Need something more portable to sleep on during your backpacking excursions? These cots can help you sleep well without adding much weight to your pack at all!
The 10 best lightweight and compact cots include options like the Camel Crown cot, Thermarest Ultralight, Helinox Lite and more. These cots are designed to be light enough for backpackers to easily carry from place to place.
These are just a few of the great cots you can make use of whether you’re backpacking, hiking or just want something that is easy to take on your camping trips. Take a further look to find 10 great lightweight cots to cover all your sleeping needs.
If you’re trying to weigh out the sleeping setup for backpacking with the lightest weight, you may want to take a look at hammocks as well. In our article on camping cots vs hammocks, we can help you to decide which option suits your needs the best.
1. Thermarest Ultralite – Most Lightweight
When it comes to the lightest possible cot out there, it’s hard to find lighter or more durable than the Thermarest Ultralite. Coming in at under 3lbs, this is a cot that is extremely easy to take on backpacking trips. On top of being lightweight, it’s also capable of holding up to 325lbs.
To get a feel for how much lighter this Thermarest is than most cots out there, you may want to take a look into the average weight of camping cots on the market. We’ve got the perfect article for you on this subject here!
You’ll also find that this Thermarest is especially suitable for cooler climates. It does offer the Thermacapture feature, which allows the cot material to trap in your body heat rather than release it. If you’re planning to use it in warmer climates, it may be a good idea to test out the cot to make sure it won’t get too warm.
Many find this cot to be quite comfortable. It’s often among the top options I’ve found on camping forums focused on the topic of lightweight cots. The setup is also a quick and easy process, consisting of connecting the poles and fabric correctly to create a supportive surface.
On the other hand, there can be some issues with the feet on the cot breaking unexpectedly. Keep an eye on the feet if you decide to get this cot, just to make sure they aren’t showing excess wear and tear. In some cases, the rods can also become bent after a person has laid on the cot.
It makes sense–how can you make an indestructible cot that weighs less than 4lbs? Treat these and any ultralight camping gear you have with care and you should be fine.
- Easy to travel with
- Easy setup
- Ideal for backpacking
- Aids spinal health
- Difficult disassembly
- Broken cot feet
- Bending rods
2. Camel Crown – Most Compact
If the space you have available for storing your camping gear is limited, then it’s a good idea to take a look at the Camel Crown cot. While all of the cots listed here are able to pack up into smaller travel bags, this cot breaks down into the smallest pieces, with the packed up bag measuring at about 15.7 inches by 4.7 inches.
You can use this cot in a variety of ways, including sleeping, lounging or just hanging out. It’s capable of holding up to 275lbs, which makes it a solid choice for most campers. This model is also designed with circle holders made from nylon, which are intended to provide extra support to the poles.
The Camel Crown is a cot capable of providing a great deal of value for the cost. It’s an inexpensive cot, but still provides quite a bit of comfort and durability. Consequently, it’s a fantastic option for campers who are shopping on a tighter budget.
That said, there can be a few issues with this model that are worth noting. To begin with, it can be harder to set up for people who aren’t particularly strong. Furthermore, the poles and legs can end up bending or collapsing while the cot is being used.
- High quality
- Straightforward setup
- Good value
- Takes strength to set up
- Support bending
- Collapsing is a challenge
3. Helinox Lite
The Helinox Lite cot is a fantastically light runner up to our pick for the lightest cot. At under 3lbs, the Helinox is perfectly easy to take wherever you need to go. Despite the minimal weight, it’s still going to keep you off the ground. That means no bugs or dew from the ground around you.
Once you’ve gotten the Helinox set up, you can rely on it to hold up to 265lbs without a problem. Thanks to the aluminum poles and durable polyester, it’s a great cot for those who want something comfortable as well as reliable.
One of the aspects many enjoy about this cot is the space it provides. With more than enough length, you won’t have a problem stretching out and getting comfortable. Furthermore, it’s an easy cot to keep clean just through the use of soap and warm water as needed.
In addition to the benefits, it’s also worth considering a few of the downsides that can come with this cot. It is one of the more expensive options out there, so it might not be as suitable for campers on a budget. Additionally, the legs can sometimes break too easily.
