The Most Durable Air Mattress for Camping

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Reviewing the best, most durable air mattresses on the market.

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There are a few things in life more wholesome and satisfying than a good camping trip. But, finding the right air mattress isn’t as easy as you think. With so many options on the market and so many reviews, it’s not always easy to determine which one will serve your needs best.

How do you find a trustworthy air mattress? What features do you need? How much should you pay for a good one? Which manufacturers are reliable? Why would some people even choose to use an air mattress anyway, since they haven’t been around for that long?

Air mattresses are not created equal – some will quickly give out on you when you need them most, hurting your back in the process. To help you make the best possible choice for your air bed, we’ve performed a deep dive on the best, most durable air mattress brands and models on the market in 2021.

At a glance…

In our opinion, the most durable air mattress for camping is the Klymit Insulated Static V. It is very durable (75-Denier polyester) and backed up by a lifetime warranty. More so, it’s light, highly portable, fast to inflate and offers a smart design to keep your body comfortable and centered while in the same time provides good insulation for cold nights. 

Our Top Choice
Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad,...
Best Tactical
MT Military Army Alice Embedded Air Self-Inflating...
Best Value
Relefree Sleeping Pad for Camping Built-in Pump...
Klymit Insulated Static V
MT Military Army Self-Inflating
Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat
Rugged Ratings
Our Top Choice
Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad,...
Klymit Insulated Static V
Rugged Ratings
Best Tactical
MT Military Army Alice Embedded Air Self-Inflating...
MT Military Army Self-Inflating
Rugged Ratings
Best Value
Relefree Sleeping Pad for Camping Built-in Pump...
Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat
Rugged Ratings

Last update on 2021-07-18 at 12:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Given how difficult and expensive it is to catch a flight somewhere right now, there’s never been a better time to pack your tent in the car and hit the road for an idyllic camping trip.

You might even have a little room left in the budget for some more luxurious camping (or ‘glamping’) equipment and accessories – and a top-of-the-line air mattress seems like a worthy thing to splash out on for a comfortable night sleep wherever you go.

In a hurry? Check all our recommended brands and products.

What to look for in an air mattress for camping?

We’ll look at the key features of size, weight, comfort, pump method, and materials, but focus our attention on our #1 requirement from our users – durability – so you can get a good night’s sleep out in the wilderness for years, perhaps even decades to come.

What even are air mattresses and what makes them so ideal for camping, you wonder?

Air mattresses marry two things that usually don’t go well together in outdoor expedition-type adventures – utility and comfort.

As they’re inflatable, they can pack down into a tiny and lightweight form factor, making them great for hiking long distances to picturesque camping spots. The air that they are inflated with raises you off the ground and provides a really comfortable platform for your back, unlike foldable camp beds.

The basic features and specifications to look out for when shopping around for air mattresses include the following:

What to look for when shopping for an air mattress
  • Size – how many people it sleeps, as well as the internal floor space it will take up in your tent.
  • Materials – specifically the comfort, thickness, and environmental sustainability of the materials used.
  • ‘R-value’ – this is a number typically between 1 and 5 that describes the mattress’ ability to conduct heat, where a higher figure represents a better ability to protect you from the cold floor.
  • Type – air mattresses can be bought as single mattresses or ‘all-in-one’ beds with a sleeping bag and air pillow attached.
  • Pump type – whether the air mattress is inflated with an electronic/manual pump or by your own breath.

So, it’s worth figuring out what kind of trip you’ll be taking (long, short, treacherous, or backyard!) to decide what kind of air mattress will fit your needs. We’ll include a broad variety in our list to suit everyone’s needs and point out whether a make or model has variable sizes and options.

Once you’re set on what you’re looking for, it’s down to strength, durability, and longevity – and we’ve got you covered on that.

Using our “Rugged Ratings” ranking system…

We’ll be ranking our selections using the patented Rugged Rating BIFL system. In the context of air mattresses, that means…

  • Rugged – air mattresses made to military specifications or from premium materials.
  • Repairable – air mattresses that come with puncture repair kits or variable pump valves.
  • Upgradable – air mattresses that feature optional additions like inflatable pillows or attachable sleeping bags.
  • Multipurpose – air mattresses that are highly portable and suitable for multiple terrain types.

