camping with an air mattress at night
Mattress

Camping Air Mattress: The Complete Buying Guide (2020)

Camping is equally exciting for people of all ages. Indeed, it is an exciting way to get away from the busy routine. You can enjoy nature and have a good time with family and friends. It is exciting and exhausting because of limited resources such as cooked food, sleeping arrangements, and so on. While there are many ready-made or prepared foods that can help hikers enjoy quality food as much as they would in the city, and the camping air mattress meets the need for a peaceful sleep.

Overview

Camping air mattress is specifically designed for situations where you might need to carry it in your backpack for hours. An air mattress or blow-up mattress can fit in your backpack during the traveling and hiking. At night, after all the fun and tiring activities, when you need to sleep, just blow air into the mattress, and your comfortable bed is ready to serve you. 

Next morning, blow the air out of the inflated mattress and roll it back in shape to fit in your luggage. No fancy tools or technical help is required to pack or unpack the camping air mattress. The best camping air mattresses hold great importance over all other types of mattresses in one primary characteristic. 

Weight of Camping Air Mattress

If you are traveling via car towards the camping site and there is a minimal walking time between car parking and the camp, the weight of the mattress is not going to be an issue. However, imagine walking towards a hill point, carrying a 5kg sleeping mattress on your back. If you are hiking during most of the time on your outdoor trips, walking with a heavy camping mattress would be impractical. That is why air mattresses are better than any other type of camping mattress, such as roll bags, folding beds, etc. 

Air mattresses can be of two types, self-inflating or battery-operated inflation. In either of the types, the participating component to shape up the mattress is just air. The material of the air mattress is also very lightweight; therefore, altogether, there is a very minimal weight that you need to carry on your shoulders or even from camp to camp. 

Main Inflating Mechanisms for Camping Air Mattress

As mentioned above, there could be two types of inflation: 

  • Self-inflation 
  • Battery-powered Inflation or Manual Pump Inflation 

Self-inflated air mattress does not require any additional pump to fill in the air. It comes with built-in airways to fill the air in and out of the air mattress. Unpack the mattress, keep on the floor where you want to use it, loosen the airways, and step aside. It will automatically start filling up and will stop when optimal firmness is achieved. Once done, you can simply tighten the airways and enjoy your sleep. In the morning when you need to put it back to your bag, loosen the airways and roll back to original shape with a little pressure all the air will be out, and you can put it back to storage. 

Battery-powered or hand pump inflation gives you the freedom to achieve the desired firmness in your control. You can attach the pump to the airways and fill as much air as needed. If you are camping a little farther from the car parking, you may need a hand pump; otherwise, you can attach the battery-powered camping air mattress to your call and fill in the air. The popular opinion about both types of inflating mechanism is that the pump operated camping air mattresses are better in terms of firmness and comfort level. 

a girl camping with a dog

Types of Camping Air Mattress

· Standard/Basic Air Mattress 

These are the very basic or economical type of camping air mattresses available in the market. The size is relatively small as compared to other options and very lightweight. You can roll up this, put it in a back, and carry anywhere. However, the only problem with this type is that inflation is very poor, and when using outdoor, you may need to inflate it more than once. Therefore, you always need to carry a hand pump along with this camping air mattress. 

· Double Height Air Mattress 

An upgrade to the standard camping air mattress is a double-height air mattress. If you are looking for an airbed that keeps you a bit higher from the ground level, you can buy a double-height air mattress. It feels like a regular bed and is very comfortable compared to all other types of camping air mattress. However, the disadvantage is that you can only use a battery-operated pump to inflate this to achieve the optimal inflation level. Therefore, you can use it near your car parking camps or at home, when you need to create additional bed space for gatherings. 

· Self-Inflating Air Mattress 

Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, self-inflating air mattresses are durable and can have multiple uses. Very lightweight, easy to set up or pack, various usages, variant colors, etc. You will get many options to choose from, and owning a self-inflating camping air mattress for camping brings a lot of comfort at many levels. 

