Top-Rated Buyer’s Guide: Best Lightweight & Portable Cots

Rilor Staff
Update: April 12, 2021
Table of Contents

You must opt for the best lightweight and portable cots, especially if you are a big fan of backpacking and hiking. These amenities provide a cozy platform for you to sleep while outdoors. They are a great alternative to sleeping bags, especially if you don't want to avoid the potential discomforts of sleeping in the ground.

Camping without a cot could become a rough experience. You have to sleep on the ground, which is hard and uncomfortable. You're also at risk of getting a rock in the middle of the night, which will interrupt your sleep and make you grumpy and restless.

While cots are essential, this doesn't mean that they are all the same. Some have better make and ergonomics than their counterparts. Below are some of the highly recommended options for this particular outdoor gear. 

Best Lightweight And Portable Cots

 Dimensions(Unfolded) WeightCot Material
ALPS Mountaineering Lighweight Cot 74 inches x 30 inches x 7.5 inches9 pounds and 5 ounces600D Polyester
Helinox Lite Cot73 inches x 23.5 inches x 5 inches 2 pounds and 13 ounces600D Nylon
REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot 75 inches x 25.5 inches x 17.5 inches16 pounds and 9 ounces600D Ripstop Polyester
Helinox Cot One Convertible 74.8 inches x 26.8 inches x 6.7 inches5 pounds and 1.1 ounces600D Polyester
MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot 74.8 inches x 27.4 inches x 6.5 inches4.8 pounds600D Ripstop Nylon

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Cot


The ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Cot is the ideal choice for anyone who likes to camp. The key to the cot's design is its flexibility; it can be used as a standard cot or fully assembled as a complete bed, depending on your needs. This one is tailored from 600D polyester fabric for superior durability and comfort. It is also rugged enough to withstand harsh environments. 

This cot comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transport. It will never become a burden in your journey. It offers a low-profile construction and highly manageable weight, perfect for every type of outdoor enthusiast.


  • Product weight - 9 pounds and 5 ounces
  • Unfolded dimensions - 30 inches x 74 inches x 7.5 inches
  • Cot material - 600D polyester fabric
  • Frame material - Steel
  • Weight capacity - 250 pounds

2. Helinox Lite Cot


Are you looking for a lightweight cot that is simple to pull out, easy to set up, and won't break the bank? If so, you will love the Helinox Lite Cot.  It is an excellent option for those who want a portable and packable cot that is easy to set up and takedown. You can use it for a quick nap on the trail or an overnight backpacking trip!

This one features a 600D fully woven ripstop nylon as its primary cot material, while its frame and legs are constructed from rugged aluminum alloy. And despite its superb construction, you'll be surprised that this unit is only 2 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest cots in the market today!


  • Product weight - 2 pounds and 13 ounces
  • Dimensions (unpacked) - 73 inches x 23.5 inches x 5 inches
  • Cot material - 600D Nylon
  • Frame material - Aluminum alloy
  • Weight capacity - 265 pounds

3. REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot


The REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot is REI's response to the high demand for camping cots. It folds up and can be packed up and carried with ease. Furthermore, it can be assembled and folded down in a matter of seconds, making it a perfect choice for those who don't want to spend a lot of time setting up their campsite.

The cot itself is made from a durable ripstop polyester fabric that lets your body breathe. It also offers a large surface area that provides a comfortable place to sleep. This cot can support loads of up to 300 pounds. I can guarantee that this unit is downright portable; you can take it anywhere you go, whether it's a hike, camping trip, or just on a trip to the park. 


  • Product weight - 16 pounds and 9 ounces
  • Dimensions (unpacked) - 75 inches x 25.5 inches x 17.5 inches
  • Cot material - 600D Ripstop Polyester Fabric
  • Frame material - Steel
  • Weight capacity - 300 pounds

4. Helinox Cot One Convertible


The Cot One Convertible is currently the most versatile camping cot on the market. It's an excellent all-around product that can be used as a full-size cot for sleeping or a small table when you remove the middle leg to create a low-to-the-ground coffee table. The frame is made of solid DAC aluminum, which is covered by a thick layer of fabric. The 600D polyester fabric is tough and durable and will handle the abuse of being brought to the backcountry over and over again.

This cot comes with a handy storage bag with grab handles and zipper closure. It enables the quick and hassle-free handling of the bag. Furthermore, the Helinox Cot One Convertible has an impressive weight capacity. It can handle sleepers of up to 320 pounds--without even sagging! That is far impressive, considering that this sleeping gear only weighs 5 pounds. 


