6 Best Camping Mattresses for 2018 – Top Reviews & Guide

By Andy Stone | Camping

Aug 27
Best Camping Mattress

Introduction

Best night’s sleep during camping can be quite difficult to come by, given the hardiness of camping. We know many campers find it hard to get good and undisturbed sleep in the wilderness, even when they’re super-tired. That’s when your best camping mattress will aid you!

Packing up a premium quality of sleeping pad will comfort and support your body while camping. But, is there anything more to it? Not just comfort, but camping mattresses also help in keeping your body warm and raised off the ground. Thereby, ensuring your safety as well.

Here we’ve reviewed top 6 best camping mattresses, each specializing in its type. Some sleeping pads use foam, whereas some others use air for insulation from cold. Not to mention, some sleeping pads also feature a combination of open-cell foam + air to provide ultimate comfort.

But, which one is best for you? Let’s find out.

​Name of product

Type

Rating

​Price

Air-Cell pad

Teton Sports Camp Cot

Cot

Etekcity Air Mattress with Rechargeable Pump

Air Pad

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set

Air Pad

Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed Mattress

Air Pad

Freeland Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Self-Inflating Pad

Reviews of the Best Camping Mattresses 2018

Best Camping Mattress

Camping mattresses are affordable, quick to set up and inflate within seconds. Just roll it out, blow air into it, and you’re all set.

Such mattresses have dense foam on the inside filled with interconnected air cells. They provide good warmth (depending on its R-value) and are pretty light in weight. The best thing about such mattresses is that they can be folded down and carried anywhere you wish.

1. Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad - Best Camping Mattress

Our very first sleeping pad in this series is from Outdoorsman Lab.

Deliberately made for camping and backpacking, this travel-size sleeping pad will easily fit into your sack for cozy night’s sleep.

Durable Fabric

To endure rugged use, the top of the mattress is made from 20D Rip stop Nylon, whereas the bottom features 75D Polyester. Further, its durability is enhanced with an extruded laminated TPU coating that won’t break down even when ruggedly used.

Given the quality of the fabric, this sleeping pad is highly durable and weatherproof.

Air-Cell design

As you can see, the Outdoorsman Lab sleeping mattress has unique self-adjusting and interconnected air-cell design that conforms to the shape of your body. Thereby, providing you with great support and comfort.

Ultralight & Ultra compact 

What makes it one of the best camping mattress in the market is its ultralight and ultra-compact design. Why? It weighs just about 16 ounces and folds down compactly to just 8”x 3” x 3”.

That will make it easier upon you to carry it anywhere you, please.

Not just that, the easy-to-use air valve will allow you to inflate/deflate the mattress within a matter of seconds.

When fully inflated, it measures 73” x 21.6” x 2.2”.

Things We Liked

  • Comfortable and supportive design
  • Folds down compactly
  • Lightweight and Durable fabric
  • Perfect for camping/backpacking
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Ideal for tall people

Things We Didn't Like

  • Width might be too narrow for some people

Customer Reviews

Users rave about how extremely lightweight and compact the Outdoorsman Lab sleeping pad is. And thus, they found it optimal for backpacking. Nothing beats the comfort of this sleeping pad, especially at such a low price, say, users.

Many customers could inflate it fully just within 15 to 16 breaths. The only downside is that some users found it to be too narrow for their body size.

Final Impression

If you are looking for a camping mattress that excels in comfort, you won’t be disappointed with this Outdoorsman Lab sleeping pad. Hands-down, it is one of the best camping mattresses in the market today, especially at this price point.

It is easy-to-use, inflates/deflates within seconds and holds the air for the full night. And, the high-quality, durable fabric used here adds value to the product. With 1.3 R-value, this sleeping pad is recommended for summer camping trips.

Best Cot for Camping

A camping cot can be considered as an enhanced version of a sleeping mattress. Not only does it provide a sleeping platform, but also comes with a solid metal structure as well.

Cots will keep you high off the ground and are quite stable & secure than sleeping mattresses. They might not be as cushioning as sleepingpads but are a perfect choice for camping if you don’t mind its weight. 

2. Teton Sports Camp Cot - Best Cot for Camping

Long-term camping trips call for a comfortable and elevated sleeping surface. After all, many adventurers do not fancy sleeping on the floor with just a mattress as support. That’s when your best camping cot comes into the picture.

