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LTR: Cascades Designs - Cot - Kurt

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  • Kurt Papke
    A few days early, but done BP ing for this test. My LTR: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20cot%20-%20Kurt/#Long_Term_Report or:
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 4, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      A few days early, but done BP'ing for this test. My LTR:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20cot%20-%20Kurt/#Long_Term_Report

      or: http://tinyurl.com/mrr8cnh

      Text pasted below:

      Long Term Report

      Field Conditions

      Date
      Location
      Trail
      Distance

      Terrain/ trail type
      Weather
      Altitude range
      Pad used
      June 14-16, 2013 Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona Carr Canyon
      12 mi
      (19 km) Sky island canyon and ridgelines, very rocky trail Sunny, 50-80 F
      (10-27 C) 7200-9462 ft
      (2200-2884 m) Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
      June 21-22, 2013
      Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona AZT
      19 mi
      (31 km)
      Sky island canyon and ridgelines Sunny, 55-85 F
      (13-29 C)
      5600-8500 ft
      (1710-2590 m)
      Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
      July 5-7, 2013 Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness north of Mammoth, Arizona Aravaipa
      28 mi
      (45 km) Creek running through canyon + slot canyon Sunny, 70-100 F
      (21-38 C) 2550-4000 ft
      (780-1220 m) None
      July 26-28, 2013 Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona Crest Trail
      11.5 mi
      (18.5 km) Sky island canyons and ridgelines Sunny/rain mix, 55-80 F
      (13-27 C) 6600-9000 ft
      (2010-2740 m) None

      Carr Canyon

      I have had good intentions of backpacking the Huachuca Mountains for
      some time, and finally made it there for a 3-day/2 night trip. The
      first night was car-camping at a National Forest campground just a few
      steps from the trailhead:


      It might not be clear from the picture, but this is a different
      sleeping bag than I have used before with the cot. It gives slightly
      more knee room, which seems to encourage me to sleep on my side more.
      The cot is quite narrow, and when sleeping on my side for extended
      period the side support poles do put some pressure on my legs. It is
      not like sleeping on the ground on a thin pad where my knees will be
      supported by the ground. I'll have to experiment in the future with
      putting some clothing next to my knees for padding.

      Night number two was on top of a ridgeline. This was at quite a bit
      more altitude than the night before and the wind blew pretty well.
      The good news is I set a new world record for assembling the cot: just
      over seven minutes!! Here's the setup in the back country:



      Same issues with side sleeping on night two, but slept extremely well
      nonetheless!!

      Arizona National Scenic Trail - Huachuca Mountains Passage

      Same mountains as the prior weekend, but starting from the Arizona
      Trail (AZT) trailhead on the west side of the range. I car camped
      near the trailhead on Friday night, a pleasant spot to spend a night
      on the cot near scenic Parker Canyon Lake:


      A little different tarp pitch than I have been using due to the strong
      winds out of the west. This was the first night using the cot that I
      got a little irritated with the narrow width. It was hard for me to
      get really comfortable on my side. The dirt on the top of the cot is
      visible in the picture above. No matter how clean the cot is when I
      set out on a trip, as soon as I set it up with the top on the ground
      it gets pretty dirty.

      I carried the cot in my backpack during a very long day of hiking,
      fully intending to spend a second night out on the trail, but for
      whatever reason I finished what was supposed to be a 2-day hike in one
      day and drove home on Saturday night.

      Aravaipa

      It had been four years since I had been to Aravaipa Canyon, and I
      wanted to explore more than I did last time so I got a permit for a
      3-day trip. This was a low-altitude hike, so the nighttime lows were
      expected to be warm enough that I did not bring a pad. Indeed, the
      nights were warm and humid enough that I either slept directly on the
      cot, or on on top of my sleeping bag. I was more than warm enough.

      The cot did not feel any less comfortable without a pad. I did notice
      that the cot fabric did stain a bit from sweat when I lay directly on
      it without my sleeping bag. This effect was cosmetic only.

      My companions tried out the cot for comfort on the first morning.
      They had spent a restless night sleeping on a minimalist pad that was
      painful when sleeping on their side. They were so impressed with the
      comfort of the UltraLite Cot that one of them asked for an UltraLite
      Cot as a Christmas present!

