Here are 10 of the best air mattresses for camping that make great choices for families and couples.
Call it what you will: air mattress, airbed, or inflatable bed, but that thing we count on to keep us warm and comfortable on any camping trip needs to be reliable. Whether it is queen size, twin size, has a pillow rest or a plush topper, it needs to be ready when you are to serve its purpose.
Some have an external pump, and some have an internal pump. Some use a rechargeable air pump and some a manual pump, but the common theme is that we use a blow up bed for a reason: so we don't have to sleep on the ground.
Now, let's be honest. These aren't for hardcore, backcountry, hike-in-hike-out campers. They're more common among families, those who park their vehicle right near the campsite, and people who just flat out can't get a good night's rest on a sleeping pad. Call it cheating if you will, but you know you'd be more comfortable with a mattress like this in your tent.
Plus, most campsites these days have their own electrical outlet for air pumps, but plenty of these mattresses can be inflated with manual pumps too.
A prospective buyer needs to do their homework, and we've tried to do some of it for you. Even if you just want one for home use in the guest room or for the cabin or boathouse you should still take things into consideration.
Find one that holds the air pressure, has heavy-duty construction, and a good weight capacity, which each become more important with outdoor use.
Remember that puncture-resistant is not the same as puncture-proof, which almost no manufacturers offer.
Hopefully there is plenty of room in the car, SUV, or truck for a good quality air mattress along with the rest of the gear.
1. Airhead Plush
This model has an internal pump that needs an electrical connection, but it also has a valve that can be used for a manual pump as well, making it fine for campers.
The double height, 18-inch mattress has a heavy-duty seam that will hold up to the outdoors. It comes with a convenient carrying bag that one person can use, and it even has a small storage pouch inside of the mattress for the electric cord.
2. SoundAsleep Dream Series
Even with over 20,000 reviews and a four-and-half star rating, outdoor buyers should be aware that the SoundAsleep Team says, "Truth be honest though, the Dream Series is designed for indoor use and is not really meant to be used for camping or in the outdoors. The unit has an internal motor that can only be powered with a wall outlet. No external motors or battery operated motors can be used to inflate the mattress."
So why have this on the list? Simply said, most campgrounds have electric and water service available, and no one is going to set up their tent on top of loose rocks and sticks. The price is right, too. With its ease of inflation, comfort, and sleep quality, it may just need a little more care to have one in your tent, but that is a call you'll have to make.
3. Intex Comfort Plush
The Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed with included internal electric pump is 22-inches tall and holds up to 600 pounds. The soft flocking on the surface is great for both comfort and keeping your fitted sheets from slipping. It comes well-rated, especially for the price.
4. AirExpect Camping Air Mattress
This camping specific air bed is puncture-resistant and waterproof. It has a wireless rechargeable pump to quickly inflate or deflate the bed. You can be charge the pump via a wall socket or from an automobile with the included car adapter.
This is not a big, thick bed like some, but a more tent-sized blow up bed. One reviewer said that a manual pump could be used in the event that the rechargeable one was dead.
5. Etekcity Upgraded Camping Air Mattress
Also a slim mattress, this Etekcity model can hold up to 650 pounds and comes with a wireless rechargeable pump for fast 90-second inflation, including an AC/DC adapter.
According to Etekcity support, "The material of the upgraded version air mattress is thicker, it makes the air mattress heavier than the old one. It is around 16 pounds and the old one is around 14 pounds."
6. EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series
Perhaps a bold assertion like "never-leak" should make us sit up and pay attention. One of the greatest issues of having an air mattress is when they begin to leak, not if. And yet EnerPlex makes it a part of their model name. This one is made to be great for camping or otherwise. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a two-year warranty.
7. Coleman Camping Cot System
Here's an interesting break from the norm that many campers may have a great use for: a three-piece combo of an air mattress, a battery operated pump, and a cot which also includes extendable side tables. It is a slim design air bed made to be used with the cot system, and used together it is strong enough to hold 600 pounds.
The entire system will fold up and can be stored in the included storage bag. One notable difference here is the pump which can only be used with four "D" batteries, which are not included.
8. OlarHike Twin Air Mattress
Yes, this is a twin-size air bed for those who want one for themselves, or possibly two separate mattresses for those who don't want to share the same blow up bed. The OlarHike has been upgraded to a 35-percent thicker material for strength, and two power adapters with an easy to use pump. It comes with the quick-fill electric handheld pump and an extra car adapter so you'll need some kind of an electrical connection, be it the wall or the car plug.
9. King Koil Queen Air Mattress
This might be a monster for many who like tent camping, but it also wouldn't be too out of line to use at the campground. Having a queen sized air mattress that will hold up to the heat and summer camping while letting you sleep well each night can't be replaced. It has a built in 120-volt pump, so you will need an electrical connection, but one commenter said that it does have a valve, and that they could inflate it manually.
It is 20-inches tall, has a 400-pound rating, and even comes in a California King size.
10. WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress
This interesting take on the air mattress has double-sided flocking for a smooth sleeping surface, can hold two people, and comes with a DC powered 12-volt air pump. It can be used in an SUV, tent, or even for an open-air excursion in the bed of your truck. It is a little narrower than a full-size mattress, so sheets of that size would fit if desired.
So, here's the way I see it: if we aren't hiking to the far reaches of our favorite wilderness area, then we want to be comfortable, right? And if we have the room for the extra gear, then a good quality air mattress is a must.
They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: keeping us off of the ground while we rest. With that in mind, hopefully we've made your search for the right one a little easier, especially with the camping season right around the corner.
Visit walmart.com for all of your camping essentials.