Nothing beats family activities like putting aside all digital devices, and to set out on an adventure.
Just imagine you all packed up in a car singing along to your favorite songs as you travel. Then arriving on your desired destination, be it a mountainside or a seas side area, setting up your tents, and of course preparing wood for a bonfire because it isn’t really camping trip without it. As the day slowly sets, you start to cook delicious food. The atmosphere is just right with good food and good company, not to mention the starry sky you get to see during the night.  

Sounds so picturesque, but there is one thing that can make it less enjoyable. That is right, you’ve guessed – it’s the quality of sleeping equipment. Some sleeping bags are uncomfortable, and there is nothing worse than the lack of rest to ruin the whole trip. Luckily, if you don’t know how to choose the best sleeping bag, the modern time has blessed us with air mattresses designed especially for camping to put those bad days behind us. The options are not limited as well, from manually inflated minimalistic pads to models that contain waterproof antimicrobial covers and of course it is self-inflating. Although having options is great, it can be overwhelming to find the right choice. So, in this article, we will discuss how to select the right one for your needs, factors that make a high-quality air mattress and review the list of popular products.  

Buyer’s Guide  

If you want to sleep well while camping, you should consider these points when searching for and comparing different brands/models of air mattresses: 

  • The mattress weight when it is fully deflated– This is especially important you are planning to carry it in a backpack.  
  • The size of a mattress– Queen size mattress can be too long while full or, twin size will fit into a tent intended for a single person. 
  • The mattress thickness– If you have a standard size of a tent you don’t need to worry, but if a tent is smaller than a standard one, an air mattress that has a higher profile might not fit and the low profile might not be as comfortable. 
  • Internal or external pump– This is more the matter of storage because internal one doesn’t need additional parts to inflate the mattress whereas external one does. 
  • The mechanism of the pump– If you are a backpacker, it might be tiresome for you to use a manual one. 
  • The cover– Here we have two things to evaluate. Firstly, check to see if the cover is flocked because that helps sleeper feel warm and you won’t have to worry about slipping off the mattress. Second, check if the cover is antimicrobial and waterproof because those characteristics will help you during unfavorable conditions during camping. 

Best Air Mattresses for Camping – Our Top Choices 

ALPS Mountaineering Outback Inflatable Mat  

ALPS Mountaineering Outback is made in that way that it contains internal vertically cored layers of foam to provide the best support for hips and shoulders during the night. Despite the foam layers it weighs only 7.5lbs, when deflated, making it light enough to carry and store.

Source: alpsmountaineering.com

It is 4 inches thick which makes it firm enough and thin enough. Also is fitting to almost all sleepers no matter the weight. This information will make you feel at ease, in case you were worried that you wouldn’t get enough rest and support due to loss of air in the mattress during the night. Even though it is a self-inflatable air mattress, you get a manual along with it that gives you detailed instruction on how to use the additional external valve. 

Valuable point to mention is that the Outback is very durable because the cover is flocked and made of thirty denier polyester. The company also offers a lifetime warranty and a reasonable price.  

Recommended for 

  • Optimal value comparing to quality
  • People who have flat surface sleep preference
  • People who often feel discomfort on mattresses of this sort

Key Points 

  • Self-inflatableand get an external valve 
  • Excellent comfort and support
  • Four inches thick

The Comfort Plus Insulated Mat by Sea to Summit 

What makes the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Mat stand out is the innovative option to flip the other side once one is damaged. This is an excellent choice for backpackers who do not bring all of the tools for on-site repairs during their trip. With the Comfort plus you won’t have to worry about storage since it weighs only 17oz when deflated but is still very comfortable as a two inches profile mat. It contains over 500 air chambers that hold air and conform according to the weight of a sleeper. 

Source: seatosummit.com

Since it has a R-5.0 rating- it assures sleepers that it is suitable for sleeping outdoors no matter the time because it contains excellent insulating ability. Besides, it comes with an antimicrobial cover, a deflation valve and inflation which is multifunctional; a repair kit and sack made of nylon along with a lifetime warranty. 

Recommended for  

  • People who camp during the whole year
  • Long distance backpackers
  • People who like to have surfaces contoured

Key Points 

  • Durable air mattress
  • Two inches profile
  • Manual inflation with external valve

The V2 Sleeping Pad by Klymit Static 

Our best value award goes to the Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad because this pad for camping is available for lower than 60 dollars, but it offers just as much comfort and support as some of the expensive competitors.
The top is made of baffles that are V-shaped which aligns sleeper’s body properly and the sides are raised to make sure sleeper won’t slip out of bed during sleep. 

Source: klymit.com

In order to make it easier for a camper to inflate it, you get a valve that has a twist-and-pull system. It is also known as a durable air mattress due to tough cover that is made of polyester which can stand the tear and wear. Fully inflated size is 1lbs which makes it very light as well. In addition, it comes with a repair kit and a lifetime warranty. 

