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FR - LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot - Kerri Larkin

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  • Kerri Larkin
    Hi Mike, Please find following my FR on the LuxuryLite Cot for your editing pleasure. The HTML can be found by clicking here, or at:
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 7 4:45 AM
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      Hi Mike,

      Please find following my FR on the LuxuryLite Cot for your editing pleasure. The HTML can be found by clicking here, or at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20LuxuryLite%20Cot%20-%20Kerri%20Larkin/

      Thanks in advance for your edits.

      Kind regards,

      Kerri

      FIELD REPORT


      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
      I've used the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot on two overnight camping occasions so far. Both were car-based camping trips to Yuragir National Park on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. This is a magnificent area of coastal heath which is regenerating after years of intensive sand mining. There are very few trees in the area and almost all vegetation has been regenerated from seed of local species. After ten years it's hard to believe the area was once completely denuded. It does make it hard to find somewhere to hang a hammock, though, so the Cot has been ideal for these trips.

      Conditions on both trips were mild to cool with daytime highs around 22 C (71 F) and overnight lows of 10 C (50 F) and 6 C (43 F) respectively.

      On both occasions I used the Cot with my Tarptent Double rainbow tent. The Cot fitted well and there was still plenty of room for my pack.

      I've used the Cot on two other overnight occasions but these were sleeping at friends houses: it makes a nifty guest bed!

      CUSTOMER SERVICE
      After the third time I put the Cot together to demonstrate it to a friend, I found one of the black metal tubes used to form a bow had a significant bend in it. I was a bit flummoxed by this as I'd put it together the same way each time. The only difference had been the bow placement: this time I'd put the double bows in a different position to see if it would be more comfortable on my hips.

      I emailed Cascade Designs Customer Service to report the problem and to ask a couple of other questions. A few days later I received an email from the Australian distributor asking for more information about the problem, and if I could call them. The distributor was initially reluctant to do anything seeing as the Cot had come from the US and not from him, added to the fact that he was newly appointed and didn't have any spare parts as yet. He told me he would look into it. A couple of days later I received an email saying that he had ordered the parts and would forward a new bow to me as soon as it arrived from the US. About two weeks later I was surprised to find a package arrive containing not one, but two new bows. Now I have a spare! None of my other questions were answered either by Cascade Designs (US ) or the Australian Distributor.

      I was also surprised to receive an email from Bruce Warren, who invented the Cot, who'd seen my review on BackpackGearTest.org. He sent back a couple of my photos showing how I'd set the cot up wrongly. This may have contributed to the bent bow, but I had thought I'd been very careful to follow the instructions correctly. Apparently, I hadn't.

      These were Bruce's recommendations:

      One of your twist bows has the black tube not seated into the little socket in the nylon foot... that will break the foot.
      Your single tubes are inserted underneath the web of the nylon foot... the tube should be above the web to stop the tube end from slipping out when you clip the bow on... like your twist bow did.
      I think that when you clip the bows on a few times you will see that it is easy even with a bad elbow. You must put your toes on each side pole to hold the cot flat when clipping on the bows.
      After you assemble your cot look at each of the 12 feet to be sure all the tubes are fully seated before you toss in onto the ground (takes about 6 seconds).
      As you can see from the above, despite my best efforts I'd managed to put the bows together upside down. I'm pleased to say I've had no further incidents.

      PERFORMANCE
      Right out of the box the LuxuryLite was pretty comfortable, but I found it to be quite narrow for a large body. There is more than adequate support and even with my weight, I haven't touched the ground yet. The fabric appears to almost mold to my body shape, giving a firm, yet pressure free support. Because I normally have trouble sleeping in a bed, I was curious as to how I would last on the Cot. I found it does take some getting used to, but then so does every new bed.

      I still find it hard to adjust the double bows into place as they need quite a bit of arm strength, but I'm learning a few postural tricks to help rather than relying on brute strength. Practice has also made me a lot faster at setting up the Cot and I'm closer to the advertised time of three minutes, but I'm probably still a bit slow due to checking everything twice now.

