Best camping air mattress – top 10 out of 52 tested

by | camping air mattress, picks

The top 10 best camping air mattresses you’ll see are chosen out of 52 airbeds tested over the last 17 months (you can see some of our awesome featured testers who helped us, we’re using the opportunity to thank them for the effort).

We’ve also statisticaly analyzed over 18, 000 user reviews.

When all said & done, it took about 5,500 work-hours to get to the results you’re about to see in the table below.

our testers

How to find exactly what you’re looking for

Best camping air mattress – Top 10

 
Model
 
Info
Rating
& quick links
 
SoundAsleep Camping Series
SoundAsleep
Camping Series

‣ Sizes: Twin and Queen
‣ Height: 9 "
‣ Capacity
* 300 lbs for Twin
* 500 lbs for Queen
‣ Pump - rechargeable

 
 
9.4

Click here to skip to all ratings
lightspeed outdoors pvc free

Lightspeed
Outdoors TPU

 
 

‣ Size: 79 x 55 x 6 "
‣ Capacity - 500 lbs
‣ Pump - rechargeable

 
 
9.24

Click here to skip to all ratings

 
 
coleman supportrest camping air mattress

Coleman SupportRest
Double High
 

‣ Sizes: Twin and Queen
‣ Capacity
* 300 lbs for Twin
* 600 lbs for Queen
‣ Pump - rechargeable
(separate)

 
 
9.2

Click here to skip to all ratings


 
coleman cot queen camping airbed

Coleman Cot
Folding Frame
 

‣ Sizes: Twin and Queen
‣ Capacity
* 300 lbs for Twin
* 600 lbs for Queen
‣ Pump - battery-operated

 
 
 
8.96

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
car camping air mattress

Car Camping
Mobile Inflation
 

‣ Size - adjustable
‣ Capacity - 600 lbs
‣ Pump - electric,
car-outlet

 
 
8.94

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
alps velocity camping airbed

ALPS Velocity
Mountaneering

‣ Sizes: Twin and Queen
‣ Capacity -
* 300 lbs for Twin
* 600 lbs for Queen
‣ Pump - rechargeable

 
 
8.84

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
coleman easystay 4 in 1

Coleman
4-in-1

‣ Size - 4-in-1
* can be used as
Twin or King
‣ Capacity
* 300 lbs used as Twin
* 600 lbs used as King
‣ Pump - electric,
separate

 
 

8.82

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
Kingcamp double size blue

KingCamp

‣ Sizes - single/double
* single - 76 x 27.5
* double - 76 x 54.3
* both 4 " thick
‣ Capacity
* 250 lbs for Single
* 500 lbs for Double
(our estimate, not listed)
‣ Pump - electric,
car-outlet

 
 
8.8

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
shelterin car camping backseat mattress

Shelterin Car
Backseat

‣ Size - 53.2 x 33.5 x 20.5
* single - 76 x 27.5
* double - 76 x 54.3
‣ Capacity - 440 lbs
(our estimate, not listed)
‣ Pump - foot, built-in

 
 
8.72

Click here to skip to all ratings
 
airbedz lite ppi truck camping airbed

AirBedz Lite
for trucks

‣ Sizes - Full and Short
* full - 76 x 63 x 12 "
* short - 72 x 55 x 12 "
‣ Capacity - not listed
* our estimate - 700-800 lbs
‣ Pump - electric,
car-outlet

 
 
9.2

Click here to skip to all ratings

Last updated - December 2017

SoundAsleep Camping Series

SoundAsleep Camping Series is currently rated at 94/100 with ratings of 95 & 93 in air retention and comfort.

Since we first started gathering data and testing the airbeds it was clear that we had the winner on our hands with this one.

It’s fair to say that this is a young product (it hit the market in 2015).

Within a year, it outranked some of the models that have been dominating over a decade, both in popular popularity and user satisfaction.

