Are you preparing to go camping or backpacking, and searching for the best cot for backpacking? Obviously, if you really want to have a memorable backpacking experience then you need the best camping gear.
In fact, for maximum relaxation during camping, you need a reliable cot. And reliable backpacking cot must be very light in weight, and very cheap or affordable.
That it must be very cheap or affordable does not in any way mean that it will not be durable, and it does not mean its comfort standard should be compromised.
Therefore, we have done extensive work of picking the 10 best backpacking cots that are affordable, lightweight, durable, safe with a very high score of ease of use.
Above all, all the cots on this list have encouraging customer reviews. In other words, they are rated highly by firsthand users’.
Without further ado, let’s dig deep into the features of every best backpacking cot found below
Note – Please know, some of the external links on this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself.
Best Cots For Backpacking
- Helinox Cot One Lightweight Cot
- Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot
- ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot
- KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot
- MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot Bed
- Snow Peak High Tension Cot
- Naturehike Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
- ATEPA Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
- DESERT WALKER Camping cots
- YAHILL Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
1. Helinox Cot One Lightweight Cot
This cot produced by Helinox is not just comfortable, it is portable and very compact. It is the perfect sleep solution for camping adventures which is why it has made our list of best backpacking cots.
The cot has an innovative design of a lever-locking system that is able to support a maximum weight capacity of 320 lbs without sagging.
This system also ensures that the user enjoys excellent surface tension while the sleepers are suspended up to 6.5 inches above the ground.
The legs of the Helinox Cot One are made of proprietary aluminum alloy, the same for the frame of the cot. This ensures maximum weight savings while you enjoy comfort at the best levels possible.
The Helinox Cot One comes in two different sizes which are:
- Regular (27 x 75 inches, 6.5 x 21.5 inches packed dimensions, and a weight of 5.4 lbs).
- Long (27 x 82.5 inches, 6.5 x 23 inches packed dimensions, and a weight of 6.6 lbs).
You can purchase adjustable leg extensions separately to help raise the height of the cot to 15 inches. One of the major advantages of this cot is that it is very easy to set up.
This lightweight camping cot is the best bet for your camping trip since the sleeping surface is designed to give you a firm feel.
- Sturdy design.
- Very easy to set up compared to its counterparts.
- When folded, it is very compact thus making it very portable.
- Lightweight as the name suggests.
- Rapid drying nylon sleeping surface.
- A great option for tall campers.
- The cot doesn’t sink into the ground because of the large foot caps.
- Quite pricey.
- Heavy if you are carrying it over a long distance.
- Not a great choice for cold-weather thus requiring extra insulation.
- Clearance beneath the cot is just six inches.
2. Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot
If you are in search of a great off-the-ground cot, the Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot is a great option. One of the reasons this cot makes our best cot for backpacking list is that you can use it on any surface. There is a 4.5-inch clearance between the cot and the ground which ensures you are fine no matter the surface.
Another major advantage of this cot is that you don’t need so much insulation. This is because there is space between the bed and the ground.
The Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot is one of the most compact cots on the market, especially when folded. It is very easy to store as it hardly consumes space in your car or home.
As you can guess, packing this cot is also quite easy.
The company presents you with the patented BowFrame Tech in this cot. What does this mean?
It means there are no squeaky joints or painful crossbars. The poles are made of anodized aluminum while the feet are protected with durable nylon.
Another reason why you will love the Therm-a-Rest Mesh Cot is the breathable fabric that covers the sleeping surface. Because of this, you are assured of excellent ventilation while you sleep.
This cot comes in three different sizes making it easy to choose ones that fit your family camping properly. Check out the sizes below:
- Size R (72 x 24 x 4.5 inches, weight 3.9lbs)
- Size L (77 x 26 x 4.5 inches, weight 3.15lbs)
- XL Size (77 x 30 x 4.5 inches, weight 4.7lbs)
- Versatile design.
- Very comfortable.
- Stable construction.
