Recommended Air Bed – Campingaz QuickBed
We have successfully used the CampinGaz QuickBed for a several years. These have a large double valve that enables very quick inflating and deflating. This works well with the adapter that came with our Coleman QuickPump, which is powered from our car’s 12v supply.
This is a large valve and so may not work with some pumps without the correct fitting. We’ve also had no problems with slow leaks, with beds remaining inflated for full weeks of camping, even with kids climbing all over them.
The top of the air bed is flocked for a more comfortable and warmer nights sleep.
Available both as single and double. We have a couple of doubles and a couple of singles.
They are not the most of expensive of beds, and although they come with a small repair kit, replacing a damaged bed is easy enough. No need yet though for us.
Transport and Storage Tip
We keep our air beds in a large plastic box (with lid). This makes storing them and grabbing them with the rest of the camping gear quick and easy when we need to get away quickly (the box now lives in our camping trailer). The box also protects the air beds from getting punctured or torn by sharp objects, and is probably why these beds have lasted so well.
We have experimented with two different types of camping pillows.
One has been a compression pillow. This is a small pillow that can be folded up into a stuff sack. Unfortunately this proved too small and flat to be considered as a pillow. (Thought we did only get the small one).
We also picked up some inflatable pillows for a £1. These were just a lump to put your head on. A little small, rounded, and firm to make a good pillow.
The best camping pillow is simply to make one on camp. Get your sleeping bag stuff sack and fill it with clothes – jumpers are ideal. No need to take anything with you that you don’t already have.
However, our ultimate pillow on camp, if we have space to take it with us, is to just take the pillows off the bed at home 😉
Save some money, and don’t look for a bed that has pillows built-in, as they’ll only disappoint.
Alternatives to air beds?
If you can transport them easily, a camp bed is a good choice.
These keep you raised off the ground…and not many people realise it’s loss of heat through the ground that can make you cold at night when camping.
Another alternative is Self Inflating Mats.
We found that for our older kids, swapping their single QuickBed for a SIM meant that they could get on and set up their own beds…though they’re not as comfortable as an air bed. Read our guide to Self Inflating Mats for Family Camping. Read our review of some affordable SIMs here.
Air Beds for Toddlers
We found that when our kids were very young (and two have been camping since babies), that they would roll off an air bed and always ended up in an area where there’s no covers.
There is a solution to that: get an airbed designed for toddlers, which is what we did. Read our review of a toddler air bed here.
Other air bed choices
Coleman produce air beds that are a little more expensive than the CampingGaz, but have a good reputation for quality.
Outwell also produce an air bed. Outwell do produce some good quality camping gear and so may be worth considering.
Outwell Flock Excellent Double Air Bed - Black/Grey, 205 x 135 x 30 cm
Eligible For Free Postage
At the top end of the air bed market is the AeroBed.
These air beds have a built-in pump. You’ll see a few air beds on the market with built-in pumps. To be honest, this is usually a gimmick, and it would be better getting a separate reliable air pump.
However, the AeroBed includes a remote control so that you can adjust the air pressure to improve comfort. May be a bit gimmicky still, but at least has a purpose other than just to inflate.
You can also get a king size version. Most double air beds are smaller than your double bed at home. However, most family tent bedrooms are built to size the double air bed size, and so check that you can accommodate a king size bed.
AeroBed make a raised air bed. You may be tempted to go with camp beds as they could be easier to get in and out of if you find it difficult getting up and down from floor level. This raised air bed may be just the ticket.
More Top Picks
Here are some more items we have tried, tested, and reviewed.
See more: Sleeping