This particular TETON Sports camping cot is a perfect choice for weekend campers or car camping.

Elevated and comfortable surface

Made from durable 600D Oxford Canvas bed, this camping cot comes in two different variants: Adventurer or Universal Camping Cot and 4 different sizes. Use your discretion to choose the one that suits your body size best.

High weight capacity

Not only will you get an elevated and comfortable surface to sleep on during camping, but you can also use this as an extra cot for your house guests.

It has a maximum weight capacity of about 400 pounds (181 kg) when spread evenly across the surface of the bed.

Stable design

Reinforced with steel X-legs, the cot in itself is quite sturdy and stable.

Furthermore, the dimension of the cot is greater than a twin mattress, so it’s ideal for almost all body sizes.

Things We Liked

  • Quick and easy setup
  •  Lifetime warranty
  • Sturdy and strong frame

  • Heavy-duty 600D Canvas material

  • Easy to transport

Things We Didn't Like

  • Heavy
  • Sags in the middle after repeated use
  • The included carrying bag is of poor quality

Customer Reviews

Many campers, backpackers, hikers, etc. have found TETON Sports camping cot to be extremely comfortable. As per one of the reviewers, the cot is light in weight and folds down compactly.

All of the materials used here are heavy-duty and certainly more durable than air mattresses, says a user. 

Talking about the cons, few users have claimed that it broke down when loaded with less 400 pounds of weight, so the ‘maximum weight capacity’ claim is questionable.

Final Impression

TETON Sports Camping cot is ideal for people who like to sleep at an elevated and comfortable surface, rather than on the floor. It folds down compactly into a drawstring bag for easy carrying. Given its ease of setup, car campers are certainly going to love this camping cot.

Best Air Bed for Camping

Air beds are probably the most convenient way to achieve your good night’s sleep while camping outdoors, because of its compactness. Air beds are lightweight, easy to carry and can be packed away when not in use.

There are different ways to inflate an air bed. You can blow air into it via a hand pump, an electric pump or a battery-operated pump. The main advantage of using air beds is that it elevates you few inches off the ground. 

The only disadvantage is that they can easily get punctured in the fields, so you’ll need to carry a repair kit with you.

3. Etekcity Air Mattress with Rechargeable Pump - Best Air Bed for Camping

ArcEnCiel is one of the prominent brands in the industry today, and it manufactures all sorts of high-quality bags.

The most popular model from ArcEnCiel has been deliberately made for long journeys. It has an ultra-large capacity of 50L and is built to handle 130 pounds of maximum load. Just by the looks of it, you can tell that ArcEnCiel offers a rugged and durable pannier for all your traveling needs. Each bag measures 14.6” in length, 12.6” in height and 7.9” in width.

Unique Inner and Outer Build

Innovative layers of striped belt column structure on the inside of the bed provides optimal support to the user.

On the other hand, the outer flocked top surface feels exceptionally soft against your skin. Upgraded design of the bed features thick 0.4 mm non-toxic PVC & 0.2mm flocking top. It is elevated 9” up from the ground, thereby insulating you from wet and cold ground surface.

Welded Seams

To prevent the bed from air leakage, all of the seams have been welded snugly together.

No matter what surface you’re sleeping on, the anti-skid bottom makes sure to keep the air bed in place. 

Air Pump

No more hassle of breathing into your air mattress, this Etekcity Air Bed comes with its rechargeable air pump.

Both are inflating and deflating with the included pump takes just 1 minute. Three extra nozzle attachments provided here will allow you to inflate other inflatable items as well.

But, how can you recharge the pump? You can recharge it by an AC adapter (home wall outlet) or car charger, no need to replace any battery or so.

Recharge the pump beforehand at home, and you can use the pump cordlessly when outdoors.

 

Large Spacious Air Bed

When fully inflated, the twin air mattress measures 75” x 39” x 9”. For easy portability, you can fold the mattress down to 14” x 12.7” x 5” and pack it down into the carrying sack provided.

It also comes in a Queen Size variant.

Things We Liked

  • 9” of the elevated mattress

    Soft top and an anti-skid bottom

  • Durable materials

  • 1-year warranty and Lifetime support

  • Air pump and Repair Kit included

  • Easy to set up and fold down

Things We Didn't Like

  • Deflates quickly; Holds air for only a few hours
  • Smells of PVC

Customer Reviews

Myriads of customers have found Etekcity Airbed to be one of the best inflatable mattresses for outdoors as well as indoor use. It isn’t too heavy or bulky, the air bed and the pump both come with its carrying sack, say users.

