Finding The Best Air Mattress for Camping

Having an adventure-loving husband and being a thrill-seeker myself, it is common for us to go out on spontaneous camping trips every now and then. However, our spontaneity does not extend to our camping materials, as we prefer to use our go-to, trustworthy materials rather than making our own shelters and equipments.

Of course, for frequent travellers like us, we want to make sure that we have the best inflatable mattress for camping accompanying us during our trips, which not only can withstand the harsh conditions we feel like exploring, but also is mega portable. A perfect camping air mattress would be one that extends our travel opportunities with its qualities without acting as a burden.

Looking for everyday use air mattresses? ​

Best Air Mattress Comparisons

Brand

Special Feature

Warranty

Prices

Ratings

Sound Asleep

External rechargeable pump

1-year limited warranty

$$$$

Serta

Never Flat™ technology; with 2 pumps

1 - year product warranty

$$$$$

Coleman

External pump required

1 year limited warranty

$

Lightspeed

Battery operated pump

30- days warranty

$$$

ALPS Moutaineering

Rechargeable pump

30- days warranty

$$

Uses for Camping Air Mattresses

Before you decide on which inflatable bed to buy, you need to think of where you are going to use it.

Only for Camping

If you don’t plan on using your air mattresses at home, then you can save a lot of money by buying inflatable mattresses only suitable for outdoors. Inflatable beds made especially only for camping purposes tend to be cheaper, lighter and more resistant to harsh conditions.

Indoors and Outdoors

While inflatable beds, that can be used both indoors and outdoors, tend to be more expensive, they are generally worth their price. Most of them falling in this category are usually high-raised and provide extra comfort – almost similar to a bed. So if you don’t go out very often and would like to save money on buying an extra bed for guests, this is the type of product that you are looking for.

Types of Air Mattresses for Camping

Thickness

High-raised

High-raised mattresses fall on the thicker end of the spectrum. This type of mattress is closer to resembling a traditional bed, as it has about the same height as a bed. This type of mattress makes it easier for you to get in and out of bed.

However, it may not be the ideal choice for an authentic camping experience as it takes up a lot of room and it might be difficult to carry. Nevertheless, if you are the type that is up for a more luxurious type of camping with tall tents, these mattresses might be the right choice.

Low profile

Low profile mattresses bring you closer to the ground and they might be perfect for normal camping trips as they are cheap, easy to store and very lightweight. However, this may not be the best option to double as a guest bed.

Pump

External Pump

Although inflatable mattresses with an external pump are generally cheaper, they might be a bit of a hassle regarding the misplacement of the adapters or the external pump itself. This type of mattresses may be battery powered, mains powered or powered by foot. These mattresses tend to be lighter.

​External pumps have been popular since the inception of inflatable beds given their practicality. Some external pumps are electric while others require a little manual labor with your foot or blow into a pipe. But, the silver lining is that external pumps are effective and in case of damage these can be easily replaced

Internal Pump

One advantage of using an air mattress is that the firmness level can be adjusted very easily. An internal pump or built-in pump also decreases the time required for inflation and deflation of the inflatable bed. However, this type of mattresses might be heavy and difficult to transport.

The greatest benefit of an internal pump is that you do not have to worry about any additional fitting any parts to inflate your bed. All internal pumps are automatic so there is no hassle of manually pumping your bed. Plus not having an additional part makes storage and usage easy.

Things To Consider Before Making A Purchase

Size

This is one of the more important things that you should consider before buying an air mattress. Its size should be determined according to the number of people who will be sleeping on it and also your desired portability level. For example, if two teenagers are going to be sleeping on the same mattress, you might want to purchase a Twin size mattress. However, if you are shopping for you and your significant other, then the Twin mattress might not provide enough room for the both of you.

Preferred Firmness Level

Cheaper versions of inflatable mattresses are usually firm and they might not come with adjustable firmness. So if you have a partner who has prefers a different firmness level than you do, you might want to go for the type that lets you change the firmness level according to your wish.

Support

The support provided by the mattress is (generally) directly related with its price. Older adults might require more support than children. If you have children, investing in a thinner model of an air mattress might help you save money.

