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The below guide has my personal recommendations for finding the best low profile camping cots. These cots have been listed as a result of how high the sleeping surface sits off ground level. Ranging from cots that sit incredibly low at 4 inches to more standard height low profile cots at 6.5″ in height.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Lowest To Ground Cots For Camping
- 2 Low Profile Folding Camping Cot
- 3 Best Low Profile Cot For Big & Tall People
- 4 Low To Floor Big Tall Camping Cot
- 5 Best Low Profile Backpacking Cot
- 6 Benefits Of Low Profile Vs High Profile Camp Cots
- 7 What To Consider When Buying A Low Profile Camp Cot
What Constitutes A Low Profile Cot
A low profile cot for camping can range in heights from 4 inches to about 12 inches in height. Anything taller than this is generally considered a regular camping cot or military style cot.
Both types of cots, low and high profile serve a purpose. While higher cots are great for people that want to get in and out of bed easier due to the height, lower profile cots are better served to backpackers and hikers.
This is because they are better at providing a uniform sleeping area on uneven terrain which many backpackers face. But the main reason is that high profile cots simply won’t fit inside the typical backpackers tent. A low to the ground 1 person tent or a small 2 person tent is the common tent for backpackers, so a cot that takes up as little height inside the tent is ideal.
With that said, its time to get straight into some of the best low profile camping cots. Starting with one of the lowest height cots I have ever come across.
Lowest To Ground Cots For Camping
When you want a camping cot to be as low to the ground as possible, then you could consider this Therm-a-Rest mesh cot. They have three variations that come in different sizes, but all have the same height of the ground. Which is 4.5 inches off the ground according to their site, which is the lowest profile camping cot I could find.
View the various sizes on amazon here.
Being so low to the ground has the advantage of less parts and materials. So it can fold down to be smaller and weigh less. It’s very small and light weight when you fold it down, with it roughly being 18 inches x 7 inches. With it weighing roughly 4.43 lbs, so it shouldn’t add to much to your backpack.
Being a very low profile also gives you more ceiling height in the low profile backpacking tents. Having a cot that sits 10 inches off the ground in a tent that is only 50 inches tall makes no sense. Which is why you need a low to the ground cot.
Features Of The Therm A Rest Cot
What a cot is made of is fairly important for the avid traveler since it can make or break a cot the experience in my opinion. Fortuneteller this Therm A Rest comes through with the goods. It is made of anodized aluminum poles, which are very durable.
The mesh fabric is also very breathable, and durable, so another big plus in my books. No more overheating during the night from canvas that doesn’t breathe well. The air can circulate more freely through the mesh material, cooling down your body as you sleep.
While this cot is only single stitched, the single line of stitching is done in a unique zig zag method. This adds to the durability of the material as it is harder to come loose or fall apart.
Various Sizes, All Low Profile Cots
The Therm A Rest comes in three different sizes, so it has something for almost everyone. With this particular model being 30 inches x 77 inches, which is their extra large version. This gives it a lot of room for even some of the larger framed people out there.
Being a larger framed individual myself, I need a higher weight capacity then most. So the 350 lbs weight capacity when it has 6 of the bars, does ease the concern in my mind. So this is something that I find important.
However there are 2 other sizes for the small people, all of which are just 4.5″ from ground height. Regular which is 24″ x 72″ and large which is the same length as extra large but not as wide, just 26 inches wide.
Camping cots do have a bit of a record of not being very comfortable. Which I find isn’t the case with this cot. Once you add self inflating pad to the mesh cover, it’s extremely comfortable. Almost like sleeping on your bed at home.
The set up of this cot can be a little difficult at first, and if you don’t do it properly. Will make it seem it can’t handle the larger weights. There is a simple step that most people overlook, which is twisting the doubled rods. If you do this step properly, you won’t have the bottom out issue.
One thing to note when setting up this cot, is that it can be difficult to do inside your tent. This does depend on the size of your tent tho. But it’s easier to set it up outside your tent, then moving it into your tent. Tho this can also be tricky if you don’t have a wide tent entry.
