Heading out for a camping adventure? Want to step up the comfort level without having to carry a huge burden? Yes, you can ensure that you are getting the best sleep on your journey. After all, waking up with a sore back on the second day of your trek is never fun. Here are the best camping air mattresses available:
Top Camping Air Mattresses of 2018
These are the top-rated and most talked about air mattress for camping. Once you have looked through the list, be sure to check out the how to buy section for tips about choosing which of these mattresses is right for you!
1. SoundAsleep Dream Series
- Unique Comfort
- Coil technology keeps the bed comfortable and supportive after multiple uses – you will sleep in utmost comfort and forget you’re actually camping
- Durable, waterproof material
- Puncture resistant
- Flocked design keeps bedding in place while moving around
- Built-in air pump inflates the mattress rapidly
- PVC stretches after a couple of uses
- Doesn’t fit standard sized sheets
- Pump makes noises
- Not ideal for direct contact with ground (designed for tent-use)
The Dream Series from SoundAsleep has received a lot of praise. Though the mattress looks and feels like the same mattress you have at home, it has been designed to handle the rigors of camping. There are 40 air coils to help support your rest, so even those with aches and pains can sleep easily.
You also don’t have to wait for hours for the mattress to inflate or deflate, thanks to the one click internal pump. In fact, the pump works so well, it fills in as little as 4 minutes. Despite all the features, the SoundAsleep also has a modest price tag that is the perfect balance for most camping families.
2. Etekcity Camping Mattress Inflatable Single High Airbed
- Available in two sizes – twin or queen
- Noiseless when you move around
- Supportive system keeps the surface flat and comfortable
- Flocked top
- Anti-skid base
- Adjustable firmness
- Airtight construction to prevent leaks
- Extra thick PVC material insulates on cold and wet surfaces
- Inflates and deflates rapidly
- Weight capacity of 450 pounds
- Pump may take a long time to charge up when first using it (sometimes 4 hours)
- Air pump cannot be used while charging
For those seeking something a little less high and bulky should consider the single level airbed by Etekcity. The airbed has been designed for outdoor use and folds up swiftly for easy transport to and from the campsite. Set up is quick and convenient, thanks to the portable, rechargeable electric pump that is compatible with all AC/DC outlets.
Plus, the Etekcity Camping Mattress will inflate in about a minute. On top of that, the mattress is designed to keep it airtight and supportive throughout the night. No bulges or uneven surfaces!
3. ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed
- Coil system for support, even though the mattress is only single layer
- State-of-the-art rechargeable pump for car or wall outlet is included
- Deflates and inflates within minutes
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Comes in two sizes, queen or twin
- Queen model has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds
- Will not lose air once it has been inflated, lasting for days after setup
- Strong, sturdy material
- No odors from material
- There has been reports of the pump not holding a charge longer than 1-3 days.
- Prior to use, the pump must be charged a full 12 hours beforehand
While on first glance the ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed looks like a thin mattress that only the most die hard camper would choose, you will be surprised by the comfort and quality offered by this mattress. The unique polyester Oxford fabric and internal coils make the mattress durable, solid, and highly supportive.
Also included in the mattress is a rechargeable pump that can be charged via AC/DC outlets. Simply flip a switch, and the ALPS Mountaineering air bed will inflate or deflate within seconds. Since the mattress is extremely lightweight (about 5 pounds) and fits into an included stuff sack, it is perfect for toting along for more long distance treks.
4. Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
- Easy to set up and deflate
- Fast filling time makes it highly convenient
- Built-in electric pump
- Allows for the use of sheets
- Elevated – 22” rise is easy to climb on and off
- Insulation from cold ground
- Decent price
- Two sizes: Queen and Twin
- The turn dial system for inflation/deflation can be easily bumped into and moved, meaning you could accidentally release air from the bed.
Probably the greatest benefit of the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed would be the very fact that it is raised and indented. This means you can use sheets with this mattress. Silk sheets in the middle of nowhere? Heaven. Jokes aside, the Intex airbed also features a powerful electric pump that fills the queen size mattress in 4.5 minutes.
The top of the bed is waterproof, and the Fiber-tech construction makes it very durable. If you aren’t looking to spend a ton of money on a mattress, the Intex Comfort Plush is a great option for those with children, because it has a low cost and impressive features while being big enough for everyone to enjoy.
5. Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed
- Double locking valve that keeps air from escaping when the pump is removed
- Comfort Strong coils provide excellent support and helps keep the mattress surface even,Stability when moving around on the mattress
- 1-year limited warranty on the Air
- Tight system
- Appropriately sized for 1 to 2 people
- Supports up to 600 pounds
- Wrap ‘N’ Roll storage system makes it easy to roll up and store
- The queen size requires an external pump which isn’t included, and filling with a manual pump takes forever
- Does not insulate very well against the cold
- Normal sheets do not fit
The name Coleman is well-known and trusted in the camping world, but to see Coleman on an air mattress might be surprising to some. Without a doubt, Coleman has balanced cost with quality with this mattress. There are two sizing options, Queen and Twin, and one option even allows you to choose a pump (otherwise you need your own).