      Here's a photo of the cot setup on night one of the trip:



      Crest Trail

      I returned the the Huachuca Mountains looking for a respite from the
      hot and humid Tucson monsoon season, only to run into rainstorms. I
      didn't get a lot of mileage in, but I did get a break from the heat.
      I was trying to lighten my pack on this trip, so even though I was
      going to be at altitudes where temperatures would be cooler, I left my
      sleeping pads at home.

      The first night I used my fleece pullover as a pillow, and was a
      little chilled beneath me wherever my sleeping bag insulation was
      compressed by my body weight. The cot does not offer any insulation
      underneath, so the cool night air can rob heat if no pad is used. On
      the second night I used a bundle of clothes for a pillow, wore my
      fleece during the night, and was plenty warm despite similar
      temperatures as night one. My bottom line: below temperatures of
      about 60 F (15 C), I will either carry a sleeping pad or make sure I
      have extra torso insulation.

      Both nights were spent on wet ground. It was nice to not have a muddy
      sleeping pad or ground cloth to deal with in the morning.

      One aspect of assembly that I have been experiencing all along finally
      became irritating on this trip: when inserting the shock-corded side
      poles into their slots, they inevitably get caught up in the holes
      provided for the foot hooks:


      Of course it seems to happen the most often with the holes farthest
      away from the slot opening, where I am pushing the tube through. I
      have to walk down to the other end of the pole, insert it under the
      flap, walk back and continue pushing until it hits the next hole. I
      have become pretty proficient at manipulating the side pole as I slide
      it in to avoid the problem, but it happens at least once or twice on
      every assembly. I'm not sure how the designers could work around this
      problem, but it would remove a great deal of aggravation if they
      could.

      Summary

      The only thing I would update from the Field Report summary was my
      feelings about comfort. The UltraLite Cot is narrow, which is no
      issue when sleeping on my back or stomach, but can be a bit of an
      issue when sleeping on my side in a fetal-type position with my knees
      up. The side bars do create some pressure spots on the side of my
      legs in this position.

      My bottom line on this piece of gear is it sure beats sleeping on the
      ground. It kept me away from bugs and other crawly things (important
      for me when I camp with a tarp), and is more comfortable than the
      typical lightweight backpacking sleeping pad located on the ground.
      The comfort piece really comes from the fact that I do not feel the
      ground itself, even if it is very rocky which many of my campsites
      often are. It also can be used directly on wet, muddy ground without
      need for a ground cloth.

      The Ultralite Cot has also been very reliable for me considering it is
      so lightweight. It appears flimsy at first, but for a person of my
      size and weight to use it steadily for four months and have zero
      breakdowns is pretty darn good in my book. I neither coddled it nor
      mistreated it during the test period, just normal use.

      I have been giving some thought to how I will use the cot in the
      future now that the testing is completed. One of my planned uses is
      actually for my wife on a future trip to the Grand Canyon. She
      sometimes has sore hips and does not relish sleeping on the ground, so
      I will likely bring it for her use in these situations. It weighs a
      little more than a typical backpacking sleeping pad, but it is far
      more comfortable, and sometimes comfort trumps weight.

      ________________________________

      Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Cascade Designs for the opportunity
      to contribute to this test.
    • Mike Mosack
      Hi Kurt, I like your html and photos – really good detail/sharpness in the close up shot as well. I have a few edits for you and they are in the usual format
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 4, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Kurt,
        I like your html and photos – really good detail/sharpness in the close up shot as well.

        I have a few edits for you and they are in the usual format of
        EDIT – must change
        edit – my recommended change if you agree
        comment – is just that.

        “It is not like sleeping on the ground on a thin pad where my knees will be supported by the ground.”

        edit – I would replace “will be” with “are” as it seems to read better.



        “I car camped near the trailhead on Friday night, a pleasant spot to spend a night on the cot near scenic Parker Canyon Lake:”

        EDIT – Two here – first is to add a hyphen (car-camping) and the other is to replace the colon with a period at the end of the sentence.



        “Indeed, the nights were warm and humid enough that I either slept directly on the cot, or on on top of my sleeping bag.”

