Camping Bed Guide
Camp Bed and Sleep Mat Buying Guide
Whether you are off for a few days camping with kids by the sea, or scaling mountains in far flung lands, we all have to sleep at some point. There is a wide range of camping beds on the market, to suit almost every budget and activity.
Simple yet totally dependable, these are thin layers of dense closed cell foam, designed primarily for insulation rather than comfort. They are available in several thicknesses, offering increasing levels of insulation. Some models have air pockets build into them for even greater insulation. This sort of mat is popular with those camping with Scouts and on Duke of Edinburgh trips. They are also popular with those on expedition to the far flung corners, where a puncture in your self-inflating mat cannot be repaired.
Popular as an occasional bed at home as much for camping, these are the mattress of choice if comfort is king. In terms of size and thickness, these are the camping mattress most similar to your mattress at home. Available both single and double bed sizes as well as a range of thicknesses and fabrics. Things worth bearing in mind with this sort of mattress are firstly weight; they are generally too heavy to carry comfortable in a rucksack. Secondly insulation; these are not the warmest things to sleep on, particularly in winter. Thirdly inflation; when buying this sort of mattress always remember that you may need to get a pump as well.
Great if you prefer your bed to be raised a little bit of the ground, folding beds are another type of mattress popular for both family camping and as an occasional bed at home. Folding beds are great for camping as they offer additional storage space under the bed, which can be handy in a cramped tent. Some fold away quickly and painlessly, whilst others need to be dismantled first. Whilst they are great for use in the summer, these are not the warmest things to sleep on in winter, so a warm sleeping bag may be required.
Self Inflating Mats
A popular choice for people who are backpacking, self inflating mats offer the best combination of low weight and high levels of insulation. These mats consist of an airtight outer fabric with a foam filling. By opening the valve on the mat, air is drawn in and the mat starts to inflate. These are generally the warmest type of camping mat to use as well as being the most compact.
For more information about self inflating mats, see our Self Inflating Mat Guide.