Low Profile Folding Camping Cot
If the idea of an award winning camping cot sounds inviting to you, and which it should. Then I’ve got good news for you with the KingCamp compact camping cot. Which won the ADI Compasso D’ORO international award in 2017. Which is considered the Nobel prize of the design world.
So let’s not let the fact it won this award detract from what makes it so good. The setting up will take a little bit to get use to, but once you do it’s hard to go back to anything else. It’s very straight forward and simple compare and will only take a few minutes to set up.
Just 4.7 Inches Off The Ground
It is slightly higher with it being 4.7 inches off the ground. So a small trade in length to get a bit higher off the ground. This may seem like a small thing, but being just that fraction higher can make a difference to some people. Which is something to consider.
As with most camping cots the size of them is really important. With this being 75 inches x 25 inches does make it a little smaller then the model above.Tho it still has enough room for an adult and two kids, which can support the weight of that as well.
Ultralight Series For Backpacking
This is apart of the ultralight class for camping cots, which means it’s not going to break your back carrying it. It does weigh only 4.9 lbs when it’s packed up. It’s very small and compact with dimensions of 14 inches x 5.1 inches x 5.1 inches. So it makes it excellent for back packing, or motorcycle camping.
The quality of the fabric is really impressive, and extremely durable. It’s very difficult to get a tear or poke a hole in it. This is something I look for in camping cots, since reliability is a big thing with camping for me.
One thing that I really liked about this cot is that it comes in a variety of colors. It has a range of 5 different colors, which just lets you add your own style to your cot. While not the biggest thing in the world, still nice to have some variety to separate yourself from the same look as everyone else.
It’s almost the perfect backpacking cot except for one minor detail. Which is that you need to be careful of when you set it up. It really struggles if you try to set it up on soft ground, like sand for example. It causes the legs to buckle inwards. This is a small problem, but one that can be solved by setting it up on solid ground.
Best Low Profile Cot For Big & Tall People
Being big and tall can be a big issue when it comes to a lot of things in life, I find this is especially true when camping. Trying to fit in a camping tent, and sleeping bags that are long enough, then the ever important cot. Helinox has come to the rescue with this incredible cot suitable for the taller campers.
This cot is an incredible 82.5 inches which is plenty of room for almost anyone. It does also offer a 75 inch version, for those who like the cot but don’t want to pay more for the longer version. But it’s the length that really sets this cost apart from the others.
The long version is roughly 6 to 8 inches longer then your average cots an 7.5 inches longer than the original Cot One by Helinox. So it really is designed for tall people, and hard it’s to pass up if you’re tall person. It’s difficult to find cots that can fit someone who is over 6’5, so it makes this cot excellent.
The higher weight capacity of 320 pounds makes this cot more appealing to the big and tall campers. Many low profile cots have a weight capacity around 200 pounds, so this extra support the Helinox offers is much appreciated.
How Low To The Ground Is The Helinox Cot?
It’s also 6.5 inches off the ground which is still low profile, but might be a bit low for tall people with bad knees, backs etc. They do offer the option to get leg extensions, which makes it 15 inches off the ground. This is an option you can go if you can’t find something higher with the right amount of length for your height.
Being a larger cot does mean you lose some of the portability of this cot. While not to much of a deal breaker in my opinion, it’s something to consider. It weighs 6.3 lbs which is heavier then the others on this list.
When you pack it down it’s still fairly small, which is feat in engineering in my opinion. With it being roughly 6.5 inches x 23 inches. So it still doesn’t take up to much room thankfully, so it’s still great for saving space when camping.
Setting this cot up is extremely easy, and once you’ve done it a few times. You’ll knock it out in a few minutes, and be able to spend more time relaxing. This is a big plus for me, camping is about enjoying your time to me. So who wants to spend 20 minutes setting up, especially if this is for the military.
I find a big part of this is the 6 leg system this cot has. Less legs means less time setting it up. Just because it has less legs doesn’t mean it’s less safe. It’s been designed around the 6 leg system, so there is nothing to worry about in my opinion.
