The last cot I slept on was green canvas and aluminum — an army-surplus pile of junk. Needless to say, I don’t have the fondest memories of comfortable rest at night (or of functional joints the next morning).
Therm-A-Rest’s LuxuryLite Cot ($220) is nothing like that. Really, an argument could be made that it’s more an “internal-frame hammock” — the sleeping surface is an ultralight, ripstop polyester sheet that hovers stretched between what are essentially tent poles.
The entire structure rests on a dozen nylon rings that act as both feet for the cot and connectors for the frame. The cot weighs in at 2 pounds — crazy light for a cot, but more mid-weight when compared with sleeping pads.
(Note: This basic design has been around for a few years; GearJunkie tested the Luxury Lite UltraLite Cot in 2009 before Therm-A-Rest partnered with the niche gear maker to bring the cot to a mass market.)
The Therm-A-Rest cot is rated to 250 lbs but I pushed it to 350, tossing and turning with a couple backpacks on board. I never heard a creak or groan.
Like a hammock, the cot is curved/sloped toward the middle a bit when weighted and therefore not so great for belly sleepers. Given the firm nature of stretched-tight fabric, I’m not surprised but it is something to note.
Before it’s assembled, individually the pieces seem small and flimsy. There are a lot of pieces, too, so be sure to keep track.
But, as a whole, it’s a solid and comfortable bed. You set it up by attaching the nylon rings to the frame. Then you pressure all the support poles into place. It takes a few minutes the first time.
I tested one accessory with the cot, the LuxuryLite Cot Warmer. It’s a thermal reflective lining said to increase the temperature performance by about 15 degrees.
I did notice the extra warmth, however I had an issue — the plastic hooks made to secure it under the cot were fragile. Without any real abuse, one crunched in my backpack. Luckily, there were enough hooks to make it a non-issue for usability but I am now treating the warmer more carefully so more don’t break.
After a few weeks of use, the cot has claimed a permanent spot in my pack. It’s replaced both my hammock and sleeping pad.
Therm-A-Rest’s LuxuryLite Cot is a lightweight, compact solution that allows you to sleep like a rock even on the hardest ground.