In a rush? With a quick setup, quality materials, and a comfortable size, the Kamp-Rite Tent Cot will take your next camping trips to all new heights (eleven inches higher to be exact). Kamp-Rite is the go-to brand for the best tent cots and they’ve been making them for over 25 years, so you know it’s a product that you can trust and use for years and years to come.
I understand that this tent cot may not be everyone’s top pick, so I’ve also assembled my other favorite tent cots below – that way you can pick the perfect one that best fits your needs and desires.
When I was on the hunt for a cot tent that would fit my camping needs, I was blown away by the lack of options and the general low quality of popular off-brand tent cots. That’s why I set out on a journey to find and test the best tents cots to separate the worthy from the unworthy. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I hope this guide will help you pick the best tent cot for you and your camping adventures.
5 Best Tent Cots
These are our picks for the best tent cot:
- Editor’s Choice – Kamp-Rite Tent Cot
- Runner Up- Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent + Cot
- Highest Quality – Kodiak Canvas Swag 1-Person Tent + Cot
- Honorable Mention – YesCom Folding Tent Cot
- Ok, But Not As Good – Tangkula 5-in-1 Cot Tent for 1 Person
Editor’s Choice – Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite
The Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite is simply the best of the best when it comes to tent cots that are actually ready for all your future camping trips. Not only is it super quick to set up and easy to use, but it’s also made of high quality materials that are built to last. You’ll stay dry and comfortable all night long, all while supporting a family-owned and operated business that’s based in the USA.
This personal sleep shelter is perfect for one person who wants to sleep off the ground. The cot is eleven inches tall, which is not too tall and not too short. It provides protection from insects, critters, rocks, and anything else that can make a good night’s sleep a challenge.
When I first saw and used this tent cot, I initially noticed how the materials actually felt like they were durable. The canopy is a thick polyester and the mesh on the windows and doors is no-see-um mesh that you can see through. This thick material kept me dry and warm at night, and on clear nights the mesh provided plenty of ventilation so I could breathe in the fresh air.
Perhaps the coolest feature on this tent cot is that it can be used as a lounge chair, cot, and tent cot. It kind of blew my mind to see it in lounge-chair format – what a neat idea! This means it’s more than just a cot tent and it has features that enhance versatility in a number of different camping situations.
Beyond the easy setup and other features, my favorite part was the sleeping platform. There aren’t any struts or cross bars, so I slept comfortably and didn’t have anything digging into my back or side.
My only complaint with this tent is the single-wall design makes it prone to condensation, especially since it’s a small, enclosed space. Keeping a cross breeze going will help cut down on moisture, but that’s part of the trade off of having a single wall tent. The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot (see this tent cot here) is a double wall-design, but it’s more expensive and harder to find online, although it may be better for frequent campers who want a little more space.
Overall, Kamp-Rite really thought of everything for this tent cot, which is why I’ve selected it as the best all around of all the tents cots I’ve tested. It’s just a bonus that it’s a great price from a California-based company.
About the Brand
Kamp-Rite is celebrating 25 years of providing off-the-ground tent camping! They brought the first tent cots to the US market, and all this experience means they’re the go-to brand when you’re looking for high quality, comfortable, and affordable tent cots. Plus, it’s a family-owned and operated business based in Sacramento, California, so you’re supporting American small business owners.
- Weight: 24 lbs.
- Bed Size: 84″L x 28″W
- Peak Height: 24″
- Height off Ground: 11″
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Frame Material: Metal
- Folded Size: 35″L x 31″W x 6″H
Runner Up – Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent + Cot
The Sports Vista Quick Tent + Cot is one of our favorite pieces of gear for tent cot camping. The double layer design makes it less prone to condensation and the pop up style tent sets up in only a few seconds. This means it’s easy to use and comfortable, plus it all comes with a lifetime warranty.
The pieces of this setup are sold separately, so let’s talk about each piece individually. There’s the Outfitter XXL Camp Cot, Vista 1-Person Quick Tent, and the optional extended Elite Rainfly. Here’s a quick video showing you how this setup works.
