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Camping is the one activity where you get to enjoy serene environments, fresh air, lots of sunshine, and closeness to the wild. But hey, are you getting a good night’s sleep while in the great outdoors?
Sadly, you may not be able to carry that comfy gel mattress, innerspring mattress or memory foam mattress with you to camp, leave alone your comforter and duvets. Camping limits you in terms of weight to carry and storage space.
However, some options are lightweight, comfy, and tailor-made for camping.
Commonly known as a blow up mattress or an air bed, an air mattress is an inflatable mattress whose buoyancy is conferred by the air blown into it. It was originally made of polyvinyl chloride material but thanks to advancing technology, reinforced textile urethane, plastic and rubber have seen the unveiling of the best air mattresses for camping.
Airbeds are more lightweight than conventional mattresses making them easy to carry in backpacks. Still, the flexibility of an air mattress can accommodate people of different shapes, sizes, and body weights.
Great air mattresses are guaranteed to give you all the support and cushioning needed regardless of whether you are sleeping in the woods or camping at a festival.
When shopping for a camping airbed, some key factors to look out for include the air mattress type, its inflation mechanism, and materials used. That said, we have ventured deep into the wormhole that is product selection and came up with some useful information on camping air mattresses as well as a top ten list that you can pick from.
Today’s air mattresses have been duly updated with practical features such as puncture resistance, self-inflation, and raised top padded layers for extra comfort. Air mattresses are mostly made of polyvinyl chloride and textile-reinforced rubber or polyurethane materials.
The most common pet peeve among air mattress users is the overnight deflation.
Some of the main causes of this deflation include improper use of the air bed, air loss when detaching external, punctures or tears, faulty nozzle, and overloading. However, it’s important to note that air mattresses are designed to deflate due to natural temperature and pressure changes.
The cold temperatures at night condense the air inside while high temperatures would do the opposite. Without letting out some air gradually, air mattresses would simply burst in the seams and would be terrible in providing adequate elevation for your body.
Air mattresses with automatic pumps will take care of this problem effectively by inflating/deflating the mattress as needed.
Among others, below are the main key factors that you should consider when getting a camping air mattress.
There’s little to compromise on comfort as most camping air mattresses feature flocked or memory foam upper surfaces. Also, in a bid to avoid the bulk of having to carry extra pillows, good quality air beds have built-in pillows or raised headboards.
The beauty of most air beds is that you can adjust their height and thickness by inflation for bespoke comfort.
Generally, you will find air mattresses in standard twin, full, queen, and king sizes as well as in single-height and double-height variants. We found the single-height to be better suited for the outdoors as compared to the double-height versions.
A single-height air mattress measures between 9 inches and 11 inches high while double-height ones range from 17 inches to 25 inches in height.
The perfect size of your air mattress will mostly be determined by personal preference, size of the tent, and storage space among other factors. However, twin and queen sizes tend to be more suited for outdoor use.
Portability is also a concern when it comes to camping sleeping systems. Luckily, air mattresses can be deflated, rolled up, and packed away in compact bundles. They don’t take up too much space and opting for a very light air mattress can improve portability by a big deal.
While a lightweight air bed may be suitable for trekking, hiking, camping or other outdoor activities, a heavier one will feel more comfortable.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) camping air mattresses have an edge over other options due to the waterproofing quality of the material. The PVC material is also very durable, affordable, and easily flexible making it a good candidate for a camping air mattress.
The phthalates, which make the PVC material more flexible and softer may give off odors that may be unpleasant to some people. The odors may also exacerbate allergies in some individuals.
Thermoplastic polyurethane, TPU in short, offers a good alternative to PVC thanks to its many benefits. TPU is more flexible, durable, lighter, odorless, and more environmentally friendly as compared to PVC material.
Additionally, TPU is perfect for extreme outdoor temperatures and is considered to be more recyclable than other options. TPU variations include polyester, polycaprolactone, and polyether.
That said, it’s always a good practice to air out your mattress before embarking on your camping or hiking trip. Air mattresses made of vulcanized rubber or those reinforced with quilted textiles tend to be more durable and puncture-resistant.
The covers for most air mattresses are usually flocked or textured to prevent slippage during sleep and to maintain warmth. Premium air beds will most likely have antimicrobial and waterproof covers to counter the extremities of the great outdoors.
When it comes to setting up your sleeping system, the type of inflation mechanism in the air bed matters, a lot! Airbeds will mostly utilize either of these mechanisms; an electric pump, battery-operated pump, rechargeable battery pump, self-inflating or manual foot/hand pneumatic systems.
These pumps may either be internally or externally placed depending on the mattress type. Typically, internal pump systems usually have electric and self-inflating mechanisms while external ones may have manual, battery-powered or electric pumping systems.
Internal pneumatic systems tend to be more expensive and prone to failures. However, they inflate the bed faster and have zero risks of losing parts. On the other hand, external pump types are more affordable and durable but can be energy-intensive.
Electric pumps are by far the most efficient due to the quick blow-ups without requiring exertion. However, if you don’t have a power outlet in the campground then this is definitely not the option to go for. Luckily, you have battery-operated and rechargeable options for extra convenience.
