This article is a full review of the REI Folding Camp Cot after a four day, family camping trip in the Adirondacks.
Sometimes you just don’t want to sleep on the ground. There’s no shame in it, even for the hardcore adventurer, waking up with a sore back and stiff neck is no fun and a bad start to the day. Sleeping on a good cot can give you a better nights sleep than you ever thought possible, especially if you’re used to crashing on thin pads or air mattresses.
I never sleep well when car camping with my family, so with a trip to the Adirondacks coming up I decided to do something about it. The search for a great cot began, the main criteria…it had to be easy to set up, built to last, comfortable, and priced right.
After a lot of research and reading I ended up buying an REI Camp Folding Cot.
The Search for a Great Cot
The first thing I learned in my search… there are a ton of cots to choose from depending on what you really need, and how much you want to pay.
You have the super cush, “also folds into a chaise lounge”, style cots which cost over twice as much but they don’t get the greatest reviews for stability, or easy set up. And if you’re not interested in a cot that turns into a chair why spend the money?
Cabelas Lounge Cot
REI Kingdom Cot 3
You could also look at the super-cool, ultralight backpacking cots if money is no object. As with anything ‘ultralight’, they cost a lot more. The assembly is also more complex and time consuming but they’re high tech and lightweight, tipping the scales at less than 3 pounds.
Then there are traditional cots that set up quickly and cost a lot less. They may lack some of the bells and whistles of the lounge cots and ultralights but if you pick the right one, they can be just as comfortable. The REI Camp Folding Cot falls into this category and came out ahead of the others in quality.
Gander Mountain Tracker Extreme
Cabela’s Outfitter XL
The REI Camp Folding Cot Review
Frame Construction – Steel
Cot Material – 600 Denier Ripstop Poly
Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions – 38 x 5 x 6 inches
Unfolded Dimensions – 75 x 25.5 x 17.5 inches
Easy Set Up
The REI Camp Folding Cot sets up in about 20 seconds in 5 steps and breaks down and packs away just as easily…
Once you’ve removed it from the bag and set it on the floor of your tent…
Fold out the two sides of the cot…
Lift the sides of the cot which will open it and extend the legs and feet…
Lay the cot upside down. At this point all six legs will be extended…
Tighten the four cordura straps on each legs which locks them in place…
Flip the cot over, and you are done! It’s that easy.
When you break camp reverse these steps, slide it into the bag and toss it in the car. It breaks down just as quick and easy as it sets up.
Heavy Duty Construction
The frame is solid steel with a grey coating that creates a rock solid base under the cot.
Hinges and hardware are also heavy duty steel and have no give to them at all even when moving around in the night.
The 600 Denier Rip Stop Poly cot material is incredibly strong but also comfortable allowing side sleepers, back sleepers and toss-and-turners to sleep well.
At 6’1″, 210 lbs I had some concerns about how well supported I would feel and if the cot would give too much. It never did, and the frame is so solid that it never budged.
How Comfortable Is It?
My first impression was that it might actually be too firm which was surprising. I toss and turn and switch from side to side during the night, a tough test for any cot. This one never moved or rocked even on the rough gravel under our tent. The cot material held my sleeping bag in place so I never got wrapped up or twisted. The side rails are 25 inches apart and I never felt them once. I got great sleep all four nights and the cot felt roomy and supportive.
The cot material rubbing against the steel does make some noise when you move around but it wasn’t enough to bother anyone else in the tent. (There are some reviews out there that claim it’s excessive, which didn’t seem the case.)
$79.50 for a piece of gear that is well made and will last for years is a steal. The REI Camp Folding Cot is priced below some of the comparable tents and offers a good value.
What Wasn’t So Great
The only fault I found with this cot was the weight. At a hefty 17 pounds this really is made only for car camping. You won’t want to haul this thing very far.
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