Another thing that has impressed users is its comfortable yet firm surface.The only downside is that few users found this air bed to deflate quickly without any visible holes.

Final Impression

If a comfortable, elevated and firm air bed is what you seek for outdoor camping, check out this Etekcity Airbed. It inflates within just 1 minute and comes with own rechargeable air pump. No matter where you want to go, fold it down, pack it up and carry it anywhere you want.

4. Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed Mattress - Best Camping Sleeping Pad

If you’ve used a PVC air mattress before, you will be familiar with a strong chemical smell it gives out. It’s annoying and sometimes even harmful for your health as well as the environment. So which material is better for air mattresses- PVC or TPU? Certainly, TPU. It is flexible, lighter and more environment-friendly than PVC. And most importantly, it is odorless and breathable!

PVC-free Air Bed

Lightspeed Outdoors offers one of the best camping mattresses for couples, thanks to its spacious and comfortable design.
This two-person camping mattress is free from Phthalate and PVC, so rest assured that there won’t be any chemical odor or health risk here. Instead, the material used here is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) that’s lightweight, durable and equally comfy. 

But what’s on the inside? High-grade Polyester Oxford material has been laminated with TPU to prevent the mattress from stretching or ballooning. Use of such superior materials is what enhances your experience while camping.

Boston Valve

Two-way Boston valve equipped here allows you to adjust the firmness of the air mattress as per your liking. Use the included battery-operated air pump to inflate the mattress.

The patented stabilizing system in the mattress minimizes bounce, yet feels comfortable.

Spacious Size

Since it’s a 2-person mattress, it effortlessly fits standard queen-size sheets.

When inflated, it measures 79” x 55” x 7”. And when packed, it can go down to 18.4” x 9.2”.

The mattress has been reinforced with independent connectors betweentopmost and base layers, thereby evenly distributing weight and minimizing bounce.

Unlike other air beds, this Lightspeed Outdoors mattress weighs under 6 pounds, so is effortless to carry around. Built-in handles will make it's positioning a breeze!

Things We Liked

  • Free from Phthalate and PVC
  • Folds down completely
  • Patented stabilizing system
  • Includes a battery-operated pump and Carrying sack
  • Weighs just 6 pounds
  • Boston valve allows you to adjust firmness
  • One year warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • Does not stay inflated for more than few hours
  • Included pump is not really of good quality

Customer Reviews

Several customers have agreed that Lightspeed Outdoors sleeping mattress is well-made and does not feel cheap or uncomfortable. It is ideal fortwo people, is extremely lightweight to carry and inflates within seconds, as per users.

However, many customers have claimed that it deflates within just a few hours of use and demands frequent refilling.

Final Impression

For those of you who are looking for a low-profile mattress, this Lightspeed Outdoors camping mattress is the one for you! It is odorless, flexible, lightweight and comfortable. Moreover, it comes with a pump for quick inflation/deflation.

Best thing is that it is coated with TPU so that it won’t stretch or balloon up beforehand.

5. Intex Classic Downy Airbed- Best Queen Air Mattress for Camping

Unlike other mattresses, this Intex air mattress stays true to its Queen size and is a perfect air bed for two people.

Use it for camping or at home for guests; nothing can go wrong with this blow-up mattress.

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set-

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set-

Flocked Surface

Cozy and plush flocking surface on the top provides utmost comfort and support to the user, without causing the sheets to slip.

Whereas the innovative wave beam construction creates a uniform surface for a good night’s sleep.

Durable Vinyl Material

Made from durable, heavy-duty vinyl, this air bed is waterproofed for camping purposes. Even if it gets wet for some reason, you caneasily clean the flocked top.

The packages come all-included with two inflatable pillows and a hand pump.

Quality Tested Construction

Everything equipped into Intex air mattress is quality-tested beforehand. From the 20.8-gaugedwaterproof top surface, 15-gauge bottom & sides to 14-gauge vinyl beams, everything is sure to offer luxurious sleeping experience.

Extra-wide 2-in-1 valve opening allows for quick inflation and deflation.