Battery-operated systems utilize D-size batteries to get things started while rechargeable options ensure you have a long-lasting power source for the inflation system. Always opt for Lithium-based rechargeable batteries as opposed to nickel-based ones as the latter doesn’t hold a charge for longer.
If you prefer the good ole dependable manual inflation systems, then you get a hand versus a foot pump to grapple with. The foot pump-inflated air beds tend to be fairly lighter and smaller than electric/battery-operated ones.
The foot-controlled pneumatic systems are typically easier and less strenuous to operate as compared to hand pumps.
Last but not least, you may also find air mattresses with self-inflating mechanisms. In such models, you open a valve to let the foam get back to its original form by sucking in air. Then after achieving the desired height, you shut off the valve.
Notably, the self-inflating air mattresses are usually not as comfy or as thick as the other options. Plus, some air mattresses will require you to buy a pump separately. Take note that a pump that comes with extra universal nozzles makes it usable with other inflatables.
Ideally, you want a camping air mattress that shields you from the cold ground and, a sleeping surface that preserves warmth without drenching you in sweat. In that regard, a good indicator to look out for is the R-value of the mattress.
The higher the R-value the better the insulation provided and the more the resistance to heat flow. Ranging from 1 (the lowest) to 10 (the highest), R-value is the standard measure for thermal resistance and is used in all manner of household products including walls, fiberglass, and windows among other things.
Air mattresses have for long been known to sleep cold due to the excessive dissipation of heat by the trapped air. To avert this, good quality air mattresses will feature baffle layers to slow down this heat loss plus these padded layers will also help provide more comfort during sleep.
The internal construction of the air mattress also plays a key role in heat retention. You want to go with a camping mattress that has chambers and coil systems within its internal structure. The chambered design slows down air movement and in extension, lowers the development of micro-currents of cold air.
Keep in mind that a high R-value won’t matter much if your air mattress develops a leak or gets punctured. So, always consider getting an air mattress made of a heavy-duty, puncture resistant material. Notably, TPU seems to fair very well here as it doesn’t stretch too much, is more durable, and is puncture-resistant as compared to PVC options.
Opting for camping air mattresses that come with repair kits would also be an excellent idea.
While there are many other factors that would affect preservation of warmth in your sleeping system, a high R-value rating on the sleeping gear is definitely a good thing.
However, be fairly warned that different companies calculate the R-value in different ways and experiences in product usage will greatly differ from person to person. This means that comparing air mattresses across varying brands based solely on the R-value would mostly be misrepresentative and inconclusive.
You should instead look into other features as mentioned above to help you zero down on your final pick.
To get a rough idea of the insulation you’re getting in your sleeping system, simply add up the R-values of all the items in your system. For instance, a sleeping bag with an R-value of 3.6 and an air mattress with an R-value of 2.5 would give a total of 6.1 worth of thermal resistance.
|Air Mattress||Inflation||Material||Packed Size||Dimensions||Weight||Capacity|
|Therm-a-rest Mondoking 3D Air Mattress, L||Self-inflating||Non-stick 50D Polyester||26" × 11"||77" × 25" × 4"||4.4 lbs.||225 lbs.|
|ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed||Rechargeable Electric Pump||TPU coated Nylon w/ Coils||15. 5" × 7"||80" × 39" × 6"||3.5 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Etekcity Portable Air Mattress for Camping (Queen, Twin)||Rechargeable Electric Pump||Flocked Top PVC, Wave Beam Inner Support||13" × 7" × 15"||80" × 60" × 9" [Q]
75" × 39" × 9" [T]
|Hikenture Self-Inflating Air Mattress (Double, Single)||Self-inflating||Foam, Polyester, TPU||32.5" × 8.5"
26" × 9.8"
|80" × 52" × 4"
77.95" × 29.92" × 3.94"
|Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe SI Mattress (Regular, Double)||Self-inflating||TPU, Polyester||26.5" × 7"
29" × 7"
|72" × 25" × 4"
79" × 29" × 4"
|Coleman Inflatable Airbed, Queen||Battery-operated Pump||Insulated Material w/ Coils||21" × 10"||78" × 58" × 14"||17.1 lbs.||600 lbs.|
|ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed||Rechargeable Electric Pump||150D TPU coated Polyester Oxford fabric||15.5" × 7"||80" × 39" × 6"||3.75 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Sierra Designs 2-Person Airbed||Battery-Operated Pump||Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)||8" × 9"||77.9" × 55.9" × 10.2"||6.11 lbs.||500 lbs.|
|KingCamp Lightweight Camping Air Bed||Battery-operated Pump||150D TPU-coated Polyester Oxford fabric||18.5" × 8.3"||79.1" × 55" × 5.9"||6 lbs.||400 lbs.|
|Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed Mattress||Battery-operated Pump||TPU Material||18.4" × 8"||78" × 56" × 7"||5.33 lbs.||500 lbs.|
Up for the taking are these two exquisite camping air mattresses from Thermarest namely; the classic Standard Valve 2018 model and the newer Twinlock Valve variant. The two models offer a soft non-sticky sleeping surface that’s second to none in matters comfort. Yes, 50-denier polyester softness should indeed make you feel like a king among star-gazers.
