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Thermarest’s Compact UltraLite Cot Review

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Published in: Gear

Thermarest UltraLite Cot Review Intro

Ahead of the Pack - Thermarest’s Compact UltraLite Cot

There’s a learning curve to camping comfort one develops over the years. If you grew up anything like I did, the first years of going off into the wilderness, where and how you slept didn’t matter. We stacked as many kids as possible in one tent and threw in some old Mexican blankets to get the party started. In the morning there was no pain other than maybe the fallout from a late-night pillow fight, but always a big smile upon awakening in the wild.

As time passed, we graduated to more mature sleeping techniques and have recently arrived at the “cot era.” The packable cot is an alternative to the traditional camping pad for those who take sleeping seriously. And for those who want a compact, lightweight, convenient way to sleep off the ground, a cot allows for airflow under your body, protection from crawly critters, and elevation (about 4.5 inches) above a surprise run-off from heavy rain. When combined with a sleeping pad, you’re lying in the lap of camping luxury. Thermarest’s UltraLite Cot might just change your perspective on what’s “best” for a minimal (and beyond) camping excursion.

Thermarest Cot Review top

Assembling the cot is easy and intuitive. I timed the process and it only took about four minutes. Multiple support areas make it customizable for a variety of sizes and weights (up to 325 lb. and 72 inches long). There are a few variations on how it can be configured, allowing you to dial in maximum comfort; one is called “twist bow,” offering double(ish) support for the sections of your body needing it most. Once it’s dialed in, you can mark the fabric with a permanent marker so the next time there’s no need for additional fiddling.

Inside the tent, the cot’s bases are positioned in a way that won’t damage the tent’s flooring. The cot cradles my body well, supporting my aging parts without sagging, and allows me to roll around all night without going numb from squished arms against a hard surface, which happens when using a camp pad on the ground without the cot. However, I wouldn’t suggest this to any stomach sleepers as it has a little too much play, and bows enough when you’re lying face down, likely to make your back quite sore by morning.

Thermarest Cot Review back


MSRP: $199.95–$219.95

Where to Buy:  Amazon btn


  • Portable and light
  • Easy to handle/move
  • Customizable comfort


  • Need patience for right setup (the first time)
  • Durability is still in question
  • Can’t use it directly in sand

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