A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: August 30, 2021
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There is nothing quite as much fun as going camping. It gives you the opportunity to reconnect with nature, slow down a bit, and just rest and relax in the great outdoors. Of course, nothing is going to ruin a great camping trip faster than back pain. Even if you only deal with a moderate amount of back pain normally, sleeping on the hard ground is going to make it a lot worse. That is why getting the best camping mattress for bad back pain is so essential.
There are lots of different factors that we took into account when we were putting together our list for the best mattresses. The dimensions, both open and packed, of any mattress, are essential, as are the materials used. We also had to think about the type of camping that each mattress would be best suited for, which also guided us towards the appropriate weight for each product.
During our research process, we spent tens of hours reading through hundreds of user reviews to help us put together a comprehensive list of the best camping mattresses for bad back pain. Once we had our list together, we were able to do in-depth reviews of each of these fantastic mattresses. Of course, if you are not sure exactly what you are looking for in a camping mattress, read through our buying guide, which will detail everything you need to know to pick the perfect bed.
If you are in the market for what is quite possibly the best camping mattress for bad back pain, then you have got to check out this offering from Wellax. One of the best features for this mattress is its lightweight design. It barely weighs anything, tipping the scales at a minuscule 0.9 pounds. This makes it an excellent option for pretty much any kind of camping, but especially for backpacking. This lightweight design won’t add a ton of weight to your backpack, so you can increase your comfort level without weighing yourself down.
This is also one of the easiest sleeping pads to inflate and deflate. The reason that these tasks are so easy to accomplish is the fact that it has two separate valves. Both of these valves are extremely easy to operate. They open up nice and wide, which allows you to blow air in very quickly when you are ready to settle down for the night. Releasing the air in the morning is quite quick as well so that you can get the mattress packed up very quickly to get on with your day.
Aside from its weight, the other factor that helps to make this such a perfect option for use as a backpacking mattress is how compact it is once you pack it away. When you are ready to move along the trail, all you need to do is deflate the mattress, roll it up, and place it into its stuff sack. Once you have the mattress packed away, it measures a compact 10 inches by 3.5 inches.
This mattress is thicker than most other models of similar design, and thanks to the dozens of flexing points it feels comfortable even if you like to sleep on your back or sides. Keep in mind that though it’s advertised as thermal resistant, using this mattress alone, without anything underneath it is not advisable in cold weather. Once it is fully expanded and inflated, it is quite large and supportive, which is why it is possibly the best camping mattress for bad back pain relief.
What stands out?
Easy to inflate and deflate
Compact when compressed
Large when expanded
Great for back sleepers
What cons did we manage to find?
Not good for cold weatherNot good for cold weather
One of the biggest issues that a lot of people have with camping mattresses is that they have to be inflated. This, unfortunately, takes a lot of effort on your part, plus a whole bunch of time. Even if a mattress comes with a pump, it will still take a ton of time, and you would have to charge the pump or have a power source readily available when you are camping. This mattress, thankfully, does all of this hard work for you.
To inflate this mattress, all you have to do is unroll it from its bag. Once it has been fully unrolled, it will inflate all on its own. While this doesn’t happen instantly, it is still much faster than having to blow it up on your own. Even though it doesn’t have any valves at all, it is also effortless to deflate. When you are ready to pack it up, just roll it up, and put it in its bag. That is all the work you need do to deflate this mattress, which is another time saver.
The Triphunter Gear pad is still quite lightweight, though not as light as some other models available. It is also a bit bulky, which might make it a tougher fit for longer camping trips. Thankfully, this bulk makes it a very comfortable mattress to lay on, as long as you aren’t trying to use it in extremely cold weather.
If you are looking for a durable mattress, this is also a good choice. It is made with polyester, which makes it very easy to keep clean. This mattress is completely waterproof. Since it is waterproof, you won’t need to worry about being wet when you sleep. By preventing you from being damp while you sleep this mattress will save you from experiencing any stiffness in not only your back but all of your joints as well when you wake up.
Even though lots of the camping mattresses available today are incredibly supportive, they don’t all have the ability to give you the same amount of comfort that your mattress at home does. This is mostly because they are extremely thin, even when they are fully inflated. This mattress, on the other hand, completely solves this issue. When it is fully inflated, it is almost as thick and supportive as any mattress you have at home. This makes it a fantastic option for anyone that wants to go camping with a bad back.