· All-In-One Mattress 

Another upgrade to add to your wish list can be an all-in-one camping air mattress. With all the benefits associated with self-inflating camping air mattresses, it has the added comfort of attached sleeping bags. You can enjoy a peaceful sleep using this all-in-one air mattress, without needing additional foam mattress or sleeping bags to cover yourself from mosquitoes, etc. or cold weather. 

The Benefits of Owning an Airbed

If you are still thinking about why you should be investing in a durable camping air mattress, let us share the extensive list of benefits that you will enjoy with the buying of an air mattress. It does not matter if you are not a frequent traveler or hiker; camping air mattresses can serve in multiple ways. 

· Improved Sleeping Space

 The main reason for planning an outing with friends is to spend some quality time together. Staying out there would be difficult if you do not get adequate sleep after all the tiring travel and activities. Camping can be hard if you are forced to sleep on an uneven floor or over rocks. Hence, camping air mattresses provide you peaceful sleep and help you to enjoy more. 

· Odorless 

The material used for making air mattresses does not produce bacteria or absorb sweat. Therefore, this material’s tendency to produce odor compared to fabric or foam mattresses is very low. All you have to ensure is to clean it once before putting back to storage and keep it inside a clean packaging. 

· Multipurpose Usage 

Luckily, you can use the air mattress for more than just outdoor camping. You can put this in your guest room instead of an expensive bed set. You can also use this to create additional sleeping space in sleepovers. You can also use this when your kids want to play on the lawn, and you want to ensure a safe and secure ground for them. 

· Easy Storage

Contrary to regular furniture, camping air mattresses do not require a lot of storage space. Some of the designs are so compact that you can slide them beneath your bed during the day and slide back out at night when you need to sleep. When you do not need to use them for a longer time, deflate, roll, and put inside the storage box. 

· Durable Material

As compared to other foam mattresses, camping air mattresses are long-lasting and durable. The material used to make these is elastic, puncture-resistant, and an additional layer of fabric adds extra life to it. Even with this, if it gets a puncture somewhere, you can apply duct tape for a quick fix and get it repaired quickly. 

· Easy on Pocket 

You do not need to put your entire savings into buying a camping air mattress. You will find many options under 100 bucks. However, those may be basic with no modern features such as battery-powered, etc. Yet, these would be good enough to serve the basic purpose, i.e., providing you a peaceful night after a tiring hiking plan all day long. 

Camping at the top of the mountain

How to Choose the Perfect Camping Air Mattress?

To make your camping experience filled with both excitement and relaxation, you need to make sure you have the right equipment with you. Choosing a camping air mattress requires attention, knowledge, and the following checklist at hand. All you have to do is to consider all the points we have mentioned below, and in the end, you will be able to make the right buying without any further assistance.

1. Size of the Mattress 

One of the essential factors that you need to consider is the desired size of the mattress. You must keep the long-term perspective and usage in mind when buying it the first time. You may need a camping air mattress for yourself today, but who knows you may need to accommodate more people in the future. 

Therefore, instead of spending on a smaller size today and buying a bigger one later, you may go for a larger size from the beginning. Since there is no fancy tool or technique required to pack or unpack the camping air mattress, therefore, you should not hesitate to buy a bigger size camping air mattress. 

2. Shape and Packing of the Mattress 

There is a variety of shapes for camping air mattresses available in the market. The shape depends upon the usage; for example, if you need it for your camp, sleep in a car, or sleep in a cave. You must consider the frequent usage when buying a camping air mattress. 

Depending on the need, you may buy a straight mattress or a tapered mattress. On top of the shape of the mattress, packing is also an essential factor. Remember, you need to carry everything in your back most of the time during your camping days. Therefore, it has to be of a size that fits well in your backpack. 

3. R-Value of the Mattress 

R-value is the indicator of the insulation level of the camping air mattress. It ranges from 1.0 to 5.0. The higher the number, the greater the extent of insulation of the bed. If you are a wintertime camper, you may consider the camping air mattress with an R-value of no less than 5.0. Whereas if you are looking for an option that works well with most seasons, you need to buy a camping air mattress with R-value above 2.0. 

