by Frank Apodaca
There are as many kinds of air beds as there are camping styles. These range from simply throwing a mattress into the back of your pickup truck at the end of a long day, all the way up to a lightweight yet supportive auto-inflating wonder designed for hikers. Retailers like Amazon are flooded with options, and it can be hard to pick the right one for your needs.
The Sleep Judge is a great place to start your research. Our site ranks air mattresses and discusses their pros and cons from a camper's perspective.
Which camping air bed is best? Here's a list of the the best air beds for campers, no matter how they enjoy the outdoors.
BASIC AND BUDGET FRIENDLY
Intex Classic Downy Airbed, Queen
This is a basic queen-sized air mattress, functional, comfortable, and inexpensive. It's made out of heavy gauge vinyl with even thicker sides and bottom for added resistance to puncturing. The waterproof, easy to clean flocked top keeps bedding in place. This mattress inflates and deflates with an extra wide 2-in-1 valve (pump not included). 60” x 80” x 8.75”.
Chinook CloudRest SuperLite Inflatable Air Mattress
Here's another budget-friendly and basic air mattress. It's constructed of TPU coated ripstop nylon and features an antislip surface. It has a sturdy, well-designed inflation/deflation valve. It comes with a built in foot pump, stuff sack, and repair kit. It weighs 1 pound 1 ounce, making it a decent choice for mixed camping from day hikes to longer treks. 20” x 72” x 3”.
Best Air Mattress For Kids
Intex Cozy Kidz Inflatable Airbed
These airbeds are perfect for younger children. They come in an assortment of fun, bright colors (note that colors can't be chosen). The airbeds have soft, waterproof flocking. Included are coordinating inflatable pillows and a repair patch in case someone gets rowdy and punctures the mattress. 34 ½" x 62” x 7".
Coleman Youth Single High Airbed
This is a well-designed little mattress which offers superior support with a coil system and durable, leak resistant seams and valve. It comes in camo pattern and includes a carry bag and a one year limited warranty. Pump sold separately. 27” x 57” x 6”.
Best Car Camping Air Mattress
Homep Car Bed Car Travel Inflatable Bed Travel Inflatable Mattress
Whether you're caught out by the weather or you go camping from your car, you know it can be a struggle to get a comfortable night's sleep on the seats. This innovative bed is designed to fit into the back seats of your car, leveling the space out, increasing the horizontal area that can be slept on, and covering seatbelt buckles that may jab at the sleeper. It's designed to fit over the back seat of most four door sedans and SUVs, but not sports cars. It weighs 6.66 lbs and inflates with an electric air pump. This product includes repair patches and adhesive. 37.4” x 57” x 3.14” maximum size.
AirBedz Original Truck Bed Air Mattress for Mid-Sized Short Bed Trucks
This mattress is shaped with clever cutouts and angles to work around and fit over the wheel wells of your truck, which expands the usable sleeping surface to the entire truck bed. It's made of rugged material that resists rough handling or the occasional stick or pebble that may wander in. It inflates and deflates with a built in, rechargeable pump. 55" x 73" x 12"
FOR LONG DISTANCE HIKERS
Alps Mountaineering Ultra-Light Air Pad
Here's something a little different for people who take long hikes and are conscious of every pound they have to carry. This miniature air mattress is created of lightweight, rip-resistant materials. It's self-inflating – just open a valve and air is sucked in. The tapered shape and comfortable feel accommodates a regular sleeping while still shaving off a few extra ounces. It comes with a stuff sack and a repair kit, so there's nothing else you need to invest in. The specs here for the regular, lightest version, which comes in at 1 lb 8 oz, but there is also a long version for taller hikers. 20” x 72” x 1.5”
Stansport Self-Inflating Air Mattress
This is another, slightly heavier option for a hiker. It weighs in at 3 lbs 8 oz, and for that you get supportive open cell foam bonded to the rugged outer fabric surface. The oxford nylon shell resists your sleeping bag slipping. It holds up under temperatures from all four seasons and, like the air pad before this, self-inflates with a durable plastic air valve. It comes with a mesh storage bag. You can read our review here.
25" x 72" x 1.5"
BEST OF THE BEST
It was a close call, but in terms of customer satisfaction, durability, and versatility of use, the Coleman 4 in 1 Quickbed comes out ahead.
About the Author
www.thesleepjudge.com. A blog all about improving your nights rest with the best advice and sleep products on the market.