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Sleeping Pads or Camp Beds?

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  • Sleeping Pads or Camp Beds?

    I'm looking for some advice.

    I've finally decided to treat my back to some more comfort while camping. But I can't decide between a sleeping pad such as the OutdoorsmanLab (attached) or a camp bed such as the Vango Dormir (

    They both look pretty comfortable and also portable but I've never tried either.

    Does anyone have any advice as to which will be more comfortable? Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by surviveanything; 02-27-2019, 06:44 AM.

  • #2
    Personally, I like cots but usually put a pad on them. That said, I usually only use them when I'm camping with my wife and family for recreation and stick to just a pad for camping when hunting or on my own. I guess it depends a lot on how much weight your willing to deal with and the situation your camping/sleeping in. For me, a pad is more versatile.



    • #3
      I've not used that cell type, I have the self inflating mat style from Slumberjack. However a friend uses one on our annual motorcycle trips and likes it though i know the first year he had some issues with it leaking thru the night. I think he got it replaced under warranty or got a different brand. Personally I've switched to hammock camping when possible. Honestly best nights sleep I've ever had camping. no sticks of rocks in your back, no rolling or sliding down the slight grade you didn't realize you pitched your tent on.

      oh and the size and weight of the hammock and rain fly is a fraction of a sleeping pad and tent and is so much less to carry or to strap to a motorcycle...
      Last edited by CountryGuy; 04-13-2018, 09:26 AM. Reason: add on
      I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!


      • #4
        Yah! I use a hammock also. VERY comfortable and the rocking puts you to sleep, plus, you are off the ground where the cold and bugs are. Hehe. Hammocks don't work if you don't have lots of trees though, although I have put mine up on rocks, a cactus on one side and my Jeep on the other, Etc. lol If its raining, you put up a tarp over it. If it's cold, you sleep in a ground bag in it.


        I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.


        • #5
          It all depends on:

          1. How long you will be at the same spot,

          2. What type of camping trip is it? Backpacking, horse back, etc.

          3. How much room do you have in your vehicle.

          4. How (OLD) you are.

          Me I like my creature comforts now. So when we go, if not in the RV then I use a blow up queen size bed!!! Easy to put up and take down. I use to have to use the close foam pads the military uses. But after more then 15 days you start looking for something else to use. I have used self inflating pads but get the ones which are 3" thick that will smooth over and bumps. Make sure you scoop out a small depression for your hips.


          • #6
            At this point in my life I also opt for the cot with a pad. Surprisingly I've been very comfortable for several nights, sleeping on several layers of pine bows. You have to be careful of the insulation need, and moisture wicking, but it gave me a good night's sleep.....just watch out for the big limbs.

            If I'm in a base camp setting and not worrying about weight and such, having an oversized sleeping bag is even more important. Being able to comfortably roll over to either side or add an extra layer of sweats helps tremendously.
            Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum


            • #7
              Thank you all. I try to stay away from hammock as I seem to get slight back pain when I wake up. Cot with pad on top seems to be a great option to me now.

              Any suggestions for the lightweight cots?


              • #8
                I got me a collapsible cot with air mattress a while back.i now take it with me on my camping trips.
                be prepared,be worried,be careful..and watch your 6


                • #9
                  I use a pad but back along I used to use a piece of foam I bought at a local market, that served me well for many years but got lost on one of my house moves so its a regular pad now.


                  • #10
                    have been using a double air mattress in our tent at rendezvous but am going to switch to double cot and pads because ofit going flat in middle of the night,when I camp alone I usually just build a nest out of duff under a spruce or pine makes traveling lite easy


                    • #11
                      Slowgun45..have you checked the air mattress for leaks?.the one i had gotten before i got my cot n mattress set,had gotten a pin hole leak in i went into wal marts camping section.and bought a small jar of a liquid which that worked perfectly on the i need another jar of the use on the seams,of the one,that came with the cot.on loses air ever so slowly.
                      be prepared,be worried,be careful..and watch your 6


                      • #12
                        Have you also given any thought to using a hammock? Troops in Viet Nam used them on both sides to keep them elevated above the wet ground. String your hammock between 2 trees and pitch your poncho tent over your hammock and you have a real comfortable place to sleep all night long. If you don't think that it will rain or be wet with fog, you can just pitch a hammock and sleep in that without any fuss at all.

                        Just something to consider.


                        • #13
                          We like the BFP outdoors premium mat/camping mattress w/pillow. Weight is about 3.5 lbs. Back in the old days of camping we have used hammocks but hubby can't handle those now with his back problems.


                          • #14
                            Sleeping on the ground in Florida makes you food. I use a hammock with mosquito netting and a rain fly. Too many critters down here think they are the top of the food chain. That doesn't even include the bugs.


                            • #15
                              What would freak me out is the big snake problem...anaconda and pythons are bad enough, but now Florida is dealing with the super-snake hybrid (

                              It is just a matter of time before my folks back home in deepest, darkest South Louisiana start sending me pictures of Anaconda Sauce Piquant or something...