Camping & Hiking Cots Reviews

The Best Backpacking Cot Tents Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2021

tent cot with Beautiful scenery

Last Updated on January 6, 2021

Backpacking is a great way to get outside, but what if you could be comfortable while doing it?

Although people think that heading outside requires a good amount of discomfort, with the right backpacking cot tent in tow, you can enjoy a trip into the heart of a remote mountain range – all while getting your beauty sleep at night.

Finding the right lightweight tent cot, however, isn’t always as easy as it might seem. That’s because these tent cots for backpacking are so packed full of features that it can be difficult to figure out which one is perfect for your needs.

We want you to enjoy your outdoor adventures, so we’ve put together this review of the best backpacking cot tents on the market today. Plus, we’ve even crafted a guide to help you determine which model is most appropriate for your upcoming camping trip.

How To Choose The Best Backpacking Cot Tent

As mentioned, lightweight camping cot tents can be tricky pieces of gear to shop for. So, it’s important that you know what to look for as you decide on your next backpacking companion. Here are some of the most important features to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Comfort: The main reason that many campers opt for a cot instead of a sleeping pad is because cots offer a lot more in terms of comfort, so it should come as no surprise that comfort is also a key concern when it comes to camp cot tents. In general, comfort in a backpacking tent cot has to do with the quality of the cot itself and its performance as a sleeping space. Other key things to keep in mind with regards to comfort is the ceiling height of the tent and the amount of living space you have for moving around at night.
  • Weight: One of the main characteristics that differentiates a tent cot for backpacking and a more traditional camping tent cot is that backpacking-specific models are purposefully designed to be lightweight. Although everyone’s definition of “light” varies, it’s generally agreed that a backpacking cot should weigh well under 10 lbs (4.5 kg). Ideally, these shelters should weigh under 7 lbs (3.2 kg), though anything under about 5 lbs (2.3 kg) would be considered an ultralight tent cot.
  • Packability: In addition to being lightweight, a quality camping cot for backpacking should be quite packable. Since you’ll need to carry all of your gear in your backpack, the ideal tent cot should fold up small so it doesn’t take up too much space in your pack. Like with weight, the definition of “packable” is quite subjective, but an ideal one-person backpacking tent cot should be about the size of a standard two-person backpacking tent, or about 22x9x6 inches (56x22x15 cm).
  • Weather-Resistance: Since your cot tent serves not only as a sleeping area, but also as a shelter, it’s imperative that it’s capable of keeping you dry in the mountains. When evaluating if a backpacking tent cot is truly weather-resistant, you’ll need to have a look at the construction of the tent’s rainfly. You should keep an eye out for tents cots that have waterproof rainflies made from ripstop nylon or polyester. Additionally, for complete weather-resistance, the tent portion of a backpacking tent cot should also be seam-taped or seam-sealed to keep water out in a storm.
  • Gear Storage: Backpacking is a gear-intensive activity, so it’s important that you have space to store it while you’re on the trail. Tent cots can accommodate gear storage in a number of different ways, but they most commonly do this through vestibules or internal gear pockets. Vestibules are basically tent garages or covered areas over the front door of your tent. They make for an excellent place to stash wet gear or larger items. Meanwhile, internal gear pockets are perfect for camping flashlights and smaller pieces of equipment.

Comparative Chart

Product Highlight Assembled Dimension

L x W x H

Packed Dimension

L x W x H

Weight Weight Capacity Value
Desert Walker Cot Tent Ultralight
Option
79” x 26” x 41” (200 x 66 x 105 cm) 22” x 6” x 6” (57 x 15 x 15 cm) 5 lbs (2.3 kg) 440 lbs (200 kg) Includes a pillow
Night Cat Cot Tent Budget-friendly option 98” x 60” x 39” (250 x 150 x 100 cm) 23” x 8” x 5” (60 x 20 x 13 cm) 10.6lbs (4.8 kg) 240 lbs (110 kg) Features a convertible awning
Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot Most livable option 72” x 24” x 55” (183 x 61 x 140 cm) 16” x 5” x 6” (41 x 13 x 15 cm) 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg) 325 lbs (148 kg) Includes Therm-a-Rest’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
UBOWAY Tunnel Backpacking Cot Tent Highly Packable Option 75” x 47” x 45” (190 x 120 x 115 cm) 16” x 9” x 8” (42 x 24 x 21 cm) 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg) 300 lbs (150 kg) Can be used as a 4 season tent
OUTAD Ultralight Backpacking Cot Tent Best Waterproof Option 79” x 26” x 45” (200 x 66 x 115 cm) 20” x 6” x 6” (59 x 15 x 15 cm) 5.8 lbs (2.7 kg) 325 lbs (148 kg) Includes a set of tent stakes
iUcar Portable Tent Cot Quick Set Up Option 79” x 26” x 42” (200 x 66 x 105 cm) 22” x 6” x 6” (57 x 15 x 15 cm) 5.7 lbs (2.6 kg) 440 lbs (200 kg) Comes with a sleek carry bag

