Do you love to camp, but have a sore back? Did you think that your tent camping days were over since injuring your back? There may be a better solution.
Read on for our recommendations of the best camping cots for bad backs
**As an Amazon Associate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
In a Nutshell
Admittedly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a good camping cot.
Here are the best in their categories if you want to skip the details below.
Why choose a camping cot for your bad back?
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how much we love camping. Sleeping under the stars may be the best form of therapy we know.
However, there are times when it is all but impossible to sleep comfortably on the ground.
You see, several years ago, I had some back issues. All of the fun of jumping off of high things into stupid places has a way of coming back long after the thrill is over.
Fortunately, I have been mostly able to get rid of the back pain through exercise, chiropractor, and not doing stupid things. At least, not on purpose.
From time to time, that pain will flare up. And it has a way of ruining a good night’s sleep on a camping trip.
That has led me to research some good solutions that will keep me in the back country as much as possible.
That’s why we came out with this list. Of course, there is no way that we could try out each one of these individually.
However, based upon our research we believe these are the best choices available today.
So,if you’re searching for the best camping beds for bad backs, you’re in the right place! We know how important it is to choose the best product to prevent serious discomfort.
Even though some people prefer sleeping on the ground with a sleeping bag, the best solution for your bad back is a cot. Next, we share our insights on how to choose the top camping cot for bad backs, along with our list of favorites. Let’s see which one is the best for you!
is a cot good for your back?
To be sure, this is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor or chiropractor for the best options for you.
According to Harvard Health, sleeping on a firm mattress caused the greatest discomfort for people with lower back pain.
On the other hand, a medium-firm to firm mattress strikes the balance between being too hard and so soft that your body twists into uncomfortable positions.
A cot provides a level of firmness based upon the tight canvas, while allowing you to control the comfort level based upon the mattress topper you choose.
Another advantage of using a cot when camping is that you’ll sleep above the ground. As you’ll notice, the cold and dampness won’t hurt your back or cause as much stiffness.
All in all, a camping cot is an excellent way to sleep well while on the go. It may help to prevent chronic pain while allowing you to enjoy the time spent outdoors.
What to look for when buying a cot for a bad back?
Cots are made of a light metal frame and a piece of durable fabric meant to be used for camping. The canvas is sewn around the frame so that when the frame is opened up, it takes the shape of a bed. A camping cot has numerous benefits, especially for people with bad backs.
When buying a camping cot for a bad back, you should look for specific features. The main criteria include:
- Cot material: you should choose a premium product created with durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
- Portability: another factor to consider if you have back problems when buying a camping cot is whether or not it offers portable folding. This will ensure it’s easy to set up and won’t apply any extra pressure on your back. Plus the actual weight of the cot needs to be light enough to reduce strain when carrying it to the campsite.
- Weight capacity: A higher price tag does not mean a stronger cot. The last thing you want is for the cot to collapse, especially if you have back problems.
- Usage: some camping cots are designed for indoor use only, while others are created especially for outdoor use.
- Comfort features: You will need more than just a piece of fabric to lay on. Depending on the severity of your back symptoms you may need extra cushioning or add a mattress topper.
Which are the best camping cots for bad backs?
Now that you know more about camping cots for bad backs, we can discuss the top items you can buy today. The products we reviewed are versatile, durable, and extremely easy to use.
We have compared numerous reviews from many experts. It should be said, some of these camping cots have an included pad or mattress topper. Obviously they will be more comfortable out of the box.
However, they make a variety of mattresses and toppers to turn any of these options below into one of the best night’s sleep you can imagine. You may even replace your bed at home. We’ll highlight a few options to consider at the end of this article.
For now, let’s have a look below at our top cots for camping with a bad back.
Our favorite camping cot for bad backs is the ComfortSmart cot from Coleman. It offers excellent value for the money with a focus on comfort. It is a rather stylish cot with an attractive design. What we like most about this camping cot is that it’s large enough to support a person that is 6 ft. 6 inches tall.
And besides that, it comes with its own air mattress so you don’t necessarily need to purchase a separate one. Little luxuries like that give it some major brownie points.
For some reason, the description says it includes a side table. But I didn’t see any pictures with them nor any reviews mentioned them.
Other features that recommend it as the preeminent camping cot with mattress include its sturdy folding steel frame. It is made with rust-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials so that you can use it both indoors and outdoors.
Overall, here’s a summary of what we discovered while testing the Coleman ComfortSmart cot:
- It has a strong steel frame that offers additional back support
- It is extremely comfortable because of its covered foam mattress
- It is easy to unfold and set up
- It has a durable construction, and it supports up to 300 lbs.