      Getting on to and off of the Cot requires a bit of suppleness, which I'm lacking, however, it's very forgiving in terms of putting weight on a single spot to lever myself up. As mentioned previously, the fabric of the cot kind of cocoons me a bit so I've never felt like I would fall off like when using some inflatable mats. Speaking of which, it can make the Cot surprisingly comfortable by putting a mat on top. I've tried both self-inflating mats and closed cell foam pads. Both work just fine at giving a little more padding around the hips and shoulders. Of course, that does add to the weight if backpacking.

      I have found the Cot fabric to be a bit slippery when on a slope. I'm a restless sleeper and toss and turn a fair bit, and I found myself slowly sliding towards the end of the Cot one night. I wondered if a few ribs painted on with silicone might stop that, but haven't tried that as yet.

      One of the other issues that occurs with this Cot is a familiar problem to hammock campers: cold air under the cot can sap the heat away. It was a welcome feature in summer, but now winter is here it's not so welcome. The best solution is to use a closed cell foam pad between the Cot and sleeping bag to add some insulation.

      In terms of durability, I'm seeing no signs of wear or tearing around the slots in the cover where the bows clip in. I'll continue to monitor that. I also haven't seen any appreciable sag in the cover, which seems just as tight as it was on day one. I like that.

      Despite the advertising saying the Cot doesn't creak, I've found it does a little, mostly only when it's on a hard surface like a wooden floor. Again, I do toss and turn quite a bit.

      Now summer has gone and I'm using a sleeping bag rather than just a sheet, I'm finding the Cot more comfortable. Laying directly on the fabric was a bit warm at times.

      Perhaps my biggest difficulty in getting a good night's sleep on the Cot is finding somewhere to put my arms. I'm normally a side sleeper, which I find to be the best position if I can arrange my arms in a hug-like pose. If I try to lay one arm out flat like I would on a normal bed, the side pole tends to dig in and my arm is left hanging in space. If I lay on my back, I'm wide enough that my shoulders and hips are nearly the same width as the cot, which doesn't leave much room for my arms again. It's best if I lay them across my chest like a 'Rest in peace' position, but even then the side poles tend to dig in to my arms. While it's no big deal for the first couple of hours, it gets more uncomfortable as the night wears on.

      SUMMARY
      Despite my best efforts to break it, the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot, it's still going strong. I've used it in the field and as a guest bed and it handles both roles with aplomb. It is supportive and comfortable, although a bit narrow.

      Liked:
      Easy to set up
      Packs to a fairly small size
      Very light for a real bed
      Stable
      Can be moved in to the sun for an afternoon nap
      Minimal signs of wear
      Less Liked:
      Requires a bit of strength to set up
      Can be cold in winter and need insulation
      Fabric can feel sweaty in summer (a mesh cover is available which would be better for summer use)
      Quite narrow making it hard to get comfortable
      Requires concentration when setting up to avoid bent poles and cracked feet

      That concludes my Field Report on the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. Again, I'd like to thank both Cascade Designs, Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in around two months for my Long Term Report.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael
      Hi Kerri, Good to see you again. I like your photos/html and you have some good info in your FR. The edits are in the usual format being, EDIT - must change
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 8 8:06 PM
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        Hi Kerri,
        Good to see you again. I like your photos/html and you have some good info in your FR. The edits are in the usual format being,
        EDIT - must change
        edit - my recommended change if you agree
        comment - just that.

        Within your IR - "That concludes my Initial Report on the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. I'd like to thank both Cascade Designs, Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in around two months for my Field Report."
        EDIT – Please remove this line as you will only need to say this once at the end of your current (latest) report and not at the end of each phase.

        "On both occasions I used the Cot with my Tarptent Double rainbow tent."
        EDIT – Please capitalize Rainbow as you are using this as a proper noun.

