These days there really is no reason to rough it when you want to venture into the great outdoors. Sleeping on a nice cot after a long hike and a good meal under the stars is one of the most satisfying things you can do with your weekend away from the office.
A camping cot will take you off the ground and away from rough, cold earth that will undoubtedly have a twig or two right under your lower back. There are many products on the market these days and some are better than others, making it a tough choice when deciding which one to purchase. So we have done the hard work for you and found the best camping cots for those who like to sleep on their sides.
What type of camping will you be doing?
These days, camping cots come in many different styles and picking the right one for you is of the utmost importance. If you usually camp at a site that is close to your vehicle, the size and weight of the camping cot may not be too important to you. For people that like to put on a big pack and go for a hike deep in the mountains or woods, weight will definitely be an issue. In fact, foam sleeping mats or inflatable mattresses may be more suited to this type of camping. However, if you value your sleep more than most you can find light weight cots that will do the job just fine.
How much are you prepared to spend?
This should be considered in conjunction with how often you go camping. If you like to get out in the wilderness every couple of weeks it is surely worth investing a little more. Not only will you enjoy the camping cot more, but it will last longer and you may even end up saving money in the long term.
Which type of camping cot suits me best?
It should go without saying that if you are 6’3” and 250 pounds, you may need to think about your purchase a little differently than your 125 pound camping companion. The way you sleep should be a consideration too. If you like to sleep on your side and switch from side to side during the night, then you will benefit from a bigger cot. If you fall asleep as soon as you turn off the light and know nothing but sweet dreams until dawn, a smaller camping cot will probably do the job.
Waking up refreshed after a good night’s sleep is almost invaluable when camping. Also, if you have any medical problems that stop you from sleeping well they can really help. And, in the worst case scenario, it can offer an injured person a comfortable nights sleep, allowing them to recuperate faster and making you a hero.
Texsport Deluxe Folding Camp Cot
This is a fine model for the entry level/budget conscious camper who may only venture in the woods or the campsite occasionally. It provides a very stable sleeping surface, measures 75” x 25” x 16” and can support up to 250 pounds so it is a good all rounder. The only drawback is after a lot of use it can lose some of its shape. Some side sleepers don’t have a problem with this, but many prefer a flatter surface.
Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Cot
If you want something a little more sturdy, then go for the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Cot. This is a super strong camping cot that will work with a mattress. It can take up to 600 pounds in weight and as long as you don’t play in the NBA it should be long enough for you with dimensions of 85” x 40” x 19”. The steel legs, aluminum channels and true canvas cover will ensure many seasons of trouble free use.
The only downside to this model is that the end bars do not snap lock and can become loose if the camping cot is not erected correctly. This is an excellent model for your average side sleeper and the very minor ‘con’ is far outweighed by its excellent performance.
The Kamp-Rite Tent deserves a mention here as it is so much more than just a camping cot. It is also part tent and part deck chair. Side sleepers have a tendency to move around a lot so what could be better than your own cot-tent to sleep in by yourself and thrash around to your heart’s content without bothering anyone.
The tent and the rain fly is made from 210 denier nylon and the anti-vibration aluminium base should provide a comfortable night’s sleep in most conditions. It is very roomy so can store a lot of gear, and the high clearance of the ground means you can pull it over toward the campfire and use it as a deck chair. You can also hide from any flies or mosquitoes with a smug smile while watching your companions get bitten.
The only downside to this model is it is not designed for use in areas where you can expect storms. The fly is not entirely waterproof and is a little top heavy so it doesn’t deal with high winds very well. All in all though, this is a great model and will undoubtedly provide a talking point in the campsite.
One of the only drawbacks we found is that once you have slept on one of these camping cots, it may not be possible to go back to sleeping on the ground. For us, the Texsport Deluxe is the best all rounder. It is good value for money, strong, sturdy and should provide you with many happy seasons of camping whether you sleep on your side or not. Happy camping.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: DanLoa
- Expedition Portal – The camp cot thread
- Rocky Mountain Extreme – Camping cot or other sleeping ideas