Another thing that makes this such an attractive option for a camping mattress is how easy it is to inflate. It comes with a rechargeable pump, which you can use to both inflate and deflate the mattress quickly and easily, without having to expend the energy blowing it up yourself. You just need to make sure you charge the air pump before your camping trip, or you will have a tough time blowing it up.
One problem that you will want to keep an eye out is that as the temperature drops, the mattress will lose some air overnight. Thankfully, all you have to do is add some air each evening before you fall asleep to ensure that you get the support you need during the night.
While this mattress is incredibly supportive, it is not the best option out there for backpacking. It is very bulky, and also much too heavy to haul around with you on the trail. Of course, it is still a great option for site camping. Since you wouldn’t need to carry it too terribly far in this situation, the mattress’ weight shouldn’t be too much of a factor. Plus, by keeping your vehicle close at hand, you will be able to make sure that the air pump is fully charged all the time.
One issue that crops up with a lot of inflatable camping mattresses is that they tend to deflate during the night, especially in colder weather. If this is a problem that you have experienced in the past, then you will know how much more pain this lack of support can cause for your back while you are trying to sleep on your camping trip. To help prevent this issue from cropping up on you, the Last Lake Camping Pad has an airtight seal around the entire pad. This helps to keep all of the air inside where it belongs so that you have the support you need all night long.
Another nice feature that this mattress comes equipped with is an easy-to-use valve. The valve makes it very easy to inflate and deflate, but that isn’t what sets it apart from other valves. The valve on this sleeping pad makes it very simple to adjust the pressure so that you can get precisely the amount of support you desire no matter if you are a side, back, or front sleeper. The pad also has an extra thick layer of foam to give you all of the support you need while you sleep. This makes it ideal for use by heavier individuals, though it is a bit narrow.
As you would expect with such a thick mattress, this one is quite insulated against the cold. Therefore, it’s a bit bulky, even when it is completely compressed. The cover is also tear resistant, making it a very durable option to take with you on camping trips.
Even though most people usually only think of camping in the warmer spring and summer months, there are some individuals out there that like to go camping in every season. Unless you want to spend a ton of money on a different sleeping pad for each type of camping weather, you would need to find an all-weather camping mattress, which is exactly what the Static V happens to be. It is insulated, so it remains cool in the summer, and warm in the winter, making it a perfect option for anyone who likes to enjoy the great outdoors all year long.
This mattress also has a unique baffle support system. This design feature gives it an ultra-supportive 2.5 inches of thick cushioning, making it ideal for someone with back issues. In fact, this mattress is so supportive, that it can be used in any sleep position, no matter if you are a back, front, or side sleeper.
Once you have fully inflated this mattress, which usually only takes about 10-15 breaths, you will notice that it is somewhat narrow and short, limiting its effectiveness for larger individuals. Its narrow design is because it comes with inflatable side rails. Even though they do make the pad a bit narrower than it should be, these side rails will help to keep you on the mattress while you sleep.
While this is indeed not the lightest camping mattress available, it is also not the heaviest. It could certainly be used for backpacking or site camping, and shouldn’t take up too much space in your backpack. In fact, this is one of the most compact mattresses on the market.
Even if preventing back pain is high on your priority list, it is always a good idea to save money wherever you can. If you are trying to watch your budget, but still get a quality mattress to help alleviate your problems with you back, then this might be a good option for you.
First of all, this is a very compact, lightweight, and easy-to-inflate mattress. It is such a great value: it even comes with a camping headlamp. The mattress is one of the lightest on the market, which makes it an excellent option for backpacking campers. The air valve is very easy to open and close, and inflation will only take you about ten breaths until the mattress is fully inflated.
Secondly, it is made out of extremely durable nylon. This material makes this one of the toughest mattresses you can buy. Its high durability level also removes the necessity to bring along a tarp or ground cover, as this mattress is strong enough to lay right on the ground inside your tent on its own.
This mattress is also surprisingly large for its price. Thanks to its impressive length, and supportive nature, it is perfect even for taller individuals. Mind, though, that it is, unfortunately, not quite comfortable enough for anyone over 250 pounds.
