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Best Air Mattresses & Inflatable Beds Reviewed

last updated Mar 24, 2019

Sleeping outdoors can be a nightmare as much as it can be a comfortable experience – it ultimately depends where you’re sleeping. First time campers have an especially hard time adapting to the outdoor environment. For that reason, it’s essential to count on a comfortable surface that provides sound rest. Air mattresses can be some of the comfiest mattresses you can rest on when going outdoors. They’re also some of the most practical. But, this depends on how you choose them, which may not be as easy as you think. Our product selection includes the features you should be looking for vacationing or outdoor activities and our list for the best models on the market!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
Exped Mega Mat 10
98.2/100 our score
Comfort
99
Durability
99
Portability
96
Materials
99
Value
98
Exped Mega Mat 10
Why is it better?

Not degraded or affected by water

Highly resistant and durable materials

Self-inflating memory foam

Excellent for outdoor activities and mountaineering

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Exped Mega Mat 10
Test Winner: Exped Mega Mat 10
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Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
12000
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Marko
By Marko:

The quality of air mattresses has improved immensely. This update replaces four air mattress from the former list with products that experts and consumers are pleased to give high rankings. The include the King Koil, Etekcity, Active Era, and Air Mattress.

Sorting Options
Comfort Durability Portability Materials Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.2
Comfort
99 %
Durability
99 %
Portability
96 %
Materials
99 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Comfort
99 %
Durability
96 %
Portability
93 %
Materials
97 %
Value
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$120.99
Cabelas
$159.99
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Comfort
98 %
Durability
97 %
Portability
93 %
Materials
97 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$89.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Comfort
97 %
Durability
94 %
Portability
93 %
Materials
97 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$119.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Comfort
95 %
Durability
91 %
Portability
95 %
Materials
92 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$62.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Comfort
95 %
Durability
90 %
Portability
92 %
Materials
94 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$129.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Comfort
94 %
Durability
95 %
Portability
88 %
Materials
90 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$45.49
Cabelas
$49.99
See Deal
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Comfort
89 %
Durability
88 %
Portability
96 %
Materials
90 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$83.81
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Comfort
88 %
Durability
86 %
Portability
97 %
Materials
88 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.10.19)
Amazon Link
$38.32

BEST AIR MATTRESSES & INFLATABLE BEDS REVIEWED

1. Exped Mega Mat 10

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.2
Exped Mega Mat 10
Amazon Link
Comfort
99
Durability
99
Portability
96
Materials
99
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Not degraded or affected by water

Highly resistant and durable materials

Self-inflating memory foam

Excellent for outdoor activities and mountaineering

Cons:

The mini-pump requires many pumps due to its small size (still compatible with other pumps)

The Mega Mat 10 is exactly what you would look for if you’re going on an expedition. It is easily folded and stored safely in your vehicle or transportation method or even your backpack. Weighing just under 6 pounds, it’s the perfect solution to take a break on the go and back-country adventures. Exped’s Mega Mats are designed in a tri-dimensional construction with side protection. People who had bad outdoor experiences previously will find salvation within this platform; it’s so comfortable you’ll be willing to camp under the rain.

Foam insulation
The lack of heat can be a huge problem when exploring and adventuring, and there’s nothing more uncomfortable than resting with considerable cold. The oxygen transport system regulates the flow of molecules within the platform, providing users with a considerable amount of insulating protection. This particular model counts with an R-Value of 9.5, which is nearly the most you can get from an outdoor platform.

Inflating convenience
The product includes Exped’s Mini Pump for inflation that requires no lung activity. The pump is not only smooth and easy to operate, but its convenient size makes it a great option for any outdoor occasion. The pump will allow you to top off your platform with oxygen, only producing resistance once it is fully inflated. Lastly, the pump is considerably light and barely occupies any space.

Strong materials
If you’re going to face the environments of the backcountry and the mountains, you better be prepared with some quality materials. This is composed of a combination of 50D tricot nylon, thermoplastic polyurethane film laminate, and the utterly comfortable memory foam. As if the material resistance alone wasn’t enough, this product is hydrolysis resistant, meaning the molecular structure of the materials is not affected or degraded by exposure to water.

