For some, the ruggedness of camping is what makes it so attractive. But there is another segment of the population that would prefer a bit more luxury when spending time in the woods.
Enter the tent cot.
Tent with cots are a great way to balance the enjoyment of being outdoors with the comfort level of sleeping in a bed. Designed as a tent resting on top of a cot, you get an elevated shelter that keeps you off the ground.
As there are many different terrains, you don’t need to worry about lumpy and uneven grounds, or clearing the area of things like pine cones, twigs, and rocks. If it rains, a wet ground will be of no concern as you’ll stay bone dry on the cot with zero ground water seeping through your tent.
Tent cots can also keep you safe from any critters (or wild animals), and they provide a warmer and cleaner camping experience. You will even save money, time, and space, as they don’t require a footprint which are pretty much mandatory for use under traditional tents.
Tent cots for camping can make or break your camping adventure, and they come in a variety or builds, quality, and sizes. We take an in-depth look at 10 choices for you to consider when shopping for the perfect tent cot.
10 Best Cot Tents for Camping
1. Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot
The Oversize Tent Cot from Kamp-Rite is an upgraded version of their Original Tent Cot, offering a shelter that has an expanded sleeping area in both length and width. With 11” of height, you can elevate yourself from the elements, on the 4 support legs provided.
When camping during the day, you can convert the shelter into a lounge chair, and you can also use it as a standard camping cot for stargazing. This cot measures 90” x 32” x 36”, and weighs 32 lbs., make it a bit of a beast. 190T nylon material gives it heavy duty durability, and Kamp-Rite has also included no-see-um-mesh on the windows and doors to keep the bugs at bay.
A rugged 600D carrying bag houses the unit for transport, and a fitted rain fly that is fully waterproof keeps you dry while resting comfortably. There is plenty of room inside to fit tall campers as well as their gear, and those that enjoy car camping will be happy to know this model fits perfectly in the bed of their truck.
- Extra Length and Width for More Comfort
- Converts into A Flat Cot of Lounge Chair
- Includes Rugged Waterproof Rainfly
2. Kamp-Rite Compact Double Tent Cot
With an interior measuring 85” x 55”, this Kamp-Rite Double Tent Cot becomes compact when broken down to allow easy transport, and can sleep two campers at the same time. A dome-shaped design makes it convenient for tall campers to sit upright, and with a rating of 550 lbs. you can be sure you and your tent mate won’t crash through the cot in the middle of the night.
The tent sits around 1 foot off the ground, and is covered in heavy duty 210D material, coming equipped with an equally durable rain fly to combat wet weather. A door on each side makes getting in and out simple for both parties, and plenty of ventilation is provided by mesh windows. It is also somewhat of a transformer, allowing use as a lounge chair or flat cot, and it packs down to an easy to carry 45” x 12” x 12” duffel bag.
At 44 lbs., this is mainly a car camping tent, and we would also advise using a well supported mattress, as there is a metal rod running between the two sleep areas that can be annoying to deal with if you are looking to get a bit more “cozy” with your tent mate.
- Double-Sized Cot Can Sleep 2 Campers
- Converts into Flat Cot or Lounge Chair
- Heavy Duty Tent Includes Rain Fly
3. Outsunny All-in One Portable Camping Cot Tent
This Outsunny Tent Cot is an all-in-one model that includes everything you need for a comfortable night’s rest. When fully assembled, it measures 76.5″ L x 34″ W x 64″ H and weighs 26 lbs., making it suitable for car campers rather than backpackers.
It comes with an inflatable mattress, pump, sleeping bag, and pillow, with the ability to use them altogether, or as needed for a custom setup. Heavier campers can rest easy knowing it has a 225 lbs. weight rating to prevent failure from occurring while in use.
Materials used include canvas for the cot, and heavy-duty fabric for the tent which provides UV, bug, and waterproof protection. The setup of this tent cot is easy once you get the hang of it, and when you break it down it fits nicely into a provided 39 x 10 x 8 stuff sack.
- Provides Air Mattress, Sleeping Bag, & Pillow
- Can Be Used in Multiple Configurations
- Waterproof and Bug-proof
4. Kamp-Rite CTC XL Compact Tent Cot
Kamp-Rite extends the interior space of this compact tent cot (CTC) so single sleepers can have a bit more room when they are out in the bush. The integrated cot can also be separated from the tent, allowing flexibility if you need to use them as standalone pieces.
Rising almost 2 feet off the ground, the full dimensions measure 84” L x 33” W x 61” H and it can hold a maximum weight of 350lbs, ensuring 99.9% of campers can use it.
Setting up the tent is easy enough as the cot unfolds from its case, and the tent connects via clips to shocked-corded poles that give it structure. Breaking it down takes just as little time, you get a nice carry sack for the tent while the cot goes into a handy bag on wheels.