Sound Asleep Camping Series
blank
More info - click to expand
  • Queen – 78 x 60 x 9 inches when inflated
  • weighs 14 lbs, capacity 500 pounds
  • Twin – 75 x 42 x 9 inches, weighs approximately 9 lbs, capacity 250 pounds
  • inner structure – I-beam coils
  • material – environment-friendly PVC
  • bottom – sure-grip rubberized material to prevent moving or sliding
  • top – flocked velvet- finish, waterproof
  • unique pump – external, patented by Sound Asleep
  • inflation/deflation time – three minutes
  • warranty – one year, limited
  • Air retention 95%
  • Comfort 93%
  • Durability 94%
  • User satisfaction 93%
  • Value for money 95%

Is the Camping Series right for you

For a camper who wants the comfort and support of an air mattress, but prefers the slick low-rise over the heavier and buliker high-rises, The Camping Series will be just right.

 

750+ owners shared their experince and opinions about it on Amazon. You can see it all by following the links below.

Lightspeed outdoors TPU

The Lightspeed outdoors TPU has been one of the top 3 contenders for the best air mattress for camping in the last 3 updates (9 months).

It’s currently rated at 92.4 overall – 95 and 94 in the categories of durability and air retention, respectively.

Its main advantage is the fact that it’s one of the few mattresses that’s not made of PVC but TPU fabric.

TPU is less stretchy and more durable than vinyl and doesn’t have the plastic feel of PVC – it feels like fabric and is not associated with any harmful chemicals.

lightspeed outddors camping airbed
blank
More info - click to expand

TPU camping air mattresses are scarce. The reason for that is that the fabric is not as malleable as vinyl and the production is a bit more intricate.

  • size and weight – 77.9 x 55.9 x 8 inches, 5.34 pounds
  • pillow height – 10.2 inches
  • size when deflated – 8 x 18 inches
  • Boston valve
  • warranty – one year
  • color choices – navy blue, gray top and blue bottom, blue top dark gray button, green
  • Air retention 95%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Durability 94%
  • User satisfaction 92%
  • Value for money 92%

Who will choose the Lightspeed Outdoors TPU?

If you prefer a firmer sleeping surface to the bouncy quality most camping air beds have, you’ll probably love this Lightspeed.

It might be counter-intuitive, but the Lightspeed Outdoors costs the less than the above-mentioned Camping Series.

Coleman SupportRest

Among the high-rise camping airbeds, our top pick is the Coleman SupportRest.

We have that in common with the National Park Foundation because this is the air mattress they chose to label as their official airbed.

Unlike some of the models we looked at, this is an industry veteran – one of the very few that stood its ground in the past few years with the onset of new arrivals.

You can see all its quality ratings below.

coleman support rest air mattress for camping
  • Air retention 93%
  • Comfort 94%
  • Durability 93%
  • User satisfaction 90%
  • Value for money 90%

Bottom line

The SupportRest from Coleman is your classic high-rise and will be the choice of campers who like to sleep away elevated from the ground, but don’t want to carry a bulky steel frame to do it.

Coleman Airbed Cot

The Coleman Cot airbed with frame, legs and side tables is probably as close as you can get to the feel of a regular mattress when camping.

The robust steel structure keeps any pesky crawlers that might climb up to “keep you company.”

The mattress that fits into the zippered sleeve features all the stabilizer and support structures used in the Coleman SupportRest – ComfortStrong coils to distribute weight and SupportLock to keep the edges firm.

coleman cot camping-bed
coleman cot sleeve and frame

Versatile

The frame is solid steel and supports 600 pounds for the queen-size and 300 for the twin.

The versatility that we are mentioning above refers to the fact that you can take the air bed out of the zippered sleeve and use it on its own.

This is a nice plus if you’re driving to the campsite but also need an inflatable to carry in your backpack for day-hikes.

You just deflate the air bed, pack it into a backpack (along with the pump) and hit the trail.

You can see the quality ratings of the Coleman Cot below.

  • Air retention 88%
  • Comfort 89%
  • Durability 92%
  • User satisfaction 90%
  • Value for money 89%

Who will choose the Coleman Cot?

Coleman Cot will be the choice of people aiming to sleep as comfortably on the camp site as they do at home.

The best part is that it’s budget-friendly – similar models for home use are called EZ beds and cost twice or 3 times as much is this Coleman.

Over 1,300 shared their reviews with this Coleman on Amazon – you can see them all by following the link below.

Best air mattress for car camping
Mobile Multifuntional

Among the car camping air beds, our top pick is Mobile Inflation travel mattress.

