4 Images

Cheating, just a little

Extra-large cots put distance between car campers and the cold, hard autumn ground.

The great: only cot of four tested that didn’t require substantial upper-body strength to assemble, greatest surface area, could hold two people without intimate contact, 400-pound capacity. The good: nylon fabric on aluminum frame. The bad: heaviest at 24 1/2 pounds. 85 by 40 by 9 inches set up, 45 by 12 by 7 inches in bag (included). $100. (800) 237-4444, www.cabelas.com

By Scott Doggett
Photos by Eric Boyd / LAT ()
The great: flyweight at 8 1/8 pounds, lowest price of four cots tested. The good: Dacron on aluminum frame, 300-pound capacity. The bad: too firm for comfort. The ugly: most difficult cot of four to set up (after watching two colleagues struggle, one Times staffer declined to try for fear of injury). 84 by 31 by 8 inches assembled, 36 by 8 by 5 inches in bag (included). $50 (800) 525-4784, www.campmor.com

Note: Capacities do not reflect plop-down forces. If you weigh 250 pounds and plop down or jump on a cot, expect to damage it. ()
The great: only cot with removable self-inflating pad for warmth and comfort. The good: second-largest in surface area (behind Outfitter XL), polyester cover, 325-pound capacity. The bad: 21 1/2 pounds. The ugly: A plastic part broke, requiring replacement (which maker provided at no cost). 82 by 32 by 18 inches set up, 41 by 8 by 8 inches in bag (included). $100. (800) 233-6283, www.slumberjack.com ()
The great: six spring-wire legs provide super comfort. The good: very light, very portable, well-priced, 275-pound capacity, replaceable polyester cover ($18.50 plus shipping when the time comes). The bad: wooden frame, no storage bag. 84 by 30 by 8 inches set up, 43 by 7 by 3 inches disassembled. 11 pounds. $60. (800) 338-0580, www.byerofmaine.com ()