Having a bad back when camping can make the entire trip miserable, finding a comfy solution for sleeping at night is extremely important. I have decided to create a list of best camping beds for bad backs. There are different types of beds that people take on camping trips, that’s because there are different ways to go camping. For back pain, the overall best choices are camping cots or sleeping pads, you just need to find the right one.
The right camping bed will not cure your back pain, although, any relief from additional stress can be a good start. No matter how your back pain began, I am here to provide you with a variety of camping beds to choose from. As someone who has slept in a cheap air mattress, I highly recommend getting a comfy camping bed from the start rather than waiting and your pain has increased. Remember, it is much easier to prevent back pain then it is to get rid of it.
What to Consider When Buying a Camping Bed?
When considering buying a comfortable back-safe camping bed there are a few things to look at. It is obvious, you need to find a sleeping option where you can get through the night as pain-free as possible. Keep in mind, if you have a serious back problem and have pain when sleeping at home it will be difficult to find something better while camping.
After research and even using certain camping products, I would completely avoid the use of air inflatable camping mattresses if you have any bad back pain. Why? When sleeping on an air mattress it is very possible it is leaking air slowly, which creates a poor structure on your entire body. Humans are known to be heaviest in the center of their bodies, which will sink the air mattress first. This leaves you in a curved position causing stress on your back. Whether you had back pain or not, you definitely will after a long night on a deflating air mattress.
The best sleeping options for campers are known to be sleeping pads, comfortable cots, and many people enjoy sleeping in a hammock. This list will not include hammocks but feel free to read our Best Hammock Tents for Camping article.
Are you a side sleeper? If so, side sleepers put more weight on smaller surface areas. What does this mean? Side sleepers are recommended to have thicker sleeping beds. This will ensure they remain off of the ground and prevent any sleeping discomfort.
Sleeping Pads or Sleeping Cots?
A sleeping pad serves a multi-purpose when out camping. They are built to provide enough comfort and insulation. They are rather thin in comparison to a blow-up air mattress, this is to be lightweight and compact. Sleeping pads are used while backpack camping but many still take them car camping. There are different types of sleeping pads, foam, air, and a mixture of both foam and air.
There are pros and cons to each, its all about finding what feels right for you. Air pads are lighter weight and they are loved by backpackers, a foam pad is heavier and cannot be punctured. A mixture of air and foam is a comfortable mix, it creates high insulation and is still lightweight.
It is recommended for people sleeping on their stomachs/fronts to get a self-inflating mixed foam sleeping pad. This way they can pick how much air they want, making the position to sleep in up to the user. Check out a number of different pads in our list below to figure out exactly what type is right for you.
Sleeping cots can be heavy and bulky. They are not meant for backpacking trips, because it would be to much weight to take it on a long hike. Many people love to take them on, hunting, fishing, and car camping trips. They are collapsible beds that keep you up and off of the cool ground. Cots give you an option to sleep directly on the cots surface or you can lay a type of mattress on top, such as memory foam or even a sleeping pad. This flexibility lets you choose exactly what’s most comfortable to relieve any back pain you may have.
Best Camping Beds for Bad Backs?
- Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad
- Chinook 29250 Heavy Duty Padded Cot
- Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot
- Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad – Wide
- Better Habitat CertiPUR-US SleepReady Memory Foam Camping Mattress
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
- Coleman Trailhead II Cot
- Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot
- LEISUIT Rollaway Guest Bed Cot Fold Out Bed
1. Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad
The Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad is known to be super comfortable. The Luxe version provides extra width making is a better sleeping space. The V design and the side rails are to keep the sleeper in the center of the pad, this prevents easy roll-offs which are extremely bad for people with bad backs.
The body mapping technology integrated into Klymits Luxe sleeping pad delivers superior ergonomic support and extra comfort. Furthermore, this technology makes this sleeping pad a perfect choice for all types of sleepers, no matter if on your back, side, or front. The self-inflating option lets you choose however you want. More air the tougher the sleeping pad and testing through using it is a great way to find your ultimate comfort zone.
Having a compact sleeping pad is great for long treks in the woods, whether it be cold or warm weather Klymit has you covered. Their pads are available either insulated or not. I highly recommend the insulated version just because you never know when the cold can hit. Although, this can depend more on where you live of course.
|– Weighs 35oz|
|– Extremely Durable Material|
|-Ergonomic Body Mapping Technology|
2. Chinook 29250 Heavy Duty Padded Cot
If you are looking for a comfortable cot the Chinook 29250 Heavy Duty Padded Cot is a great option to take car camping. The build is unique for a camp cot, why? Because it has a layer of padding built into its design and its corners are padded up preventing you from falling off. The reason it makes our list is because of how comfy it is known to be, which is great for people who have back pain.
