Which camping bunk bed is best?
Camping is a great way for friends and family to gather in the great outdoors for a little rest and relaxation. But sleeping accommodations can get tricky in a large group. If you need a space-saving solution, consider camping bunk beds. These portable, stackable cots can provide additional space in the tent or cabin when you need it and additional seating during the day.
Adults need a higher weight limit and a strong, durable frame. The sturdy Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk has both.
What to know before you buy a camping bunk bed
As with camping cots, camping bunk beds have a weight limit. Unlike camping cots, exceeding that limit could result in one bed collapsing onto the other in the middle of the night. Avoid this disaster by staying well within the limit and placing the heavier camper in the bottom bunk.
For adults, a weight limit of 300 pounds per cot is the minimum, but kids require less — just 200 pounds is good.
The materials you choose depend on the weather you camp in and how often you sleep outside.
- Steel: This is the best choice in terms of durability. It is also often the most expensive, and it can be heavy.
- Plastic: Plastic camping bunk beds are lightweight and easy to assemble. However, they have a lower weight limit and aren’t as strong.
- Wood: Less common than other materials, wood is a better option for glamping than roughing it in the backcountry.
In the offseason, you’ll need a place to keep your camping bunk bed. Although most fold up or disassemble easily, they do take up space no matter where you store them. If this is a consideration, make sure the one you select fits in your storage space.
What to look for in a quality camping bunk bed
Make sure steel camping cots are powder-coated. This reduces the chances of rust and keeps your bunk beds looking great long-term. Wood cots should be sealed to protect against moisture and decay.
Organizers and pockets
Things can get pretty rowdy in the tent, so it’s good to have a place to store important things. Pockets or side organizers built right into your camping bunk beds let you stow things such as keys, phone and wallet for easy access.
Make packing for your camping trip easier by choosing bunk beds that come in two separate carrying cases. This also gives you the option of taking one on solo camping trips when a bunk bed isn’t necessary.
How much you can expect to spend on a camping bunk bed
The price varies depending on the materials used and whether it’s meant for children or adults. Expect to spend $230-$400.
Camping bunk bed FAQ
Do camping bunk beds need a mattress?
A. Camping bunk beds can be slept on without an extra mattress. Be sure to bring plenty of blankets, sleeping bags and your favorite pillow for the most comfortable sleep. If you prefer something between you and your bunk bed, a twin-sized sleeping pad or air mattress fits on most camping cots.
Are camping bunk beds suitable for adults?
A. Adults may have put their days of bunk bed sleeping behind them, but when it comes to camping, a bunk bed is a great option. These are perfect when you want to expand the sleeping capacity of your tent without additional floor space.
Camping bunk beds for adults are comfortable and can be easier to sleep on than an air mattress. Between leaky valves and punctures from below, air mattresses on the ground are subject to all sorts of middle-of-the-night shenanigans. With a camping bunk bed, there’s no danger of waking up on the cold, hard ground.
For the best chance of success:
- Make sure the bed can accommodate your weight.
- Add a warm layer underneath you.
- Place the larger adult in the bottom bunk.
What’s the best camping bunk bed to buy?
Top camping bunk bed
What you need to know: This is the best option for adults.
What you’ll love: Each level of this bunk bed can hold up to 500 pounds. The heavy steel frame is durable and rustproof. It’s easy to set up and can be used as a bench during the day. It requires no special tools to assemble and is lightweight. Each level comes with its own carrying bag, and it comes in three colors.
What you should consider: These are big and may not fit in your tent — check the tent’s dimensions carefully.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top camping bunk bed for the money
What you need to know: This versatile bunk bed can be converted into a bench or used as two separate cots.
What you’ll love: Each steel frame holds 200 pounds. The strong polyester sleeping deck is comfortable, and the frame is made of steel and powder coated for better resistance to rust. It comes in several colors. No tools are required for assembly, and each comes in its own carrying bag.
What you should consider: There is very little headroom between cots, so taller children may not like these.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Taller campers have more room to stretch out on this extra-large camping bunk bed.
What you’ll love: This moves from a cot to a bunk bed using two included stacking adapters. The steel frame is powder-coated, and each bunk holds 500 pounds. It has two zippered organizing sleeves, one of them longer to accommodate fishing gear or a rifle. It comes in four colors.
What you should consider: This weighs 74 pounds and can be difficult to transport.
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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