It comes in two sizes – one will be a better fit for cars and the other is designed for SUVs and minivans.

The multiple separate chambers allow it to adjust to the size and shape of the vehicle.

mobile inflatable car capming air mattress
  • Air retention 89%
  • Comfort 87%
  • Durability 91%
  • User satisfaction 89%
  • Value for money 91%

What are the owners saying?

Over 100 people shared their experinces with this mattress on Amazon.

You can see their reviews by clicking the link below.

ALPS Mountaineering Velocity

The ALPS Mountaineering is similar to the Lightspeed Outdoors which was our second top-rated pick – both beds are made of TPU fabric.

As we mentioned when we talked about the Lightspeed Outdoors, the TPU fabric is superior in terms of stretching and makes for a firmer sleeping surface.

The main difference between the two is the elevation (thickness) and length – the velocity is 6 inches thick vs. the 8 inches of the Lightspeed.

On the other hand the Velocity is 2.1 inches longer.

alps mountaineering
  • Air retention 90%
  • Comfort 86%
  • Durability 90%
  • User satisfaction 84%
  • Value for money 92%

Who will choose it?

ALPS is approximately 2 inches longer.

All other aspects (including width, thickness and size when packed) are practically the same.

This means that your choice will come down to your preference and body type.

Lastly, the Lightspeed is the more popular of the two with over 1000 on Amazon.

Coleman EasyStay 4-in-1

If you’re looking for a reliable camping bed with a lower price tag, you’ll definitely want to look at this unique model from Coleman.

It’s the only camping air mattress in its price range with ratings higher than 88 (currently rated at 88.2/100).

We mentioned the word unique above – here’s what we mean by that

What makes it one-of-a-kind is the fact that it can be used as 2 single-high twins, one double-high twin or a single-high King air mattress.

As you can see in the image, it’s comprised of two twin-sized parts that can be joined or separated using the zipper. That makes it the most versatile camping air mattress we know.

coleman easy stay
  • Air retention 87%
  • Comfort 87%
  • Durability 88%
  • User satisfaction 87%
  • Value for money 92%

Who will choose the Coleman 4-in-1?

You might like this Coleman for one of the two following reasons:

1 – You want to spend as little as possible but don’t want to compromise by getting an airbed from a brand that you’ve never heard of before.

2 – You like the idea of practically getting 4 airbeds for the cost of one.

KingCamp Light

In terms of sleep, you can crudely separate campers into two groups – those who are more about mobility and prefer sleeping pads and those who more about comfort and will go with an air mattress.

The KingCamp Light is designed to meet the two groups halfway.

To be honest, we didn’t really know whether to call it an air mattress or sleeping pad.

It weighs only 7.7 pounds but measures 76 x 54 inches. When inflated, it’s approximately 4 inches thick.

The inflation and deflation take about 2 minutes using the built-in foot pump (the areas with the red valves on the top edge).

king camp light camping pad mattress
king camp light valves
  • Air retention 88%
  • Comfort 88%
  • Durability 87%
  • User satisfaction 89%
  • Value for money 88%

Who will go with the KingCamp?

KingCamp will be just right for you if you need the portability of a sleeping pad but you’re not just satisfied with the comfort that most pads can offer.

It’s also worth mentioning is that it’s one of the most budget-friendly options on the list.

Shelterin Multifunctional
best car camping mattress for backseats

If you’re looking for an air mattress that will both make the trip to the campsite more comfortable and allow you to sleep in the backseat area, our recommendation is the Shelterin.

The body is made of TPU and the finish of the top is soft, waterproof Oxford fabric.

The Oxford fabric is the latest generation of the material and makes the airbed more durable than the competing models we looked at.

Shelterin estimates the lifespan at 2 years with frequent but proper use.

shelterin car camping cbackseat airbed
  • Air retention 88%
  • Comfort 89%
  • Durability 87%
  • User satisfaction 84%
  • Value for money 88%

Who will go with the KingCamp?

What gave this mattress an edge over other backseats models are the materials used.

To see all the details and user experiences click on the button below.

AirBedz Lite Original

If you own a pickup truck and using it to drive to the campsite, you’ll love the options AirBedz Lite can offer.

