CAMPING & HIKING

Best Camping Air Mattress: A Guide on How to Choose and 7 Options from Amazon

Camping air mattress review
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to enhance appreciation of the environment as well as foster the bonds of family and friendship. For the young ones getting a taste of the real thing, whether it’s the cool lakeside forest air or the colder upland temperatures can create an appreciation for nature that can in no way be replicated in a discussion or classroom setting.

Even for those who are slightly older, spending time on a camping trip is great for creating lasting memories, creating strong bonds, and blowing off some steam, one of the things that can be done is having a good if not the best camping air mattress available.

The problem is that not everyone is up for the challenge that camping poses. Potential physical strenuousness of the activity and the inability of some people to rest in certain conditions is a hindrance in getting a lot of folks to go camping.

Preference age and physical conditions can account for these hindrances. That being said, creating a more comfortable environment for the less nature-inclined can go a long way in getting more people to go camping. Not everyone can get into sleeping on futon sleeping bags in tents or on hammocks while under the stars.

Camping air bed

The ability to comfortably sleep while camping can cement the experience as a great one or be the deal breaker that sours moods throughout the trip. Many camping trips are done within the general theme of R&R after all. This is especially the case for working adults.

This article will look at what are the factors that go into deciding whether or not an air camping mattress is a good or bad one as well as a few of the best sellers on the market today.

So What Makes A Great Air Camping Mattress?

There are several factors that come into consideration when going into purchasing an air camping mattress here are a few.

Weight: Realistically speaking the weight of a mattress will factor into your buying decision. Top of mind question should be how willing are you to lug around an uninflated air mattress? How many camping sites will you be visiting? Are the sites easily accessible from your car?

Buying a heavier mattress generally, means purchasing one that is made of thicker and stronger material. These usually offer more comfort and also tends to be more durable.

Lighter air mattresses will be just that, lighter. It will be much easier to carry around and generally convenient. Though the lighter construction may come at the cost of durability and structural stability.

Camping air mattress pump

The Pump: Air mattresses will require a lot of air to fully inflate. What kind of pump one uses should definitely factor into your decision. There are two types of pumps.

  • Manual Pump: These are pumps that utilize physical force and can be operated via hand or foot. This type of pump is generally much lighter than the electrical type and is generally very reliable.
  • Electric Pump: These pumps require a power source and fill up the air through electrically powered mechanisms. These come in several variants.
    • Portable electric pump: You can buy these pumps, even for bags with manual pumps. Some types of portable electric pumps require an outlet or a generator. This can be the deal breaker for many campers. Other types can be powered or recharged by the 12V outlet from a car which might not be as bad.
    • Battery Operated: A number of camping mattresses come with internal pumps and can be inflated without needing bulky extra pumps. These are usually powered by 4D batteries. Great for having an air mattress without needing to bring an extra pump.
    • Self-Inflating Mechanisms: These are mattresses that don’t require a pump to become a usable bed. While the concept is highly convenient, the level of comfort and durability that these mattresses provide is quite lower than other counterparts.

Size: Just how big a mattress do you need? When going out on your outdoor trips will you be going as husband and wife? Just you?

Will you have kids sleeping in with you as well? Size factors into the whole experience as an air mattress that’s too small might make the trip uncomfortable and could sour moods in the morning. An air mattress that’s too big can be bulky to pack and tend to weigh more. This makes moving it an unnecessarily inconvenient affair.

Thickness: Along with size, thickness is also a factor that should be considered. How far off the ground are you willing to be?

The higher raised mattresses can provide very high levels of comfort, as it takes you pretty high off the ground. However, the thicker mattress comes with the disadvantage of being bulkier, heavier and tougher to the store.

Thickness of air mattress

On the other hand, low profile thickness mattresses are closer to the ground. They will be easier to deflate, inflate and store. Though it may take a blow in terms of the comfort that it offers.

Durability: This is in a lot of ways a secondary characteristic that will go with one of the factors listed above. That statement isn’t meant to belittle its importance. It’s just that the type of material, size, and inflation method all factor in on how sturdy an air mattress will be. Nevertheless, it is something that should be a consideration when picking out a mattress. One other way to check for this is to research user opinions and reviews on the product

Price: As with all purchases, you will definitely have to take into consideration your budget. How much are you willing to spend? How often will you go on trips? Spending a large amount on a mattress that spends most of its time in your closet because you will rarely use it may be a bit unwise.

However spending a small amount for a mattress when your durability and/or comfort needs are higher may just lead to disappointment. Your preferences and budget all play a vital role in the mattress purchase you’re about to make.

Coleman double high air mattress

Warranty and Customer Support: As with most purchases, you’re much better off with a product that has a solid warranty and customer support. If something goes wrong, or the product is defective you want to be able to have someone else on the other end of the line that is authorized to help you.