- Small when packed.
- Not exactly easy to setup.
3. ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot
There are so many reasons why we had to add this cot to our list of best backpacking cots. When you mention the ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot, what comes to mind is portability. It is a bit surprising that a cot so large can be so portable when packed.
There are two categories of backpacking cots. The ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot falls into the lighter category that requires some form of assembly. Despite the fact that it is large, it can be assembled very easily in record time.
The size and weight of this cot make it clear that it is one of the most versatile on the market. Hikers and backpackers may consider the cot a bit heavy but the comfort that you’ll enjoy makes the weight worth it.
In view of this, we do not recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot for extended tours. However, it is perfect for short outdoor trips where you don’t have to attach it to the backpack while moving around.
If you are a motorbiker, going camping with your car, kayaking, etc. this cot is perfect for you. You can use it at summer camps, rock concerts, and open-air festivals.
Since it doesn’t take up much space, you can leave it in your car for emergency purposes. This cot is also a great option for people with heavier body sizes.
It is very easy to set up and dismantle which is why many people are in love with it. Find the dimensions below:
- Size: L x W x H – 78 x 28 x 7.5 inches
- Weight: 5.25 lbs.
- Capacity: 300 lbs. maximum
- It comes with a carry bag.
- Large size cot making it suitable for heavy body individuals.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Very reliable.
- Versatile design.
- Nice packing.
- Very comfortable.
- Pricey option.
4. KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot
The Ultralight Compact Folding Camping Cot by KingCamp makes our best cot for the backpacking list for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this bed is perfect for just about any camper, regardless of the location of your camp.
It doesn’t weigh so much so moving it from place to place is very easy. You will definitely find it easy to carry the cot on your back since it weighs only 4.9 lbs.
Despite the weight of this bed, it is still regarded as one of the best on the market in terms of quality. It has passed through all the necessary tests and user reviews have also shown that it is durable.
The Ultralight Compact Folding Camping Tent Cot by KingCamp is able to support as much as 265 lbs. This is why many people consider it a worthwhile purchase.
What’s more? This backpacking cot comes with its carrying bag provided by the manufacturer. Its rods are made of aluminum alloy which ensures that it is sturdy enough to handle your weight.
The cot comes in a variety of colors so you can decide on one to suit your personal theme or style. Many people are always worried about setting up their cots?
Well, with the Ultralight Compact Folding Camping Tent Cot, setup is done in a quick time. It is so easy, you can do it with your eyes closed.
- It comes with a storage bag which makes it easy to transport the cot from one location to another.
- Compact and ultralight design.
- Supports up to 265 lbs.
- Very easy to setup.
- Rods are made of aluminum alloy which ensures sturdiness and durability.
- May break easily if not well-handled.
5. MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot Bed
Are you wondering why the MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Cot made our best cot for backpacking list? The reasons aren’t farfetched. For one, it comes at a great price compared to other backpacking cots on the market.
The beauty of this cot lies in the fact that its components are separate. This makes it easier to collapse and assemble. This feature differentiates it from other folding cots on the market.
Another reason why this cot makes our list is its portability. You can attach this cot to a backpack and carry it around easily.
This means it is a great option for hikers, mountain climbers, and bikers. The only challenge is that it is a bit weightier than most of its counterparts.
You can use this backpacking cot as a make-shift emergency bed in the house. It can also be used to cater for friends of your children when they sleepover and for sudden guests. When folded, the MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot Bed doesn’t consume much space.
The fabric covering the sleeping surface is made of durable ripstop nylon. Also, the metal parts are made of aluminum.
Just like the other cots on this list, you need to assemble this cot. However, it doesn’t require any special skills or tools. All in all, this is a nicely built cot, though not unique, it ensures an amazing sleeping experience. Some of the specifications include:
- Weight: 4.7 lbs.
- Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Size: 74.8 x 27.4 x 6.5 inches
- Great price.
- Easy to setup.