Perhaps one of the more comforting qualities of this cot is that it comes with a 5-year warranty. This is tremendously important for specialized gear that comes at a higher cost–you don’t have to worry about a break on your 3rd trip. (Well… unless you only go camping once every 2 years)
- Simple setup
- Highly durable
- Plenty of space
- 5-year warranty
- Leg breakage
- Rough on tent flooring
4. ALPS Mountaineering ReadyLite
Not everyone looking for a lightweight cot is backpacking or hiking. Some may prefer to take their bikes or motorcycles for a camping trip instead. If you want a durable cot and don’t mind that it weighs a little more than other options on this list, the ALPS Mountaineering cot is a prime choice.
The ALPS is just under 5lbs (advertised at 4.8lbs to be exact). It’s not an extremely heavy cot by any means, but it may not be the ideal when you need to keep your pack as light as possible. That said, some do find that the extra weight is worth the added comfort and reliability.
The ALPS is also sought after due to the extra space it offers. The width of the cot is 28 inches where many others are around 24 inches. This helps to provide you with just a little bit more space to stretch out and get comfortable. It also promises to be a cot that will last for the long term.
It is worth noting that some have noticed a tendency for this cot to move around when they’re trying to sleep on it. If you’re someone who tends to toss and turn, this may not be the ideal choice for you. In other cases, the bars providing support may also break unexpectedly.
By the way, out of the cots we’ve talked about, this is the most highly-rated. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Great for two-wheeled travel
- Quick setup
- Fairly priced
- Lifetime warranty
- Bar breakage
- Difficulty assembling
- Movement under more weight
5. Yahill Ultralight
Another great choice for those who don’t mind carrying slightly more weight is the Yahill Ultralight. Don’t worry! More weight doesn’t mean it’s going to be a huge struggle to carry around. This cot still only weighs 5lbs. Much like the ALPS cot, it just may not be the perfect choice for all backpackers.
In return for that added weight, you’ll get a little extra space to sleep on, and a storage bag that you can turn into a pillow. This is a great way to avoid having to pack your own pillow, which might take up a bit too much space in your storage.
Largely, those who have had the chance to use this cot have appreciated the durability with regard to the lower price tag. It’s not an extremely expensive cot but still offers comfort and reliability. Many also appreciate how strong the legs are, with the ability to hold 264lbs.
Although most campers have found the legs to be strong enough, some can find that they collapse under their weight. Meanwhile, others may find that they really aren’t kept that far away from the ground, due to a lack of support in the overall design of the cot.
- Easy setup
- Durable legs
- Lack of support
- Setup requires strength
6. Thermarest LuxuryLite Mesh
The Thermarest LuxuryLite Mesh is the perfect solution for those who often camp in warmer weather. This cot is one that provides the lightweight, durable design many backpackers want alongside a sleeping material that is much more breathable.
Coming in at under 4lbs, this cot is pretty easy to carry around. It may be slightly heavier than some, but definitely lighter than most. With the ability to hold up to 325lbs, it really does provide the best of both worlds. You won’t even have to get a second camping cot for colder weather. Just add a sleeping pad to this cot and you’ll be good to go.
The comfort offered by this cot makes it a favorite among many. It allows you to sleep cooler with a uniform surface. Additionally, many have found it to be a great choice for long-term use thanks to the durability of the design.
For those who are interested in using this cot, it’s a good idea to note that some have experienced issues with the support it offers. As a result, campers may sometimes find that they have added back pain after sleeping on it for a few nights.
- Ideal for hot weather
- Lack of support
- Back pain
- Difficult to disassemble
7. G2GOTOGETHER Cot
Those who aren’t a fan of too many support bars may decide that they want to try out the G2GOTOGETHER cot. Instead of 4 or 5 support bars, this one only uses 3. However, it’s still able to provide enough support to keep you off the ground while you’re sleeping.
Furthermore, the G2GOTOGETHER is designed to last you through many camping seasons. The material used to sleep on is a reliable ripstop polyester, capable of handling 260lbs with the help of the aerometal frame. When you’re ready to pack up, all of it packs into a handy travel bag.
