Great cot if you know this assembly trick

Reviewed by The Bargaineer from NJ on Thursday, May 14, 2015
This is a 3 star product with challenging assembly but with my trick, it is a 4 star product. Now that I have figured out this trick, assembly is much easier. I will buy 3 more cots so everyone in the family will have one while car camping. For your reference, I am a petite women (5'2" and 130 lb.) and had enough strength to bend the legs to fit them into the holes of the siderails. The trick is to line up the holes with the fabric opening - see trick below.

QUALITY
This cot is made of high quality material. The canvas, metal siderails & legs are all very strong and should last a long time. The assembled bed is sturdy and does not tip. There is even a sturdy bag (made with the same material as the cot) with a nice strap to store & transport the dissembled cot.

COMFORTABLE FOR CAR CAMPING OR EXTRA BED FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS
I slept in it last night and added a RidgeRest sleeping pad on top. It was far more comfortable than sleeping on the ground with just the pad. This is a great comfort item for car camping. At 11 lb., it's probably too heavy for backpacking but great for car camping. The folded cot in its bag is approximate 30"X8"X2". Besides car camping, you can also use it as an extra bed at home. Its footprint is smaller than a twin-size air mattress and its 6" height is great even for younger children.

ASSEMBLY
In a nutshell, you connect the 6 pieces of tubing into 2 long siderails. Then, you insert the siderails into the tube pockets of the cot. Lastly, you insert the 4 W shaped legs into the pre-drilled holes in the side rails. The tension between the legs and the canvas stretches the cot taut but allows for a gentle dip when you sleep on it. I never felt my back touching the legs at all so it was like sleeping in a hammock.

In practice, it was challenging to insert the legs into the siderails as the holes were drilled on the side of the rails. These rails are made with flattened tubes (oval cross-section). The 4 holes on each rail are drilled on the "side" and not the top of these flattened tubes. As such, the rails naturally twist "away" from the fabric opening where the hole is suppose to line up with the leg and make inserting the legs into these holes difficult. One trick is to use one of the legs and insert it into a hole to use as a lever to to twist the siderail until the 4 holes are lined up with the fabric openings. Do this for both sides and have a partner hold the rails in this aligned position. (If you are alone, just leave the legs in place so they maintain the aligned position.) Then, push another leg into one hole first and then use some strength and push it into the opposing hole on the opposing siderail.

Although it was not easy to do, I was able to bend the legs enough to insert the two ends into the siderails. Just be sure to insert one end of the leg into one siderail at a time and and not insert both ends at the same time. Once I figured out the trick with rotating the rails by using the legs, inserting the legs was relatively easy. Once you have inserted one of the 4 legs, then it is easier to insert the remaining 3 legs as the holes in the siderails are all lined up correctly.

CHECK THE SIZE OF YOUR TENT TO MAKE SURE THE COTS FIT

For those who already own a tent, measure your tent floor dimensions and determine how many cots you can fit into your tent. These cots are 30' wide and 74" long so they are MUCH bigger than your sleeping pads. Therefore, my 6 person Big Agnes Big House 6 tent can only fit 4 cots if I put 3 side-by-side and one perpendicular to the others. This configuration would not leave much room for gear.

NOTE TO ALPS MOUNTAINEERING FOR PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT

You can improve this product by using square rather than flattened round tubes. That way, the square tubes would not twist and the holes will automatically align with the fabric openings.
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