- Very versatile.
- Reasonable size.
- Nicely packable.
- Not a great choice for tall individuals.
6. Snow Peak High Tension Cot
The Snow Peak High Tension Cot is the perfect camping cot for any backpacking camper who wants a flashy and high-performing design, more than what a sleeping bag can offer. It features durable but comfortable polyester 600D fabric with a stainless steel frame to ensure maximum support and zero sagging quality in your sleep!
It has eight light aluminum X-legs that create tension where weight would usually rest heaviest on top when you lie down, making sure every inch gets equal coverage from beneath instead.
What’s more, this backpacking cot offers a sleeping system that is easy to deploy and set up without any hassle. You’ll have a camping bed ready in no time.
It is raised 12 inches off the ground, making it easy to get in and out of. Plus, this height is decent enough to keep you safe from the cold ground, bugs, dirt, and other creatures that might approach your tent.
This cot is highly versatile for its size because you can use it indoors or outdoors to get the most out of it! So if you have an extra room in your home, you can even use it as an extra bed when having guests over!
It weighs 13.2 pounds in total with a bed size of 78 x 34.8 inches. Its packed size in the storage bag is 41 x 11 inches. It is a portable cot, though it might be relatively heavy. So you may want to use it for car camping.
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Easy setup and folding
- Elevated sleeping solution
- Carry bag included
- Relatively weighty
- Overly long
7. Naturehike Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
The Naturehike Camping Cot is a collapsible and lightweight cot that is ideal for outdoor use and camping. It weighs just 4.85 pounds, making it to our list of the best camping cots for backpacking. It has a weight capacity of 330 pounds to accommodate you without the fear of the cot breaking.
Naturehike Ultralight Folding Camping Cot is a fully collapsible cot that is extremely easy to set up and disassemble and no tools required. It also comes with a carry bag included, so that it is portable to move around.
This lightweight cot has a moderate bed size of 74.8″ x 25.6″ x 5.9″. This size might not be ideal for you if you’re taller. As such, you might want to get another cot that is long enough for you.
This lightweight cot is a definition of durability and comfort. It is made with breathable ripstop oxford fabric and steel tubes that make it sturdy and durable.
In addition, this portable cot has an extremely small packed size compared with other portable camping cots. It fits in its storage bag and has packed dimensions of 18 x 6.3 inches. The compact size of the cot makes it a perfect choice for camping backpacking.
It is elevated 5.9 inches from the ground, which is a pretty good height, particularly for comfort and safety. This height is low enough to it fit well in your camping tent while providing you with sufficient storage space for your camping gear.
Because of the breathable microfiber sleeping pad included with this cot, you can enjoy having a comfortable sleep
With this backpacking cot, you will be sure to have a comfortable night’s sleep as you enjoy your camping trip.
- Lightweight cot
- Carry bag included
- Not ideal for very tall persons
- Relatively narrow
8. ATEPA Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
The ATEPA Ultralight Folding Camping Cot is a lightweight camping cot weighing just 4.4 pounds that’s designed to provide a more comfortable camp sleeping experience.
The camp bed measures 75*25*4.7 inches and it’s large enough to offer an adult a great night’s sleep. It features high strength aluminum frame that makes it strong to hold a weight capacity of 265 pounds.
This camping cot is sturdy and durable. The metal parts are made of strong aluminum alloy while the fabric is 420D oxford cloth.
The 4.7″ height off the ground makes it get in and out of the cot easily, while also giving you some space between you and the ground to keep you dry in case of rain or dew. You can also store so, some of your camping accessories under the cot.
If you want to keep your small camping accessories at hand, then this backpacking cot got you covered. It has a side storage pouch where you can keep small items such as your book, flashlight, or phone safe and at hand.
You may want to add a sleeping pad on your camp cot to get extra comfort. Well, there is no struggle in doing it. This cot has two straps that help in keeping the sleeping pad in place for a good night’s sleep.
Furthermore, this camp cot is pretty easy to set up. It features a locking mechanism, such that attaching the legs to the sidebars doesn’t require much force or extra tools.
You can also use this folding camping cot as a guest bed in your home when you have extra visitors.
- Portable packed size
- Relatively affordable
- Easy to assemble
- Carrying bag included
- Relatively narrow
9. DESERT WALKER Camping cots
In case you wondering why the Desert Walker Camping cot makes our best backpacking cot, there are several reasons.
The first of these is the size in relation to the capacity of the cot. It is amazing that a cot with a weight of just 2.6 lbs. is able to carry up to 440 lbs.
Asides this, Desert Walker bed becomes very small when you collapse it. This makes it possible to store it easily, even in very small spaces.
Setting up this cot is also very easy and requires just a few minutes of your time without any special tools.
If you are looking for a versatile cot, this is one of the most versatile on the market. You can carry it inside a backpack, attach it to a backpack, carried on a bike, in a car, and even in a kayak.
This makes the Desert Walker Camping cot perfect for hunters, hikers, and any kind of campers. Some of the activities you can engage in with this cot include travel, camping, cycling tours, open-air festivals, etc.
While there is so much to love about this camping bed, it is not great for tall people. If you are tall, you may want to look somewhere else.
Why many people love Desert Walker camping cot so much is the fact that it comes at a great price in comparison to its counterparts. Check out a few of its specifications below:
- Weight: 2.6 lbs.
- Capacity: 440 lbs.
- Size: 73 x 23.5 x 6 inches
- It is the lightest cot on the market.
- Weight to capacity ratio is amazing.
- Very reliable.
- Very affordable when compared to its competitors.
- Shock-corded elements.
- Very versatile.
- Folds easily making it very mobile.
- Easy to setup.
- Not too large.
- It cannot cater for tall individuals.
10. YAHILL Ultralight Folding Camping Cot
The Ultralight Folding Camping Cot by Yahill is the latest addition to the collapsible cots produced by the company.
This is not why we have added it to our list of the best cot for backpacking, there are several other reasons. When you look at it at first glance, what attracts you are the extendable legs.
They were recently redesigned and are definitely worth looking at a couple of times. The fact that this cot is fully collapsible makes it a really interesting prospect to spend on.
When folded, it becomes very portable so it is easy to carry around. Setting up this cot presents you with no stress at all as you do not need any extra tools for the process.
The redesigned legs of this cot are not just attractive, they ensure that you have optimal support while resting.
This cot is really stable and the way the legs are set, there is a reduced risk of snapping. You have nothing to fear if you turn a lot while sleeping.
Another reason why the Ultralight Folding Camping Cot makes our list is the extendable height. Though it is not the first cot on this list to have this feature, it is still worth mentioning.
Of course, this feature comes at a little extra price, but if you want extra height, it is worth spending on. This bed has a capacity of up to 397 lbs. Some of the specifications include:
- Weight: 6.5 lbs.
- Capacity: 397 lbs.
- Dimensions: 74.8 x 25.6 x 7.5 inches
- Versatile design.
- Small packed size.
- Very affordable compared to its competitors.
- It comes with a durable carry bag.
- The craftsmanship is of professional quality.
- Not wide enough.
Buyer Guide & FAQs
Here are some useful tips for you when shopping for backpacking cots:
Why Take a Backpacking Cot?
Camp beds are a great option for people who want to sleep in the outdoors without having to worry about bugs or cold ground. They can be especially useful for campers, hikers, or hunters that need a place to rest their heads at the end of the day. If you are a backpacker, you need something that is ultra-lightweight and portable enough to move around with ease.
Here are some reasons you should consider carrying a backpacking cot on your backpacking trips.
A camp cot can provide you with a comfortable night’s sleep on your backpacking tour. If you are going to be out in the woods for several nights, this is a welcome addition. Sleeping on a cot is much more comfortable than sleeping on uneven ground.
