Just buy it!
I'm pretty sure people looking at this know it, but I'll start by stating the obvious in that this is definitely not for backpacking. It's heavy - and I like that. But, for what it is, I wouldn't call it bulky. It's a portable bed, not a hammock or an air mattress. It packs up not much larger than the folding chairs that have become so popular.
I did a couple of months, running the Internet and local stores looking for something to sleep on that's durable, easy to set up and would get me off the ground. I've had several air mattresses but got tired of babying them to avoid punctures but still waking up on the ground. I also had a vintage military cot years ago that I recall be a real pain to set up because of the muscle needed to put the end bars on. So, with those two out, I figured I would wind up getting one of the smaller fold up beds. Unfortunately, they were all either out of my price range or weren't long enough for me. (6 feet tall) Then I came across the reviews for the Byer cot. What I read, on here and on other sites, convinced me to take the plunge. Ordering from REI, I figured I could return it if it turned out to be another dud.
Ummm... not a dud! For one thing, it almost sets itself up. For the people wondering about the best way to do it, you can Google for an online video that shows how easy it is. It's hard to explain in words but I'll put it this way - While it's laying down, unfold it from the center, then grab a side rail with a hand towards each end and lift. The legs move into place when you spread the side rails. You might have to nudge the end legs out a bit but it still easily takes less than a minute to put it up. As soon as I set it up, I flopped down on it to give it a little stress test. Nice and firm because of the thick fabric and extra webbing support at the legs. Even with back problems, I slept better on this than any air mattress I've ever had, including high-end mattresses. The flaps over the center hinges is a real nice touch, something I didn't see on similar cots. The blue and tan with the embroidered logo give it a nice finished look - not just something that's made to drag out into the woods. With only one four-day trip behind me, I can't speak to the long-term durability yet, but I don't see any problems coming anytime soon.
Easy it is
This is a nice, long cot. I'm 6'2" and weigh 225# and it suits me fine. I wanted a spare bed I could use for sleeping in a cooler part of the house when the whether gets so hot - without having to push the AC to overdrive. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set up. It literally just unfolds.
At first I was concerned that the only directions were a sort of pictograph on the box, but as it turns out it was that easy. Took about 30 seconds to remove it from the box and another 30 seconds or so to unfold it. I've only slept on it two nights but so far no complaints. Sagging so far is minimal, especially considering my dimensions. If I were going to use it for extended periods I'd probably want some kind of covering or padding for the cot as the fabric - while sturdy - might be a little rough over time.
The construction appears to be fairly rugged, including the stitching on the stress points where the fabric contacts the frame. I'll probably start partially collapsing it each day just to reduce some of the stress on the stitching.
To folks that think it's bulky, well, not for what it is. If you want a cot you can backpack this isn't designed for that, though with folded dimensions of about 6"x6"x33" and weighing about 20+ pounds it's pretty easy to toss into the back seat of the car or stash in a closet.
It wasn't available in my local REI for me to try or I would have bought it sooner had I known how pleased I would be.
Note about set-up: If your upper body agility, or your back, is a concern for , try unfolding it upside down, then turning it over.
Easy, comfortable and heavy
I normally prefer to sleep on the ground with an air mattress, but we were going camping at a place which had lots of thorny branches on the ground. I didn't want to damage the tent or the mattresses so I bought two of these. The first reason was ease of setup. After watching my friends with standard issue army cots using a pry bar to attach the end pieces, I decided I wanted something easier. I was concerned about the weight, but since these would only be used for car camping, I decided it shouldn't be an issue, but these are the heaviest cots I have seen yet. They unfold using similar technology to the standard modern folding chair, plastic feet with rivets holding in metal legs. I have found it easier to have a partner help to unfold it upside down, extend the outer legs, then rotate it right side up. Opening it right side up by yourself is a bit tricky, I haven't figured out a good way to do this yet.