The combination of lightweight and durability makes this a favorite among campers. It’s a cot that isn’t as likely to collapse beneath weight as some other models out there. Furthermore, it comes at a very fair price, which makes it easy to get a great deal of value.
While the poles seem to be able to handle the weight without collapsing, some campers have found that the fabric may not be as strong as it claims to be. Some may find that the fabric does rip or stretch a bit too easily. Without any advertised warranty, this is worth taking into consideration.
- Lots of support
- Quick setup
- No sagging
- Fabric stretching
- Not good for side sleepers
- Fabric lacks durability
- Can be tricky to set up in a dark tent for the first time
8. Desert Walker
The Desert Walker cot is another great choice for those who want the lightest cot possible. Weighing in at just 2.8lbs, this is an option that will be easy to add to your pack and take just about anywhere. On top of that, this cot offers one of the highest weight limits at 440lbs.
This cot, like many others, does have the potential to damage your tent floor. If you’re looking to get a cot or already have one, it can help to know how to keep it from damaging the flooring in your tent. No one wants holes in their flooring! Here, you’ll find our article on using your cot more easily inside a tent while avoiding floor damage.
This is another cot that comes at a very fair price. We all want solid value from just about every product we purchase, and that’s no different for cots. Thanks to the durability of this cot, many campers can rely on it for years of use.
On the other hand, some can experience issues with the weight limit that this cot claims. Some models may collapse under weight limits that are less than the stated limit. Meanwhile, others can find that it isn’t ideal for using inside tents.
Many state that the key is to be careful getting in and out of the cot and to not rock it back and forth. Probably good advice for any ultralight cot.
- Good value
- Reliable customer service
- Easy to travel with
- Easy assembly/disassembly
- Difficulty setting up
- Weight capacity struggles
9. HitorHike Compact
Those seeking out a great budget option will find that the HitorHike Compact is well worth considering. Weighing less than 5lbs, it’s not a cot that is too difficult to carry around. Additionally, it’s capable of holding most adults, with a maximum weight capacity of 280lbs.
On top of that, this is another great choice for those who want something that will provide a bit more space. It has a length of 74.8 inches and a width of 27.6 inches, so you’ll be able to enjoy the cot without having to curl up to avoid falling off.
Because this is a budget choice, it’s one that many can feel comfortable trying out without potentially wasting too much money. That said, many have found that it’s a great cot, providing a lot of support at a minimal weight. It’s also going to keep you away from the ground level.
Although it’s largely a decent choice, some can find that this cot lacks the durability they want in a product. The legs can sometimes collapse even if the weight on the cot is less than the limit. Others may find that the covering material just isn’t strong enough to keep them supported, with canvas ripping.
- Holds weight easily
- Plenty of support
- Off the ground
- Thin covering material
- Assembly requires strength
10. Marchway Cot
The majority of people are on a budget, meaning not everyone can go out and spend $150 or more on the most popular cots on the market. Consequently, options like the Marchway Cot try to offer a similar experience at a price that works well with a greater range of budgets.
The Marchway may not be one of the lightest options we’ve taken a look at here, but it still comes in at under 5lbs. As a result, you won’t need to worry too much about adding a lot of extra weight to your pack. Furthermore, it can handle a maximum of 300lbs, so that added weight does come with advantages.
This cot features feet that are wider and are designed to be skid-proof. While there’s no guarantee that it won’t damage your tent, they’ve taken some steps to make that better.
Many backpackers want a cot they can set up and take down without too much of a hassle. Large portions of the day are used for travel. The Marchway adds to the ease by making assembly and disassembly as easy as possible, thanks to the corded poles.
If quick packing and unpacking is something that is highly important to you, we have a great article here that provides tips on making the packing and unpacking processes faster and more efficient.
At the other end of the spectrum, campers can find that this isn’t the quietest cot. Especially during the first few nights, it can make quite a bit of noise as you’re adjusting to it. There can also be some instances in which supports break unexpectedly, but that seems to be a rarer occurrence.
- Holds weight well
- Simple setup
- Breaking supports
- Separating seams