Your guide to this review today is by product expert Nick Bulanda
Published July 24, 2019
If you’ve got a camping trip planned this year, or are at least hoping to get out sometime before the weather turns cold, it’s about time to start getting prepped. It’s never too early to put a list together of all the supplies you’ll need to bring along, because we all know how easy it is to leave something important behind that can put a damper on an otherwise flawless trip. One thing that all too often gets forgotten about is a camping mat.
We’ve all been there: You’ve arrived at your camp site, put up your tent and realized you forgot that one essential item. You don’t want to wake up in your tent feeling sore, damp and cold. If you don’t already own a camping mat, or feel the need to upgrade, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best self inflating camping mat to take with you on your next family trip or outdoor adventure.
10 Best Self Inflating Camping Mats
Our pick for the best self inflating camping mat is this excellently rated sleeping pad courtesy of Sleepingo. Inflated in just a few short breaths, we’ll recommend this pad as essentially being self inflating; it’s really that easy. The pad packs down to an incredibly small size, able to be easily packed in any traveling bag to satisfy even the most inventory conscious hikers.
Sleepingo has a first-rate customer service reputation, so their promise of a hassle-free lifetime replacement guarantee seems to be very trustworthy. According to many customers, however, you likely won’t need it, as the pad is astonishingly durable, able to withstand scratches, drops and scrapes without piercing or tearing.
Included with the Sleepingo Camping Pad is a small and stylish carrying case that is about the size of a water bottle. Fully inflated, though, the mat has a dimension of 75” by 23”, large enough for most individuals and their sleeping bag. If we had to pick the single best self inflating camping mat on the market right now, we’d go with this.
Ultralight and Compact
Free Lifetime Replacement from Manufacturer
Made from Heavy-Duty Nylon
Weight: 14.4 Ounces
For our premium choice, we’ve elected to go with this extra large memory foam camping mat made by manufacturer Black Pine. It may have a basic look, but with its super comfortable feel, dual valve self inflation and deflation, and durable nonslip bottom, this mat is one that will make all your friends or family members envious. Though it’s more than roomy enough for most adult men or women, the mat compacts down to a surprising size for a mat of this quality.
This luxury camping pad is exceptionally warm and comfortable, with 4 inches of memory foam protecting you from the cold ground or your moisture soaked tent. For those who anticipate any extreme weather during any one of their camping trips, this would be an outstanding option for the best self inflating camping mat to buy.
Dual Self-Inflation Valves
6.5 x 2.5 feet
Brand: Black Pine
Weight: 4.5 lbs.
If you are in need of something less heavy duty than our previous picks, our best value choice might just be suited for you. With an ergonomic design meant to support and conform to your body, this self inflating foam camping pad is perfect for more easygoing camping trips that might not involve sleeping on hard and rough ground, such as organized campsites or even backyard camping.
Then again, even if you are doing some wilderness camping, maybe your sleeping bag is already remarkably padded and you don’t need a huge extra camping pad to bring along. This compact and lightweight mat rolls up small enough to fit in its included carrying bag, easy to fit inside any size backpack. With a 30 day money back guarantee and a year long manufacturer’s warranty, we don’t see any reason not to give this huge value option a try.
1.5" Ergonomic Foam Pad
Made with 75D Polyester Weather-Resistant Material
Leak-Resistant Air Valve
Brand: GreenTEC USA
Weight: 2.2 lbs.
This specially designed sleeping mat from Powerlix uses a body mapping hexagonal pattern to support the parts of your body that need it most, its pressure points. The fact that its also strikingly lightweight is really just a cherry on top. Made with thermally insulated and durable nylon, this mat is perfect to lie on with even just a light sleeping bag. It does require the use of a bag to inflate, but there’s no need for a pump or blowing air into it, making it one of the best self inflating camping mat you can choose to take with you.
If that hasn’t gotten your attention yet, how about two included repair kits and an inflating bag for faster and easy inflation? With several varieties of color options to choose from, you could even get a different mat for every member of the family!
Ergonomic Hexagon Design
Made With Thermal Insulated Waterproof 75D Nylon
Includes Carrying Bag, Inflating Bag and 2 Repair Kits
Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
Weight: 1.6 lbs. Shipped
Another easy to transport but still durable option to take a look at is this camping pad, which includes an inflatable pillow so you won't have to worry about bringing one of your nicer pillows from home. As a mix between an air and foam camping pad, this mat will be able to give you the best of both worlds. The twenty one dot design was specifically made for comfort and support, and with a few extra inches of length and width, we think this is yet another strong contender for one of the best self inflating camping mats.
Includes Inflatable Pillow
Made With 75D Waterproof Polyester
Brand: OUTCAMER OUTDOORS
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
The next top of the line pick on our list is this compact and comfortable self inflating mat made by Venture 4th. Built with hikers in mind, this camping pad uses a tapered design that allows the mat to roll up into quite a tight space, making it easy to carry with you wherever you’re headed. Using cozy open cell foam for a more relaxing fit, this camping pad is perfect for both warm and cold weather, in all sorts of environments and conditions, making it an exemplary choice for any outdoor aficionado.
Foam Inside, 75D Waterproof Polyester Outside
72" x 22"
Fits into Included Carrying Bag
Brand: Venture 4th
Weight: 2,2 lbs.