While the newer model does pack larger and more practical dual valves and loaded with new and exciting features such as a flocked top surface, both models are worthy contenders for the best outdoor air mattresses.
Both models of the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D self-inflating air mattress come in two sizes; the L (77 by 25 inches) and the XXL (80 by 30 inches) variants. Notably, these variants do not cost the same.
Other than cost, you will want to make other considerations while deciding which of the two variants to purchase.
For example, the average width of a two-person tent is 52.25 inches plus or minus 2.5 inches. This gives you a minimum width of about 50 inches to work with.
The implication of the above is that using the extra-large variant of the MondoKing 3D, only one air mattress will be accommodated in your tent. On the other hand, two air mattresses of the smaller variant (and subsequently two individuals; perhaps plus one more) will be accommodated side by side in the same tent.
Featuring 4-inch thick vertical sidewalls for the older model and 4.5-inch for the newer, the MondoKing 3D offers you a comfortable, full-size surface to lay on. It has been doubtlessly proven that mattresses with sidewalls (3D mattresses) offer about 19% more sleeping surface than those without the sidewalls (2D mattresses).
Though a hindrance to compression, the foam core that Mondoking 3D features enhances its comfort and warmth. Together with the air insulation, this foam core confers a whopping R-value of 7.0 to the MondoKing 3D.
Add the above to the breathable, non-slippery and non-sticky soft polyester cover and what you get is slumber out of this world. Not to forget, the newer model features a flocked top.
What we didn’t like very much about the older model of the MondoKing 3D is the fact that the mattress was a bit of a trouble deflating to preferred firmness when you over-inflated it:
It could become overly rigid that just laying on it with one of its two tiny air valves open wouldn’t adjust the air volume to preferred comfort level. Getting up and actively squeezing air out of it was inevitable for us.
With the newer model however, a tremendous improvement has been made to the dual valve design. The aptly-named TwinLock Valve Model has two valves; one for letting air in and the other one for letting it out. Apart from their efficiency that allows for quick and hassle-free inflations and deflations, these valves are also larger than in the older model so you can get more air in or out.
Stashing a deflated Mondoking 3D into its stuff sack has some madness to it thanks to the stuffy foam core. This is not a mattress you would want to tag along on a lone camping trip. We found the deflation manual to be quite handy and you will definitely want to make use of it before driving yourself crazy trying to deflate the mattress your own way.
If you are looking for a comfortable, versatile, self-inflating camping air mattress, the MondoKing 3D is your best bet. Its availability in two different models and sizes means that your preference can be easily catered for.
With the recent improvements incorporated into its newer model, the Mondoking 3D is, quite frankly, irresistible. It is a perfect choice for side sleepers, stomach sleepers, heavy individuals, individuals with troubled backs and all other kinds of sleepers really.
The Vertex Airbed from ALP Mountaineering is a slight improvement over the same company’s Velocity air mattress. The Vertex model steers clear of PVC in its construction and features a handy rechargeable electric pump.
Comfort and support during sleep are kept at peak levels in this mattress as it has a comfortable sleeping surface that is made nice and firm by the integrated coil system. Inflating and deflating the mattress is hassle-free.
If the rechargeable battery runs out of juice, you can recharge it via a wall outlet or by using the included car adaptor. The pump can be used while charging meaning you don’t have to wait at all as is the case in other airbeds.
The ALPS Mountaineering line of outdoor gear is very popular among campers and other outdoor enthusiasts due to the premium quality. The Vertex has a thick, puncture-resistant, and reinforced bed construction for uniform comfy sleeping surface and optimal longevity.
The air pump is easy to use and effective in inflating or deflating the air mattress in under a few minutes. Additionally, the mattress fits perfectly in most tents and can support up to 250 pounds for the twin size.
You can also haul this 3.25-pound air mattress in its easy to carry storage bag.
Product variations: The Vertex Air Bed can also be bought in a queen-size that supports a max load of 500 pounds and weighs slightly under 5 pounds. However, the queen size is almost the same price as the twin size.
We hope the manufacturer will include an indicator to show if the pump is fully-charged in their next iteration of this rather good quality air mattress. However, the differences between the Vertex and Velocity models are barely noticeable.
Overall, the Vertex Airbed is comfortable, lightweight, and easy to inflate making it perfect for car tent camping, hiking, and any other outdoor activities.
A relatively affordable but one-of-a-kind air bed, the Etekcity is an impressive air mattress for outdoor use. What mostly impressed our team about this airbed is its 0.35mm thick PVC material which effectively guards it against all the possibilities of punctures outside there. And, as you’ll realize, that’s not the only impressive feature tucked into this queen/twin size air mattress.
The Etekcity is, I dare say, the most comfortable air mattress for camping. Raised 9 inches off the ground when inflated, this air mattress offers unmatched insulation against the most common environmental insults. As you will expect, the bumpy and rugged floors will be effectively insulated against much as cold will.
This multi-prong insulation is conferred not only by the suitable height off the ground but also by the unique inner construction that this blow up mattress features.
Additionally, the flocking top that the Etekcity features offers a comfortable surface to lay on.
A number of convenience features are subtly crafted into the Etekcity air mattress.