The Top 6 Best Backpacking Cot Tent Reviews

 

Desert Walker Cot Tent – Ultralight Option

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Comfort

Decidedly comfortable, the Desert Walker Cot Tent is designed to help you get a good night’s sleep, thanks to its exceptionally high center height, which offers plenty of headspace, and its included pillow. However, the cot inside this tent, while made from extra comfy Oxford fabric, is fairly short (just 73 inches/185 cm), so it’s not ideal for taller campers.

Weight

The Desert Walker Cot Tent is one of the lightest backpacking cot tents on the market. At just 5 lbs (2.3 kg), it’s lighter than most sleeping bag/sleeping pad/tent combos, and it’s easy enough to tote into the mountains.

Packability

Since it was designed specifically with backpackers in mind, this model packs down to about the size of a standard two-person tent, making it a highly portable option for remote adventures.

Weather-Resistance

Desert Walker built this cot tent with a 15D ripstop nylon rainfly, which provides full coverage for the entire tent. Additionally, the tent has a set of durable aluminum poles, which are sturdy enough to hold up in windy conditions.

Gear Storage

As far as gear storage goes, the Desert Walker Cot Tent doesn’t disappoint. It has two large vestibules, which offer more than enough space for storing all your gear while you’re out and about, as well as internal organizing pockets.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Very lightweight design
  • Highly portable
  • Tall ceiling height for increased headroom
  • 2 large vestibules provide gear storage
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Cot bed is fairly short

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Night Cat Cot Tent – Budget-Friendly Option

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Comfort

A spacious abode, the Night Cat Cot Tent is a comfy place to lay your head at night. The interior cot is large enough to accommodate taller campers, while the tunnel shape provides a comfortable amount of headroom throughout the tent.

Weight

One area where the Night Cat Cot Tent doesn’t quite bring its A-game is in terms of packed weight. With a total weight of 10.6 lbs (4.8 kg), it’s not exactly the lightest on the market, so it’s best for shorter backpacking adventures, rather than longer hikes.

Packability

Although it’s a bit heavy, the Night Cat Cot Tent does fold down to about the same size as most of the lighter alternatives. So, if you have limited space in your pack, but you’re okay with a bit of extra weight, it might be a good option for your needs.

Weather-Resistance

Night Cat specifically designed this tent with weather-resistance in mind, giving it an extra-strong 210D ripstop polyester rainfly that’s waterproof rated to 3000mm. Moreover, this tent has a set of strong aluminum poles and a tunnel shape, which is great in the wind.

Gear Storage

The Night Cat Cot Tent doesn’t have any dedicated gear storage options, like a vestibule or gear pockets, though it does have a large convertible awning and plenty of space under the cot itself. So, although it’s not as convenient as a vestibule, you can stash some gear directly under the cot in this tent.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Convertible awning
  • Extra durable fabrics
  • Budget-friendly for a backpacking cot
  • Spacious interior
  • Tunnel shape is good in foul weather
  • Fairly heavy for a backpacking tent
  • No vestibule gear storage

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Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot – Most Livable Option

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Comfort

Therm-a-Rest’s gear is all about comfort and their Tent Cot is no exception. This model offers a truly impressive amount of headroom for comfort as you lounge at night and you can buy it in either a 72-inch (183 cm) or 77-inch (196-cm) length.

Weight

It’s important to note that the Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot is actually sold as a two-piece model, so you need to acquire the tent and the cot separately. So, while the tent weighs just 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg), you can expect the entire set up to weigh about 5.5 lbs (2.9 kg), if you opt for Therm-a-Rest’s lightest backpacking cot model. 