  • Product weight - 5 pounds and 1.1 ounces
  • Dimensions (unpacked) - 74.8 inches x 26.8 inches x 6.7 inches
  • Cot material - 600D Polyester
  • Frame material - DAC Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 320 pounds

5.MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot


If you're looking to go camping and don't want to pack around a heavy tent or even a cot, you will love the MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Tent Camping Cot. This easy-to-use portable bed is ideal for any camping adventure you may go on or even for just lounging around outside. It is incredibly lightweight and compact compared to heavier cots, and it is super simple to put together. 

The cot features a foldable aluminum shock-cord pole frame that enables faster assembly and disassembly. Meanwhile, the entire cot cover is tailored from ripstop nylon fabric, which is capable of handling up to 275 pounds of weight. Sleeping on this cot is pretty convenient, as it is spacious and not susceptible to sagging. With its storage bag, it is entirely possible to pack this cot compactly. 


  • Product weight - 4.8 pounds
  • Dimensions (unpacked) - 74.8 inches x 27.4 inches x 6.5 inches
  • Cot material - 600D Ripstop Nylon
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Weight capacity - 275 pounds

Benefits Of Having The Best Lightweight And Portable Cots

Camping cots are a great alternative to regular mattress backpacking. They are lightweight, durable, and pack small. With a few adjustments, it can even work for car camping.  Camping cots offer several benefits that make them a great choice for your next camping trip. 

Camping cots do range in size and capabilities. In this particular post, we are exploring the qualities of lightweight and portable cots.

But in general, outdoor cots do provide the following perks. 

  • Durability - Since cots are designed for outdoor applications, you can expect that they are rugged and durable. They have impressive resistance to the effects of various elements. The cots that I featured here are both water-resistant and sturdy. Hence, they are perfect for areas riddled with precipitation. 
  • Ergonomic - One of the benefits of cots is their user convenience. Unlike traditional beddings and mattresses, cots allow you to get in and get out pretty quickly. You don't need to struggle before you can enter or exit them. 
  • Less susceptible to dirt and critters - Cots are designed to be lifted from the ground. Therefore, users will have minimal to no chance of encountering ground dirt, soil, and insects. They offer a clean sleeping solution for outdoor goers.
  • Fully breathable - When you sleep on cots, you will not experience blockages in the air. You can feel the natural breeze embracing your body, thanks to the cot's elevated design. 

Of course, there are some minor issues with these cots. First, they are only meant for single sleepers. Moreover, they are typically uncomfortable with side sleepers. But overall, these drawbacks can be dismissed, especially if there are proper adjustments done. 

How To Choose The Best Lightweight And Portable Cots


If you are a certified outdoor lover, there's a good chance that you have a desire to explore uncharted terrains and challenging terrains. Hence, your gears should possess reliable durability to ensure that they can take a beating. 

The durability of cots is dependent on the materials used on them. Allow me to explain each of them briefly.

  • Frame - The frame of outdoor cots is made from metal, usually in the form of steel or aluminum. Both of these materials are good. Aluminum features a highly manageable weight. Meanwhile, steel offers rigidity and durability; it can withstand more load. 
  • Cover - The cover is the area where you sleep in an outdoor cot. It stretches throughout the frame, allowing its users to lie comfortably without touching the ground. Most covers are made from cotton, nylon, and polyester. Cotton has decent sturdiness, but it is difficult to clean. Hence, I recommend that you get cot covers made from nylon and polyester. 
  • Mattress pad - A mattress pad is not a standard feature for outdoor cots. But some cots have this particular component, which enables added support and comfort. But keep in mind that the presence of mattress pads can add to the weight and bulkiness of the cot.


The construction of the cot dictates its overall usability and applicability in your outdoor adventures. 

Here are some of the considerations that you have to pay attention to:

  • Convenience in assembly - Similar to tents, there are cots that are easier to deploy than their counterparts. Needless to say, we prefer cots that are easy to assemble and not the other way around. Some cots only require you to unfurl them; others will need to attach threading poles on their frames before they can stand. 
  • Storage - You should prefer camping cots that can collapse compactly, especially if you are conscious when it comes to the bulkiness of your gears. The more portable and compact the storage system of the cots, the more it can benefit backpackers and hikers. 
  • Weight - Again, weight is an essential factor in choosing cots. It is alright if you get a bulky and heavy camping cot if you are just setting in an area where it is accessible by your motorhome or vehicle. However, if you are going to do the lifting by yourself, you should prioritize cots that have minimal weight. In this way, you'll be comfortable lifting them.
  • Weight capacity - The cot that you need to pick should be able to match your weight. Since not all cots have the same weight capacity, you need to be specific when it comes to your choices. Most of the outdoor cots today have a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. But some options can exceed that. 


The best lightweight and portable cots are ideal for backpackers and hikers. These cots are compatible with their pursuit since they don't add to the weight and load that their users have to carry. If you are always on the move, these seemingly weightless options are perfect for you. 

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

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