How to Stay Warm on an Air Mattress While Camping

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What is the secret to staying warm while camping in the cold? Is it your air mattress or plain ignorance on how to deal with cold weather while sleeping in your campsite tent?

We are not a big fan of overwhelming our readers with 10 tips or ideas articles that end up confusing you.

Camping is all about enjoying and it can be a fun experience if you are prepared.

Cold weather camping requires few smart choices. All you need is the best air mattress for camping and the right way to insulate yourself from the dropping temperatures at night.

The temperature in the woods drops drastically as compared to the urban setting. You don't need to overload your luggage with a variety of blankets, thermals, woolens, and heaters while going out for car camping or regular camping.

There are no complicated methods or secrets to camping in cold weather on an air mattress. You can easily stay warm and comfortable on your air bed. It is all about insulating air mattresses against cold. 

How to Insulate Air Mattress For Camping in the cold weather?

The obvious question now is how to insulate an air mattress that is not cumbersome yet effective. To achieve this let us divide our objective into two phases.


Weather: The weather plays an important role when you decide to go out on an excursion or camping in the woods. It relatively becomes more important when the weather is chilly.

  • We suggest using technology rather than assumptions based on past experiences or suggestions from your friends.
  • There are several apps and websites which help you with the temperatures and weather of the past one week and prediction for the next few days. Prepare yourself for camping based on weather predictions.

Packing: There are quite a few things you can pack or arrange to stay warm on an air mattress while camping in the cold air.

  • You can use portable heaters if you are car camping.
  • Make sure you cover your hands, feet, and head with gloves, socks, etc.
  • Opt for a bed that uses an insulating material. Use lightweight materials for bedding that have good insulating properties. We highly recommend using thermal aluminum blankets which are so small that when folded, they can fit into your palm.

For Air Mattress Thermal Insulation Buy: Inexpensive Aluminium Thermal Blanket you should buy.

  • Don't forget to carry a sleeping bag which will help you keep warm, cozy, and comfortable sleep in your tent. Avoid buying a sleeping bag made up of memory foam with an open-cell structure. It will dissipate body heat and would help you cool down easily.
  • Your dinner meal should be rich in a high-calorie diet and fat. It will keep your body's metabolism active for a longer duration and thereby producing heat in the body.
  • An avid camper needs to have proper utensils especially an insulated bottle for warm water and other drinks. 

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Insulation of Air Mattress

Whenever the word insulation is attached to the air mattress, it has to do with an r-value of the mattress.

What is an R-value?

It is simply the thermal resistance per unit area. The higher the R-value, the better will be insulation ( or bad thermal conductors). Some mattresses share an “estimated” R-value which is an estimation and not based on tests. Always consider the absolute R-value to judge the insulation it can provide.

Check: Therma-a-Rest MondoKing camping air mattress/sleeping pad with an R-value of 11.4

Insulation of an air mattress is easy if you know are familiar with the art of layering. In winter, we prefer to wear clothes layered on each other. The thin air gap between each layer acts as an insulator.

The same principle is applicable for insulating your air mattress.

  • Wondering what to put under air mattress when camping? Add a layer of thermal blanket between the cold ground and mattress. As mentioned in the previous section, this thin thermal blanket is excellent in blocking any thermal conduction.
  • The top of the air mattresses has an advanced internal closed-cell design to trap your body heat. Make sure you buy one with such a design specially for camping in winters.
  • Add a layer of synthetic fill or down fill on the top to further increase the insulation.

A disclaimer and a point worth noting, make sure this synthetic fill/down fill does not get wet as it loses its power to insulate once it gets damp or wet.

Also, these synthetic fills are not fully hypoallergenic. So you need to test them out especially with kids before using them

This combination of layering under and above the mattress is quite effective in keeping you warm while you are camping on a cold night.

Snow camping: The most effective tip for insulation while snow camping is to double it up approach. It can be a little expensive but a super cozy and warm experience. You can use a sleeping pad preferably with an R-value greater than 3 on top of your mattress. This unbeatable layering becomes a thermal barrier from transferring cold from the ground.

How to stay warm while on snow camping

Sleeping Bags: The last part is to jump into a good-quality sleeping bag. It will further protect you from cold from beneath as well as from the air around you. Don't forget to put on your warm woolen socks and gloves. 

This entire setup will help you in a warm and restful sleep in the tent.

Do you have any tips for our readers to stay warm on an air mattress while camping? Do share it in the comments.
We will include them in the article with credits to your name.

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