Best Camp Bed – Top Rated Portable Cots for Camping
Camping should definitely not mean putting up with poor sleep on unforgiving ground. By selecting a suitable camp bed (or cot as they’re sometimes referred to), you can get very close to the same luxurious sleep you have at home. This is because the best camp beds are designed to provide the same comfort level as a regular bed, especially when used in conjunction with a self-inflating mattress.
On top of the comfort aspect, camping beds are typically portable and compact. This allows you to travel and carry them with ease. To make your next camping trip more manageable, we’ve shared a roundup of our favourite camping beds on the UK market at the moment to help you best identify the perfect companion for those nights of slumber.
Outwell Posadas XL Signature SLG Bed
The Outwell Posadas Camping Bed is a great option for sleeping in a campsite tent, or even as a temporary bed in your house if someone is kipping over. The bed offers comfort in abundance but also has elastic straps at each corner to secure a sleeping mat and/or padded cushions if you want even more luxury.
Rather unusually it uses a steel frame (we’re used to aluminium), but this offers great strength and rigidity – this bed would survive a nuclear explosion! The steel does add to the packed weight though which is up at a rather hefty 9.6kg.
The Posados does not require any assembly at the campsite at all which is a real selling point in our view – it folds up in a similar manner to most camping chairs and simply stretches out, legs and all.
We recommend the XL version of the bed purely because of the unfolded size. The XL measures 212cm long which is almost 7ft! The width is 77cm and the height off the ground is 48cm. We really like the height of the Outwell Posadas because it keeps you a decent distance off the ground – this means that the cold isn’t going to seep into your bones as happens with some camping beds. It is also extremely packable, measuring only 106 x 15 x 16cm when folded up inside its carry sack.
Helinox Lite Cot Camping Bed
Featuring an ultra-lightweight design, the Helinox Lite Cot Camping Bed is a backpacker’s haven. It only weighs about 1.2 kg and yet it can support individuals that measure over 6ft tall and weighing up to 120kg (i.e. 10x as much as its own weight!). It’s a great bit of gear for bike touring or just overnight hikes if you have enough room in your backpack for such luxury..
The camping cot is built with a custom aluminium frame which keeps the weight down. Assembly is quick using press-fit legs and you can have the bed up in minutes. However we found that it took a bit of strength to lock the legs in place – definitely requires a bit of practice before your trip to loosen the material.
The cot can also be used with just three of the four legs to cut down its weight, making it perfect for those long backpacking expeditions.
In use we found the Helinox Lite extremely comfortable. People have often recommended them to me, and I just thought they were overpriced items offering little comfort. How wrong I was – I had the best night’s sleep in a long time with our test cot. Recommended if you can afford one.
West Lake Galician 4 Leg Flat Bed
If comfort is a higher priority for you then packed size then the West Lake Galician Camp Bed is a perfect choice and a great value option. It’s made from hard-wearing 600D fabric and has decent padding along its full 195cm (6ft3) length. It weighs 6kg.
Originally designed for overnight fishing at a lakeside, the flat profile of the Galician allows for a good night’s sleep with decent lumbar support. We found it very comfortable. The two pairs of legs simply rotate out from underneath – each leg has “mud feet” on the end which means you can put the bed directly on the ground without fear of sinking. Normally in a tent with a ground sheet this isn’t an issue of course.
The Galician is partially foldable but the packed size is not great compared to some of the other beds we’ve reviewed. Folded dimensions are 40 x 52 x 60cm. However it does have the advantage of being able to raise up the back, turning it into a chair or camping lounger. Nice for sunbathing!
Overall, we think the West Lake Galician is a great bed for camping if you’ve got a large car or trailer to transport your camping gear. If you’ve got a smaller vehicle then we would go for one of the more portable options.
Zempire Speedy Camp Bed
A tall profile and simple frame design of the Zempire Speedy Camp Bed offers plenty of under-bed space for extra storage room. This design helps avoid wasting space in your tent as some camping beds do.
The Zempire folds down to a packable size of 99 x 15 x 16 cm and comes with a carry case for easy storage and transport. Furthermore, thanks to the bed’s simple design, assembly is convenient and quick. All you have to do is unfold the stretcher bed and stabilise the angled legs.
This is a no-nonsense camp bed for a reasonable price. If they’re in stock then we recommend taking a look at the Zempire.
Dam CamoVision 6-Leg Aluminum Bed Chair
If you aren’t on a restricted budget, the Dam CamoVision Bed Chair is worth the investment. It’s another fishing bed which can also function as a chair or lounger, however we think it’s great for camping if you’ve got the room to transport it. It folds to a transport size of 85 x 80 x 22cm which is pretty big, but still manageable if you have a large estate car or camping trailer. The design of the bed uses three pairs of adjustable legs with large area mud feet designed to prevent sinking into the ground.
