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A tent cot is every camper’s necessity! As we take on the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we try to look for peace and solace even for just a weekend. The easiest place to find it? The outdoors.

When listing activities one can enjoy in the outdoors, the first probable activity that comes into mind is camping. Who wouldn’t want to take in the fresh air, enjoy lush greenery, and be with nature to unwind? Truly, camping can be a natural way to reset ourselves and gain a fresh perspective of the world.

However, if we walk down memory lane, camping can become a challenge. It takes time setting up and dismantling a tent, rocks poking at your back while sleeping, getting bug bites, and the possibility of rain flooding your campground – this can make a camping experience miserable, when it should be enjoyable.

Well, it’s time to fear not! If you haven’t already heard, an interesting contraption in the form of tent cots has eliminated all those problems that break more than make a camping experience.

What Is a Tent Cot?

A tent cot is probably one of the best camping innovations. As its name suggests, it is a simple and straightforward hybrid between a tent and a cot. It provides a camper with a shelter above their head as well as a comfortable surface to sleep on.

While not much historical detail is published about it, the first commercial tent cot was first released into the market by the company Kamp-Rite in 1999.

It was a huge success and continues to be so, as proven by the consistent demand for the product. Although it’s just a literal combination of a cot with a tent sitting on top of it, the product didn’t just add something to the usual camping experience but revolutionized the experience as a whole.

It gave terrain adaptability and flexibility, and also off-the-ground sleeping comfort that keeps you cozy and safe from insects and animals.

Why Should I Buy a Tent Cot?

Remember when you had so many things to bring and lug around when camping? A tent, a mat to lay it on, a sleeping bag, a mattress, some tools to pitch your tent with, and some other things you thought you needed? And suddenly, you notice that you’re missing a rod or your pegs.

Firstly, tent cots relieve you from all the hassle of bringing too many things when out to go camping. It usually being fully folding and portable leaves out the need to worry about missing parts. You also wouldn’t need to dig deep just to set up a foundation for it to stand. All there is to do is to unfold it, hang some clips, and you’re done.

Aside from the convenience, a tent cot eliminates the possibility of water entering your tent via the ground. It also greatly reduces the risk of you getting bitten by ground bugs and critters.

Sleeping on the ground can be a pain, literally, especially on your back! With tent cots, there is no need to toss and turn during the night to try and avoid rocks and bumps. Ultimately, you will receive better sleep and happier mornings.

The point is, if you want to be a happy camper, you need to be a well-rested one. And the easiest way to be one is to swap all the outdated shelter and sleeping gear you have with the only thing you will ever need – a tent cot!

How are tent cots better than traditional and typical tents?

Tent cots are far better than usual tents because:

  1. A tent cot is easy to pack, store in a car, and set up on any terrain.
  2. Some models offer multi-purpose features. You can use the cot or the tent separately or together. You can also use the cot as a lounge chair.
  3. You’ll be sleeping above ground and it offers full protection from elements. And these are just some of the few reasons why a tent cot is better than the old tent you keep in your garage!

The Best Tent Cots That Are Worth Buying

With all the options available in the market today, choosing the best tent cot that fits specific preferences can be quite overwhelming. It’s the reason why we have done thorough research and scoured for the best products and get a final list containing five tent cots deserving of praise. Read on to learn more!

First on the list is the pioneer’s Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot. This is made out of heavy-duty Nylon and stands about eleven (11) inches from the ground.

It adds more room with its wider and longer sleeping area with its spacious domed-shape providing a large headspace and breathing room.

The roof also works great on rainy days as it reduces the risk of pooling water. The cot base also has two additional support legs at both ends for extra stability.

The windows and doors are all covered with No-See-Um Mesh, saving you from the possibility of bugs, especially mosquitoes, entering your tent cot. There are also interior storage pockets that will keep your valuables safe inside the tent.

This is usually the most recommended tent cot, especially when camping with two or more people as it lessens your load and maximizes the space of your tent cot. 

pros
  • Leading product by a reliable brand
  • Dome-shaped roofing reduces overhead water pooling 
  • Spacious head-space
cons
  • Bulkier than other models by the same brand

Next up is the father of all tent cots, which is Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot.

This one has the same features as the same brand’s Oversize variant but is ideally better to bring when you go camping or hiking solo, as you can use this as a tent cot, or a standard style cot that you can place in a larger family-style tent.

