Last on our list comes the Helinox Cot Max Convertible. It isn’t at this fifth position because of its qualities or features but because of the single most important reason for a camper – the price. People who enjoy going out in the nature usually try to hit the perfect price/value ratio and this product simply isn’t priced right. For example, our top product, the Big Agnes Helinox Cot One V2, offers the same quality and features but is priced at almost half the price. When the two are put side by side it almost makes no sense getting the Helinox cot. Still, let’s check out what makes it a good enough camping cot to enter the five best models for this year.
Before you move on you can check out our Buyer’s Guide on this year’s best camping cots. There we have everything from reviews and tips to an informative comparison chart.
Our Verdict: This cot is perfect for those hot summer nights out in the backcountry. The cot’s larger than average dimensions make this model a great choice for taller, heavier people. This cot is recommended for use during the warmer months of the year since it’s not insulated and doesn’t provide much protection against the elements. However, the cot can still be used during the winter months with the addition of a sleeping bag. In terms of weight, the cot weighs in at around six pounds, which is decent for a camping cot, but may be too heavy for long distance hikes.
Read on to learn how this camping cot performed in the backcountry.
Product Overview And Features
If you’re searching for a camping cot that’s sturdier than the mesh cots that seem to be dominating the market these days, then this model will be a breath of fresh air. It’s not as light as a traditional mesh camping cot, but the thicker, sturdier sleeping surface makes the extra weight worth it. Most cots designed for long distance hikes are three pounds or under, so at six pounds, this cot may be too much for some hikers.
The overall construction of this model is excellent, we cannot say otherwise. The aluminum press-fit poles can be connected exactly like you would connect your tent poles which makes things really intuitive and easy for even the beginner camper.
The cot features an innovative design that allows you to set it up or break it down quickly.
In terms of quality, the cot can easily withstand heavy, regular use. The frame has a solid feel to it, while the tough nylon surface can handle plenty of wear and tear.
The cot comes with detailed instructions that are easy to follow and well-written. On average, most campers reported a ten minute assembly time.
Once you finish setting up the side poles, you just slide them into the main fabric surface. After that all that will be left is going to be the adding of the four foot structures (bars). All this process took us a few minutes and we didn’t even read the instructions, nor did we use any tools. On each leg there is a tension locking system. When locked, the legs provide extra tension on your sleeping surface which ultimately makes the whole sleeping experience far more comfortable and pleasant for your back, especially after a long trekking day.
The surface of the feet which faces the ground is relatively larger than it is on most of the other camping cots we reviewed. This prevents this particular model from sinking into the ground if its soft, for example.
The sleeping surface is made out of nylon which makes it extremely breathable and waterproof. This is perfect for damp weather or hot summer days but isn’t really good for those sub-zero winter months.
The width of this cot is 30 inches and its 82 inches long which is more than enough for most people. It actually is quite spacious compared to other cots, to a point where it might not be the most ideal choice for a single-person tent, since it will leave you with little to no room for the rest of your items. However, if you’re over five feet, nine inches tall, then you’ll appreciate the cot’s longer than average design. Most camping cots are very compact and are difficult for taller campers to use. This longer camping cot is perfect for users up to six feet, four inches tall.
The cot’s ground clearance is about 6 inches, which is quite little. Most cots have 10 or more inches of clearance which allows you to store even your backpack beneath them, ultimately leaving you with more free floor space. However, for most campers, the lower clearance isn’t exactly a deal breaker. It’s also more than enough space to allow air to circulate.
The ground clearance prevents you from ever touching the ground. That is great for your body since air won’t drain your body heat as fast as the bare ground will. This cot actually performed really well in the days that we tested it (mid-summer). On the other hand, we think you will definitely need at least a sleeping pad for the winter months.
Apart from sleeping comfort, this cot delivers transportation comfort as well. What we mean by that is that it weighs just 6 lbs. and is quite compact when packed up allowing it to be easily attached to your backpack.
Even if we ignore the price, there is another negative thing about this camping cot that we wanted to mention earlier. There is another support product called Cot Max Leg (conversion kit) which makes this cot higher. And at this price point you’d think that they would give it to you for free but no it is sold separately for some reason. At least the zipper storage bag is free…
The sleeping surface has a firmer feel to it compared to popular mesh style camping cots, but the cot’s back is not adjustable and doesn’t provide any additional lumbar support. This can be a deal breaker for the camper who’s suffering from chronic back pain.
It has a six-inch clearance underneath which provides some extra space to store your gear. However, getting on and off the cot can be difficult if you have a bad back or other type of disability.
This extra space under the cot will also help to keep you cool by promoting air circulation.
The larger than average foot caps will prevent the cot from sinking into the tent’s flooring and can also help to stabilize the cot when it’s placed on uneven ground. The longer than average design allows the taller camper to stretch out and relax without their feet hanging off the edge.
Since the surface is made out of nylon, it’s more breathable than cots equipped with thickly padded sleeping surfaces but it’s not quite as breathable as a mesh cot. However, it does a better than average job of keeping the sleeping camper cool and dry. The nylon is also fast-drying, which is a plus if you’re a heavy sweater or you sleep outdoors.
The weight of the cot is twice the weight preferred by long distance hikers, however, at six pounds, this cot is still considered highly portable.
In terms of ease of use, the included instructions made assembling this cot a breeze. In fact, after you’ve done it once or twice you won’t need to consult the instructions again.
Let’s summarize its pros and cons now:
- Relatively easy to set up
- Quite compact when packed which makes it portable
- Doesn’t weight much (6 pounds)
- Perfect for taller campers
- large foot caps prevent the cot from sinking into the ground
- Fast drying nylon sleeping surface
- Not ideal for cold weather (you will need extra insulation)
- Very expensive
- Six inches of clearance under the cot
- Too heavy for long distance hiking trips