True Queen Size

As claimed, Intex provides you with an 8.75” of the raised bed with 60” x 80” of true Queen sized mattress. Hence, offering a tight fit to your Queen-sized sheets.

With an impressive 600 pounds of maximum user-weight capacity, it sure is an ideal queen air mattress for couples on the go. 

Things We Liked

  • Folds down completely
  • True queen size
  • Hand pump and two inflatable pillows included
  • Waterproof; Ideal for camping
  • Comfortable and soft surface
  • Low price

Things We Didn't Like

  • Pillows are very uncomfortable
  • Manual pumping takes time
  • Might leak air over time

Customer Reviews

The most appreciated feature about this Intex queen air mattress is that it is perfect for two people and allows secure storage, according to users. Many customers were able to inflate thebed within 10 minutes with the help of a manual pump.

Talking about the comfort, users are quite happy about the soft and comfy top surface. But some users have complained of air leakage.

Final Impression

If you are low on budget, Intex Queen Air mattress might be your ideal camping bed. It is soft, comfortable and folds down for easy storage.

For this price, we’d recommend this for occasional camping. Since this is made of vinyl, there might be some issues of stretching and air leakage. So, it’s not ideal for serious campers.

6. Freeland Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad - Best Camping Sleeping Pad

Freeland Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Another comfy sleeping pad on this review list is from Freeland. Take it with you for camping or hiking and enjoy your time hassle-freely. All you need to do is roll it out, open up its two free-flow valves and this innovating sleeping pad with inflating itself!

Weather-resistant shell:

You can count on this weather-resistant and durable 190T polyester pongee PVC shell to retain its shape for a full night. The unique tufted design on the top offers additional comfort.

Striking a perfect balance of lightweight and comfortable design, this Freeland sleeping pad will sure keep you warm during camping.

Foldable

When not in use, roll it up, secure it with buckle straps and store it into its drawstring sack.

When fully inflated, the sleeping pad measures, 64” in length (76” total with an attached pillow), 1.5” in height and 24.8” in width.

Most importantly, it can fold down into just 15” x 6.7” of compact size.

Things We Liked

  • Self-inflating
  • Foldable design
  • Includes Storage sack, Compression straps, and Repair Kit
  • Split joint design allows you
  • Detachable/Height Adjustable Bungee hooks on each pannier
  •  

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Material is cheap; Frays easily
  • Not waterproof; Does not include a Rain cover
  • Zippers are of poor quality
  • Does not hold its shape well

Customer Reviews

Seeing its price, many users have found BV bike panniers to be suitable for casual commuting, but not for serious commuters. That being said, many customers say that the large pockets are spacious enough to fix most of your gear, whereas small pockets are good to store keys, light, tools, etc.

On the downside, several customers have complained about the material is weak. The corners tend to flop inwards in the spokes. Only the rear part is supported with a panel. Still, the bag sags a lot.

Final Impression

To sum up, BV bike panniers stand up to their claim and are good for commuting purposes, but don’t expect it to excel in durability and rigidity. Given its low price, it is ideal for carrying lightweight gear. And, it is easy to install.

Buying Camping Mattress

Features to look-for

Camping mattresses play a very significant role to get a good night’s sleep when you are out camping. They will insulate, support and cushion your body as you sleep.

Below given is a comprehensive buying guide to help you choose your best camping 

R-Value and Insulation:

To prevent your body’s heat from dissipating when outdoors for camping, most of the camping pads come with a layer of insulation inside.

R-value generally indicates the capacity of a sleeping pad to resist heat flow from your body. Higher the R-value better will be the insulation. R-values can range anywhere from 1.0 (minimum insulation) to 9.5 (best insulation).

  • For summers, you can opt for a sleeping pad with 3.0 or less R-value.
  • For most of the 3-season camping conditions, R-value of 2.0 to 4.0 will be fine.
  • For cold temperatures, look for a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4.0 or more.

Take note that all manufacturers don’t mention the R-value of a sleeping pad.

Weight:

Since for camping you usually drive up and unload your gear, you don’t have to give first preference to the weight of the mattress.

A best camping mattress is the one that is comfortable and durable in the long-term use.

But, if you don’t have enough room for storage in your rig, you can go for compressible and lightweight mattresses.