The Outfitter XXL Camp Cot takes this tent to new heights by allowing you to sleep off the ground. It’s remarkably strong (max weight 600 lbs.) with a steel frame that will last you a lifetime.
One of the hardest parts of setting up a cot is getting that last corner to stretch into place. You don’t have to worry about that with the Outfitter XXL since it has a patented pivot arm that slides it into place quickly and easily.
What’s a tent cot without a cot? Well it’s just a tent of course. The Vista 1-Person Quick Tent is an awesome, affordable camping tent that can be used on the ground or paired with a cot. My favorite feature is that I was able to set it up in only a minute or two since it uses a draw cord to pop into place.
It also has a waterproof rainfly that kept me dry inside, and the full mesh ceiling practically covers the whole tent, which was perfect for star gazing on clear nights.
As for the extended rainfly, it takes the normal full coverage rainfly and extends it all the way to the ground (see picture above). While this piece of gear is optional in the setup, I think it’s well worth the extra money. One of the biggest struggles of cot tents is having a place to put your gear, but with the extended rainfly I had weather protected storage space to store my backpack, gear, and boots.
My only complaint about this tent is that it requires you to purchase at least two items in order to complete the cot tent setup. If you want extras like the extended rainfly and the cot pad, then you could be purchasing up to four separate items.
Now that being said, each item is quite affordable for the quality, so the overall price for the setup won’t exceed what you would normally pay for high quality gear. It’s just more complicated to order separate parts rather than a complete unit like our Editor’s Choice above.
- Tent Weight: 4.6 lbs.
- Dimensions: 80″ x 37″
- Peak Height: 34″
- Pole Material: fiberglass poles
- Fabric Material: 75D taffeta
- Packed Size: 27″ x 7″ x 7″
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Cot Weight: 26 lbs.
- Material: 600D polyester canvas
- Bed Size: 80″L x 35.5″W
- Height off Ground: 19.5″
- Weight Capacity: 600 lbs.
- Frame Material: Steel & aluminum
- Folded Size: 42″ x 12″ x 7″
- Warranty: Lifetime
Highest Quality – Kodiak Canvas Swag 1-Person Tent + Cot
The Swag 1-Person Tent + Cot from Kodiak Canvas is the highest quality and most well-designed tent cot on this list. It takes traditional cotton canvas material built it into a small 1-person tent that includes a super comfortable 2″ foam sleeping pad inside.
A swag tent is essentially a bivvy sack that’s made of canvas instead of modern tent materials like polyester or nylon. It’s very small and compact, meaning it’s designed for sleeping a solo camper in a small enclosed space that protects from bugs and weather.
Kodiak Canvas thought of absolutely everything with this tent design, which means it’s remarkably durable, very user-friendly, and quite spacious, even though it’s on the smaller size of the different types of cot tents. At almost 3 feet wide and 6ft.8in. long, it can fit most campers of varying sizes.
This swag tent is the only canvas option on this list, and we’re a huge fan of the durable, waterproof, puncture-resistant materials. It also has lots of mesh for ventilation (which helps prevent condensation) and a little tent floor mat that makes it easier to get in and out of the tent while taking your shoes off and on.
It even includes a 2″ foam mattress, which is something that sets it apart from most tent cots on the market. This mattress is pretty luxurious, so you know you’ll get a comfortable night’s sleep no matter where you decide to pitch your tent cot. The mattress stays in the swag tent, and you just take out the poles and roll it up before putting it in its storage bag.
The only downside is that this swag tent doesn’t have any coordinating camping cots that go with it. You just have to find your own cot and they suggest measurements around 85″x40″. In the photos from the manufacturer, it looks like they actually use the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Cot from above, so that could be a great option to turn this swag tent into a tent cot. Otherwise, there’s lots of options online for other camping cots that would fit this swag tent.
- Weight: 17.5 lbs.
