And the winner is...Camp Time Roll-A-Cot! Between the research, customer reviews, and common sense, this one is the best bet for a solid winter camping bed. All you'll need is a mattress like a Teton or Coleman, and you're set for the frigid fun!
Before you make the decision though, let's talk about why this option is the best for taking on a cold weather trip.
Should You Opt For a High or Low Setup?
Airflow, let's talk about it.
When it's cold outside you need to think of how airflow is going to affect your ability to keep warm on a cot. Because when you sleep, your body regulates heat through whatever you're laying on.
So if you're laying on a cot that's 8" off the ground, with nothing but thin material under you, your body is going to be pushing most of your body heat down through the cot, which will then leave you colder than you were. So if it's colder than you're used to, make sure you bring a mattress to put on your cot.
Or you can just sleep on a mattress on the ground without the cot. That would be the best way to stay warm. Unless you're a side sleeper, then you'll probably want the cot with the mattress. Which is why the Camp Time Roll-A-Cot wins.
Do I Need a Mattress?
When you're going out camping in the winter there's two things you need to worry about when you're buying a cot: will it be comfortable, and will it keep you warm. If you're going camping as a couple, it's probably more wise to worry about the comfort part, because staying warm probably won't be that hard.
Like we talked about earlier, a mattress is going to be great to keep heat from leaving your bed. It's also going to provide a great amount of comfort which will help you rest for the next day!
R-Value and How it Could Save You
When you're going camping, it's generally outdoors, and you'll be sleeping on the ground. Since most of your body heat is lost through conduction with the ground, it makes sense to have a substantial layer of insulation between you and the earth. Because even when you're camping in the summer in your truck on your cot mattress, those nights can get cold if you're losing most of your heat to the ground!
It's not like you're going to be bundled up in something as fancy as a Kamp-Rite Cot.
So let's go over what this R-Value thing is, so you know which option is best. The R Value- is the level of insulation that is provided by the mattress, the higher the R-Value, the more insulated it is.
Let's say you have one mattress that's got a R-Value of 2 and another that has an R-Value of 9 (most are graded on a scale from 1-10), the one with a value of 2 is going to be useless for insulation, and the one that's valued at 9 is going to feel like sleeping on a heating pad.
Our Top 2 Choices
In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of best cots for winter camping:
Review of the Best Cots for Winter Camping
Below are the best models of the year and our complete review. Let's see what each option has in store:
Camp Time Roll-a-Cot
Like we said earlier, it's going to come down to preference when you're deciding if you want to go ultralight or standard with your bed in the winter. This one from Camp Time is a great mix of portability, weight capacity, and height for the price. With this bed you'll get a 74x28x15 cot that can support up to 250 lbs, but only weighs 10 lbs. Crazy.
You can store stuff under this one as well. Good luck trying to stack stuff on top of you as you sleep to try to save space. All you're going to need is a solid mattress and sleeping bag to make this the best winter camping cot available!
Teton Camping Pad
Alright, this might not be a fair comparison to the following mattress pads, because this one is literally made for using with a camping cot. So the bar is set pretty high with the Teton cot mattress! And they lived up to the hype.
From pillow pockets to keep your head comfortable, to two inches of padding to add to the comfort of your already amazing Teton cot, this pad goes above and beyond the call of duty. It is however made to specifically fit Teton cots though. It works with others, but the elastic bands aren't going to fit as well on some other brand.
And since it's a foam mattress, it's able to be packed outside of your pack. Which is for the best, because the one downside is that is doesn't fold down to be small at all.
At some where around 24x11 inches when rolled up, this thing would take up a lot of room in your backpack. However, this product is MADE to be used for this purpose! With a R-Value of close to 7, it's a great insulator as well.