Rick is a former news reporter who decided that the corporate world wasn't for him and took off to travel the world. He's been to every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and has tried out a multitude of outdoor gear along the way. From tents to hiking boots, he's probably tested it all. Now, he's one of our full-time product testers and experts.
Bryan is one of our leading experts since he's got a vast expertise in practically everything connected to the outdoors. He's been hiking since he was a young boy, was an organizer of kayaking tours which later led to another passion of his - kayak fishing. Now, he's a part-time expert consultant involved in our multiple product tests and topic research.
Last updated: March 12, 2022
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Once in a while, a product grows in popularity and you wonder why it hasn’t been a mainstay of your trips for many years. If you are looking for the best tent cot then the chances are you’ve noticed what a blessing they can be in terms of avoiding getting wet, staying away from bugs and the other benefits of elevated sleeping. Though there aren’t as many tent cots as there are regular tents on the market, it is certainly a growing market.
In this article, we’re looking into the features that make up a top cot tent. Things to consider include the size of the tent and how many people can fit within, as well as how much room there is for your equipment and other items. The weight capacity is a consideration, too. Any elevated product such as this can only hold a certain amount of weight, and you need to ensure that your tent cot can support you. Other important features such as durability, portability and ease of use are considered in our detailed buying guide.
As well as this buying guide, which should help you to work out which features are most important and will help you to make your choice, we also have a quick-glance table to compare models of tent cot and their features. We also have detailed reviews of some of the best options on the market so you can delve into the merits of each and their advantages and disadvantages.
Extra features: 4 windows with mesh lining, water-resistant
This is an exceptional model of tent cot, especially if you are looking for something with a large capacity. In spite of weighing under 50 lbs, the frame and tent can support up to 500 lbs within, which is usually plenty for two people.
The Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot is large in size at 85 x 46 x 41 inches when constructed, so you won’t feel too cramped even if you are big and tall.
In terms of convenience, it takes a matter of a few minutes to go from folded to completely assembled and ready to sleep in the tent! The frame is aluminum and very sturdy, but also totally collapsible, so taking it down and putting it back up again is simple.
The Winterial also has good quality fabrics with 420 denier, and the four windows offer mesh lining. People can’t see in so you can be private, and the fabric is made to stop any critters and creatures from getting in and disrupting your trip. The rain protection is okay, and because this is raised, water won’t collect at the bottom and get in your tent, but some users have reported that this is water resistant rather than totally waterproof.
Why did it make our list?
Very sturdy and holds up to 500 lbs in weight
Easy to construct and very portable
Large size for a comfortable sleep
What is not ideal about it?
Not fully waterproof
Some users have reported it could do with more paddin
Extra features: versatile design – can be used as a lounger, a chair and flat cot
The very clever Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is a product with a huge amount of versatility and can be your companion on solo camping trips or going out fishing. It can be used in different configurations as a lounger, a chair or as a cot (of course).
The product itself weighs just 32 lbs and can be taken down and put up in a matter of a few minutes, and though this is a bit more tricky on your own it is certainly doable. The incredibly sturdy frame sits 11 inches elevated from the ground to stop moisture and creatures entering, and can hold up to 350 lbs of load, so even if you’re a larger person this should have enough support.
Converting it to the other configurations to use this as a chair or lounger is very simple, too. Many people well over 6 ft tall have reported being extremely comfortable on this, whether using it for sleep or just relaxing in the sun.
The durable and thick 190T Nylon keeps you safe from most light rain, though in a downpour you might experience some water entering your tent.
Though a little more expensive than some of the other single person tent cots, there is plenty of room in the Kamp-Rite, and it is light enough to carry with you on hiking trips even if you’re not going in a vehicle.
If you are an avid outdoorsman, you need all the comfort you can get while taking in all the magnificence of nature. Thankfully, the Outsunny 1 Person Camping Cot Tent is built specifically to make things as comfortable as possible. It’s an incredible pop-up tent that provides an all-in-one set, allowing you to relish your favorite outdoor activities. The set includes a raised sleeping cot and a camping tent, all packaged in a compact bag for easy transport and storage.