With that said, let’s get to it!

Overall Comparison Table

First, we’ve put together a master table featuring all the specs of each camping mattress listed. Take a look to get a direct comparison and find your favorite.

wdt_IDBrand/ModelRugged RatingsSize (Inflated)WeightMaterialInflation methodNotable Features
Insulated Static V
95183 x 58 x 6cm
72 x 23 x 2.5inch
75D polyesterBreathInsulating deep welds
Airbed Extra Durable
55198 x 137 x 22cm
76 x 54 x 9inch
REACH compliant PVCElectric pumpPuncture resistance
3MT Military Army
Self-Inflating Camp Mat
90173 x 56 x 3cm
68 x 22 x 1.18inch
MIL-SPEC nylonSelf-inflationWater resistance and
ALICE pack compatibility
4Coleman Camping Cot
Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
70149 x 55 x 198cm
57 x 22 x 78inch
PVCBattery operated pumpSide tables
Self-Inflating Camp Mat
75197 x 64 x 18cm
78 x 25 x 7inch
40D nylon & TPUInternal foot pumpAttached pillow
6Gear Doctors
Ultralight Apollo Air
70183 x 58 x 8cm
72 x 23 x 3.14inch
40D Nylon Fabric
With E-LAST coating
Pump sack5.2 R-value
Brand/ModelRugged RatingsSize (Inflated)WeightMaterialInflation method

Klymit Insulated Static V – Best Overall

#BIFL Rating 95%
Klymit Insulated Static V | Image Credit: Amazon com
Klymit Insulated Static V | Image Credit: Amazon com

We’re kicking things off with an air mattress suited to serious hikers, rangers, scouts, and adventurers – the Klymit Insulated Static V.

Born out of the expansive deserts and mountain valleys of Utah, Klymit’s one and only focus is making awesome gear for conquering the great outdoors in comfort.

And the Insulated Static V manages to combine that comfort with function and portability.

Its unique ‘V’ stitching and side rails are designed to create mini-caverns that trap warm air, protecting you from the cold and keeping you centered on the mattress throughout the night. And with these ‘deep welds’, it naturally requires less air to inflate, allowing you to get it to full size in only 10-15 breaths and being able to fold down to a smaller-than-average and lightweight storage bag.


The 75D polyester [1] offers great wear-and-tear resistance, and we’re happy to report that Klymit offers a lifetime warranty for the Static V, which includes repair or replacement.

You can get your Insulated Static V on its own in various sizes (at different price points), or with a separately sold attachable sheet and air pillow.

+ Great insulation technology for cold nights Accessories sold separately
+ Tough 75D polyester 
+ Small and lightweight 

PRICE: Around $85

PERFECT FOR: Long-distance camping expeditions in colder climates.

Last update on 2021-07-18 at 12:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Coleman Airbed Extra Durable – Best Double

#BIFL Rating 55%
Coleman Extra Durable Air Bed | Image Credit: Coleman EU
Coleman Extra Durable Air Bed | Image Credit: Coleman EU

If you know camping, you know Coleman. With a long history in providing innovative outdoor products including stoves, coolers, tents, and more, who better to provide an air mattress that ticks all the right boxes?

The Airbed Extra Durable is designed with ease and comfort at the forefront.

At 76 x 54 x 9inch (198 x 137 x 22cm) and only 6.17lb (2.8kg), this mattress is lighter and more portable than it should be, given its weight capacity. Additionally, the ‘Wrap N’ Roll’ carry bag does away with the usual tightening, folding, and stuffing into a tiny carry bag. Simply deflate, fold into a square and wrap the handle-equipped cover around it for quick and convenient packing.

Another neat innovation is the Double Lock valve system [2] , which keeps the air inside the bed even when the valve is open. You’ll have to use a compatible electronic pump, but that feels acceptable for an air mattress designed with ease and speed as priorities.


