Best Air Mattress for Backpacking | Review & Buying Guide

More and more people nowadays want to escape from the fast-paced rhythm of the cities and the stress of their daily routine to approach nature. Camping is maybe the easiest and the most accessible way to do it. But while preparing your luggage you should think about what the most important stuff in it should be. When we are out in the open or our tent, regardless of the season, we will need a bed, both to feel comfortable and to protect us from the cold that our body may not be aware of. At the same time, we don’t want this bed to take up too much space in our backpacks, do we? The best air mattress for backpacking must meet all our needs. That is why they are an integral part of the equipment of every camping person with self-respect.

Best Air Mattress for Backpacking Review

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying an Air Mattress

However, before we start packing luggage, let’s think about what is important when choosing an air mattress. Have you ever thought about exactly what to look for when you need the best air mattress for backpacking?

  1. Size

I don’t know about other things, but the size is important when choosing an air mattress. Air mattresses have the same categories as regular mattresses (twin, full, queen and king). What you choose depends entirely on you. Make it always comfortable, whether you are alone or with a company.

The standard measurements for mattress sizes are as follows:

  • Twin: 38 x 74
  • Full: 54 x 74
  • Queen: 60 x 80
  • King: 72 x 80

When choosing your best air mattress for backpacking, consider both your size and the size of your tent. Remember you can’t always count on the good weather, right? All sizes of the mattress can be folded down to a compact area when deflated, so storage and transport will not be a problem whatever size you choose.

  1. Height

The height of the air mattress provides a difference in comfort. The rule is – the higher the mattress, the more comfortable it is. Standard air mattresses reach a height of 2 to 9 inches from the ground, and twin or raised mattresses reach 15 to 24 inches. But here’s another thing to consider: standard mattresses are more portable and compact. Read: Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers | Buying Guide

  1. Comfort

Still, that’s where we left off, didn’t we? Comfort always comes first. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere, and especially after days of difficult hikes in nature, it is wonderful to relax and enjoy your vacation. Comfort is also something we look for when choosing mattresses for our beds at home. So our advice here is to opt for a more expensive air mattress, although its price is higher.

  1. Inflation

Keep in mind that the best air mattresses for backpacking have a built-in air pump that must be turned on to inflate them. However, cheaper models inflate manually – by pump or (which we do not recommend) through your lungs. If you choose this type of mattress, we advise you not to use your lungs – use one from a friend or just buy an electric air pump.

  1. Elasticity

You wouldn’t even consider putting elasticity as a priority when choosing a mattress. But it is essential. Still, you want space in your backpack for other important things, like food, right? Not to mention that elasticity in most cases is also proportional to strength. So the more elastic the mattress, the better. Otherwise, buy a bigger backpack.

  1. Price

We will not argue with you – the price is always important. But note that the best air mattress for backpacking is something that will ensure your complete relaxation. Don’t grudge every penny. Better get something high quality than a mattress that you will need to replace after using it only a few times.

It’s a good idea to have a mattress with a guarantee too – so you will be sure that whatever you choose has already been tried out by its creators, otherwise, they would not offer a guarantee for its use, right?

Best Air Mattress for Backpacking Review

Sometimes one is hesitant about what to choose when they have no experience and there is a huge variety of products on the market. Therefore, we have tried to choose the best options according to your needs, taking into account the factors listed above. Hoping to be of use to you, here’s what we would choose for our nature vacation:

  1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm MAX

With its measures 77x25x2.5 inches inflated, 11×4.5 inches packed, and weighs 23 ounces; stuff sack and repair kit included it is the best choice you can make for camping with air mattress. Whether it is summer or winter, you will be warm. As bad as the weather is, you will be protected. Its reflective ThermaCapture technology traps radiant heat while Triangular Core Matrix baffled construction provides stability and minimizes heat loss.

The rectangular design offers added ground coverage; textured, the no-slip fabric ensures that sleeping bags stay put during the night. If you, too, spin around yourself at night while you sleep, as I do, this is your air mattress! Its height is 2.5 inches, but this is an advantage because when put in your backpack it does not take up more space than a bottle of water. At the same time, it provides comfort, elasticity, and security within your price range.

  1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight

Are you looking for something budget, but still warm, comfortable and elastic? With its tapered design reducing weight without compromising warmth; texture, no-slip fabric which ensures that sleeping bags stay put during the night this backpacking air mattress is another good option for you. The 2.5-inch thick mattress inflates in less than two minutes by blowing into a valve. And the size is 25 x 77 inches. Easily portable, secure, suitable for all conditions – what more could you want? This is definitely one of the best air mattresses for backpacking you can choose!

