To test car camping mattresses, we began by simply taking them car camping and sleeping on them. We used them in tents, in the back of pickup trucks, and in the back of vans. The products that were designed for two people, we were sure to sleep on with two people. On camping trips where we were sleeping out for multiple nights, we were sure to bring many different mattresses with us and would trade off which one we slept on night-to-night in order to get a better comparison between separate mattresses. We also lent the mattresses to friends for their camping trips and even brought enough mattresses so that people we met up with could use one of ours for the night. Lastly, most of these mattresses were used indoors when our friends and family came to visit. The cumulative knowledge gained from all these camping trips gave us a good idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each mattress.
However, in order to fine tune the comparison rating scores you find in this review, we invited friends to a campsite near our home where we tested all of the products against each other at one time. Here we carefully measured how long it took to inflate and deflate each product and spent plenty of time moving from mattress to mattress, cementing our opinions and each product's relative merits and weaknesses. We reached consensus by talking with everyone who had spent a night on one or more of these mattresses, and who had laid on all of them, and then set about summarizing our findings for this review. With such exhaustive testing conducted both in the field and head-to-head, we are confident that you will be happy with what we have recommended.