The PVC material is REACH compliant for better environmental standards [3], and the materials were tested to be 47% more puncture-resistant, 25% stronger, and up to 42% lighter than standard Coleman beds.

You can get a Coleman Airbed Extra Durable as a double, a raised version, and a single version.

+ High off-ground and comfortable Pump required for inflation sold separately
+ Puncture resistance 
+ Wrap N’ Roll for easy packing & carry 

PRICE: Around $95

PERFECT FOR: Couple and family camping trips with a car for storage

MT Military Army Self-Inflating Camp Mat – Best Tactical

#BIFL Rating 90%
MT Military Army ALICE Air Self Inflating | Image Credit: Amazon com
MT Military Army ALICE Air Self Inflating | Image Credit: Amazon com

Ok, we hear you. You’re not setting out on your camping trip with a big family, or even going camping purely for leisure at all. Over thick, padded comfort, you would prefer portability. Over luxurious materials, you want tactical prowess.

Enter the MT Military Self-Inflating Camp Mat. To call this an ‘air mat’ is not too much of a stretch, as it does inflate – but it’s not as plump as the name suggests, at only 1.18-inch thick. This camp mat is designed to be embedded within the American Army ALICE [4] (All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) pack for tactical excursions.


As the name suggests, it does not need a pump, self-inflating in seconds as you twist off the valve and unroll. As a piece of tactical equipment, it’s also composed of MIL-SPEC waterproof materials that are tear-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about taking this thing on your rougher adventures.

Is it super comfortable and spring-loaded for a dreamy night’s sleep? No, it’s not. But you bet it will live through your harshest missions, all while being so light and portable that you’ll barely notice the load. For that, it deserves high praise.  

+ Extremely lightweight and ALICE pack compatible Too close to ground at only 1.18-inch thick
+ Self-inflation 
+ Water and tear-resistance 

PRICE: Around $56

PERFECT FOR: Tactical excursions, military, and army use

MT Military Army Alice Embedded Air Self-Inflating...
  • Unique Design: It is designed to combine use with ALICE Pack Rucksack system, and it can embedded...
  • Compact and Lightweight: Self-inflating convenience meets air mattress comfort to create the perfect...
  • Easy and Quick Inflation and Deflation: No need to pump or use any equipment to inflate your...

Last update on 2021-07-18 at 12:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo – Best for Glamping

#BIFL Rating 70%
Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress | Image Credit: Amazon com
Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress | Image Credit: Amazon com

You didn’t think there’d be only one Coleman entry, did you?

To contrast the prior entry, we bring you the ultimate in luxurious outdoor sleeping.

The Coleman Camping Cot Combo blurs the line between indoor and outdoor sleeping equipment, and could easily be mistaken for an actual bed. Raised from the floor by a metal frame, the raised air mattress slips into the attached microfibre cot fabric after inflation for a stable, warm, and comfortable sleep.

The frame itself features two side tables with attached cup holders for a camping nightcap and ample space for a book, tablet, or light. And thanks to its raised profile, you can even utilize the space underneath for storage!


The queen size has a generous weight limit of 600 lb, so pile on, but you can also get it as a smaller twin size.

Understandably, the packed-down size is fairly large given the frame and the fact that it’s bundled with cot, mattress, and an air pump – so car transport will probably be necessary. With a similarly hefty price tag of $324 for the queen size, this will probably only be an option for seasoned, regular campers.

+ Comfortable and luxurious Hefty size, even when packed down
+ Storage and side tables 
+ Bundled with pump and cot 

PRICE: Around $320

PERFECT FOR: Luxurious family glamping trips

Last update on 2021-07-20 at 07:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat – Best Value for Money

#BIFL Rating 75%
Relefree Self Inflating Camping Mat | Image Credit: Amazon com
Relefree Self Inflating Camping Mat | Image Credit: Amazon com

‘Self-inflating’ might not be the most honest description for this air mattress, but we see where they’re coming from.

Unlike the earlier MT Military Self-Inflating Camp Mat, this inflates not all on its own, but via an internal foot pump. You simply roll it out and repeatedly step on the base to pump air into the mattress, which can be done in around 30 seconds.