The strong round aluminium frame of the CamoVision gives it a lightweight profile, while the microfleece mattress offers a very plush feel. For the sleeping surface, the camp bed features a 100% CamoVision 600D polyester shell for long-lasting durability. There is also a comfortable neoprene pillow integrated into the bed – nice.
In use we found it was very comfortable but we sadly did not have long to do an overnight test – one for the future, but we still recommend the Dam CamoVision if you have the space.
HI-GEAR Slumber Camp Bed
Built from a stainless steel frame and legs, the Hi-Gear Slumber camp bed offers long-lasting durability and weatherproofing. In addition, the legs and frame feature a foldable design to allow the bed to be packed away with ease. This is a great value camping cot, and you can purchase five of them for only £100!
The Hi-Gear is constructed from polyester fabric which is ultra-durable, hard-wearing, and easy to clean. In fact, because of the durability of the construction, you can use the bed as a spare for visitors to your home.
Eurohike Utah 4 Leg Camp Bed
If you are on an ultra-strict budget, the Eurohike Utah 4 Leg Camp Bed is an excellent investment. Whilst the camp bed is surprisingly affordable, it still maintains superior quality. In fact, the camp bed is ideal even for nights in frigid weather.
The raised bed features a high-quality weather-resistant powder-coated steel frame with a gently raised top for superior comfort. Its fabric features a water repellent and durable finish. Thanks to the heavy-duty build, the camp bed can be used for both large and small sleepers.
Vango Hush Camp Bed
The Vango Hush Camp Bed features a rugged yet soft fabric for long-lasting comfort. Measuring about 182 cm long, the camp bed is designed for both short and tall people. It also has a weight capacity of around 100 kg.
Yet, the camp bed still easily packs down to fit in the small supplied carry bag. Its steel frame offers a supportive and high-tensile build, although it still maintains an overall lightweight profile.
Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base
The Decathlon inflatable bed base is often recommended on camping forums, and after finally getting to try some out for ourselves, we can understand why. The bases come with a fantastic 5 year warranty against any mishaps, and we have had great experience with Decathlon in the past when products fail or we just simply want to return a bad purchase.
If you’ve ever used an inflatable stand up paddle board or inflatable tent, you’ll immediately understand how to get the Decathlon bed base pumped up. You literally unroll it from its carry bag, connect a compatible pump and start doing your business! It’s recommended to use the official Quechua double action pump to get this up to 6psi, but most other pumps should suffice.
As you start to pump, you need to slot in eight rigid cross-members (ooh err!) which then act as slats for you to put on a separate self inflating mattress or similar. The pumped up base then has a forgiving external rectangular structure which offers decent suspension if you have to move in the night.
One great feature of the Decathlon camp bed is that you can very simply connect two of the bases together to make a double bed which is one of the comfiest around. Yes you still need the mattresses on top but we think it’s a great solution.
The packed size of a single Decathlon bed base is only 70 x 14 x 14 cm and the weight is 3.9kg – this is nothing for a car to carry, and can easily fit in a trailer or roof box if required. Perfect for family tent camping! Bear in mind that the maximum weight is only 110kg, so if you’re over ~17 stone then it may not be the best option for you.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Camp Bed
Even if you are spending time outdoors camping, a good night’s sleep is still essential. After all, sleep promotes a whole range of health benefits – it even affects your mood. So, in our buying guide below, we’ve shared some of the key features to look out for to ensure you find the best camp bed for the best sleeping experience.
Camping beds come in a variety of different types. In this review, we’ve focused on fold-out beds, although you can find other varieties as well. A fold-out bed is designed to keep you off the ground during sleep. Its most popular advantage is that it keeps you away from the cool and sometimes damp ground whilst protecting you against elements such as rocks, sticks, and even crawling bugs.
Due to their elevated design, fold-out beds are ideal for people who struggle to get up and down from a higher bed. Furthermore, a fold-out bed helps preserve the small space in your tent as it offers additional underside storage space. To enjoy the best option, opt for crisscrossed fold-out beds as they are more steady.
However, they may not be the best option for cold weather as they promote cool airflow. Other camp bed options include sleeping mats, air beds, or hammocks. Sleeping mats are lighter and more compact – making them ideal for hiking and backpacking. However, while they are excellent at insulating, they are not the best option for comfort and support.
