Camping Bunk Beds: Why You Should Get One

Camping Bunk Beds

When preparing for a camping trip, everyone’s first instinct is to pack as lightly as possible. This rule applies to everything–gear, food, even clothing. Following this logic, it is normal for us to stay away from anything bulky, like camping bunk beds, for example. Similar to the double-deckers that we used to love as kids (who didn’t enjoy wrestling with their siblings to get the top bunk bed?) these beds are designed to have layered compartments for sleeping. But while a bit bulky in design, this camping gear actually has its strengths, given that you choose the best one for your camping needs. We list the advantages that might make you change your mind about them below:

Camping bunk beds

The Benefits of Portable Bunk Beds
for Camping

1. Space

Camping bunk beds

Camping bunk cots may look bulky thanks to the amount of vertical space they eat up, but they’re actually quite the space-saving equipment since they can accommodate two sleepers (more depending on their size) while only taking limited floor space. You do need to consider the height of your tent when buying camp bunks, but they are perfect if you want to maximize the square meters of your tent for other things.

2. Comfort and Durability

Of course you always have the option of going for other portable sleeping surfaces like air beds or sleeping bags, but if you want to get the best comfort, camping bunk beds can give you almost the same level of sleeping experience as you have at home. Since you’re elevated from the floor, you don’t have to worry too much about finding the perfect sleeping ground or about getting damp in the event that it rains. Moreover, compared to air beds that can be punctured by a stray rock or other sharp objects on the ground, camp bunks are considerably more durable. Their frames and fabrics definitely have a longer life, though you need to find models that use lightweight materials as much as possible.

3. Storage

Another advantage of having a camping bunk bed is storage space. Besides providing more floor space because of their design, most models of camping bunk cots often come with storage containers where you can keep some of your other gear. The following models you’ll find in the list below tick off this feature.

The Top Three Best Camping Bunk Beds

1. Disc-O-Bed Large with Organizers

Camping bunk beds

When it comes to camping bunk beds, the Disc-O-Bed brand is definitely the current king in the market. Its products are known for their durability and versatility, two characteristics that you can definitely see on this model. What we like about this camp bunk is that you can use it three different ways: as a double cot, a single cot, and even as a sitting bench. If you’re concerned about portability, this one promises easy transport thanks to its no-tool assembly design that is conveniently packed in two canvas bags.

Durability-wise, its frames are made with powder-coated and anti-rust steel that can survive outside elements. It also comes with rounded edges that won’t damage your tent’s floor and provide extra stability. Its sleeping deck, meanwhile, is made of high-grade polyester that offers extra contoured comfort. The lack of middle brace is also great for mobility.

This camping bunk bed can accommodate up to 500 lbs of weight. It also has side organizers that can be used to stow away small things. You can get your own at Amazon.com through this link. 

Pros: 

  • This model is easy to assemble and carry on your camping trips.
  • It is made with durable materials that can withstand outdoor elements.
  • It is one of the camping bunk cots in the market that provides a comfortable sleeping experience.
  • Its lack of middle bar provides a more comfortable movement to the user.
  • It can also be used as a single cot or a chair.
  • This camp bunk comes with extra storage pockets.

Cons:

  • It is a bit on the heavy side.
  • Some reviews say that it isn’t as stable when used as a chair.

2. Disc-O-Bed X-Large with Organizers and Leg Extension

When it comes to design, this extra large camping bunk bed has it all. It has a patented disc that lets you set it up easily and a modular disc system that ensures all its parts fit perfectly. Disassembling it is also easy, so it is quite effortless to store on its carrying bag.

Camping bunk

In terms of stability, it has a steel rail system that lets you adjust it comfortably in whatever type of ground you decide to camp on. It shares a lot of similarities with the first model on this list like its lack of a middle bar which adds comfort when you sleep. Its mattress system also provides a natural, contour-following system so you can easily move around. When it comes to storage, you can also keep more of your gear on its side pockets and organizers which range from zippered to open ones.

Probably the biggest strength of this one besides its roomier space, however, is its extendable legs. Perfect for those who want more space in between their bunk beds, its leg extensions allow an extra 7-inch height when adjusted. Want to just chill for the day? You can also use it as a bench if you don’t feel like napping. Get yours at Amazon.com by clicking this link.

Pros: 

  • This model is perfect for those who want more space on their camping bunk cots with its extra vertical space provided by its extendable legs.
  • It has more side pockets for gear storage.
  • The fabric used for its sleeping surface is firm but has a contour-following system, allowing for better sleep.

