Camping is fun, but most of us aren’t quite built to take on the hard ground when it’s time to sleep. Sometimes, a sleeping bag just doesn’t cut it. You could chalk it up to the general expectation of luxury modern life has accustomed us to, medical reasons, or the plain ease of having comfort even in the woods. Finding the best camping air mattress is easy, and unless you’re determined to tough it out, there are hardly any reasons to skip the simple luxury of a good sleep. Here are our contenders for the best camping air mattress.
- ALPS Mountaineering Outback Inflatable Mat
- SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
- Etekcity Inflatable Air Mattress With Electric Pump
- Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress
- Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress
Camping Air Mattress Types
Air mattresses are inflatable mattresses often for intermittent use. You may use one as a guest room mattress, or take it along when you’re out camping. Best airbeds for camping will focus on being lightweight, easy to pack in a small space, have thicker bases, and may include bags to store/carry the mattress. Air mattresses used for camping are generally divided into two types:
Car Camping Air Mattress
Car Camping air mattresses are employed when your campsite or tent is relatively close to your car or RV. They can be slightly bulkier and taller since you are not expected to carry them around for long times or distances. The idea is that they can be placed close to your car and inflated by using a standard 12V DC pump running through the car’s battery.
Backpacker Camping Air Mattress
These mattresses are generally built for the backpacker, assuming the camper will travel a fair distance from their vehicle. As such, the mattresses have a lower profile, are lighter, and easier to store. Pumps for these mattresses are generally rechargeable, though manual options may also be included.
What Is The Best Camping Mattress For Couples?
It is only natural for us to wish that we enjoy quality moments with our significant other during camping. And the mattress obviously is going to play a big part. Unfortunately, the best camping mattress for couples is a bit of a misnomer. Air mattresses, irrespective of their listed weight, don’t play well with couples. Usually, the mattress may bend or sag towards the side of the heavier person.
Inflatable mattresses aren’t that great for sex either. Plus, there’s a lot of motion transfer, so a good sleep can go straight out the window (or tent). If you’re considering camping air mattress for couples, it’s much better to carry two Twin-sized mattresses over a single queen sized.
Quick Considerations For Camping Air Mattresses
How Long Will My Camping Air Mattress Last?
While this obviously depends on quality, use, and care, but most air mattresses do not last more than two years. When camping, it’s good policy to clean the area for the mattress a bit, removing any pebbles and twigs.
What Does Eco-Friendly PVC On My Air Mattress Mean?
Air mattresses are usually made from PVC, a plastic material widely used for other applications like water bottles as well. Conventionally, production of PVC utilized treating the material with Chlorine. “Greener” methods skip or substitute the use of PVC, and many manufacturers market it as “eco-friendly” PVC.
How Can I Make My Camping Air Mattress More Comfortable?
Generally, a higher profile makes the most comfortable camping mattress. A higher profile might not necessarily be useful for camping, but there are other options you can employ. It’s a good idea to place something like a tarp between the ground and your mattress to avoid the mattress air from getting cold with contact to ground. Similarly, place at least a sheet on the mattress before you sleep on it. While air mattresses have flocked or textured sleep areas to maintain warmth and provide some friction, adding an extra layer can be useful.
Best Air Mattress For Camping 2018
Low profile and lightweight, the ALPS Mountaineering Outback Inflatable Mat makes for a great camping air mattress. It weighs just 7 lbs, so carrying it around is not a huge problem, and folds up neatly to go into the stuff sack provided with the mattress.
One of the best camping air mattresses, the Outback Inflatable Mat uses vertically cored foam for more comfort and easier inflation. Its use of dual one-way valves makes things easier. Just open both valves and let the mattress inflate itself, or use them to release air and make it easier to pack the mattress. The mattress uses 30D fabric on its top for a more comfortable feel, while the bottom gets 150D fabric for durability and ease of cleaning.
|Lifetime warranty||Self-inflating can take a lot of time before the mattress is ready for sleep|
|Lightweight and easier to move||Has somewhat large dimensions even when folded|
SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress uses air coils for added support and comfort for the mattress. The camping series air mattress has been built specifically for outdoor use, and as such is designed to be lightweight and easily foldable. It comes with a rechargeable external pump with heavy duty battery so you can use the mattress far away from a power supply. It takes just three minutes to inflate fully, so you can be off to bed without much trouble. Just remember to charge your battery shortly before you leave (or while on your way)!