2. Serta Raised

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Serta Raised
Amazon Link
Comfort
99
Durability
96
Portability
93
Materials
97
Value
97
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$120.99
Cabelas
$159.99
See Deal
Pros:

Puncture resistant and waterproof construction

Automatic pump inflates it to its most optimal point

Dual pumping system monitors gas compression throughout the night

The surface prevents the sheep from slipping off

Cons:

Considerably thick and may not be compatible with most bases

If you’re looking for a platform that does the boring part for you, then this option is the way to go. The only thing you’ll have to worry about when using this is figuring out which of the inflation states is the most comfortable. Taking a break on this thing is as easy as putting your head down and letting the platform do the rest for you. An efficient combination of comfy materials and innovative technologies makes Serta one of the leaders of the market.

Double-pump system
Chances are you’ve never seen two pumps in one single platform; until you purchase a Serta. The dual pump system consists of a primary automatic pump that inflated and deflates the platform in 3 minutes by just pressing a button. The secondary never flat pump makes sure the compression stays at the level of comfort you’ve previously set, without making a single noise.

Smart pumping
You won’t ever have to worry about inflating the platform too much or too little again; the smart pumping system turns itself off automatically once it has achieved the desired support. The pump even adds an additional dose of oxygen required for an optimal first usage (first time only).

Cost and Value
This raised platform is utterly comfortable for a reason; the inner of this platform hides 35 circular coils that create a firm structure that supports and levels the resting surface regardless of your weight (within the capacity). The coils also work as cushioning agents providing you with a soft resting experience.

3. SoundAsleep Camping Series

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
SoundAsleep Camping Series
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Durability
97
Portability
93
Materials
97
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$89.95
Pros:

Available in queen size or individual capacity

Includes an extra nozzle adapter for the motor

Fast and efficient customer service

Very simple to set up and inflate, even in the dark

Cons:

The valve makes it somewhat troublesome to deflate

SoundsAsleep is one of the most remarkable outdoor platform brands in the market as of this date. These Series are possibly one of their best products up to date; specifically engineered for outdoor performance and durability. It contains everything you would expect from a vacationing platform; ease of carrying, it is lightweight, and a practical sack to stuff the platform and the right materials for decent rest when going outdoors. This product also acts as an indoor platform whenever you need it, making it ideal for not only vacationing but also traveling and visiting your friends.

Patented Pump
SoundAsleep’s patented pump is designed to provide the utmost ease when it comes to inflating the platform. This pump was freshly developed not long ago and is easily rechargeable at home or even with your car when going outdoors. The pump makes sure no effort is required on your end aside from setting up the pump on the platform. In just 4 minutes, you’ll have a completely inflated platform.

Designed for outdoors
The extra-thick materials of the Camping Series are exactly what you would expect from an outdoor platform. Not only will it comfort you even if you’re resting on the ground, but it’s also puncture-proof and resistant to stings. The elastic materials will mold around the objects rather than being penetrated by them. This ensures both a comfortable experience and a durable life.

Cost and Value
It’s hard to beat SoundAsleep when it comes to the support of their product. Their ComfortCoil technology is amongst the most outstanding on the market, backed with I-Beam Oxygen Coils that stabilize but the surface and the compressed oxygen. Furthermore, eco-friendly PVC construction is ideal for outdoorsy environments.

4. King Koil

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
King Koil
Amazon Link
Comfort
97
Durability
94
Portability
93
Materials
97
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.95
Pros:

Height makes the transition on and off easy

Customizable firmness

Fitted sheets remain in place

Convenient and compact carrying case

Cons:

Not well-suited for rugged vacationing

King Koil is well-known for offering a range of platforms. This platform is packed with features and convenience that are very appealing. It is a quick, portable, space-saving solution for a guest room.