Recommended for  

  • Long distance travelers
  • People who camp during warmer weather
  • People who like to have surfaces contoured

Key Points 

  • Contouring of the body
  • Manual inflation wit external valve
  • Warranty of a lifetime

The NeoAir XLite by Therm-a-Rest 

A significant consideration for a backpacker is temperature neutrality that provides a balanced feel during both colder and warmer times. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite has a great ability to absorb the heat but to prevent additional heating due to compartments that are baffled. Tapered and sleek design keeps the weight at less than 1lbs. It also offers a variety of sizes for every preference. 

Source: thermarest.com

It uses a manual inflation system with an air valve that is external. Inflation takes around 2 minutes until it achieves 2 inches thickness. A big perk of this air mattress is that even when you purchase maxi even when you are buying a maximum size, it is still very portable because it gets downsized to 11 inches x 4.5 inches when deflated. The ability of insulation is rated at R-3.2 suitable for warmer seasons. When you purchase Neo Air XLite, you get a repair kit, a sack, and a lifetime guarantee.  

Recommended for 

  • Long distance travelers
  • People who feel cold when they are outdoors 
  • People who like to have surfaces contoured

Key Points 

  • Outstanding neutrality of temperature
  • Warranty of a lifetime
  • Avariety of sizes 
  • Manual inflation with external valve
  • For Campers

SupportRest Double High Airbed by The Coleman  

Compared to other air mattresses for camping, Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed offers the best of both worlds – high quality and price lower than 55 dollars. It contains a system called Air Tight that prevents air from leaking during your sleep, so there is no need to worry that you’ll wake up to a bed that is half of its original size. When inflated it is 18 inches thick, and it has a cover made of jersey cotton that is flocked containing additional padding for better support. 

Source: coleman.com

The Support Rest will give you the best rest and support because of its construction, no matter your weight or sleeping position preference. It offers two sizing options – Queen- and Twin-size bed; depending on your purchase, you might get an additional pump that is external. The “wrap and roll” system makes sure that the air mattress is downsized enough to be compact when traveling. The Support Rest offers a 1-year warranty. 

Recommended for  

  • People who camp in large tents
  • People who prefer thicker profiles
  • People of all weights

Key Points 

  • Thick 18 inches profile
  • Manual inflation with external valve
  • A variety of sizes
  • Excellent stability and retention of the air

The Classic Series Air Mattress from WonderSleep 

WonderSleep Classic Series Air Mattress falls in the lux category that provides maximum comfort for the camper. It contains compartmentalized air in columns vertically positioned which provide high support and comfort that results in an even surface. The cover is thick enough for additional padding and is made of waterproof material. 

Source: amazon.com

When it is inflated it achieves 20 inches of thickness, and due to that, the process of self-inflation takes around 4 minutes, making it the thickest among other air mattresses. One cool thing is that the level of the air is adjustable based on your weight and preference. Wonder Sleep air mattresses offer two size options; the Queen and Twin size. In case you move during the night, the classic series got your back – literally, because the bottom is slip free. You get a 1-year warranty. 

Recommended for  

  • Large tent campers
  • People who prefer contoured mattresses
  • People who have different weight

Key Points 

  • Various sizes
  • Very thick 20 inches profile
  • Extra comfort due to padding
  • High durability

The Raised Air Mattress by Insta-Bed 

The final product is our editor’s choice – the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress. The reason why this is a great buy is due to the excellent comfort that it provides. This air mattress for camping is constructed of a system that gives you durability and no sagging during use. Also, it contains layers of micro-coil for additional comfort no matter the weight. When inflated it achieves the thickness of 18 inches, and you can find two size options; the Queen and Twin size.  

Source: amazon.com

That is not all. The Raised Air mattress provides its sleepers advanced retention of the air which means that never-flat built-in system makes sure that the air mattress never deflates abruptly and inflates it as needed. Also, you won’t have to manually inflate it because it has an internal pump that inflates and deflates within 4 minutes. For features that it offers, it is considered to be very affordable costing less than 60 dollars, and you get a 1-year warranty. 

Recommended for  

  • Large tent campers
  • People seeking good value
  • People who prefer contoured mattressesand thicker profiles 

Key Points 

  • Self-inflating withaninternal pump 
  • Minimal noise with excellentairretention 
  • Thick18 inchprofile 

Bonus Air Mattress Tips 

Storage – Always deflate your mattress and keep it in dry spaces that are not exposed to moisture. 

Inflation maintenance – Avoid to inflate the mattress more than necessary and test It before use by inflating and deflating it. 

Leakage repair – First, you should find the source, then fully deflate the mattress, use one to three sealants that you can find in a repair kit and wait few minutes. If the leakage persists, add more sealants making sure they got stuck on the damaged area.  

*Vital reminder – Do not, under any circumstances, put an air mattress in water to find the leakage source. 

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