Has it ever crossed your mind how important air is for camping other than breathing? I have an Aerobed air mattress. I pump that up with an air pump. My shoes of choice are Nike Air Trainers. We drive an aerodynamic car. Every morning we air out the tent and sleeping bags.
While setting up my comfortable 4 person family tent, I am humbled by the single guy next to me who just backed in an Airstream Travel Trailer. He has an air compressor and air tanks too. I have a hunch that I may not sleep as good he does on my air mattress. I think I am going to look for a used Airstream Trailer for sale. They have everything that you need and much more.
So what’s my point? Honestly, there is no point other than a deflated air mattress is going to mean a sleepless night. Let’s take a look at the 3 most common sleeping mattreses so you can get the best night sleep.
Self Inflating Air Mattress
For family car camping, the self inflating air mattresses have more benefits than any other type. You do not need an air pump. Just open the valve and air comes right in. This eliminates the head ache of trying to figure out how to pump up your air bed without puncturing it. We have a 20 foot telephone cord that often reaches the tent from the car. Self inflating air mattresses are hard puncture. They are lightweight and compress to a small footprint. The thicker the air mattress, the more comfortable it will be. When I went on a week long back packing trip, I had to use honeycombed foam pad to supplement the comfort. My old Thermarest is about an inch thick and I never get a good sleep on it.
REI’s 3.5″ Camp Bed is probably the most comfortable self inflating air mattress on the market. It’s not quite as comfortable as the Aerobed, but much easier to use.
Camping Air Mattress
Inflatable air mattresses are the most comfortable and take up less space than any other sleeping option. We have 2 Aerobeds and we wake up refreshed every morning. When deflated, they barely take up any room. The down side is that you have to use an air pump to inflated them.
Foam pads are the most primitive all all sleeping pads. They work great for kids who do not need the luxury of an air mattress. They will never go flat, don’t need pumping up, and they are dirt cheap to buy. The down side is that they are not comfortable for an adult to sleep on.
Don’t try to be a hero by sleeping on something as simple as a foam pad. Get the most comfortable mattress possible that can be stowed away in your vehicle. I would rather sleep comfortably for 3 hours than 8 hours of tossing and turning on an piece of foam. Go to Amazon.com and read through the air mattress reviews to see what real people say about the mattress that you are looking at.