Constructed well with 190 polyester taffeta fabric, there is a large entry door for convenience, mesh screens for ventilation, and it also comes with a durable rainfly so you can relax indoors when the weather doesn’t feel like co-operating. At 28 lbs., it is light enough to take backpacking, and definitely one you should consider if this is the type of camping you are into.
- Compact Tent Cot Is Lightweight for Backpackers
- Increased Interior Space Over Previous Models
- Durable with Waterproof Rainfly
5. Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot
This Therm-a-Rest model resembles a tipi and is a waterproof tent cot that fits a single person. It can be used with either of Therm-a-Rest’s cots (the Ultralite Cot or Mesh Cot) to elevate a few inches off the ground. The cot is not sold with the tent and must be purchased separately.
Extremely lightweight at 2 lbs., 10 oz., this freestanding tent uses a series of shock-corded poles and clips to give it structure and connection to the cot. Standing 72” L x 24” W x 55” H when fully assembled, the inner layer bug shelter is comprised entirely of 20D nylon mesh with a large door for access.
The rainfly then goes over top of the bug shelter. With 1500mm waterproofing, and crafted from 70D polyester ripstop material, you get an outer layer that is dependable and durable when pitted against the elements.
Setup and breakdown of this lightweight tent takes a bit of time as you have to assemble/disassemble all the pieces, but it packs down to a small 18.5” x 6” carrying bag, making it an excellent choice for backpackers.
- Ultra Lightweight Tent Cot for Backpackers
- Durable Tent with Excellent Waterproofing
- Camping Cot Must Be Purchased Separately
6. Kamp-Rite Double Tent Cot
Weighing in at 51 lbs., and hovering 11 inches off the ground is this 2-person tent cot model from Kamp-Rite. Measuring 53” W x 84” L x 40” H, it can hold up to 500 lbs., catering to all body types. With a metal bar running down the middle of the cot, you will most likely want to invest in a good mattress to eliminate any potential back issues that may arise.
While it is easy to unfold and setup using a series of hinges, poles, and clips, it has a large packed size of 56” W x 34” L x 8” H, and can only be transported in SUVs, trucks, or on roof racks.
It does, however, work well not only as a cot tent, but also as a lounge chair, or a stand-alone cot, making it one of the more versatile models out there. It is crafted well with 190 TPU nylon, anti-rust zippers, no-see-um mesh, multiple doors, a powder-coated aluminum frame, and a rainfly is provided to keep you dry at all times.
- Large Tent Cot For 2 People
- Easy to Setup and Collapse
- Includes Waterproof Rainfly and Carrying Case
7. Double Kwik Tent Cot
This model comfortably accommodates 2 people and is a heavy-duty tent cot for those that need something that will never fail. Setup of this cot can be done by anyone, as it comes in a zippered carrying bag, and only needs to be unfolded to get a sturdy 85” x 55” cot.
It sits around 1 foot off the ground and has a 550 lbs. weight limit, ensuring 1 or 2 people can sleep on it. Crafted out of a bunch of quality materials (aluminum, nickel, mesh and polyester), there is a structural center bar underneath that splits the sleep spaces in two.
While this can cause potential back issues, investing in a quality queen-size mattress will remedy the situation and provide you and your tent mate all the comfort you need.
Double storage pockets are also included on the cot’s underside so both parties can have their essentials at arm’s reach, and when you are ready to go it folds down into a compact 42” L x 11” W x 9” H for convenient transport and storage.
- Heavy Duty Tent Cot For 1 – 2 People
- Rated For 550 lbs.
- Can Be Used with Queen Size Mattress
8. Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot
Sturdy and solidly built throughout, this Winterial Tent Cot is big enough to accommodate up to 2 campers, with a maximum weight not exceeding 500 lbs. It sets up in seconds as it is pre-assembled and unfolds easily from its case.
With full dimensions of 85” L x 46” W x 41” H, it has 1/4” of padding on the cot, but we recommend investing in a proper mattress which will provide better comfort and insulation. Weighing 44 lbs., it isn’t the lightest tent around, but you get an excellent quality tent that is luxurious for 1 person, and cozy for two.
Crafted with heavy duty nylon fabric, it has double windows and doors that are covered in mesh to keep the bugs out. Flaps can be zipped up when it rains, or rolled back when the weather is nice.
The interior has gear loft pockets where you can store your essentials so you always have them handy. When you are done using it, it folds onto itself, collapsing like a stack of pancakes, and a provided case makes it easy to transport from your home to your campsite.
- Pre-Assembled Tent Cot Unfolds for Quick Setup
- Durable Build Rated for 500 lbs.
- Large Interior Holds Up To 2 Campers
9. Ozark Trail 1-Person Instant Tent Cot
Elevated 16 inches off the ground, the design of this instant tent cot from Ozark Trail resembles a pinball machine, and can allow for setup in mere seconds. Unpacking from a 40″ x 8” x 8” case, it is pre-assembled so all you have to do is unfold it and extend the telescoping legs for a quick outdoor shelter.