Construction
The coil-beam offers a combination of spinal support and comfort. The construction allows proper weight distribution. It uses a layer of soft flocking and has a built-in pillow. The King Koil platform is 20 inches thick. Very few platforms are that thick. The deep compression can support 600 pounds. An extra-thick comforter is on top. The design provides superior and extended spinal support. The highest quality materials used are resistant to punctures. Placing a pad beneath it adds an extra layer of protection which is never a bad thing.

Features
As soon as you lay on the platform, you become aware of the reason so many people like this product. It is sturdy. You do not feel as though you are floating. The mild mold of the comforter provides relief for pressure points. Features include a waterproof comfort quilt top, high construction, a built-in gas pump, and much more. Convenience does stop with the integrated pump. The platform inflates in about three minutes. It comes with an extra safety valve.

Cost and Value
The King Koil platform is far from cheap, regular inflated platforms. It is undeniably affordable. You get tremendous value for the money spent. A 600-pound weight limit is impressive. The quality of the materials allows the gas platform to be enjoyed for quite some time. The built-in pump is included in the price. The manufacturer guarantees quality. The platform comes with a full-year guarantee.

5. Active Era

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Active Era
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Durability
91
Portability
95
Materials
92
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$62.99
Pros:

Queen size

Built-in electric pump

Integrated pillow

Puncture repair patches included

Cons:

Some, not all, customers report poor oxygen retention

The oxygen platform can go on outdoor trips, popular festivals, or accommodate when moving into an empty apartment. It has an easy-to-use electric pump that delivers full inflation and firmness in three minutes. For a platform this size, three minutes is an impressive feature.

Comfort
The Active Era platform is covered with a waterproof, soft-touch flock that provides a high-level of comfort. Resting on it for weeks or months is as comfortable as spending the nights on a bulky, expensive, box spring platform. An added-in raised pillow ensures high comfort when another pillow is not available. The 19-inch height provides extra comfort. It is excellent for travel or at home. A carry bag is included. Storage is simple. The oxygen platform deflates and is placed in the bag.

Versatile
The gauge of the material is puncture resistant. It can be used anytime and anywhere without issues related to wear-and-tear. The platform will last. Puncture repair patches come with the platform. The design of the platform is simple and efficient. It's grey and blue color combination fits nearly everywhere. It feels and looks like static furniture. The platform has all the flexible oxygen platform advantages.

Cost and Value
The Active Era, queen size platform, is among the best money can buy. The luxury model serves the need at home whenever an additional gas platform is needed. It is a winner on multiple levels. High-end materials and a high level of comfort are a combination that makes it a customer favorite.

6. Coleman Queen-Size

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Coleman Queen-Size
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Durability
90
Portability
92
Materials
94
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$129.00
Pros:

Comfortable wherever you place it; on the floor or the cot

Includes a 4D battery pump that does the job for you

Elevated support for users who can’t lay down on the ground

Sturdy steel base is pliable and easy to transport

Cons:

The batteries for the 4D pump are not included; you may have to visit a few stores before you find the right batteries

Taking a nap outdoors is just like taking a nap at home when you own Coleman’s Queen-Size gas platform. A pliable cot allows you to set up yours exactly like a traditional platform; and considering how comfortable it is, you’ll barely note the difference between this and your platform at home. This includes an easily installable steel cot along with its respective gas pump for quick inflation.

Steel cot
The steel cot is ideal for people who aren't used to living outdoors. The steel frame not only supports up to 600lbs, but it also provides you with an elevated relaxing experience resembling traditional platforms. As if that wasn’t enough, the steel cot will fit anyone who is under 6 foot and 2 inches tall. The cot is pliable and will fold into a practical, easy to carry a frame that fits into its respective carriage bag.

ComfortStrong coil construction
Coleman’s signature ComfortStrong coil construction makes this suitable for both indoor usage and outdoor usage. The internal coils provide users with the support they need for an enjoyable night’s rest. The coils keep the surface leveled in a neutral position so you can get the most out of your rest wherever you are.

Cost and Value
An innovative gas-retaining technology prevents any leakage throughout the night and maintains the platform as inflated as you left it before going to rest. The factory-tested technology is guaranteed to prevent you from waking up flat on the floor, backed up with a 1-year limited guarantee.

