OK, so in the UK we think of a cot as something you put a baby in, but if you can see past the slight loss-in-translation here, what we’re dealing with is a lightweight, packable camp bed which takes the vintage army campbed and brings it bang up to date.
Now, sleeping arrangements are a very subjective thing, so you’d be wise to take any mention of comfort and fit with a pinch of salt. But, that said, the LuxuryLite cot does come in 3 sizes for those who like or need a little more width and height.
It’s comprised of a sheet of PVC mesh, which is hard-wearing and tough. In to each long-edge of this sheet slots an aluminium pole, created in sections which pack down to a reasonable backpack-friendly size. The poles are wedged in there and cause the sheet to become nice and taut lengthwise.
Once you have the side poles in place, you can then assemble the legs out of some hard plastic rings, and some aluminium tent-like poles.
It’s a bit of a learned-art, getting the poles in to the rings and then the whole lot snapped in to place on the side-poles. I find that kneeling on the upturned sheet and using body-weight to bend the struts in to place is easiest. The stated 3-minute assembly is possible, but only if you’ve practiced at home and know what you’re doing. To empty a bag of parts out on to a tent floor in front of someone who hadn’t read the instructions would be like some kind of mental accuity test.
Assembly, once finished, results in a lightweight and surprisingly rigid bed frame. There are a number of spare struts and rings supplied so you can fettle the bed to your own comfort – if you have big hips or shoulders, or find that a certain pole location is irritating. That’s neat.
And that light-weight is a bonus too. The regular version we tested is just over 3lbs (1.4kg). But if you’re a super weight-conscious type, there’s the LuxuryLite Ultra Cot available at around 2Lb (900g). We’ve tried that too, but preferred the comfort of the standard Cot.
And comfort – we’re back to being subjective – is OK. I tend to prefer inflatable mattresses, but I found the LuxuryLite Cot to be more than good enough to get a good night’s sleep on. The PVC mesh isn’t too grippy that you end up twisted in a sleeping bag, and it’s not too sweaty either. If you lay on your side, the edge bars take a little getting used to, but that’s the same in most campbeds.
One advantage of the Cot over an airbed is that you can’t puncture the Cot. Many times we’ve been on holiday with people whose airbed has slowly deflated and left them with the dreaded 2am cold-shoulder. However, it’s quite expensive, so might not appeal to the airbed crowd in the first place. It’d be a hard sell to anyone except the hard-core outdoorsman.