First off, this airbed comes with a rechargeable electric pump which inflates the mattress in just one short minute. The electric pump comes with an AC and a DC adapter and can be recharged at home prior to your trip or in your car. However, caution needs to be taken as a fully charged pump can perform about three inflations only before discharging.
Together with the air pump, the Etekcity twin weighs 10 lbs. The air mattress alone weighs 8.75 lbs. Though not the lightest of the backpacking air mattresses, Etekcity’s weight is forgivable for its size and quality. And, as logic would dictate, you wouldn’t expect quality and light in the same statement, would you?
The queen variation is best reserved for car camping rather than for backpacking. It weighs 16lbs together with its air pump.
The fact that both variations of this air mattress fold into small sizes when deflated, coupled with the fact that each comes with a carry bag, add to the convenience of hauling them around.
With a 0.35mm thick PVC material, the Etekcity is virtually leak-proof (unless you really want to deliberately make it leak). Even then, the air mattress comes with a miniature patch kit to counter any possibilities of a puncture.
Measuring 80 inches long by 60 inches wide, the queen-size variation of Etekcity air bed is large enough to sleep two people. Its weight capacity rating is 650 lbs and our tests proved that it indeed lives up to the expectations. This is quite something if you asked me.
The twin size variation measures 75 inches long by 39 inches wide which is a huge enough space to sleep a plus-size person. This fact is especially emphasized by this air bed’s weight capacity rating of 450 lbs.
If you are looking for a comfortable, durable, and a relatively affordable portable air mattress for camping and other outdoor uses, then the Etekcity will be a great catch. Of course you will have to bear with its 8.75 lbs weight which is awesomely compensated for by the unique quality and extra space offered by this blow up mattress.
A huge leap from its blue-colored predecessor, this self-inflating mattress promises great value for any car camper. It is slightly longer by about two inches and a bit faster to inflate than the older version.
Available in two sizes, single and double, it comes in a bland grey, or whichever way you’d like to look at that. We did notice that the single size was narrower than the older model by almost three inches. That said, you can look forward to many of its other redeeming features.
The double size measures 52 inches wide while the single model is only 29.5 inches wide. Both mattress sizes are 80 inches long and 4 inches thick. Although you might not appreciate the extra two inches of length, the extra thickness is quite noticeable.
The combination of foam and air makes the mattress puffy and comfy while the stretch-knit polyester fabric feels velvety. Further, its sleeping surface isn’t as noisy as other nylon-covered counterparts, and its bottom side is sufficiently wear-resistant and waterproof.
With an R-value of 9.5, the Hikenture airbed is one of the most insulative 4-season options and will suffice for year-round camping trips including in harsh winter weather.
The puffiness is not an all-glam-and-no-sham affair. The price you pay for it is contending with its massive weight (13 pounds for the double and 8.4 pounds for the single) and impracticability for backpacking and ultralight camping. And it’s not only heavy. It also packs down into a large bundle – 26 inches long by 9.8 inches in diameter for the single one and 32.5 inches by 8.5 inches for the double.
To its credit though, this air mat does include a roll-top style carry bag with a wide adjustable shoulder strap for easier hauling and stowing. Moreover, its overall compression is forgivable and the stuff sack in the newer model is larger than in the older model.
Coming with an integrated harness strap system with clasps and a carry handle in the middle, the folded version of the mattress has decent handling. Even then, it is most suitable if you have motorized means of transportation.
Two valves with one-way functionality enable easy inflations and deflations. Turning the valve right allows for seamless self-inflation. And the process takes just under ten minutes, which can be hastened by further inflation using its multi-purpose stuff sack.
You can open both valves for quicker deflations. However, the exercise of rolling back the mattress can be strenuous, and shoving it into the carry bag takes even more muscle strength.
Lastly, while the inflation is slower than in pump-powered alternatives, we appreciate the quieter experience. The stuff sack comes in handy for quickening the process, and you can always use an air pump for even faster inflations.
Backed by a 90-days replacement guarantee and a one-year warranty, the Hikenture Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is a must-have for car campers. Both the double and single sizes are highly insulative and thickly cushioned. Our only gripe with the product is its bulky and hefty nature.
The Deluxe line of this Self-Inflating Mattress is available in up to four sizes including regular, large, double, and campervan. The campervan version sports a cut-out corner to allow for a snug fit inside most campervans. Save for the regular option which measures 72 inches long, the other mattresses have lengths of 79 inches.
Its valve system, which features an inflation port and a fine-tune button, sports a stop plug and a reversible valve. You can flip the valve over to deflate the mat or just leave it uncapped for slower air release.
Unlike in most other premium picks such as the Mondoking 3D, fine-tune functionality in this mattress helps you adjust for desired firmness while the one-way deflation port ensures no re-inflation when packing up. In this choice, however, self-inflation takes several minutes and a few more puffs may be needed to top up the mattress.
Despite the novelty, having only one valve system means slower deflations.
The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe S.I. Mat is arguably one of the most comfortable options in the market yet. With its four-inch thickness, it might even suffice as a guest bed for your home. Moreover, the sleeping mattress has an R-value of 6.5 making it more than ideal for four-season camping.
