Deluxe folding cots offer extra features for more comfort. Most campers looking for more comfortable cots are interested in padded cots.
If you are looking for information on standard camping cots, please visit the camping cot page.
Bi-fold/tri-fold deluxe cot and pad combos
Padded deluxe folding cots are available in bi-fold and tri-fold cot styles.
The foam padding may be permanently sewn into the sling fabric. However, it is more likely that a separate 1" to 3" thick pad in a zippered, fabric enclosure that sits on the sling and attaches to the frame via straps with snaps or velcro for attachments.
Since bi-fold and tri-fold cots have permanently assembled frames, these deluxe cots have frame and deck features that most resemble a spare bed at home.
Padded-cot deck styles
Padded bi-fold and tri-fold cots come with various frame and deck styles, each offering a more bed-like flex than the former:
Unlike a standard cot, the fixed, assembled frame of a deluxe folding cot allows the use of springs, which allows the deck to flex under the camper.
If a cot frame does feature springs, then the more springs, the better.
Link spring deck
Link springs are the deck type used under the mattress on most bunk and roll-away beds.
Springs and metal links (link spring) will add to the weight of the cot.
Due to rubbing metal, a link-spring deck may squeak when campers shift during the night.
Campers may also need extra cushion so that you do not feel any metal links underneath them.
Indoor and outdoor cots
If considering a link-spring frame cot, make sure that it is not designed for indoor guest use. It should have cushioned feet that can be used on a tent floor, and it should not be too heavy.
Padded cots designed for outdoor use should offer a foam core or polyester filling that is enclosed in a water-resistant fabric cover.
Padded cots offer a sleeping surface that approaches a bed in comfort. Since it is narrower than a twin mattress on a cot and because it offers storage underneath, a padded cot is more tent friendly.
Bi-fold or trifold folding cot and pad combo manufacturers include Blantex, GigaTent, Coleman, Ledmark, LL Bean, Rio and Stansport.
Padded military cots
Padded deluxe folded cots are also available in military style.
This style offers the advantage of breaking down and storing in a smaller, duffle-type carrying case.
The pad sits on the fabric sling and attaches to the side rails with straps, so that it does not shift when the camper turns in their sleep.
There are not any springs on a padded military cot frame to allow the deck to flex, because the frame needs to disassemble and fold up for transport.
Padded military cot brands include Blantex, Cabelas and Slumberjack.
Padded deluxe cots fold in thirds to pack away and offer a padded fabric sling and adjustable legs.
These adjustable folding cots are supported by 3 to 4 pairs of straight legs, which are individually adjustable in length. This allows the cots to be set up and leveled on uneven ground.
The legs open and tip out slightly so that the cot is very steady when lying and shifting on it.
Adjustable deluxe folding cots are available in lengths of 6' to 6'6" and widths of 30" to 32" and weigh about 25 lb.
They have a weight capacity in the heavy range (approx. 350 lb). Since these cots have straight, instead of crossed legs, they can be loaded closer to capacity without fear of failure.
It's a chair, too
One end of an adjustable folding cot can usually be tipped up to transform the cot into a reclining lounge cot or chair, which can be used inside or outside of the tent.
Perhaps it should be called a "glamping" cot.
A camping chair is probably still necessary for sitting upright while eating and for chatting around the campfire. A reclining cot chair is still nice for relaxing and enjoying the view.
Adjustable-cot brands include Black Pine, Cabelas, Chinook, Gander Mountain, REI and VM Innovations.
These are luxury cots, and therefore are heavy and require extra cargo space to transport. However, they offer a very comfortable, portable, elevated sleeping platform for the tent camper that wants extra comfort and convenience.