- Material: 8.5 oz. Cotton Canvas
- Poles: Aluminum
- Sleeping Pad: 2″ open-cell foam
- Floor Space: 80″L x 35″W
- Peak Height: 27 inches
- Packed Size: 35″ x 12″
- Warranty: Lifetime
Honorable Mention – YesCom Folding Tent Cot
This Folding Tent Cot by YesCom is a great option for beginners and those new to tent cot camping. It has all the bells and whistles you need – like a full coverage rainfly and mesh windows for ventilation – without breaking the bank.
The first thing I noticed about this cot tent is that it sets up quickly and easily. It’s really just a matter of unfolding the camping cot then popping the poles into place so they can hold up the tent body.
I also really appreciated the 2000mm waterhead rating, which is well above the minimum requirement for a material to be considered waterproof. This means your rainfly and tent fabric will excel at keeping water outside the tent while you’re dry and cozy inside.
Even though this tent technically has a double wall construction, the amount of mesh on the inner tent is quite limited with the rainfly on. This means the inside of the tent is prone to condensation, so make sure you keep some air flow going at all times. This is easy enough with the pop up vents on the rainfly and all the mesh on the inner tent body, but it’s worth mentioning.
One of the best features that helps with condensation even more is the rain fly that extends over the door – it can act as a miniature rain cover that protects the door’s mesh during light rain and morning dew. This means you can have some mesh open and exposed instead of totally closing off the tent during wet weather. However, when this little awning is popped up, it’s very difficult to get in and out of the tent without practically crawling on the ground.
My only complaint is that it’s a little lower quality than I would typically like in a tent, and several users have mentioned that the zippers get stuck and that it’s quite bulky and heavy. For a similar price you could have the Editor’s Choice Kamp-Rite cot, and you will probably he happier with that design and function.
- Weight: 30.5 lbs.
- Bed Size: 84.25″L x 33.4″L
- Peak Height: 29.5 inches
- Height off Ground: 12 inches
- Waterhead Rating: 2000mm
- Folded Size: 32.7″ x 33.4″ x 6.3″
Ok, But Not As Good – Tangkula 5-in-1 Cot Tent for 1 Person
The Tangkula 5-in-1 Cot Tent has everything you need for tent cot camping in one package – there’s a camping tent, camping cot, air mattress with cover, sleeping bag, and air pillow with cover. For the very affordable price, this product is hard to beat, especially when you think about everything it comes with.
However, while it’s tempting that this tent comes with all the gear you need, I found that each part was such low quality that it would all have to be replaced in the near future anyway. This is especially true for the air mattress, which is cheaply made and not very comfortable, and the really thin sleeping bag that will hardly keep you warm.
If you want something really affordable that would only last a short amount of time, then this cot tent could still be an option. Otherwise, I’d recommend taking the money and spending a little bit more in higher quality gear that will last longer and better protect you from the elements.
That way you’re getting something good right off the bat, and you don’t have to worry about spending more money in the long run replacing items that fail while you’re out at the campground.
- Weight: 30 lbs.
- Air Bed Size: 77″L x 35″W
- Peak Height: 49 inches
- Height off Ground: 17 inches
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs.
- Folded Size: 36″ x 10″ x 10″
How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated the Best Tent Cots
We love outdoor gear, and we love recommending gear that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear that’s worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.
We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite cot tent may not be yours. That’s why we rated and reviewed a wide variety of the best tent cots currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the features and pick what’s best for you and your situation.
Thing to Consider When Choosing a Tent Cot
When shopping for the best tent cot, there are a few factors to take into consideration. Remember that the best tent cot for you may not be someone else’s top pick, so take a minute to learn what to look for, that way you can pick the best option for you as an individual.
Setting up a tent can be time consuming, but with newer designs a tent can actually be quick and easy to setup. If setup time is important to you, make sure you select a cot tent that brags about its ease of setup. From our list of tent cots above, the easiest setup award is a pretty even tie between the first four tent cots, making them all great options if you prioritize an easy setup.