However, in winters, you may need to combine more than just one air mattress with lesser R-value to avoid cold. It will help to increase the warmth level, and you would not need to buy separate value air mattresses for different types of weather conditions. 

4. Inflated and Deflated Version

Before making the final selection, ensure to have a look at both inflated and deflated versions of the camping air mattress. You need to be prepared for handling both conditions without any third hand (in most scenarios). Therefore, do not hesitate to ask your seller to show you both in-use and in-storage versions. 

5. Weight of the Mattress 

It has to be a lightweight object, in whatever shape or condition you see this. You may be walking or climbing all day with this camping air mattress in your backpack. If you buy a heavyweight camping air mattress, you may never be able to reach your destination carrying it at your back, without developing a chronic back pain. Therefore, without compromising on your health, buy a camping air mattress that fits well with your carrying luggage. 

6. Reviews of the Mattress 

Nowadays, technology has made our lives easier with advanced ways of getting your desired piece of information without even moving from your home. When you shortlist a couple of camping air mattresses based on all the points that we have provided already, the next step is to see what their existing customers are saying about your desired product. 

7. Warranty of the Mattress

The warranty period and the claiming clause are some of the most critical issues that you must study, either in-store or online. There may be surprises in terms of product quality. Therefore, you must research and inspect your products extensively to avoid any bigger problems.

Let us take you one step ahead by listing some of the most purchased or highest rated camping air mattresses that people like to buy across the globe. You can further narrow your search through this best eight listing and buy the one that suits you most. 

8 Best Camping Air Mattress

1. SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress

If you are looking for an extra-sized, latest technology-driven camping air mattress, SoundAsleep has already heard you. This amazing comfort coil technology-based air mattress comes with a rechargeable pump; therefore, you can take it anywhere. It is available in various sizes; you can buy whatever size you need. 

Pros:

  • The battery-powered pump can fill it in 3 ~ 4 minutes
  • It will stay inflated for days without losing firmness
  • You can choose from different sizes
  • Comes with a carry bag for easy storage and movement
  • Provides support to up to 500 pounds of weight

Cons: 

  • It has a limited warranty period

2. Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam Airbed

Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam Airbed
Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam Airbed

Another highly purchased and reviewed camping air mattress is Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam Air bed. The best part is that it also comes with a built-in electric pump. With a simple push-button, you can inflate or deflate the air mattress. The top is waterproof and the inflated height is about 13 inches. The dura beam technology makes it super comfortable. 

Pros:

  • Its structure is dura beam technology
  • The material is waterproof
  • It inflates in about 3 and a half minutes
  • The bottom fabric is slip-free 
  • The warranty period is two years, quite better than other similar products

Cons:  

  • Few customers complained about early leakage around the pump area

3. EnerPlex Luxury Series Queen Air Mattress

EnerPlex Luxury Series Queen Air Mattress
EnerPlex Luxury Series Queen Air Mattress

Driven with a no outlet-required methodology, this camping air mattress inflates in less than 90 seconds. It comes with an electric pump, which is wireless, and once fully recharges, it can blow up the air mattress at least four times until the next recharge. The airways seal so fast that there is no leakage. There are other variants for bigger sizes and more height; however, this one comes in a 13 inches inflated height. 

Pros: 

  • Its structure is coil bam technology
  • It comes with a wireless blow pump
  • 30 days money-back guarantee
  • There is a 2 years warranty period

Cons: 

  • Few customers experience that the seal valve was not closing very firmly, so they had to close it manually

4. Lightspeed PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress for Camping and Travel

Lightspeed PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress for Camping and Travel
Lightspeed PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress for Camping and Travel

If you are looking for a comfortable car camping air mattress or an additional layer of the mattress for your guestroom bed, this is an ideal choice. It comes with a battery-operated air pump; batteries are included in the package. The construction material is TPU based, makes it super durable and puncture-resistant. The material is not very stretchy; therefore, you can enjoy a peaceful sleep at night. 