Cons:

  • Compared to the other models from Disc-O-Bed, some reviews say that the canvas used as its sleeping fabric can easily depress.
  • It is a bit heavier thanks to its extra large size.

3. Disc-O-Bed Youth Kid-O-Bunk with Organizers

Camping bunk beds

By this time, you probably have noticed how superior the Disc-O-Bed brand is. This third model from the same brand is perfect for camping trips with kids who, let’s admit it, may be a little bit pickier than us when it comes to sleeping conditions. Made with high-grade polyester fabric and anti-rust powder-coated steel, this unit can be used even without an extra mattress. It can be used as a single bunk bed or as a sitting bench and can even be easily assembled without tools. Its storage pockets can also be used for storing smaller camping gear. This bunk bed can accommodate up to 200 lbs. Read more about it through this Amazon.com link.

Pros: 

  • This camp bunk provides a comfortable sleeping experience with its high-grade polyester fabric.
  • It is so easy to set up, even one person can put it up alone.
  • It is one of the most durable and portable bunk beds in the market.
  • This unit also comes with storage pockets similar to the other Disc-O-Bed models mentioned on this list.

Cons:

  • It has a maximum weight capacity of 200 lbs which can be limiting for users with bigger builds.
  • Taller kids may not fit in the bed.
  • Since this is only designed for kids, you may have to consider buying a separate camping bunk bed for you, which will take extra space in your tent.

How to Choose the Best Camping Bunk

Camping bunk beds are more heavy than other sleeping options when camping, so they are admittedly not at all convenient for those who are used to bringing lighter loads. If you’re willing to make a little sacrifice, however, they can also be one of the best things you can bring during your adventure. In the event that you’re ready to sign up for that, the least you can do is to make sure you purchase the best one. Here, we list the factors to be considered when choosing the best portable bunk beds.

1. Size and Weight Capacity

The biggest selling point of camping bunk beds is comfort, so obviously, you should look for something that can easily accommodate you. You can actually go for the extra large ones and try to squeeze in more than two in a unit, but do note of the weight capacity that it can accommodate. If you’re buying one for the kids, it’s also important to go for the biggest one to allow enough space for height changes.

2. Comfort level

Camping bunk beds

Not all camping bunk cots are designed to provide maximum comfort, something that you can easily point out by their design. The fabric of the sleeping surface plays a very important role here. It’s best to go for breathable fabrics that won’t be suffocating during hotter days and those that will repel water during damp ones. The presence of a middle bar should also be noted. Like the models listed here, those without one are better for the back because it means you can lie on the cot even without putting an extra mattress to cover the bar.

3. Weight

One of the downsides of camp bunks is their weight, and while you can’t entirely go lightweight on them, there are certain models that can still be friendly to your camping luggage. Take note of the materials before going to buy something. Steel ones are great because they are durable but can be a little bit heavy. However, you can cut down on their weight by going for those that don’t have unnecessary frills and parts. Aluminum is also a good choice if you’re looking for something more lightweight, but do make sure that it is treated to resist rust and other elements that can make it corrode.

4. Versatility

If you’re already committed to bring the extra weight, the best thing you can do is to make the most out of it. Like the models in this list, go for those that you can use for other purposes like as a bench or even a single bunk bed. Some camp bunks can also be utilized for indoor use, in this case, go for those that are durable enough and won’t easily wear down when constantly used.

5. Storage

One of the perks of camping bunk cots is the extra storage they provide. There are models that only come with pockets, while there are others that have full cabinets attached to them. A variety of storage containers is great. Basically, an ideal one should have a variation of open and zippered pockets. Waterproof compartments where you can store more sensitive gear is also ideal.

6. Set-up

Camping beds can look a bit complicated to assemble, but there are others specially made to be clip and go. The last thing you want during your trip is to deal with screws and bars inside your tent, so it is best to choose those that you won’t have to build and take apart. The three models mentioned on this list are good examples of camp bunks that you can easily build and pack away.

7. Portability

Other than the issue of weight, how easy you can carry your camping bunk bed should also be a consideration. There are some models that don’t come in their own bag, which can be a hassle to pack. Types like this also makes you more prone to losing some parts since you can easily misplace a screw when you put them away.

There’s usually a lot of debate when it comes to camping bunk beds. Some true blue outdoor enthusiasts think that they are a waste of space and energy, but it cannot be argued that they do have their own perks. For those who are still torn about their weight, maybe you can try bringing them on short haul trips first to try and appreciate their comforts. If you’re alright with the extra baggage, however, a camping bunk bed may be the perfect addition to your camping essentials for the comfort, extra storage space, and more floor area they offer.

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