The Best Camping Mattress-A Comprehensive Guide to Buy
While camping can be a delightful experience, it can also be physically taxing, which is why having the best camping mattress that suited to your needs is of utmost importance. Being surrounded by nature is guaranteed to lower your stress level and rejuvenate your mind. However, a good night’s sleep is not a given in the wilderness.
What is the best camping mattress? Which is the best camping mattress for camping? What is the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent in the lap of your best camping mattress? These are all questions you are bound to have as a prospective camper, especially since there are many options right at your fingertips.
The type of the best camping mattress that you choose should give you the most comfortable sleeping experience. Several factors can judge this –
Geography and Terrain:
Where do you intend to camp? Is your destination at the culmination of a six–hour-long hike? Or is it along the shores of a serene lake? Or perhaps you want to set up camp amidst the thick vegetation of a picturesque forest. Each of these regions calls for a different type of mattress since they require a varying degree of protection from the elements and their differing geographies.
Duration of your journey:
In the case of camping, the journey matters as much, if not more, than the destination itself. It is crucial to take into account the duration of your journey and the mode of travel. It would not serve you well to carry a heavy mattress on a long trek up a steep hillock. On the other hand, if you’re taking a car, why not make the best use of the space available by taking the best camping mattress you can fit in the trunk?
Specification of your best camping mattress:
The next most important factor to consider before making a decision to select the best camping mattress is the mattress’s specifications (i;e) its length, width, and thickness. Camping mattresses are typically larger than sleeping bags, which makes them perfect for providing additional space and utmost comfort. Mattresses range from 72 inches to a much more spacious 85 inches, which are often the most comfortable for taller people.
Mattress weight and compactness:
While weight does not play a significant role in your overall camping experience if you are taking a car or an RV, it is a critical factor in case you’re planning a backpacking trip. Your ideal mattress must provide your desired comfort level while being easy to pack, unpack and repack, without creating a hassle. This will ensure not only a memorable overnight stay but also a pleasant journey.
The amount of insulation that a mattress provides to its user is mainly dependent on its R-Value. It is a measure of thermal resistance – buying a mattress with a high R-value would imply that you will be well-protected from temperature changes during the night. This theory is based on the principle of physical heat conduction. Your best camping mattress will act as a barrier layer between you and the ground, so a mattress that offers better thermal insulation will not allow the excessively cold or warm environment to affect your body temperature. This, in turn, will ensure that you have an uninterrupted sleep cycle and wake up feeling ready to continue your adventure.
Material and Durability:
Your best camping mattress should feel soft to the touch while remaining durable under harsh conditions over extended periods. This is why you should check the mattress’ Denier ratings if they are available to you. The Denier rating of camping mats typically ranges from 50 Denier to 150 Denier, and a higher rating would mean a more excellent resistance to wear and tear and puncture, especially in the case of the lower side of your pad.
Ease of Use :
Certain mattresses have to be manually inflated and will come with a single-way valve or a two-way valve to help you pump air into them. A hand pump or an electrically charged pump can be used to inflate the mattress. Using a pump ensures that the user is not blowing moisture into the mattress and air, which can adversely affect the pressure of the mattress. Some mattresses can self–inflate.
All the user has to do is open the valve and wait while the mattress is automatically taken in the air. The key here is to decide which one you prefer. Your best camping mattress should have quality pumps and valves, which help inflate and deflate the mattress quickly. It should also allow for easy repacking and hassle–free storage.
With camping mattresses, it is better to invest in a high–quality and best camping mattress that will last you for an extended period. Base your budget on the amount of time you expect to spend outdoors and the level of comfort you want, and scale up accordingly.
Types of Best Camping Mattress:
Mattresses come in a wide range of styles, such as all-in-one beds, self–inflating mats, standard air mattresses, double-height air mattresses, foam pads, folding camp beds, and carp fishing beds. Each of these types has its advantages and disadvantages. The key is to identify the most important deciding factors for you from the list provided above and then using those factors to decide which type of mattress would be a perfect fit for you.
Some mattresses allow the user to let the air out in small quantities to adjust the firmness or softness of the mattress. This is usually done using a small release button to prevent large amounts of air from escaping while the firmness of the mattress is adjusted.
Now that you know how to decide what seems to be the best camping mattress for you, here are a few recommendations to help you start.
The best camping mattress for backpacking – Therma-A-Rest NeoAir XLite:
The Therma-A-Rest NeoAir XLite is the way to go for people who want the lightest possible mattress, which provides the most comfort. It weighs approximately 0.45 Kg or 16 oz. The site features 2.5-inch-thick horizontal baffles, thereby offering more stability and comfort than traditional vertical baffles.
The baffles, however, do give off a soft crinkling sound, which pales in comparison to the plethora of positives about this pad. The pad also packs in tightly and can be fit into a backpack with ease without taking up precious space. When the place is fully inflated, it offers an R-value of 4.2, meaning it is adaptable to various climatic conditions.
