Best Tent Cots For Relaxing Nights In The Outdoors

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Whoever said camping meant sleeping on the ground? The best tent cots on the market get you and your tent up out of the dirt and into a good night’s rest.
Best Tent Cots - Introduction
The Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent: Our Best Choice Overall.

*If you are looking for camping cots (bed only) instead of the tent cots (integrated tent + bed) ? Check out our dedicated post about the best camping cots here!

Of all the unique pieces of outdoors gear available today, tent cots are some of the most misunderstood and underappreciated on the market. We think that’s a crying shame, because they also happen to be some of the most convenient and best sleeping shelters money can buy. 

We love tent cots because they provide all the same benefits as the best camping cots (namely, a comfortable and level sleeping surface), and they also simplify the entire camping experience as well. They pitch quickly, break down easily, and eliminate the hassle of rolling up a dirty wet tent bottom when it’s time to head home. 

After analyzing dozens of camp cots currently available, we found the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent to be the best tent cot on the market. The Vista is one of the easiest-pitching, well-made, and affordable shelters we’ve ever seen. Its combination of an extra-large sleeping surface and reliable weatherproofing make it a stand-out product, and the fact that it functions just as well as a standalone tent is just icing on the cake.

The Vista won’t be the first choice for everyone though, and that’s to be expected. Some campers want an all-in-one system, others want room for two, and some are just looking to try the tent cot camping experience without breaking the bank. 

The good news is, we’ve got our top picks below for all of the above. As an added bonus, you’ll also find our detailed buyer’s guide down at the bottom, which explains in detail what makes any good tent cot worth having. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into our favorite examples of these unique shelters. 

Tent Cot:Summary:
Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent: Best Tent Cot OverallIncredibly quick and easy setup combined with an extra-large and extra-strong cot. Works just as well as a standalone tent. See Review
Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot Tent: Highest Overall QualityA classic design that’s extra durable and extra comfortable thanks to an integrated sleeping pad. All-in-one system that folds up quickly and easily into a single bag. See Review
Kamp-Rite CTC XL: Best On A budgetKamp-Rite’s convenient folding cot design combined with a standalone tent. Versatile, comfortable, and budget-friendly. See Review
Teton Sports Vista 2P: Best Two-Person ModelThe same quick set-up as the standard Vista Quick Tent, but with added room for two. Standalone tent with dual doors and vestibules. See Review
Tangkula 1 Person Tent CotA dirt-cheap combo deal that includes everything you need to get started including a mattress and bedding. See Review

Best Tent Cots

Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent: Best Tent Cot Overall

Best Tent Cots - Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent

Specs
– Bed dimension: 80” x 37” (203cm x 94cm)
– Weight: 30.6 lbs (13.9 kg)
– Occupancy: 1 (2 person also available)
– Packed size: 27” x 7” x 7” (69cm x 17cm x 18cm) + cot
– Max weight capacity: 600 lbs (272 kg)
– Materials:  75D polyester taffeta canopy & aluminum/steel cot
– Best for: Three season car camping
– Price: $$

Taking top honors as our best tent cot overall is the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent. It was a tough choice, but ultimately the Vista edged out the competition for its overall quality and outright versatility even though the cot itself is sold separately. 

This is a quality tent because it incorporates the excellent ventilation of a mesh-heavy camping tent with the reliable weather protection of a full-coverage rainfly. Teton Sports is also one of the only manufacturers making tent cots that include guylines on all four corners of their tents, which gives them the edge in terms of wind protection. 

The Vista functions on its own as a standalone tent, but is also designed to attach seamlessly to Teton Sports’ Outfitter XXL camping cot. The Outfitter XXL is one of the largest and toughest camping cots on the market, which makes the Vista one of the most comfortable and capable tent cots money can buy. The fact that it also includes Teton Sports’ quick pitch design, which allows the tent to be set up in mere seconds with the pulling of a single drawstring, is just icing on the cake here. 

The main drawback of the Vista over most of the competition is that the tent and cot are sold separately. The tent is wildly affordable at under $100, but the Outfitter XXL cot is on the pricier side. Cost-wise you’re still looking at a very affordable package though, and considering both items are covered under Teton’s lifetime warranty, this is still easily the best deal running as far as we’re concerned. 