7. Intex Comfort Plush

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Intex Comfort Plush
Amazon Link
Comfort
94
Durability
95
Portability
88
Materials
90
Value
92
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$45.49
Cabelas
$49.99
See Deal
Pros:

A detailed manual for set-up

Can be inflated and deflated with a power outlet or external pump

Sets up in minutes

Self-explanatory pump dial

Cons:

Strong smell of vinyl

The mattress has a built-in two-way pump that inflates the mattress in five minutes. It is ideal for indoor usage. Plug it into a power outlet. If you plan to enjoy outdoor activities, the model is equally compatible with almost any external pump on the market. There is a separate gas valve to use to inflate and deflate with an external pump.

Support
People are thrilled with this platform's firmness. Other gas platforms stretch or collapse. They offer no support. Laminated material has solved the support problem. It provides a firm resting surface and makes very sturdy edges as well. Good rest comes from back support. This platform is the firmest raised oxygen platform available. It offers back support second to none.

Comfort
The user is kept warm and enjoys a deep rest. An oxygen platform that leaks is worthless.
Laminated vinyl prevents this platform from excessive stretching. Leaks occur when the seams break down and begin to leak. It is lighter, stronger, and more comfortable than conventional vinyl-only oxygen platforms. The level of luxury is no coincidence. It is constructed to hold up well for a long time.

Cost and Value
Preventing overstretching the seams prolongs the life of the oxygen platform. This platform will last two times longer than a regular vinyl mattress. The raised queen mattress can hold more than 600 pounds.

8. Lightspeed Outdoors

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Lightspeed Outdoors
Amazon Link
Comfort
89
Durability
88
Portability
96
Materials
90
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$83.81
Pros:

One of the lightest queen-size options on the market (6lbs)

Allows you to move freely without pulling your partner into the middle

Easy to deflate, roll up, and store in the package

Works great with sheets and does not leak overnight

Cons:

The stuffing pouch only fits the platform; the pump and batteries must be carried separately

Lightspeed’s dual queen-size platform is the solution to any resting issues you may encounter when staying outdoors or away from your home. This deluxe option is composed of thermoplastic polyurethane, a polymer composed of tenths of thousands of extremely resistant microfibers that will hold you in place all night, every night. The platform includes a battery-operated pump that is exceptionally easy to set up and operate. This platform can easily be adjusted to fit the sturdiness you’re looking for.

Comfortably stable
There are few options as stable as this one, and it’s not a coincidence. The internal design contains nothing less than 192 individual connectors that hold the superior and inferior layers together at all times. These connectors give you the stability you need to get decent rest regardless of the surface you’re lying on. Furthermore, the connectors allow you to adjust the level of support you want.

Easy to transport
The lightweight design of this product comes in at barely 6 pounds. This is considerably lighter, and it’s an ideal weight for a platform meant for outdoor activities. After deflating the platform, folding it in a compact position and putting it into the sack is just a manner of a few minutes and barely requires any effort. Once it’s in the bad, the outdoor platform is utterly easy to carry; you may even forget you have it on you.

Cost and Value
Unlike PVC, thermoplastic polyurethane does not stretch so easily when there’s movement. Resting in a queen-size platform may be troublesome when you’re having a partner over with you; even light movements are enough to disturb each other’s sleep. With the TPU build, the platform won’t stretch and will remain silent throughout the whole night no matter who moves.

9. Klymit Static V

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Klymit Static V
Amazon Link
Comfort
88
Durability
86
Portability
97
Materials
88
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$38.32
Pros:

Insulating features protect users from cold

Suitable for all four seasons and a variety of climates

Comfortable in any position

Extremely easy to inflate; no need for a pump

Cons:

The valve allows some gas to escape between breaths during inflation

Vacationing is not as simple as going outdoors and setting up a tent and an outdoor platform. In some regions, the climate can be a massively influencing factor in any outdoor practice. There’s no bigger obstacle than the weather when leaving your home; which is why the Klymit Static V offers top-notch performance on all four seasons. The intuitive technology applied to this build keeps you fresh in summer and warm on winter – all of this in a very lightweight manner.