This gorgeous galaxy themed self inflating camping comes to us from manufacturer Foxelli, and manages to be simultaneously beautiful and relaxing. Unlike most of our other selections, this camping is slightly less than one inch thick, but still delivers a pleasant and enjoyable night of rest while weighing in nearly as light as a feather. Made with military grade thermal polyester as well as including a built in pillow and two separate storage bags, all while coming in at a smaller price point than most of its competitors, this little bundle is a complete steal for anyone planning their upcoming trip.
Less than 1" Thick
Rapid-Rise Body-Conforming Foam
72" x 24"
Made With Heavy-Duty Thermal Polyester
Weight: 2.42 lbs.
Another outstanding combination of air and foam, this self inflating pad is over two inches thick, weighs less than two pounds and measures in at an extra-long 74 inches by 24 inches. If you’re looking for a straightforward lightweight camping pad and hope to get a lot of bang for your buck, take a long look at this option.
Somehow able to be bulky enough to provide you adequate support during your rest while remaining light enough to easily carry around and durable enough to avoid damage, this self inflating camping pad will help you stay well rested throughout the entire length of your camping trip.
74" x 24"
Multi-Layer Tear Resistance
Weight: 1.85 lbs.
If you want to try something a little bit different, maybe this camping pad from KAMUI might be closer to what you’re looking for. Designed in part for family camping trips, this mat is able to connect to other mats of the same kind to create a seamless multi-pad connection, giving you more room to sleep without rolling onto the ground. It’s made with a strong polyester fabric and was made to be both simple and functional, perfect for families or anybody who just wants to increase their available sleep space.
Able to Connect Multiple Pads Together With No Gaps
Made Using 190T Polyester
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Coming in last but certainly not least in the world of the best self inflating camping mat is this option from Triphunter Gears. With a lifetime warranty and an included repair kit, this is one camping mat you should not have to worry about replacing. Like many of the best camping pads available, this mat rolls out to a pretty small size, allowing it to remain ultra lightweight, but still uses a smart design method and quality material to ensure a good night’s rest for whoever sleeps upon this bad boy. Though it’s not recommended for use in winter where the ground is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, this camping pad is an excellent choice for any summer trips.
73" x 22"
Made With 75D Polyester
100% Manufacturer Guarantee
Brand: TRIPHUNTER GEARS
Weight: 2,4 lbs.
Best Self Inflating Camping Mat Buying Guide & FAQ
What You'll Get Out of Buying a Self Inflating Camping Mat
One of the most important things to remember anytime you go camping, hiking, or really on any kind of vacation, is that you still always need a good night of sleep. It may be easy to forget in the midst of all the other excitement taking place, but you won’t be able to truly enjoy your vacation without being fully rested in the mornings.
Without the use of a camping pad, getting a full night of rest in the wilderness is no easy task, even with a tent and sleeping bag. Moisture easily soaks through the floor of the tent, and a sleeping bag is usually not enough support to protect your body from the harsh realities of sleeping on the ground.
By investing in a self inflating camping mat, not only are you ensuring you will wake up in the morning feeling ready to go, and like your complete self, but you will be able to side step the often annoying process of blowing up your camping mat. After all, who wants to take even more precious time out of their trip worried about setup?
Factors of Focus: How to Find the Best Self Inflating Camping Mat
1.) Back Support
The biggest reason you should feel the need to bring along a camping mat, and the first thing you should consider when shopping, is the back support provided by a camping pad. Read reviews, or even try the product out yourself if possible, to find out if the camping pad you've chosen is a good fit for you. Everyone's body is different, so not everyone will feel comfortable in the same exact positions. It's always worth your time to try out a camping pad before you fully commit, so don't be afraid to return an item if you have to and try something different instead.
No one wants to end up with a ripped or broken camping mat. The best way to avoid that unfortunate situation? Select a strong and durable camping mat that won't let you down. Pay close attention to the strength of the material (usually polyester). If manufacturers don't have it listed, that's often not a great sign.
3.) Portability for Travel
Finally, you will want to take into consideration the size of the item, and how easy or difficult it will be to transport it. Whether you're a solo backpacker going on a long hike or a large family setting up at a campground, it's important to be aware of how much you're taking with you. You may be surprised at how quickly things begin to add up. That's why going for more lightweight camping pads is a smart idea, but also keep in mind comfort and support should usually be a bigger priority.
It seems as the years go on, even as technology becomes more and more pervasive in our everyday lives, camping remains a timeless and beloved way to spend our recreational time. There is such a wide variety of campsites available not only across the United States, but around the world. One of the things holding many people back from their own camping experience is discomfort. The solution is finding a camping pad suited for you, and you'll barely be able to tell you aren't sleeping on your bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My camping pad claims to be self inflating but isn't working. What should I do?
A: First off, make sure to carefully read the description for each product before you buy, as many of the self inflating camping pads work differently. Some included a bag that can be used to pump it with ease, and would technically qualify as self inflating. Others simply just need to have the valve opened and they will fill up over a length of time. If you're sure the camping pad is not functioning as advertised, do not hesitate to reach out to the seller or manufacturer to find out about their return or warranty policies.
Q: What's the difference between air and foam camping pads?
A: The easiest way to compare the two is by using mattresses. An air mattress is lightweight but not always the most comfortable, while foam mattresses are very comfortable but often heavy and difficult to transport. Some air camping pads have overcome the disadvantages of air mattresses by being crafted at a higher level. Still, with some exceptions, it's often recommended to try to find a hybrid using both air and foam.