Here at 3Beds, we’re always talking about best air mattress for camping this and top-rated camping inflatable beds that, but this is the only category where we thoroughly examine inflatables made specifically with camping in mind.
So, get ready for some real camping air mattress reviews, which should help us put the best air bed between the Mother Nature and us on our next adventure.
Table of contents
- 1 Low-rise air beds for camping – TOP 3
- 2 Top low-rise airbed for camping – SoundAsleep Camping Series
- 3 SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
- 4 Best air mattress for camping or bust?
- 5 Lightspeed outdoors PVC-Free 2-Person Air Bed
- 6 Lightspeed Outdoors
- 7 Pros
- 8 Cons
- 9 Final thoughts
- 10 ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Mattress
- 11 ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed
- 12 Our thoughts
- 13 Conclusion of the guide
Low-rise air beds for camping – TOP 3
Now, that we have a tad better grasp on the situation, we can see our top-rated inflatables going head-to-head against one another.
Top-rated air mattresses compared side-by-side
|Comfort||94 / 100||87 / 100||87 / 100|
|Durability||95 / 100||90 / 100||88 / 100|
|Air retention||92 / 100||86 / 100||86 / 100|
|Pump||92 / 100||88 / 100||87 / 100|
|Value for money||92 / 100||89 / 100||88 / 100|
|OVERALL RATING||93 / 100||88 / 100||87 / 100|
We call this the “horizontal view” of our list of winners. It’s a short depiction of all the main qualities measured against other best-rated models. Sort of like a comparative view of mobile phones we can pull out on pretty much any website out there.
What’s changed since the last update?
Let’s do a quick rewind to see if there were any changes since we visited this guide two months ago. Little heads up, though, fireworks and seismic shifts will have to be excused this time around.
We got some small differences regarding the overall ratings of products. Translated: our in-house and outsourced tests yielded new results, and the recent buyers had a thing or two to contribute as well.
As far as the positioning on our list goes, everything’s just the same as it was when we left this ultimate guide. SoundAsleep Camping Series model is still running the show (surprise, surprise), with Lightspeed Outdoors 2 and ALPS air bed following closely.
Does that mean there’s NOTHING new to read in this update on low-rise camping air mattresses???
Far from it.
Here are some new goodies we’ve gathered about these bad boys:
- We’ve done a series of new and repeated tests, yielding some pretty interesting results in the process
- Our featured testers have done even more creative tests on them, offering a view from a different perspective
- We’ve read all the air mattress reviews shared by recent buyers, often contacting them ourselves for a more elaborate feedback
That combined, gives us a grand total of A LOT of new info just waiting to point us in the right direction during our next mattress shopping. Stick around, and let’s see what we got.
It’s time to dig deeper and take a more in-depth look at specific models.
Top low-rise airbed for camping – SoundAsleep Camping Series
Current ratings of the SoundAsleep Camping series:
Here’s the quick info from the manufacturer:
- ComfortCoil Technology
- I-Beam Technology used in manufacturing the Air Coils
- Made specifically for outdoors use
- Rechargeable patented pump with a heavy-duty battery and a wall/car charger
- Flocked top
- Extra support and comfort offered by the coil system
- Carry bag
- Quick, “flip of the switch” inflation in just 3 min
- Industry leading durable and thick material
- Queen air mattress size when fully inflated – 78” x 60” x 9”
Extensive and informative as ever. Now we can put all that was said here under severe customer scrutiny and see what parts of the story actually hold water.
Positive user feedback:
- My previous camping mattress barely lasted half a season, and I really had to think on my feet about replacing it. A good camping buddy of mine recommended this bad boy, and I can’t thank him enough! You can really feel the difference in the overall thickness of the material, and I think I won’t have to bother myself with replacing it for a loooong time
- I like how you can just detach the motor. I can use other motors to inflate this air bed if need be, or use this one to inflate other models. The mattress and the motor are separate units, but they arrive packed in one box
- It takes even less time to fully inflate than the ads stated!
- It looks just like the pictures! The height is perfect for tent-camping. I previously had an inflatable bed that was about twice as high, and it really took up too much space inside the tent
- This mattress feels very durable and well-made. There’s no glue sticking out or some poorly connected parts. Everything is done perfectly and with surgical precision
- The mattress is very comfortable and easy to set up. I especially like the battery-operated pump since it solved all the power issues I had in the past. I don’t need a steady source of power anymore, which is an unbelievable relief for this camper
- We were camping out in the woods for a week last time around, away from all known sources of power. It’s such a convenience being able to power your bed with nothing but your car engine! And to think we struggled with all sorts of power packs for so long before we got this little inflatable wonder…
- I got a great discount on Amazon, and it was relatively cheap to begin with
- It’s the best air mattress for camping, hands down! We took it for its premier run to our Yellowstone trip, and it took NO topping off whatsoever even though the weather was reasonably cold. It’s a good sleep and just the right height for our tent
- Best air mattress we’ve bought so far, both in terms of comfort and durability. We’ve had it for over a year now, and it’s showing no signs of wear. The flocked top is super soft, and it holds the sheets like its life depends on it
- I can wake up and get out of bed without my wife being startled by my movement. No motion transfer with this one!