Now, with all of that in mind, here are a few solid picks if you’re looking for a good air camping mattress.

Top Air Camping Mattress of 2017

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

Size: Queen

Color: Beige Body & Blue Top

Weight: 18.96lbs

Dimensions: 8x15x19 in.

Material: Eco-Friendly PVC

Description: The SoundAsleep Dream Series is definitely a strong contender for anyone looking to buy a large camping mattress.

The 1-click internal pump eliminates the need for muscling air into the mattress and does so in a very hassle-free albeit noisy manner. The SoundAsleep features top of the line Comfort Coil

Technology which utilizes 40 positioned internal air coils which provided added comfort as well as durability.

The extra thick waterproof top provides added comfort and peace of mind especially since the product is used in camping. The material is puncture resistant allowing for use in not-so-friendly terrain. It also comes with a free carry bag for ease in transporting.

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Dimensions: 7.48×16.93×21.65 in

Weight: 23.15 Lbs

Material: PVC

Size: Queen

Color: Tan

Description: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump features an integrated NeverFlat AC Pump System which allows for convenient inflation and deflation. Internal sensors constantly monitor mattress pressure while silent secondary pump triggers automatically as pressure decreases below the minimum.

The adjustable comfort level is intended to allow for customizable experience adaptable to different user needs. Horizontal and vertical supports coupled with 35 circular coils are engineered to provide deluxe comfort and support. The raised height makes getting on and off the bed easy. The package includes a repair kit and a carry case.

While a great mattress, on the whole, the lack of waterproof surfaces, excessive bulk and large size of the Instabed makes it prohibitive for camping use. Definitely a great mattress for home use, but might not be the go-to choice for campers.

Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

Dimensions: 18x7x14.5 in

Weight: 17.5lbs

Size: Queen

Description: Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Airbed is great in terms of comfort and price. The high-powered, internal pump can fully inflate the bed in 4 minutes. Also, adjusting the amount of air inside is no problem at all. It features a waterproof flocked top giving improved resistance against wear.

The indented top chamber allows for easy fitting of queen-sized beddings. Being 18 inches above the floor, this mattress is fairly easy to get on and off from. It offers a carry bag for convenient storage and transport. The mattress also has a pillow rest, eliminating the need for pillows.

Given the size of the bed, this particular model is not going to be ideal for outdoor camping situations. The bulk of the entire mattress and the construction make it an appropriate indoor bed option.

Attempting to use this outside would require the use of an external pump, a large amount of room and flat surfaces. Things that are luxuries if you’re out camping.

Best Inflatable Bed By Fox Airbeds

Best Inflatable Bed By Fox Airbeds

Dimensions: 80x76x25in(King)

Weight: 42.4 Lbs, 35.8 Lbs, 33.8Lbs,24.2Lbs

Size: King, Queen, Full, Twin XL

Material: Vinyl

Description:  There is a reason why these Fox Airbeds are top ranked among the current market offerings for air mattresses. Best Inflatable Bed By Fox Airbeds all provide a high level of comfort for users. The new Air Flow System creates enhanced comfort and improved durability in the mattress.

Fitted sheets all fit into their respective sizes. The mattress can be inflated or deflated with the internal or an external pump system. The mattress is cushioned and offers pillow top airflow chambers for better comfort and softness.

For an indoor camping mattress, these beds are among the most comfortable in the market. Their value for camping trips is questionable, given their bulky size.

Among the sizes, the Twin XL is the only one practical for camping use. However, should an exceedingly large and convenient camping setup be available, the larger offerings can serve to be viable options as well. Also, being among the premium mattresses in the market, prices for these tend to be higher, in the $120+ range.

Coleman Double-High Supportrest

Coleman Double-High Supportrest

Dimensions:16x58x76in

Color: Khaki/Beige

Weight: 16 Lbs

Size: Queen

Description: The Coleman Double-High Supportrest is one of the best items on the list for your money. The low cost is coupled with a higher degree of comfort usually associated with high-priced mattresses. The increased 16-inch height of the mattress makes it a good go-to option for people who have trouble getting off the floor.

The soft top provides a generous amount of comfort coupled with the 35 comfort coils give users a great sleeping experience. The convenient Wrap ‘N’ Roll storage system makes it easy to stow away when necessary. The size makes it just right for camping use. Manufacturers guarantee that the mattress will not leak air with its Airtight System and durable PVC construction.

The price of the Coleman certainly makes it worth a second look. Though you will have to consider that the mattress doesn’t come with a pump. It’s great if you already have one, but it may or may not significantly alter your budget if you still have to purchase a pump.