Pros: 

  • Sufficient space for 2 persons
  • Durable material and puncture-resistant
  • Standard Queen Size, very small and lightweight when deflated
  • It is temperature resistant
  • TPU material makes it more reliable than any other PVC based product
  • It has a two way Boston valve, which makes inflation and deflation easier
  • Highly recommended for frequent trekkers

Cons: 

  • Few customers experienced issues with the air pump

5. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

Designed for single-person usage, it is made of nylon. The making is waterproof and is highly damage-resistant. You can use this for years without experiencing any issue. However, the best part is that even if you experience any issue with the product, this mattress has a lifetime warranty period. At any point your air mattress is damaged due to tearing etc. you can get it replaced with a new product. 

Pros:

  • It has a very small size when deflated and fits in a water bottle
  • Material is highly tear-resistant
  • It is waterproof. 
  • It does not need a pump
  • It is very budget-friendly

Cons: 

  • It would have been better if this was available for larger sizes to cater more than just one person at a time

6. Coleman QuickBed Plus Single High Airbed Mattress

Coleman QuickBed Plus Single High Airbed Mattress
Coleman QuickBed Plus Single High Airbed Mattress

This one is another best choice product when it comes to single usage. The top is made of soft plush, and the coil construction makes it the number one choice for heavyweight people. It also has a built-in pump, and the valve is protected with a double lock technology to prevent leakages. 

Pros: 

  • The material is super comfortable
  • It can provide support for up to 600 Lbs
  • It comes with a built-in pump and a double-locked valve
  • It comes with a storage bag for easy movement and storage

Cons: 

  • The warranty period is limited, so you have to manage it carefully after that

7. Hikenture Double Sleeping Pad – Inflatable Camping Air Mattress

Hikenture Double Sleeping Pad Inflatable Camping Air Mattress
Hikenture Double Sleeping Pad Inflatable Camping Air Mattress

If you are looking for a handier personal air mattress, which you can put in your backpack and carry it anywhere, you must look into this option. However, this is designed for two persons, but it is still extremely lightweight and compact when not in use. The material is PVC with TPU technology, and it is entirely tear-resistant. So it is a perfect choice for camping, hiking, family gathering, sleepovers, car camping, etc. 

Pros:

  • Highly durable and puncture-resistant material used
  • Money-back guarantee for a good 90 days
  • Multipurpose usage and provides sleep comfort for any age group
  • Does not need a pump, easy inflation with the help of hands/feet

Cons: 

  • Not recommended if you are looking for height, it is just a few inches thick

8. Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set
Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set

Facing budget limitation and looking for a camping air mattress at the same time, the solution is in Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set. Though the price point is lower than many other air mattresses in the market, it still has many features that you look for when shopping for the best air mattress. 

Pros: 

  • It comes with a hand pump
  • The top is waterproof, and the wave beam structure makes it super comfortable
  • It has a 2-in-1 valve that has a wide opening for speedy inflation and deflation process
  • It comes with two inflatable pillows

Cons: 

  • Due to the manual hand pump, it takes time for a fully inflated air mattress. 

Below is a summary of our choices.

PreviewModelWhy We ChoosePrice
SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress previewSoundAsleep Camping Series Air MattressEditor’s PickCheck Price
Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam Airbed previewIntex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam AirbedBest ComfortCheck Price
EnerPlex Luxury Series Queen Air Mattress previewEnerPlex Luxury Series Queen Air MattressBest for CoupleCheck Price
Lightspeed PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress for Camping and Travel previewLightspeed PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress for Camping and TravelBest for Frequent Trekkers Check Price
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad previewSleepingo Camping Sleeping PadBest for CarryCheck Price
Coleman QuickBed Plus Single High Airbed Mattress previewColeman QuickBed Plus Single High Airbed MattressBest for SingleCheck Price
Hikenture Double Sleeping Pad Inflatable Camping Air Mattress previewHikenture Double Sleeping Pad – Inflatable Camping Air MattressBest for Multiple UsageCheck Price
Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set previewIntex Classic Downy Airbed SetBest ValueCheck Price

Why Should You Always Bring a Durable Air Bed Camping?

There are multiple options when it comes to the material of a camping air mattress. Some of the commonly used materials are: 

  • PVC 
  • VINYL
  • TPU

To make the air mattress more durable, some manufacturers also use an additional layer of fabric with any of the above materials. Speaking of the durability of the material, TPU has a higher value, but then that comes with a higher price tag as well. TPU is very elastic and heavily resistant to puncture or damage caused by the outdoor surface. Therefore, the higher price pays off by bringing in longer durability or life of the air mattress. 

PVC is an excellent choice if you are looking for quality within a decent budget. You can increase mattress life by taking precautionary measures like putting an additional sheet beneath the mattress when using outdoor etc. Since you are not investing in an air mattress for one-time usage, it is better to invest in a durable one and enjoy it for a longer time. Here are the benefits associated with a fine quality camping air mattress: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the camping air mattress provide comfort similar to a regular mattress?

Yes, in fact, some of the customers experienced that the comfort level is better than many other types of sleeping mattresses or their regular beds. It is also believed that air mattresses help with overcoming back pain. When you are out at camping site, the most you miss is the peaceful sleep at night on your bed, and air mattresses can help overcome this. 

How we inflate air mattresses?

Depending upon the product, there could be two ways to inflate the mattress. Either you can use a manual hand pump, or you can use battery-operated or rechargeable automated pumps. Some of the vendors provide the pump with the product, and the price is inclusive of it. In contrast, others may offer it separately. You can buy them from mattress vendors or anywhere from the market. 

Do we regularly need to inflate air mattresses? 

You only need to inflate the camping air mattress when you use it. If you are using an air mattress for additional sleeping space in your bedroom, you may leave it inflated for more than just one day. In such cases, with frequent use, you may feel that the firmness is getting away, then you can inflate again. However, if you frequently need to inflate the air mattress, then immediately look for any puncture that is causing to blow out air from the mattress and get it repaired. 

How do we deflate air mattress when not in use?

All types of camping air mattresses come with airways. They are responsible for blowing the air In and Out of the mattress. When you no longer need the mattress, simply loosen the airway and let the air come out. You may need to apply a little manual pressure to expedite it and roll it quickly. You can press the air mattress with hand or sit on it to move out the air. 

How do I repair air mattress if there is a hole?

An adhesive, DIY patch or duct tape could be easy fixes if you need to repair your air mattress in an emergency. Once you identify the puncture area, put a mark, and deflate the camping air mattress. Apply the fix and put a heavy object to ensure that the fixture is in place. Once dry, inflate again and see if there is still any airway around the puncture area. You can also call for an experienced helper if you do not feel confident doing that all along. 

How long can I use an air mattress?

There is no limit to the usability of the camping air mattress as long as it provides you a comfortable sleep time. Over time, frequent punctures would affect the performance, and if so, it’s time to buy a new camping mattress. 

Are there any special care instructions for air mattresses? 

You need to avoid excessive pressure or pointing objects when there is a need to wash it. It is advisable that you clean it with simple soap water and a clean piece of fabric when it is still inflated. Let it dry in the open air and then deflate, roll and store in a safe place. 

Should I use a bedsheet along with an air mattress?

There is no harm in using an additional layer of fabric over the air mattress. In fact, it will help you keep clean and provide more comforting sleep if you use a bedsheet. The softness of the fabric will further enhance your sleep experience with an air mattress. 

Conclusion 

Owning the right camping air mattress is as important as other arrangements for a memorable trip. It requires a little understanding and some help to find the right one for your specific needs. This article will help you in various ways, understand the basics of the air mattress, know the benefits, and eventually find the best camping air mattress for you. 

If you still have any ambiguity, go ahead and see some of the frequently asked questions that most people looking for camping air mattresses ask. The answers are right there, and you can always add more value by sharing your own experiences with us. 

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