Evenly distributed support can be of utmost importance to people with back injuries. If you do have back injuries, you might want to avoid mattresses that let you “sink in” and opt ones that prevent unwanted sliding and provide an even spread of firmness.


Aesthetic/ Luxury Requirement

If you are a person who likes to pay a lot of attention to the overall aesthetic and luxury of your camping materials, you might want to buy a mattress with a velvety, soft top to give you the highest level of lavishness, even in the middle of a jungle.

Also, if you are the type that strictly colour codes, you might not have much luck finding the perfect colour with your camping air mattress as they have very limited colours available.

Tips To Maintain Your Camping Air Mattress

  • If you are using the mattress for the first time, charge the pump 12 hours before you have to use it.
  • Allow your pump to fully discharge before you recharge it.
  • Use puncture resistant inflatable mattress if you are going to use it in a rocky place.  But to be fully secure, do keep a material (for example tarp) between the air mattress and the ground.
  • Before storing the inflatable bed, vacuum the dirt that may have been collected. You can also wipe the surface area with a damp rag.
  • After each usage, make sure to fold it and keep it in a proper storage area to extend its life.
  • When you are inflating your air mattress, check the seams for signs of stress to be sure that you haven’t over-inflated it.
  • It might be best to keep your pets away from the mattress, as they may puncture it.

Camping Air Mattress Reviews

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress, Queen

Key Points

  • 9 x 60 x 78 inches
  • 14 pounds
  • ​ComfortCoil Technology with “I-beam air coils”
  • ​"Sure-Grip" bottom
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • External Rechargeable Pump

This camping inflatable mattress is one of the highest rated ones that you’ll find in the market. It has been specifically designed to be used outdoors. It uses an ‘extra-thick’ material and employs ComfortCoil Technology with I-Beam Air Coils which makes this product highly durable even in dangerous wilderness conditions.

If you are a person who goes camping a lot, this heavy duty inflated bed might be the perfect mattress for you as its puncture-resistant and waterproof characteristics make it ideal for varied outdoor scenarios.

It is also pretty lightweight at just 14 pounds. With an inclusion of a carry bag in the packaging, it also makes it easier for you to transport your inflatable bed to different places. It also comes with an external rechargeable pump, which can be connected to a car/wall charger and can inflate/deflate in just 3 minutes. This is top rated and might be even more suitable for you if you tend to move a lot during the night, as its “Sure-Grip” bottom prevents unwanted sliding and ensures that you sleep soundly​.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Waterproof
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Fast and easy inflation/deflation
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Carry Bag included
  • Designed for outdoors
  • No unwanted sliding

Cons

  • Initial plastic smell

Recommended For

More suitable for those who tend to move a lot during the night.

Serta Raised Air Mattress, Queen

Key Points

  • 18 x 60 x 78 inches
  • 20.56 pounds
  • ​1 year product warranty
  • ​35 circular coils
  • Never Flat™ technology; 2 pumps

This high-raised inflatable bed is perfect for someone who wants optimum bed-like comfort during a camping trip. It employs two pumps – the primary pump can be used for quick and easy inflation/deflation while the secondary pump continuously monitors the air pressure inside the mattress and helps stabilize it throughout the night. The firmness level (plush, medium, or firm) of the mattress can also be customized easily with an adjust dial.

Another reason why this product is top-rated is because of its simplified storage facility that is ensured with a customized bag and an integrated cord storage cup. It also has a “Sure Grip” bottom which stabilizes the position of the mattress throughout the night. Serta also prides itself in its inflatable mattresses’ durability by providing a 1 year product warranty to its consumers. It can be used outdoors as well as indoors. Its tough construction also makes it puncture resistant.​

Pros

  • Carry bag included
  • Highly durable
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Fast and easy inflation/deflation
  • Customizable comfort level
  • No unwanted sliding
  • 1 year product warranty
  • Maintains air pressure throughout the night
  • Automatic controls
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Might be cold to sleep on
  • Heavy

Recommended For

Perfect for someone who wants optimum bed-like comfort during a camping trip.