Its plush, 30-denier polyester upper ensures that you sleep comfortably while its base, made of 75-denier polyester with laminated TPU, ensures less worry of punctures and longevity of service. Inside, it features the company’s patented Delta-shaped PU foam that helps cut down on weight and bulkiness while providing body-contouring comfort. In essence, you pay for a novelty product that actually offers value for every buck you throw at it whether you’re a back sleeper or a side-sleeper.
However, it appears that the bulk and weight savings proffered by the proprietary D-shaped PU is not quite enough. You’re looking at almost 10 pounds for the double-wide and just close to 5 pounds for the large model. Although sufficiently lightweight to enter into the backpacking category, the massive packed size for the large model is one limiting factor to surmount.
At its premium pricing, some included extras are only expected. The Comfort Deluxe S.I. Mat includes a Velcro pillow-lock system to prevent pillow slippage, a 30-denier stuff sack, and a mini repair kit for quick patch-ups in the boonies.
On the downside, the included stuff sack makes packing up a nightmare. Stuffing the mattress back into the bag requires some considerable effort and removing it isn’t easy either. We would have much preferred it if it came with a compression sack instead of the tight-fitting stuff sack.
The Comfort Deluxe S.I. Mat from Sea to Summit is one of the most comfortable air mattresses you’ll find today. It offers a great balance of weight, comfort, and warmth with only minimal compromises. However, a larger stuff sack or a compression sack in its next iteration would make this a stand-out all-rounder.
Unlike other air mattresses, the Coleman airbed comes with a zip-on topper to preserve warmth and provide extra comfort. The topper has an R-value of 2.75, which is just okay at providing extra insulation from cold grounds or air.
The Inflatable airbed comes with a carrying bag to haul in and a one-year limited warranty in case of any complications.
Besides the padded slick topper, the air mattress also has a durable 48-coil system to provide you with superior support and comfort for a restful night’s sleep. The construction of the bed allows support of a maximum load of 600 pounds without any squeaks.
Whether you’re deep in the backcountry or simply away from a power source, the Coleman Inflatable mattress is designed for such extremes. It uses a battery-operated pump to fully inflate or deflate the mattress in less than two minutes.
The pump uses four D-cell batteries that can be bought separately.
Additionally, to avoid annoyances such as overnight deflations, Coleman used a Double Lock valve to avoid any air leakages.
The added mattress topper is arguably the redeeming factor for this inflatable air mattress from Coleman. Otherwise, it is an okay option to consider but be wary of the inefficient pump plus the inconvenience of having to source D batteries every now and then.
You may want to opt for rechargeable air pump options to get the most value out of this air mattress.
Available in twin and queen sizes, the Velocity Air Bed is yet another bestseller from ALPS Mountaineering. It’s a versatile air mattress built for the outdoors and centered on the requirements for the avid camper or hiker.
The Velocity air bed is made of 150 denier-rated polyester oxford fabric that is further coated with thermoplastic polyurethane. This results in a durable, lightweight and waterproof air mattress that won’t stretch like other options.
It is free from phthalates and polyvinyl chloride, which are known to be harmful to the environment and humans.
Next, the air bed features a rechargeable air pump that can be powered up using the 110V AC wall adapter or the 12V car adaptor. You no longer have to stress over getting the mattress fully inflated or deflated as the pump does so in mere seconds leaving you with more time to enjoy the great outdoors.
The coil system construction eliminates the possibility of sliding during sleep and provides a solid yet comfortable surface to rest on. It achieves this by evenly distributing weight across the mattress.
All this results in a 3.75-pound bundle that can be fully inflated into a spacious 80 inches long by 39 inches wide sleeping surface for the twin size. The Velocity air mattress will also let you sleep comfortably, well-off the ground thanks to its six inches of height.
A carrying bag is also thrown in the mix to help you carry the Velocity mattress with ease. ALPS also includes a limited lifetime warranty in case the bought unit has any factory defects.
Product variations: ALPS Mountaineering also made the Velocity air mattress in a queen size that weighs a little over 4 pounds and can support a maximum load of 500 pounds. The queen size also folds down into a compact 18.5 inches high by 8.5 inches wide bundle.
With over 25 years of experience in the outdoor gear sector, ALPS Mountaineering continues to provide quality and affordable products such as the Velocity air bed. The air mattress has a low-profile design that is perfect for tent camping.
Also, the air bed packs all the features that you’d expect in a good quality air mattress with minimal downsides. The price of the Velocity airbed is on the high side and like most air mattresses, it offers little insulation from the cold grounds.
Sierra Designs is no newcomer to the camping gear industry as is evidenced by its Two-Person Airbed. Built to last, the air mattress is easy to set up and comfortably sleeps two people. While backpackers might not be the target market for this unit, car campers and bike campers will love it.
Measuring 77.9 inches long and 55.9 inches wide, the air mattress is just a few inches shy of being a true queen-sized mattress.
However, it will still fit your favorite queen size sheets and be expansive enough for two people.
Its 7-inch thickness and extra 3.2 inches of elevation at the headrest ensure optimal comfort and support. You may find that the integrated pillow looks a bit basic, but it adds to the mattress’ value while saving you the bulkiness of carrying additional camping pillows.
Featuring well-contoured baffles and divots, the upper surface of Sierra Designs provides some traction and body-conforming comfort and support. Now we all hate those slippery surfaces that will see you falling off an airbed.