- The carry bag is big enough to stuff the mattress in without having to roll it a thousand times
Let’s take a look at some shortcomings:
- The battery drains out if you don’t use the motor for a couple of months, so I had to recharge it before inflating the mattress
- The only improvement upon this model I can think of would be attaching the pump fittings to the pump itself, so I can’t lose them
- It makes that sound when I move. You know that characteristic rubber-on-rubber squeak… Other than that, it’s a perfect match for all my camping needs
- The fill nozzle feels to me a bit wonky, so to say. It doesn’t seal completely 100% of the time, so that’s a potential room for improvement
- Just make sure you don’t leave the pump behind (like we did), or you’ll be positively screwed (like we were) since other pumps won’t fit. We’ve tried three different pumps borrowed from fellow campers, and none of them worked
Best air mattress for camping or bust?
Well, that question built up far less suspense than we would’ve wanted to since IT IS the best-rated air bed on our list. So, it must be doing A LOT of things right.
Let’s get the CONs out of the way first, shall we?
We’ve heard what the customers had to say about its downsides, and we have one to add on top of them.
We’ve had a couple of these air mattresses for quite a while now, and we’ve noticed that the flocked top collects dust particles like crazy. They’re put away in our storage unit between updates, and we always have to scrub the hell out of them since they build up a ton of everything on top. Just a reminder to ALWAYS store it in its carry bag to avoid having to clean it for an hour or so.
Positive sides of this model are too many to number, however.
The biggest convenience it offers is the battery-operated pump, which requires no steady source of power and can be easily recharged in your car or wall socket. In most cases, however, you won’t even need to recharge it during your camping trip since this mattress holds its air like a pro. It’s a good option to have, though, if you’re planning a lengthy camping escape.
Unlike the Dream Series, this model is made with camping in mind. The first thing you can read on a label/manual when you get a Dream Series mattress is NOT to use it outdoors. That and the fact that “this mattress is not a toy”. So, camping series is made to offer a super-resistant inflatable bed with as much comfort as its Dream counterpart.
Did it succeed in that endeavor?
A resounding YES from the team behind 3Beds, along with our featured testers and recent customers.
So, to put it in a nutshell, this is a budget-friendly air mattress with accent put on sturdiness/durability and mobility, followed by proper support, comfort and ease of use. It does excellently in all of those departments, and it’s an emblem of how a well-rounded, high-quality air mattress should look like.
Lightspeed outdoors PVC-Free 2-Person Air Bed
The current ratings of the Lightspeed outdoors low-rise
Let’s go over basic manufacturer’s info:
- PVC and phthalate-free
- Boston two-way valve with patented stabilizing system offers adjustable firmness
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) construction provides a superior durability
- Packs up lightweight and small
- More temperature stable, durable and abrasion-resistant than PVC air mattresses
- Battery-operated pump (batteries not included)
- Oversized bag for storage included
- Inflated size – 79” x 55” x 6.25”; packed size – 18.4” x 9.2”; weight – 6 lbs
Good introduction for our second place. You know the drill up at this point. The only drill is to “drill” this model for potential misgivings and pitfalls.
We’ll start with good user experiences:
- I went through five Aerobeds during the last year, and they all sprung a leak after a month or two. This mattress feels way different. It’s made of both lighter and stronger material with only a single seam on the outside. Seam are the places leaks happen, so stay away from those with multiple ones, especially running across the top. Long story short, I’ve had this air bed for three months now, and it hadn’t given me any problems yet
- This inflatable bed will NEVER need any extra air! A bit of topping off until the material fully stretches and that’s it! Once I inflate it, it stays super firm until I put it away
- The carry bag is really cool, and it fits the mattress with room to spare. It’s so annoying when I have to fold and refold the mattress a million times just so I could barely stuff it in the bag it came with!
- I reeeallyy like the absence of flocking on this mattress. I know people tend to love it, but not having it makes it all that much more sanitary. I just throw a cotton pad over it, and it more comfortable than any flocking ever could be. Plus, I can wash the pad any time I want, and it adds an extra layer of protection for the mattress. Oddly enough, it also fits the storage bag even with the mattress already in it
- The bed fully inflates in just under 4 minutes using the provided pump, and it deflates even faster. The valve prevents the air from leaking out once I remove the nozzle
- The firmness it reaches is perfect for my bad back, and my wife and I fit on it no problem. Our Queen-Size set of sheets is a good match since we always went for an “upgraded camping experience”. Forget about sleeping bags and such
- This is the best air mattress for camping that agreed with my budget! I got it for under 80 bucks, and so far, the only thing that felt cheap was the price tag
- I’m a camper since a very young age, and I’ve always had problems with air mattresses. Sure, they make them much better than they used to, but they’re still not without its quirks. This one has it all, however. It’s very comfortable to sleep on, reaches just the right firmness and DOESN’T lose air AT ALL! I only wish my younger self didn’t have to jump through so many deflated hoops before finally getting to this model
- The material doesn’t have that plastic smell at all
- No squeaks or other uncomfortable noise whatsoever!