Low To Floor Big Tall Camping Cot
When your a big person you want reliability in your cots, which is what you’ll get with this Marchway ultralight camping cot. This cot has some of the best reviews for us bigger lads, and while it doesn’t have as big of a maximum weight capacity as others, 250 Lbs, it’s able to handle larger people, just not obese.
Weighing just 4 pounds, makes it a sturdy choice for most backpackers and hikers alike.
As we know setting up a camping cot can be a hassle, then the task of taking it down again. With this cot it roughly takes 5 minutes to put it up, then another 5 minutes to take it down. It will take a little bit of strength to get the legs in place, nothing an adult couldn’t handle tho.
The size of this cot is what I’d call average with it being 74.8 inches x 27.4 inches. So it’s going to suit most people so it’s hard to go wrong with this cot. There’s nothing wrong with it being the average size in my opinion, especially when the average American is 5’9. But taller folks weighing about the weight capacity have found this cot to be ideal for them. So it really is a case by case situation.
Is It A Low Profile Camping Cot?
It’s a little higher of the ground then most low profile cots, with it being 6.5 inches off the ground. But still considered low profile compared to the 15 to 20 inch high cots. This extra height makes a differences when it comes to getting in and out of the cot. Depending on what you prefer in these situations, will be the deciding factor.
While I wouldn’t suggest using this cot without a mattress. It is surprisingly comfortable without one, which is thanks to its fabric. Again I recommend some kind of padding, but this is an option if you’re on a budget or don’t want to lug around an extra item.
Sleeping on this cot is perfectly fine, and it will hold the weight fairly easily. I wouldn’t recommend anyone standing on it, so if you have kids who like to jump on things. Let’s face which kids do, this is something you’ll need to look out for.
A small thing which not a lot of cots offer is different colors. This does come in three different colors, and again not an important thing. But choice is something I value quite highly, and personally really like having.
There is one thing to note with this cot. While not everyone has had it, there have been enough reports for me to bring this up. Which it’s a noisy cot, for when you move around. So if you move around a lot in your sleep, and have people with you wake easily. This is something to consider.
Best Low Profile Backpacking Cot
Having space and not having heavy items is essential in some forms of camping, and backpacking. This is especially true when your backpack camping, since space and weight is at a premium. G2 Go2gether have found a great compromise between space, weight, and comfort that doesn’t break the bank.
I find this camping cot to be an impressive level of engineering and design. It’s about the average size of most camping cots, being 75 inches long x 36.5 inches wide, with it being 6.5 inches high. But when you fold it up it’s only, 23 inches x 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches. This is perfect for backpacking.
Lightweight For Backpacking
So while this is the average size of a normal cot, and folds up to be a very small pack. It’s the weight that impresses me. With it only weighing 4 lbs! This may not seem much when some of the others are 4.5lbs. But when you’re carrying it for hours that extra .5lb makes a real difference.
You may wonder what they sacrificed to get it so lightweight and compact. Sadly it’s lost some of it’s maximum weight capacity. With a lower maximum weight of 260 lbs, tho you won’t find a lot of seasoned backpacking campers much bigger then this. If you’re just starting out, it’s something to pay attention to.
While the weight and size of this cot is some of it’s best features. The fabric it’s made of shouldn’t be overlooked. The heavy duty ripstop polyester is extremely durable, and really comfortable. This makes it a great cot for people who sleep on there side, and have issues with most other cots.
The frame is a little different to others on the market, as it only has 3 legs for support. Having less legs makes it easier to get it level then a lot of others. As with most camping cots you should set it up on solid ground. If you don’t you run the risk of having the legs snap. This is on any cot sadly.
The legs are also very easy to lock into place, which makes it quick and easy to set up. They’re made out of a aerometal which is lightweight and durable, making them ideal for keeping the weight down. I would suggest practicing setting it up at home first, before attempting it in the dark.
Benefits Of Low Profile Vs High Profile Camp Cots
When people think of camping, they generally think of sleeping on a camping airbed, which is completely fine. Some people compare cots to airbeds but don’t consider a low profile cot like the ones mentioned above.
So what are the benefits of sleeping on a low profile cot compared to a high profile version?. As mentioned at the top of this article, its all about being lightweight and compact in size.
The main benefit is that you can fold these types of cots down into a carry bag, attach it to your backpack and away you go. All while sticking to a 4 to 6 pound weight limit on the cot.
These types of cots are certainly not for everyone because they can be too difficult to get in and out of. If you suffer from sever back pain, knee pain, have arthritis or are elderly, a low profile cot can simply be too low to the ground to work for you.
Overweight people also avoid these types of cots also. Pulling yourself up with the extra weight can be quite the difficult task, which is why the heavy duty camp cots are generally quite tall.
What To Consider When Buying A Low Profile Camp Cot
Camping cots are becoming more and more popular every year. This is thanks to there many advantages, and simple designs, and high levels of comfort. This is of course, if you get the right one for you needs. Which is crucial since this is where you will be sleeping, during your trips.
There are a few things to consider when looking into camping cots, and finding which one is right for you. Such as the height of the camping cot, being too close, or too high from the ground. This can be a problem depending on your situation.
If you’re somewhat older, or get a lot of back pain, then having a low profile camping cot might not be the right choice for you. Ideally you should go with something that is higher off the ground, which will be easier to get in and out of. These more traditional and comfortable camping cots would make a better match.
Weight Of Cot Is Critical
The height of the cot does play a part with how much a cot will weigh. If it’s higher it will have more frame work, which in turn makes it heavier. Which can be a problem when backpacking or hiking and you have it folded and attached to your back pack.
Weight is only really an issue depending on where you will be using it, and how you’ll be traveling. If you’re traveling by foot to get to where your going to be staying for the night, then a heavy cot can be an issue depending on your fitness level. For backpacking and hiking, you really need to look for the lightest camping cots.
If where you’re camping is a place that you’re going to able to just drive and get out and sleep. Then the weight of the cot isn’t such a big issue, tho you may have a reason you can’t carry a cot a short distance. Tho in most cases this won’t be an issue.
Size Of Cot (Portable)
Since cots come in such a wide variety of sizes, there is a lot to consider when choosing the right cot for you. A big part of this will come down to a lot of your personal body size, with how big and tall you are. So knowing your own measurements to some extent is really helpful.
If you’re planning on having two people in the cot, you will need a wider cot, with a good weight capacity as well. Being tall can be a problem when it comes to the size of a cot. This is mainly if you’re a giant of a person and get close to and over 7 foot tall. Which if you are, you may need to look into one of these extra long camping cots.
Then there is the ability to fold the cot down. This may not seem as important right away. But space is key when camping, so having a cot that can be folded down to be small and compact will give you some extra space for other items of importance.
Your own body weight should be something that you think about before purchasing a cot. If you’re on the heavier side, you may want to consider going with cot that’s higher off the ground. This is because your weight can make the cots material start to lay on the floor. This isn’t good for the cot and your own back.
But most companies do these tests, and have a weight capacity limit on them. Your standard camping cot would be lucky to have a 250 pound capacity, so if you’re quite heavy you may need to consider a camping cot up to 600 pounds capacity.
Strength Of Cots Frame
Learning about what a cot is made of, is extremely important. Knowing what it’s made of can give you a good idea on how strong the cot will be. It will also give you an idea what the manufacturer thinks of the cot. If they made it out of a quality material, then they back their design.
While it should go without saying why you want you your cot to be strong. You can never be to certain now days. Having a stronger cot will give you peace of mind while sleeping, so it won’t collapse while your sleeping. A strong frame also makes it more durable, and resistant to breaking.
Quality Of Canvas
The canvas on a camping cot can make or break the entire cot in my opinion. It needs to be durable, resistant to sharp pokes, and somewhat comfortable. You want all of these factors on the material your cot is made out of. The last thing you want is for the fabric that your weight is on, to be cheap and nasty.
One thing an inexperienced camper might not take into account is the type of stitching the cot has. Whether it’s a single, double, or triple stitched cot. The higher amount of stitching gives it higher durability, and generally gives it a higher weight capacity.
But because of this if you’re trying to save a couple of dollars and are some what small, you might be able to get away with getting something that is only a single, or double stitched fabric. Tho personally I feel it’s better to be safe then sorry tho.