Keep in mind that this airbed isn’t insulated at all. Therefore, you may want to use a foam sheet, blanket, or your preferred insulating material beneath the mattress for the best experience. Else, the Sierra Designs Two-Person Airbed will be best suited for camping in warmer weather.
That said, the air mattress can support a weight limit of up to 500 pounds – a feat made possible by its high-quality build, sturdy materials, and weight distributing baffles and divots.
Made of PVC-free and Phthalate-free Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), Sierra Designs is boldly resistant to abrasion, puncture, and stretch.
And while you might want to carefully examine the seams in a unit that you receive, this airbed comes with a one-year warranty to back up its audacious durability claims.
Inflating and deflating the airbed is a non-complicated affair owing to the included portable battery-operated pump and two-way Boston valve. It will hold in the air for a long time after inflation, but expect some air loss on colder nights.
The pump uses 4D batteries and can be a little slow to inflate and deflate the mattress so you will want to be a little patient.
When it is time to ship out, you can use the pump to deflate the airbed then fold it up and toss it in the included storage bag. It has a minimalist packed size of about 8 inches in width and 9 inches in length and weighs approximately 6.11 pounds.
Further, it comes with an oversize storage bag to help you haul the mattress and its accessories. Given how large the storage sack is, you can easily pack away the air mattress without fully deflating it.
Considering its high-quality construction, plush comfort levels, and included add-ons, the Sierra Designs Two-Person Airbed will be a steal for most car campers. It has a thick, cozy sleeping platform that will be more than adequate for couples.
The airbed is best suited for warm weather and could work just fine as a spare bed for emergencies or sudden guests. However, brace yourself for the few shortcomings posed by the pump and air mattress sizing.
A lightweight, comfortable camping air mattress is one of the latest offerings by the fairly well-known KIngCamp Company. The mattress fully inflates into a spacious Full size that measures 79.1 inches in length and 55 inches in width.
The 5.9 inches of elevation is great for comfort even when used as a two-person sleeping mattress.
Speaking of which, the mattress is made of a 150-denier rated polyester oxford fabric that is undoubtedly very durable and comfy to rest on. The top fabric has also been coated with TPU, which is known for its waterproofing effect, softness, and slick feel.
Within its internal structure, there’s up to 192 stabilizers that work hand in hand to ensure even firmness between the top and bottom. The firmness can also be adjusted accordingly using the included battery-operated pump.
The pneumatic system has the pump and a Boston valve and ensures fast, easy inflations/deflations and air retention over long periods. Operating the valve is as easy as twisting the cap off, inflating with the pump, and replacing the cap once full.
Deflations require that you remove the valve altogether for more effectiveness but you can also use the pump for quicker results.
It being a battery-operated pump makes the mattress ideal for outdoor use and more so, backpacking, hiking, and camping activities. However, do note that you will need four D-size batteries of which are sold separately.
Additionally, the whole system including the pump weighs 6 pounds only and can be packed in the included oxford carry bag.
The KingCamp camping airbed does a good job as a two-person mattress and fits queen-size bed sheets just right. The air mattress is durable, lightweight, portable and features high-quality construction, however, you can expect the usual inefficiencies of battery-operated pumps.
Sometimes it inflates too slowly and full inflation is not always achieved with the air pump. Plus, why buy expensive batteries for the pump every now and then when you can just opt for a rechargeable option?
Comprising a two-way Boston valve, thermoplastic polyurethane material build, and a battery-operated pump, the 2 Person Airbed from Lightspeed Outdoors sets the bar for the other options in our selection.
The features don’t stop there as the mattress also has a patented stabilizer system and an oversized carry bag to pack everything away in. The airbed deflates from the spacious sleeping surface that measures 78 inches long by 56 inches wide, to a portable bundle measuring 18.4 inches long by 8 inches in diameter.
First off, the air pump is battery-operated using four D-cell batteries thus making it a portable sleeping system for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Then there’s the two-way Boston valve that allows for extra efficiency.
The Boston valve is commonly used in inflatable boats, water toys, and blow-up beds. It is essentially an oversized one-way air valve with two caps that allows for quick deflations and inflations.
The preference for use of thermoplastic polyurethane material in its construction makes this mattress very durable while remaining small and lightweight. The deflated mattress only weighs about 5.33 pounds.
TPU is also very environment-friendly, soft and more comfortable as compared to PVC, plus there’s minimal if any chemical smells in this product.
You can easily adjust the firmness of the mattress to your liking by using the reliable battery-operated pump. Plus, your queen-size sheets stay in place thanks to the built-in handles on the mattress.
Product variations: The Lightspeed Outdoors air beds can also be bought in light blue, aqua, and green colors. There’s also a heavier marsala-colored queen size version that features Flexform. The Flexform stretch fabric has been textured to offer body contouring comfort and grip.
The Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person airbed is a comfortable, durable, lightweight mattress for two that features high-quality construction at a bargain price. Overall, it’s an air mattress worth giving a try despite its minor shortcomings.
Inflatable beds are affordable, lightweight and comfy, making them the ideal companion for a night outdoors. They also pack other benefits such as the following:
However, they do pose risks such as the ones mentioned below:
With that in mind, you can always consider other alternatives to air beds rather than settling on sleeping on the ground without any elevation. Sleeping pads can be good options but the good ole foam camping mattresses are probably more effective for outdoor use.
