What to Look for in a Camping Air Mattress

thanks to Thesavvyshopperblog for this picture!

Summer is around the corner, and many people are gearing up to go camping. Most people need that reunion time with nature to feel human again. For others, they’re living for the moment they can go home and have a proper shower. Check out our infographic to find out what kind of camper you are.

Regardless of how you camp, most people are in the market for a camping air mattress of some kind. There is no need to truly rough it anymore, so it’s always nice to have some kind of buffer between you and the ground. Of course when shopping, there are some factors to think through before your purchase.


If you need to hike somewhere, it’s important to consider the weight of the air mattress. As you’re shopping for air mattresses, check the weights that are listed. Consider how portable the pump is as well, and how it will fit into the rest of your pack. For a camping ground that’s not too far away, it’s probably okay to get a heavier air mattress.


Keep the size of your tent in mind when you’re buying an air mattress. Obviously a king size air mattress is little too big for your one person tent. Examine the dimensions of the bed compared to the size of your tent. In addition to your air mattress, you’ll have to think about where the rest of your stuff will be kept, and what is essential to have in the tent.

There aren’t many air beds designed for a truck or SUV, like the Coleman SUV QuickBed. But it’s an option to think about. Depending on the kind of vehicle you have, a normal camping queen or twin will do.


Even within the confines of your tent, air mattress punctures can still happen. Most people place a tarp under their air mattresses to keep them safe from punctures. When looking around for an air mattress, check out the thickness of the vinyl. It’s best to find air mattresses with at least a 15 gauge (0.38 mm) thickness. Most air mattresses come with a repair kit for those quick fixes. Check out our articles on how to find a leak, and how to repair an leak.


It’s best to have an external pump with camping beds, since most built-in pumps need an outlet to work. Check to see if the pump has a DC plug in, the kind of plug will work on any car 12 volt cigarette lighter. Rechargeable pumps can run on battery life for a little bit can also be used. Pumps that have AC adaptors are meant for an outlet. For hand pumps or foot pumps, it’s best to find one that pumps air on both strokes.

A last minute reminder of accessories to include:

  1. Be sure to bring your patch kit just in case you need a quick fix.
  2. An external pump if needed.
  3. A tarp or something similar to go underneath the air mattress.

Just because you’re going camping doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. It’s worthwhile to invest in a good airbed you can look forward to using for many camping trips to come.