The Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot is designed for campers, backpackers, fisherman, or kayakers who need more back support than they can get from a foam or inflatable sleeping pad, prefer to sleep up off the ground, or want a cooler sleeping system for camping in hot weather. The UltraLite version of the LuxuryLite Cot reviewed here is significantly lighter weight (depending on the configuration) than the original version of the LuxuryLite Mesh Cot, making it a more portable camping cot for campers who need to carry one under their own power to a remote campsite in a backpack or a boat.
Sleeping on a LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot is a very different experience than sleeping on an inflatable or foam sleeping pad. While the surface of the cot has a little give to it, it’s quite a lot firmer than any sleeping pad I’ve ever used. If spending an extended period of times on an inflatable sleeping pad makes your lower back ache (as it does mine), sleeping on a firm LuxuryLite cot can provide you with welcome relief.
Keep in mind that LuxuryLite cots do not provide you with any back insulation like a sleeping pad. While this can translate to great comfort in hot climates, you may want to cover the cot with a thin 1/8″ pad of foam, as shown above, in cooler weather to prevent heat loss.
Ease of Assembly
The LuxuryLite Ultralite Cot includes two shock-corded aluminum poles that form the sides of the cot, a long rectangular piece of polyester ripstop fabric that you lie on, and eight two-piece bowframe bars with two plastic feet, that lock the bowframe bars in place and raise you up off the ground. The cot is very easy to set up once you do it a few times. Here’s a short video from Therm-a-Rest that illustrates the process.
Out of the box, the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot weighs 2 pounds, 12 ounces and includes 12 plastic feet and 8 two-piece bowframe bars, a configuration which can hold up to a 300 pound person. However, if you weigh less and don’t need all of that support, you can reduce the weight of the UltraLite cot by leaving a few of the feet and bowframe bars at home to lighten its weight.
For example, Therm-a-Rest recommends using a configuration with 4 of the two-piece bowframe bars and 8 plastic feet for a person or child weighing up to 175 pounds. This results in a weight savings of 11.2 ounces bringing the weight of the UltraLite Cot down to 2 pounds and 0.8 ounces, which isn’t bad, considering the added comfort that the cot provides.
Note: the UltraLite Cot reviewed here is the size regular which is 24 inches wide and 72 inches long. A wider 26 inch wide UltraLite Cot is also available. See Therm-a-Rest for full details.
I asked around and a lot of people wouldn’t hesitate to bring a 2 pound cot on a backpacking trip if it provided them with a better nights sleep than a 12 ounce Therm-a-Rest Xlite inflatable sleeping pad. The extra 1 pound 4 ounces wasn’t that significant a weight penalty in their eyes.
Backpacking Tent Compatibility
But focusing too much on the weight difference between the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot and the LuxuryLite Mesh Cot misses the core benefit that both of these cots provide to backpackers. Both of LuxuryLite Cots are low enough to the ground that they can fit into just about any backpacking tent, something you can’t do with most of the other camping cots available today. That coupled with its light weight is what differentiates the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot from other camping cots, and makes it such an attractive alternative to a sleeping pad for people who need better back support or hate sleeping on the ground.
Disclosure: Philip Werner received a free sample LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot from Therm-a-Rest for this review.
SectionHiker is read supported. We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.