One other negative factor to keep in mind before you decide upon this mattress is the fact that it is challenging to pack up. While most camping mattresses need to be rolled up for storage in their carriers, this model needs to be folded. This makes it tricky to pack up, which could slow you down on a camping trip.
In the world of backpacking, lighter is always better. The lighter the gear, the farther you will be able to hike without your back and shoulders feeling fatigued. The Thermarest NeoAir Xlite is, by far, the lightest mattress on our listing. It weighs an astounding light 0.75 pounds, which makes it a great mattress to take along with you on any camping trip, but especially if you are going to be backpacking.
Not only is this mattress lightweight, but it is insulated too. The insulation is not very thick, which isn’t surprising since the whole mattress is relatively slim. Nevertheless, the insulation is still enough to keep you nice and warm while you are sleeping. Even if you choose to go out in colder weather, you shouldn’t experience any inconvenience.
Another great feature that this mattress offers is a textured base. The base is designed to keep you in place while you are sleeping so that you don’t need to worry about slipping and sliding over the pad. It is unfortunate that the top of the mattress isn’t also textured, instead it is completely smooth and very noisy. If you are someone who tosses and turns in your sleep, you might have a tough time sleeping through all of the noise you will create.
As you would expect with such a lightweight mattress, the Xlite is very simple to both compress and pack up in the morning. All you need to do is open the valve, roll up the mattress, and stuff it into its bag. This easily collapsible design is yet another reason why this mattress is perfect for backpacking.
Even though most camping mattresses need to be blown up in order to be used, that is not always the case. Some beds are self-inflating, while others, such as this one, are actually filled in all of the time. The advantage to this kind of a mattress, as you would expect, is that you don’t need to blow it up to use it. Instead, you simply need to unfold it, lay it down, and start relaxing.
Packing it up is also very simple. All you need to do is fold it back along its partitions, and Velcro it together. From there, you can use the attached carrying strap to take it to your next location. Once you get it to where you are headed, simply open the Velcro, and unfold the pad.
The biggest drawback to this type of mattress is that it isn’t very compact or lightweight. In fact, even when it is all the way folded up, it will still take up plenty of room. This makes this mattress a much better option for use as a site camping tool, rather than a backpacking mattress. It weighs about 7.5 pounds, which is much too heavy to be used as a backpacking sleeping pad.
The mattress itself is made with high-density foam, and it comes with a cover that has a non-slip texture on the bottom that will keep you in place all night long. The thickness of the mattress makes it a great option for all sleepers who deal with a lot of back pain. Since this mattress is so thick and supportive, you might even feel like you are sleeping at home, rather than in a tent.
The very first thing that you should take note of with this mattress is its unique design. Unlike another air mattress that you can get to help you with your back pain, this model has both side rails and a built-in pillow, which are designed to give you all of the support and comfort that you need. The inbuilt headrest will also help you with your packing since you don’t need to take along a separate pillow.
Of course, since there are extra panels, you will need to spend more time inflating this mattress than other models. It will take about 15-20 breaths to fill completely, while other mattresses only need around half as many breaths. While this is certainly not a deal breaker, it is something that you should consider, since you might not feel up to the task at the end of the day. You can also allow the mattress to self-inflate, though this will take even longer.
Though this mattress might seem like a good idea for backpacking due to its lightweight design, it is better suited to be used as a site camping tool. This is because it is tough to get compressed and packed up. This mattress is also very bulky, even when you have it packed away correctly, which means that you might have trouble carrying it along with you as you hike.
This mattress is made out of highly durable, and easy-to-clean polyester. It is also completely waterproof so you shouldn’t have to deal with any additional back or joint pain because of dampness in your tent.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to clean
Built-in side rails and pillow
What could be better?
Bulky when compressed
Self-inflate feature takes a long time
Things to Consider
In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to make sure that you get the best camping mattress for bad back pain.
Get your back prepared for a camping trip
When you are planning a camping trip, you need to be sure to take every precaution to prevent yourself from experiencing any back pain whatsoever. Obviously, the biggest factor in your prevention plan should have a high-quality mattress packed and ready to use each and every time that you settle down for the night. A good mattress will provide you with the support you need to make sure your back pain doesn’t flare up on you. A good mattress will also prevent you from feeling any rocks, roots, or other ground debris during the night, which will allow you to wake up pain-free.
