Spring 2017 Update
Our March 2017 update includes new variations to award winners. Often pads come in different sizes and we note when we feel each size is most appropriate. We also added in charts and graphs to make it easier to see which pad performed the best in each metric.
Best Overall Car Camping Mattress
Exped MegaMat 10
"This pad is more comfortable than my bed!" That was most common comment from our testing team about the Exped Megamat 10
. Yes, it's that good. It's expensive and a pain to inflate and deflate, but the supreme comfort is worth it. It's more compact, durable and comfortable than an AeroBed: it's a great mattress for friends to crash on your living room floor. While other mattresses are too soft, don't provide enough internal cushioning, allow pressure points, or are not insulated enough, the Megamat 10's high-quality construction and exemplary design alleviate all concerns. Simply put, if you want the best mattress for car camping available today, then look no further.
Read full review: Exped Megamat 10
Best for a Tight Budget
REI Camp Bed 3.5
Want the best mattress you can afford but don't want to spend $219 to own it? Look no further than the REI Camp Bed 3.5
. For $90 less than our Editors' Choice Award-winner, you can have an exceedingly comfortable, super-wide and long pad underneath you that is guaranteed to induce sweet dreams. While 3.5 inches of padding may not sound like a lot compared to the six to eight inches of support offered by the numerous air beds, there is no way your body will be resting on the ground through this amazing mattress. While it is sort of a pain to roll up, and doesn't pack down very small, these are minor complaints compared to the incredible value that you get when purchasing this mattress for only $129.
Read full review: REI Camp Bed 3.5
Top Pick for Couples
Exped SIM Mega Mat Duo
Want the very best mattress for car camping that money can buy, but don't want to separate at night from your honey (aka your cold weather bed heater)? Luckily for you, Exped makes their Editors' Choice Award- winning Megamat in Duo size, the Exped SIM Mega Mat Duo
. This mattress is comprised of the same excellent features and construction of our favorite mat, the Exped Megamat 10
, but is a full 52 inches wide rather than the standard 30 inches of most single person XL sized mattresses we tested. This queen size mattress uncannily fits perfectly
in the back of pickup truck or minivan, making it the unparalleled choice for your road-tripping rig. Move over cheap memory foam, there is a much better option for live-in-a-vehicle comfort.
Read full review: Exped SIM Mega Mat Duo
Top Pick For Convenience
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
Want a mattress that is quick and easy to use and packs down smaller than the others, all while barely compromising on comfort? Check out the Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
, the most convenient mattress for car camping that you can buy. While there is one other mattress that we rated higher (see our Editors' Choice Award winner above), there is no doubt that it is very large, heavy, and feels like wrestling a bear to get deflated. In comparison, this mattress works like a Dream. Its zip open construction reveals that it is made of a combination of an inflatable Therm-a-rest pad with soft foam on top, all covered by a plush velvety top. The versatility of this mattress is a strength, as its small size makes it easy to pack around, and it easily joins with others of its kind to create a double wide. For the most convenient choice among these contenders, we recommend the NeoAir Dream.
Read full review: Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream