Best Air Mattresses For Camping/Hiking – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 25.Jul.2020

Best Choice Go to Amazon Shop

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

The Exped MegaMat 10 provides comfort equal to and sometimes exceeding our beds at home. Really, you can't ask for much more from a rollout inflatable foam mat. The top has a soft, comfortable feel that doesn't get sticky or sweaty, even without a sheet. The one-flutter valve lets you adjust the firmness. Even the most fickle testers could dial in the perfect PSI for their ultimate night under the stars. This pad inflates easily with a compact foam foot pump and comes with generously sized carrying sack, complete with shoulder straps. Keep in mind that the MegaMat 10 is a bit on the wide side for a single pad (which only adds to their comfort in our opinion), so if you're camping in a small tent, it takes up a lot of space and might crowd out your neighbor. If you're usually camping with a significant other, check out the MegaMat 10 Duo below instead. This mat is on the expensive side, but the quality matches the price. If you car camp for more than a few nights per year, or even want an excellent household mat for overnight guests, this one is worth it, and your body will thank you. If you can't be bothered to operate a foot pump, the Sea-to-Summit Comfort Deluxe SI is worth a look. It inflates faster and feels just as comfy.
Best Choice Go to Amazon Shop

REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL Self-Inflating Deluxe Bed

This camping mattress is worthy of your attention for the value alone, and fortunately for anyone who likes a good night's sleep, it also offers a high level of comfort and warmth. The REI Co-op Dreamer XL is a huge 11 by 70-inch plush sleeping surface that puts a very insulating, four-inch barrier between you and the ground. Inflation is easy enough with a big foam pump (that doubles as a pillow, in a pinch) and a one-way valve that flips around for deflation. The glamping package is completed with an easy tote for packing and carrying around. The main downside to this big guy is its size. It's only available in extra-large, and there are plenty of single-person tents out there that can't accommodate it, not to mention two-person tents that won't be able to fit two. It is truly huge, even when packed. We also have some reservations about the rotating valve, which did not fail on us but seems a tad flimsy. This pad offers similar features (though it is slightly less insulating) and equal comfort to mats that cost much more, making it a shoo-in as the mattress that is the best bang for your buck.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 25.Jul.2020

Many people are under the impression that camping is fun and intriguing. And while it can be, something about sleeping on the cold hard floor isn’t enticing.

This is why many campers resort to using air mattresses as their primary source of bedding. They’re light, comfortable, and reduce the load in your backpack.

But air beds are starting to get more and more unreliable. This is why we’ve prepared this list of the 12 best air mattresses for camping. They’re all reliable and comfortable, and there’s one for everyone.

REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL Self-Inflating Deluxe Bed

A self-inflating camp mattress that's plush enough to sleep on at home, the REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL puts 4 in. of air and engineered foam between you and the cold, hard ground.
This camping mattress is worthy of your attention for the value alone, and fortunately for anyone who likes a good night's sleep, it also offers a high level of comfort and warmth. The REI Co-op Dreamer XL is a huge 11 by 70-inch plush sleeping surface that puts a very insulating, four-inch barrier between you and the ground. Inflation is easy enough with a big foam pump (that doubles as a pillow, in a pinch) and a one-way valve that flips around for deflation. The glamping package is completed with an easy tote for packing and carrying around. The main downside to this big guy is its size. It's only available in extra-large, and there are plenty of single-person tents out there that can't accommodate it, not to mention two-person tents that won't be able to fit two. It is truly huge, even when packed. We also have some reservations about the rotating valve, which did not fail on us but seems a tad flimsy. This pad offers similar features (though it is slightly less insulating) and equal comfort to mats that cost much more, making it a shoo-in as the mattress that is the best bang for your buck.
GO TO AMAZON SHOP
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping

Sleeping Pad Type

Self-inflating Pad

Sleeping Pad Shape

Rectangular

Sleeping Capacity

1-person

Insulated

Yes

Insulation Type

Synthetic

R-Value

6.6

Stuff Sack Included

Yes

Packed Size

11 x 30 inches

Pad Thickness (in.)

4 inches

Dimensions

78 x 32 x 4 inches

Weight

6 lbs. 6 oz.

Gender

Unisex

Pros

Included foam pump doubles as a pillow

Tons of space to roll around

Large, stretchy stuff sack

Inexpensive

Cons

Too big for many single-person tents

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

Mega in size, comfort and warmth, the Exped MegaMat 10 sleeping pad provides a cushy night's sleep on a self-inflating mat with a level surface from edge to edge.
The Exped MegaMat 10 provides comfort equal to and sometimes exceeding our beds at home. Really, you can't ask for much more from a rollout inflatable foam mat. The top has a soft, comfortable feel that doesn't get sticky or sweaty, even without a sheet. The one-flutter valve lets you adjust the firmness. Even the most fickle testers could dial in the perfect PSI for their ultimate night under the stars. This pad inflates easily with a compact foam foot pump and comes with generously sized carrying sack, complete with shoulder straps. Keep in mind that the MegaMat 10 is a bit on the wide side for a single pad (which only adds to their comfort in our opinion), so if you're camping in a small tent, it takes up a lot of space and might crowd out your neighbor. If you're usually camping with a significant other, check out the MegaMat 10 Duo below instead. This mat is on the expensive side, but the quality matches the price. If you car camp for more than a few nights per year, or even want an excellent household mat for overnight guests, this one is worth it, and your body will thank you. If you can't be bothered to operate a foot pump, the Sea-to-Summit Comfort Deluxe SI is worth a look. It inflates faster and feels just as comfy.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping

Sleeping Pad Type

Self-inflating Pad

Sleeping Pad Shape

Rectangular

Sleeping Capacity

1-person

Insulated

Yes

Insulation Type

Open-cell Foam

R-Value

8.1

Repair Kit Included

Yes

Stuff Sack Included

Yes

Packed Size

Long X-Wide: 31.1 x 9.8 inches Regular Wide: 31.3 x 9.8 inches

Pad Thickness (in.)

