Desert Walker Cot
ALPS Mountaineering Cot
Allagash Lightweight Cot
Looking for a lightweight cot that won't break the bank? We have done the research! Check out our detailed review on the best lightweight camping cot.
So imagine that you’re out there on a camping adventure, enjoying nature's bounties and everything just seems to be perfect! The last thing you’d want is to wake up stiff and achy from your night sleep, don't you think?
A comfortable cot is an essential piece of equipment in any camping trip. If you really want to make the most out of your trip, invest in good quality, comfortable cot.
Wondering how to choose one? In this article, we’ve included our five favorite camping cots and a full guide to buying the best lightweight camping cots.
If you are looking for cots for two people head over to our in depth review of cots for couples. If you are Big or Tall, head over to see our reviews on Heavy Duty Cots.
Our Five Favorite Lightweight Camping Cots
1. Desert Walker lightweight cot
Desert Walker Overview:
The Desert Walker cot is the lightest and most versatile cot in the market at only 2.8 pounds of weight. It’s so light you can even carry it in your backpack. You’d think it wouldn’t be strong enough, but this little monster holds up to 440 pounds of weight, making it an ideal option for heavier people.
It’s strong and durable and we love that this cot is so easy to assemble. It measures 23.6 x 72.8 x 5.9 inches when it is set up and is folded to a small size at only 19.6 x 4 inches so you can carry it conveniently using the carry bag that comes with it.
The design on this cot is floor-friendly because it comes with rubber capping on the legs, so it won’t tear your tent or sink on any terrain.
2. Byer of Maine Trilite Cot
The Trilite camping cot comes at a weight of 7.5 pounds and is a real space saver. It provides a sleeping surface suitable for an average person at 74 x 25 x 8 inches and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds.
The cot comes with a carry bag with a padded shoulder strap for easy transport. A great thing about it is that it’s compact when folded at a size of only 27 x 3 x 8 inches. It's also low so it would fit probably fit in most tents.
It’s convenient because it requires no tools for assembly. The 4 steel legs go into the side rails, so it only takes a few minutes to put together.
If you’d like to use a mat along with the cot, you can attach it to the straps at the head and foot to reduce slippage.
3. ALPS Mountaineering light cot
Alps Mountaineering Overview:
The Alps mountaineering is a lightweight, yet mighty cot. At only 5 pounds of weight, this cot is an option you’d want to consider if you’re looking for a cot with a heavier weight capacity given that it can bear up to 300 pounds.
The cot measures 28 x 78 x 7.5 inches when unfolded, and folds to quite a compact size of 28 x 7 inches and comes with a carry bag. It comes with a frame made of lightweight aluminum and the canvas is made of 420D polyester.
If you’re looking for a comfy and sturdy cot yet easy to carry around, the Alps Mountaineering Ready Lite cot is definitely a great option.
4. Marchway Ultralight compact camp cot
The Marchway ultralight compact camping cot is a minimalist cot that weighs 4.5 pounds.
The packed size of this cot is 16.9 x 5.5 inches, and when unfolded, its sleeping surface is a good 74.8 x 27.4 x 6.5 inches.
The material used on this cot is a 600D polyester canvas that has the ability to support up to 300 lbs of weight and the frame is made of steel.
At a fairly low price, this cot is a great option to consider.
5. Allagash Lightweight Cot
The Allagash camping cot is a collapsible cot that weight 8.5 pounds with a 600D polyester cover. Byer of Maine has many camping cot models and although this cot isn’t their biggest, lightest or most comfortable model, it does provide a little of each.
When unfolded, this cot measures 76 x 30 x 8 inches so it’s of a convenient size and it can withstand up to 250 lbs of weight.
The Allagash cot is very compact when folded at only measures 26 x 30 x 8 inches. It’s designed with 4 spring steel legs and the frame is made of strong lightweight aluminum. The spring steel legs come in a pocket that doubles up as a carry handle.
A plus feature is that the legs come with a hand gripper for easier and faster assembly. Assembling this cot should only take a few minutes once you get used to it.
Things To Consider Before Buying A lightweight Camping Cot
So there are hundreds of camping cots to choose from and it may be a little confusing to determine which one suits you.
The first thing you need to do is to consider a few points so you can narrow down your options and pick what’s right for you.
Cots come in different sizes and determining the right size of your cot is crucial. If you randomly choose a cot size, you may face the risk of it not fitting in your tent or even not being big enough for you.
