, oxford rainfly.
- Easily foldable.
- Can be set up by one person in minutes.
- Also serves as a flat cot.
- Great size at 84.5” long and 34.5” wide.
- Comes in a convenient carry bag.
- Has a strong, aluminum frame.
- Contains breathable micro mosquito mesh for ventilation.
- Weight limit is on the low side at 275 pounds.
- Instructions can be a bit confusing.
- Only contains one window for ventilation.
Yescom Folding Tent Cot – Best Value Tent Cot
This folding tent cot from Yescom is another example of a product that was crafted with durability in mind. With a 210D oxford tent and a 300D oxford floor, this tent cot is water resistant under most circumstances. It can support up to 330 pounds, which is on the higher end for a one person tent cot. It stands a nice 14 inches off the ground, keeping a healthy distance from any rocks or tiny critters below. This is ideal for staying away from the damp, coldness that emanates from the forest floor. Each of the 4 stands that holds this shelter up are sturdy and equipped with plastic, non-slip feet. This is a great bonus if you’re concerned about your tent cot sliding or toppling over in the middle of the night.
Another great feature of this tent cot is its fantastic ventilation. There are mesh windows on all 4 of its walls, each of which can be closed with the help of D-shaped, zippered doors. Weighing in at 28.6 pounds, this product is lighter than many of the other heavy duty tent cots on the market. While I wouldn’t place the Yescom at the top of the list when it comes to incredible comfortability, this tent cot will definitely support your needs under most circumstances.
- Contains interior storage pockets.
- Has straps which can be used for hanging clothes or towels.
- Has a 300D oxford floor with 2000 millimeters of polyurethane coating.
- Can be used as a bench or a flat cot.
- Approximately 83” long and 30” wide.
- Comes with 600D oxford carry bag.
- Very well ventilated.
- Has a sturdy, metal frame.
- Has 4 legs with anti-slip, plastic feet.
- It’s not completely waterproof.
- Cot mat can be a bit noisy when moving around.
- It does not come with a rainfly.
Kamp-Rite Compact Double Tent Cot – Most Spacious Tent Cot
If the Outsunny 2 person cot isn’t strong enough for you, then The Kamp-Rite Compact Double Tent may be the way to go. This product is definitely a bit of a step up when it comes to strength and stability. Its sturdy frame can support up to 550 pounds! Two people (or even 3 in some cases) should have no problem fitting into this cot tent combo as it’s wider than all the other products on this list. The tent also has a breathable, yet heavy duty design that is suitable for most wet conditions.
This 3 in 1 product works well, not only as a tent cot, but also as a flat cot or a lounge chair. As I like to say, it’s an “all-day commodity.” Also, if you detach the top portion of the cot, you can use it as a standard tent. The downside of this cot’s size is that it may be too heavy to transport long distance (in my opinion, at least). However, it comes with a convenient carrying sack that does a good job at distributing the weight. If you’re looking for a cozy shelter for two (or need a bit more space for yourself), the KampRite Double Tent Cot will provide you with the space and protection that you need.
- Very roomy with 85” length and 55” width.
- Has interior storage pockets.
- Only takes seconds to set it up.
- Has 2 zippered, half polyester, half mesh entries.
- Equipped to handle very wet conditions.
- Also serves as a chair, lounge, flat cot or a stand alone tent.
- Comes with a rainfly.
- Has overhead, zippered windows which provide great ventilation.
- It’s very heavy at 44 pounds.
- Some people may be uncomfortable with a support beam running down the middle of the cot.
What Should You Look For?
Tent cots are not exactly the most well-known piece of camping equipment out there. They’re a hidden gem of the outdoor world. This lack of popularity makes it hard for first time users to know exactly what to look for.
As with standard tents and other types of outdoor shelter, there are 3 main categories to explore before deciding on which product to buy. These categories are comfortability, convenience and constancy.
When it comes to outdoor shelters, one thing is certain: a comfortable camper is a happy camper. Comfortability means that you’re not left lying restlessly in the woods in the middle of the night, regretting your choice of tentcot. There are multiple aspects that factor into your level of comfortability while camping.
The first rule of comfortability is to always know how many people you’ll be camping with. Tent cots are relatively compact by design. The last thing you want to do is squeeze a bunch of people into a one man tent cot.
Generally, these types of shelter are meant for one or two people. Their enclosed, elevated base is not designed for high capacity like standard tents are. This is especially true if a member of your party is larger than average.
Potentially the most obvious aspect of comfortability is bedding. Not every tent cot comes with a luxurious, ultra-padded set up. Some offer nothing more than a standard cot does in terms of bedding. If your tent cot comes with any type of extra padding or inflatable mattress, then you should be good to go.
For the more basic tent cots, you may want to consider buying a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress to go with it. While some tent cots do come with these (like the Outsunny Extra Large All In One Camping Cot) this is certainly not a given. You can always bring bedding from home to suit your needs.