        "The Cot fitted well and there was still plenty of room for my pack."
        EDIT – Unless this is a regional thing, I would replace "fitted" with "fit".

        "The distributor was initially reluctant to do anything seeing as the Cot had come from the US and not from him, added to the fact that he was newly appointed and didn't have any spare parts as yet."
        edit – Might I recommend a minor reword - The distributor was initially reluctant to do anything seeing as the Cot had come from the US and not from him, additionally, he was newly appointed and didn't have any spare parts as yet.

        "None of my other questions were answered either by Cascade Designs (US ) or the Australian Distributor."
        EDIT – remove the extra space after "(US

        Under "Bruce's recommendations…"
        4. " After you assemble your cot look at each of the 12 feet to be sure all the tubes are fully seated before you toss in onto the ground (takes about 6 seconds).
        EDIT – This can be tricky. If you are using direct quotes from Bruce, you should use quotation marks. Regardless, there is a typo in here as well. "before you toss it (not `in") onto the ground…" Personally, I would fix the typo even if using a direct quote as it is my (your) review and I would clean it up.
        EDIT on your last photo of the Cot turned upside down. There is a typo in your added graphic text within the image where you say "to" instead of "top"

        "As mentioned previously, the fabric of the cot kind of cocoons me a bit so…"
        EDIT – Please remain consistent in capitalizing "Cot" (or not). I woudn't have capitalized it at all, but I believe this is a style thing and acceptable either way in this case. It should be the same throughout your report.

        "I wondered if a few ribs painted on with silicone might stop that, but haven't tried that as yet."
        Comment – Good call as this would not be part of your testing of the product as the MFG intended. You can certainly modify the cot after the testing period is over and you have claimed ownership. (grin)

        "One of the other issues that occurs with this Cot is a familiar problem to hammock campers: cold air under the cot can sap the heat away."
        EDIT – another case for capitalizing Cot… Please ensure you are consistent throughout the report.

        "It was a welcome feature in summer, but now winter is here it's not so welcome"
        EDIT – "now (that) winter is here it's not so welcome."

        "The best solution is to use a closed cell foam pad between the Cot and sleeping bag to add some insulation."
        EDIT – This is projection as you are telling others what the (their) best solution is rather than identifying that it was the best solution that you've found that works for you personally. Just reword it to something like, "I've tried different set ups and have found that I like to use a closed cell foam pad between the Cot and sleeping bag to add some insulation."

        "Despite the advertising saying the Cot doesn't creak, I've found it does a little, mostly only when it's on a hard surface like a wooden floor."
        EDIT/Comment/question – I would like you to clarify if you noticed the "Creaking" before and/or after installing the bows correctly and if it is possible that the creaking might have come from the wood flooring contacting with the Cot or if it was actually the Cot? Did you also experience this creaking noise on other terrain or flooring?

        "Laying directly on the fabric was a bit warm at times."
        EDIT – Unless this is a cultural difference, Please replace "Laying" with "Lying…" You were lying on the Cot…vs. an object that is laying on the floor.

        "Despite my best efforts to break it, the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot, it's still going strong."
        EDIT/comment - Replace "it's" with "is"
        The comment is that I wonder if stating (or eluding that) you are trying to break the gear is the best choice – even if in jest. We test the gear, but do not intentionally try to exceed the MFG specifications or subject gear to extremes to check failure levels. We don't want to give the readers a false concept of our intentions.
        • "Fabric can feel sweaty in summer (a mesh cover is available which would be better for summer use)
        EDIT – This is projection as you are commenting on the performance of an item you have not tested by saying the mesh cover that, "is available which would be better for summer use."