Once open and setup, you'll find the fabric is nice and thick, it sags enough to give a little and is taught enough to provide support. I now keep them in the spare bedroom of our house because we don't have a bed in there yet and everyone except my mom says they are comfortable to sleep on. I have used them about a half dozen times and they don't have much wear and tear considering most of the time we open them is on lava rocks. If weight is a factor, consider other models of cots, but these setup quick and seem well made for my level of usage, which is about 5 or 6 times a year.
Great cot that lives up to its name
This cot is very easy to setup and tear down. Its strength is by design so that weight of the person on it forces the entire structure into a very tight form.
It is heavy, but fairly close to most cots so it is not an issue unless you are backpacking.
It is pretty large and perfectly fits twin XL bedding.
We have three of them and my wife and daughter say they are very comfortable, but I felt it to be too stiff or firm to my tastes. However, adding a cheap normal bed pad on top solved that completely.
A buyer of any cot needs to consider the amount of tent space requires AND the angle of the tent sides since the cot is raised off the ground.
When erecting, it goes up in a flash but wont hold a good tight form until weight is applied on top.
Finally, when packing it up just put it on its side, it will collapse on its own, then just fold. Sometimes the material will overlap the middle frame joint at this point, so just move it to the inside before folding. Obvious once you do it.
byer easy cot
I use it to sleep on overnighters at work. The thing weighs like 30 pounds, carrying it for long distances by its pouch and shoulder strap is unrealistic. It is incredibly sturdy and it doesn't have support bars digging into your side when you lie on it. The concept of how to get it to unfold is brilliant but because of its length (over 6'4") it is easier said than done. This isn't a huge issue, but if it is your first time opening it, it might take about 3 minutes to get it up... after that only like 30 seconds each time. It is quite comfortable and it easily fits my 6'4" frame and wide shoulders. I would get it again if I needed another cot.
i LOVE this cot
i bought this cot for overnight guests and i couldn't say enough good things about it. it takes about 30 seconds to set up and it comfortably holds an adult male. it's far superior to an air mattress in terms of comfort, convenience, ease of set up and durability, and - given that i have two cats - i imagine it will last far longer as well. i've skipped the mattress pad in favor of a blanket that i double over on the cot before putting the sheet on. viola! perfectly comfortable.
given that this thing weighs about 25 lbs, i wouldn't recommend it for any camping other than car camping. as an extra bed, however, it's great.
Convenient bed for travel/sleepovers
This has been a nice thing to have for getting an extra person in a hotel room and for my son to use on some camping trips and sleepovers.
Easy to setup and pack away for travel/storage. We also use a self-inflating camping mattress with the cot...which makes is very comfortable for a teen and most adults.
The only shortcoming I've found is that it sags a bit with heavier users. The camp mattress we use helps even it back out somewhat, but I still get the feeling of sinking a bit into the cot.
I would certainly recommend it to others. It has held up well so far and seems to be pretty sturdy.
Easy to setup and sturdy
We bought two of these cots this summer when we had house guests. We were tired of the space our big blowup mattress took up and decided to try these cots. We gave our guests our bed and my husband and I each took a cot. We actually found them comfortable and slept on them for 4 nights! They were a cinch to fold and set aside each morning. Now when my kids have a friend overnight, they crash on a cot rather than the floor.
It's very sturdy but super heavy.
This is great if you have the room for it and don't have to lug it very far. My first use was on a trip from Petersburg, Alaska to Fairbanks and we had room in the pickup. It is a compact bundle, but still takes up quite a bit of space. It is very well constructed and now I use it for spare bedding at a remote cabin. I leave it there instead of taking it back and forth in the boat.
Great night's sleep
I use the cot for camping with my Boy Scout Troop. For years I used inflatable beds to help me sleep when camping because I have 4 herniated discs. Air beds were little to no help. This cot is perfect for a adult my size 6' and 210 lbs. The only down side is this thing is built to last, so it is heavy. I wouldn't want to bring it anywhere that I had a long hike into camp