Therm-A-Rest have recently launched their new camping cot named LuxuryLite for the 2018 camping season. We have to admit, the name fits the product almost perfectly. Still, this isn’t an overpriced cot which quality doesn’t match the price tag but perhaps the most well-priced model from our top 5 list. Its unique design, comfortable sleeping surface and overall dimensions are ideal for any camper or hiker. If weight is your biggest concern when packing your stuff, you should give the LuxuryLite a try.
Our Verdict: This is a mesh cot by Therm-A-Rest that’s received plenty of praise from campers, mainly for its lightweight, breathable design. Bottom line, if you’re camping out in the summer or spring, then this cot is a great choice. The mesh design will keep you cool and dry, promoting air circulation. But during the colder months of the year this cot will not be a good choice since it’s not insulated. Additionally, since the cot rests so close to the ground it can be difficult for some people to easily get on and off it.
Continue reading to learn more about this popular mesh cot by Therm-A-Rest.
Product Overview And Features
The avid camper who loves spending weeks in the wilderness will love what this cot has to offer. Cots that are designed for winter use don’t offer much in terms of breathability. That’s where this cot excels. The highly breathable design will keep you nice and cool during a hot summer night. The lightweight design will also make this cot easy to transport and store.
This camping cot provides a very specific and honestly quite different sleeping experience compared to the rest in our top 5. While the surface is a bit more giving than what a sleeping pad would feel like, it still provides a firm and stable experience such as an air mattress would provide, for example. That firmness is the reason why so many people with lower back issues love this thing.
Materials And Usability
The sleeping surface is made from breathable mesh which keeps you cool during the hot months and keeps things nice and dry during the more damp times. The guys over at Therm-A-Rest are confident in their product and claim that it is more solid than any other sleeping pad or air mattress. According to our field tests, this was truly the case. The cot held its own and was great for people of all sizes in all sorts of climates. The only non-plastic parts were the aluminum frames around the surface of the cot. They have shock cord inside them and fit perfectly with one another.
It might be ideal for a warm summer day, you will need to consider bring an extra foam pad when it gets colder. This will prevent your body from losing too much heat since the cot itself doesn’t offer you any sort of insulation, unlike the Chinook 29250 which has a thick surface and is far more suitable for colder environments. The chinook on the other hand isn’t as portable as the LuxuryLite, which brings us to our next point…
Portability, Weight, And Dimensions
Straight out of the box, this cot weighs roughly 3 pounds. The whole package includes 12 plastic feet along with 8 bow-frame bars. Once set up properly, this configuration can hold up to 300 pounds on top of it. If you think that you put that much weight on this cot, you can leave some of the feet and bow-frame segments at home to keep the weight even lower.
You can imagine that weighing that little makes it ideal for campers and even more for hikers since it can barely be felt on your backpack. Still, this all comes at a price – the overall sturdiness. The cot is made predominantly from plastic and plastic isn’t known for its toughness. We think that this cot won’t stand the test of time well, especially if it’s being used on a regular basis.
Bottom line, if you enjoy spending several weeks camping and hiking in the backcountry, then you need a lightweight cot that won’t add too much weight to your pack. This cot can deliver.
In terms of sizes there are Normal, Large, and Extra Large. The normal one starts from 24 x 72 inches, which in our opinion is good enough for most people and ideal for people with 1-person tents. The large cot is 26 x 77 inches which we tested and boy it feels amazing. It is wide and long enough for a tall person to fit in easily. What’s nice is that the stability of the cot and the tightness of the sleeping surface aren’t compromised as the size increases. Last comes the extra large size which sits at 30 x 77 inches. This can easily fit two kids and is ideal for a single person if you have a bigger tent and a way to transport it (since it takes up more space and weighs slightly more).
For most people the height of this cot is a huge downside. It sits at around 4.5 inches from the ground and what is worse is that the legs of the cot get in the way and because of that you can’t really place any of your items beneath it (which is one of the biggest advantages of normal cots). Furthermore, this makes it harder for you to get up in the morning, so we really do not recommend this for old people.
Want to learn more about the rest of our top 5 selection? Head over to our Buyer’s Guide. There you will find a nice comparison between all the best cots for this year along with some useful buyer’s tips.
Setting It Up And Overall Ease Of Use
For most campers the process of setting this tent up won’t take more than 5 minutes. This isn’t the case for the more inexperienced ones, though. We tried doing it without reading any instructions and it wasn’t really intuitive. Still, 5 minutes is a lot of time either way. The other cots on our list take less than a minute to set up and are equally easy to pack right back up.
The bow-shaped supports are hard to remove and put back in. Still, if you assemble it at home a few times you will get the hang of it. As we already mentioned, you can leave some of the bows behind which will save some weight when you’re up in the mountains.
If you have a large tent, this camping cot is ideal but in smaller one-person tents setting this thing up can be a nightmare (in case you can’t do it outside due to rain or other conditions).
If you want to learn more about waterproofing your tent and the rest of your equipment, click here.
The Strange Level Of Comfort
Sleeping on this cot is a very different experience if you are used to air or foam mattresses or even sleeping pads. The sleeping surface has a little give but it still is firmer than almost anything else you can sleep on when out camping. This is a good thing in our opinion since it’s exactly what your back needs after a 5 hour hike in the mountains.
If you often struggle with the average camping pad and need a sleeping surface that provides more back support and a firmer sleeping surface, then this camping cot is a great choice.
Now, let’s quickly take a look at the different pros and cons of this product:
- Ultra lightweight
- Comes in three sizes so you can choose the ideal one for you
- Folds into a very compact package
- You get a free carry bag
- Sturdy sleeping surface ideal for people with back pain
- Breathable sleeping surface keeps you cool during summer
- Too low to the ground, which makes it a bad choice for old people
- Can be a pain to assemble if you aren’t used to the construction
- Isn’t ideal for one person tents due to the lack of storage space beneath it