If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best backpacking cots are, then we recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot.
All backpackers know that the key to having a great backpacking experience is to pack light! This includes your choice for sleeping accommodations! For this reason we thought it would be a good idea to do a little research as to what is a good sleeping cot for backpackers.
Sure, it may not seem like you need one. However, experienced backpackers will tell you that this is a huge thing to have. Not only do they keep you off the ground, but they also offer back-support that a normal sleeping bag does not.
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They are also possible to have instead of a tent if it’ll be a clear enough day outdoors. Regardless of how they are used, they are lighter and easier to carry over traditional means. Plus, you cannot beat the comfort they provide.
Since we like to help you find the best stuff around here, we found some amazing backpacking cots just for you. However, before we dive into those, we need to tell you about the important factors you need in one. Let’s dive into those now!
What to Look For in a Backpacking Cot
Lightweight & Compact
Of course, as previously mentioned, most of the best backpacking cots are going to be lightweight and easy to carry. However, some are not and can be a bit harder to deal with.
Naturally, you do not need to put up with this sort of thing. There is a better way, which can be found in the best of the best. Due to the walking that you’ll be doing, having to deal with something heavy isn’t worth it. You also want it to be compact, making it easy to carry.
This is why the versions we have below are both lightweight and compact.
Should Be Comfortable
As mentioned, backpacking cots are much more comfortable than what a sleeping bag offers. They are also light years better than laying on the ground. We know that is not putting them on a huge pedestal, but people are using a sleeping bag or sleeping on the ground instead. Why do this?
The comfort that a backpacking cot offers is so much better. Not only will you wake up having slept far better, but you’ll also avoid random back or hip pains too. Obviously, those can be bad to have while backpacking. You won’t get as far if the pain comes into play and the experience will be horrible.
You don’t want that, of course. Thus, getting a backpacking cot is the best option for everyone who will be backpacking or even just camping this year.
Built With Strong Materials
You might be thinking to yourself, I am a bigger guy or girl. How are these cots going to hold someone like me? You might be on the taller or wider side, but this does not matter. Many of the best backpacking cots are cleared for 300lbs while others are cleared for even more.
On top of this, some of the best also measure anywhere between 80 and 100 inches in length. That means a taller guy, like someone who is 6’8 to 7’0 in height, can also use one in comfort. Thus, the height or weight you are at does not often matter for a cot.
They are also built to last, so you should be able to use one of these for several years. Since they are built with strong material, they should be cleared for multiple uses. If it helps you feel better, a lot of people in the U.S. Armed Forces use cots just like this when stationed in certain war zones or camps. If they can use them in comfort, they’re good for backpackers too.
Easy To Assemble
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to assemble a cot! Each cot is built to be assembled with ease, making your experience a lot better. If they were going to be hard to assemble, we’d never use one ourselves.
The best part is that, while they are easy to set-up, they are just as easy to take down and put away. Each set-up only makes things easier too, so you should not ever have to deal with a cot that’s difficult to deal with.
In fact, they are designed to pick up and go. Therefore, set-up must be a breeze. This is much better than something like an air mattress that takes forever to set up and take down. Not to mention, they weigh a lot more than these cots too.
Reviews: Best Backpacking Cots Lightweight and Portable
ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot
ALPS has slowly started to become one of the better outdoor companies today, as they have been behind some impressive products as of late. They often tend to find themselves in the hunting or fishing sector but they have also been able to create one of the best backpacking cots we have seen.
Made of impressive and sturdy 420D honeycomb ripstop fabric and a strong 7000-series aluminum frame overall, it manages to maintain long-term durability and strength while remaining lightweight.
Seriously, it is cleared to hold up to 300lbs. Yet it folds up like nothing and weighs roughly 4lbs when carrying it. It is also cleared in length to hold someone up to 78 inches without feet hanging off. This equates to someone roughly 6 foot-5 inches.
The people from ALPS also sell a pad that can be used with the cot too, but it is sold separately and does not fold up like the regular cot. Yet even without the padding addition, the cot itself is incredibly comfortable.
Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot
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This backpacking cot by the team at Therm-a-Rest is tremendous. It is quite a scientific marvel in our book, as everything you may think about this cot at first glance may not be true. Not only is it strong but it is made to last.
The team used a ripstop polyester laminate, along with the obvious reflective coating. The cot feet are made from tough, durable nylon while the poles are made from a strong anodized aluminum.