Pros:Cons:
– Lightening-fast automatic pitching system
– Legitimate standalone tent
– Mesh construction great for clear nights
– Cot sold separately
– Potential condensation issues
– Fiberglass frame



Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot: Highest Overall Quality

Best Tent Cots - Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot

Specs:
– Bed dimension: 90” x 32” (229cm x 81cm)
– Weight: 32 lbs (14.5 kg)
– Occupancy: 1
– Packed size: 36” x 34” x 7” (91cm x 86cm x 18cm)
– Max weight capacity: 350 lbs (158.8 kg)
– Materials: 190T nylon canopy & steel/aluminum frame
– Best for: Three season car camping
– Price: $$$

Those in-the-know will recognize Kamp-Rite as the long-standing leader in the tent cot market, and their original design developed back in 1999 is still one of the most popular options out there for good reason: It’s built like a tank, and is an absolute joy to sleep in. 

We love the Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot because it keeps the same time-tested design and cozy foam cushioning as the original model, but adds in a longer and wider sleeping surface for an even more comfortable night’s rest. Kamp-Rite also specced a pole-supported top to the original model, which translates to more headroom inside the tent as well. 

We love the simple “fold-out” design of this tent cot, which packs everything down like a portable lounge chair for quick and easy setup and transportation. Speaking of the lounge chairs, the Kamp-Rite Oversize also happens to double as a reclining chair when not in use as a tent, which is a sweet feature to have around camp. Ventilation is top notch in clear weather with two large mesh doors and two mesh windows, and rain protection is excellent as well thanks to the Kamp-Rite’s full coverage rain fly. 

As far as downsides go, this Kamp-Rite only has one glaring flaw: The rain fly attaches snugly to the bottom of the cot, so when it’s all buttoned up for bad weather, there’s only one small opening at each window for ventilation. It will absolutely keep you dry, but it gets stuffy pretty quickly in warmer weather, and condensation can be an issue when it’s cooler. Aside from that, our only complaint here is that for some reason Kamp-Rite doesn’t include a toggle for stashing the rain-fly door. Granted, this tent performs much better without the fly at all, so your best bet is simply leaving it off when it isn’t needed, but this feels like an oversight nonetheless.

Pros:Cons:
– Roomy and comfortable
– Well-made and weatherproof
– Converts to a lounge chair! 
– Ventilation isn’t great with fly in place
– No toggles on rainfly door
– Non-removable tent



Kamp-Rite CTC XL: Best Tent Cot On A Budget

Best Tent Cots - Kamp-Rite CTC XL

Specs:
– Bed dimension: 84” x 33” (213cm x 84cm)
– Weight: 28 lbs (12.7 kg)
– Occupancy: 1
– Packed size: 42” x 9” x 8” (107cm x 23cm x 20cm)
– Max weight capacity: 350 lbs (158.8 kg)
– Materials: 190T nylon fly/canopy & steel frame
– Best for: Three season car camping 
– Price: $

If you’re digging the comfort and convenience of the Kamp-Rite approach but prefer something a bit lighter (and lighter on your budget), check out the Kamp-Rite CTC XL

We’re fans of the CTC XL because it incorporates the same fold-up design and padded sleeping surface of the original version, but packs the whole package down into a much more travel-friendly kit. Kamp-Rite achieves this by trading out the original design’s folding steel frame for the collapsible two-pole design of a traditional dome tent. 

This approach shaves four pounds off the total weight, and also allows the CTC XL to pack down into the shape of a large camp chair rather than a bulky square. It also shaves over $100 off the asking price without sacrificing any rain protection, making the CTC XL an easy choice for the best budget pick overall. 

You’ll sacrifice a little ventilation in the process as the CTC XL specs a single mesh door and much smaller mesh windows, but again, it’s really only an issue when the rainfly is on the tent. We’re also not in love with the relatively thin fiberglass pole set and notable lack of guylines here, which limits the tent’s wind protection whether on or off the cot, but so long as you keep the CTC out of serious wind, it’ll make for a capable and comfortable little shelter. 