        "Again, I'd like to thank both Cascade Designs, Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in around two months for my Long Term Report."
        EDIT – Please remove "Again," as you will only be saying "thanks" once at the end of your current/latest written report and not at the end of each phase. You can also remove the comma in "Cascade Designs, Inc so that it reads "Cascade Designs Inc"

        That's it I think. Go ahead and post when you are ready and please remember to delete the test copy.
        Thanks and see you again in two months
        Mike
      • Ray
        Can you please make sure your HTML is in the test folder Kerri? I don t see it. Thanks, Ray (taking over for a bit.)
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 13 6:27 PM
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          Can you please make sure your HTML is in the test folder Kerri? I don't see it.

          Thanks,

          Ray (taking over for a bit.)

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, Kerri Larkin <kerrilarkin@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Mike,
          >
          > Please find following my FR on the LuxuryLite Cot for your editing pleasure. The HTML can be found by clicking here, or at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20LuxuryLite%20Cot%20-%20Kerri%20Larkin/
          >
          > Thanks in advance for your edits.
          >
          > Kind regards,
          >
          > Kerri
          >
          > FIELD REPORT
          >
          >
          > FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
          > I've used the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot on two overnight camping occasions so far. Both were car-based camping trips to Yuragir National Park on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. This is a magnificent area of coastal heath which is regenerating after years of intensive sand mining. There are very few trees in the area and almost all vegetation has been regenerated from seed of local species. After ten years it's hard to believe the area was once completely denuded. It does make it hard to find somewhere to hang a hammock, though, so the Cot has been ideal for these trips.
          >
          > Conditions on both trips were mild to cool with daytime highs around 22 C (71 F) and overnight lows of 10 C (50 F) and 6 C (43 F) respectively.
          >
          > On both occasions I used the Cot with my Tarptent Double rainbow tent. The Cot fitted well and there was still plenty of room for my pack.
          >
          > I've used the Cot on two other overnight occasions but these were sleeping at friends houses: it makes a nifty guest bed!
          >
          > CUSTOMER SERVICE
          > After the third time I put the Cot together to demonstrate it to a friend, I found one of the black metal tubes used to form a bow had a significant bend in it. I was a bit flummoxed by this as I'd put it together the same way each time. The only difference had been the bow placement: this time I'd put the double bows in a different position to see if it would be more comfortable on my hips.
          >
          > I emailed Cascade Designs Customer Service to report the problem and to ask a couple of other questions. A few days later I received an email from the Australian distributor asking for more information about the problem, and if I could call them. The distributor was initially reluctant to do anything seeing as the Cot had come from the US and not from him, added to the fact that he was newly appointed and didn't have any spare parts as yet. He told me he would look into it. A couple of days later I received an email saying that he had ordered the parts and would forward a new bow to me as soon as it arrived from the US. About two weeks later I was surprised to find a package arrive containing not one, but two new bows. Now I have a spare! None of my other questions were answered either by Cascade Designs (US ) or the Australian Distributor.
          >
          > I was also surprised to receive an email from Bruce Warren, who invented the Cot, who'd seen my review on BackpackGearTest.org. He sent back a couple of my photos showing how I'd set the cot up wrongly. This may have contributed to the bent bow, but I had thought I'd been very careful to follow the instructions correctly. Apparently, I hadn't.
          >
          > These were Bruce's recommendations:
          >
          > One of your twist bows has the black tube not seated into the little socket in the nylon foot... that will break the foot.
          > Your single tubes are inserted underneath the web of the nylon foot... the tube should be above the web to stop the tube end from slipping out when you clip the bow on... like your twist bow did.
          > I think that when you clip the bows on a few times you will see that it is easy even with a bad elbow. You must put your toes on each side pole to hold the cot flat when clipping on the bows.
          > After you assemble your cot look at each of the 12 feet to be sure all the tubes are fully seated before you toss in onto the ground (takes about 6 seconds).
          > As you can see from the above, despite my best efforts I'd managed to put the bows together upside down. I'm pleased to say I've had no further incidents.