The XLite reduces heat loss by convection, using a triangular core matrix, which aids in trapping air and reducing airflow. This is supplemented by the surface lining that reflects heat into the user. The new wedlock valve used has been a welcomed addition, as it prevents the backflow of air during inflation and allows for a greater volume of air to be blown in.
- Dimensions – 20” x 47.”
- Thickness – 2.5.”
- Price – $149 on Amazon
- Pros – Considerably lightweight, high R-value for ideal insulation, compact packing
- Cons – Expensive
NEMO Tensor Insulated Pad:
This pad features the trademark Spaceframe baffles, which provide more stability by allowing for an even distribution of weight. This grid pattern provides a foam mattress–like level of comfort. The pad is constructed using two layers of thermal mirror suspended film, which includes insulation for temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of film construction is quieter and prevents crinkling to offer an uninterrupted sleep cycle.
The premium 20 Denier fabric provides a non-plastic feel to the user. A point deflection resistance system ensures that your elbows and knees don’t touch the ground. The zero-profile and the micro-adjustable valve are inconspicuous and make the deflation process a lot faster. The pad weights 1lb, 3oz, and has an R-Value of 3.5.
- Dimensions – 25” x 72.”
- Thickness – 3.”
- Price – $179 on the Rei website
- Pros – Best comfort for weight, extra-wide, packs compactly, easily inflatable.
- Cons – Expensive; some users experienced slow leaking of air.
The best camping mattresses with Double size air:
This self-inflating camping mattress features a powerful and rechargeable NiCad and DC dual power, which offers quick inflation and deflation in a matter of seconds. The pump can also be connected to your car to recharge it while on the go. It is available in Single, Double, and Queen sizes. The heavy-duty 18-gauge PVC coil construction distributes the air evenly throughout the mattress and provides a stable surface to sleep on.
The anti-rolling technology used ensures peak stability, even if you move around in your sleep. The mattress is made using puncture-resistant vinyl and is guaranteed to last you a considerable amount of time. It has been tested to support up to 295 Kg and features an integrated pillow. The mattress weighs 6.26 Kg.
- Dimensions – 60” x 78” (Queen size)
- Thickness – 9.”
- Price – $110 on Tent World
- Pros – Expansive size, stable surface, quick inflation and deflation
- Cons – Heavy
Coleman All Terrain Double High:
This mattress is made using puncture-proof, bonded fabric which is 47% more puncture resistant than its counterparts and around 30% lighter. It also makes the sleeping surface softer and ensures longevity. The fabric has been factory tested to be leakproof, so you don’t have to worry about slow leaks and the frequent need for re-inflation. The key features include a double lock valve, which seals the mattress efficiently, and a wrap – and–roll storage system that enables fast and compact packing. The mattress weighs 3.8 Kilograms.
- Dimensions – 38” x 73.”
- Thickness – 8.”
- Price – $139 on Amazon
- Pros – Best price for queen size mattress, highly durable, compact packing
- Cons – This does not include a pump.
The best self-inflating mats/ pads for camping –
OZtrail Leisure self-inflating mat:
The Oztrail self-inflating mat comes with a high-flow two-way valve, which reduces the inflation time considerably and reduces air loss. This system also allows the user to roll the mat into the smallest size possible with ease. The boxed sidewall provides enhanced edge – support. The mat is made of high-density open-cell foam, which ensures maximum support and comfort. Storage straps, a repair kit, a carry bag, and cleaning tools are all provided with your purchase. The mat weighs approximately 10 kilograms.
- Dimensions – 59” x 77”
- Thickness – 4.”
- Price – $329 on the Oztrail website
- Pros – Quick inflation and deflation, no leaks, all extras provided
- Cons – Heavy, expensive
Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad:
This pad has been referred to by several users as a hybrid of a mattress and a sleeping pad. This is because the pad offers the comfort and insulation that a mattress provides while being as compact as a pad. The pad comes equipped with a mini pump, which aids in inflation and allows the user to adjust the pad’s firmness according to their needs.
The Exped Megamat has a remarkable R-value of 9.5 and can therefore be used in any climatic condition for comfortable thermal insulation. You will also receive a height–adjustable roll-top bag, which can double as a shoulder bag. The pad is made of 75 Denier Polyester on the bottom, and 50 Denier Polyester at the top, attesting to the pad’s longevity. It weighs 2.61 Kilograms.
- Dimensions – 30.3” x 77”
- Thickness – 4.”
- Price – $395 on Amazon
- Pros – Self-inflating, lightweight, highly durable, and provides ample thermal insulation
- Cons – Expensive for the product dimensions
The best camping mattress that is budget friendly –
REI Co-Op Camp Dreamer XL Self-Inflating Deluxe Bed:
The Dreamer XL self-inflates with ease and comes with a pump so the user can easily top off the pad for added firmness and maximum support. The Hi-Flow flat TPR value allows for adjustments to the pad’s firmness. The vertical sidewalls increase sleep area and have welded seams to make the pad leakproof. The sleeping surface is made of horizontally cored foam, which is lightweight but provides considerable insulation. The pad weighs approximately 6 lbs. 6 oz and has an R-value of 6.6.
- Dimensions – 32” x 78”
- Thickness – 4.”
