Top-Rated Buyer’s Guide: Best Cots for Backpacking

Rilor Staff
Update: April 12, 2021
Table of Contents

It is not a surprise if some outdoor enthusiasts prefer the best backpacking cots to sleeping bags. While cots sound unconventional, they are the very amenities that can provide you with utmost convenience during your rest. 

Cots are designed to give their users a significant ground elevation. When you lie on them, you will be detached from the soil, which, in turn, relieves your body from discomforts. 

Keep in mind, though, that not all cots are engineered to be worthy of backpacking pursuits. If you need one, you might want to check out the following options. 

7 Best Backpacking Cots

 Dimensions Frame MaterialCot Material
ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot 78 inches x 28 inches x 6 inchesAluminumHoneycomb Fabric
Helinox Lite Cot 73 inches x 23.5 inches x 5 inches Aluminum AlloyPolyester
HITORHIKE Camping Cot 74.8 inches x 27.6 inches x 6.7 inchesAluminumNylon
KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot 75 inches × 25 inches × 4.7 inchesAluminumPolyester
FE Active Folding Camping Cot 75 inches x 27.5 inches x 6.7 inchesAluminumPolyester
Helinox Cot One Convertible 74.8 inches x 26.8 inches x 6.7 inchesAluminumPolyester
SMLFIT Backpacking Cot74.5 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches AluminumCationic Polyester

1. ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot


Backpacking can get a little rough on your body after a while, even if you've got a comfortable sleeping bag and a great tent (and you should, seeing as backpacking is only fun if you're comfortable). That's why it's nice to have a cot, which is like a bigger, more comfortable version of the sleeping pad. The ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot is a great backpacking cot since it folds up small enough to fit inside your backpack (it has a built-in carrying handle), and it weighs just 5 pounds. It even comes with a separate carrying bag.

Its lightweight 7000 series aluminum frame and dual honeycomb fabric ensure that it has sufficient durability on the field. It can support users up to 300 pounds without any problems. 


  • Product weight - 5 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 78 inches x 28 inches x 6 inches
  • Top material - Honeycomb Fabric
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 300 pounds

2. Helinox Lite Cot 


I am a big fan of the Helinox brand. I have used several of their other products in my time, and I have never been disappointed. This time I got to try out something I was very excited about, the Helinox Lite Cot. It is the perfect combo of a cot and a backpacking shelter. It is easy to set up, and you can take it anywhere. 

The Lite Cot, which is the latest addition to their product range, is perfect for those backpackers who want lightweight cots. It only weighs 2.8 pounds, which is considered to be among the lightest backpacking cots today. It can support up to 265 pounds of weight; it can be packed compactly, too, for ease of transport.


  • Product weight - 2.8 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 73 inches x 23.5 inches x 5 inches
  • Top material - Polyester
  • Frame material - Aluminum Alloy
  • Weight capacity - 265 pounds

3. HITORHIKE Camping Cot


HITORHIKE Camping Cot is a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-use camping cot. It only weighs 4.85 pounds and is made of a sturdy steel frame that can hold up to 280 pounds. This unit is an excellent option for those wanting a robust and lightweight option that doesn't cost a ton. The strong steel support bars (and included tent pegs) mean you don't have to worry about the cot collapsing on you, and the design is streamlined enough that it is easy to carry.

It also got ergonomic features such as a side pouch where you can store your small but essential accessories. It has a storage bag, too, that lets you fold the cot in place. The shock-corded sidebars allow you to assemble and disassemble this unit quickly.


  • Product weight - 4.85 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 74.8 inches x 27.6 inches x 6.7 inches
  • Top material - Nylon
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 280 pounds

4. KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot


The KingCamp Ultralight Compact Cot is a great choice for a camp or weekend trip where you need to save every ounce possible. It is an excellent compromise between a regular tent and a sleeping pad. As the name suggests, this cot is ultra-light and compact. It weighs less than 5 pounds but can hold just about any adult. Furthermore, it is downright portable; you can store it in your backpack.

This cot has a frame made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It is ultra-rugged and features anti-rust capabilities. It enables the cot to support people up to 265 pounds. Meanwhile, its fabric is tailored from 420-denier polyester fabric. The latter is breathable and sag-resistant. 


  • Product weight - 4.9 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 75 inches × 25 inches × 4.7 inches
  • Top material - Polyester
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 265 pounds

5. FE Active Folding Camping Cot


If you're looking for a compact cot for camping or backpacking, this camp cot from FE Active is a superb selection. It weighs just over 4 pounds, packs down to the size of a one-liter water bottle, and is compact enough to fit in most backpacking packs. The cot comes in a carrying bag that doubles as a storage bag and the internal frame is collapsible for easy storage and transportation.

With its high-grade 7075 aluminum frame, you can guarantee that this cot can withstand any weather elements. Its cot is tailored from 420-denier water-resistant polyester, which makes it extra tough. It has a carrying capacity of 240 pounds and can fit inside a 2-person tent. 