- 300 lbs support isn’t the most sturdy on the list
2. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camping Cot for Adults
If sturdiness is an important feature, this one is hands down the cream of the crop. Boasting an incredible 600 lbs of support, it’s the top choice for big guys and grizzly bears alike.
It’s wider than a twin bed and convenient to set up with their unique pivot arm assembly. Throw a sleeping bag or air mattress on top and your back will be thanking you in the morning.
At 26 lbs, this isn’t a cot you would want to carry very far. But if comfort and sturdiness are important, this may be the best cot out there.
- Super easy to set up with the pivot arm
- Sturdy, supports up to 600 lbs!
- Comfortable enough for tall people as well
- A little tough to set up at first
- A little more bulky and heavy
- Not a great carrying bag
- A little more expensive than many in this list
Supporting up to 450 lbs, Getovin is on the stronger side of camping cots. With two layers of 1200D oxford, the canvas is the thickest on this list.
And at a price under $60, it is also the most affordable. That’s why we choose this one as the best buy on the list.
Folding up to 10” x 6” x 42”, it isn’t the smallest cot to store and pack. But at 14 lbs, it’s also not the heaviest.
- Heavy duty, supporting 450 lbs
- Thick canvas
- The cheapest on this list
- Slightly bulky to pack
Love camping gear?Here’s our list of top things to bring camping.
Another top pick for camping cots for people with bad backs is this tent cot from Kamp-Rite. We recommend it for people on a budget who don’t want to compromise on quality. It is an affordable cot designed with excellent materials that offer comfort and support. And besides this, it comes along an attached tent.
This product is designed with a heavy-duty powder-coated steel frame. It is extremely durable, meaning that you can look at it as a long-term investment. It supports a maximum weight of 400 lbs. We like the multi-function hinge design. It makes it better than most standard camping cots, as the design allows you to use it as a lounge chair, regular cot, or bench.
Even though it might be too bulky to carry around, we can say from our experience that the Kamp-Rite oversize tent cot is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a reliable camping cot for bad backs with an attached tent. Some other features we enjoyed include:
- It features heavy-duty construction for impressive durability
- It comes with a detachable tent
- It has a multi-functional hinge design with a focus on versatility
- It is user-friendly and easy to set up
- On the expensive end of the options
If it wasn’t for the price, we would have rated this one higher. But in this case you get what you pay for.
The quality, durability, and comfort are some of the best we have reviewed. If you’re struggling with a bad back, you can’t compromise on any of these. The included padding eliminates the need for an extra air mattress for some users.
Plus the cost will lighten your wallet, further reducing the strain.
It also has the capability to fold up into a chair….or a recliner. Actually a camping chaise lounge is a more apt description. Although some of the reviews didn’t like the screw locking system for the chaise.
- Very well built and sturdy
- One of the more comfortable ones in our research
- The extra padding may eliminate the need for an extra mattress
- Did we mention the price?
- The locking system could be improved when folded into a chaise lounge
This is one of the lightest camping cots on the list. But don’t let its weight fool you! The sturdy aluminum framing can hold up to 300 lbs.
It is simple to set up, easy to carry, and won’t take up a lot of room when packing for a camping trip.
The one caveat that we like to point out is that it’s shorter than the others. Being lower to the ground could be a challenge for those with severe back pain. Especially if your back problems are in the lower back.
- Extremely lightweight at 5 lbs
- Sturdily holds up to 300 lbs
- Easy to pack
- Lower to the ground may make it harder to get in and out of with a bad back
You may notice several Coleman camping cots on this list. Each of them offers something a little different than the others.
For the Pack-Away, it doesn’t come with the same air mattress as the ComfortSmart that makes the top of this list.
But since you can buy your own mattress, that may not be the most important feature. If that is the case, this one is the perfect choice for a good camping cot for bad backs.
It still holds up to 300 pounds, it’s easier to set up, and store because it lacks the air mattress. However, although it claims to only weigh 7 lbs, most people disagree. It seems to be much heavier than that, perhaps double or triple.
Reports show that even big guys up to 6’-6” can sleep comfortably on this camping cot.
And we seem to be a sucker for an included side table. There is nothing better than having all of the comforts of home. And since an entertainment center isn’t practical, we would settle for a place to keep bear spray and flashlights close at hand.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Included side table
- Capacity for 300 lbs and 6’-6” tall campers.
- No included padding or mattress
If you are looking for a more affordable option, the Alpcour camping cot may be your solution. After all, parting with your hard-earned money can cause more pain than your back problems.
