If you are often out and about in the great outdoors – even for several days – you need a suitable outdoor mattress, also called a trekking mattress, in addition to a good sleeping bag. Since the range is very large and confusing, we have put the most popular models under the microscope in the test and summarized the test winners in our list of the best.
This top list includes the three best outdoor mattresses that are suitable for different areas of use.
What are the best outdoor mattresses of 2020?
A PU foam is used inside and when the valve is open, the pad automatically draws air into the interior. Thanks to the PVC coating, the model is completely waterproof and has an insulating effect. Also, it is non-slip, so that it can also be used on smooth floors.
A suitable packsack is already included in the scope of delivery and a patch kit is also included if the outer material ever gets a hole. The bottom line is that the mat is very well and solidly processed, offers a good price-performance ratio, and can be used universally.
Make sure that you leave the mat laid out for 24 hours before using it for the first time so that it can reach its full thickness. The scope of delivery includes a patch kit for repairing any damage and the mat is both non-slip and insulating against cold and moisture. So it is the ideal companion for outdoor tours.
In the test, the sleeping pad proved to be very comfortable, especially it offers a noticeable improvement in the lying surface and can also compensate for unevenness. Unfortunately, the seams are not as solid as in some other models, so they should be treated a little more carefully.
The insulation effect is good, if not perfect, as it is not completely waterproof. You should therefore not lie directly with the underlay on a cold, damp surface. Thanks to the design with 21 sewn-in buttons, the overall comfort is good, because the foam adapts well to the body. It is particularly advantageous that two mats can relate to the outer buttons so that you have a large lying area.
Within about 4 minutes the mattress draws insufficient air due to the expansion of the inner foam and is ready. With a weight of only 800 grams, it is very light and at the top, there is a pillow with an extra thick foam filling. This provides additional convenience. In addition to the mattress itself, the scope of delivery also includes a transport bag and patches in case a hole occurs.
Properties of an outdoor mattress
The ideal outdoor mattress can be folded or rolled to save space, does not require a pump to inflate, keeps out cold and moisture from below, and is also robust and well made.
This also applies to all models examined in the test. Therefore, they are also referred to as “self-filling air mattresses”, “outdoor mattresses” or “thermal mattresses” because a classic air mattress is usually inflated with a pump. This does not apply to the outdoor air mattress.
The self-inflating mats are constructed in such a way that foam inside pushes the mattress apart so that it automatically draws air inside. This makes it more comfortable to sleep than a simple sleeping mat and has a valve that has to be opened and closed. Depending on the model, these mattresses are available in different thicknesses. The thicker, the more comfortable it is usually, and the easier it is to compensate for unevenness on the floor.
Also, the ideal outdoor mattress should be delivered with a practical carrying bag, into which the model fits without too much effort even after the first unpacking.
Areas of application
The mattresses can be used universally and are suitable for camping as well as for sleeping in the great outdoors. Usually, you lie on the mat in a sleeping bag so that the mattress completely replaces the sleeping mat.
In principle, the mattress can also be stowed in trekking backpacks without any problems, so that they are particularly popular with backpackers on their trips. Since no further equipment such as a pump or an additional sleeping mat is required, they are very space-saving and ideal for traveling.
But if you place more value on comfort in stationary camping and want to sleep on a thick air mattress, you should look around for one, because the very small pack size is one of the decisive criteria for outdoor mattresses, so that conventional air mattresses here because of the necessary Pump fall out.
If you are out and about in summer or warmer regions, you may even be able to do without a sleeping bag. In such a case, it makes sense to look around for a model that offers a soft surface that is fabric-like, because it is much more comfortable on it than on a smooth plastic surface. In such a case, the mattress should also be at least about 6 centimetres thick.
The test has shown that a cheap outdoor mattress can also be sufficient. Especially if you are using a thick sleeping bag, anyway, lying on a flat floor and protected by a tent. Then the material does not have to be that thick and a water-repellent surface can be dispensed with.
If the weight and pack size are also not that important, because you might drive to the campsite anyway and don’t have to carry around as much, you can also simply buy an air mattress that you put in the tent because it offers one greater comfort, but must also be inflated and takes up more space, as the pump must also be carried. This is certainly a disadvantage for long tours.
If you also want to forego lying comfort in favour of the pack size, you can use a simple sleeping mat without a self-inflating function. Such mats are even narrower and keep the cold out from below. Such space-saving mats can often be found under the term “thermal mat”.
Such sleeping pads are also popular at festivals, scouts, on the beach, in the garden, by the lake, or even as a simple guest bed at larger parties.