Skip to Content

Top Picks for the Best Dog Camping Beds

Top Picks for the Best Dog Camping Beds

If you travel, camp, or backpack with your dog often, a lightweight, portable dog camping beds is an essential piece of gear for your adventure dog.

There are a variety of travel dogs beds available of varying weights and capabilities. I’ve used a ton of different styles over the years of camping with my dog and share my top picks.

Best Dog Camping Beds: Top Picks Quick Look

Want a quick overview of my top picks for various activities? Look no further. To learn more about each bed, plus other options, keep reading for more details.

Best Dog Camping Bed for Car CampingThe Loft Wander Bed by Kurgo

Best Elevated Dog Cot for Camping and TravelThe Dog Cot by Backcountry x Petco

Best Dog Camping Bed for BackpackingThe Highlands Dog Pad by Ruffwear

Best Sleeping Bag for DogsHighlands Dog Sleeping Bag by Ruffwear

Best Dog Camping Bed for Cold WeatherThe Doggy Bag by Whyld River

What to Look for in a Dog Camping Bed

The best dog camping beds are waterproof, lightweight, compact, fold easily, and keep your dog warm and comfortable. Some are better suited for backpacking, while others are better for travel. Check out our picks below.

Size – You want to make sure that the bed you get for your dog can fully accommodate their size, whether they are curled up in a ball, or laying flat on their side or stomach. Measure your dog’s full length and compare to size charts for accurate sizing.

Packability – Depending on the type of camping you’ll be doing, packability makes a difference in terms of space and weight. Even if you’re car camping and can splurge on space, you still want something that can pack down into a travel-friendly size.

For backpacking, look for a dog bed that is lightweight, yet warm, that either your dog can carry on top of their pack or that you can fit into your own pack.

Ease of Cleaning – A dog camping bed is going to be tossed on top of the dirt and get wet. You’re going to want something that’s easy to clean. Look for a bed that is machine washable or easy to wipe down.

Durability – As mentioned above, dog camping beds are going to get dirty and be exposed to the elements more so than a regular dog bed. A durable bed will last longer and withstand the wear and tear from the outdoors.

Warmth – In order to keep your dog warm, select a bed that will do the job. Know your dog’s tendency to get cold to help make a decision. Dogs with shorter coats tend to feel colder more easily than those with longer coats. If you find that your dog is still cold, even with a warm bed, you can always layer on a dog jacket for added warmth.

The Best Dog Camping Beds for Various Overnight Adventures

Whether it’s your first time camping with your dog or you’ve only gone a handful of times and are slowly adding to your gear collection choosing a quality dog bed to meet your needs can be overwhelming, as there are quite a lot of options available on to the market.

I’ve camped with my dogs for well over a decade and have tried out a lot of dog beds in that time. I’ve put together a list of my top picks, indicating which uses they’re best for, and why I like each pick.

Ruffwear Highlands Bed Sleeping Bag – Best Dog Sleeping Bag

The Highlands Sleeping Bag is a lightweight synthetic sleeping bag that comes with a compression sack in order to pack into a small size for easy portability. To save on weight, Ruffwear used a half-length zipper that still allows dogs to have space if they want it.

A neck baffle keeps out cold drafts and helps retain body heat. For extra insulation, the Highlands Dog Pad slips into the integrated pad sleeve.

Available sizes:
Medium, Large

Features:
Machine washable
Compressible
Water resistant shell
Add-on insulation

Best for:
Backpacking
Car Camping
Patio outings


Ruffwear Highlands Dog Pad – Best Dog Camping Bed for Backpacking

The Highlands Sleeping Pad is a a super lightweight backpacking dog bed made from closed-cell foam core sleeping pad with an accordion-fold design for easy portability. Folded, the bed can either attach to the top of your dog’s pack or fit inside your own backpack.

The pad fits into the integrated sleeve of the Highlands Sleeping Bag and the Highlands Bed to give your dog extra padding and warmth on cooler nights.

Available sizes:
Medium, Large

Features:
Hand wash only
Beds fits into the Highlands Sleeping Bag
Water resistant
Quick-drying fabrics

Best for:
Backpacking
Car Camping
Patio outings


Backcountry x Petco The Dog Cot – Best Elevated Cot for Camping with Dogs

When Backcountry and Petco partnered together for their outdoor dog gear collaboration, I spied The Dog Cot in photos, but didn’t see available on either site. I had faith that if it was in photos, then it must be coming soon.

Sure enough, about a month after launch, I finally saw it on Backcountry and put in an order right away. This is the dog cot I’ve been waiting for. It folds in half into a compact size and is super lightweight, with handles for easy transport.

The mesh fabric allows for maximum breathability and also drains water from wet dogs. With The Dog Cot, it means that I can keep a dog bed specifically for my tent that stays clean, and then use the cot when we’re hanging out at camp. Since it’s elevated, it means that dogs will also remain less dirty.

I also love that I can take this with me when I go out of town or travel, and have a comfortable spot for Sitka to practice place when we’re not home.

