Which cot tents are best?
Is it a cot? Is it a tent? Is it Superman? Well, it is the first two things at least. You may not be as familiar with a cot tent as you are with both of those things individually, but there’s a great deal of utility in the cot tent. If you worry about damaging your tent floor with the legs of your cot, consider combining the two with a cot tent such as the Kamp-Rite Original Cot Tent.
What to know before you buy a cot tent
Size and bulk
It’s very unlikely you want a cot tent for backpacking. In case you do, let’s quickly dispel that idea. A cot tent is heavy and bulky; overall, it’s impractical for anywhere beyond car camping. Cot tents are usually on the north side of 30 pounds, sometimes well beyond 30 pounds. Now, if you just want something for car camping or the backyard in the summertime, a cot tent is a great choice.
Variety of setup difficulties
Just like regular tents, some cot tents are more straightforward to set up than others. If you’re a technical wizard, you have no need to worry. If you’re a mere mortal, there are plenty of simple setup designs (and an occasional pop-up) for you to choose.
Single or double cot
Depending on your desired width, you can get these tents with a single or double cot setup. Almost all also have enough vertical room to put a comfortable mattress in if they don’t come with one.
What to look for in a quality cot tent
You can use a good cot tent in multiple ways. While some boast of 4-in-1 or even 5-in-1 systems, the minimum is 2-in-1. As long as you have a cot tent you can use normally as well as pull the cot out to be used on its own, you’ll be covering most, if not all, of your bases.
This may not be a deal breaker for every user, but having an awning can be really convenient. For those who like to be outside in cold and wet weather, having the ability to stake out an awning can make a cramped space feel a little bigger. For the summer months, propping the awning up with trekking poles or sticks provide shade.
This mainly depends on how much time you plan to spend in your shelter, but if you want to be able to sit up, something with minimal headroom won’t be ideal. Conversely, if you like the idea of being nestled in a cot cocoon, you’ll appreciate something with a lower profile.
How much you can expect to spend on a cot tent
Because it has more features than a standard tent, a cot tent tends to run $100-$300 on average. Size plays a large factor in the price.
Cot tent FAQ
Could you convert a cot you already have to a cot tent?
A. Yes, in some instances. If you already happen to have a cot, you could consider a tent conversion setup. This tends to be less convenient, though.
Do cot tents get humid?
A. This is mainly a question of the materials on the individual cot. If you’re not in a place where you can leave the flaps open, you’ll want to make sure you get breathable material. Also, consider if you’ll be camping solo or if you plan to bring another person, thus increasing body heat.
What are the best cot tents to buy?
Top cot tent
What you need to know: This option wins for ease of setup and comes with plenty of length at 84 inches long to accommodate most campers.
What you’ll love: This is a fold-up cot tent. Simple and efficient, it takes seconds to set up. With mesh netting, you can fold back the rainfly to look at the stars or batten down the hatches and stay dry in a storm.
What you should consider: While not incredibly narrow, at only 28 inches wide, it isn’t one of the more luxurious options out there.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top cot tent for the money
What you need to know: This shelter gives plenty of headspace and comes with a lot of extras.
What you’ll love: Not only are you getting the cot and tent, but you’re also getting a mattress and sleeping bag. Don’t want the tent for the night? Sleep under the stars by disconnecting the tent. At only 26 pounds, this is one of the lighter traditional-style cot tents available.
What you should consider: Users without camping experience may have trouble setting this up. The included rainfly is not meant for heavy rain.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
Worth checking out
What you need to know: One of cot tent’s most well-known names has a two-person offering measuring more than 50 inches wide.
What you’ll love: With 84 inches of length and 53 inches of width, most users should be able to sleep comfortably either with another person, their dog or their gear. A very easy setup and a carrying bag make this cot tent a convenient choice. With an included waterproof rainfly, you’ll stay out of the elements.
What you should consider: This tent is quite pricey for the casual user. Weighing in around 50 pounds, some people may have trouble carrying this by themselves.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Joe Coleman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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