The success of camping–the change to explore the great outdoors depends on three factors:
- How well you sleep at night
- How much fun you have during the day
- And whether you have packed all the right accessories (and enough food).
Sleeping well at night ranks high on everybody’s list of priorities.
Sleeping well when you are out camping depends on three things:
- Your sleeping bag
- The sleeping pad you choose
- And the camping mattress that you select
All the factors, along with your camping tent factor to enhance your camping experience. However, we’ll start at the root of solving the sleeping soundly problem–picking the perfect camping mattress, which forms the base layer under your pillow and sleeping bag.
Here are the specs you should keep in mind while choosing the right camping mattress:
Types of Mattress Available
There are plenty of choices available in the mattress universe, and while we believe in the ‘each to their own’ idiom, here are the best types of camping mattresses out there:
i) Camping mattress or closed-cell foam pad mattress
A camping mattress, which is made of a closed foam pad is the most basic type of camping mattress out there.
It’s lightweight and inexpensive–they’re basically made of the same material that your yoga mat or car mat is made from. But they don’t provide any real cushioning either, they just act like a barrier between you and the ground. The way these mats can provide insulation is by absorbing all your body heat by acting as a barrier between the cold ground and you. They’re best suited for soft and level ground. As closed-cell pads only roll up to a degree, they are really bulky and they’re not comfortable to carry around.
ii) Air Pad or Inflatable Pad
Air pads give you that additional cushioning that will make you feel like you are sleeping on your bed at home. They’re also great for backpacking because they can be deflated easily and carried around in your backpack, and when they inflate, they can become 3 to 4 inches thick. Most air pads need to be inflated manually by mouth or a pump. A few newer versions come with built-in pumps but that can reduce the pad’s packability.
iii) Self-Inflating Camping Mattress
Self inflating camping mattresses are reasonably priced and are made from a combination of air and cell-foam. The foam pad rests within the padding, and the design uses internal foam to inflate.
The valve at the top of the mat inflates the layer above the foam layer. This sort of mattress is better insulated for the cold, but can be a bit bulkier to carry around.
This ‘resistance’ value is alloted by the manufacturers to camping mattresses to indicate their insulation value. Higher the R-value, more the insulation. But the price of a high R-value comes with a bigger price tag.
An R-value of 3 or higher can provide efficient coverage during summer while higher protection might be needed during winter months.
Length, weight and size
This spec is an obvious consideration when you are choosing a camping mattress to suit your body. Remember to take your size and your family’s size requirements into consideration before picking out a mattress for yourself.
Generally, a double mattress is something that most campers prefer because of the comfort level it offers. But a double mattress might add a lot of extra weight and take up space in your backpack, so keep that in mind when you make the final selection for a mattress. You can even try them out at a store before you make the final purchase.
The final point of buying the right camping mattress is to do with the type of camping you are going on—this will help you decide how much weight you can carry, depending on the type of camping you are planning to embark on. If you have space to carry a bulky mattress, and lug it around, or if you need a weightless mattress with quick inflation.
Also what matters is the season that you are going camping. If it’s winter, then you might need something with a greater R-value. Or do you prefer something lighter?
The decision depends on the type of camper you are.
Conclusion: You might spend most of the time buying camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags and may not take this into consideration buying a sleeping mattress or what sort of sleeping mattress you have to buy. You might just pick one based on your whims and fancy. But now you know that you need to be careful when you are selecting a camping mattress for yourself too, afterall if it involves your sleep, then its not something that you should take lightly and we hope this guide helps you choose the mattress that is right for you.