Long X-Wide: 3.9 inches Regular Wide: 3.9 inches

Dimensions

Long X-Wide: 77.6 x 30.3 x 3.9 inches Regular Wide: 72.1 x 25.6 x 3.9 inches

Weight

Long X-Wide: 5 lbs. 9.6 oz. Regular Wide: 3 lb.s 12 oz.

Gender

Unisex

Pros

More comfortable than most of our beds at home

Inflates easily with the included foot pump

Roll-top carrying sack makes for easy packing

Cons

Expensive

May not fit inside some single person tents

Benefits

Before you buy an air mattress, you should ask yourself: Why do you need one in the first place? Here are a few reasons to consider:

  • They’re highly portable. Air beds can fit inside your backpack with a lot of room to spare.
  • They can accommodate more than one person. A sleeping bag only provides space for one person. For couples and kids, air beds are the best.
  • They let you stretch your body. Sleeping bags are tight and congested, but air beds give you room to stretch.
  • They can be repurposed for regular home use. Use them when you’ve got unexpected guests and friends staying over.
  • They’re easier to set up and takedown. And many require just the flip of a switch for installation.
  • Air mattresses are cheaper and durable. Many won’t cost you too much, and they can be used multiple times over.

Types:

  • Standard: Standard air beds are the ones that require an external pump to inflate them. These can use an electric pump or a hand pump.
  • Self-Inflating: Self-inflating beds require you to flip open a switch and they’ll start inflating right away.
  • All-In-One Beds: All-in-one beds come in a complete bundle. They include the main mattress, pillows, sheets, and pillow covers.
  • Double Height Air Beds: Double height air beds are more elevated than standard air beds. Depending on your sleeping habits, different levels of elevation will appeal to you.

What To Look For When Buying An Air bed For Camping:

Size/Capacity: First things first, check the size and weight capacity of the bed. Air beds come in similar sizes to regular mattresses: full, twin, queen, king, and California king, etc. Each size appeals to a different demographic. Full and twin sizes are best for single person use. Queen, king, and California king are best for couples and small families.

Also, consider how much weight the bed can handle. Full and twin-sized beds can hold up to 300 lbs., whereas bigger beds can hold up to 600 lbs.

Weight And Dimensions: Next, contemplate the weight and dimensions of the bed itself. As stated previously, air beds come in different sizes. But you also need to consider the height of the mattress, and whether it can fit inside your tent or not.

You also want a lightweight mattress. They shouldn’t weigh over 20 lbs., with the standards around 7 to 10 lbs. Some lighter (and smaller) air beds can weigh as little as 3 lbs.

Convenience: Inflatable beds come in all shapes and designs. The most popular is with one or two inflatable pillows attached to it. Some people may find these pillows too wobbly, and they’ll eventually swap them out for regular pillows.

Also, some beds feature a headboard. The headboard provides a backrest for playing games and reading books. This also makes them double as a home mattress for accommodating guests.

Price/Quality: Considering the overall price and if the mattress justifies the price, is a must. The higher the price, the more the features are. The price will only increase as you increase the size of the air mattress. And those that feature a self-inflating pump will cost more too.

If you want to go for a cheaper mattress, you may have to sacrifice on comfort. The cheapest mattresses do not have a pillow-top surface and provide minimal elevation.

Comfort: Comfort can take many forms, but usually, you’ll want to look for a softer surface and higher elevation. If you want comfort, look for a soft-top material, preferably, made of flocking or velvet. This can be seen in the higher-budget beds. In lower-budget beds, you can still get a basic foam padding to add comfort to your sleep.

As for elevation, a lot of people prefer higher beds. In a tent, however, you may be restricted to the size of the bed. Still, a bed that lays completely flat is more uncomfortable as compared to the one that’s elevated.

Material: Material is by far the most important consideration. It decides everything from comfort, durability, and weather-resistance. A few material choices stand out in this regard: nylon, polyester, and PVC.

Nylon feels tender but isn’t that good against water damage. However, if you can get the rip-stop variant, you can prevent it from leaking. PVC is another good choice, but there may be some health concerns regarding it.

Polyester is by far the best material choice. It’s water-resistant, durable, and can be treated to prevent rips and tears. It’s also completely safe and retains heat in the cold weather.

Heavy Vs. Light Camping Mattress: When you’re hiking miles to get to your camping spots, it ultimately comes down to the weight of your camping mattress. Lighter beds are the norm among campers, and no mattress should weigh more than 20-25 pounds.

The heavier a mattress gets, the more features it has, and the more you can do with it. Whereas, you’ll have to sacrifice that if you’re going for long-distance hiking.

Hand/Foot Pump Or Electric Pump?

Finally, consider what type of pump you want, if it’s not self-inflating!!!

Mechanical pumps require a lot of effort to fill up. But of course, someone as fit as a camper shouldn’t struggle too much with it.

The alternative to that is a simple electric pump. This pump is easier to inflate, as it does most of the work for you. However, keep in mind that you’ll be needing an electric power source such as a power bank at hand.

Conclusion:

This concludes our guide for the best inflatable beds for camping. Air beds are the best choice of bedding for camping and hiking. They are highly portable, easy to set up, and many are designed for outdoor use.

We saw 12 different outdoor air mattresses, and all of them had some amazing features. But only one stood out, and that was the Sable AutoInflate. This mattress is superb as it has a very high R-value and is weather-proofed to a considerable extent.

To find the right air mattress for yourself and gear up for your next camping trip!

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