Crafted from a mix of polyester fabric and steel frame/legs, the dimensions measure 78” L x 31” W x 51” H, and it can accommodate all body types, holding up to 300 lbs. Each panel of the tent is covered in no-see-um mesh to keep the bugs away while allowing for excellent views of your surroundings.
The only loose parts of this cot tent are the included rain fly and its stakes. The ceiling of the fly has a vinyl window that is strategically placed so you can stargaze while its attached, and an adjustable vent at the foot of the tent keeps air flowing at all times. Finally, a roll-back door flap allows you in and out access when the rain isn’t pouring, and can be zipped shut to keep moisture out.
- Pre-Assembled Instant Tent Cot Sets Up in Seconds
- Includes Waterproof Rain Fly
- Plenty of Mesh for Ventilation and Endless Views
10. Tangkula 1 Person Tent Cot
The Tangkula Tent Cot combo is a highly durable option for solo sleepers that provides a mix of comfort with excellent craftsmanship. Supported by 4 legs and elevated 12” inches off the ground, an additional 31 inches gives the tent its height, with and 81.5 inches in length and 32 inches in width rounding out the dimensions.
Its not only heavy, but a heavy-duty model, as Tangkula has crafted the cot frame from aluminum and 420D oxford polyester. The tent and rainfly use an even more durable 600D oxford to provide a long-lasting fabric that can withstand the heaviest rain and winds.
Front and side doors adorn the tent, with plenty of mesh allowing for airflow and a bug-free rest. Adding a mattress is a good idea, but it is still plenty comfortable without one, and there is more than enough overhead storage inside the tent for your valuables. At the end of the day, it folds up like a lawn chair, and comes with a transport bag that also makes for easy storage.
- Durable Fabrics and Frame
- Includes Waterproof Rainfly
- Easy Transport and Storage with Provided Carry Case
How to Choose a Tent Cot
There are a few considerations you should take into account when shopping for a tent cot.
Camping For 1 or 2?
Setup, size, and weight are all dependent on how many people will be using the tent cot. Most (but not all) models are pre-assembled for a quick setup, and they can hold either 1 or 2 people at a time. Pay attention to the weight restriction as well, although most cots can easily support the largest of people.
Many people are addicted to creature comforts and prefer not to fully rough it when camping. Most single tent cots are comfortable enough, but many campers prefer to bring along a mattress for a luxurious night’s rest.
Double-size tent cots can be a bit trickier as many have a metal bar that runs down the center of the cot for structural support, splitting the sleep spaces in two. For these models we highly recommend investing in a mattress to eliminate any sleepless nights and potential back problems.
Stay Dry When Wet
It is rare to always have perfect weather when camping, so make sure the model you get is 100% waterproof and comes with a rain fly. This will help keep the inside of your shelter from being soaked during the heaviest of downpours.
Selecting a tent cot that will last a long time is definitely something you should consider. Luckily, most of them are very well built, with high-quality fabrics and metals so you can get plenty of use out of them.
A bit of a no-brainer, but selecting a tent cot with exceptional value for money should be high on your list. Reading reviews and researching various models will help you make the right decision, and you should aim for a tent cot that provides a blend of quality craftsmanship with comfort and versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tent cot?
A tent cot is a private outdoor shelter that you can sleep in when you are camping. It consists of a tent that sits on top of a cot, elevating your sleep space off the ground for comfort and safety. Single and double models are widely available.
How to use a tent cot?
Tent cots are very easy to set up, as the majority are pre-assembled and unfold from their carrying case in a matter of seconds. You may have to assemble the tent’s frame with shock-corded poles and clips, but anyone can do it. Some tent cots can also be used as standalone pieces, or transformed into a lounge chair you can use during the day.
How long does it take to set up a tent cot?
Depending on the model, setting up a tent cot takes anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes. Most people can have them up fairly quickly once they’ve gotten familiar with the setup.
Do tent cots have a weight limit?
Absolutely, but they are pretty strong. On average, a single tent cot can hold around 250-300 lbs., ensuring even the portly outdoorsmen can use them without fail.
How many people can fit on a tent cot?
Depends on the size of the cot. Most can hold only 1 person, but there are some models that are double-size for 2 people to sleep on.
Do I need to use a mattress with this cot?
It is recommended. Most cots do not offer much in the way of cushioning, so bringing along a mattress will provide you with a more comfortable sleep.
Is a rain fly included with tent cots?
That always depends on the model, but usually tent cots come with a rain fly to keep you dry during a downpour.
Conclusion on Tent Cots
Tents cots are a great way to blend the comforts of home into your outdoor adventures. Elevated from the ground, you no longer have to sleep on lumpy terrain, rock and twigs, or be contending with forest animals and critters.
Additionally, the cold temperature that a wet ground produces will be a thing of a past, saving you from developing (or re-aggravating existing) back problems. There are a lot of upsides to tent cots, and not many downsides. It is easy to see why a lot of people who spend a large portion of their time outdoors favor them over traditional tents.