Primarily, it’s meant to be used for the back of your truck.

If you look at the image you’ll see the cutouts the sites – those are there to wrap around the wheel wells so that the top surface of the mattress is flat.

Another option you have is getting inserts for the cutouts and using it as a standalone air mattress – even around your home.

airbeds lite ppi
  • Air retention 90%
  • Comfort 91%
  • Durability 92%
  • User satisfaction 93%
  • Value for money 94%

Bottom line

With over 340 user reviews on Amazon, AirBedz Lite is by far the most popular truck camping air mattress.

More info & FAQs about the top-rated beds

camping series side view
Camping Series – more detailed analysis

Air retention

What we have seen with this Sound Asleep are some of the lowest leakage percentage stats, which we just what’s resulted in the 95 out of hundred ratings in air retention.

Based on our experience in the industry we would say that the advantages that “allowed” it to have such high ratings in air retention can be found in the list below:

camping series unboxing

Multi-layered PVC

Most camping air mattresses in the industry use a standard 0.4-0.45 mm thick one-layer of vinyl. In my most cases it’s been recycled multiple times and, in the process, it loses some of its properties.

The vinyl used here is multilayered, thick and less prone to pinholes.

mesuring the thickness of the vinyl

Having said that, our experience tells us that the frequency of air leaks that have no apparent cause is just as high as punctures.

What this means is that not only is the vinyl more resistant to punctures but the connections between the chambers are well-crafted.

We are stressing that because, with most camping air beds, the inner structure is not as well-made as the outer seems and chambers can burst, rendering the mattress useless.

A more “plastic” explanation of the vinyl thickness

For technicality “nerds” like us, let us take a moment to explain the Mil more clearly.

For most Americans the measures mentioned above, using the metric system, won’t mean much, so let’s transfer that to inches.

The material is about 20 Mil thick which equals 0.02 “. To put in terms that you might understand better – the plastic used for credit cards is 20 Mil thick.

A note about Mil as a unit

Also known as thou, Mil 0.001 “.
We’re including this analysis because one of the confusions here can be mixing this unit up with millimeters, which are used in the metric system.

Weight distribution

There’s no way to count how many times we mentioned the importance of the inner structure of the bed.

Every time we do it we get back to one point – coils tend to perform better in weight distribution than simple side-to-side or top to bottom beams.

The weight distribution is ensured by the proprietary I-beam coils that minimize sinking towards the middle of the bed.

They do that much like a spring coil would in a regular mattress.

This is not only a comfort issue

Coil-based-models are not only the best camping mattresses in terms of support. The secondary advantage is that they leak less because the seams don’t take on as much pressure.

When we say connections, we’re referring to the areas where the sides of the bed meet and, just as importantly, the area around the pump.
These kinds of leaks are the most likely cause if your air mattresses deflating and you see no hole.

Superior support

This ties into the analysis above but let’s gets into the nitty-gritty of it all.

I-coils used for the Camping Series are a version of the Comfort Coil technology that launched the company to the stardom of the industry in the first place. Three products from the company found their way to the list of the Top 10 best air mattresses overall.

Inflation, deflation and the pump

The pump of the Camping Series has been developed specifically for this model.

Inflation time is pretty much your industry standard – around 3 minutes.

pump close up unboxing

It’s not a two-way pump, which means that you deflate the mattress manually.

The more important aspect of the pump is how well it works with car outlets without overheating or losing power or efficiency over time.

The issue of the pump circuitry not being adjusted well to the car power outlet is prevalent in camping air mattresses and lower quality.

If this happens, you’ll smell a burning odor, in which case you should unplug the pump right away.

We’ve seen no such issues in the Sound Asleep Camping Series.

The pump stands the test of time very well doesn’t lose power or efficiency and the voltage works just right with the vast a majority of vehicles.

Charge on arrival

On arrival, the pump has enough charge for about two uses – after that, you need to charge it fully – the initial full charge is recommended to be 12 hours.

If you’re not camping frequently, it’s a good practice is to charge the pump at least once a month to keep it in its optimal shape.

Comfort

As we mentioned, the weight of the sleeper is distributed evenly across the surface so we won’t be wasting any more time on that.