Coleman Support Rest Double High Airbed, Queen

Key Points

  • 78 in. X 60 in. X 18 in
  • 14.74 pounds
  • ​Heavy-duty PVC construction
  • ​AirTight® system
  • ComfortStrong ™ coil system
  • 1 year limited warranty

This inflated bed for camping prides itself in being the official airbed for the National Park Foundation. Coleman air mattress, with its AirTight® System gives you a leak-free reliability throughout the night.

As the ComfortStrong ™ coil system has been incorporated in this product; it ensures that you achieve quality sleep with a high amount of comfort. This type of construction also provides a better support and reduces the bulging found in airbeds that use ‘channel construction’. It’s convenient and easy to store with a unique Wrap ‘N’ Roll™ storage system.

​This camping inflatable mattress comes in two sizes – Queen and Twin. It also features a ‘Support Lock Reinforced Construction’ that helps to stabilize the bed if you move frequently during the night. Getting in and out of bed is made easier with its double-high height. Its double lock valve also makes the inflation/deflation process quick and easy.

Pros

  • Provides comfort throughout the night
  • Quick inflation and deflation
  • Can be used indoors/outdoors
  • Easy to store
  • Highly durable
  • Leak-free
  • Soft top
  • Prevents unwanted sliding

Cons

  • External air-pump required

Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person PVC-Free Air Bed

Key Points

  • 6 x 55 x 79 inches
  • 7 pounds
  • ​Battery-Operated Pump
  • ​PVC free
  • 192 independent connectors between top and bottom layer
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) used in construction

This mattress, at just 7 pounds, is one of the lightest ones that you’ll find in the market. Unlike other mattresses, Lightspeed uses PVC free material and is completely odourless. Its ‘Thermoplastic Polyurethane’ (TPU) construction assures superior durability. The TPU material also minimizes movement disturbances when two people are sleeping on the mattress together. The mattress is also less prone to stretching or ballooning.

It uses a battery-operated pump which is very easy to inflate or deflate. The two-way Boston Valve and its patented stabilizer system help you to adjust the firmness level and distribute it evenly throughout the mattress. It comes with built-in handles and over-sized bags that make the air mattress easily portable. It is also abrasion and puncture resistant while being more stable regarding its temperature (in comparison to other inflatable beds). It is also leak-free.​

Pros

  • Adjustable but even firmness
  • Highly durable
  • Puncture resistant
  • Easy to pack and store
  • Leak-free
  • Odourless

Cons

  • Might be a bit bouncy

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed

Key Points

  • 8.5 x 80 x 60 inches
  • 12.1 pounds
  • ​Rechargeable pump
  • ​Extra thick and durable PVC material

The ALPS air mattress is suitable for indoors as well as outdoor conditions. It comes in two sizes – Queen and Twin. It also uses a compact rechargeable battery that can be inflated or deflated with just a ‘flip of the switch’. Although the air pump is small, it is very fast and powerful. ALPS inflatable also comes with a carry bag and is easy to fold and store. It is also fairly lightweight which helps you transport it from one place to another.

Made from a thick PVC Material, this product is puncture resistant and highly durable. The bed construction also features an outer ring for extra support. What makes this mattress unique is its ‘velvety soft flocked top’ which not only gives you that extra cosy feeling during the night, but also prevents the bedding from slipping or sliding off.​

Pros

  • Small, fast and powerful air pump
  • Carry bag included
  • Durable
  • High level of comfort
  • Prevents unwanted sliding
  • Easy to inflate/ deflate
  • Puncture resistant
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Can be used indoors/outdoors

Cons

  • Can lose air overnight
  • Might have a reduced battery life after several uses

Which One Would I Recommend?

After having carefully evaluated the various types of inflatable mattresses for camping, I think that the ‘SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress Pad’ is the best one. Although it is slightly expensive, I think it is definitely worth its value. SoundAsleep, having specially designed this model for outdoors, has incorporated a lot of qualities such as its waterproof and puncture-resistant nature to make it suitable in varying conditions.

Plus, its pump can be recharged very quickly and very conveniently (as it can be recharged in the car as well!). Another reason why I chose this is because it is extremely durable. Also, its “Sure-Grip” bottom is perfect for people like me who move a lot during the night!

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