Pros:Cons:
– Reasonably light and compact
– Functions as standalone tent and cot
– Reliable waterproofing
– Fiberglass pole set on the thinner side
– Limited ventilation with rainfly
– Standalone tent has limited use cases



Teton Sports Vista 2P: Best Two Person Tent Cot

Best Tent Cots - Teton Sports Vista 2P

Specs:
– Bed dimension: 86” x 71” (218cm x 180cm) 
– Weight: 54.3 lbs (24.6 kg)
– Occupancy: 2
– Packed size: 33” x 7” x 7” (84cm x 18cm x 18cm) + two cots
– Max weight capacity: 800 lbs (362.9 kg)
– Materials: 75D polyester taffeta tent & aluminum/steel cot frame
– Best for: Three season car camping
– Price: $$$

If you’re looking to try tent cot camping with a partner, the Teton Sports Vista 2P is our favorite option. The Vista 2P is the two-person version of the popular Vista Quick Tent, and shares many of the same features that impressed us with the 1P model. You’ll have to purchase the cots themselves separately just like the 1P (albeit two “universal” size cots in this case rather than the Outfitter XXL beds), but again, the combination is well worth the investment.

For instance, you get the same lightning-fast pull-cord pitching procedure for insanely quick setups, and the Vista 2P is also designed as a standalone tent with real wind and rain protection. Floor space is expanded to a much roomier 82” x 60”, and headroom is comparatively generous as well as 41”. Teton Sports also adds in a second door as well as a second vestibule, and while the latter is a bit limited on space, a second exit is always a plus for late-night bathroom breaks/

As far as downsides go, they’re pretty much the same as Teton’s standard 1P Quick Tent: The need to buy separate cots makes this setup a bit more expensive, the frame is still all fiberglass, and although the Vista includes guylines at all four corners, the side walls sit a bit too close to the canopy, so there are some potential condensation issues in cooler temperatures. Still, this is a rugged and reliable system that’s built to handle bad weather, making it a great option for frequent campers who want some extra space.

Pros:Cons:
– Insanely fast instant pitching system
– Legitimate standalone tent
– Roomy interior for two
– Cots sold separately 
– Potential condensation issues
– Fiberglass frame



Tangkula 1-Person Tent Cot

Best Tent Cots - Tangkula 1-Person Tent Cot

Specs:
– Bed dimension: 76” x 31” (193cm x 79cm)
– Weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
– Occupancy: 1
– Packed size: 39” x 10” x 9” (99cm x 25cm x 23cm)
– Max weight capacity: 300 lbs (136.1 kg)
– Materials: 190 T polyester & an iron/aluminum frame
– Best for: Fair weather car camping 
– Price:

Lastly, we’ve got the Tangkula Tent Cot, which takes the honorable mention in this year’s roundup. We chose to include this model because although it’s nowhere near as robust as our other top picks, it’s a great option for campers who want to try out tent cot camping without spending a ton of money. 

The Tangkula is an interesting proposition: For under $200, you get literally everything you need to get started. Inside the box you’ll find a cot, a tent, an air mattress, a washable mattress cover, a sleeping bag, and even an inflatable pillow. Heck, there’s even an air pump included for the mattress in there. 

We also appreciate the clever design touches Tangkula worked into this tent cot system. For instance, the door doubles as a deployable sun awning, which can be pitched and left open with two additional poles. The air mattress system is also particularly smart, as the mattress is custom fit to the floor of the tent, and Tangkula included an access port in the side of the tent that allows the mattress to be inflated from the outside. 

As you might expect, there are some serious limitations for a tent this cheap, and the materials simply aren’t on par with our other top picks. The fiberglass poles and accompanying hardware are particularly basic, and Kangkula’s weather protection is notably limited. As a fair weather camping system, this is definitely a comfortable and affordable place to sleep, but if there’s any chance of rain in the forecast, you’ll definitely need to bring along an additional tarp and ridgeline system if you don’t want to end up sleeping in a swimming pool. 

Pros:Cons:
– All in one package even includes bedding
– Clever design features like a sun awning and air mattress pump port
– Sits extra high for easier in/out 
– Lower material quality than competition
– Fair-weather only



Buyer’s Guide For The Best Tent Cots

Tent cots are a rarity in the outdoors world. So much so that you may go your entire life without seeing one around your local campgrounds. 

Because so little information and first-hand experience is available for these unique shelters, you may have a tough time knowing what to choose or how to decide. In the guide below you’ll find details on all the most important metrics we use to choose the best tent cots currently available. These are the factors that we believe make any tent cot worth buying, so whether you’re considering one of the tent cots from the list above or something else entirely, we recommend taking the following into consideration. 

Size And Weight

Best Tent Cots - Size and Weight
Larger tent cots are great for comfort, but remember they’ll also add weight and take up more space.

Tent cots are pretty exclusively used for car camping (there are only one or two cots on the market we would even consider backpacking with), so size and weight aren’t a major concern for most users. 