What sets this one apart from others at the same price point is the sturdy build and reasonable weight. At only 13 lbs, it’s one of the lighter cots we have reviewed. Yet it can still hold up to 300 lbs.
Plus with a pillow and side pocket, it sets itself apart from the other low-cost options. We always say, “if we can’t have a nightstand, we’ll take a side pocket.”
Actually, we’ve never said that before. But hey, we probably will now that we know it’s an option.
Alpcour also sells a matching mattress pad if you want the full set.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Most affordable
- Side pocket and pillow
- No included mattress or padding
- Not the best pillow
At about the same price as the previous cot, the HITORHIKE gives the Alpcour a run for its money. That is, without taking all of yours.
It offers sturdy comfort for up to 330 pounds. The included pad is a nice touch, but honestly you will still need an extra air mattress or memory foam to put on top.
At only 13 lbs, it’s not too heavy to carry. And it sits high enough off of the ground to make it easy to get in and out of.
- Easy to get in and out of
- Not the most comfortable mattress topper
This brand specializes in camping materials and offers some of the industry-leading camping cots for bad backs. If you’re looking forward to a good sleeping surface when you are camping, this product might be a good choice for you.
The Byer of Maine EasyCot stands out as a top choice because of its comfortable sleeping platform. It is lightweight, but it can support up to 330 lbs.
We like that it is straightforward to set up, and it takes only 60 seconds to fully set up. It comes with sturdy welded steel legs to offer stability and support. This camping cot for bad backs is made with industry-leading materials to withstand frequent wear and tear.
This cot includes a 600-denier polyester fabric for extra support and a comfortable sleeping surface. Other features that we liked about this comfortable camping cot for bad backs include:
- It comes with an all-steel frame for extended durability
- It is easy to set up and fold
- It includes five reinforced panels for fabric strength
- It features rubberized feet for additional stability
- Heavy at over 20 lbs
- Carrying bag is a bit tight
For such an inexpensive cot, this one has plenty of space. At 30-1/2” wide and 83” long, it’s about the size of a half sheet of plywood. And slightly more comfortable.
And do you remember our new saying for side pockets? This one is like the cargo shorts of camping cots! Look at all of those pockets. With all of that organization, you may not need pockets in your pajamas anymore.
Besides the fashion and function, PORTAL is one of the cheaper models we review.
The downsides are that it is heavy, over 25 lbs. And it’s a pain to set up and pack away.
- Lots of pockets
- Extra long
- Difficult to set up
- Hard to fit in bag
12. Helinox Cot One
If you’re looking forward to buying a camping cot for bad backs that’s both versatile and lightweight, this might be the perfect match for you. The Helinox Portable Camping Cot is one of the best in its category. And we say this because of its high-quality, durable, and lightweight materials. Its design allows you to fold it with ease. This cot for bad backs is compact, and you can store it even in the tightest place.
The best part about this portable camping cot for bad backs is that it’s available in two sizes. This means you can choose a suitable product for your height and weight. It’s able to bear up to 300 pounds without sagging.
This is thanks to the internal bungee cord that allows it to expand and contract while keeping you in a comfortable sleeping position.
The cover of this cot is made with 600 weaves tear-resistant polyester. As such, you can use it outdoors no matter how harsh the weather is. Some of the other special features of this compact camping cot for bad backs include:
- Its standard height is 6.5 inches, but it can be raised to 15 inches with leg extensions (sold separately)
- It is designed with sturdy materials with aluminum alloy
- It comes with a unique lever locking system designed to hold 320 pounds
- It offers excellent surface tension and a comfortable night sleep
- The most expensive cot on this list; Only slightly cheaper than back surgery.
Weighing in at just under 5 pounds, KingCamp makes one of the lightest cots on this list. It also packs to a very small 14” x 5” x 5”.
They somehow managed to do that and still allow it to fold out to 75” x 25”, plenty of room for a full-sized adult.
Of course, this weight saving comes at a cost. Only about 5” off of the ground, this is perfect for backpacking, but wouldn’t be the best if you have a hard time getting up and down.
Also, the fabric is only 420D Polyester compared to others on this list at 600D. So a slightly thinner fabric reduces the max weight limit to 265 lbs.
Still, the ultimate choice for a lightweight, packable camping cot for your bad back.
- Easily packable
- Great for backpacking
- Low to the ground, not the best option if you have trouble getting up
- Lighter canvas reduces max weight to 265 lbs
Supporting up to 500 lbs, this is one of the strongest cots on the list. And with two choices in widths, 28” or 33”, there is a little extra room for bigger bodies or even two adults.