The theme for this cot is lightness and they deliver heavily. Of course, this depends on the version you get. The first is slightly smaller in length at 72 inches while the larger version goes up to 77 inches. However, both are still cleared to hold 325lbs in weight.
The lightness in both cannot be matched. The smaller version weighs just 2lbs while the larger one only weighs 3lbs. That makes these cots the two lightest backpacking cots on the market today. It has also won the company numerous awards!
If that was not enough, the cot uses your own radiant body heat to help you stay warm. Oh yeah, it’s also easy to set up with no tools required.
Best of all, all of these cots are made in the United States of America!
Helinox Cot One Lightweight
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Helinox has managed to assemble an impressive backpacking cot that we feel many people will absolutely love. First and foremost, this cot is cleared for people up to 6’8 and those up to 320lbs. Keep in mind that weight is often something they test for these products.
While those at a larger size can likely fit on it too, the clearance weight is what it can go up to without the possibility of it randomly being destroyed due to the weight itself.
Their cot is made with easy to set up poles that suspend a person up to 6.5 to 7 inches off the ground. This will keep people off of the cold ground during cooler times of the year. Plus, if you’re a side sleeper, this is a dream come true.
The entire frame of the cot is made from a strong aluminum alloy that has been tested repeatedly. In each test, any flaws were fixed to create a strong frame built to last.
There are two different versions of this cot too. The first is the regular size version that is cleared for the same weight but goes up to 75 inches in height. Meanwhile, the longer version goes up to 82 inches. They also have a 15-inch leg extender that can be purchased separately.
Both versions are tremendous. It comes with a portable cot carrying case made from 600-weave rip-stop polyester. This makes it perfect for traveling. Overall, it weighs roughly up to 7lbs. Making it lightweight and very easy to carry around.
Helinox makes their stuff last. However, just in case there are any issues with it, they offer a 5-year warranty on this cot. This ensures it’ll be one of the best backpacking cots around or your money will be given back.
HITORHIKE Compact Camping Cot
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This HITORHIKE option is obviously made by a smaller company but that does not make their product any less impressive. While the maximum capacity is 280lbs, this is relatively close to industry standard.
On top of that, it can sustain a person that is roughly 6’2 in height while still offering tons of room for them to move around.
The cot is made from strong nylon cloth that’s also waterproof, making it an ideal cot to have outdoors regardless of the conditions.
Not as many have this waterproof feature, but that very well could be the reason they chose Nylon as their cloth of choice. This is much easier to waterproof as it naturally can do this partially before any waterproofing needs to be implemented.
The storage bag is terrific as well. With the bag factored in, the entire cot weighs just under 5lbs. This only serves to make the cot an easy item to carry around as you backpack across any terrain.
The company also offers a 120-day money-back guarantee on their cot plus a 1-year warranty.
KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot
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KingCamp is slightly newer compared to the other brands on this list. They also happen to be from the Asian Region, so the type of cots they make will mostly be for that region of the world. This is why they are cleared for a solid 75 inches in height but up to 265lbs in weight clearance.
When your region of the world has less need for higher weight clearance, you won’t add to your product as much in that territory. However, 265lbs is still quite an impressive weight clearance.
Their backpacking cot is very light when carried, as it travels at just 5lbs total. This makes it incredibly light. Yet it is also durable due to its frame being made with durable and strong ariel aluminum alloy. On top of this, it also uses 420D Polyester fabric that can handle random weather or the person who sweats too much when they sleep!
They have other additions you can buy for this cot such as another mat and pillow, but they do come separate sadly. However, you can add the storage bag you get with this into the included pillow bag and it’ll create a makeshift pillow.
Two elastic strips finish off the product, as they keep your included mat from slipping. Overall, it is easy to set-up too, taking less than a few minutes for most.
It is also award-winning, as it took him the ADI Compasso D’Oro International Award back in 2017.
Really, it does not matter which of these cots you buy. They are all terrific or they would not be on our “best backpacking cots” list, to begin with. However, certain cots will be best for you in the long-run, so deciding that will be up to you.
However, if you are looking for a good all-around backpacking cot, then the option from the people at ALPS could be your best bet. Either way, they are all tremendous and will be perfect for your backpacking trips this year. Now it’s up to you to decide the best cot for your specific needs. We hope this guide helped you make that decision.