For its construction, the unit is manufactured with oxford fabric, polyester taffeta, and fiberglass poles, making it a very tough tent. The cot bed is also heavy-duty, guaranteeing a maximum capacity of 225 pounds. Apart from offering a high level of durability, the cot also ensures you are comfortable and dry since it keeps you off the ground. It’s also worth noting that setting the tent cot up takes only a couple of minutes, taking the least amount of effort. Since you can quickly set it up, you will be able to quickly shift your focus to your daily tasks.
Other impressive things about this tent include its effortless entry and zippered doors, which helps protect you from annoying bugs. In general, the useful features and easy setup of this tent make it the ideal choice for all outdoor activities. While the tent has a small dimension, its lightweight construction makes it worth it. However, the lightweight nature makes it vulnerable to strong winds and heavy rains.
Extra features: comes with zippered roller bag with padded handle, comes with rain fly and a hammock for underneath storage
The Kamp-Rite XL is actually surprisingly different to the smaller version from the same brand. It has a different frame underneath, which is higher from the ground and even features a storage hammock for keeping your goods dry and safe while you sleep.
The weight capacity is 400 lbs, and the surface area is just about big enough for two people, depending on their size. This is great for a parent and child camping trip and has space for both, but two large adults may find themselves very cramped. If you are just looking for a tent cot with loads of space for one person, then the XL is perfect for this.
In spite of its large capacity and big frame, the Kamp-Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot only weighs 29 lbs so isn’t too difficult to carry on long trips. It all rolls up into a bag with a padded handle for even more portability.
The whole thing only takes a few minutes to put up, and the durable rain cover holds up to a lot of different weather conditions. Some user photographs on reviews even show this tent being used in rainy and snowy conditions!
Why did it make our list?
High off the ground to avoid animals and bumpy ground
Lightweight and easy to carry
Comes with roll-up bag
Has a storage hammock underneath for storing goods
What is not ideal about it?
Not really big enough for two large adults
Rain fly has been criticized for its awkward shape
Extra features: large doors for easy entry, micromosquito mesh, waterproof bottom material, can be used as a flat cot as well, comes with carry bag
This is another one-person tent which is fine even for larger people, with a capacity of up to 275 lbs.
The main selling point of the Tangkula tent cot is the fact it is made of really high quality waterproof 420 denier material. When the rain comes, you can stay in your tent cot and rest assured you will be sheltered both from above and below! The screening doors have a zipped entrance and it is easy to get in and out of.
The tent only weighs 29 lbs and is totally foldable, like all of the best cot tents for camping which we’ve reviewed, you can take it down and put it back up again with ease for moving from one place to another. There is a straightforward manual included which will help you to get the setup and assembly right the first time. It also comes with a carry bag for packing it away and storing in your vehicle.
As well as being wonderful for rainy conditions, the Tangkula cot tent is very good at keeping bugs out: a micro mosquito meshing stops even the smallest bugs and other insects entering and ruining your night’s sleep.
What makes it stand out?
Easy to put up and take down again
Lots of room inside for one person
Quite a comfortable tent cot design
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Carry bag is flimsy and not the best qualitys
Things to Consider
How do you know which features make up a top tent cot? Do you even need a product like this or is a traditional ground tent going to do the business? Our buying guide is designed to walk you through all those tricky decisions and to provide all the information you need to make the correct choice.
Reasons to get a top-quality tent cot
Why should you get a tent cot anyway? What are the benefits of this kind of product?
When you really think about it, a lot of the things that can ruin a camping trip and sleeping outdoors are perfectly avoidable. If you have a low-quality tent, then water can easily enter via the bottom as water builds up on the ground, being elevated on a tent cot totally takes this out of the equation. Combine this with waterproof material such as a rainfly and your experience will be totally dry.
Sleeping on the ground can be uncomfortable, too. The frame of a tent cot can mean an even sleeping surface rather than the bumpy ground giving you a bad back while you sleep.
Many tent cots are great for being adjustable. Products like the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot can quickly turn into loungers or chairs, meaning you have many added benefits and a huge level of comfort. Your cot can be useful both during the day and in the evening.
Cots are good for avoiding bugs getting in, too. Bugs such as mosquitos can be kept out with a net, but many creepy crawlies can also enter through the bottom of a tent, and having that level of elevation can help you to avoid this.