Insulating properties
Klymit is a specialist when it comes to insulated equipment; everything from individual platforms, to twin gas platforms and even insulated hammocks. The Static V has an R-Value of 4.4, which is above the medium point of insulation. The R-Value is a number used to measure the heat resistance of a product. The insulating technology slows down the flow of gas between the top and the bottom, improving its thermal performance.

Effortless inflation
The Static V is one of the easiest Klymit products to inflate. Its minimalist and compact design allows it to be set up in an instant, literally. Inflating this product requires no pump at all, and can be inflated with your very own breath. Around 15 to 20 full-mouth breaths are necessary to inflate it to its most optimal point – you’ll wake up to the very same amount of gas you put into the platform before resting.

Cost and Value
The body mapping design consists of a specially built V-shaped frame that offers the most support and comfort regardless of the position you find most comfortable for laying down. Whether you lie flat on your back, on the side, or on the stomach, you’re guaranteed to get enough rest. Innovative side rails provide further security and keep you in the center of the pad throughout the night.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

There’s nothing like having a sound rest when vacationing; a lot of users (beginners mostly) have a hard time spending outdoors. Problems with resting are a prevalent issue, yet the solution is straightforward. Some people think they’re just used to their platforms and that they won’t be comfortable anywhere else. In reality, all they need is a platform or another solution that is just as comfortable.

Pressure distribution
One of the worst sensations you can experience when resting on an outdoor platform is that specific parts of your body are sinking into it. Some users prefer to sink slightly into the platform rather than inflating it entirely and resting flat on it; although it’s recommended to inflate the platform to a certain extent where you don’t sink, this can be done.

But, there’s a big difference between “sinking” distributedly and sinking partially – not to mention users that just don’t want to sink at all. An uneven pressure distribution happens when the platform fails to stay equally inflated throughout the night (or during any use for that matter). Uneven pressure doesn’t necessarily imply that the platforms deflate, but that oxygen is not compressed enough to stay equally distributed throughout the whole thing. It causes oxygen to be distributed unevenly whenever pressure (your bodyweight) is applied. But it doesn’t stop there.

When it is distributed unevenly, so are the parts of your body. There are parts of the body that weigh more than others; both legs, for example, represent about 30 to 40 percent of the body weight of an average male. These are considerably heavier than your arms and head, and if the oxygen fails to maintain your body “floating,” the heavier limbs will sink deeper than the lighter ones. Sunken limbs give an uncomfortable sensation of being inclined (or declined) into the platform. The best outdoor options maintain both pressure and oxygen distributed equally throughout the whole frame. Balance is something you should be looking to achieve maximum comfort.

Air chambers
The inner build of these product types is more complicated than it may look from the outside. Some people believe this type of platform is nothing but empty space that is expanded by compressed gas. While it’s partially correct, there’s much more to it than just that. Oxygen chambers allow platforms to efficiently distribute oxygen as the user desires. Depending on the number of chambers present, users may modify the elevation and support of individual parts of their body. Although chamber designs vary a lot from one manufacturer to the other, they all achieve the same purpose (or a very similar one at least).

Each chamber can be inflated and deflated at will. For instance, people who prefer greater lumbar support can opt for more cushioning in the lower back area. The lower back is generally placed around the very middle of the platform, meaning that the middle chamber determines the amount of lumbar support. The number of chambers varies a lot from one model to the other; the more chambers there are, the more you’ll be able to customize the resting experience. A six-chamber option, for instance, counts with six individual gas pockets. They allow users to set a different level of support (by controlling the amount of oxygen within each pocket) to suit different parts of their bodies.

Oxygen chambers are an efficient solution to any problem related to specific body parts that may interrupt your rest. It also has a considerable impact (positively) on the pressure distribution explained right above. This is initially a technology for solid platforms and is meant to be used with a remote controller. However, it’s also possible to apply on oxygen platforms by merely pumping different amounts of oxygen into each chamber.

