What’s The Best Air Mattress For Camping – 3 Portable Mattress Reviews

The importance of getting the best air mattress for your camping trip should never be underestimated. Unfortunately, underestimation is precisely what a lot of campers do when it comes to this area!

A lot of people associate camping with uncomfortable sleep. They never imagine a luxurious, warm bed, and with quite good reason. You’re never going to get the perfect sleep that you can get on your usual bed in the comfort of your own bedroom. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put effort into making your sleep as comfortable as possible. No-one’s going to accuse you of not being “real camper” if you put a bit more between you and the floor!

Camping is supposed to be fun, or at least adventurous, right? Being uncomfortable when you’re trying to sleep isn’t much fun. But more than that, it affects your ability to sleep properly. And when you’re not sleeping properly, it affects you throughout the day. You won’t be as alert as you should be. And when you’re out there in the wilderness, staying as alert as you can could save your life! A bad sleep will make you more irritable and less likely to want to get out there and explore.

You should also consider that sleeping uncomfortably can cause various aches and pains. These will affect your ability to move around properly. And if you want to roam around the areas surrounding your campsite, then you may find yourself having a hard time doing it. So make sure you invest in some decent sleeping materials!

We’re going to take an in-depth look at three air mattresses that you should definitely consider for your next camping trip. The best air mattress for camping may very well be within your price range…

1.  Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Essential Rest Airbed – Comfortable with good built in pump, if you have access to electricity

The first air mattress we’re going to look at is an affordable options in the Intex Dura-Beam series. It’s an inflatable queen mattress that blows up to quite an impressive size when pumped up, considering it’s such a portable mattress – thankfully, it comes with a built-in electric pump which will make preparing it for the evening much easier.

The electric pump takes about three and a half minutes to blow the mattress up to full size. That full size is a width of 60 inches, a height of 20 inches, and a length of 80 inches, which should be able to fit just about any camper. The Intext can also hold up to 660lbs, which is impressive.

The question, of course, is whether or not it makes for a good camping mattress. Well it’s definitely comfortable despite its decidedly ‘un-lush’ sleeping surface. The manufacturer talks about various forms of support built in due to the way it’s constructed. Ultimately this boils down to providing a very firm surface that doesn’t roll even if you’re on the heavy side.

In terms of portability it also has an edge over the others and can easily be folded away. The provided duffel bag is also handy.

Of the three featured here, this is the cheapest if you want an inflatable queen-sized mattress. This product thus offers good value for money.

Unless you have an electric hook up on your campsite there’s also no way of using the built-in electric pump. Most users will need to do it completely manually which can take quite a long time. Of course an external electric pump could be employed, perhaps connected to your car. This product affords you that flexibility.

Like most mattresses you may find that the mattress seems to deflate after lying on it for a little while. This may have just been the materials stretching, but temperature fluctuations while camping may have created some minor pressure problems. After about a month of use, a few camping trips during summer, there was a noticeable drop in how well the mattress seemed to keep air in.

Pros:

  • A good size for the price
  • Easy to store and set up
  • Relatively light at 16.6lbs
  • Built-in electric pump is easy to use and quick to complete inflation if you have an electric hook up available
  • Has strong stability and support at first…

Cons:

  • …but begins to lose air after about a month of use
  • Not much cheaper than higher-quality air mattresses
  • Sleeping surface isn’t very plush
  • Heaver than the similarly-sized Coleman SupportRest

The verdict

This is a good air mattress, but it may be more suitable for temporary bedding at home rather than a camping solution. We’ve definitely used built-in electric pumps that are much slower than the one that comes with the Intex Dura-Beam, but this really isn’t that useful a benefit when you’re camping unless you’re on a campground with electric hookups. If you’re backcountry camping then this really doesn’t come into it.

Those looking for something really comfortable would probably have to invest in a plush mattress topper which would add something else to your gear list. It’s also certainly strong enough to hold two people if you’re willing to share.

2. Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed – the best air mattress for camping on test here

The Coleman SupportRest is a bit more expensive than the Intex Dura-Beam, but not by much. This is very much an airbed made for camping, though it can of course be used indoors. It doesn’t quite have the aesthetic that the Intex Dura-Beam has; it’s an all-over pale green that makes it look somewhat like a basic military item – but looks isn’t what a serious camper should put much serious thought into. What we want to focus on is durability, comfort, and portability. Thankfully, the Coleman SupportRest delivers on these fronts.