Here, we want to put the accent on the fact that the edges are sturdy – this will be an important factor your plan includes sleeping with a partner.

To be precise – this means that you won’t be seeing any sinking to the middle of the bed or rolling over the sides.

In camping air beds with sub-par structural integrity, you might see a cradle of sorts forming in the middle of the bed, pushing the two sleepers towards each other.
In this scenario, you end up using about 50 to 60% of the sleeping surface. This is what makes is the best camping mattress for couples among the low-rises.

Frequently asked questions about the the best camping bed – SoundAsleep

In the following section, we’ll address some of the questions that popped up in our inbox.

Can the pump be used for a different mattress?

The pump comes with an additional, smaller nozzle and can be used for another inflatable that fits the smaller nozzle size.

What kind of sheets will be a good fit for the Camping Series?

In our opinion and experience, fitted sheets are your safest bet.

Just make sure that you factor in the depth of the sheet because most classic beds have a higher profile.

Is it durable enough not to be ripped by cats?

Some of our testing included people who cats and dogs and we’ve seen no issues reported.

However, this is still vinyl, and the sides are more prone to be damaged by claws of your pet than the top.

Can I use the pump by directly plugging it into an outlet?

The power of the pump should come from the charged batteries; it’s not advisable to try and use it by directly plugging it into an AC outlet.

How long will it take to charge using the car outlet?

For a full charge from your vehicle motor, you would be about 6 hours. In practice, you’re not likely to be faced with the issue of doing that because the pump holds a charge very well.

Noise

Best camping beds will not be whole-body vinyl, because they tend to make squeaking noises as you turn during the night.

The noise comes from the bottom surface rubbing against the floor of the tent or from the vinyl top.

The bottom of the Camping Series features rubberized non-slip “dots.” Their primary purpose is to prevent movement and sliding against another synthetic material.

The secondary benefit here is that you won’t see any squeaking noises as you turn.

Lightweight TPU in carry bag
A more detailed analysis of the second best air mattress for camping

Since they belong to the same category we rated this model using the statistical model we use for all air beds (including those for car camping and for couples).

But, the Lightspeed is very different.

When we say “different,” we’re primarily referring to the feel of the finish and the firmer sleeping surface.

Stability

Lightspeed Outdoors has managed to patent the inner stabilizers used for this bed.

These connect the top and bottom, the primary purpose being to make the structure more balanced.

Unique size

The Lightspeed outdoors measures 79 x 55 “ which puts it somewhere between a twin and a Queen camping air mattress.

In our opinion, the sizing is smart because a twin size is not big enough for two people, while the queen might take too much room in your tent.

The width of 55 inches is just enough to comfortably sleep two people without excessive surface.
When you factor in the lower profile (8 inches), the end-result is a camping mattress that packs smaller than the competing models and is more portable.

Characteristics of the TPU

TPU fabric is free of chemicals like phthalates, has a coarser finish and it’s harder to scratch.
Some people might find that the downside is that the finish is not as soft as the felt-like top of the Camping Series.

For this group of people, the solution is pretty simple – simply add a cover and you’re golden.

Pump

The pump is a “two-way”, which means that you use the battery-operated unit to both inflate and deflate the airbed.

Detailed analysis of the Coleman support rest

Comfort and support

What’s especially important for the high-rises is to have some sort of for support system in place to make the bed sturdy enough and minimize sinkage.

Coleman has addressed the issue thoroughly, both in lateral and vertical support.

Vertical support

What allows this Coleman to distribute the weight so well and maintain a flat top surface is their proprietary coil system which they call ComfortStrong.

It’s a construction of the inner chambers that connects the bottom to the top.

Lateral support

Unlike most high-rises of lower quality, the edges of this Coleman are robust.

To make that happen, Coleman developed a system they call SupportLock.

It connects the top & bottom to the sides so that they don’t “cave in” under the weight of the sleeper.

When we say that the edges are robust we’re not too concerned about how comfortable they are to sit on. It’s more about the secondary benefit, which is the stabilization.

When you combine all the factors above you get what is probably the best air mattress for camping in terms of support.

Added comfort of the pillow-stop

The sleeping surface is designed using slightly elevate pillow-stop that encircle the bed.