For campers, this is a highly viable potential option. The external pump requirement will give you a bit of flexibility in terms of how you want to fill it with air. Other models will require you to fill up a mattress with internal electric pumps. In rougher locations and situations being able to muscle in some air with a manual pump is actually a boon.

Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

Dimensions: 16.5x39x75

Size:Twin

Color: Heather Grey

Weight: 11Lbs

Material: Vinyl

Description: Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed with Built-in Pillow and Electric Pump, Twin offers a waterproof flocked top coupled with vinyl beams and quality manufactured construction that offers a high level of durability.

Built in pillows offer added comfort and an internal pump provides highly convenient access to inflation and deflation control. It also comes with a duffel bag for easy storage and transportation.

For camping purposes, the size of this Intex model will serve to be sufficient. However, the internal electric pump requires an A/C electrical outlet. This means that if you’re camping outdoors, you’ll have to inflate it elsewhere or find a power source to power the internal pump.

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed

Sizes: Queen, Twin

Dimensions: 60x80x8.5(queen), 39x74x8.5(Twin)

Weight: 8Lbs6oz(Twin), 9lbs12oz(Queen)

Material: PVC

Description:  The ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed was made specifically for campers. Relative to many other inflatable mattresses the ALPS’ Queen and Twin sizes both are reasonable to bring for camping trips.

The 8-9 pound carry weight makes the air bed unencumbering for would-be campers. Alps’ fabric and coil construction provide great durability and structural integrity. It also provides a solid degree of comfort. The soft flocked top provides added comfort and prevents slippage. The thick PVC construction provides a high level of puncture resistance, a trait most needed in camping beds.

The piece de resistance for campers is the fact that this mattress comes with a rechargeable pump which includes wall and car chargers. This allows for a convenient and hassle-free method of inflating of the mattress whether you’re indoors or out camping.

Free carry bags provide easy storage and transportation, both very important factors for a camping mattress. Definitely worth its cost for the function it provides.

Despite being a great all-around mattress it pales in comparison to other offerings for indoor use. The low height makes it ideal for camping but may prove to be a deal-breaker for folks who have lower back issues and have trouble getting up from the floor.

It may also seem relatively pricey when it is set alongside some of the other options in the market, however, for someone who is looking for a quality camping mattress, this is definitely worth the money.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of quality mattresses out there today that is worth looking at. If however, you are looking for a solid air camping mattress, you will have to take into consideration your own personal comfort levels vis a vis the conditions you are camping in.

Camping mattress

Will you have access to electricity? How big is your tent? How many of you will be sleeping on that mattress? How far are you traveling? Will you have to lug the mattress on a lot? Will you manually or electrically inflate your mattress?

Be sure to thoroughly go through the choices and their characteristics prior to making a purchase. Your satisfaction and mood right out of your next camp out may be riding on your mattress choice. So choose carefully.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Harry Wyatt

    After the last of our children finally moved out, my wife and I downsized our home significantly, and despite having a spare bedroom that could have easily functioned as a guest bedroom, we felt this was better utilized as a space for our hobbies.

    However, that meant we needed some way of quickly turning it into a bedroom for any overnight guests. After a little research we decided to invest in a Fox Airbed, and boy, it has paid for itself time and time again.

    Initially, for the first year or so, it was only used as a guest bed as we’d originally planned, however, after numerous comments about how comfortable it was to sleep on, we decided to take it along on a camping trip.

    It comes with a built-in pump, which means it can be fully inflated within minutes and with minimal effort, it is sturdy and heavy and survived a 10-day camping trip without having to be re-inflated.

    While not the cheapest on the market, it’s certainly not the most expensive, definitely worth the price in my humble opinion.

    • Dennis Owens

      I’m glad that our reader’s like you gain significant experience from previous purchase. The Fox Airbed is really a great choice and it is durable and spacious enough for outdoor camping. It is also one of the best air mattresses in the market that can keep its inflated state for several days.

  • Sophie Habron

    My partner and I bought the ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed for a recent high-altitude camping and hiking trip, and we were pleasantly surprised. For the majority of our 4-day trip, we were at least 5k plus in elevation with some rather gruesome rainstorms and temperature fluctuations, and the mattress remained inflated well with minimal loss of air/pressure.

    We took the queen size with us and it was relatively lightweight and easily transported in its carry bag, though, perhaps a little heavy if traveling alone. Inflation is incredibly easy, simply charge the pump before you go, plug it in when you’re ready and the bed inflates in just over a minute. We inflated our mattress 4 times in a 4 day trip from one charge of the pump, with charge to spare. Overall, the mattress offered a comfortable nights sleep, survived some tough conditions and didn’t cost the earth, I can highly recommend it.

    • Dennis Owens

      The rechargeable airbed that you’ve purchased is a good buy for me. My only word of advice is to determine the duration of your trip first to make sure that this mattress suits your requirement.

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