The mattress is built with “extra-thick” materials to withstand the demands of camping and has a durable, thicker base. When fully inflated, the SoundAsleep air mattress is 9-inches high, giving it dimensions similar to regular mattresses.
|Quick to inflate||Some buyers complain that the mattress starts to leak air after only a couple of uses|
|One of the most comfortable camping air mattresses available||Air pump battery takes a minimum 10 hours to fully recharge|
|Possible leaks near “air coils” used are difficult to fix|
Measuring 9-inches high when fully inflated, and capable of being comfortably packed off into a bag, the Etekcity Air mattress is an excellent value choice. It costs significantly lower than other products with similar features and is built especially for outdoor use. The high-power pump gets the mattress ready for use in just one minute, showing some great speed.
Etekcity mattress and pump combo weights just 10 pounds, and the mattress alone weighs 8.75 pounds. Lightweight and simple to use, this can be the best camping air mattress for your use. The surface seams have been welded shut, and thicker material has been used to keep the mattress from the risk of leaking air. While any air mattress is susceptible to leaking air, extra effort can make a big difference. This one has an extra thick layer of PVC at the base for better protection.
|Excellent price point||Suspect longevity for air pump|
|Quick to inflate||Valve for inflating is also a weak point, causing the mattress to deflate|
|Can be used with manual as well as electric pumps|
Fairly sought-after by campers this 4-inch thick self-inflating mattress uses foam for insulation and added comfort, much like the ALPS air mattress we saw earlier on this list. Therm-a-Rest MondoKing mattress has dual air valves to allow it to self-inflate and avoid the risk of leaks. Weighing just 5.5 pounds and only measuring 7×26 inches when rolled, the MondoKing proves itself as one of the best camping air mattress to use. It’s also one of the most comfortable air mattresses, taking a vertical edge style like conventional mattresses rather than the curve used by air mattresses. Made possible with the use of foam, the vertical edge increases usable sleep area, while the foam also makes the mattress better insulated and more comfortable.
|Lightweight and easy to carry||Self-inflation can take a significant amount of time before the mattress is ready for sleeping|
|Large sleep-surface area||Deflating the mattress can prove to be difficult|
|Some customer reviews say that the mattress is way too hard, and the problem is greater because of the difficulty in deflation|
Well-priced and 80-inch wide, the Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person Air Bed Mattress is built for, well, two people to comfortably sleep. You might need to check if it works well with the dimensions of your tent, but if you are looking for a camping air mattress for couples, this just might be the answer.
At 9-inches high, this mattress still has the problems with couples sleeping that I mentioned earlier. But, it does try its best to be stable and fight off the air-mattress instincts of sloping towards the heavier partner.
At 5.6 pounds, the mattress is passably lightweight for a near-queen-size mattress, and impressively folds into the relatively tiny dimensions of 16.5″ x 8.9″ x 8.9″. It comes with a battery operated pump, drawing power from 4-D batteries. Interestingly, rather than depending on the commonly used PVC for construction, this camping air mattress makes use of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) in an attempt to be more temperature stable.
|Avoids the plastic smell usually associated with PVC||Included pump seems to have a cheap construction and may not hold up|
|Lightweight, making it more portable||Some customers complain that the seams on the mattress are low quality|
|Takes small dimensions for easier storage||Questionable longevity with many consumers saying it does not last beyond a few uses|
Best Camping Air Mattress — Conclusion
While our expectations from air mattresses remain similar to those from “regular” mattresses, it should be kept in mind that the air mattresses have their own sets of advantages and limitations. Used in demanding situations, even the best camping air mattress can feel some pressure. Many manufacturers try to reduce the common flaws, and this list can set you up with a starting point to look for the best camping air mattress to match your requirements.