Think of size in terms of sleeping surface, folded dimensions, and height.
The average cot size is 25 inches wide and 75 inches long, that usually fits most adults. Consider the sleeping surface that you need.
Taller people need longer cots, you definitely don’t want to have your legs tucked in or hanging out of the cot all night! If that’s the case, consider cots that come at 90 inches of length.
Some cots are designed at 40 inches wide, these are great for heavier people and can also accommodate two adults.
It’s good to measure your tent and leave some extra space for flexibility as you may need to store other gear in the tent along with the cot at night. Also, consider the folded dimensions of the cot to see if it’s suitable for you.
Another thing to take into account is the cot’s closeness to the ground. Buying a cot that is a little high means it can double as a comfortable sitting area during the day.
2. Weight And Portability
The average camping cot weighs between 15 to 20 pounds. Of course, the weight of the cot is relative to its size. It only makes sense that the larger the cot, the heavier it’s going to be.
Another factor that determines cot weight is the frame material and whether or not there’s a foam mattress attached. Aluminum frames are much lighter than steel.
Some cots are super lightweight and are mostly used by backpackers. These are usually more expensive because of design, but mind you these cots can be as light as 3 pounds!
It’s crucial to take into consideration how much weight the cot can handle. Most cots offer capacity up to 200 pounds and some go as high as 600 pounds! This goes back to your weight and if the cot will be used by 1 or 2 people.
The sleeping surface of your cot will either be an air or cotton mattress or a canvas.
Canvas surfaces are made of nylon or polyester. The reason these are great is that they’re strong cots that dry off very quickly, are much easier to clean than cotton, and are very lightweight.
While the foam mattress may be comfier, it’s harder to clean and takes a longer time to dry off. Foam mattresses sure do provide a warmer environment on colder nights though.
Consider the conditions you’ll use the cot in so you can decide which option is best for you and remember that you can always go for a flexible option where you buy a canvas cot and purchase a compatible mattress to use it when necessary.
The cot fabric is rated with D (Denier). The higher that number is, the stronger the cot fabric is. We recommend you choose a cot with 600D canvas or higher if you’re looking for high-quality fabric.
It’s crucial to select a cot that folds and unfolds easily with a decent frame.
Some cots give you the best of both worlds of aluminum and steel in the frame construction. The upper part of the cot is made of lightweight aluminum and the legs are made of steel which gives strength and durability to the cot.
A plus that some cots have is resistance to corrosion. Also, consider cots that come with rubber capping on the frame to prevent tearing your tent or scratching your home floor.
Cots are definitely a better option than sleeping bags when it comes to comfort.
As we mentioned, your sleeping surface will either be a foam mattress, an air mattress or a canvas. It goes without saying that a foam mattress is best in terms of comfort, however you sacrifice weight and portability with it.
A canvas cot is relatively comfortable as well and sometimes comes with a tension system where you can adjust it to your liking, making it softer or firmer.
6. Strength And Durability
How strong and durable your mattress is will largely depend on the materials and fabric it’s made of. If you are a frequent camper, consider investing in a high-quality mattress.
While it may cost you more than lower quality mattresses, it will certainly be a good investment as it will last for many camping trips to come.
7. Ease Of Assembly
Assembling your cot should be easy and straightforward. You may move from one place to another during your trip, in that case, you definitely want a cot that is assembled within a few minutes.
The ideal thing would be to have a cot that doesn’t require any tools to be assembled. Remember to never throw away the instruction paper, it would be very frustrating if you forget how to put together your cot.
8. Additional Features
There’s always the option of having a few cool add-ons to your cot.
Storage Pockets -These allow you to organize your stuff inside your tent.
Carry Case - This definitely comes in handy and makes the cot more portable.
Mosquito Netting - A netting allows you a more restful sleep away from those annoying mosquitoes.
All Things Considered:
Like many purchases you’ll make, there isn’t a single best option to choose from the vast variety of camping cots available.
Picking the best cot really boils down to your own needs. A backpacker will not choose the same cot as someone who travels to their camping spot with a car, for instance.
This guide should give you a general idea on how to choose a camping cot that best suits your needs. Make sure you check how you’ll use the cot, your tent size, and the weight that it has to bear before making a purchase decision.
Our favorite lightweight camping cot is: AlPS Mountaineering Light Camping Cot