This photo shows the top of the Cabela's 3" Cot Pad that the author tested during the review process.

Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad Review

- Field-tested -

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The Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad is exactly what you expect from its name: It’s a sleeping pad for your camping cot that’s 3-inches thick.

The question you might be wondering is if the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad is worth buying? Which really means, is it comfortable?

The Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad has a few key benefits and one drawback. Let’s take a closer look:

Cabela’s Cot Pad Review

I spent four nights in a row on the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad, sleeping on a classic-style cot, and I have to say, it was a very comfortable experience. I’ve tested a lot of air mattresses and air beds, and when you pair a quality camping cot with a cushy foam pad, the result is hard to beat.

This photo shows the Cabela's 3" Cot Pad unrolled on top of a camping cot.
Paired with a camping cot, the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad is super comfortable.

The Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad uses a dual-density 3-inch thick foam. It compresses easily and doesn’t provide much support on its own. However, when you use it with a cot that blends support with a bit of give — like the best camping cots deliver — the cushion feels surprisingly plush.

If I have a choice between sleeping on a cot with the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad or using an air mattress, I’ll choose the Cabela’s Cot Pad every time.

Of course, everyone sleeps a bit differently and not everyone will appreciate sleeping outside while camping on a cot. I do. For reference, I’m a relatively big guy, about 6’3″ and 220 pounds. It seems as if I shift positions often in my sleep, ranging from my back, side and stomach — and I prefer a relatively taught cot surface.


A Simple, Quiet Design

The Cabela’s Cot Pad is a simple product. It’s basically a sheet of foam padding with a breathable polyester/cotton blend cover on it. The cover has a zip opening that will let you remove the pad to wash the cover — or to dry the pad if it somehow gets wet while camping. It has small bungie toggle straps that let you attach it to your cot to keep it from sliding around.

One of the biggest benefits to the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad is that it’s very quiet. The foam absorbs and dampens some of the squeaks that might come from your cot or cot fabric. If you move in your sleep a lot, the pad itself is also quiet. Some air mattresses, on the other hand, can be loud when you move around in comparison.

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Two Sizes to Fit Your Cot

Cabela’s offers the cot pad in two sizes, small and large. For best results, choose the size that best fits your cot. (For most cots, if it’s a bit small or a bit big, it really won’t matter much in terms of comfort.)

Small: 73″ x 24″ x 3″
Large: 84″ x 36″ x 3″

Biggest Drawback

This photo shows the Cabela's 3" Cot Pad rolled up on a camping cot.
The bottom of the pad has built-in compression straps to hold it together when you roll it up. They work great and include a carry handle.

The biggest drawback to the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad is its relatively large packed size. A good inflatable mattress pad packs down very small compared to the Cabela’s Cot Pads. For this reason, if you don’t have enough room for camping gear, you might be better off choosing a small, lightweight inflatable air mattress to top your cot instead.

Of course, I have to say this, too: Cots themselves are quite bulky. When I’m willing to take a cot, I’m usually willing and able to take a cot pad, too.

Still, if packability is a critical decision factor and you want to add comfort to your cot, consider a quality air pad: The price-to-value ratio of the Klymit Static V2 is hard to beat while the Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro offers a cushy compromise that is also very comfortable on cots (full Trail Pro review on the way soon).

What is the packed size of the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad?

Small: Rolled size is 25.2″ x 13.8″ x 15″
Large: Rolled size is 37″ x 14.6″ x 18.1″


Competitive Options & Alternatives

There are many pads available today that you can add to a camping cot to create additional cushion and warmth. For instance, most any correctly sized inflatable air sleeping pad can top a cot. However, if you’re considering the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad, you might also check out these competitive cot pad options:

TETON Sports Universal Camp Pad — The TETON Spots Adventurer Camp Pad is the most comparable competitive option to the Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad. It has a very similar design but it is only 2″ thick. You can choose from three different size options.

Willpo Memory Foam Camping Mattress — The biggest benefit of memory foam is that it tends to be more comfortable than traditional foam pads. The biggest drawback of the Willpro Memory Foam Camping Mattress is the increase rolled size and weight.

Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro Sleeping Pad — The self-inflating Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro blends the quiet and insulating benefits of foam with an inflatable design that lets you choose the level of cushion based on air pressure. You can choose the size that fits your cot best, and when it’s time to leave the cot at home, the Trail Pro is super comfortable when camping on the ground, too.

The Bottom Line

The Cabela’s 3″ Cot Pad delivers a big boost in comfort to camping cots. It’s quiet, cushy, and does its job well. Highly recommended.

Get the Gear:

Cabela's 3" Cot Pad
Adds cushy comfort to cots
Very quiet
Cloth shell has sewn-in roll-up compression straps
Rolled travel/storage size is a bit bulky (but so are cots!)

Looking for a great camping cot? 

Not sure which camping cot is best for you? Check out our buyer’s guide to the 25 best camping cots for 2022!


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