Repair Kit:

If you're using an air mattress for camping, make sure to look for the one that comes with its repair kit. Sharp objects can easily puncture air beds, so you need to carry a repair kit to fix it on the spot.

Size: 

Nothing can be more annoying than a mattress that falls short for your height or width. Always make sure to check the dimensions of a sleeping pad to see if it is by your body’s size.

  • Small sized mattresses are around 72” long. Camping mattresses can range anywhere from 77” to 85” in length.
  • Long mattresses are ideal for tall people, and the extra width is desirable for almost everyone.
  • Most of the sleeping pads have a standard 20” of width. Tall people might want to go for 25” to 30” wide sleeping pads.

Thickness: 

When you sleep on your side, the pressure points are emphasized on your shoulders and hips. Therefore, it is vital to choose a mattress that supports and comforts these areas.

  • Any mattress that is around 3” or thicker is recommended for side sleepers.
  • Whereas, back sleepers can opt for the thin mattress. But really, it all depends on your personal preferences. 

It is not necessary for all thick sleeping pads to be comfortable. Sometimes too thick pads can feel like a pool float.

The best camping mattress is the one that allows you to adjust its firmness and does not bottom out quickly.

Structure of the mattress is essential. Therefore, look for the one that is thick enough and retains its shape well.

Deniers Rating: 

For camping sleeping pads, denier rating can be anywhere from 50D to 150D. Higher the score, greater will be its tear resistance.

Linking Ability: 

Some mattresses allow you to link other mattresses of the same model to create a bigger sleeping space. Thus, making it more convenient than carrying queen air mattresses.

You can carry each model separately and join it together in your camping area.

Types of Valves: 

Most of the camping mattresses are of a self-inflating type and come with a twist valve. Depending on a particular model, you may or may not need to blow air into these mattresses for full inflation.

  • Quality of the valves used in camping mattresses varies according to their price.
  • Low priced camping pads feature flimsy plastic valves, whereas premium models will come with good-quality durable valves.
  •  Some good-quality sleeping pads will provide you with two valves for quick inflation/deflation.

Benefits of using a Camping Mattress

  • Elevation: Camping mattresses will elevate you off the ground by few inches. Thereby, protecting you from the hard ground or poking pebbles & tree roots.
  • Comfort and Support: Mattresses are made from solid materials to provide a fair amount of support and comfort to the users. The top surface is deliberately made to be soft and comfy to alleviate back or neck pain.
  • Maneuverability: Almost all camping mattresses are foldable for effortless maneuverability. You can easily pack them up in a sack and carry it anywhere you, please.
  • Insulation: Camping Mattresses create insulation between the cold ground surface and user. Some mattresses even have extra insulation layers for better warmth during winter nights.


Tips and Tricks to use Camping Mattresses

  • Look for a sleeping pad with a textured bottom to prevent it from slipping every time you toss & turn in sleep.
  • Always carry a Repair Kit, especially when you are using an Air Pad or Self-inflating Pad. In case of a tear or a rip, you can fix it on the field.
  • Always clean your sleeping pad after every camping trip. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth. In case of stains, use mild soap and water for washing. Do not put water in or around air valves. Let it dry in the open air before packing it up for storage.
  • When storing, roll it up loosely and keep it away from direct sunlight.
  • Many air mattresses are prone to deflating. So to avoid this, do not over-inflate your bed as it can lead to rips or leaks.
  • When using an air pad for the first time, only inflate it up to 90%. Keep it inflated for about 3-4 hours and then deflate it. Repeat this procedure. After waiting for another 3 hours, you can now inflate the pad to your desired firmness. What will this trick do? This will ensure the material gets used to the expansion and support your weight better.
  • Avoid playing, jumping or wrestling on the camping mattress.

Conclusion

Your adventurous camping trips demand determination and vigor. But, that does not mean that you have to compromise with comfortable and cozy good night’s sleep.

Today there are camping air mattresses that excel in providing luxurious comfort to campers, just like home. As long as you’re clear on the type of camping you’ll undertake, you will have no issues in choosing your best camping mattress.

A comfortable mattress will provide the best sleeping experience, so you’ll wake up all refreshed for the next day’s plan. Don’t you think that a little extra expense would be all worth it?

We’d recommend you to go through the buying guide and choose your best camping mattress by considering all of its features. With all of the information provided above, you will be able to make an informed decision.