The Most Durable Air Mattress for Camping

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Reviewing the best, most durable air mattresses on the market [2023 edition].

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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 2023.

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 providing good insulation for cold nights. 

Klymit Insulated Static V
  • Perfect for: Long-distance camping expeditions in colder climates.
MT Military Army Self-Inflating
  • Perfect for: Tactical excursions, military, and army use
Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat
  • Perfect for: Budget, all-in-one unit for shorter camping or hiking trips

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.


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: 50% weight of total score – air mattresses made to military specifications or from premium materials.
  • Repairable: 20% weight of total score – air mattresses that come with puncture repair kits or variable pump valves.
  • Upgradable: 15% weight of total score – air mattresses that feature optional additions like inflatable pillows or attachable sleeping bags.
  • Multipurpose: 15% weight of total score– air mattresses that are highly portable and suitable for multiple terrain types.

With that said, let’s get to it!

Klymit Insulated Static V – Best Overall

Klymit Insulated Static V | Image Credit: Amazon com
Klymit Insulated Static V | Image Credit: Amazon com

9.5out of 10


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
  • Tough 75D polyester
  • Small and lightweight
  • Accessories sold separately

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

Coleman Extra Durable Air Bed | Image Credit: Coleman EU
Coleman Extra Durable Air Bed | Image Credit: Coleman EU

6.4out of 10


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
  • Puncture resistance
  • Wrap N’ Roll for easy packing & carry
  • Pump required for inflation sold separately

PRICE: Around $95

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


MT Military Army Self-Inflating Camp Mat – Best Tactical

MT Military Army ALICE Air Self Inflating | Image Credit: Amazon com
MT Military Army ALICE Air Self Inflating | Image Credit: Amazon com

8.9out of 10


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
  • Self-inflation
  • Water and tear-resistance
  • Too close to the ground at only 1.18-inch thick

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

Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress | Image Credit: Amazon com
Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress | Image Credit: Amazon com

7.0out of 10


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
  • Storage and side tables
  • Bundled with pump and cot
  • Hefty size, even when packed down

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

Relefree Self Inflating Camping Mat | Image Credit: Amazon com
Relefree Self Inflating Camping Mat | Image Credit: Amazon com

7.8out of 10


‘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
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Connective ability
  • Low to ground and thin

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

Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air | Image Credit: Amazon com
Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air | Image Credit: Amazon com

7.6out of 10


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

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

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.

ProductFeaturesRUGGED RATINGSPrice
Klymit Insulated Static V

Klymit Insulated Static V

  • Size (Inflated): 183 x 58 x 6cm | 72 x 23 x 2.5inch (single)
  • Weight: 680g | 1.5lb
  • Material: 75D polyester
  • Inflation method: Breath
  • Notable Features: Insulating deep welds
Check Latest Price
MT Military Army Self-Inflating Camp Mat

MT Military Army Self-Inflating Camp Mat

  • Size (Inflated): 173 x 56 x 3cm | 68 x 22 x 1.18inch (single)
  • Weight: 1.18kg | 2.6lb
  • Material: MIL-SPEC nylon
  • Inflation method: Self-inflation
  • Notable Features: Water resistance and ALICE pack compatibility
Check Latest Price
Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat

Relefree Self-Inflating Camp Mat

  • Size (Inflated): 197 x 64 x 18cm | 78 x 25 x 7inch (single)
  • Weight: 740g | 1.63lb
  • Material: 40D nylon & TPU
  • Inflation method: Internal foot pump
  • Notable Features: Attached pillow
Check Latest Price
Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air Mattress

Gear Doctors Ultralight Apollo Air Mattress

  • Size (Inflated): 183 x 58 x 8cm | 72 x 23 x 3.14inch (single)
  • Weight: 482g | 1.06lb
  • Material: 40D Nylon Fabric with E-LAST coating
  • Inflation method: Pump sack
  • Notable Features: 5.2 R-value
Check Latest Price
Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

  • Size (Inflated): 149 x 55 x 198cm | 57 x 22 x 78inch (queen)
  • Weight: 19kg | 41.88lb
  • Material: PVC
  • Inflation method: Battery-operated pump
  • Notable Features: Side tables
Check Latest Price
Coleman Airbed Extra Durable

Coleman Airbed Extra Durable

  • Size (Inflated): 198 x 137 x 22cm | 76 x 54 x 9inch (double)
  • Weight: 2.8kg | 6.17lb
  • Material: REACH-compliant PVC
  • Inflation method: Electric pump
  • Notable Features: Puncture resistance
Check Latest Price

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.   


What is the difference between an air bed and an air mattress?

Air beds are most commonly used as extra beds for traveling or guests. The air mattress is a sleeping air bag usually used for sleeping on the ground or floor.

Should you use an air mattress when camping?

Although an air mattress is not required for camping, it may be an excellent idea if you want a peaceful night’s sleep. Depending on your needs, you can use sleeping cots, sleeping bags, or even hammocks.

What happens if you put too much air on an air mattress?

When air mattresses are filled to the maximum, the seams are put under much strain. You should only blow your mattress to about 90% full to avoid the likelihood of a mattress rupture.

What R-value do I need for camping?  

For winter backpacking and camping, we recommend an R-value of 5. An R-value of 2 or higher is suitable for three-season backpacking and camping. For ladies and other cold sleepers, an additional R-value of one is usually a decent hedge.

Are sleeping pads necessary?

Yes. Sleeping pads not only provide a cushioned sleeping surface to keep you comfortable, but they also provide critical insulation from cold ground temperatures.

What’s the best material for an air mattress?

Closed-cell foam air mattresses are your best bet. Many hikers pick a “short” or “3/4 length” foam pad to save weight (you can lay your empty pack or extra clothing under your feet for a bit of insulation if needed).

Can a yoga mat work as a sleeping pad?

We do not recommend sleeping on a yoga mat because it’s not thick enough to keep you warm and comfortable all night. However, if you only bring a yoga mat, use a thick one, especially in a hot area.

What does R-value mean for sleeping pads?

A sleeping pad’s R-value measures its capacity to resist heat flow through it (hence the “R”). The higher a pad’s R-value, the better it will insulate you from cold surfaces. Sleeping pad R-values range from less than 2 (minimally insulated) to 5.5 or more (very well insulated).

What is the difference between a yoga mat and a camping mat?

Yoga mats are typically heavier than sleeping mats; on average, a sleeping pad will not be any heavier than a couple of pounds.

What are camping mats made of?

Camping mats are often made of closed-cell polyethylene foam. This lightweight material offers several benefits for use in the camping and travel market, including insulation from the ground and a flat surface.

Your feedback, corrections, angry or happy thoughts are welcome here.

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The 5 Best Military Grade Tents | RUGGED RATINGS
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