Though using cots for camping is not for everyone, they are worth considering and do offer many advantages for others. For those that prefer comfort over “roughing it”, camping cots provide the opportunity to avoid sleeping on the ground. While an air mattress also provides this opportunity, cots definitely have their advantages. When buying any type of camping gear and equipment, there are advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it necessary or not?
- Do we absolutely need it to make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable?
- Sleeping on uneven ground is avoided. An air mattress can also provide this same comfort but lumps and bumps are often still felt.
- Avoiding creepy, crawly insects and bugs is a perk for most campers.
- Unlike an air mattress or camping bed, cots provide ample storage space underneath for gear and equipment.
- Provides limited pressure on joints when getting in and out of bed. This is especially important for campers with arthritis.
- Though a mat or mattress may still be useful on top of a cot for added insulation, being off the ground is an advantage for cold weather camping.
- Because a cot sits off the ground, condensation issues are avoided and if the floor of your tent becomes wet or damp, you are not affected.
- Cots are much easier than air mattresses to take in and out of a tent.
- For those backpacking and hiking style campers, cots can be a bit on the heavier side. Although several lightweight versions can be found, these type of campers generally prefer a sleeping pad or mat.
- While the space underneath the cot is great for storage and ventilation in the summer, they also allow cold air through in the winter months.
- Some cots may not be as comfortable without an air mattress or pad on top.
- Most cots are not manufactured to hold 2 people, while an air mattress does have 2 person models.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you! How do you prefer to camp? Will you be hiking while camping? Do you rest well while sleeping on the floor? When making the decision to purchase a cot, consider the following:
- The weight of the cot.
- How they pack away and store.
- How they set up.
- The weight they will support.
- And finally, be sure to read any reviews written on the type of cot you are researching.