When it comes to camping mattresses, also known as rollup or foldable floor mattresses, there are a few things to look out for. First, you want to go for mattresses made of memory foam or polyurethane as the main material.
Polyurethane mattresses mostly have an open-cell and compact structure that makes them very comfortable. On the other hand, memory foam ones comprise a viscoelastic material with a polyurethane base that excels at providing body-contouring support and comfort.
Memory foam has other benefits such as relieving pain on pressure points and barring allergens among others. Some downsides of memory foam include; it gets too hot, takes time to get used to, can be slightly pricey, may emit strong odors, and is mostly not waterproof.
On rare occasions, you may also find mattresses made of latex foam which majorly comprise of either natural latex, blended latex or 100% synthetic latex. Latex foam camping mattresses are preferred by some people for their durability and comfort.
The top fabric of the mattress may be made of polyester, cotton or nylon. Polyester is good at being waterproof and easy to clean while nylon is great at being very durable.
A major caveat on these camping mattresses is that they are very bulky to take along with you and may not be suited to long trekkers and light backpackers. Anyway, below are some of the best camping mattresses to consider over air mattresses:
|Camping Mattress||Size Variations||Weight||Material||Dimensions|
|Better Habitat SleepReady Memory Foam Camping Mattress||Kids, Single, Twin||17 lbs.||Memory Foam||75" × 36" × 3"|
|Cozzzi Trifold Foam Mattress||75" × 31", 75" × 25"||9 lbs., 12 lbs.||High-density Foam||75" × 31" × 4", 75" × 25" × 4"|
|Willpo Certipur-US Memory Foam Camping Mattress||Small Single, Single, Twin||7.7 lbs., 9.8 lbs., 12 lbs.||Memory Foam w/ High-density Support Foam||72" × 24" × 2.73", 75" × 30" × 2.75", 75" × 38" × 2.75"|
|FBSPORT Memory Foam Floor Mattress||Small Single, Single, Twin||10 lbs., 14.2 lbs., 16.4 lbs.||45D Memory Foam w/ High-density Support Foam||72" × 24"x 2.3", 75" × 30"x 3", 75" × 38"x 3",|
|LaidBack Pad Memory Foam Camping Mattress||Twin||8.5 lbs.||Memory Foam with Polyester Casing||72" × 24" × 2.35"|
To start us off we have the SleepReady rollaway mattress from Better Habitat, which sets up in mere seconds thanks to its simple unclip and roll-out design. The mattress is made of a 3-inch memory foam material that’s been covered up in cotton terry and polyester fabric.
The SleepReady mattress is available in three sizes; Kids-, Single-, and Twin-size. The twin size is slightly narrower with its 36 inches of width and 75 inches of length. The SleepReady mattress is first on our list for a couple of reasons.
You no longer have to deal with finicky deflation and packing procedures involved in air mattresses as the SleepReady mattress is quick to set up and pack up. The mattress comes rolled up in an easy to carry storage bag from which you take it out and unroll, and that’s just about it!
To pack it simply roll it back into its original burrito shape and store it in the top-loaded bag. This ingenious design allows it to be used out-of-the-box wherever and whenever without any prep work.
The mattress shines in all the areas you’d expect for a premium quality product. The covers are not only machine-washable but also hypoallergenic which means allergens, dust particles, mold, mildew, and bacteria are kept off the mattress.
Better Habitat outdid themselves on the SleepReady camping mattress. It’s comfortable, durable, and packed with premium features worth the high price tag. There’s not much to improve on the product, only that the company should consider availing larger sizes for couples.
However, you should note that the weight is not friendly for backpackers or any long-distance outdoor usage without some form of transport.
Folding mattresses are preferred for their versatility and portability, and the Trifold foam mattress from Cozzzi is no different. It has a tri-fold design that allows for easy movement from one place to another and usage as a lounging mat.
The Cozzzi Trifold mattress is conveniently protected with an easy to clean nylon zip-on cover that’s machine washable and durable. While there’s no included carrying pouch, you can easily move it around using the conveniently-placed handles.
If so inclined, you can use the mattress as a floor mat, yoga training mat or spare bed with quick and easy configurations. Feel free to catch up on your afternoon reads with the mattress set up as a lounge chair.
Your kids may also have a go at it with their indoor games, no worries the mattress is well-built to take on lots of abuse.
The high-density polyfoam in the Cozzzi Trifold mattress is super firm, comfortable, and offers spine-aligning support for all sleeping positions. We can also attest to the company’s claims that the foam has therapeutic and comforting benefits. Well, mostly on the comforting bit as the rest is fairly subjective.
Product variations: The TriFold foam folding mattress is available in two sizes; 75 inches long by 25 inches wide and 75 inches long by 31 inches wide. They both come with similar features and have a thickness of 4 inches.
The Cozzzi Trifold foam mattress is a good choice for anyone looking for an affordable, portable, and versatile mattress. The tri-fold design is particularly the biggest strength of this product. We hope the manufacturer will use memory foam and include a carry bag for the next iteration.