  • Product weight - 4.6 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 75 inches x 27.5 inches x 6.7 inches
  • Top material - Polyester
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 240 pounds

6. Helinox Cot One Convertible


The Helinox Cot One Convertible is a lightweight aluminum cot that's easy to set up and takedown, and it's sold at a reasonable price.  The cot's aluminum frame and legs make it very strong and stable; it is also lightweight and easy to transport. Wherever you want to go on expedition, you can guarantee that this cot will give you a comfortable rest. 

The polyester cot of this unit is taut and resistant to wear-and-tear. It has a ripstop construction and is capable of supporting backpackers up to 320 pounds. The storage bag of the One Convertible is ergonomic. It is equipped with grab handles and zipper closure for more comfortable handling. 


  • Product weight - 5 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 74.8 inches x 26.8 inches x 6.7 inches
  • Top material - Polyester
  • Frame material - DAC Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 320 pounds

7. SMLFIT Backpacking Cot 


An essential part of backpacking is picking the right gear to suit your needs, and a good night's sleep is one of the most important things to consider. This is where the SMLFIT Backpacking Cot comes in. It weighs just over 4 pounds, so it is easy to carry on long backpacking trips. The cot is fairly small, so it doesn't take up much space, which is another big plus. The cot's frame is made out of aluminum, which is lightweight but also very durable.

The foldable design of the SMLIFT Backpacking Cot enables quick and hassle-free assembly; it also means that its disassembly is pretty convenient. The cot features cross rods for added support, even if you like to move around while sleeping. 


  • Product weight - 4.3 pounds
  • Unfolded dimensions - 74.5 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches
  • Top material - Cationic Polyester 
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 330 pounds

How To Choose The Best Backpacking Cot

A backpacking cot is a type of cot that is designed to be transported and used in the backcountry. Backpacking cots range from basic, lightweight cots to more complex models with additional features that some hikers prefer. They are generally more compact and lighter in weight than a conventional cot, as well as easier to transport.

Backpacking cots are typically made of lightweight materials, such as aluminum or fiberglass, and are designed to be used with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. As with any piece of outdoor gear, there's no "best" cot for all backpackers. Camping style, trip length, climate, and personal preference all play a part in what makes a good fit.

Here are some of the general qualifications when choosing a backpacking cot. 


The average backpacker endures a lot of pain over the course of a normal backpacking trip. A big part of this comes from carrying loads that are far too heavy. But even within the realm of lightweight backpacking, there is still a lot of work to do. You can shed pounds by using a lightweight cot. 

A desirable cot for backpacking should not exceed 10 pounds. Weight-conscious backpackers will not get heavy cots, as it will burden their trip. 

The weight of a cot is dependent on its material and size. Needless to say, bigger cots are heavier than smaller ones. Hence, for backpacking purposes, you should prefer single-person cots because of their streamlined size.

For the frame of the cot, you need to go with aluminum over steel. After all, aluminum is lighter than its counterpart. Furthermore, it still features adequate durability and structural strength to support its users. 

The cot material can either be made from nylon, polyester, or other specialty fabric. Make sure that they are taut and rugged so that they won't sag you on the ground.


The portability of your cot is essential for a few reasons. First, you want to be able to carry it backpacking easily. This is obvious. Second, it is also important that you be able to store it easily. This is an often overlooked but very important point. If you can't store it easily, you will have a hard time bringing it with you when you are planning to trek out somewhere.

Portable cots are not just lightweight; they feature compactness when being packed. If you can fold them inside a small storage bag, then you will have convenience in carrying them. 

Foldable cots are essential for backpacking purposes. They let you move the cot from one place to another without consuming too much time and energy. It's something that you should consider whenever picking for these cots. 


While the cost of a backpacking cot is the single most crucial factor for most people, it can't be the only factor. If you plan on using your cot for many years (and it's likely that you will), then it's a good idea to buy a durable one.

Durability is also a vital aspect for backpacking purposes. Keep in mind that some backpackers tend to go to areas where the terrain and environment are quite harsh. If they bring flimsy outdoor gears, they will not have a good time on their adventure. The elements will certainly damage their tools and equipment.

Cots are not exactly the toughest outdoor gear out there. But then again, there's no excuse for them to be shabby either. Of course, the cot you should pick must be tailored from rigid materials. They should be water-resistant and impervious to wear-and-tear (especially the fabric). 

Make sure that the frame and legs have a protective coating to make them resistant to rust and corrosion.


The benefits of the best backpacking cots are clear. If you're hiking or camping, nothing is more comfortable than a good cot. A cot provides a comfortable bed to sleep on rather than the ground. They are easy to carry around and are quick to set up. 

In a nutshell, backpacking cots are the ideal solution for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their hiking and camping experience. 

I hope you find this guide useful. For other related inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below. 

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