The Coleman SupportRest comes with a bunch of sexy-sounded ‘trademarked’ features, such as the Wrap ‘N’ Roll™ system, Support Lock™, ComfortStrong™, and Double Lock™. Thankfully, these aren’t just trademarked terms being thrown around to sound impressive. The Support Lock™ coil system – not all that common in the best air mattresses – really does provide a good amount of support along with a stable sleeping surface. The sleeping surface is also made of slightly more plush material than that of the Intex Dura-Beam, which helps a lot with the comfort levels.

The Coleman SupportRest doesn’t come with an inbuilt electric pump, which may be off-putting to some people. However, it’s worth noting again that this is designed primarily for camping, and those who need the best air mattress for camping probably won’t be too bothered by this omission!

Pros:

  • A good leap in quality for a relatively small leap in price
  • At under 15lbs, it’s the lightest on test
  • Plush and comfortable surface
  • Officially recommended by the National Park Foundation

Cons:

  • No inbuilt electric pump
  • Not the prettiest option available
  • There are better indoor guest bed options

The verdict

Though it’s a bit more expensive than the Intex Dura-Bed, the Coleman SupportRest certainly seems to justify the price. The fact that it doesn’t make the best indoor guest bed in the world is probably just as well, as a lack of focus on this aspect has left us with a light yet sturdy air mattress that’s great for camping. This is an all-round good product.

3. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress – An excellent product for home and away but at a cost

This air mattress has so many patented and trademarked features that it’s difficult to know where to begin. We may as well start with the most important thing to know: this is a very good air mattress for camping. It’s also the most expensive of the bunch, being, on average, almost twice the price of the Coleman SupportRest. However, it arguably features pretty much everything that’s good about the Coleman SupportRest – except, of course, for the sheer portability. This isn’t to say that the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress doesn’t make for a good portable air mattress, but, at 19.3lbs, it’s certainly the heaviest of the lot. Deflated, though, it’s certainly the easiest to actually roll up and store elsewhere.

But does that additional weight come with a bunch of good features? Sure – although you also lose an inch in height when compared to the other two. This is 19 inches high, compared to the 20 of the previous air mattresses. But the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress does come with its patented ComfortCoil Technology, meaning its made with forty individual air coils to provide the flattest sleeping surface of the bunch.

On paper it isn’t quite as durable as the other two – it holds up to 500lb – but the material certainly feels thicker and more durable. It also has a really good grip at the bottom, providing some satisfying suction that makes it easier to remain still throughout the night.

Pros:

  • Makes for an excellent camping and indoor guest air mattress
  • Very easy to deflate and put away
  • Very comfortable surface
  • Doesn’t seem to lose any air after a lot of use
  • Electric pump is noticeably quieter than others without being much slower
  • It’s the best-looking of the bunch

Cons:

  • Twice the price of the Coleman SupportRest… not necessarily twice as good
  • Weight makes travel a little awkward
  • Not as tall as the others, nor can it hold as much weight

The verdict

The SoundAsleep Dream Series is a really excellent air mattress, and fits those looking to camp as well as those looking for temporary indoor sleeping solutions. It definitely provides a good night’s sleep and is easy to deflate and put away. This is perhaps the best air mattress for everyday use we’re just not sure it’s worth the additional cost over the Coleman.

Final words – the best air mattress for camping revealed

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress certainly feels like the most expensive – and that is a complement – but the edge really does go to the Coleman SupportRest.

None of these air mattresses are a bad buy, but the Coleman SupportRest stands out simply because it makes for the best camping mattress and that’s where we’d put our money. It’s the most portable mattress and provides the best value for money.

If you have the money to spend, then by all means, go for the SoundAsleep. If you’re strapped for cash, then don’t worry too much – the Intex Dura-Beam will definitely get the job done if you just need an air mattress for an upcoming camping trip. All of the options above are a massive improvement over a sleeping bag on top of a basic foam sleeping pad.

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