Here’s one mattress that blends the comfort of memory foam and the supportive nature of high-density foam. The two-layer foam approach makes the Willpo Certipur-US camping mattress perfect for side sleepers and front sleepers since it sinks less.
The foam has been extensively tested and certified by Certipur-US, which is a non-profit organization in charge of checking on the safety and health effects of foam products. However, the certification process is a basic requirement for all foam products.
There’s no chance of sleeping on an uneven surface (as is prevalent in air mattresses) with this memory foam mattress. The Willpo mattress is comfortable and offers great support for medium to heavy weight capacities.
The soft and thick foam also does a great job of preserving warmth throughout the night.
Transporting the 9.8-pounds twin size mattress is super easy thanks to the included travel bag. Additionally, the mattress rolls up into a compact 30.5 inches long by 15 inches wide burrito-shaped bundle, which can be secured using the included straps.
You won’t break a sweat trying to roll up the mattress owing to the strategically-positioned roll-up assistor, straps and compression buckles.
The mattress also comes with removable covers for easy cleaning and maintenance. Both the covers and their zippers are waterproof/water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about water damage. Cleaning them will also be a breeze since they are machine washable.
The non-slip bottom makes the mattress usable over all manner of terrains and surfaces.
Lastly, if you have more than one Willpo foam camping mattress, you can connect them to form a larger-sized sleeping surface using the Velcro fasteners located at the ends.
Product variations: The mattress is available in three sizes; Small Single, Single, and Twin, all with slightly under 3 inches of thickness.
Willpo is a lead manufacturer of a wide variety of outdoor gear including their certified Memory Foam Camping Mattresses. Their unique two-layer foam mattress is sure to alleviate backache since the foam won’t sink all the way in.
The problem of overnight deflations as experienced in airbeds will be a thing of the past if you go for this rollup memory foam mattress. It offers a very homey sleeping experience that’s well worth the price tag.
Following the tried and tested two-layer construction, this floor mattress from FBSPORT is made of a memory foam top layer and a high-density foam bottom layer. The two layers are distributed in a 1 to 2 ratio to allow for a firm yet comfortable sleeping surface.
The mattress has a non-slip bottom and is shielded from the elements by a soft removable waterproof cover.
The 45-denier memory foam offers body-contouring support while the base form layer ensures you don’t sink in too deep in the mattress. The mattress also does come with a removable pillow, which adds a thickness of about three inches. The pillow itself measures 19.3 inches long by 11 inches wide.
Like the Willpo floor mattress, this one too has Velcro fasteners to help you extend your sleeping surface.
Rollup floor mattresses are generally too bulky to move around over long distances, however, FBSPORTS has incorporated convenient features to make the task a little easier. While the mattress does weigh about 14 pounds, the included buckles help secure it in a rolled-up form and the Oxford cloth carry bag comes in handy during haulage.
Setting up and packing the mattress is super easy as it’s just a matter of unrolling and rolling it.
Product variations: The FBSPORT floor mattresses are available in three sizes; Small Single, Single, and Twin. The last two have 3 inches of thickness while the “Small Single” size has a thickness of 2.3 inches. All the sizes are available in grey, blue, and green hues.
Wondering what sleeping system to take to your hiking or camping trip? Well, you should definitely consider getting the FBSPORT memory foam floor mattress. If not for the removable pillow then the comfortable, supportive two-foam construction will be sure to have you hooked.
We found it to be a good option if you’re not completely sold on the Willpo floor mattress, with the removable pillow and lower price being the tiebreaker.
The last standing camping mattress on our list is the LaidBack Pad memory foam mattress. It weighs 8.5 pounds and measures 72 inches long by 24 inches wide, making it the lightest and smallest-sized mattress on our list.
A durable removable polyester casing engulfs the memory foam to protect it from water damage and other elements. The cover is also machine washable and easy to maintain.
Additionally, to transport the camping mattress more efficiently, the manufacturer included heavy-duty straps in the mattress design. The straps secure the mattress in its rolled-up shape and eliminate the need for a travel bag.
The LaidBack Pad memory foam mattress can also be connected with other similar mattresses to expand the sleeping surface.
While the mattress is already very lightweight, it rolls up into an even more portable and compact bundle measuring 24 inches long by 13 inches high. Additionally, the low VOC memory foam is very comfortable as expected and doesn’t suffer from the weakness of inflatable beds.
Akin to its name, the memory foam mattress will allow you to lay back comfortably during that periodic car camping, beach bumming or tent camping expedition. The LaidBack Pad floor mattress is popular for its plush memory foam sleeping surface and high-quality construction.
However, despite it being costlier than other options, you will still have to grapple with the portability issues prevalent in floor mattresses.
Have you ever wondered what sleeping on the clouds could feel like? Well, the closest you can get to that experience is by sleeping on a good quality camping air mattress. Camping air mattresses are built for optimal portability and ease of setting up.
Whether you’re sleeping in your backyard or in the great outdoors, air beds are your best bet at a comfy sleeping surface.
However, air mattresses are prone to punctures just like their classic predecessors, waterbeds. So, it’s always a good idea to have some adhesives, cloth patches, rubber cement, duct tape or just a complete repair kit, with you to help patch up the holes.