What’s the Best Mattress for Car Camping? Here’s Some Camping Mattress Option You Might Consider

best mattress for car camping

The choice of a car camping mattress is directly related to the choice of a car camping tent. Tents with large footprints like that REI Kingdom 8 Family Camping Tent (104 square feet), the Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow Deluxe 8-Person Tent (140 square feet) or the Coleman Prairie Breeze 9-Person Tent (140 square feet), mean that they will accommodate one or two queen-size mattresses. Something else that is important to consider is the type of car you will use for your mattress.

When it comes to designing mattresses for car camping, manufacturers don’t cut corners in an effort to trim weight as they do when designing backpacking mattresses. The weight of a car camping mattress will usually run between three and ten pounds. The mattresses are big in terms of dimensions and loft. Car campers are looking for comfort and the mattress manufacturers know how to supply it. While the top car camping mattresses include here all are around 4 inches thick, other car camping mattresses range in thickness from three to eight-and-a-half inches. The mattresses are versatile and have uses beyond camping.

How How Does a Self-Inflating Mattress Work?

The camper stretches the mattress out on the ground and opens a valve. The mattress draws in enough air to expand the compressed foam inside. Most mattresses need to be topped off by adding air by mouth or with a pump.

Self-Inflating Mattresses for Car Camping:

exped megamat duo

Exped MegaMat Duo 10

77.6″ x 52″ x 4″
Good choice for couples. Rated best car camping mattress by Outdoor Gear Lab
exped megamat 10

Exped MegaMat 10

77.5″ x 30″ x 4″
The exact same mattress as the Megamat Duo except for 1 person

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream

77″ x 30″ x 4″
Can be combined with twin to create a wide double

Air Beds for Car Camping

Air beds are thicker and less expensive option for a car camping mattress. They are inflated with a manual or electric pump and are filled with air only as contrasted to the foam filled mattresses above. Consequently they are less warm and less firm than the self-inflating mattresses. They are fine for summer camping and for providing a guest bed at home. It is not unheard of for people to use one of these inflatable mattresses for the primary mattress in their residence.

REI Relax Airbed

REI Relax Airbed Manual air pump included

79″ x 56″ x 6″
Retains air well. Comes with a manual pump
lightspeed outdoors camping mattress

Lightspeed Outdoors PCV Free

79″ x 55″ x 6.25″
Adjustable firmness. Includes a battery operated pump
ALPS Mountaineering Air Bed

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed

77″ x 30″ x 4″
Can be combined with twin to create a wide double

Uses for Air Beds and Air Mattresses

Air beds and air mattresses have a place around the house as well as around the camp. They can be used for…

  • Sleeping in a tent
  • Sleeping in a car, truck or van
  • Use as a guest bed at home
  • Loan to friends or relatives who need an extra bed

Winterial Back Seat Inflatable Car Camping Mattress

Turn the back seat of your SUV into a comfortable bed for car camping.The unique design of this Winterial Mattress allows it to be installed in the back seat of most SUVs. It comes with its own air pump and is easy to set up and inflate to your own comfort level. The mattress is 3.1 inches thick and can accommodate weights of up to 800 pounds.

What users say…

I was driving cross country and was planning on camping along the way. I have a Jeep Patriot and this was perfect. It was a smidge too wide but still worked well.

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