I have slept on so many different surfaces and used so many different air mattresses, foam pads, self inflating air mattresses and even the bare ground. The bottom line is that your over-all enjoyment of any camping trips is directly related to how well you sleep at night. I don’t go on camping trips to experience a great nights’ sleep. It should not even be a second thought once you buy the right equipment. The trouble is, we all have to go through multiple sleeping pads until we find the perfect one that will allow you to sleep all night.
I have come to the conclusion that the best self inflating air mattress for camping is the one that keeps you from tossing and turning all night so that you can remain comfortable all night. This does not sound very scientific-so please hear me out because it is very scientific. Every person has a different body type. Whether you are fat, skinny, wide, thin, or somewhere in between, there is a self inflating air mattress that is perfect for you.
When I was in high school, I could sleep on a hard floor and never wake up all night. Maybe it was the beer that I drank or I was so tired that I was not able to wake up. Whatever the case, comfort is king!
I have been using various Therm-A-Rests and REI Camp Beds for years and have found the REI Camp Bed 3.5 the best all-around bed for me because I cannot feel the ground when I am sleeping. This is very important for me. Back in day when I was spry young boy, I was proud of the fact that I did not need a sleeping pad to stay comfortable through out the night like “old people”. Camping without an air mattress is not an option for me. Given the choice to camp or not camp without some cushioning, I would choose to not go camping.
3 Mandatory Things That A Good Self Inflating Camping Air Mattress Must Provide
- The ability to remain filled all night without leaking.
- Small foot print when all the air is squished out.
- Thick enough so you cannot feel the ground.
That is it! I does not matter how much or how little the self inflating air mattress is going to cost you. How much is your sleep worth?
Where To Buy A Self Inflating Air Mattress
REI is my favorite place to look for most of my camping equipment because of their 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s a rare day that I ever return a product to them because they don’t sell crap. When I go to REI, I set the self inflating air mattresses on ground and lie down. Give it a test run. Don’t be shy. If a pair of shoes don’t feel comfortable when you leave the store, they will never feel better when broken in. The same holds true for an air mattress. In fact, it will feel worse when you go camping because the ground is always harder and bumpier at your campsite. Read the reviews. I repeat read the reviews. They are brutally honest. If someone hates a product, REI will publish it.
I recently discovered BackCountry.com. They have just as good of customer service as REI and the same liberal return policy. Plus they usually have better prices than REI or Amazon! I recently purchased the Exped Symcomfort self inflating sleeping pad. It is so comfortable and easily inflates without assistance.
Amazon is my second favorite because offer more choices than anyone on the planet. Free shipping and cheaper prices are the draw to Amazon. The user reviews are awesome.
If you want to buy one on the cheap, look no further than Craigslist.org. People are always selling stuff to either clean house or raise some cash. You may get lucky and be able to buy a person’s entire camping gear collection and pick out the best and sell the rest for profit.
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