Sleeping Pad Vs Air Mattress: Which Is Best for Camping?

Being able to sleep soundly is essential because it helps you recharge, rest, and relax. However, a well-rested slumber can be a bit difficult to achieve, especially if you’re not at home.

Although some campers can endure a few days of sleepless nights, not everyone can do it. Outside activities that warrant outdoor sleeping should never be something you dread; that’s why choosing between a sleeping pad vs air mattress should be one of the top priorities.

Choosing the right product can make or break your outdoor sleeping experience with friends or family. Make sure that you don’t regret your decision.

Sleeping Pads

A sleeping pad provides a camper or hiker with thermal insulation alongside a sleeping bag. It is approximately ½ centimeters thick with a foam-like material.

The overall size is roughly the same as that of a sleeping bag, just a bit wider. And the primary purpose of a sleeping pad is to act as a barrier. It is what shields the user from cold and hard floor.

There are three types of sleeping pads –

  • Manually Inflated

The manual model is the easiest to carry and is lightweight; however, there is lessening of pad insulation due to air convection.

  • Self-Inflating

Now, the self-inflating sleeping pad has a valve that allows the product to self-inflate and deflate by sucking in and blowing out air. You may manually blow more air according to the pad firmness. Both inflatable types (manual and self-inflating) are best for thru-hiking and backpacking.

  • Closed-Cell

Lastly, the closed-cell pad is the lightest of all kinds but is a bit bulky. It has a dense foam that has small air cells, which contributes to the insulation it gives the user. You can use this type of car camping and backpacking.

Sleeping pads are necessary for every outdoor camping activity because it gives you warmth and insulation when you lay down on the ground. Ground temperatures can contribute to discomfort and muscle pain.

Overall, always prioritize your comfort and sleeping experience when camping or hiking by selecting only the best and high-quality products.

To help you choose, below is an example of a durable and excellent product:

 

HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad

HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad + Inflatable Travel Pillow  Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress w/Compact Carrying Bag...

The HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad is an inflatable travel bed that comes with a compact carrying bag. It also comes with a sleeping pad patch kit in case the product gets punctured and an extra air pillow for added comfort.

Furthermore, the pillow’s shape is a convenient feature because owners can use it to relax the neck as well as place it on the lower back to support the spine and have a better sitting posture.

The pad itself has a foam that conforms to the shape of the body, making the sleeping experience better and more comfortable compared to other brands. Also, it acts as an insulated barrier between the ground and the body, avoiding uncomfortable or painful positions.

As mentioned earlier, the product is compact and has a carrying bag, which means that campers can quickly bring the HiHiker anywhere and anytime without a hassle. The sleeping pad and the pillow are both easy to deflate, which gives campers a more comfortable time setting up and packing away.

Its pad measures 75 inches by 23 inches and is as big as a bottle when rolled up inside the carrying bag. You may also place the pillow inside the bag for extra convenience.

Moreover, the material of the product is 100% waterproof. The durability of a product lies in its ability to withstand pressure, constant usage, and avoid any defects.

Overall, the manufacturers of the HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad aim to give their clients quality service and excellent customer care by creating products that cater to their needs and preferences.

Highlighted Features

  • Users can quickly inflate the pad under only 10 to 15 breaths
  • The valves make it harder for air to escape
  • Once the valve opens, it deflates quickly
  • Users can easily roll the pad because of its lightweight and durable nature
  • Everything is inflatable for convenience
  • The material is waterproof

 

Air Mattresses

These mattresses are of different materials such as plastic or rubber. In earlier years, manufacturers also made these products from PVC. Many campers use the air mattress when doing outdoor activities because they can quickly deflate and roll the product when not in use.

Users can use equipment to inflate an air mattress, or they can manually inflate it by mouth or by hand pumps. However, newer models can self-inflate.

There are two types of air mattresses that you should know about –

  • The Temporary Type

The temporary type is a small and lightweight product that’s built specifically for outdoor activities such as camping or backpacking. Users of this type can have a comfortable slumber even if they’re not for overnight use.

  • The Permanent Type

On the other hand, permanent air mattresses have air chambers for support rather than the traditional coil or foam core. Another feature is that users can alter the bed according to their preferences.