- The mattress aced its first test! We went on a weekend camping trip, and it had all we could ever hope for and more. There are 480lbs of weight between hubby and me, and this camping bed handled us like a champ! We’ve anticipated some leakage, but nope! It also deflates very easily, so we just rolled it up and went on our merry way after a great weekend. The bag has more than enough space, and it’s a pretty light package to carry around
- It was thoroughly tested by our kids and approved by us
Let’s go over some disadvantages:
- It’s just a tad too wide for our tent (it’s a REI Halfdome 2), so it’s pulling on the sides a bit
- I wished I could hook this up to my car or something, so I didn’t have to drain the batteries with other power sources present
- Doesn’t seem like a Queen air mattress, more like a full size
- There’s no room to turn without disturbing the partner. Just wide enough to accommodate two people laying on their backs
This is one of the most durable air mattresses for camping out there.
It’s a rare thing to see TPU in inflatable furniture industry, but definitely a welcome sight. People who follow my work will know what praises I’ve sung to TPU when it comes to hiking boots and shoes. So, a definite plus for the choice of material.
This also makes it an “eco-friendly” product since it doesn’t feature any PVC or phthalates needed to make it softer. TPU is also a much tougher material, and we don’t need to tell you the weight of that statement in terms of air mattresses. So, the material choice is what backs up the incredible durability of this model.
So, to cut the long story short, this is as close to a tank as air mattress can get. Unparalleled durability paired with a very reasonable price, great comfort and a carry bag large enough to fit all these fine features.
ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Mattress
Quality standings of the ALPS low camping airbed:
Product specification from ALPS Mountaineering:
- Indoor/outdoor use
- Good fit for most camping tents
- Rechargeable pump for easy inflation/deflation
- Wall/car charger included
- Flocked soft top for extra comfort and sliding prevention
- Coil support system
- Carry bag
- Durable and thick PVC
- Queen air mattress inflated dimension – 60” x 80” x 8.5”; packed dimensions – 14” x 8” x 17”; weight – 9 lbs 12 oz
- TWIN air mattress inflated dimensions – 39” x 74” x 8.5”; packed dimensions – 15” x 6” x 16”; weight – 8 lbs 6 oz
- The material is really thick and high-quality. I can actually feel the difference compared to my previous 4 camping mattresses
- All of the connections are well glued together, and the overall construction feels very sturdy. I’ve taken it to its test run last week and so far, so good
- It’s easy to set up, and it inflates super quickly. I’ve had back problems for the better part of my life, and this air bed gives me enough support, so I don’t wake up with back/shoulder pain or stiff muscles
- The pump is battery-operated, which is great in it of itself. Being small and light are just added bonuses
- I used this inflatable bed during my 5-day camping, hog-hunting trip in Central Florida, and it turned out to be the high point of this trip. Very easy to set up and quite comfortable. I even arrived late the second day because I overslept, which never happened with a camping mattress before
- It’s the least squeaky of all the air mattresses I’ve ever tried in the past, and I burned my way through quite a lot, believe me
- I’m a huge fan of ALPS products, and this mattress is definitely worthy to wear the company name. Besides the sheer quality of the thing, I really like the fact that it comes with a special charger for my car, which really makes the whole recharging process that much more painless
- The pump feels really powerful, and it inflates the mattress in no time. I was also amazed at the price, which was just a little bit over 50 bucks. Great buy!
- The top feels pretty comfortable and has just enough traction to keep my sleeping bag from slipping and sliding all over the surface and off the mattress
- It can be used even for backpacking! Air mattresses tend to be bulky and pretty heavy even when deflated, but this one is quite compact and lightweight
Some misgivings recent buyers reported:
- There’s no valve for manual inflation! I really like the existing inflation system, but when/if all the technology fails, I like to have the safest option available
- I don’t really like the surface of this camping mattress, but I solved the problem with an extra blanket for extra padding
- If your memory is as bad as mine, you’ll never remember if you’ve charged the pump or not. You see how this might be a problem
Alps is a well-known brand here at 3Beds, so it’s no wonder to see this model got where it is today.
Since they opened their doors in 1993, Alps are keeping it steady with a constant supply of high-quality, best-rated air mattresses for camping, alongside many other quality products.
The main punch line with this model is also durability and its sturdy construction paired with a very low price for the quality offered. They advertise a 17% thicker bottom fabric than usually used for camping mattresses, and 10% thicker top fabric. Our measurements proved the fabrics used to be thicker, but not by that much. Still, pretty thick and the puncture-resistance proved to be on a high level during our in-house testing.
So, if you’re in the market for a low-price, high-quality air mattress for camping, this model is your one-stop shop, just as our two previous winners. You can hardly beat the quality for this kind of money.
Conclusion of the guide
Even though we haven’t seen any major positioning changes, this time around, we still got a lot of useful info out of the deal.
We’ll follow up this article with some concrete testing results soon enough, so we’ll have a complete picture of our 3 past-and-current winners. Stay put for that, study our new camping air mattress reviews well, and you’ll have no other choice but to make the best and fully informed decision the next time you decide to hit Amazon or stores with camping gear.
Have fun shopping and we’ll see ya here in exactly two months time.