        EDIT – You typed, “on on top of my sleeping bag. Remove one “on”.



        “I did notice that the cot fabric did stain a bit from sweat when I lay directly on it without my sleeping bag.”

        Edit/comment – I would offer this – “I noticed that the cot fabric did stain a bit from sweat when I lay directly on it without my sleeping bag.” Removing one of the “did” words. You could also replace the other by just saying,” I noticed that the cot fabric stained a bit from sweat when I lay directly on it without my sleeping bag.” Which I think reads a little better… your call.

        Comment - Did you happen to try washing the stain and if so, did it come out?



        “ I returned the the Huachuca Mountains looking for a respite from the hot and humid Tucson monsoon season, only to run into rainstorms.”

        EDIT – I returned to the… you have “the” twice here…

        So that’s it. Once you’ve addressed these you can upload when you’re ready and please remember to delete the test copy.
        Thanks for an easy test. Good reporting and see you next time!
        Mike


        From: Kurt Papke
        Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 9:54 AM
        To: Mike Mosack ; BGTers
        Subject: [backpackgeartesters] LTR: Cascades Designs - Cot - Kurt


        A few days early, but done BP'ing for this test. My LTR:

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20cot%20-%20Kurt/#Long_Term_Report

        or: http://tinyurl.com/mrr8cnh

        Text pasted below:

        Long Term Report

        Field Conditions

        Date
        Location
        Trail
        Distance

        Terrain/ trail type
        Weather
        Altitude range
        Pad used
        June 14-16, 2013 Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona Carr Canyon
        12 mi
        (19 km) Sky island canyon and ridgelines, very rocky trail Sunny, 50-80 F
        (10-27 C) 7200-9462 ft
        (2200-2884 m) Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
        June 21-22, 2013
        Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona AZT
        19 mi
        (31 km)
        Sky island canyon and ridgelines Sunny, 55-85 F
        (13-29 C)
        5600-8500 ft
        (1710-2590 m)
        Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
        July 5-7, 2013 Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness north of Mammoth, Arizona Aravaipa
        28 mi
        (45 km) Creek running through canyon + slot canyon Sunny, 70-100 F
        (21-38 C) 2550-4000 ft
        (780-1220 m) None
        July 26-28, 2013 Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona Crest Trail
        11.5 mi
        (18.5 km) Sky island canyons and ridgelines Sunny/rain mix, 55-80 F
        (13-27 C) 6600-9000 ft
        (2010-2740 m) None

        Carr Canyon

        I have had good intentions of backpacking the Huachuca Mountains for
        some time, and finally made it there for a 3-day/2 night trip. The
        first night was car-camping at a National Forest campground just a few
        steps from the trailhead:

        It might not be clear from the picture, but this is a different
        sleeping bag than I have used before with the cot. It gives slightly
        more knee room, which seems to encourage me to sleep on my side more.
        The cot is quite narrow, and when sleeping on my side for extended
        period the side support poles do put some pressure on my legs. It is
        not like sleeping on the ground on a thin pad where my knees will be
        supported by the ground. I'll have to experiment in the future with
        putting some clothing next to my knees for padding.

        Night number two was on top of a ridgeline. This was at quite a bit
        more altitude than the night before and the wind blew pretty well.
        The good news is I set a new world record for assembling the cot: just
        over seven minutes!! Here's the setup in the back country:

        Same issues with side sleeping on night two, but slept extremely well
        nonetheless!!

        Arizona National Scenic Trail - Huachuca Mountains Passage

        Same mountains as the prior weekend, but starting from the Arizona
        Trail (AZT) trailhead on the west side of the range. I car camped
        near the trailhead on Friday night, a pleasant spot to spend a night
        on the cot near scenic Parker Canyon Lake:

        A little different tarp pitch than I have been using due to the strong
        winds out of the west. This was the first night using the cot that I
        got a little irritated with the narrow width. It was hard for me to
        get really comfortable on my side. The dirt on the top of the cot is
        visible in the picture above. No matter how clean the cot is when I
        set out on a trip, as soon as I set it up with the top on the ground
        it gets pretty dirty.