What’s great about this is that you get to bring fewer loads which make your travel lighter, give you easy setup, and also provide you a good lounge chair to enjoy that sunrise, sunset, or star garden that you’ve been waiting to see for weeks.

pros
  • Reliable brand
  • Lightweight
  • Great for solo adventurers
cons
  • Not as spacious as the Oversize variant
  • Flat-roofed may cause water pooling

Moving away from the Kamp-Rite brand, the third on our list is Tangkula’s double tent cot.

Its elevation is particularly higher than most of the other brands, at 12 inches above the ground. It features a large D-shaped screened doors with zippers which allow for easy entrance to the cot area.

This product is super space-saving and is highly recommended to use on long hikes. It can withstand most weather conditions thanks to the 420 Denier coated material the tent and its rain fly is made of.

pros
  • Airy with a lot of windows
  • Dome-shaped roof
  • Elevated higher than most tent cots
cons
  • Needs a mattress pad
  • Rainfly a little confusing to install

Outsunny Compact Portable Pop-Up Tent Cot is also a top pick, coming in fourth on our list of the best ones in the market.

What’s great about this is that, aside from it being a tent cot, it comes with an Air Mattress that perfectly fits inside the tent, a pillow, and a sleeping bag for additional comfort and convenience.

It’s cheaper and more affordable compared to Kamp Rite’s tent cots but comes with a ton more features that help upgrade your camping experience.

It surprisingly comes with an air mattress and a sleeping bag built-in! So, if you’re on a tight budget but want to get a tent cot, then this is the one for you!

pros
  • Sleeping bag and air mattress already included
  • Dome shaped roof
  • Costs less than most brands and variants
cons
  • Isn’t as visually appealing compared to the other tent cots on the list

Last but not the least is Winterial Double Outdoor Camping Tent Cot.

This has an aluminum collapsible frame which makes it very sturdy. It can also handle up to 500 pounds.

What able campers find likable about this particular product is that it doesn’t have a rain fly. Why is that? Because the material of the tent is a lightweight, heavy-duty nylon fiber with rain protection.

With its wonderful features, it is also ideal for two people. The design is seemingly amazing especially since there is no bar in the middle, separating the bed space. The feature makes it easier to roll around and sleep cozily regardless if you are alone or with a partner.

pros
  • Does not require a rain fly
  • Light weight but heavy duty
cons
  • Elevated a little low

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE SETTLING ON A SPECIFIC BRAND OR PRODUCT

There are numerous things to take into consideration when planning to buy a tent cot.

Over-all Quality

First and foremost is the quality of the tent material and the rods. Ensured safety is just the tip of the iceberg if a product’s materials and production process are top-notch. It matters most because quality equates to safety which is especially important when in the outdoors where anything can happen anytime.

Most tent cot covers are made out of either durable nylon or polyester. The other part that you need to check is the weight capacity of the support rods. Some tent cots only have capacities around 225 lbs, which can be difficult if for bigger people with heavy items. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry”. It is highly suggested to go with well-known brands since they have already been tried and tested for years.

Space

Tent size and elevation height are also crucial factors. You need to ensure that your tent has plenty of space for you to move and sleep comfortably in.

Also, make sure that it isn’t bulky and heavy  because this can make your relaxing trip into a tiring one. Most tent cots provide around 10 – 20 inches in elevation, in which the sturdiness and stability are not sacrificed.

Weight

The weight of the tent cot should also be something to think about. A heavy tent cot will only add to your stress, especially if there will be a need for a hike. Try to choose a product that suits the nature of your trip. If a campsite does not require a hike, the bulk and weight shouldn’t be much of a deal. Otherwise, choose a lightweight option.

Price

Price is also a huge thing to consider. What is your budget? As important as quality is, the budget is alos an important deciding factor in buying a tent coat. Even with a limited budget, there are great but affordable tent cots. You don’t need to shell out a sum if you don’t want to!

Tent cots somehow can be dubbed as the best invention for campers in today’s age. With the kind of comfort and convenience that it brings, it may be a way for more families to become interested, and eventually hooked, on camping. It’s time to list down your non-negotiables, scan through our list, and find the right tent cot, and maybe even the best backpacking chair to pair it with, and make your next camping trip your best one yet. 

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