- Price – $179 on the REI website
- Pros – Lightweight, insulated, easy inflation and deflation, pocket-friendly
- Cons – The 78” length means that not all single-person tents can accommodate this pad.
Lightspeed Outdoors 3” FlexForm Deluxe –
This pad is made of PVC-free FlexForm fabric, which provides a durable, slip-proof surface that prevents crinkling. The two–way valve makes both inflation and deflation easy and quick. The valve also ensures that the pad does not sag or leak. It has a soft foam lining on the inside, which regulates and equalizes pressure from the user’s head, neck, and torso, and provides a stable sleeping surface. It weighs 5.74 lbs. and has an R-value of 6.3.
- Dimensions – 30” x 78.”
- Thickness – 4.”
- Price – $130 on Amazon
- Pros – Affordable, quick self-inflation, durable, offers good insulation even though it is thin.
- Cons – Deflation is difficult
The best Camp Mattress Beds –
Robens Tala 600D Camp Bed:
The Tala Camp bed is a boon for setting up camp on uneven surfaces since the height of each leg is individually adjustable. The Bed is of a sturdy build, with padding for insulation. The center fabric is highly breathable and absorbs sweat with ease during the summer.
The Bed comes with a built-in pillow and a fully adjustable backrest, and wide legs that will not sink into the ground. The Bed does not require inflation of any kind and can be folded and unfolded in a matter of seconds. The frame is made of powder-coated steel, and the fabric is reinforced at the corners to ensure longevity and provide maximum comfort to the user. The Bed weighs 9.57 Kilograms.
- Dimensions – 30” x 80.7”
- Thickness – 11.8.”
- Price – $127 on Leisure Outlet
- Pros – Well suited for terrains, no set up required, durable, and reasonably priced for the level of comfort provided
- Cons – The downside to any bed type mattress is that you will require a car or an RV to transport it. You are carrying it while backpacking is close to impossible.
Outdoor Revolution’s Premium Camp Bed:
This camp bed has a Matte Graphite Steel Frame with 600 Denier premium padded PVC Polyester. It is by far, the most luxurious option available for camping. Like the Tala 600D, this Bed also comes with fully adjustable legs and can be personalized by the user to best suit the terrain and achieve their desired posture.
The extra-wide legs ensure that the Bed can withstand any extra weight load. The frame is made of Matte Graphite Steel and can be folded completely flat, thereby aiding easy packing and transporting. The Bed comes with a compact carry bag that can also be stored when not in use. The Bed weighs 10.12 Kilograms.
- Dimensions – 31” x 84.”
- Thickness – 12.2.”
- Price – $133 on Amazon
- Pros – Ergonomic size, adjustable backrest, integrated padded pillow
- Cons – Transportation is difficult without a vehicle.
The best Carp Fishing beds for camping –
TF Gear Super King Carp Fishing Bed:
TF Gear’s Flat Out Super King Fishing Bed is the best of the best when it comes to lumbar support. Their advanced tension system and support alloy frame ensure that the user receives maximum support and comfort. The mattress itself is thick and cushioned and comes with a luxurious neck pillow. The legs can be individually adjusted. The Bed is quite heavy, weighing around 120 kilograms.
- Dimensions – 36” x 31” x 14” when folded
- Price – $237 on Amazon
- Pros – Exceptional lumbar support, luxurious feel
- Cons – Expensive, extremely heavy
JRC Defender Level-bed Bed Chair:
The JRC Defender is designed with a double-hinged system to make it easier for the user to fold and transport the Bed – chair. The Bed folds out completely flat and has a cavity if the user wants to place a sleeping bag over the Bed. JRC offers two size options for this Bed – Chair, with an extra-wide option for added comfort, at a reasonable price without compromising quality. The Bed – chair weighs approximately 1 kilogram.
- Dimensions – 35” x 31” x 10” when folded
- Price – $143 on Amazon
- Pros – Highly durable, lockable legs, provision for sleeping bag
- Cons – Transportation is difficult without a vehicle.
How to store your best camping mattress?
Deciding how you will store your mattress between trips is equally essential as choosing the mattress itself. Ideally, to ensure minimum wear and tear, you should leave your self–inflating mattress unrolled with the valves open, which can be a problem if the mattress is too large. If you cannot leave the mat out and are keeping it folded in its bag, try to allow it to self–inflate regularly to avoid any cell damage. As for air – mattresses, make sure to place them back in their bags and seal them to prevent puncturing them.
Since the best camping mattress is an investment, it is vital to evaluate the key features you want your best camping mattress to have. Your perfect mattress will likely be chosen based on your budget, the type of camping you intend to do, how frequently you plan to use the mattress and how you will be transporting and storing the mattress.
If you plan to go camping often, it is best to make a long-term investment in a high-quality mattress, which will last you longer without much additional maintenance required. Adding an extra layer of padding or a sleeping bag over your mattress will provide added support and insulation if you are unable to spend a large amount of money on the mattress itself. While there are several products available online, you could always visit your nearest sporting goods store to try out the various options and find the one that is best suited to your requirements.