Camping and backpacking cots are the most preferred sleeping accessory for outdoor enthusiasts thanks to their versatility, strength, and comfort. Away from keeping you off the ground, they are better than traditional sleeping mats because getting up and down is easier. An ideal solution for sleeping comfortably when camping.
Because of their unending popularity, many people have written to me seeking to know about the best backpacking, lightweight cots for camping.
In that vein, I recently conducted deep research on camping cots and managed to put together this comprehensive buying guide featuring the basic factors to consider when shopping for a backpacking cot.
Though all cots listed here are lightweight backpacking cots, the Desert Walker Camping Cot takes the first spot for being the lightest of them all.
With its 2.8 pounds and an allowable capacity of 440 pounds, this cot is lightest for backpackers, campers, and hikers, among other outdoor enthusiasts.
The most amazing thing about the Desert Walker LightCot is that it’s a collapsible tool, meaning it reduces to a very small size when collapsed for packing.
The bed fabric is made from a special type of composite fabric that is tear-proof, waterproof with excellent ventilation to assure you of comfort and safety from wet environments. Its size and level of comfort also make it convenient for both back sleepers and side sleepers.
It comes in a stable construction with four leg bar offering 8 points of support. The 7001 aerospace aluminum cot frame and tent poles are strong, shock-corded and very light in weight.
Its folded size is 19.6″ x 4″ with all elements coming separately, but assembling and disassembling it is fast and easy. You won’t need any tools to assemble it.
If you’re looking for a portable folding mattress with a good level of comfort and lightweight, Yahill Portable Cot is the right option for you.
The designers understood that all outdoor enthusiasts require something that offers a good balance of portability and comfort.
The Yahill Portable Cot weighs a mere 3 pound with 264 pounds load bearing.
Its compact design and light weight make it portable since it fits easily in a portage bag, pannier or backpack, making it convenient for traveling, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
The bed fabric is made from stretch-free nylon capable of withstanding high pressure, making the cot sturdy and durable. The fabric (PV Oxford Cloth) is also waterproof and tear-proof thanks to its strong design.
It is also constructed of aluminum poles and lightweight nylon feet to improve its strength and durability. The bed fabric is designed with some extra holes for adding tubes and legs for improved support, especially for heavy users.
Assembling and disassembling the entire system is easy since the user guide is very comprehensive.
Ever wondered what it takes to improve a product from its predecessor and eventually have remarkable results from the series of upgrades?
Well, this is what most companies in the production industry do, and indeed it pays off well.
Helinox is a good example of the companies that have been utilizing this strategy to warm its way into the heart of many campers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
In that line of thought, Big Agnes Cot One V2 is an upgraded version of the popular Helinox Cot Lite. This is a move to give the recent version a simple design with a series of upgrades addressing various concerns raised by users.
The Helinox V2 is more functional, and comfortable, making it more convenient for different outdoor activities.
Unlike its predecessor, it is designed using the superior strength of the Helinox TH72M aluminum Unique Helinox tension system that offers stronger support. Setting it up is also easier and quicker.
Away from the aforementioned upgrades, Helinox seems to have the rest of the features similar to the predecessor.
Looking for a cot professionally designed for backpackers, campers, and kayakers, the Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot is what you need.
This compact and lightweight backpacking cot is the perfect solution for off-the-ground rest and sleeping comfort.
You really don’t have to worry about soaking up or rocks jamming into your back.
With the bow frame technology, you’re assured of the best sleeping comfort as the cot’s patented bow-frame design eliminates squeaky joints and painful crossbars.
This design employs lightweight (3 lbs. 9 oz. ounces), collapsible, shock-corded, anodized aluminum poles and sturdy nylon bed feet for strong support to keep you safe above the hard ground.
Then there’s the bed fabric made from stretch-free breathable mesh fabric, allowing for excellent ventilation and making it suitable for heavy use with a weight capacity of 325 pounds. You’re also assured of 4.5 inches clearance off the ground.
These are the primary factors to take into consideration when choosing a backpacking cot. Also, there are other cot options like double tent cots or double camping cots. See our reviews.
Speaking of weight, two critical factors to consider in this line are: the cot’s maximum weight capacity and folded weight. Different types of backpacking cots come in varying folded weights where some fall in between 2 – 3 pounds while others 15 – 20 pounds, with a weight capacity of 250 – 450 pounds.
So, whether you’re choosing a cot for a semi-permanent or permanent structure, make sure its folded (packed) weight is compatible with your storage and portability interests. It should also support your weight.
After taking the cot’s folded weight and weight capacity into consideration, it’s high time you took size seriously.
Make sure the cots’ size is large enough to accommodate you comfortably without some parts of your body hanging out of the sleeping surface. The right size for adults should be 75” long and 25”wide, but there are special sizes for taller and shorter individuals.
Choose cots capable of accommodating both side-sleepers and back-sleepers.
A cot’s comfort and support depends on the spring system and/or fabric tension, which are helpful when determining the comfort level of the sleeping surface. Most systems are adjustable so that you set them in your own level of comfort and support.
Hence, it’s important to go for cots with the best systems that are adjustable and always set to offer the best level of comfort and support.
Your cot’s quality is well-defined by the quality of the fabric and frames because they are a good indicator of how comfortable, lightweight, strong and durable the cot will be.
For instance, the ideal bed fabrics are nylon and polyester because they are breathable, supportive, water-resistant and easy to clean. Steel and aluminum frame are also durable and can hold out heavier weights better than other metals.
Corded Bar Legs
Because you want the cot to support your body weight without the fear of the support system failing, most manufacturers are today using the corded bad leg technology. This helps keep the support system stable and strong.
Many manufacturers are today embracing the circular leg technology to improve comfort and support.
Why Even Use the Backpacking Cot
As aforementioned, backpacking cots are better than your typical sleeping mat because of their versatility and convenience for camping, backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
They are comfortable, lightweight, and ideal for off-the-ground rest and sleeping. So you won’t have to worry about sleeping on moist and hard grounds, as you make more room inside your tent.
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API