Some tent cots are definitely larger and heavier than others though, so if storage space either at home or in your vehicle is limited, you may want to shop for a more compact design. Also keep in mind that if you choose an all-in-one design rather than a separate cot/tent setup, you’ll have one less thing to carry and keep up with.  

Setup

Most tent cots employ easy-to-pitch designs, and this is often one of the major selling points for tent cot owners. With that being said, some designs are definitely more user-friendly than others, so keep this in mind as you shop. 

One of our favorite models, for example, is the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent. We love the setup of this tent because it uses a preattached pole system that deploys in seconds with the pull of a single cord. This drastically reduces setup time because there are no poles to run through the body or clip into place. 

Best Tent Cots - Setup
Teton Sports’ quick pitch system goes up in seconds using a drawstring and pre-attached poles. 

With that being said, quick-pitch designs like this are more complex than the simpler fold-out/clip-in designs used by popular brands like Kamp-Rite. We’ve never experienced any issues with Teton’s quick-pitch system, but if we had to bet on one lasting longer than the other, the burly folding-steel design of the original Kamp-Rite tent cot would be our choice. 

Weather Protection

Weather protection for tent cots can be a bit hit or miss. We say this because while most of the cots in our roundup include reliable rain protection, wind protection can be a major grey area. 

Best Tent Cots - Weather Protection
On clear days, it’s nice to leave your rainfly off, but it needs to perform when the weather won’t cooperate. 

Where the best tent cots differentiate themselves in this regard is guylines: Specifically, some tent cots have them, and some don’t. For casual campers who plan their trips around mostly-clear weather, this won’t be a major sticking point: Your body weight and the tent’s connection to the cot underneath will be enough to keep things from moving around on you. 

For rain-or-shine campers or those planning extended trips, we recommend sticking to models with functional guylines. The ability to guy a tent out on all four corners adds substantial stability to any design, and combined with a reliable rainfly, should make for a tent that’s capable of handling all but the worst weather. 

Durability

The durability of any good tent cot comes down to two factors: The material quality of the tent, and the material quality of the cot it sits on. 

Best Tent Cots - Durability
The original Kamp-Rite is incredibly durable thanks to its tough fabric and steel/aluminum frame construction.

As is the case with any good camping tent, your first concern should be the fabrics of the tent body. Thicker fabrics with higher denier ratings will hold up better to use and abuse than those with thinner materials (a 200D polyester tent is tougher than a 150D polyester tent, for example). The material of the tent floor is less of a concern here as most of your tent cot’s time will be spent up off the ground, but if you’re considering one of the dual-use models above, you’ll want to factor the floor material in as well. 

Your second concern here is the tent’s pole system. As a general rule of thumb, we prefer metal poles (either steel or aluminum) over less robust fiberglass poles. Fiberglass isn’t necessarily a deal breaker here, as many of the best tent cots use them to one degree or another, but if longevity is a major concern, you’ll want to take this into account. 

Lastly, don’t forget to check the specs of the cot used in your tent cot system as well. The standard in cot fabric is typically 600D polyester or canvas, so if you’re able to confirm your cot of choice uses something around that mark, you should be in good hands. The cot’s frame system is another important consideration here, but the quality of a given cot can be tough to determine from the specs alone. 

We recommend looking for cot frames made entirely out of metal (steel, aluminum, or both) for best results. When in doubt, spend some time cruising other owner’s reviews, but as a general rule of thumb, we try to avoid any cot systems that use plastic hardware in high-stress areas. 

The Bottom Line

Best Tent Cots - Conclusion
The Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent: Our choice for the best tent cot overall. 

If you’re a solo camper looking to get into the best tent cot money can buy, our top pick for campers of any kind is the Teton Sports Vista Quick Tent and its accompanying Outfitter XXL cot. The Vista’s combination of excellent weather protection, a comfortable sleeping area, standalone versatility, and a bombproof cot made it the clear choice for us. 

If absolute quality and durability is what you’re after, we recommend going with Kamp-Rite’s Oversize tent cot, which combines the reliability of a rugged steel frame with a foam sleeping surface and an integrated cot system for simplified setup and transportation. 

If you’re looking for a reliable and capable tent cot that won’t break the bank, the Kamp-Rite CTC XL is our favorite choice, as it comes in under the $200 mark but still boasts a comfortable sleeping surface, reliable rain protection, and a convenient fold-up design. 

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