Available Sizes:
Small/Medium, Large/X-Large

Features:
Stain and tear-resistant fabric
Foldable aluminum frame
1% of purchase goes to Mutual Rescue
Lirghtweight

Best for:
Car camping
Travel

Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad

Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad – Great All-Around Dog Camping Bed

The Mt. Bachelor Pad is one of my favorite go-anywhere dog camping beds. It’s a nice size to carry around to give your dog a place to lie during happy hour, a cozy spot in the car on road trips, and is durable enough to bring camping.

It stores easily by folding in half, rolling and securing shut with an integrated snap. The base layer is made from a non-slip waterproof material that keeps it dry and warm. As someone always looking for eco-friendly dog gear, I love that the polyfill is made from recycled materials.

Despite the thin profile, the bed still provides plenty of cushion for comfort. The microsuede material used for the bed is soft, easy to clean, and durable for all kinds of adventures.

Available Sizes:
Medium, Large

Features:
Machine washable
500g recycled polyfill
Waterproof
Non-slip base
Compact

Best for:
Everyday use
Car camping
Vanlife
Travel


Kurgo Wander Loft Bed

Kurgo Wander Loft Bed

I used a Kurgo Wander Loft Bed during my two-year bicycle tour and it proved its durability and comfort over prolonged use. This bed is so plush, that I often scooch my dog over so I have somewhere to sit during picnic lunches.

This bed is a go-anywhere travel dog bed. It folds down into a compact size in seconds and the handle makes it comfortable to carry around. 

The ripstop material keeps the bed super clean and hair and dirt easily fly off with a couple of shakes. There is a zippered corner pocket to store small items, like a portable water bowl or light for night time, though I’ve never used it for anything.

You can read my full review of the bed here

Available Sizes:
Medium, Large

Features:
Waterproof bottom
Water resistant material for bed
Ripstop nylon
140g polytech fill
Machine washable

Best for:
Car camping
Vanlife
Travel
Everyday use


Whyld River Doggy Bag

Designed as the ultimate adventure dog bed, the Whyld River Doggy Bag is very thoughtfully designed. I love this bag for backpacking and camping trips in cooler weather.

It packs into compact size in its stuff sack and is super portable. 

The bag comes with a detachable top and bottom bed, which can be used alone or together. Toggles keep the top and bottom together when your dog is curled up inside and the top can fold back to allow your pup to stay warm without being fully under cover.

A pad sleeve along the bottom accommodates a sleeping pad up to 20” wide and 1” thick. The bed also features a draft sleeve to keep your pup warm, even in windy conditions and acts as a bolster when used alone as a travel bed.

With a temperature rating of 30°F, the Doggy Bag is great for shoulder season or mountain camping trips and will keep your dog plenty warm.

Available Sizes:
X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

Features:
Durable ripstop nylon
Designed for canine sleeping positions
DWR treatment
Reflective Logos
Machine washable

Best for:
Backpacking
Car camping
Travel
Vanlife


Photo courtesy of You Did What with Your Wiener

Carlson Products Portable Cot – Great Cot for Very Small or Very Large Dogs

Carlson portable pet beds are easy to set up and store away. The included carrying case makes portability a breeze, and even the large size can fit into a standard-sized suitcase for traveling. The cots fold up in a similar way to camping chairs. A huge benefit is that they are super affordable.

They unfortunately don’t come in a medium size. The small is great for smaller dogs, 25lbs and under or so, and the large is great for very large dogs like labs, golden retrievers, and huskies.

Sitka has lay on a friend’s small cot during a camping trip and he had a hard time fitting his whole body on. Of course, he could fit on the large, but I don’t want something so huge. If you have a dog that is either quite small or very large, then this could be a great option!

Available Sizes:
Small, Large

Features:
Sets up and folds down in seconds
Waterproof nylon
Sturdy metal frame
Cleans easily with a damp cloth
90-day warranty

Best for:
Car camping
Travel
Backyard use

What is your go-to portable dog bed for camping or travel?

What features do you look for in a dog camping bed?

Amy

Sunday 6th of December 2020

I am trying to "join the pack" but the site keeps saying "unauthorized". Any tips? Really good article.

Taylor

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Omg, I’m going camping with my brother and my dog soon this helped so much! Thank you so much for making this it's so helpful.

Jen Sotolongo

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Oh this makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for letting me know and I hope your trip goes well!

Irene McHugh

Tuesday 17th of September 2019

The Carlson Portable Bed looks like a good option for my pack. Around the house we use K&H cots. I most definitely like the "place" aspect of an elevated cot, especially after baths or swimming. They make such an ideal place for the dogs to dry off. But on the two longer road trips I've done with the dogs, I've had to break down the K&H into pieces, which are a pain to transport into facilities. I love the Carlson folding feature with a carrying case! Genius! Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive list of options.

Jen Sotolongo

Tuesday 17th of September 2019

I've seen my friend set hers up and take it down and it's super quick, just like a camp chair. She also brings it on hikes often, so it's easily portable without weighing her down. I've been looking into getting one myself because of the place aspect as you mentioned. Hope you enjoy it if you end up purchasing one!