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The Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot is a lightweight camping cot with a low-to-the-ground profile.
I first ran into the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot when a buddy grabbed one at Walmart before heading out on a 7-day rafting trip where he planned to sleep outside under the stars. He wanted a cot instead of an air mattress because it could be placed on rocky cobble bars or river banks and still give him a level sleeping spot.
After his good experience, I grabbed one at Walmart for some quick testing and review. Right now it’s not in our guide to the best camping cots, but that may change over time.
For right now, let’s take a closer look.
Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot Review
The Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot fabric is made from 100% recycled Repreve polyester. The support beams are made from 7075 aircraft aluminum, which is light and strong.
The overall design is fairly standard to lightweight cots — two long beams with multiple shorter legs that force the beams out, creating a taught fabric sleeping surface.
The result is a comfortable sleeping surface. Because there are no cross bars at the head or foot, the fabric sags a bit more than more traditional cot styles like the Coleman Trailhead II Cot. However, at 4.85 lbs, the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot is significantly lighter and more packable than the Coleman cot.
Personally, I think the slight sag from shoulder to shoulder is acceptable and remains surprisingly comfortable. If you want to increase your comfort, you can always add an inflatable air mattress to a cot. The price-to-value ratio of the Klymit Static V Lite is hard to beat but I’m also a big fan of super cushy air mattresses like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe.
For reference, I’m about 6’3″ and 220 pounds.
Weight: 4.85 lbs
Capacity: 250 lbs
Dimensions: 75.6″ x 27.6″ x 6”
There are two tricks to setting up the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot. First, the corners at the head of the cot look like they are sewn through the faux leather patches . . . but they’re not. A portion at the ends is open to let you slide the main aluminum beams through it to the sewn-through pocket at the other end.
After you slide the long side beams into the edges of the cot fabric, be sure to tuck the end of the aluminum beams/poles into the smaller corner pockets at the edges of the fabric.
Next, assemble the legs. I’ve found that the easiest way to attach the legs is stand up with the cot on edge lengthwise. Attach the bottom first in the middle, then hold the black polymer foot section near your thigh and push down, bending the leg support strut in an arc to allow the foot to attach. Repeat with the other four legs.
The first time you set up the cot, it’ll be hard and annoying. As you do it more often, you’ll get the hang of it — and the fabric likely stretches a bit, too, to make it easier.
Durability & Quality
So far, overall durability and quality seem to be pretty good. Kijaro has a reputation for producing decent, affordable camp chairs — particularly the well-regarded Kijaro Dual Lock Camp Chair — and the quality seems on par with its chairs.
The aluminum seems thick and strong enough to hold up well, and the polymer feet seem thick enough to last, too. If there is a weak spot, it could be where the feet snap onto the main aluminum support poles. Either way, the initial price-to-value ratio is very good: The initial quality exceeds the price point, making the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot a good buy.
Competitive Alternatives & Options
There are several other lightweight and ultralight camping cot options available, including those that made our ultralight cot section in our guide to the best camping cots for the year. Just be sure to only buy cots from reputable sellers and companies you trust — you don’t want anything break underneath you during the night. If you’re looking for a lightweight, packable camping cot — particularly cots that are lower to the ground than traditional full-height cots, these alternative options might also meet your needs:
Helinox Lite Cot — The Helinox Lite Cot weighs half as much as the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot and has a higher weight capacity. The overall design is similar, but the biggest benefit is the much higher build quality in every way. The biggest drawback is the higher cost compared to the Kijaro cot.
Therm-a-Rest Ultralight Cot — The Therm-a-Rest Ultralight Cot is lighter than the Helinox Lite Cot but has a much higher weight capacity of 325 pounds. If you want to take a cot backpacking, the Therm-a-Rest Ultralight Cot is the cot we recommend for backpacking.
Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Cot — The Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Cot is little taller and wider than the Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot. The key difference is the super strong steel support bars and legs — there are no plastic pieces, which can sometimes become brittle with age. Also, the burly 600D polyester fabric is sewn to last through years of use.
The Bottom Line
The Kijaro Native Ultralight Cot is surprisingly well built for its affordable price point. In addition, the comfort is good, as is its excellent packability. While we don’t yet have a solid read on its long-term durability in this first-look review, we believe it’s a good option for family camping trips and car campers who want to save space in their vehicles.