Finding a comfortable tent cont means finding a tent cot with good airflow. Look for shelters with mesh windows that can be opened or closed. These give you the ability to control the temperature inside your tent cot.
Look for mosquito-proof mesh windows as an added bonus to prevent yourself from being bitten throughout the night.
Here’s a factor to consider that is unique to cot tents only: how high does it sit off the ground? Every tent cot has different sized legs, and choosing the right one depends on your preference.
The benefit of being several inches from the ground is that the forest floor can get cold throughout the night. Soil tends to hold onto moisture and, as a result, coldness emanates from it. The further you are from the damp floor, the more likely you are to stay warm during your slumber.
Also, the higher your tent cot is, the less run-in’s you’ll have with insects, snakes and other animals. Unless you’re studying to become an entomologist, you might want to keep your distance from these pests.
Camping trips can easily become overcomplicated. It’s important that you do your best to simplify and plan effectively so that you don’t run into problems later. This means making sure you make decisions with convenience in mind.
One thing is for sure: tent cots do not carry themselves.
If you’re setting up camp in an area where your car is easily accessible, then the weight of your tent cot may not be such a big deal. You can count on your vehicle to do most of the heavy lifting.
However, if you’re planning on hiking long distance, then weight should be one of the main factors you look at.
The truth is, it’s hard to come by a reliable, ultra lightweight tent cot. These shelters come with a sleeping pad, tent material, padding and legs. There’s only so much you can do to reduce their mass. Even the lightest tent cots are not easy to backpack with.
These are generally not the type of camp shelter you want to bring for long-distance backpacking. They’re more suitable for shorter commutes. If you do decide to go with a heavier tent cot, make sure it comes with a carry bag. This will help ensure that transporting your shelter from spot to spot is as easy as it can be.
Ease of Setup
Most tent cots are not too complex for a first time camper to figure out. They usually can be unfolded and setup very quickly as demonstrated here:
If you decide to purchase a tent cot that requires a complex assembly, you should practice setting it up before you embark on your camping trip.
It’s also important that your tent cot has space for you to store your camping gear. Many tent cots come with mesh storage pockets on the interior for small items.
If your tent cot sits high off the ground, you might be able to store some of your equipment below the cot bed.
If you want your gear to be more safe from your environment, think about using the carry bag for storage.
At the end of the day, tent cots are made to for the wilderness. This means the product you choose should be durable and ready to withstand the forces of nature. You can’t invest in a product that will be easily damaged.
As mentioned previously, tent cots usually sit at least a foot off the ground. You must make sure that the legs supporting the cot are of quality. They must withstand the force of, not only your body weight, but also the weather. Strong winds can be a threat to cots with weak legs. Aluminum is a great, sturdy material to look for in a tent cot’s frame and legs.
The more legs your cot has, the less likely it is to topple over. A tent cot with only one support leg on each end is not going to cut it during a wind storm. Ideal legs have anti-slip, plastic feet at the bottom. This added measure will keep your tent from sliding around on surfaces with low traction.
Also, wider tent cots are less likely to topple over than narrow ones.
Although they may be unique, tent cots are still a breed of tent. Most of the standards that apply to tent materials, also apply here. You should look for fabrics that keep the elements out, but also are somewhat lightweight and allow for temperature control. Here are some of the most common tent cot materials.
- Nylon – The most common material found in tents, nylon has a great strength to weight ratio. It’s inherently stretchy and resistant to abrasions.
- Polyurethane – A commonly used material for tents that is great for waterproofing. Generally, polyurethane (PU) is used only as a coating, as it’s heavy.
- Oxford – This material has a thicker weave than most fabrics, meaning its threads are woven to be more strong and durable.
- Polyester – While it’s not the strongest of tent materials, polyester is cheap, UV resistant and acceptable for simple camping. When combined with Oxford weaving, this fabric is very strong and is resistant to water.
What Does Denier Mean?
When the abbreviation “D” is used in describing the material of a product, it stands for denier. This is a unit of measurement that describes the thickness and weight of fabric. The higher the number of denier is (for example, 40D, 100D, 200D, etc.) the stronger the material.
If you see a number with the abbreviation “T” after it, this stands for “thread per inch.” The larger this number is, the more densely woven the material is.
All in all, if you’re looking for a great balance of wilderness and wellness, a tent cot may be the way to go. I wouldn’t say that these are the best choice for everybody, but they do provide a camping experience unlike any other.
It’s vital that you weigh out the pros and cons of these shelters as compared to that of a standard tent. Examine the features of each tent cot and see how they hold up to the 3 C’s of camp shelters.
Our Top Pick Is….
This elevated shelter does personal camping the right way. It’s got more length than even the tallest of campers could ask for at 90 inches. It remains sturdy and resilient while also staying breathable and easily accessible. The icing on the cake is its ability to transform into a lounge chair for all-day usability. It’s a great tent cot for beginners and experts alike and it’s suitable for most normal camping conditions.