Durability

Air platforms can be some of the most comfortable solutions for a good night rest when vacationing. However, all it takes is one mistake or one imperfection to leave you bedless for the rest of the trip, which is why the durability and resistance are everything.

But, when we’re talking about outdoor activities and outdoor vacationing, a traditional option isn’t a suitable choice. The woods (or open nature in general) is full of obstacles and elements that represent a hazard, and thus you will require a tougher build for such activities. Normally, an outdoor platform comes with much more protection. The external surface tends to be rougher, and on some occasions, the vacationing options are covered with a thin layer of more resistant material. This layer should be thick enough to protect the platform from small sharp objects that would naturally ruin a traditional option. Yet, it should be thin enough to allow users to comfortably lie on it for whole nights.

The best options are guaranteed to last you much longer than average ones when it comes to their normal usage and unaltered lifespan. However, in the outdoor environment, there are no guarantees; one false movement or mistake may be enough to leave you laying on the floor. But, if you count on the right platform and the right equipment, you may be on time to make your poked platform last one or two more nights. Some manufacturers offer a patching kit for emergency cases, patches which can be quickly applied to a damaged platform under specific circumstances. These circumstances, of course, are very limited and depend on the extent to which the platform is damaged.

Portability

Not everyone has a transportation method that allows them to carry all the weight and space they want. In reality, most people going outdoors do so in a very minimalist manner, trying to carry as little weight and bulk as possible. It would only make sense to do so. Going overly packed isn’t practical (not to say uncomfortable, difficult, and tiring). Oxygen platforms are quite big at first sight, and that’s because they are. If not designed properly, they can occupy a considerable amount of space. When going outdoors without a car, the carrying capacity is pretty much limited to a backpack and two hands (which preferably shouldn’t be full as you’ll most likely need them).

However, smart design and engineering can lead to efficient and easily portable options. A pliable construction is the best choice for outdoor platforms; something that can be easy unfolded and folded back into its original position. When deflated, the platform should fit in a convenient pouch or sack. This sack usually can be tied to a backpack and carried without much difficulty. It’s also essential that the platform can be comfortably fit into the bag once it has been taken out; a lot of manufacturers offer pouches which are nearly impossible to use again once it is taken out of its packaging.

Materials

The quality of the materials is (obviously) directly proportional to the quality of the platform in general. But it’s not a matter of knowing this statement, but rather a matter of knowing how to identify quality materials and how to avoid crappy, non-resistant builds. As we said previously, outdoor activities call for stronger materials that are not easily ripped or penetrated.

Another perk of these structures is that they tend to be nearly weightless and compressible, meaning that the material can be used more densely (using more material without increasing the volume of the structure). Polymers are just one of the many compounds that are suitable for this purpose. We made an emphasis on them because they allow us to explain the features you should be looking for in the materials of your product. Quality materials aren’t limited to polymers (nor a specific material individually), an exquisite design makes use of a combination of multiple materials that cover each aspect of outdoor performance separately.

Value

Every single manufacturer will tell you their product is the best (or a great option, at least). However, when it comes to quality design and construction, nothing speaks louder than a money-back or replacement guarantee. An eminent seller that is confident in their product will back up their words with guarantees and return policies. The length of the warranty is directly related to their level of commitment towards the design and creation of their products.

Whenever somebody offers you a lifetime guarantee, you can rest assured that they believe in their product 100%. There are just no drawbacks on guarantees; worst case scenario the product breaks and you get your money back. When researching and selecting the products of this list, we made emphasis on guarantees and gave partial priority to products that are supported by guarantees.

Big brands usually don’t hassle about their guarantees and promises; if their product broke and didn’t perform as expected, you can rest assured your money is safe. However, when shopping for other brands, it’s paramount that you inspect the guarantee conditions. They may be tricky and cover only particular aspects and conditions of their product, but that’s not how they advertise it.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
ico Comfort
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#2
ico Durability
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#3
ico Portability
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#4
ico Materials
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#5
ico Value
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expert tips icon
Less Is Better

When going outdoors, the more minimalist you can get, the better. Minimization is not only limited to your platform but also all of the equipment and belongings in general. The last thing you want when going to camp or adventures is having to deal with bulky and heavy stuff.

