Your next camping adventure is booked in and the Family are counting down the days til departure. But there’s one critical question that needs to be answered first. What are we going to sleep on!. Which is best for us: A Camping air mattress vs cot pro’s and cons needs to be evaluated.
In order to make a justified decision, you have to ask yourself ‘what are your needs’ . Because there is no real way to say a camping cot is better or a air mattress is better without knowing what you wanting from a bed.
For myself, when it comes to camping, I will go for a cot and air mattress combination when possible. Simply because the bed is raised off the ground which keeps the body heat in the mattress better during colder months and the shear amount of extra storage space available underneath the cot is a great addition for a large family.
The other main advantage to owning a cot air mattress combo is that the air mattress can be used separately if desired. Or if the air mattress springs a leak while your out in the forest without a hole repair kit. Which is probably the biggest draw card to a camping cot and air mattress duo. But what about if you simply want to buy either a cot or a air mattress, which one should you choose?. Well let’s do a break down of the pro’s and con’s and compare the 2 popular camping beds.
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Camping Cots Versus Air Mattresses Comparison
What Is More Comfortable
Although both the cot and the air mattress can be quite comfortable, the recent advancement in air mattress technology has made it a clear winner when it comes to comfort. With air coil systems that act as the support the airbed provides, you are able to adjust comfort levels to exactly how you like it. The air coils are also more advanced than the mattresses from many years ago. They are vertical coils compared to the old horizontal channels which had a tendency to bubble in the middle and war out of shape. The amount of outer edge support is also more beneficial from a air coil mattress.
Price: Value For Money
What is better value for money, the humble air mattress or the camping cot?. Well in all honesty, it will come down to how often you use go camping. As we all know, an air mattress is not puncture proof. Most quality air mattresses come with puncture repair kits, but there will come a time when the air mattress may simply need to be replaced. While an air mattress is more comfortable, a cot should give you more miles for your money. As for up front initial costs, you can get both cheap and expensive models of either the cot or airbed. So choose one that is within you budget and be sure to read the reviews.
Ease Of Use
Comparing the ease of use as in getting in and out of either a air mattress or camping cot comes down to 1 differential factor. Whether or not the air mattress is a double height raised bed. Some double high air mattresses can be as high as 21 inches from ground to top of bed. Which is the ideal height for getting in and out of bed, especially for the Elderly and people with bad backs. A single layer mattress is too low to the ground and can cause discomfort on the back and knees. A cot is obviously raised above the ground and can vary in height.
Whats Easier To Set Up: Airbed Or Cot?
Both have advantages and disadvantages in the department. For uneven ground a mattress can mold in shape to the ground with body weight, but a cot generally needs to be on a dead flat surface to be sturdy. On the initial set up, a cot can be a little bit more trickier than a air mattress. Most times it’s just a matter of plugging in the pump and turning on and you will have air mattress ready to sleep on in minutes.
What about if you plan on taking a solo camping trip or need something that provides both a sleeping surface, a sheltered place to sleep while still being ultra portable. In this case, a tent cot is the best solution. These are you typical camping cots (Some are oversized for more room) but with a built in tent that extends upwards from the cot. These are great little kits for quick getaways and when you simply want your own space away from fellow campers.
So Should You Buy A Cot Or A Air Mattress For Camping?
As you can tell, there are many advantages to either a cot or air mattress and it will vary greatly depending on the individuals preference. As for my personal preference, I can’t go past the Coleman Airbed Cot combination. It’s a huge bed which can be used as a cot or as a air mattress on a bed frame. So it’s the best of both worlds with the reassurance of a reliable camping cot.
If a cot is something you are leaning towards, perhaps you should go through our extensive guide to the best cots for camping in 2017. This guide will detail what and why different cots are used for a particular scenario.