Sometimes camping cots are short and your feet are hanging off, this can actually cause discomfort while sleeping. The length is about 6.66 feet long, so the majority of campers will find themselves fitting perfectly on the Chinook Padded Cot. The width of this cot is 33 inches which is plenty of sleeping space to stay comfortable, even if you move around a bit in your sleep. The weight limit is around 300 lbs, people from 200-300lbs have had many comfortable nights on the Chinook.
Don’t be afraid to make this camping cot extra comfy by adding a sleeping pad on top, but don’t forget to take a comfy sleeping bag along too!
Overall this camping cot can be considered a luxury product when in the camping world. The cot is much heavier than a sleeping pad, meaning it is recommended to be used for car camping trips or any easy-access camping. Although, the Chinook folds up perfectly for quick and easy storage while only taking up minimum space.
|– Weighs 17.5 lbs|
|– Padded Sleeping Surface|
|– Compact Storage Design|
|– Heavy Duty Welded Aluminum Frame|
3. Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
The Exped Megamat 10 Sleeping Pad is known to be more like a comfortable bed than a sleeping pad. It is one of the best sleeping pads on the market for comfort-ability. Many campers with bad backs have chosen the Exped Megamat and wake up without the back pain they expect. This pad is self-inflating but comes with a mini pump to provide you with custom firmness.
Having the option to camp all 4-seasons is important to many all-year campers. The Megamat is insulated and rated to -54°F, perfectly designed for camping in the snow and cold nights. The 3.9 inches of insulation creates a layer that will keep you far from the freezing cold ground and we know that staying above the ground is how to stay warm in colder temperatures.
Researching this product I found that all types of sleepers managed to find comfort, no matter if they slept on their back, front, or even on their sides. Unlike the Klymatic sleeping pad, there are no side rails to prevent rolling off. However, if you are a stationary sleeper you won’t find this a serious concern. I move around in my sleep mainly because I am always looking for a more comfortable position, I would decide on a wider Exped Megamat. There are many different size options and they are LW, MW, LXW, Duo. The LW is 25 inches wide, but the LXW is 30 inches and is a wider option for sleepers that need that moving room. If looking for a large amount of space the duo offers enough room for two people or a large bed for a solo camper, it has a 52-inch width across.
|– Weighs 3.768 lbs or 60.3 oz|
|– Extremely Comfortable|
|– Thick Insulation and Rated for -54°F|
|– Various Size Options|
4. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot
The Teton Sports Camping Cot may look really simple to have all the best features, but believe it or not, it’s as good as your bed at home. Its foam is open-cell which helps the cot keep its shape no matter how you roll and fold it. One of its features is that it has an additional layer of insulation that helps get rid of the feel of that cold, hot, hard, or uneven surface.
This cot also has a pocket for your phone so you don’t have to put it beside you or on the ground. The compression straps can also be used for attaching them to a cot. This cot is as light as 9 pounds. Perfect for hiking and backpacking in certain conditions!
|– Weighs 9 lbs|
|– An additional layer of insulation|
|– Adventurer size available|
5. Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad – Wide
With over 3 inches of thickness, you’re sure to get the comfort you need when sleeping outdoors with this Big Agnes Insulated Sleeping Pad. Though inflatable, it is unlike an air mattress. It boasts a high-volume valve that allows efficient and fast inflation or deflation. You will never spend half an hour putting air in your mattress! Plus the design is built for comfort when on the fly backpacking. This pad is great for people with bad backs when looking to go backpacking.
This sleeping pad features durable synthetic insulation that can hold warmth and is also rugged meaning they are durable to tear for up to 25%. When deflated, packed, and rolled, the size is down to
4 x 8.5 inches and is 25 oz light. If you are camping outdoors in a cold place, I would suggest choosing the insulated one, but for outdoor camping in hot areas, insulation may not be required.
My favorite part about this sleeping pad by Big Agnes is the availability of sizes. Choose a thin single sleeping pad or choose a double-wide for you and a partner, also many options in between.
|– Weighs anywhere from 13 to 25 oz (0.8-1.5 lbs)|
|– Choose wide options for extra comfort|
|– Rated to 32, WRM HL Insulation|
|– Choose insulated or uninsulated|
6. Better Habitat CertiPUR-US SleepReady Memory Foam Camping Mattress
Place it on a cot or on the ground, either way, it will be comfy! This Camping Mattress by Better Habitat may not fit in or on your backpack, but this can be packed like a backpack and even has pockets for holding clothes, pillows and blankets, gadgets, and even toiletries!
Memory foam is known for its ability to conform to your body’s curves and unlike traditional foams that put pressure on your back, this foam sinks according to your back’s shape.