The Editor’s Choice Kamp-Rite is easy to setup because it’s just like setting up a cot. You just unfold the structure and pop the corners into place. Then you extend the tent poles and Velcro the tent to the frame. This all takes only a few minutes, then you’re all set to enjoy the rest of the camping experience.
As for the Teton Sports Vista Tent + Cot, it sets up easily mostly because the tent practically pops into place. It uses a draw cord system to pop the tent into its upright position. Then you just have to unfold the camping cot and set up the rest of your gear. This also took less than five minutes and was really easy and straightforward.
The Kodiak Swag Tent only took a few minutes as well, so it was quick and only took a few minutes. The tent is smaller and easier to handle, and it’s one of the lighter options on the list (although that weight doesn’t include the cot).
The Yescom Folding Tent Cot sets up just as easily as our Editor’s Choice because it’s also a true tent cot. That means you simply unfold the frame and attach the tent to that frame using Velcro straps.
On the other end of the spectrum, I found the Tangkula 5-in-1 tent cot to be the most time consuming setup of all the tent cots above. It takes a bit of extra time to slide the four separate poles into their poles sleeves, which added several minutes of time to our setup.
Quality & Durability
Tent cots aren’t the most popular types of tents, which means there aren’t as many options available for purchase. The search becomes even more narrow once you rule out the really crappy ones, which is how we narrowed down the list to the options above. As with any camping tent, quality and durability are going to be one of the biggest factors you should consider in your purchase.
We see it way too often that people will purchase low quality camping gear, take that gear camping, and end up not having fun because their gear failed them. We used to be those people that took an air mattress camping, only to wake up in the middle of the night with our butts on the ground. Talk about a bad camping trip.
But if you buy quality camping gear from the beginning, you can trust your gear to take care of you. That way you can focus on the camping experience and soak in all the benefits of camping. So take it from us – buy good camping gear and you’ll be glad you did.
The Editor’s Choice Kamp-Rite Tent Cot is a great option for someone looking for a strong and durable tent. Same thing goes for the Teton Sports Vista Tent and the Yescom Tent Cot. That being said, the highest quality tent on this list is easily the Kodiak Swag Tent.
While you may not initially thing of canvas as a great fabric for tent cots, it’s actually really great. It’s thick and durable, waterproof yet breathable, and can last a lifetime if you take care of it properly. It could be the last tent you ever buy. You can read more about canvas tents here.
On the other hand, the Tangkula 5-in-1 is easily the lowest quality option on this list, but it’s also the most affordable. The trade off is that most of the parts will need to be replaced in the near future, and you risk having something fail on you while you’re out in the wilderness.
Price is directly inter-woven with durability and quality. The highest quality cot tent (Kodiak Swag Tent) is also the most expensive tent cot on this list. Vice versa, the Tangkula is the most affordable option but it’s also the lowest quality and will need to be replaced and fixed frequently.
We think the Editor’s Choice Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite is the best value for your money – it’s a great price for something that’s high enough quality than it shouldn’t fail you within the first season. In fact, it should last years and years with proper care and use. The Teton Sports Vista Tent would also be an option that is a great value for the quality you’re getting.
If you have the flexibility with your price range, then the best option is obviously the Kodiak Swag Tent. The canvas material has many natural benefits and can last a really long time (10-20+ years) so you don’t have to worry about your gear failing you at all.
As with any car camping tent, proper weather protection is a huge factor. You can be exposed to a wide variety of elements while camping, and your tent should be prepare to handle them. However, not all cot tents are created equal and many of the more affordable options cut corners in order to keep the price low. Know that price can be directly correlated with how weather resistant (or not) the tent cot is.
In the case of tent cots, all the options above have enough weather resistance for regular 3-season camping, especially if you don’t normally camp in adverse weather like heavy rain and strong winds. They are best for casual campers who enjoy summer camping in warmer weather and should not be used for cold weather and winter camping. However, if you may be exposed to these forces, you should definitely get something that can handle them like the Kodiak Swag Tent.
