It may sound incredible but in this Big Agnes Helinox Cot Lite review, you can read about a cot that is lightweight enough to be used even as a backpacking tool. Indeed, this cot weighs only 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg), it is completely collapsible and packable to a size of 53 x 13 cm (20.9 x 5.1 in).
- Ultra lightweight, in fact, the lightest option presently on the market.
- Nicely packable.
- Portable, carry bag included.
- Requires little space for storage.
- Easy setup, no extra tools.
- The bed can be assembled using all 4 legs or only 3 legs.
First, about terminology, you will see the names like Helinox Lite Cot Camp Stretcher, Helinox Cot Lite, and Big Agnes Helinox Cot Lite. This is all about the same tool shown here in pictures.
In the specifications, they claim that this lightweight tool can support up to 265 pounds (120 kg). This is due to very durable DAC aluminum construction and the strong fabric. The cot comes with a nice storage bag, and it packs down very nicely
You will see how this is done in the short video below. Essentially, there are two side poles with sections that fit into each other just like tent poles. They are all connected with shock-cord so they virtually ‘self-assemble’. So, when you assemble them, you feed them through the sides of the fabric.
After that, assemble the legs. Note, the same shock-cord connection is in the legs, so you cannot mix things or lose parts.
Now put one long edge of the cot on the ground, then snap one end of the leg into the lower side pole. At this point you need a bit of force, this is why they write in instructions that adult strength is needed to assemble the cot. So, flex the leg a bit until it snaps into the top side pole. There are 4 legs, and you just repeat the procedure with other legs.
Disassembly is just a reverse procedure. Stand the cot on its side and use your body weight to remove legs one by one.
Superlight variant – with 3 legs only
I mentioned above that the cot has four legs. More precisely, those are four bars which you can see in pictures. But they have made the design clever, so you can use the cot with 3 legs only!
Clearly, this is of interest for (not too heavy) backpackers where every gram counts, and for young campers who don’t weigh so much. See the picture with the cot used in this 3-legs variant:
Pros and cons
Here is my short summary:
|• Very easy to setup.
• Sturdy and stable construction.
• Quite small packed size.
|• A bit small.|
Users’ experience with this cot is obviously very good. The average rating this tool has received by Amazon customers is very impressive 4.5/5. It comes at a price, but if you compare with other tools (see below), you will realize it is rather moderate.
The bed is rated to 120 kg, however, they recommend it for campers around 75 kg or less for the best comfort. Also, note that adult strength is required for assembly and disassembly.
The construction is stable and low. You have 13 cm of space between you and cold ground. As you realize, in fact, the legs are bars, and there are 4 of them, see the picture below. So the bed will not sink into the ground easily even if it is a soft surface underneath the bed.
- Best use: camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, hunting, fishing.
- Type: collapsible cot.
- Weight: 1.3 kg (2.8 lb) packed.
- Size (L x W x H): 185 x 60 x 13 cm (72.8 x 23.6 x 5.1 in).
- Packed size (L x D): 53 x 13 cm (20.9 x 5.1 in).
- Surface to weight ratio (m²/kg): 0.85.
- Max weight: 120 kg (265 lb).
- Best suited to campers under 75 kg.
- Storage bag included.
- Warranty: 5 years.
- Poles: TH72M alloy by DAC aluminum.
- Tension system: Snap-fit legs (requires adult strength to assemble).
- Storage bag with zipper closure and grab handles included.
Comparison with other cots of this type
See how the Helinox Cot Lite compares with some other collapsible cots, all of them are presented in the site, so just follow the links to see more:
|Bed size, inches (cm)
||Packed size, inches (cm)
|Therma-Rest Luxury Lite*||26 x 77
(66 x 196)
|17 x 5
(43 x 13)
|26.8 x 74.8
(68 x 190)
|21.5 x 5.5
(54 x 14)
|29.5 x 82.7
(75 x 210)
|23 x 6.3
(58 x 16)
|23.6 x 72.8
(60 x 185)
|20.9 x 5.1
(53 x 13)
*This is for L model.
Clearly, the Cot Lite is the lightest of all, but it also offers less space than other cots. So if you are a tall person, this cot should not be your first choice. Note also that the Lite Cot legs’ system is different from the High Cot’s lever system.
Regarding the price, at the moment of writing this text, the prices for the cots in the table are, respectively, $194, 400, 400, 250. To see the updates, please follow the links. So I would say, the Cot Lite comes with a rather reasonable price tag.
A great tool - see my rating of the Big Agnes Helinox Cot Lite
To conclude this Big Agnes Helinox Cot Lite review, what you have here at the moment of writing the text is a tool without a match regarding the weight. This is a cot ideal for camping at places with car and motorbike access, and for emergency situations at home.
But this cot is definitely light enough to be used for overnight hiking tours, and for backpacking as well. Sleeping on the ground can never be as comfortable as sleeping on a cot, regardless of how good and thick your sleeping pad is (they are typically maximum 12 cm or far less).
With such a cot, you can manage without a pad if it is not too cold, or you can do with a thin lightweight closed cell foam pad in general. So this 1.3 kg of weight may be worth the effort.
Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to hear from you, so please use the comment box below. Have a nice day.