Ask the Gear Guy

Cot or bedroll?

Q. On camp-outs I see some boys with cots and others with bedrolls. Which should I use?
– Elijah the Bed-less, Comstock, Texas

A. Personally, I prefer a bedroll. Cots are definitely comfy and keep you off the ground, which in theory should make you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. But here are some of the downsides of a cot: They can be bulky, take more time to set up, can malfunction or break (leaving you with no bed), and are way more expensive than a basic bedroll. And if you plan on doing some backpacking, it makes sense for you to start getting used to sleeping on the ground in your tent.

Comments about “Cot or bedroll?”

  1. jake121 says:

    Cot= warm weather/ base camp.
    Bedroll= warm and cold weather/ base camp and backpacking.
    WINNER= Bedroll, more versatile and almost certainly more easy on your wallet!

  2. Pack 190 says:

    I would use cott because it wil keep you off the ground in the winter

  3. Mr Cook says:

    If you are cold weather camping, a closed-cell foam bed roll is the ONLY way to go. A cot will allow cold air to circulate under you all night. The ground temperature will be warmer than the air for most nights.

  4. Dann says:

    Being a backpacker, I always use a pad on the ground with my bag on top. Realizing that air cannot get under the pad to chill you if the weather turns colder. This way you stay warm and the ground and pad are much more stable than the cot.

  5. campingRus says:

    Getting to be an old guy, I will use a cot if we are tailgate camping or at a council summer camp. If we are hiking in to some location, definitely a bedroll. The boys, being lighter weight, should use a cot only at summer camp. Noisy cot? Get a different one, my Roll-a-cot is quiet, comfy, and light weight.

  6. Chad 101 says:

    Bedroll I would go with bed roll they are cheaper and simple. The simpler the better.

  7. Awesomeness says:

    I use an air mattress with a sleeping bag, so that is what I would suggest.

  8. llama man says:


  9. bryce patties says:

    depends on the length of camping trip. when i went long term camping (week long) i took a cot. It is definitely worth it. a weekend or backpacking trip, i would suggest a bedroll. it also depends on how you are getting to your campsite. it’s just a balance of how much comfort you want, and what you can and/or want to carry.

  10. football says:

    i would go with cot it is softer and feels like a bed

  11. Gshiro101 says:

    Bed rolls because cots break. Cots are very bulky while you can take bedrolls almost

  12. crsdhman says:

    bedroll its easy to pack and unpack

  13. boyscout21 says:

    i would use a bedroll or a one preson air mattress

  14. basketball hero says:


  15. future marine says:

    I would like to know the answer too. My dad says the cot is noisy. Anyone else have an opinion?

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