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Car camping is a great way to save money, and with the right sleeping pad, it can be just as comfortable as sleeping in a bed! But there are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing the right sleeping pad for your car camping trip.

In this article, we'll compare some of the most popular options and help you find the perfect one for your needs.

All of these sleeping pads offer different levels of comfort and support. So no matter what kind of sleeper you are, we have the perfect sleeping pad for a great night's sleep. What's more, the sleeping pads we recommend in this article are versatile and easy to set up too!

How We Uncover The Best For You

We know how much fun a road trip can be, and you deserve to have a great night's sleep whenever you decide to go road-tripping. Figuring out what sleeping solution is best can be hard work, especially with all the options out there - who wants to spend hours sifting through reviews anyway?

(We do...) and we pride ourselves on the quality of our analysis, going to great lengths and reading through thousands of user reviews, to make sure we put together the best list of products possible, no matter how much you've got to spend.

Best for Fast Setup

Willpo CertiPUR-US

A Cracking Choice For Campers In A Hurry


We Chose This Because

  • Quick Setup
  • No Inflation Needed
  • Comfort

Things We Love

Looking for a comfortable, reliable foam pad for your car? Look no further than the Willpo CertiPUR-US Camping Mattress. This foam mattress is ridiculously fast & easy to set up and store, and unlike an airbed doesn't require an air pump or inflation.

Plus, the built-in roll assisting clips make it easy to compress the mattress as you roll it up, so storage in a stuff sack is a breeze.

Things to know

Just because you're sleeping in your car doesn't mean comfort isn't possible. The CertiPUR-US is made of 2 types of high-density foam, perfectly balanced for durability, insulation, and support.

The insulating memory foam is designed to help you sleep soundly even on cold-weather camping trips in the middle of winter!

If you're planning to camp in your car the Willpo CertiPUR-US Camping Mattress is the perfect choice for a good night's sleep in your motor.

Best for Back Seat Camping

Onirii Inflatable Air Mattress

A Cracking Choice For A Comfortable Sleep In The Back Seat


We Chose This Because

  • Pillows
  • Breathable Fabric
  • Patch Kit

Things We Love

Perfect for the back seat of your SUV, this inflatable sleeping pad is incredibly versatile, and comes with its own pillows too! You can set up the perfect sleeping environment by laying it across the back seat of your truck and grabbing your favorite blanket to snuggle up.

With the dual air valve, the pressure of the Onirii Inflatable Air Mattress can be adjusted to your desired firmness without losing any air.

The material is also very breathable so you don't have to worry about sweating during the night.

Things to know

The mattress comes with a patch kit too, so in the unlikely event of a puncture, you can patch it up good as new.

Better than a classic air mattress, you won't have to spend ages fiddling with complicated valves and pumps, the air pad can be left partially deflated for quick storage when you want to get out and chase the sunrise!

All in all, it's a great option for anyone who wants a comfortable night's sleep while camping.

Best for Road Trips

WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress

A Cracking Choice For Campers On The Go


We Chose This Because

  • Versatile Inflation Options
  • Suitable for 2
  • Comfort

Things We Love

The WEY&Fly SUV air mattress can handle over 500 lbs of weight so it's great for those long wandering camping trips across the US in your favorite truck with a friend.

Rather than buying two sleeping bags or two pads, you can comfortably set up in the back of your SUV and get some rest!

Another super useful feature is the hidden dividing line and multiple compartments. This design gives it an advantage over other inflatable air mattresses because it allows you to inflate half the camping pad and fold it over, giving you more space for your camping equipment if you are camping on your own (rather than camping as a couple) how awesome is that!

Things to know

It has a composite breathable double-sided surface layer and is flocked on the sides for maximum comfort, making it one of the most comfortable pads for camping out there.

A top tip for those who like a softer camp bed, is if you fill the mattress to 80% so that it will be less firm however, those of you car campers who like firmer sleeping pads can fill it completely and it will remain firm for the duration of your trip. Much better than a sleeping bag on the front seat right?

Best for Temperature Control

KLYMIT Double V Sleeping Pad

A Cracking Choice For Campers Who Feel The Cold


We Chose This Because

  • Insulated
  • Innovative Features
  • Lightweight

Things We Love

For such a lightweight camping pad (it weighs 3.3 lbs) it has an R-value of 4.4 which means the lofted insulation does a really good job if you need it to!

If you're looking for a lightweight backpacking pad you can buy the uninsulated version which has an R-value of 1.3 but only weighs 1 lb, much lighter than most other pads. This is a great option if you plan on going on backpacking trips in the future too.

If you can't decide you can grab both, they're both good sleeping pads!

Things to know

The double sleeping pad has Klymalite insulation that separates the top and bottom halves of the pad, isolating the cold air on the bottom while keeping the warm air next to your body. That kind of temperature control is unlike many sleeping systems, making it a great option for cold weather or winter camping.

What's more, the two sides of the pad have separate compartments too so if you wake up in the middle of the night you won't disturb the other person as you might on other double pads.