Air beds feature an inflated design, which allows them to deflate and pack down into your pack. Unfortunately, this means that the setup may be time-consuming. Although they offer comfort, air beds are not the best option for those who want to enjoy more insulation.
For added warmth, you have to add a blanket. But, this will mean more weight to carry. A hammock is ideal for those who want more adventure – it rocks you to sleep and only requires a free-standing frame or tree to support it. In addition, a hammock is ideal for the hot seasons as it promotes airflow.
Size is also an essential factor to consider. In this case, you want to look at their height and weight. Different individuals have varying heights, which means beds are also designed to have variable dimensions. So, when choosing a camp bed, you want to ensure it can fully accommodate your body.
The best option is to always opt for a bed that offers a little more space. For example, if you measure about 6 feet tall, opt for a bed that measures at least 182 cm to 190 cm long. The width depends on the type of sleeper you are. Some people don’t mind narrow beds, while others want some room to move around.
Before choosing a camp bed, simply look at the dimensions to ensure the width works for you. Weight-wise, the easiest way to gauge if the bed is ideal is by looking at the load capacity. Whilst some beds are designed with a small capacity of about 200 kgs, some extend to as high as 200 kgs.
Remember, the primary purpose of investing in a camp bed is the portability it offers. The level of portability depends on your needs. For example, driving to a campsite has different requirements for weight compared to cross-country backpacking or multi-day hiking trips.
This is because although you still need portability if you’re driving, you can at least accommodate some weight rather than if you are backpacking or hiking. Nonetheless, you want to ensure that your camp bed is portable enough to allow easy and convenient transportation.
When driving, a camp bed that measures up to 10 kgs will not be an issue as long as it easily packs down. However, if you are walking and supporting your load in a backpack, you don’t want a camp bed that measures more than 3 kgs.
For camp beds, you want to look at the fabric material as well as the frame material. The best camp beds are constructed from materials such as nylon, polyester, or polycotton. Each material has its benefits outdoors.
Nylon is thin and light, but it has superior toughness, making it an excellent outdoor fabric. This material is perfect for activities such as backpacking. Properly seamed polyester is water-resistant, making it ideal for the outdoors. Furthermore, its high-strength seams also make it perfect for most fold-out camp beds and sleeping mats.
Compared to polyester, polycotton is more breathable. It is also stronger and lighter than cotton, which makes it ideal for camp beds. However, this material choice is a little more expensive. On the other hand, the frame comes with two main metal options, i.e., steel and aluminium. Steel is thicker and heavier than aluminium. However, steel is susceptible to rust due to exposure to water.
A powder-coated steel frame is a better and more protective option. Aluminium has high tensile strength and is much lighter. In addition to the material, you also want to focus on the metal profile. Frames with thicker legs are more durable and sturdier. But, this also means that they are heavier. Furthermore, cross-legged frames are much stronger than straight-legged frames.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What Are the Benefits of Using a Camp Bed?
The best camp beds come with numerous benefits. These include:
- Raised sleeping surface for easy entry and exit, which also reduces joint strain
- Temperature regulation promotes airflow in warm weather and prevents contact with the ground during the cold season
- The best camp beds offer better back support
- Elevated fold-out camp beds provide additional underside storage, which is helpful in a tent with limited space
- Most are easy to use as all they require you to do is fold them out
- The best camp beds are just as comfortable as your bed at home to allow you to enjoy the same sleep quality
2. How to Make My Camo Bed More Comfortable?
To make your camping bed more comfortable, simply add more padding and insulation (if it’s cold). You can invest in materials such as a memory foam mattress topper, padded cushions, or a sleeping mat.
3. Which Is Better – a Foldout Camp Bed or an Airbed?
It depends on your needs. For example, air beds don’t offer the best insulation. Similarly, unlike fold-out camp beds, they don’t promote airflow during the warm season either. Additionally, due to their inflatable design, air beds may be time-consuming to set up.
4. How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Camp Bed?
The price of camp beds significantly varies based on the design and quality. In general, you should expect to pay anywhere between as low as $20 to as high as $200 for your camp bed. However, keep in mind that just because a camp bed is inexpensive does not imply that it is of poor quality. You can still find an excellent quality camping bed at a low price.
The bottom line is that investing in the best camp bed allows you to sleep comfortably and healthily while not breaking the bank. Yet, the beds offer portability and compactness, so you don’t have to haul a massive load during your camping and other outdoor trips.
After all, these beds come in a vast range of designs and styles. So, you can rest assured that you will always find a design to fit your needs and preferences. In fact, our versatile list of recommended options for the best camp beds above is a perfect starting point for choosing what you like.