This is a nice touch if you are a restless sleeper because it keeps the pillows in place and (if you’re not using any) gives you an elevated surface for head support.

Best camping air mattress – the decision process

Let’s take a step back and go over some steps of choosing the best camping air mattress for your circumstances.

Portability versus comfort

Speaking in general terms, the thicker and heavier an air mattress is, the more comfortable it will be.

If that’s your primary concern you’ll probably go with some of the full-size models that are similar to those you can use at home.

What you should have in mind here is the bulk and the weight, since these will not be an option if you’re backpacking. These are only an option for car camping, but on the plus side they make the best choice for couples.

Size

They come in all the same sizes as regular beds, but because of the nature of the material they can be an inch or two shorter or narrower.

Single size

For one person, experience campers usually go with the Twin. But if the space is very limited you have the “go lower” and try out a single-sized camping mattress.

The choices in this size are scarce, de to the fact that most people find a single to narrow for a comfortable sleep.

Dimensions of a single are usually 72-75 long, 29-30 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches thick.

Twin size camping air mattress

twin size camping airbed alps

A twin size is 73 to 75 inches long and 38-42 inches wide, depending on the brand. The low-rises start as thin as 4 inches, while the high-rises can be as high as 22 inches.

Twin XL camping air mattress

The XL here stands for extra long and the inflatables in the Twin Xl size are of the same height and width as a twin, but 80 inches long. They are designed for tall people.

fox twin xl air mattress for camping

Full & Full XL camping air beds

A full-sized camping air mattress typically measures 75 x 54 inches – for most people, it will be the “first” size that can comfortably sleep two adults.

The extended version of the full will be marked as a Full-XL (extra-long) and will be 80 inches long.

Queen-size camping air mattress

With most brands, the listed dimensions of the Queen-size are 80 x 60 and they come both as a low-rise and high-rise.

queen size camping air mattress coleman low

You might see some companies, like Coleman, referring to the height as single-high or double-high. In most cases, campers find the Queen-size to be the best camping mattress for couples.

King size

If you want an air mattress for camping in King size your options are limited.

You can get a multifunctional model like the mentioned Coleman 4-in-1 or you can go with something heavier.

King-size will measure 80 x 76 “.

If you want a classic air bed in King size, one model that comes to mind is the Fox Plush Durabeam.

This Fox is one of the most durable and heavy-duty air mattresses that can be used for camping.

Most people use it indoors but it features a secondary valve than that works with a manual or leg pump, too.

California King

There’s no camping air mattress that we know of in California King size.

The few inflatable beds available as California King are meant to be used in your home and don’t include a secondary valve for an alternative pump.
Pumps
Camping inflatables rarely come with a built-in pump and it’s usually a rechargeable (electric) or battery-operated pump.

Adjusting the size of your camping care mattress to the tent floor space

Most tent types slopped walls, which is why you shouldn’t is the size of your air bed solely based on the floor space.

This is especially true if you’re going with high-rise camping bed. For reference purposes, we have put together the table below.

Top brands and honorary mentions

Apart from our top picks, we feel like there are a few brands of inflatable camping beds that deserve a mention.

Camping Aero Bed models

There’s one Camping Aero Bed air mattress we’d like to mention here.

It comes from their Aero Sport series and it’s called Aerobed Camping All-Terrain. It uses a rechargeable Nickel-cadmium pump which inflates it in under a minute.

Aerobed Camping all terain twin size

The valve is quick release which deflates it in 15 to 20 seconds

Intex

Index models are primarily used for homes but the one product the stands out is the Intex Inflatable Fabric Mattress with Built-In Pillow.

Compared to the best camping air mattresses, it’s fair to say that this Intex inflatable with a built-in pillow is very cheap.

What we mean by “cheap” is value for money, not sub-par quality.

Conclusions and updates

The guide on best camping air mattresses is updated on quarterly basis, unless we see a “red light, like a substantial change in the user satisfaction rating with specific products.
When this happens it triggers an unscheduled update to the reviews and ratings.

What this means for you

The bottom line is that the information you see here is fresh and relevant at all times.

If you have experiences you want to share or questions you want to ask, just shoot us an email or leave a comment below. You’ll hear from us with a day.
Stay smart,

The Sleep Studies team

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