|Dimensions||18 x 7.5 x 5.5 in||78 x 30 x 6 in|
Kind of fussy to set up and take down, but packs small…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
Kind of fussy to set up and take down, but packs small and light and is very comfortable.
- Small packed size and light
- Low setup height allows it to fit in smaller tents
- Shock corded legs and side bars simplify assembly
- Setup is kind of tedious
- Setup and take down require strength and leverage
- Kind of noisy when rolling over
As I get older, a more comfortable sleeping experience becomes a bigger priority for me. While I have been sleeping on the original Paco pads made by Jack's Plastic Welding (think rafting PVC with a memory foam interior and an air valve) for years, they are starting to feel thinner as time goes on.
On warm weather trips where a tent is not needed, I've used the gold-standard Camp Time Roll-a-Cot, which is very comfortable and sturdy, but also bulky when folded, kind of heavy, and too tall when set up to fit inside smaller tents.
I started looking at the new breed of lightweight compact cots as a sort of compromise. I considered the Luxury Lite by Therm-a-Rest and the Cot One by Helinox, but was eventually compelled to pull the trigger on the Sleeprite after reading the limited online reviews and an attractive sale price.
Right out of the box I was concerned with the difficulty of the setup. The connection between the leg pieces and the side bars on the cot are a very tight fit that requires some leverage to push on correctly. The fabric of the cot itself is difficult to keep out of this connection due to the small opening, making it even more challenging. Breaking it down was also tough, making me seriously wonder if it was worth the effort.
But, once set up, the cot is very comfortable, especially with a backpacking pad or the big paco pad on top of it. It is also low enough when set up to work well with the 2- and 3-person tents I have without my nose touching the tent walls. The packed size is also very compact, and it will fit inside my drybag; I use it on raft trips, but I can't imagine carrying this along backpacking.
I have been using the Sleeprite cot for several months now, and I am happy to report that the setup has gotten much easier over time. I think it is a combination of figuring out the best system for doing it and for the connecting parts "breaking in" and fitting together with less effort. That said, it is tough to press the parts together inside the confines of a small tent, and unless you have a tent you can enter from the end, you won't be able to fit the cot inside once it is set up.
Overall, I've learned to like this cot quite a bit, as it accomplishes what I was after when I bought it. Certainly not a perfect piece of gear, but it does the job and has made it through one season without any damage.
I've been through a couple of seasons with this cot now and can report that it is holding up well and has gotten even easier to put together as it has broken in more. I've actually picked up a second one at the same sale price so that my wife and I can both sleep at the same level, and the cots can be strapped together to keep them from sliding apart.
Overall I think this is a good piece of gear and certainly worth the price I paid.