Hey there campers, and welcome to my post covering my 3 best air mattresses for camping this year. Even if you’re out in the wilderness, enjoying mother nature does not necessarily mean we cannot have a good night’s sleep. This is why on our camping checklist, we should never miss packing a good air mattress.
Camping used to be associated with challenging adventure and getting out of your comfort zone to revel in nature. Fortunately these days however, having fun outdoors (hiking, fishing or even just doing nothing) down not mean sacrificing our sleep.
As with everything to do with camping, there are a few variations available when it comes to air mattresses so let’s check it all out below…
My Three Recommended Air Mattresses
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 recommended air mattresses are listed here for your convenience:
What are air mattresses?
Camping is an excellent way to unwind and enjoy nature. When it comes to sleeping in the outdoors though, things become a little more tricky. You will be eager to get a decent night’s sleep after a long day of getting out amongst it all and in such situations, air mattresses are one of the must haves for camping.
Also known as air beds, air mattresses are portable inflated sleeping beds perfect for outdoor trips such as camping and hiking. Compared with sleeping pads, air mattresses help you experience a more relaxing sleep. Most are made of Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, which is a more elastic and less brittle material than conventional plastic.
Their main benefits include:
Without an air mattress, you would undoubtedly feel how uneven the ground is. The terrain at your campsite may be rugged or grassy, depending on where you are. Nevertheless, it’s relatively common to feel a few rocks, bumps, or roots under your tent’s floor.
Air mattresses may function as sofas to help you sit inside or outside of your tents. Or if you are near a calm lake or a quiet river, your air mattresses could be an instant flotation device as well.
Back pain prevention:
As we sleep, our backs tend to suffer from pain due to the uneven surface of our campsite. This situation would be less of a worry once you have an air mattress to sleep on.
What Should You Be Looking For?
Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for air mattresses:
- Type of Mattresses
- Materials Used
Type of Mattresses
For those unfamiliar with the standard form of a camping air mattress. Let’s check them out:
- Traditional low set mattress – these pump up to a low level for basic comfort.
- Double Height Mattress – As the name suggests, this type provides enough height from the ground for extra comfort .
- Hybrid camping cot/mattress – These incorporate a mattress on top of a camping cot rack to keep it off the ground.
Once you consider the size and weight of the mattress you want to buy, three kinds are available:
- Twin size – This mattress is for solo sleeping, with a maximum weight of 300 pounds (136 kilograms).
- Full size – Ideal for two people, the full-size capacity has a maximum weight of 450 pounds (204 kilograms).
- Queen size – Akin to the full-size, this mattress can support a maximum weight of 550 pounds (249 kilograms).
Note: The bigger the size, the more spacious the mattress would be. It would be wise to consider your tent’s size.
Because of the material’s waterproofing properties, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) camping air mattresses have an advantage over other solutions as they are incredibly robust, inexpensive and easily flexible. Alternatively, you may consider thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, an excellent PVC alternative which is more flexible, resilient, lightweight, odorless, and environmentally friendly.
Furthermore, TPU is ideal for high outdoor temperatures and is more recyclable than other choices.
Other potential additions include:
- Pumps – Some mattresses have built-in self-inflating pumps, while these have to be purchased separately for others.
- Antimicrobial properties – Having an antimicrobial surface helps address issues such as the odor, mold, mildew, and fungus on the product.
- Strong support – Some manufacturers include coils within the air bed to ensure strong support and superb comfort while sleeping.
- R-value – The R-Value of a substance is its ability to resist heat flow. A higher R-value indicates a more substantial insulating capacity and, as a result, will better insulate you from the cold ground.
- Waterproofing – This feature is necessary because water could eventually destroy your airbed. Even if just the moister from the ground.
- Adjustable firmness – Some air beds offer adjustable firmness, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences. If you want a firmer mattress, add more air; let some air out if you desire a softer bed.
What do I use?
Our air mattress is similar to the second option below in that it is a queen sized, double height setup that is very firm and comfortable. It has a dual sealed lock valve meaning it doesn’t deflate overnight and the extra height keeps the cold of the ground from seeping up into the mattress.
To be honest, we chose an option without a self inflating pump as we don’t always camp in a spot where electricity is available and have not always found them to be as effective as we would like anyway. I can however highly recommend the double height options if you can afford the extra cost.
My three recommendations broken down
So, based on the information above, and my own experience, I recommend the following options
1. Coleman Quickbed Airbed
This air mattress gives many of the benefits mentioned at the beginning of this article at a decent price and the twin size gives an average person enough room to rest after a good camping day’s activities. Check out the brand’s specifications below:
- Brand: Coleman
- Size: Twin
- Item firmness description: Plush
- Material: Synthetic
- Item weight: 5.4 pounds
- ComfortStrong coil construction
- Antimicrobial sleep surface resists odor, mold, mildew and fungus
- Dual-sealed double lock valve
Why have I chosen it?
This product is a great product for the budget-wise camper with antimicrobial finish, leak-free airtight system, and strong support coils to provide maximum comfort at a very economical price. Great for those who want to travel light or fit into a smaller tent space.
2. Active Era Air Mattress with Built-in Pump
This next option comes with high-quality, puncture-resistant material inflated by a powerful and simple-to-use electric pump that allows complete inflation in about 3 minutes. Added to this is the built-in raised pillow which provides neck and head support for a reinvigorating night’s sleep. Check out the brand’s specifications below:
- Brand: Active Era
- Size: Twin, Queen
- Item firmness description: Firm
- Material: 15-gauge puncture resistant PVC
- Weight limit: 550 pounds
- Double height for extra comfort
- Single switch inflating and deflating pump
- Waterproof flocked top layer
- 35 structured air coils for support
Why have I chosen this?
With its 35 structured coils designed to evenly distribute your weight, soft-touch waterproof flock and high resistance to punctures and scrapes, this is a great option for home or outdoor adventures alike. Lastly, when no electrical outlets are available, a built-in manual value allows you to inflate and deflate the airbed using a manual pump. Oh, and a convenient travel bag comes with it for convenient transit and storage.
3. Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress
Our last option offers a fantastic sleeping experience for anyone looking for a little quality over price. It incorporates the comfort of a standard guest bed in a compact container that travels conveniently and stores practically anywhere. It sets up in minutes with no effort, then folds away just as quickly. Check out the items’ specifications below:
- Brand: Ivation
- Size: Twin, Queen
- Item firmness description: Plush, medium, firm
- Material: Polyester and polyester blend
- Weight limit: 450 pounds
- Double height with mattress on frame to keep off ground
- EZBed Built-In pump for inflating and deflating
- Auto shut-off options for plush, medium or firm mattress setting
- 48 circular coils for comfort and support
Why have I chosen this?
This premium bed has a built-in pump that automatically inflates and deflates the airbed in 4 minutes and can be auto set to plush, medium, and firm comfort. The self-deploying frame design requires little effort to set up with a heavy-duty PVC puncture resistant mattress. For portability, it also fits into its own wheeled duffel bag eliminating the need for additional luggage.
Need a pump with that?
Should your air mattress not be self inflating, here are some pump options to check out…
Those are my three best air mattresses you can bring with you for your next outdoor adventure. I would be pleased to know that this article helps you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time