I think everyone agrees that having a cot and mattress is a great way to sleep when away from home. Not all cabins and cottages come with beds, so taking along some type of equipment will keep you nice and cozy.
Of course, tenting means that you will need a bed, for sure. Even for those that don’t really mind sleeping on the ground will find being off the floor a nice change.
As we said before, we do like to sleep in a hammock when backpacking, but will take the ground if we have to. I have to admit, though, that when we are offered something indoors, a cot and mattress becomes a wonderful luxury!
Indeed, there are plenty of ways to set up your bed. Blow up air mattresses, sleeping pads, foam mattresses, blankets, sheets and pillows all add to the ambiance for the best sleep. But, the thing is you really have to watch how much gear you take along. It is not only important to watch the weight you are carrying in your knapsack or canoe, but still, when packing the car, you don’t want to be overrun with huge bulky stuff. So I think, the best solution for convenience, is a roll up camping mattress.
If you roll it up tight enough, you can store and pack it in a tiny space for traveling. Better yet, you can buy one that comes with the carrying case which means you have to pack it even smaller to fit in the bag. What a great incentive to go light.
Another thing that is really neat is if you already have a sleeping bag with a pad sleeve. This is a super idea to keep both pieces together while sleeping, so that they don’t fall on the floor and instead stay where they belong keeping you warm and comfy.
When choosing something to lie on, be sure to pick the right width. The standard twenty inches might sound like a lot of room, but you have to take into account that you turn over during the night and adults might be more comfortable with something wider. Many manufacturers are now making them both and longer and wider for better comfort levels.
Let’s take a look at the selection out there.
When talking about the suppliers adding more features to them and making them more appealing, having one or two with side baffles or rails help for children to keep them on the bed so that they don’t fall off while turning over in their sleep. Some also come with a pillow, but I wouldn’t use this feature as one to make a buying decision especially since most people do prefer their own pillow, whether away from home or not.
Also, if you do have that sleeping bag sleeve we mentioned, measure it before shopping because you don’t want the pad to be larger than the opening. Likewise, if it is too narrow, it won’t be that comfortable for sleeping.
Lastly, remember that the tent size is going to play an important role in the pad size. If you need to put a couple inside the tent for a bed for everyone in the family, know the dimensions of the tent and then add up the sizes of each pad. And a small warning. Don’t put the pads right up against the sides of the tent. This will cause water to seep in if it rains.