Convenience Is Important

Outdoor equipment has to be more practical and convenient than indoor products. A gas platform meant for usage within a house doesn’t need to be easy to transport or lightweight, as you won’t be moving it too much. Products meant for vacationing or outdoor usage, on the other hand, require a list of features to be considered convenient. Although unrelated to the performance of the platform itself, practicality is one of the critical factors to a quality vacationing gas platform. The more convenient it is, the more suitable it is for vacationing and outdoor activities.

Other Factors to Consider

Features

Any additions that are built into the platform should be scrutinized before making any purchase. At The Gear Hunt, we believe additions are essential as they’re what make products stand out from the crowd. However, we are also convinced that additions can become an obstacle if they’re not implemented correctly. Things such as integrated pillows can be lovely until you test them. We’re not saying that built-in pillows are bad, but there’s a huge variety of preferences regarding the topic. Not everyone likes the same things, and rest is a specific topic where personal preferences vary a lot.

Built-in additions like pillows may comfort a lot of users and discomfort a lot of other users at the same time. They would make it seem neutral, but in reality, disgruntled customers are not something you want to hear when looking for the best products. If you acquire the product and don’t like the pillow, there’s very little you can do about it if it’s built into the platform. Instead, look for built-in additions that will not affect your personal preferences, and that can easily be taken back or put in a neutral position if not suitable for you. The oxygen chambers, for example, allow you to modify the support of each part of the platform, but they also can be reverted to a neutral position as if they weren’t there.

Please note that the built-in pillow is just an example; in reality, these pillows are deflatable in most cases and allow you to modify the inflatability of it. They can also be reverted to a neutral position to use pillows of your own.

Weight

The weight is one of the first things that manufacturers keep in mind when designing portable platforms. As obvious as it gets, the best option is to select a product that is as light as efficiently possible. Although you want it to be lightweight, you don’t want its weight to affect other aspects and features of the platform. It would be possible to make an gas platform out of the same material as balloons and it would be pretty much weightless, but all the other features would be affected. Look for an option that meets a lightweight standard while still delivering an efficient performance in all other aspects.

Some people associate lightweight with lack of material. The association means that they believe the only way to reduce the weight of a product is by removing things from it, whether it’s pieces or material. The light weight of the product can be achieved by employing the same amount of materials differently. Synthetization allows manufacturers to make use of lightweight resources that deliver the same qualities as heavier ones with the exception they add less weight. Materials like thermoplastic polyurethane and other semi-crystalline polymers are used.

Aside from being lighter, these polymers are compressible and denser. They allow manufacturers to fit more of the material within the product without increasing the volume (adding bulk). Say there’s a determined space which only holds 100g of any traditional material; by using a compressible compound, it’s possible to fit up to three times as much (300g) material within the very same space. The more material there is, the more notable will be the features they offer. 10cm of bulletproof glass is more effective than 5cm of it. Now imagine these 10cm occupied the same space as the 5cm glass; which one would you choose? The 10cm one, of course.

Ease of Use

Setting up the camp is possibly the worst part of going outdoors. Usually, you and your companions would have to dedicate a considerable amount of time in setting up the tents, installing the platforms and pumping them up. It’s not only time-consuming, but it may also consume a lot of energy; especially if it’s the first time you’re setting up a camp. In some cases, it can even be frustrating.

This is why we consider installation ease to be important when it comes to these types of products. Realistically speaking, users want to get done setting up stuff as soon as possible so they can enjoy their trip. Thus, we did our best to select platforms that are quick to install and that don’t require a lot of effort on the users’ end. Built-in electric pumps are one of the features that make this process nearly effortless. It’s as easy as unfolding the platform and pretty much let it do the rest by itself. Additionally, this technology inflates it to its most optimal point; users don’t have to worry about over-inflating the platform or under-inflating it.