        I carried the cot in my backpack during a very long day of hiking,
        fully intending to spend a second night out on the trail, but for
        whatever reason I finished what was supposed to be a 2-day hike in one
        day and drove home on Saturday night.

        Aravaipa

        It had been four years since I had been to Aravaipa Canyon, and I
        wanted to explore more than I did last time so I got a permit for a
        3-day trip. This was a low-altitude hike, so the nighttime lows were
        expected to be warm enough that I did not bring a pad. Indeed, the
        nights were warm and humid enough that I either slept directly on the
        cot, or on on top of my sleeping bag. I was more than warm enough.

        The cot did not feel any less comfortable without a pad. I did notice
        that the cot fabric did stain a bit from sweat when I lay directly on
        it without my sleeping bag. This effect was cosmetic only.

        My companions tried out the cot for comfort on the first morning.
        They had spent a restless night sleeping on a minimalist pad that was
        painful when sleeping on their side. They were so impressed with the
        comfort of the UltraLite Cot that one of them asked for an UltraLite
        Cot as a Christmas present!

        Here's a photo of the cot setup on night one of the trip:

        Crest Trail

        I returned the the Huachuca Mountains looking for a respite from the
        hot and humid Tucson monsoon season, only to run into rainstorms. I
        didn't get a lot of mileage in, but I did get a break from the heat.
        I was trying to lighten my pack on this trip, so even though I was
        going to be at altitudes where temperatures would be cooler, I left my
        sleeping pads at home.

        The first night I used my fleece pullover as a pillow, and was a
        little chilled beneath me wherever my sleeping bag insulation was
        compressed by my body weight. The cot does not offer any insulation
        underneath, so the cool night air can rob heat if no pad is used. On
        the second night I used a bundle of clothes for a pillow, wore my
        fleece during the night, and was plenty warm despite similar
        temperatures as night one. My bottom line: below temperatures of
        about 60 F (15 C), I will either carry a sleeping pad or make sure I
        have extra torso insulation.

        Both nights were spent on wet ground. It was nice to not have a muddy
        sleeping pad or ground cloth to deal with in the morning.

        One aspect of assembly that I have been experiencing all along finally
        became irritating on this trip: when inserting the shock-corded side
        poles into their slots, they inevitably get caught up in the holes
        provided for the foot hooks:

        Of course it seems to happen the most often with the holes farthest
        away from the slot opening, where I am pushing the tube through. I
        have to walk down to the other end of the pole, insert it under the
        flap, walk back and continue pushing until it hits the next hole. I
        have become pretty proficient at manipulating the side pole as I slide
        it in to avoid the problem, but it happens at least once or twice on
        every assembly. I'm not sure how the designers could work around this
        problem, but it would remove a great deal of aggravation if they
        could.

        Summary

        The only thing I would update from the Field Report summary was my
        feelings about comfort. The UltraLite Cot is narrow, which is no
        issue when sleeping on my back or stomach, but can be a bit of an
        issue when sleeping on my side in a fetal-type position with my knees
        up. The side bars do create some pressure spots on the side of my
        legs in this position.

        My bottom line on this piece of gear is it sure beats sleeping on the
        ground. It kept me away from bugs and other crawly things (important
        for me when I camp with a tarp), and is more comfortable than the
        typical lightweight backpacking sleeping pad located on the ground.
        The comfort piece really comes from the fact that I do not feel the
        ground itself, even if it is very rocky which many of my campsites
        often are. It also can be used directly on wet, muddy ground without
        need for a ground cloth.

        The Ultralite Cot has also been very reliable for me considering it is
        so lightweight. It appears flimsy at first, but for a person of my
        size and weight to use it steadily for four months and have zero
        breakdowns is pretty darn good in my book. I neither coddled it nor
        mistreated it during the test period, just normal use.

        I have been giving some thought to how I will use the cot in the
        future now that the testing is completed. One of my planned uses is
        actually for my wife on a future trip to the Grand Canyon. She
        sometimes has sore hips and does not relish sleeping on the ground, so
        I will likely bring it for her use in these situations. It weighs a
        little more than a typical backpacking sleeping pad, but it is far
        more comfortable, and sometimes comfort trumps weight.

        ________________________________

        Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Cascade Designs for the opportunity
        to contribute to this test.




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