It's a great double pad and we think it will make even the most demanding car campers happy.

Make your future camping trips incredibly comfortable and grab the KLYMIT Double V Sleeping Pad today!

Best for Versatility

TETON Sports Adventurer Camp Pad

A Cracking Choice For Campers Who Want Options


We Chose This Because

  • Versatile Use
  • Compression Straps
  • Easy to Clean

Things We Love

This thick, comfortable insulated camping pad feels just like your bed at home. It's made of open-cell foam and is a great choice whether you're sleeping in your car or you're on a trip that features camping tents.

It is easily fastened to a camping cot as a camp bed. Either way with this sleeping pad you’ll have your most comfortable camping trip yet.

It's really easy to clean too, just slip off the polyester canvas shell and clean away.

Things to Know

This is one of the best open-cell foam pads out there. It is one of the thicker pads we recommend, so is a great option if you have an SUV or are looking for a sleeping pad similar to what people would call a car camping mattress.

It comes with compression straps that compress the thick padding for easy storage in any stuff sack.

It's also stupidly easy to set up. Take off the straps, lay it across the back seats (or cold ground if you're using it outside), and wait for the foam pad to plump up right before your very eyes.

Best Car Camping Sleeping Pads for You?

Here is our Buyers Guide for choosing the right car camping pad for your needs: Whether you are car camping with friends or family, or going solo on a road trip, having a comfortable sleeping setup is key to a good night’s sleep.

With so many different types and brands on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Ultimately, the best car camping sleeping pad for you is the one that strikes the perfect balance of comfort, weight, packed size, and insulation.


Consider the type of camping you’ll be doing. If you’re car camping in warm weather, you might not need as much insulation as someone who is camping in cold weather. And if you’re a light sleeper, you might want to choose a softer, more cushioning pad.


The most important factor is probably comfort. You'll want something that's soft and cushy, yet still provides some support. A good way to achieve this is to inflate the sleeping pad and then slowly release air until you achieve your desired support.

Weight and Size

Weight is another important consideration. Heavier pads will be more difficult to carry around, but they may provide more insulation and be more durable.

Packed size is also relevant – the smaller the pack size, the easier it will be to transport.


Insulation is important if you'll be camping in colder weather. Down is the best insulator, but it's also the most expensive. Synthetic materials are a good budget-friendly option.

Inflatable Sleeping Pads

If you’re looking for a comfortable car camping pad, an inflatable option is a great choice. These types of pads are filled with air, so they are soft and cushiony, and conform to your body for a custom fit. Inflatable sleeping pads are also usually quite lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and pack. Most inflatable sleeping pads come with a built-in pump, so you can easily inflate them when you set up camp.

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

Self-inflating sleeping pads are another popular option. These pads have an internal foam core that expands when you open the valve, so they self-inflate.

Self-inflating sleeping pads are usually a bit heavier and bulkier than inflatable pads, but they are still fairly easy to pack and carry in your car.

These types of pads provide good insulation and cushioning, and many have built-in pillows for extra comfort.

Foam Sleeping Pads

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a foam sleeping pad is a good choice. Foam sleeping pads are made from closed-cell foam, so they are relatively lightweight.

These sleeping pads don’t provide as much firm cushioning as other types of pads, but they are good at insulating your body from the cold ground.

Many foam sleeping pads come with a removable cover that can be washed, so you can keep your pad clean and fresh.

The Best Car Camping Sleeping Pads - Your Questions Answered

You're considering going on a road trip, and you want to sleep comfortably. You've heard about camping pads but you don't know how to decide which one is best for you. Is it an air bed or foam pad?

Don't lose sleep over all the choices, we've narrowed it down for you.

We also have answers to some of the most common questions. Read on so you can sleep easy, on whatever pad you decide to buy!

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!

Do You Need A Sleeping Pad For Car Camping?

Think about it this way, when you are car camping you are basically using your vehicle as a base camp. You will be spending extended periods of time in and around your vehicle so you want to make sure you have everything you need to make your stay comfortable. This includes a good sleeping pad.

A sleeping pad not only provides insulation from the cold ground but also adds an extra layer of padding to make sleeping in a tent more comfortable. If you have ever slept on the hard ground before, then you know how important a good sleeping pad can be.

There are many different types and styles of sleeping pads on the market so finding the right one for your needs can be tricky. Which is why we try to make it easier for you.

Another option to consider is a camping cot. Modern-day camping cots can be really comfortable too. And of course, there is always the option to use your sleeping pad on your camp cot too.

You could consider other options if a sleeping pad doesn't sound like your thing. A hammock is a great way to get a comfortable night's sleep and works well when you are camping near trees. Just attach your hammock straps and hammock tarp and you're sorted.

What Is The Most Comfortable Thing To Sleep On When Camping?

There are so many combinations of equipment you can use - foam pads, air beds, camping mats, and sleeping bags. Generally, high-quality thick sleeping pads tend to be the best sleeping pads, as they provide the most support.