Either choice is under $100, making this one of the best bargains for such a sturdy full size camping cot.
Packing down to 41” x 9” x 7” makes it a little more bulky to store. But the extra heavy duty build quality may be worth it for those that suffer with back problems and need peace of mind that a sudden collapse won’t exacerbate the issue.
And weighing about 15 lbs isn’t super heavy, especially when compared to other heavy duty camping cots.
- Extra heavy duty – 500 lb max
- Extra wide
- Easy setup
- Not the smallest when packed down
Our top choice for the best ergonomic design for a camping cot for bad backs is the IKRAM cot. It is a popular choice for most people who look forward to an excellent night’s sleep while camping. We love its ergonomic folding design, as it makes it suitable for hiking, camping, or indoor uses.
This versatile camping cot for bad backs is made for comfortable sleeping. It offers impressive support and prevents back problems. The fabric of this cot is sewn on edge with U-loops, which prevents damage from frequent wear and tear. And the best part about it is that you can clean it with ease and rinse it with water when needed.
The IKRAM camping cot for bad backs is a top choice for all budgets. It comes with many special characteristics, including:
- It was designed with a heavy-duty steel frame with rust-free properties
- It supports up to 250 pounds
- It features a built-in pillow for optimal support for your head and neck
- It is compact and lightweight, but it offers plenty of sleeping space for tall people
At 600 lb max capacity, this is tied with the Teton Sports for the strongest camping cot for bad backs.
With an overall length of 75”, can comfortably support a person up to 6’-2” tall.
And, although it is a bit bulky when packed down it only weighs 15 lbs. Plus it comes in under $100 making it an ideal substitute for the Teton if weight or price is an issue.
The only drawback we can see is the width is 26-½”, making it slightly narrower than other 450+ lb capacity cots.
- Tied for the strongest cot on this list
- Inexpensive without sacrificing quality
- Not as wide as other heavy duty cots
When compared to other camping cots, the Coleman Trailhead II seems a little bare-bones.
However, it is the best selling camping cot on Amazon, and for good reason.
At the time of this writing, it is under $50 and is able to support a 6’ 2” 300 lb adult.
And if this was simply a list of camping cots, it would rank higher. But since this list is specifically camping cots for those with bad backs, there is nothing special about this cot to help alleviate pain.
That said, you can always add an extra air mattress or memory foam to any camping cot to make it more ideal for your specific issues.
The major complaint with this cot is the difficulty to set up.
- Sturdy enough for 1 person
- Nothing fancy
- Difficult to set up
18. Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot (lightest)
Just because you have a bad back doesn’t mean you can’t go backpacking. Weighing in at 2.6 lbs you won’t notice the weight on your back. But your back will appreciate the comfort of a camping cot after a day on the trail.
With two choices in sizes (24” x 72”) or (26” x 77”), even tall people will find one that fits comfortably.
Surprisingly it supports up to 325 lbs, so this little camping cot is no slouch.
And with ThermaCapture, less body heat is lost on those cold nights.
And with the ease of assembly, you can rest easy knowing how easy rest can be.
Obviously to save weight this is lower to the ground. Which may be difficult to get in and out of. But not nearly as hard as when sleeping on the ground.
- Ultralight weight
- Easy to set up
- ThermaCapture retains body heat
- 325 lb capacity
- Lower to the ground may be difficult to get in and out.
The second cot from Teton can handle an impressive 400 lbs. And with the same pivot arm, the setup is much easier than with other cots on the market.
The 600D canvas makes it a sturdy option. And they stand behind it with a lifetime warranty.
At 20 pounds, it is pretty heavy to carry. But not a deal-breaker when car camping.
- Heavy duty 400 lb capacity
- Lifetime warranty
- One of the heavier cots listed
Another 500 lb capacity cot, the CampMax is a budget friendly option for a heavy duty camping cot.
At 75” x 28” it is roomy enough for most campers. And at 15” height, not too difficult to get in and out of.
The 600D canvas has a PVC coating making it a durable fabric. And it is one of the easier cots to set up.
Its folded size is 41” x 9” x 7” and weighs 17 lbs. So it’s right in the middle in size and weight for storage and carrying.
- 500 lb capacity is a beefy option
- Heavy duty canvas
- Easy to assemble
- Needs a mattress or pad to be comfortable for a bad back
We had to include Sportneer as one more great example of a sturdy camping cot for a reasonable price.