As a result, this tent cot is among the lightest models available, though it loses out slightly to the Desert Walker Cot Tent as the lightest option in our review.

Packability

When combined with Therm-a-Rest’s UltraLite Backpacking Cot, this tent cot is among the most packable models available. It folds down into an impossibly small size (16x5x6 inches/41x13x15 cm), which makes it a nice option for longer backpacking adventures.

Weather-Resistance

Featuring a 50D taffeta polyester rainfly that’s fully seam-taped and waterproof treated, the Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot is designed to keep you dry. However, while it does have a set of strong hub-style poles, it’s important to remember that tents with high center heights aren’t ideal in the wind.

Gear Storage

The Therm-a-Rest Tent Cot doesn’t come with much in terms of gear storage, since it doesn’t have vestibules nor internal gear pockets, which were likely left out of the design in order to save on weight.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Lightweight construction
  • Fully seam-taped rainfly
  • Extra-high center height for livability
  • Easy to pack
  • Comes in 2 different lengths
  • Cot sold separately
  • Not great in very heavy winds
  • Limit gear storage options

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UBOWAY Tunnel Backpacking Cot Tent – Highly Packable Option

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Comfort

Featuring UBOWAY’s Off Ground technology, the Tunnel Backpacking Cot Tent is a cozy option for backpacking. The cot itself is designed to be comfortable enough for use with or without a sleeping pad. while the tent’s asymmetrical design provides ample overhead space without sacrificing packability.

Weight

Although it’s not the lightest tent on the market, the UBOWAY Tunnel Backpacking Cot Tent is far from the heaviest. At 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg), this model is somewhat heavy for longer adventures, but for a short weekend backpacking trip, it’s well within reason when it comes to overall weight.

Packability

Despite our slight reservations about the weight of this tent cot, this model is still highly packable. Indeed, it boasts the same packed size as tent cots that are many pounds lighter than it, thanks to its sleek, asymmetrical shape.

Weather-Resistance

This tent cot features 210D polyester taffeta rip-stop fabric and is rated to 2000mm of waterproofing. As a result, it’s designed to keep you dry in inclement weather, even in the winter months.

However, it’s important to note that the rainfly of this tent cot does not stake to the ground, rather, it simply connects to the tent body. This means that it’s not as sturdy in the wind, which may be a concern if you’re traveling into alpine environments.

Gear Storage

Although the UBOWAY Tunnel Backpacking Cot Tent doesn’t have any vestibules for gear storage, it does have a few internal gear pockets for organization. Therefore it’s best for folks who only need a small amount of weatherproof gear storage during their adventures.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Highly packable design
  • Internal pockets for gear organization
  • Fully waterproof rainfly
  • Asymmetrical shape provides decent headroom
  • Not great in the wind
  • No vestibules

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OUTAD Ultralight Backpacking Cot Tent – Best Waterproof Option 

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Comfort

Boasting an innovative high-profile design, the OUTAD Ultralight Backpacking Cot Tent provides plenty of overhead space for maximum livability. The cot is also long enough to comfortably accommodate taller campers, thanks to its 78-inch (200cm) length.

Weight

At 5.8 lbs (2.7 kg), the OUTAD Ultralight Backpacking Cot Tent is impressively lightweight, even if it narrowly misses out on being the lightest model on the market. Therefore, it’s a solid choice for adventures into more remote locales.

Packability

In addition to being very lightweight, this backpacking tent cot is also highly packable. Its high-end materials allow it to maintain its durability and integrity in harsh conditions, all while still being portable enough to pack for a backpacking trip.

Weather-Resistance

One area where the OUTAD Ultralight Backpacking Tent Cot really impresses is in terms of its waterproofing. It has a 15D ripstop nylon flysheet that is silicone coated for ample water protection. Moreover, the flysheet on this tent provides full coverage from the wind, making it a reliable shelter in austere environments.

Gear Storage

Since this backpacking cot tent has a full coverage fly, it also includes two sizable vestibules for gear storage. Although it doesn’t have any internal gear pockets, these oversized vestibules should provide most campers with plenty of storage space for their equipment.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Silicone coated flysheet for weather protection
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • 2 large vestibules
  • Packable and lightweight
  • High ceiling height for comfort
  • No internal gear storage pockets

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iUcar Portable Tent Cot – Quick Set-Up Option

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Comfort

With this tent cot, iUcar used a fairly traditional half-dome tent shape, which provides ample headroom at night. Although the cot itself is a bit low to the ground, it is decidedly spacious, thanks to its 79-inch (200cm) length, and it comes with a pillow for added comfort at night.