However, a thinner (but still comfortable) pad is preferable if you're limited by packing space in your stuff sack. Some of the best sleeping pads are made of really comfortable material and are super thin for easy packing. The same principle applies to camping pillows. Just that touch of luxury which you will miss if you try to do without.

You also have the option of sleeping in a hammock under a hammock tarp.

Are Camping Sleeping Mats Comfortable?

Camping sleeping mats can be very comfortable, but it really depends on the type you choose.

There are a few things to look for when choosing a camping sleeping mat. First, make sure you get one that provides good cushioning (although as previously mentioned good cushioning doesn't necessarily mean extra thick double pads). This is especially important for side sleepers.

Second, make sure it is wide enough to accommodate your body size. And finally, make sure it has a good R-value so that it will keep you warm on cold nights.

If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to find camping mattresses that are both comfortable and warm. Nothing is worse than realizing you should have packed a warmer pad!

What Kind Of Mattress Do I Need For Car Camping?

Foam pads are a good option because they are lightweight and compact, yet provide insulation and comfort.

Some people also like to use air mattresses or cots, but be aware that these items can be bulky and take up a lot of space in your vehicle.

If you are going with another person a double-sized sleeping pad and camping mat combo is a good compromise because you get a little extra insulation from the mat, but don't have to carry around big bulky air mattresses. Paired with a double sleeping bag and camping pillow and you're set for a comfortable night's sleep.

Are Camping Pads Worth It?

Yes, camping pads are worth it, especially if you're planning on camping in cold weather. As previously mentioned, closed-cell foam pads provide insulation and help keep you warm, while also cushioning your body from the ground. They're also very lightweight and easy to transport, so they're perfect for backpacking trips.

Comparatively, they won't quite offer the glamping quality of the top-of-the-range air mattresses but if you're camping out of your vehicle, you'll need to decide if the extra space and weight are worth the relatively small increase in comfort.

What's The Difference Between A Camping Pad And A Sleeping Pad?

They are the same thing really. The real difference is between an air camping pad and a foam camping pad. Or between an air bed and a backpacking sleeping mat. A foam camping pad is generally larger and thicker providing more cushioning. But specialist camping pads can be quite comfortable especially if they are a hybrid - memory foam and air. Some camping pads are also usually rectangular in shape while backpacking sleeping pads are often tapered to save weight and space. Mummy sleeping bags use the same principle and are tapered also.

Can I Use A Yoga Mat As A Sleeping Pad?

Yes, you could use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad, but it's not the best option. Yoga mats are thin and don't provide much insulation or cushioning, so you'll probably be uncomfortable if you try to sleep on one.

A better option would be to get a self-inflating camping mat and sleeping bag, or even a foam pad if you're looking for something with a bit more support.

Are Self-Inflating Camping Mats Any Good?

Yes, they are a good option for camping. They provide great insulation and cushioning, and are super easy to set up. Just unroll the mat, open the valve and let the air flow in. When you're finished, simply close the valve and roll up the mat.

They're really useful for car campers as they take up way less space than traditional air mattresses.

Are Camping Mats Waterproof?

Well, most camping mats are not waterproof. Some are however water-resistant. You can purchase a waterproof groundsheet to put under your tent, or you can use a tarp to create a dry area for your sleeping mat.

Can A Sleeping Pad Be Too Warm?

Yes, a sleeping pad can be too warm. If you're camping in warm weather, you might want to consider a lighter-weight sleeping pad that won't make you too hot.

If you are looking for a sleeping arrangement suitable for summer, look for a sleeping pad with a low R-value, so you won't overheat while you sleep.

To sum up, there are a few things to consider when choosing a sleeping pad:

First, decide what kind of mattress you need. Closed-cell foam pads are a good option for car camping because they are lightweight and compact, yet provide insulation and comfort. Some people also like to use an air mattress or cot, but be aware that these items can be bulky and take up more space in your vehicle.

Second, consider the weather. If you are camping in cold weather, you will need a sleeping pad that provides insulation and warmth. In warm weather, you will want a lighter-weight sleeping pad that won't make you too hot.

Finally, think about your budget. Camping pads are a great middle-ground between a more expensive air mattress and a simple camping mat setup, so there really is an option for every budget.

Below I have included a useful video on what R-Value means in relation to insulation. The same principles are applied to both insulating the home and camping gear.

So there they are - our top picks! From memory foam to air beds we have given you a good summary of the best camping mattresses on the market for your next road trip.

Our Choice For Fast Setup

Willpo CertiPUR-US

Our Choice For Back Seat Camping

Onirii Inflatable Air Mattress

Our Choice For Road Trips

WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress

Our Choice For Temperature Control

KLYMIT Double V Sleeping Pad

Our Choice For Versatility

TETON Sports Adventurer Camp Pad

We hope this article was helpful and that you found the perfect product to make your next trip a great one!

If you would like some more great advice on other camping gear to add to your stuff sack, check out our other reviews of camping essentials and other fun stuff.

It feels great that whatever you choose that we have made your life easier and by making your choices clearer, you now have more time for fun!

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

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