Features to consider when choosing a tent cot for camping
The following features are what we consider to be the most important when making your decision. These are the first things to consider in terms of what functionality you need from your tent cot.
Tent size and elevation height
You need to make sure you have plenty of space in your tent, and that it is big enough for your needs and has space for you to sleep comfortably. However, you should also make sure that it isn’t so big and bulky that it is difficult to take on your travels with you. Most of the products on our list are great for packing down and putting up as they are foldable, lightweight and easily stored in the compact, folded state.
The elevation height is another consideration. Do you need space to store things underneath? How likely is it that rain will settle beneath you? Most tent cots feature 10-20 inches of elevation and don’t sacrifice their stability by being elevated.
How many people fit
Just like buying any other tent, think about how many people are going to be using it! Many tent cots are designed for one person and are good for solo hiking, fishing or camping trips. Others are perfect for two people. Finding a larger tent cot than this can be a challenge as the capacity of the platform and frame would have to be very high.
Some tent cots are in a bit of a middle ground in terms of how many people fit. For instance, the Kamp-Rite Compact Extra-Large Tent Cot is great for one person and provides a lot of space and a 400 lb capacity. It can fit two small people, but this then becomes a bit of a tighter squeeze.
When thinking about the weight capacity, you need to consider who is going to be in the tent cot to sleep and also whether you need to store things within. Some tent cots for one person only have capacities of around 225 lbs, which can be difficult if you are a bigger person and you need to put backpacks and other items within.
You will probably need to carry your tent from one place to another. With some tent cot options, this is very simple, some are more like taking a very large backpack with you, and if you add this to the load of also taking the rest of your camping equipment, then it can be quite taxing over long trips.
Consider how small your tent cot is when it is folded? Is it compact enough to carry with a handle, can one person take this with them over long distances or is it simply too big and bulky?
You should think about whether you have room in your vehicle, too, if you will be driving to your destination.
Because most tent cots do fold up with ease, they tend to be designed with a carry handle so you can put it over your shoulders and carry it to your next destination.
Tent material thickness
The thickness of the material relates to how durable it is. A thick, high denier material will help to block out the sun and avoid getting any sort of burning. It is also less likely that thick and rugged materials will tear, which can render the cot useless in terms of repelling water, insects and other animals from coming into the tent.
Is it waterproof?
Rain is almost an inevitable part of spending time sleeping outdoors. Wherever you happen to be in the world, there is some chance that rain will come along and affect your trip. One of the key benefits of a tent cot is that water won’t get in the bottom due to the elevation.
A lot of tent cots are ‘water resistant’ which will normally be okay in areas where rain is rare and doesn’t tend to be hard, but it won’t protect you in every scenario.
Whether any tent or cot tent can handle a strong wind will depend largely on the size, weight, and design. The frame that these products have to offer to support the elevation of the cot means that they are usually quite a sturdy structure. Ropes, sandbags, and stakes can help add to the stability. If you plan to stay in a windy area, then you should consider some of these additions.
Taking away the problem of the bumpy floor can make tent cots more comfortable to sleep in, but some sort of padding will often be welcome. Whether or not you can include an air mattress depends on the size of the tent. Always check the dimensions of the product before you purchase. Generally, you won’t need an air mattress, but if it does provide you with some extra comfort – then feel free to use one!
There are quite a few tent cots on the market to suit different budgets. As these products continue to grow in popularity, we expect more and more tent cots to become available.
For now, the Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot is our highest rated tent cot. It has a huge capacity, plenty of room for two people to camp within, and though it isn’t totally waterproof, it is fine for most conditions, and couldn’t be easier to take down and reconstruct when needed.
The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot is our top recommended one-person tent cot. It has a huge capacity and is suitable even for large people to camp in. It converts to a chair and a lounger with ease, and overall gives a good balance of stability and comfort. A wonderful option for the solo traveler that may also be used for two smaller adults.
The Outsunny 1 Person Camping Cot Tent also gets a very high rating due to the excellent value for money and stability. It is a highly comfortable tent. It is also great for looking out at the stars. It may not be the best tent cot overall as it doesn’t have a huge capacity, but it is great for the price point.
Ensure you do a little research and read through some tent cot reviews and features, and it will be far more simple to make the correct buying choice and improve your next camping trip.