The Relefree Camp Mat also features an attached pillow, which is breath-inflated via a separate valve. Incredibly, it features connectors at each side to attach multiple Relefrees together to create twin, king, queen, or an endless chain of beds if you wish!

Like the Klymit Static V, this heavy-duty air mattress boasts a ‘fold’ design, this time in a honeycomb pattern to increase grip and heat capture.


The material is composed of strong 40D nylon and TPU composite for adequate water and tear resistance.

Considering it’s a camping air mattress, pump, and pillow combo, it packs away into a pleasantly small bag at only 1.63lb (740g) and probably represents the best value-for-money deal on the list for under $50.

+ Internal pump and attached pillow Low to ground and thin
+ Extremely lightweight 
+ Connective ability 

PRICE: Around $45

PERFECT FOR: Budget, all-in-one unit for shorter camping or hiking trips

Relefree Sleeping Pad for Camping Built-in Pump...
  • ✔UPGRADE BUILT-IN PUMP : No additional air pump is needed, and avoid the embarrassment of blowing...
  • ✔MORE COMFORTER AND BIGGER SIZE : The thickness of 6cm is enough to block the humidity and cold of...
  • ✔SEPARATED INFLATING ,REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN - have you ever thought about not filling the pad and...

Last update on 2021-07-20 at 07:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air – Best for All-Season Camping

#BIFL Rating 70%
Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air | Image Credit: Amazon com
Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air | Image Credit: Amazon com

Our final entry manages to list-topping insulative R-value with similarly list-topping lightness, at an astonishing 1.06lb (480g).

Gear Doctors have a great reputation for outdoor equipment of all kinds, and they’ve created a market-leading product in the Ultralight Apollo Air for a few reasons. First, the innovative inflation method, which utilizes a ‘Pump Sack’ instead of your lungs. Just attach the external bag to the inflatable mattress and fill it with as much air as it takes, squeezing it towards the bed to fill. Repeat as necessary, and voila.


At 9 inches height when packed, it’s about as big (or, shall we say, small) as a water bottle, making it perfect for longer carries. The water-resistant 40D nylon with ‘E-Last’ coating also makes it “2.5 x times stronger than current market standards”.

Surprisingly for an inflatable sleeping pad of its size, it boasts an incredible R-value of 5.2. This means it can insulate you from the cold ground sleeping surface even in wintery conditions. An impressive feat that does come in at a significant price point, however.

+ Pump sack for inflation Small size may not be suitable for taller or bigger campers
+ Lightest and most compact on the list Only one size
+ R-value of 5.2 

PRICE: Around $100

PERFECT FOR: Longer-trip camping and hiking in colder conditions

Last update on 2021-07-20 at 07:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our recommendations for the most durable air mattress for camping

There you have it: the most durable air mattresses for camping on the market right now.

As we mentioned, the perfect camping mat for you is the one that meets your specific needs in terms of the type of trip you plan on taking. But if we had to recommend one or two…

First and foremost, we would suggest the Klymit Insulated Static V. It ticks pretty much every box aside from self-inflation, which won’t be a dealbreaker with the 10-15 breaths it takes to get this up and running. With an R-value of 4.4, you won’t have to worry about night-time temperatures in most seasons, and the 75D polyester will ensure that it’s good for many camping trips to come. The lifetime warranty is nothing to complain about, either.

But this is Rugged Ratings, and what we value more than anything in products is design with longevity at the forefront. And for that reason, the MT Military Self-Inflating Camp Mat would be our second choice. Its self-inflation is not just a gimmick ­– pitching up and tearing down a site quickly is an essential asset for tactical outings. Combine that with a shockingly slim profile and lightweight, materials that will survive the harshest winters, and compatibility with ALICE packs, and you’ve got a great all-around package that may well last a lifetime with good care.   

The 5 Best Military Grade Tents | RUGGED RATINGS

What to check next: The Best Military Grade Tents [2021 edition]. The best tent for you is the one that’s built to military specs. It protects you, your friends and teammates, your gear, and best of all…you probably won’t have to buy another tent ever again…


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