A benefit of the Coleman airbed is the “airtight system,” which ensures seams don’t separate. The plush surface boasts comfort, while the underside of the bed was made with PVC and is durable enough to last for many years.
6. Stansport Self Inflating Mattress
- Budget-friendly option
- Lightweight design
- Compact enough for backpackers to enjoy
- Incredibly durable materials
- Self-inflating – highly portable
- Supports up to 300 pounds of weight
- Long enough for people up to 6’4” tall
- Excellent insulation from the cold
- Can be difficult to wrap up
- Somewhat heavy
- The stuff sack is made of mesh and has been reported to tear easily, especially on abrasive earth (gravel, sandstone)
- A little thin, so bonier people might feel the ground more than others
The Stansport Self-Inflating Mattress is an excellent choice for campers who want to be able to pick up and move in a hurry. Since the mattress is self-inflating, you can go on long treks without having to worry where your electricity is coming from or packing extra batteries.
The mattress is available in three different sizes, but each is extremely lightweight and portable. You also receive a compact mummy bag for quick storage. Since it is constructed from fully bonded materials, the Stansport model is waterproof, durable, and provides top-notch insulation against cold earth.
How to Choose the Best Air Mattress for Camping
Here are some buying tips for selecting the best camping air mattress that suits your needs and outdoor style.
There are two ways to classify an air mattress: heavy or light. The division is based on the materials used in the construction of the camping air mattress. If comfort happens to be high on your list, or if you have an injury or chronic pain of some sort, a heavier bed is going to serve you best.
Heavier camping air mattresses are made of thicker, highly comfortable materials that are also very durable. The downside is, of course, the weight. You won’t be carrying this mattress in your backpack. At least children can jump on this variety.
Light air mattresses are perfect for those campers who want to do more hiking, rock climbing, and long distance trekking rather than camping in a specific place. These air mattresses are designed for portability and convenience, but they are also thin and might lack the same resilience as a heavier version (no jumping on it).
A small tent isn’t going to fit a queen size airbed. Therefore, you need to consider the size of your tent and compare the floor space to how long and wide the mattress is. If you want room to walk around the bed and store some supplies, you might have to go smaller with your mattress…or get a bigger tent.
Also, another thing to keep in mind is that most airbeds aren’t meant to be put directly on the ground but for inside a tent. If you plan on camping in colder weather, the tent floor might not be enough to separate the air mattress from the cold, so use a sleeping bag too.
First thing, you have two main options: hand pump versus electric pump. There is also self-inflating, but let’s forget that for now. An electric pump mattress is great when you plan on camping in a park or near your car, because a bulky electric pump is cumbersome.
While some mattress come with the electric pump built-in to the materials (and most likely require 4D batteries), you can sometimes also purchase a portable pump separately. A DC electric pump will draw power from the 12V outlet on your vehicle while an AC electric pump will need a generator or wall outlet.
For cases where you can’t get electricity or don’t want to deal with the extra weight of batteries and an electrical appliance, manual hand and foot pumps are the best option. The other option would be self-inflating. These varieties are favored by long distance hikers and backpackers. The disadvantage of self-inflating mattresses is that they aren’t very comfortable.
There are camping beds designed for every budget, whether your are the minimalist or the glamping pro. What you need to be aware of is how cost affects convenience and comfort. A lower cost mattress will generally be thin and less durable. Meanwhile, a high-end camping air mattress will be heavier, most likely have an air pump attached, and be extremely durable.
Tips for Use and Repair
No matter how durable the material of your camping air mattress might be, it can be highly inconvenient when your pump runs out of juice or if the mattress seems to be constantly losing air. Here are some things to keep in mind when using an airbed while camping:
1) Never over-inflate an air mattress. Though you might want more firmness, over-inflation can lead to premature rips and leaks.
2) Use the mattress once before camping on it. Why? Because the plastic needs to get stretched to capacity at least once in order to make the mattress more comfortable.
3) If you find a leak, patches or adhesive strips may be available (often directly from the company) to repair the leak.
4) Avoid wrestling on the mattress or overloading it in anyway. Though weight capacities can be as high as 600 pounds, that can easily be topped when you have several people using the mattress as a place to sit.
Camping might require a certain amount of grit and determination, but you shouldn’t have to deal with long periods of discomfort and sleep deprivation. After all, if camping is an adventure, then you want the best memories and dreams as possible. Choosing the best camping air mattress for you is based on your needs, but with so many different comfort levels, designs, and brands out there, you might get confused. So use our list of top air mattresses for camping to help you decide!