This mattress’ foam can support up to 230 lbs comfortably and not only relieves back pain, but hip pain as well.
Choosing a mattress people can use at home really makes camping a more enjoyable time. Choose different sizes including kids, single, and twin. One thing to keep in mind is these sleeping mattresses are not designed to take backpacking, they are too big and bulky.
|– Memory Foam|
|– 3 Sizes|
|– Unclip and roll-out design|
|– Hypoallergenic cover|
7. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Air Mattress is perfect for any season and is very lightweight while offering maximum warmth. It can be packed to the size of a water bottle, but lighter than its weight. It boasts a valve that inflates and deflates up to 3 times faster than regular air mattresses and can hold the air without it deflating overnight. One of the concerns for campers is that the bed they’re using can’t hold heat or won’t stay warm during cold nights. Well, this air mattress is your answer! It offers a tapered design that makes sure it conforms to your back when you sleep on it and at the same time, it is guaranteed to keep you warm.
The 2.5-inch thickness is a great when you have a bad back, this sleeping pad is a number one choice for so many backpackers looking for a great pad.
|– Weighs 20 oz or 1.25 lbs|
|– 2.5 inches of thickness|
|– 4 season use|
|– Stuff sack and repair kit included|
8. Coleman Trailhead II Cot
The Coleman Trailhead II cot is the best bang for buck cot. It would be extremely comfortable with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, or a mini-mattress of some sort. It can hold up to 300 lbs thanks to its military-style ruggedness and x-frame. Its soft mesh curves to your back’s shape without tearing or sagging. Sleep directly on the cot if you want, but adding a sleeping bag would provide much more comfort.
|– Weighs 18-20 lbs|
|– Supports 300lbs|
|– Max Height 6ft 2 in|
|– Elevated sleeping makes for a comfortable bed|
9. Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot
If you’re looking for a cot that’s easy to bring anywhere, the Therm-a-Rest Cot is the best option for you. It requires no tools to assemble and can be done in less than 5 minutes! When unassembled, everything can fit in its small carry-bag that’s just as small as a pencil case. With or without a sleeping pad, this can absorb your body heat and retain it to keep you warm on cold nights. It only weighs 2.6 lbs.
It is lightweight but it is still a comfortable option when looking to relieve back pain.
|– Weighs 2.6 lbs|
|– Compact design|
|– Max weight of 325 lbs|
|– No tool assembly|
10. LEISUIT Rollaway Guest Bed Cot Fold Out Bed
If you’re looking to literally take your bed with you, this fold-out bed by Leisuit is perfect. It can be used indoors and outdoors as well. This product comes with a memory foam mattress and the folding bed frame. No tools are needed! You just need to unroll the mattress and put the frame together, and you’re done!
The best feature of this product is the memory foam which is guaranteed to give you a good night’s sleep and no aching back in the morning. It can also be easily folded when not in use to prevent debris and dirt going on the mattress as well.
|– Weighs 35 lbs|
|– 3-inch memory foam|
|– Max weight of 300 lbs|
|– 75.00 x 31.00 x 14.00 inches|
Camping Bed Alternatives for Bad Backs?
Many people have back pain issues and camping seems impossible to them. When many people think of camping they see an uncomfortable night’s sleep with excruciating pain. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. If choosing the correct sleeping gear you can sleep just as nice on the road as you do home. Our selections above are designed to be comfortable for people with bad backs, but they aren’t the only options.
The best camping bed alternative is to sleep in a camping hammock. Hammocks have been used by people with various back conditions and it has completely changed their sleeping comfort. Many have almost no backpain to what they did before, but I guess this depends on the type of back pain you have. But if you test it out it could be a lifesaver.
Check out our Best camping Hammocks article to find one that’s perfect for you.
I personally recommend using a cot and a memory foam mattress to ensure a good night’s sleep, but it would depend on what type of camping you will be doing. Of course, if hiking long distances taking a cot might not be a number one pick. However, car camping choosing a comfy bed is easy and important. Choose a cot and a good mattress that can fit in the vehicle and not take up too much room. Usually, memory foam is best because it is compacted and easily packed.
Lack of sleep due to backache, and tossing and turning could be the cause of a bad camping trip. Prevent back pain and find the best sleeping option for you it will make your camping trip so much better.
Furthermore, we have a full list of The Absolute Best Camping Chairs for Bad Backs, this list is super popular and has many comfortable lumbar support options.
Anyways, if your issues are serious it is always recommended to see a doctor to get expert feedback. They might not provide you with an exact camping bed, however, they can aim you in the right direction. Different types of back pain will need a certain type of treatment, so once you know the problem it can be easier to find the answer.