It doesn’t matter whether you want a soft one or a secure one, this mattress has got you covered. This feature takes customization to the next level and allows the user to have a peaceful and comfortable slumber overall.

Below is an example of an air mattress that you might want to select for your next camping trip:

 

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size

The SoundAsleep air mattress has a comfort coil technology plus a SureGrip bottom that ensures the user’s stability, along with boasting extreme durability. Also, there are a total of 40 internal air coils for added durability and sturdiness when a customer sleeps. The product comes in 4 sizes: the twin, twin XL, queen, and king.

For overall convenience, the manufacturers of the SoundAsleep air mattress made sure to include a pump that helps users to deflate and inflate the product quickly. Specifically, the queen size mattress is for home purposes and can fully deflate in under 4 minutes!

This inflated mattress can last for up to a few days. Another feature is the raised air bed with dual chamber construction, which makes the mattress large enough for two people to sleep on and use. The king-size mattress caters explicitly to customers who love having friends and family around.

Thankfully, the material of this product is of thick, waterproof material along with a puncture-resistant PVC layer for extra strength and durability. This feature lessens the worries of encountering defects due to unwanted accidents or mistakes.

There is also a bag wherein users can store the item along with a cord storage. A built-in pump is a one-click tool that makes the inflating process faster and more bearable. Also, this pump is 20% quieter compared to others.

Overall, the makers of the SoundAsleep air mattress give its users the comfort of sleeping in a legitimate bed while offering the easy-to-use feature of an air mattress.

Highlighted Features

  • Comfort coil technology supports the weight of the user/s and adds comfort overall
  • EZ pump allows faster inflation and deflation
  • Made of durable and thick waterproof material
  • 15-gauge puncture-proof material protects the product from holes and defects
  • SureGrip bottom ensures sturdiness and keeps the product in place at all times

Sleeping Pad Vs Air Mattress – Differences

HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad + Inflatable Travel Pillow  Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress w/Compact Carrying Bag...
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad + Inflatable Travel Pillow Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress w/Compact Carrying Bag...
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
-
-
-
-
$39.95
$119.95
HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad + Inflatable Travel Pillow  Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress w/Compact Carrying Bag...
HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad + Inflatable Travel Pillow Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress w/Compact Carrying Bag...
-
-
$39.95
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
-
-
$119.95

While some people see a sleeping pad and an air mattress as the same, there are some differences that you should take note of.

  • Sleeping pads are less likely to get punctured compared to air mattresses, especially if it’s the foam type of sleeping pad.
  • Air mattresses provide better sleeping experiences compared to sleeping pads.
  • In terms of service life, air mattresses reign supreme.
  • Sleeping pads rarely have additional accessories like an air mattress.
  • When a foam mattress gets destroyed, air mattresses can be a great replacement compared to sleeping pads.
  • Assembling sleeping pads is more convenient and much more comfortable compared to air mattresses.

Overall, when you are choosing between a sleeping pad and an air mattress, always consider the reason you are buying one. If you want a product that lasts long and can replace a foam mattress, then choose an air mattress.

On the other hand, if you want convenience and ease of use, then opt to purchase a sleeping pad instead. The decision all depends on how you intend to use it and your preferences.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I store a self-inflating sleeping pad?

A self-inflating pad should be unrolled and inflated when stored. This kind of storage ensures that the product works when you use it for camping. Also, refrain from placing the pad in wet or damp places.

  1. Should I always keep my air mattress inflated?

No. You should store the air mattress in its bag and use it only when needed.

  1. How to clean a sleeping pad?

Never put the product in a washing machine. Instead, use a surface cleaner and wipe the area where you usually lie down. You may also do this on the opposite side. If you want to wet the product, make sure the valve remains closed at all times.

  1. How do I know if the air mattress has a hole?

Listen for hissing sounds when you inflate the product. When you do find the hole, duct tape is a temporary solution. Usually, these items come with a patch to cover any holes or punctures.

  1. Are valves replaceable?

Yes, you may contact the manufacturer for additional information about this.

 

Conclusion

Before you purchase anything, always make sure that you thoroughly compare everything up to the most critical detail. This way, you won’t regret your decisions, and you’ll get your money’s worth.

Leave a Comment

shares