  1. Therm-a-rest Luxury

Here is our choice for the more pretentious. This is the air mattress we would rely on when it comes to comfort. Made by plush materials: soft fabrics give the Luxury MAP mattress next-to-skin comfort. Here you can rely on the so-called Mapped Comfort: Die-cut foams in high-pressure areas reduce pressure points and provide more restful sleep. It is also supportive – full-density foams in low-pressure areas provide increased support where it’s needed most. At the same time, it is warm, extra-thick – 3 inches, which guarantees you peaceful sleep, comfort and warmth. Everything in this mattress is done so that you feel like kings and queens, even under the open sky.

  1. Therm-a-Rest Self-Inflating Luxury

Remember the tip to find a friend to blow the mattress on? Well, with this air mattress for backpacking you won’t need it. It is self-inflating with foam pillow top and plush fleece cover. With it, you can fully indulge in complete rest. Its foam core offers premium stability, warmth, and support, and you will be able to determine the convenience yourself – compressible foam core of the mattress expands to inflate; add just a few breaths for your desired firmness.

Here we have an additional advantage – the protective cover is removable/washable and interior mattress can be used separately. This makes it extremely easy to clean. The dimensions are 30 x 77 inches, and the integrated straps mate with another Dreamtime mattress for double-wide luxury. The idea of taking your half with you and camping becomes more tempting, doesn’t it?

  1. Overmont Sleeping Pad

Are you looking for something that combines all the amenities in one for a decent price? Sounds too nice, is it true? Not at all, believe me. I chose to leave the cherry on the cake for the end. This mattress is suitable for everyone and it is probably the best budget sleeping pad.

These camping mats take the appearance of wave surface and have increased the thickness to 4.8″ to give you comfort like home. Expanded size is 75×24″, this sleeping pad is long enough to fit someone that is 6 ft tall. Made of high-quality 80D Polyester pongee with PVC coating, Overmont camping mattress is completely waterproof and floatable so it can be a floating mattress for you to take a wonderful sunbath but not a life-saving supply.

It also weighs only 2.6lb, and more importantly, it comes with a potable packing bag. If you order the Overmont camping mattress, then you will receive the pad which is well packed in a small bag (only 14x6x4″). Wherever you want to go, picnic in the park, camping trips, beach bath, or home visits, this will always be comfortable to sleep on. And all these for less than $ 40.  Sometimes it’s not too good to be true, it’s just true!

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to choosing the best air mattresses for backpacking, we should not miss the most frequently asked questions, of course.

  1. Do I need a sleeping pad for backpacking?

Short and precise – a definite yes! The sleeping pad ensures you are warm, comfortable and rested. Although the point of camping is to feel closer to nature, sleeping on the ground is not the best way to do it. Lie down comfortably and simply enjoy the wind, warmth, clean air and the colors that are around you.

In order not to worry about waking up cold or getting stiff, you need a sleeping pad. At the same time, it’s nice to keep it compact so you always have it in your backpack and have the freedom to just go and spend the night wherever you want. When your bed takes the place of a bottle of mineral water, it’s pretty easy.

  1. What is the best backpacking air mattress?

It is not difficult to answer such a question, though each person’s answer may be different. Everyone finds their comfort differently and in something different. One would pay more attention to the size of his mattress, the other to its firmness, and the third to its price. The best choice, in our opinion, is a mattress that meets your requirements, while providing you security, warmth and small enough to fit in your backpack and not make it difficult for you to hike. Remember, too, that it should be easy to inflate so that you do not tire of it.

  1. How should I sleep comfortably for backpacking?

Don’t imagine camping as something that must be uncomfortable and difficult. In today’s world, you hardly have to be Superman or a single wolf to enjoy it. Among other things, make sure you have a comfortable place to sleep first. Choosing the right air mattress would ensure that. Make sure the mattress you take is light, fits your size and most importantly – provides you warmth. Outdoor nights can get pretty cold, even in summer, especially in mountainous areas.


Have you felt suffocated by the stress of the city? Have you ever wanted to escape somewhere in nature? Has the fact that there you would not have the same facilities as in your home stopped you? Well, let’s leave that in the past!

The variety of air mattresses available on the market is the solution to this problem. Whether you are short or high, have a problem with your waist or back, or feel cold more than others, it doesn’t matter anymore. You can easily take care of all these concerns by choosing your best air mattress for backpacking according to your own needs. In this case, you can easily put it in your backpack without wondering how much it weighs and whether it will fit in there.

My home is my fortress. Make nature your home and feel comfortable in it by choosing your best air mattress. If you have any difficulty choosing the one that suits you, read our tips and tricks and act!