Plus, most cots for backpacking are ultra-lightweight, and carrying them around is easy.
Lightweight and Portable
Lightweight camping cots are easy to carry on a camping or hiking adventure. They don’t take up much space and you can easily strap them onto the side of your backpack. They are easier to carry than a hammock and can be set up in minutes.
Most camp cots are elevated off the ground to protect you from insects and other small organisms that can cause problems at night when sleeping on the ground. They also protect you from the cold, especially in higher altitudes where temperatures can be quite low at night.
Cold can be a challenge in your backpacking trip if sleep on the ground. Camp cots are your best choice since they’re great for providing insulation. If your cot is elevated higher off the ground, you can also tuck your sleeping bag under it to keep yourself warm.
What to Look For In a Backpacking Cot?
When shopping for the best cots for backpacking, make sure to consider these things:
Weight is not an issue for car campers. However, for backpackers, weight is a great concern when shopping for backpacking cots. The weight of the cot needs to be lighter than your sleeping bag.
Most backpacking cots are ultra-lightweight, but you should double-check the specs to make certain that they fall within your preferences.
Be sure that you get a model that is large enough for you to sleep comfortably. The cot should be large enough to fit your body and any extra layers you plan on wearing while sleeping.
However, take into consideration the cot’s packed dimensions and think of how much space the cot is going to occupy in your backpack.
Ease of Setup and Take Down
There is nothing worse than setting up a tent right before it starts raining. That’s why you should find a cot that can be set up quickly and without any trouble. This is of course easier said than done, so you should at least look for camp cots that are easy to set up and go over the hassle of setting it up before taking it out with you on your trip.
Whether you are backpacking or car camping, the most important factor in finding the best camp beds is maximum comfort. The best camping cots should be easy to sleep on and not make you feel uneasy or restless during the night. Of course, you want a cot that gives your the most comfort as you sleep.
Comfortable cots for your family camping will give your a great night’s sleep and make your outdoor experience memorable.
If your plan is to use this cot for other purposes, such as hiking or a picnic cot at the park for a day, then you should get one that offers versatility in functionality. This will help offset the price of the best backpacking cot.
Most backpacking cots feature this functionality so there no hassle finding one.
Are Backpacking Cots Worth It?
A camp cot is a perfect camping tool to get a good night’s sleep during your next outdoor adventure. They are lightweight cots that are pretty portable extremely and easy to use. Plus, they will keep you protected from insects and other small creatures at night while resting on the ground.
Can You Backpack With a Cot?
Yes, you can. Backpacking cots are lightweight and easy to carry around. They are perfect for added comfort during your backpacking trip.
Are Cots Bad for Tents?
No, cots will not give you any problems in your tent. A camp cot can actually protect the bottom of your tent from wear and tear.
Are Cots Good for Side Sleepers?
A backpacking cot is a perfect choice for side sleepers since you can adjust it to suit your sleeping style. Whether you are a side sleeper or a back sleeper, a camping cot will be comfortable for you.
Are Cots Good for Winter Backpacking?
Camping cots are great in winter conditions because they will keep you insulated from cold temperatures. As long as you get an elevated model, your feet and legs won’t feel the cold.
Can You Side Sleep on a Cot?
You can side sleep on a cot, but you may have to adjust it to your liking first. Cots are designed for back sleeping so it’s best to lay on your side with the long leg of the cot behind you.
Is a Cot More Comfortable Than an Air Mattress?
An air mattress is more comfortable than a backpacking cot because it is inflatable and you can adjust the pressure as needed. However, air mattresses are quite weighty and take time to set up and take down. On the other hand, an ultralight backpacking cot is more portable for your camping trips.
Best Cot for Backpacking – Wrap Up
You can’t go wrong with any of these best backpacking cots. They all have been tested and rated highly by firsthand users’. You will enjoy a high score of durability, ease of use, safety, and comfort that come with any of them.
Above all, they are lightweight cots for campers on a tight budget.