While having a good mattress packed for your camping trip is a great way to lessen your back pain, there are a couple of other things that you can do to help eliminate all of your back pain. You should also be certain to pack an orthopedic pillow. These specialized pillows will help to take the pressure off of your back while you sleep. You can also get different pillows to provide extra lumbar or even knee support to feel refreshed after each camping night.
Features to consider while choosing a camping mattress for a bad back
As you might have guessed, there are several different factors that you need to consider when you are looking for the best camping mattress for bad back pain. In this section, we will take you through every important consideration so that you can make an informed decision. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding camping mattresses.
Type of camping
The very first thing that you are going to want to decide upon is the type of camping you are going to be using this mattress for.
There are two basic types of camping, which are backpacking and site camping. While both of these camping types are similar in many ways, they also have some stark differences that will guide you towards the proper type of mattress to alleviate your back pain.
Site camping is usually a much less strenuous form of camping. It involves going to a permanent site to set up your tent. These sites are usually accessible from a road, so the weight of your mattress won’t play a big role here. You can also go for a much larger mattress, even if it doesn’t collapse. The Etekcity Camping Air Mattress is a perfect example of a great bed for site camping.
Backpacking is an entirely different scenario. Unlike site camping, where you can store all of your gear in your car, backpacking forces you to carry as little as possible so that your pack doesn’t weigh a ton. To that end, you will want to look for a smaller mattress with a lighter weight, such as the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress, which barely weighs anything at all.
The dimensions of the mattress you select are going to be based on a couple of different factors. Aside from choosing a mattress that fits the style of camping you intend to do, you need to make sure that you get one that fits into your tent. The size of the mattress you pick will also depend on how big of a person you are, and how much you move in your sleep.
The weight of any mattress for camping is going to determine what type of camping it is good for, with heavier mattresses being perfect for site camping, and backpacking mattresses being extremely light. Heavier mattresses tend to offer more support while you sleep. Of course, some lighter models, like the WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad, still provide plenty of support, despite their lightweight design.
The most common materials that are used to make camping mattresses are polyester and nylon. Both of these materials work well for this purpose, though nylon is usually a bit more durable. Polyester mattresses are easier to clean, though, making them ideal for use with a family with small children. Polyester mattresses are also more water resistant than nylon ones.
As with any purchase, you need to be sure that you get a good warranty on your mattress. This is especially true if you get one that comes with an air valve, like the Last Lake Camping Sleeping Pad. That way, should any part of the seal or mattress fail, you will be able to get it fixed without a ton of extra cost on your end.
You need to be careful when getting a warranty, however, as the most company will offer a long term without covering the whole mattress.
One of the most important features you can get in any camping mattress, but especially one that is designed to reduce back pain is a textured base. A textured base will keep the mattress from slipping and sliding all night long, which in turn will help you to get the support you need. The valves for inflation and deflation should have large, easy-to-use seals as well.
then the Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad is a great choice. It is relatively small when it is unfurled, but absolutely minuscule when it is compacted. It is a mere 8 x 3 inches when it is all folded up, making it easy to fit in your camping bag.
Camping pads do not require a sleeping bag or mattress on top of them to be effective. Using these other support systems will add another layer of comfort and durability, however, which in turn will help you to sleep better and make sure your pad lasts longer.
Most self-inflatable camping mattresses are made from polyester or nylon, both of which are pretty easy to keep clean. All you need to do is wipe down your mattress after each use with a damp cloth, and it should last a good long while. Just make sure you don’t use any harsh chemicals, as this can weaken the fibers, which could cause a hole in the mattress.
The cold can cause lots of different aches and pains to crop up on anyone but can be especially painful for someone with back issues. The Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad can help to lessen the impact of the cold since it is insulated.
If you are in the market for the very best camping mattress for bad back pain, then you have got to check out the WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad. Just like it says in its name, this mattress is as light as can be, while still being durable, and supportive. It has two valves to help speed up both the inflation and deflation process. We highly recommend you check this mattress out.
A lot of air mattresses are thin and, moreover, gradually lose air through their valve or seam. This makes them less supportive, which you don’t want to have to deal with if you have a bad back. The Etekcity Camping Air Mattress solves this problem completely as it comes with an easy-to-use rechargeable air pump, and is thick enough to provide you with the feel of your comfy regular home mattress.