However, these pumps have one little detail that may become an obstacle; they’re electric. While some people have access to cabins in the woods with electricity or portable power sources, some others don’t (or just prefer not to use them). Lack of a power source prevents them from inflating the platform electrically. For such cases, we made sure to include enough options that come with both an electric pump and a manual pump variation.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is it possible to inflate an electric pump product with a car converter?

a:

It is possible; in fact, most users that don’t have access to an outlet when going outdoors opt for this method. However, it’s important that you verify the wattage required to inflate the platform with the electric pump. The wattage (watts) should be compatible with the converter you’re using.

You don’t want to overcharge the pump, just like you don’t want to run short on power. Generally, a converter that delivers over 100W should be enough to inflate a normal outdoor platform. If the wattage is unknown to you, it can be calculated by multiplying the amperes times the volts.

q: How long will it stay inflated?

a:

Let’s begin by saying that they are not meant to stay inflated forever; they all let oxygen to escape gradually but slowly. This is, of course, also related to the quality of the platform and the valve. A quality platform will stay inflated throughout the night without a notable decrease in the compression.

Theoretically speaking, they can stay inflated for days if designed properly. However, the best practice is to deflate it once you’re done resting. This will make them last considerably longer.

q: How durable are they?

a:

It all comes down to the frequency you use your platform with (assuming that it is a quality platform that naturally lasts long). If you’re a casual camper and use it once or twice a month, you can expect it to last at least a few years. But, this may be shortened considerably if you don’t follow the best practices.

To make it more durable, you should clear the surface thoroughly before putting it down. The mattress should only be inflated when you’re going to lay down on it and preferably deflated as soon as you stop using it – even if you’re going to rest on it again that same night. Needless to say, avoid taking any sharp or stinging objects near it.

q: Where would I buy one made for camping?

a:

They can be obtained both through retail stores and online stores. We personally recommend purchasing through the Amazon platform; whatever type you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on the internet. E-shops offer a much wider variety of products, and usually at a better price.

We also recommend following our Amazon links from each product listed; we carefully selected each product and verified its quality and authenticity. If purchasing carelessly from random sellers, you may end up getting a knock-off product. Additionally, we get a sales commission from our link and you help us provide you with more and better-buying guides.

q: Do they have any chemical smell from the surface?

a:

It really depends on the brand you’re purchasing from. You can be one step ahead by checking the materials of the platform; polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a plastic-like compound that has a particular smell. However, one that contains PVC doesn’t necessarily smell like it; quality options usually are odor-neutral (unless they develop a smell over time due to the storage room or usage).

To be 100% sure, though, you can opt for PVC-free platforms. At the same time, this doesn’t guarantee that it won’t smell like the other materials it’s composed of.

q: How do I clean it?

a:

Most users usually don’t have the need to clean theirs; generally, they’re just used for resting and deflated after, so there’s not much it can get dirty from. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t clean it. Cleaning platforms are tricky, and before anything, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions on the topic.

If you don’t find the instructions, you can try vacuuming the surface of the platform and wiping it with a moisturized cloth. Depending on the materials, you may be able to use soapy water as long as you remove it quickly (make sure to check the materials/instructions before doing anything with soap!).

q: Can they replace a platform for everyday usage?

a:

It sure can, but they generally are not made for everyday use, or at least not for a prolonged amount of time. It can be an efficient solution for some months is the platform is of high quality and if you follow the right practices to optimize its durability.

If using it every day, you can’t expect the platform to last the same. For this case, we recommend inflating it only when it’s going to be used and to distribute the weight equally (meaning you shouldn’t sit around the edges or corners).

q: How often should the pump be charged?

a:

Rechargeable pumps vary a lot from one manufacturer to the other. This also depends on the size; a twin-size platform clearly requires more oxygen than an individual one. The frequency you use the pump also has an impact on the durability of the charge.

Manufacturer’s instructions usually cover this topic thoroughly; for an individual platform used regularly, the pump may require charge once a month or so. Even when not used and stored away, the pump may lose some of its power and require a charge.

Sources