Weight

Surprisingly lightweight, the iUcar Portable Tent Cot tips the scales at just 5.7 lbs (2.6 kg), so it rivals some other top contenders in terms of versatility and portability in the mountains.

Packability

When it comes to packability, the iUcar Portable Tent Cot apart is that its high-strength aluminum alloy structure folds down to a modest packed size (22x6x6 inches/57x15x15 cm) inside its included carry case. However, the genius in this tent cot is that you can set it up and take it down in just a few minutes, saving you time in the campground. 

Weather-Resistance

For weather-resistance, iUcar engineered this tent with a full-coverage 15D ripstop nylon fabric rainfly that’s treated with silicone for maximum waterproofing. It also has a classic half-dome shape, which provides good stability in windy conditions.

Gear Storage

Thanks to its full-coverage rainfly, this tent cot has two vestibules that provide ample gear storage at night. However, in the interest of weight savings, iUcar didn’t design this model with any gear pockets or internal organizers.

What We Liked

What Could Be Improved

  • Lightweight and packable
  • Comes with a sleek carry case
  • 2 large vestibules
  • Silicone treated rainfly for waterproofing>
  • Long cot for taller campers
  • Cot is a little low to the ground
  • Pricey

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Backpacking Cots Tents: Everything You Need To Know

Not sure if a backpacking cot tent is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know to make your decision.

What Is A Backpacking Cot Tent?

Put simply, a backpacking cot tent is a type of outdoor shelter that combines a cot and a tent into one lightweight, highly portable package. Unlike a tent, which is just a shelter, backpacking cot tents also include a comfortable sleeping space to help you rest and recover at night.

In general, backpacking tent cots are only designed for solo use, so they’re best for individual trips into the mountains. Although you can find some larger camping tent cots on the market that are suitable for two people, these models are often much too heavy for backpacking purposes.

Most backpacking tent cots are designed to prioritize packability, weight savings, and weather-resistance since these are all key qualities in any shelter that’s used in remote environments. They’re also usually crafted to provide a bit of gear storage space to protect your equipment from the weather in harsh mountain conditions.

Should I Choose A Backpacking Cot Tent Or A Regular Tent?

Backpacking tent cots and regular tents have a lot of similarities. They’re both designed to protect you from the elements and they’re both highly packable for use in remote locales.

So, how do you decide which one is right for your needs? Let’s discuss some of the advantages of each type of shelter to help you make your decision.

Advantages Of A Backpacking Cot Tent

Tent cots for backpacking can be a great option in certain situations. Here are some of the advantages of using a cot tent in the mountains:

  • Comfort: Perhaps the biggest advantage to a cot tent is the added comfort. Cots are often much more comfortable than your standard sleeping pad, which is important to consider if you usually struggle to get to sleep at night while camping.
  • All In One Simplicity: Since cot tents are an all-in-one system that combines your shelter and your sleeping space, they are often quicker and easier to set up than more traditional tent options.
  • Off Ground Sleeping: Sleeping in a tent cot means that you’ll be elevated off the ground by about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm). This can be advantageous in very wet conditions when the moisture from the damp ground can actually start to seep into your sleeping area.

Benefits of A Regular Tent

Regular backpacking tents have been a stalwart of camping gear lists for years. Here’s why:

  • Versatility. There are many more camping tents on the market then there are backpacking cot tents, so you’ll be better able to find gear that’s right for your unique needs.
  • Weight Savings. Although there are certainly some exceptions to this rule, if you’re looking to keep the weight in your pack to an absolute minimum, an ultralight tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag are going to be better than even the lightest tent cot.
  • Increased Group Sizes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a portable backpacking tent cot that can accommodate more than one person. So, if you’re looking to camp in a group, you’ll likely need a regular tent.

Conclusion

A backpacking tent cot can be a great shelter option for folks that prioritize comfort and functionality in their gear. There are plenty of excellent models to choose from, the key is to find one that provides just the right amount of livability and portability for your adventures.

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