If it’s going to be cold at all, make sure you have a layer of extra padding under you that will help trap your body heat inside the tent. The air flow below the cot could leave you feeling cold, so get something with a good R-value. Some people say it’s better than sleeping on the cold ground, but you’ll still need something to keep you warm.
If you’re are never exposed to bad weather and purposely cancel a camping trip when it’s going to rain at all, then something less weather resistant may be okay for your typical needs. That means you could potentially purchase something cheaper and save a little money. However, we always recommend going up in quality if your budget allows for it.
The only tent cot on this list that actually provided a waterhead rating is the Yescom Folding Tent Cot. At 2000mm, it’s well past the 1200mm minimum rating to be considered waterproof, so it would be a great option if you normally camp in wet conditions. You can read more about tent waterproof ratings here.
If your heart is set on a cot tent that doesn’t have great weather protection, you can make tent cots waterproof by applying a waterproofing spray. This will increase the waterhead rating but it does take more effort on your part.
Single vs. Double Wall
Most tent cots on the list above use a single wall design, meaning there’s only a single layer of fabric between the camper and the outside world. The main benefit of this design is that it makes the entire unit more of a lightweight cot tent, but the main downside is that it can be prone to condensation accumulating on the tent walls and ceiling. Without the ability to have some kind of air flow, condensation quickly builds up because of the cold air and your warm breath. This means you can’t really get a good night’s rest in this tent with the windows closed, and you’ll need some kind of ventilation at all times.
There’s a tent on the list that does use a double wall design – the Teton Sports Vista Tent. It has an inner tent body that has a large mesh ceiling, plus an outer tent that’s comprised of a rain fly. Because you can get air flow between the mesh and the tent’s rain fly, you’re less likely to struggle with condensation. On the other hand, this kind of design can have limited air flow with a lack of windows, but at least you have the option of sleeping with the rain fly off and opening the door for more ventilation.
Click here to read more about single wall vs. double wall tents: Single Wall Vs Double Wall Tent
Speaking of single wall vs. double wall tents, there’s one more design element to take into consideration.
The Tent Cot by Kamp-Rite and YesCom Folding Tent cot are the only two options on this list that are truly tent cots. The other options above are tents that you put on top of a camping cot. See the difference? It’s a tent cots vs. tents on camp cots.
While some people may not care about this small detail, it’s worth mentioning. If you want a true good tent cot, then you essentially have two options to pick from. If you are open to a tent on a camping cot, then you have even more great products to choose from. Plus, this means you get to pick the from the best camping cots and the best tents to create a perfect combo.
I didn’t personally prefer one over the other since they each have their own pros and cons, but it is worth mentioning that the tents you put on a camping cot (like the Teton Sports and Kodiak tents) are generally higher quality and more weather resistant than most other tent cots. However, because you have to buy the cot separately, it does take a bit more effort while purchasing.
All these tent cots above are single tent cots, meaning they have enough room for one person only. Double Tent Cots do exist but they aren’t as common and may not be for everyone. Other tent cots that are a double cot can be expensive and low quality, which makes us think you may be better suited for a tent in these situations.
Are tent cots worth it?
Tent cots can definitely be worth it if they fit into your typical camping style and needs. They provide many benefits: sleeping off the ground limits exposure to ground water, rocks, and insects; increased air flow all around you keeps you cool all night long; and they can be very affordable compared to regular car camping tents.
Are tent cots comfortable?
Tents cots can be very comfortable, especially when paired with a comfortable mattress or sleeping pad. Plus, with lots of mesh for ventilation, you can stay cool all night long while you’re protected from insects, ground water, and rocks.
Whether you decide to go with our Editor’s Choice Kamp-Rite Tent Cot or any of the other options on this list, we hope that your new cot tent will bring you joy and safety for many car camping trips to come. Just make sure you take into consideration setup time, quality/durability, price, and weather protection, and we’re sure that you’ll select the perfect cot tent for you and your car camping needs.