Ever wondered what the best camping sleep gear is? Self Inflating mattresses, air beds, eva mats, swags, foam mattresses, camp bunks, camp beds….. there’s a whole lot of choice.
If you’re travelling in a camper trailer or caravan, then chances are, you’ll be sleeping on a high density foam, or even an innerspring mattress. If you’re using a tent/swag or similar, then chances are you’ll be needing to find the most comfortable, yet cost effective way to sleep in some sort of comfort. The same dilemma occurs for those families who have children sleeping in annexes or outside of the main bedding within any camp set-up as tends to happen with larger families, or older children, being easily transportable, yet comfy enough for a good night’s sleep are the main criteria.
SELF INFLATING MATTRESSES:- Ranging from around $70.00+
A self inflating mattress is in fact a foam mattress that has an outer cover on with valves which can be opened and closed. The air is able to be squeezed out of the mattress so it can be squashed down to a smaller size to allow for easier transportation. When arriving at your destination, simply grab the mattress out of the bag/roll, undo the valves and leave it to sit for half an hour -an hour to draw the air in by itself. There is a wide range of self inflating mattresses available on the market, ranging from those suitable for bushwalkers or trekkers starting at around 28mm thick to queen size at around 10-15cms thick. There’s some advantages, such as no pump being required and greater insulation from the cold ground, however Self inflating mattresses can be bulky (especially the larger sizes) and can be more expensive.
EVA FOAM MATS:- Ranging from around $10+
These mats are sometimes known as yoga or exercise mats that are often used when people need to travel light. These mats are extremely light weight, they don’t provide much padding or comfort, but they do help to insulate your body from the cold of the ground. Sizes and thickness vary, generally in thickness from 8mm to 20mm.
AIR BED or INFLATABLE MATTRESS:- Ranging from around $20+
These are a great and comfortable option if you can find one that stays inflated while you sleep! They can be comfortable and come in a range of sizes, although they are not without their problems. In winter, an inflatable bed is cold and it’s important to place a blanket or even one of the eva foam matresses down where you will lay, to protect yourself from the cold air circulating underneath you. It’s also important that you have the gear needed to inflate the matress. Generally a 12v air pump which is relatively inexpensive works well.
CAMP BUNKS or CAMP STRETCHERS:- Ranging from around $25+
These are a great option for kids and adults alike with a huge range of sizing, pricing and styles. Take some time to try the beds out in store if possible and lay down to feel if a particular stretcher suits you. This style of bed generally packs done to be small and the frame packs away by either pulling apart or folding. Lightweight and they don’t take up much room, it might be necessary to use an eva foam mat during colder months to add some protection from the cold air that may flow underneath the bed.