It claims to support up to 450 lbs with its heavy duty support legs and 1200D canvas.
Plus, you know how we feel about side pockets! Sleep in comfort knowing all your junk is close at hand.
At the time of writing, this was only $75. Well underpriced for what you get.
- Heavy duty 450 lb capacity
- Thick 1200D canvas
- Storage pockets included!
- Just needs a mattress pad
Optional: The 5 Best Mattress Toppers for Camping Cots
You probably noticed that most of these camping cots do not come with any sort of padding. We listed them because of their other qualities like strength, weight, and functionality.
But as we mentioned at the outset, each of these can have an added mattress topper. Whether or not they already have padding, it really is a good idea to customize your camping cot to fit your bad back.
We briefly want to touch on the top 5 choices. They range from an air mattress style to soft memory foam.
Each has its pros and cons. And remember the good and bad may alter base upon the weather. In cold weather, you may want the extra insulation of the foam. In warmer weather, having less insulation may be better for you.
At any rate, here are our top 5 choices to take your camping cot to the next level:
1 TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad – Light Cushioning
First up is the Teton Sports camp pad. It’s made from open cell foam, which is similar to the egg crate material.
The benefit of open foam is that it is a soft layer of insulation that compresses easily for storage.
The downside of that compression can be felt when laying on it. So, if you don’t need a ton of cushion, this is the best choice for your camping cot.
- Lightweight and easily rolls up
- Not very thick padding
Next up is this self inflating mattress topper. At 4” thick, this one is a mountain of cushioning. And the self-inflating aspect adds a layer of warmth by trapping warm air for those cold nights. With an R-value of 9.5, this makes for a great cold weather camping pad.
Your comfort level can be dialed in a little more precisely by adjusting the amount of air.
The only drawback are for those that like to sleep a little cooler at night. The extra insulation will keep you warm at night, especially in the summer.
- Extremely warm
- Extra soft comfort
- Extremely warm may not be great in hot weather
In case you hadn’t noticed, memory foam is incredibly comfortable. So why not take it camping?
Especially if you have a bad back, this is the most luxurious option on the list.
It rolls up conveniently and comes with its own compression straps for easy packing.
However, at 17 lbs this is one of the heaviest options. You may want to consider a bigger truck if you decide to go with this and the 26 lb Teton cot mentioned above.
- Extremely soft
- Ready to sleep on without inflating
Another option would be the traditional mattress topper for a camping cot.
Favorland has to be one of the lamest names of all of the products we have reviewed. But its a fairly highly rated option, especially for the price.
The corners are designed to lock into a cot and the center strap helps to hold it in place.
And only weighing 3 lbs, not a bad option all things considered.
It is not as soft as the memory foam, nor as hard as the closed cell foam. This may be the Goldilocks of camping pads for camping cots for bad backs.
- Locks onto the cot
- Not as soft as the memory foam
5. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress
We had to include an ultralight option for our backpacking enthusiasts. After all, if you didn’t have back problems before hauling a 30 lb pack up 10,000 feet of boulders, you will by the time you get to camp.
The great thing about closed cell foam (compared to open cell in the above examples) is that it doesn’t compress as much, while still adding a bit of comfort to your camping cot.
And at less than a pound, you certainly won’t notice the weight. But you will feel the difference at night.
That said, this one folds like a sheet rather than rolls like self-inflating options. It makes is a little more bulky when packing. But definitely worth the hassle.
- Extremely lightweight
- Not the most padding on this list
- Doesn’t roll up, so a little harder to pack
The takeaway – Which is the best camping cot for bad backs?
After all of the reviews, which one is the best for you?
It really comes down to your needs. We have covered the most sturdy camping cots for those that need a little more support.
If that isn’t your top priority, then you can choose the lightest weight, the most padding, the most affordable.
And you can customize them to your comfort level with optional mattress toppers we listed here.
The point is, that you can still enjoy camping even with a bad back. Thanks to these camping cots for bad backs.
So, if you love spending time outdoors but you have a back problem, we hope the camping cots for bad backs listed above can help you. All are designed to offer optimal support and comfort so that your back problems are the last thing you think about on your next epic camping trip.
How Else Can You Camp Better?
However you like to enjoy camping, we have the resources to help you.
Or if you want to know more skills to take your camping to the next level. Like making the best coffee around camp.
And of course, we have buying guides like this where we boil down all of the ridiculous amount of research into, well a ridiculously long article that no one ever reads the last sentence of anyway. (comment if you did read this far. I will apologize personally.)How to Start an Outdoor Travel Blog & the Pitfalls to Avoid