          >
          > PERFORMANCE
          > Right out of the box the LuxuryLite was pretty comfortable, but I found it to be quite narrow for a large body. There is more than adequate support and even with my weight, I haven't touched the ground yet. The fabric appears to almost mold to my body shape, giving a firm, yet pressure free support. Because I normally have trouble sleeping in a bed, I was curious as to how I would last on the Cot. I found it does take some getting used to, but then so does every new bed.
          >
          > I still find it hard to adjust the double bows into place as they need quite a bit of arm strength, but I'm learning a few postural tricks to help rather than relying on brute strength. Practice has also made me a lot faster at setting up the Cot and I'm closer to the advertised time of three minutes, but I'm probably still a bit slow due to checking everything twice now.
          >
          > Getting on to and off of the Cot requires a bit of suppleness, which I'm lacking, however, it's very forgiving in terms of putting weight on a single spot to lever myself up. As mentioned previously, the fabric of the cot kind of cocoons me a bit so I've never felt like I would fall off like when using some inflatable mats. Speaking of which, it can make the Cot surprisingly comfortable by putting a mat on top. I've tried both self-inflating mats and closed cell foam pads. Both work just fine at giving a little more padding around the hips and shoulders. Of course, that does add to the weight if backpacking.
          >
          > I have found the Cot fabric to be a bit slippery when on a slope. I'm a restless sleeper and toss and turn a fair bit, and I found myself slowly sliding towards the end of the Cot one night. I wondered if a few ribs painted on with silicone might stop that, but haven't tried that as yet.
          >
          > One of the other issues that occurs with this Cot is a familiar problem to hammock campers: cold air under the cot can sap the heat away. It was a welcome feature in summer, but now winter is here it's not so welcome. The best solution is to use a closed cell foam pad between the Cot and sleeping bag to add some insulation.
          >
          > In terms of durability, I'm seeing no signs of wear or tearing around the slots in the cover where the bows clip in. I'll continue to monitor that. I also haven't seen any appreciable sag in the cover, which seems just as tight as it was on day one. I like that.
          >
          > Despite the advertising saying the Cot doesn't creak, I've found it does a little, mostly only when it's on a hard surface like a wooden floor. Again, I do toss and turn quite a bit.
          >
          > Now summer has gone and I'm using a sleeping bag rather than just a sheet, I'm finding the Cot more comfortable. Laying directly on the fabric was a bit warm at times.
          >
          > Perhaps my biggest difficulty in getting a good night's sleep on the Cot is finding somewhere to put my arms. I'm normally a side sleeper, which I find to be the best position if I can arrange my arms in a hug-like pose. If I try to lay one arm out flat like I would on a normal bed, the side pole tends to dig in and my arm is left hanging in space. If I lay on my back, I'm wide enough that my shoulders and hips are nearly the same width as the cot, which doesn't leave much room for my arms again. It's best if I lay them across my chest like a 'Rest in peace' position, but even then the side poles tend to dig in to my arms. While it's no big deal for the first couple of hours, it gets more uncomfortable as the night wears on.
          >
          > SUMMARY
          > Despite my best efforts to break it, the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot, it's still going strong. I've used it in the field and as a guest bed and it handles both roles with aplomb. It is supportive and comfortable, although a bit narrow.
          >
          > Liked:
          > Easy to set up
          > Packs to a fairly small size
          > Very light for a real bed
          > Stable
          > Can be moved in to the sun for an afternoon nap
          > Minimal signs of wear
          > Less Liked:
          > Requires a bit of strength to set up
          > Can be cold in winter and need insulation
          > Fabric can feel sweaty in summer (a mesh cover is available which would be better for summer use)
          > Quite narrow making it hard to get comfortable
          > Requires concentration when setting up to avoid bent poles and cracked feet
          >
          > That concludes my Field Report on the LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot. Again, I'd like to thank both Cascade Designs, Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in around two months for my Long Term Report.
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Ray
          Please disregard the request Kerri. I did not realize Mike had gotten to your report yet. Ray
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 14 1:47 AM
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            Please disregard the request Kerri. I did not realize Mike had gotten to your report yet.

            Ray
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