Our review of ultralight backpacking cots features options from top outdoor brands and are light and compact enough to be carried on the trail.

Are Backpacking Cots Worth It?

Even the lightest existing cots on the market weigh around 1.2 kg. So when exactly would it be worth carrying one?

When you have a cot in warm weather, you can manage without a sleeping pad most of the time. So the packed size is partly compensated. As for the weight, warm-weather camping pads are far lighter than any of the cots here. You’ll have more bulk and weight in the pack with a cot.

Sleeping off-ground has obvious advantages in such conditions.

Imagine you’re camping in a warm yet wet environment. You can set up a cot in the water and mud and remain dry and safe. It is usually more comfortable on the cot than on the ground. You are also a bit less exposed to crawling insects. So these are some of the reasons for having a cot.

Our List Of Lightweight Backpacking Cots

The cots are ordered by weight from lightest to heaviest, which makes it easier to find the right weight for you:

You will notice the weight differences, and their packed size are minimal. But there are considerable differences in prices.

1. Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot

  • Dimensions: 72″ x 24″ x 4.5″
  • Packed Size: 16″ x 4″
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 325 lbs

This is one of the best-known and lightest camping cots on the market. It has been around for some time and is a modified version of their other famous cot. Note that they build it in two sizes, regular and large. The regular version weighs only 2.6 pounds (1.18 kg).

But also note that it is pretty short; the dimensions are 72 x 24 x 4.5 inches (183 x 61 x 11.4 cm). As you see, it is incredibly low as well, so it can fit in any tent, no matter how small it can be.

Best Weight Capacity


  • The weight capacity is excellent
  • The craftsmanship is great
  • Brillant packed size


  • It’s not very long
  • Complicated to set up

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The picture above shows 6 legs on each side connected with bow poles. So you can leave one or two behind to save some weight.

This is an award-winning design, and the cot is very popular despite its steep price. It comes with what they call ThermaCapture, which means a reflective coating layer on the underside. This helps retain your body’s radiant heat.

Making it ready takes some work because it has many parts. It includes two shock-corded side poles, 12 feet and 16 yellow and green short bow poles, the fabric, and a carry bag.

The packed size is (L x D) 16 x 4 inches (43 x 10 cm). The weight capacity of this cot is impressive 325 lb (147 kg). Check out the video if you want to learn more:

2. Helinox Lite Cot

  • Dimensions: 73″ x 23.5″ x 5″
  • Packed Size: 21″ x 5″ x 5″
  • Weight: 2.13 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs

This cot is only slightly heavier than the previous one. It is also a bit bulkier when packed; the packed size is 21 x 5 x 5 inches (53 x 13 x 13 cm). It weighs 2 lb 13 oz (1.28 kg).

The capacity of this cot is 265 lb (120 kg), and the dimensions are 73 x 23.5 x 5 inches (185 x 60 x 13 cm). There are no end bars here, so this length is a true length that you can use. As you realize, this is a very low cot, and it can fit in any tent.

Most Lightweight


  • It’s the lightest option
  • It comes with a great warranty
  • It’s super easy to put together
  • It has a good width


  • Too short, if you’re 6ft+

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There are four legs, they are shock-corded, and they attach to the side poles easily. So although this is a collapsible cot that needs assembly, it only takes a few minutes.

There are feet on each side, and in between, you can see bars that provide more support. So the cot can be used without any issues with the tent’s floor. The metal parts are all made of an advanced DAC aluminum alloy. The fabric is weather and UV-resistant 600-weave ripstop polyester.

You will want to know that this cot has an incredible 5-year warranty. Watch the video if you want to learn more:

3. YaeKoo Folding Camping Cot for Adults

  • Dimensions: 70.9″ x 22.8″ x 3.9″
  • Packed Size: 15.7″ x 4.7″
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 209 lbs

This cot has a bow frame design, similar to the Therm-a-Rest cot. This means that assembly needs time. It weighs 2.87 lb (1.3 kg), which is why it’s included here. The packed shape is shown in the picture, and the dimensions of the carry bag are impressive (L x D), 15.7 x 4.7 inches (40 x 12 cm).

Top Pick


  • It’s an excellent price
  • It has a great packed size
  • It’s very comfortable
  • Not too heavy


  • Complaints about durability
  • Complicated setup

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The bed dimensions are 70.9 x 22.8 x 3.9 inches (180 x 58 x 10 cm), which is the smallest and the lowest in the group. Its official capacity is relatively small at 209 lb (95 kg). So this is not for tall and very heavy users.

The materials include aviation-grade aluminum alloy poles, two on the sides and eight underneath the bed, the fabric is an anti-tear PV oxford, and the 12 circular legs are nylon.

Final Thoughts

So this was our selection of the best ultralight backpacking cots, and you will not find lighter on the market. All of them are very compact as well. Bear in mind the bed dimensions, in particular, if you are a tall person. Note that some are also available in large versions, but this implies more weight.

There are more articles about cots here on the site, so look around if you want something different.

Let me know if you have questions; there is a comment box below. T

Fun Outdoors Team

The FunOutdoors team is comprised of seasoned writers and editors with a passion for outdoor living. 

Happy trails!

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