The best camping mattress for you will depend on how you intend to use it. If you need something to carry on a multi-day hike, you will want something light and practical. But if you need a camping mattress for a weekend on a campsite, comfort (and maybe price) should be the main priority.
In this article, I’d like to point you to some of the best camping mattresses available.
The Different Types of Camp Mattresses
There are three main types of camping mattress:
Closed cell foam mattress – The traditional type of camping mattress is still popular and especially the folding pads like the one you will see below. Foam mattresses may not offer as much insulation but they are very light and convenient to carry.
Self inflating camp mattress – The most popular type of camp mattress and one that is usually priced in the middle. This type of sleeping pad is made up of both cell foam and air and they are most suitable for staying on campsites. Self inflating mattresses are heavy and less compact but they provide lots of insulation and comfort.
Air Camping Mattress – These are usually the most expensive type of camping mattress and also the most lightweight. An air camping mattress provides more comfort than a foam mattress and they are often small enough to fit in a backpack.
The Best Camping Mattress of 2022
1. NEMO Flyer Sleeping Pad
Weight – 816 grams
The NEMO Flyer camping mattress strikes a great balance between a self-inflating pad and an air mattress. The air filled foam creates a thickness that provides more support and comfort than most other pads. This is also much smaller and lighter than other brands/models that have tried to replicate the design. For this standard of camp mattress, it’s also reasonably priced and suited to long distance hikers that want a little bit more luxury and comfort on the trail.
2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite
Weight – 454 grams
The Neoair X Lite is like the mother of all sleeping pads and it’s probably the most sought after ultralight camping mattress out there. At this price, you definitely care about shaving some ounces off the weight of your backpack. You’re likely to want the best in terms of comfort and warmth too. And you intend on using this camping mattress hundreds and hundreds of times in the near future. It’s an incredibly sleeping pad that does everything right but is it worth the money? Your call.
3. LAMA Closed Cell Foam Mattress
The LAMA portable folding camp mattress is a really basic closed cell sleeping pad. It features an egg slot design and weighs just 400 grams. But why would you want a sleeping mattress so thin? It’s true, the level of comfort or insulation is nowhere near the same as most inflatable mattresses. However, it can just about do the job and because to the weight, it’s a great piece of gear for long hikes. Also, these mats simply strap to the top of your backpack so you can quickly take them out on rest breaks and used them as a seat or temporary mat on which to have a nap!
4. Trekology Inflatable Camping Mattress
Let’s go with a very affordable option this time. The Trekology Inflatable camping mattress packs down incredibly small (19 x 10cm) and weighs just 450 grams. It’s certainly not of the same quality as the first two sleeping pads on this list but I genuinely think it’s a decent buy. If you hike long distances, you won’t even notice this small and light camp mattress in your backpack. The level of comfort is at least better than a foam mattress and definitely in line with the affordable price tag.
5. TREKOLOGY Self Inflating Camping Mat
For something more comfortable than the previous option, you might want to check out this other camping mattress by Trekology. It weighs a good deal more (1.01kg) and it doesn’t pack down as small but there is a built in air pump and pillow. There is also a lot more insulation with this one because it raises more than 12cm off the ground which also helps it provide more support.
Picking the best camping mattress all comes down to how you intend to use it and just how much weight you are able/willing to carry. I personally like to make a compromise by buying a light sleeping pad with a medium level of comfort. If you can afford one of the first two above, good for you but otherwise, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the cheap and cheerful nature of the gear by Trekology!
As always, this is just my opinion and you always have to do what’s best for you!