Camping is arguably one of the most popular recreational activities. The concept of leaving your home and staying in the wild while enjoying nature has always been a part of modern fun. Too often, city life has caused crowded cities and has changed the way we live.
A camping mattress is made to give you comfort when you are sleeping outdoors. The two major benefits it provides are padding and insulation. You might think that padding is the more important benefit, however, it’s more important to insulate the body from the cold earth.
Camping mattresses use air to provide comfort and are much thicker compared to simple foam pads. They come close to a real mattress and are usually the same size.
Some include multiple air chambers so you can make changes to the comfort level, while others have built-in pillows. They are easy to inflate using a portable electric pump. They are good for any type of camping or even to use as a spare mattress in your own home.
Different mattresses for camping have different levels of insulation. Insulation is measured based on the its ability to resist heat flow, which is measured in R-value. The greater a pad’s R-value, the better the mattress will insulate you against cold surfaces.
Minimally insulated pads have an R-value of 1.0 while the well-insulated ones have an R-rating of 9.5. As you can see, the thicker a pad is the greater its R-value. If you are going to camp out in the snow, find something that has a high insulation value.
The Right Length And Width
Insulation values aside, there’s one other factor you need to consider and it’s the size of the mattress. Your camping mattress should at least fit your shoulders and sides.
Regular-sized mattresses are typically 72 inches long, while long mattresses are 75 to 78 inches long. There are short mattresses that are only 47 to 48 inches long. Women’s mattresses are shorter with 66 inches being the normal size and they have higher insulation levels on the sides and feet.
Regardless of the length, all mattresses have a standard width of 20 inches. If you roll around a great deal during sleep, you might want a width of 25 or 30 inches. Semi-rectangular pads or mummy pads pack less volume while giving you more room to move around.
In situations where weight and size aren’t restricting factors, you can select a thick, large bed mattress for luxurious comfort.
Those who prefer more comfort can choose pads with greater thickness and sturdiness. The trade off is a modest rise in weight. You can find chair kits that double as an air pad and a comfortable chair.
Consider Weight When Backpacking
If you’re backpacking, you will want to use a lighter mattress. If you’re camping on snow, you need more insulation. If you are a restless sleeper, search for a pad that has a textured surface to reduce slippage.
There are many camping mattresses available online. When it comes to the actual purchase, there are other factors you need to consider aside from the insulation and size. These include comfort and durability.
While it’s easy to spot a mattress’ insulation level and size from the label, it’s not that easy to know if it’s actually comfortable when used. That said, always read user reviews before buying a mattress for your next camping trip.