Gear Review: Camp Mattress and Lights

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In the time that Keltin and I have been together we have been camping a decent number of times. We have always had a good camping trip but there have been things that can be tweaked to make for a more comfortable camping experience. This has mainly been the sleeping situation. We have slept on my dad’s gear, super comfortable but it take up so much room in the car that it is not practical. We have slept on air mattresses, these would be fine for summer camping but they do not have the insulation needed for winter or early spring camping. Besides, on had a leak and deflated at night and I woke up sleeping on very little cushion. We have also slept on backpacking sleeping pads. These are good for what they are but as car campers I didn’t sleep quite as comfortably as we wanted.

Here you can see my dad’s nice but big mattress and an regular non-insulated air mattress.

*This post does contain affiliate links.

Finally, we were done with bad night’s sleep and decided to buy ourselves a nice sleeping pad. We checked out a lot of different varieties and did a bit of research before deciding on the Camp Dreamer Double Self-Inflating Deluxe Bed from REI. This a fairly pricy sleeping pad but frankly, I wanted to actually sleep while camping and not toss and turn as much.


  • This is a self-inflating pad, you can let it air up while getting the rest of your camp set up.
  • It is a double, so perfect for couples or if your dogs like to cuddle, there is plenty of room.
  • It has an R-value (insulation value) of 6.6, this means this pad is good in all seasons, if you want to learn more about R-value, check out this video.
  • I’m a side sleeper and I like a firm mattress but I still slept better on this than on other sleeping pads.


  • Cost, there are less expensive options available.
  • Weight, this pad is comfortable but it is not small nor lightweight. If you are car camping this is not an issue.
  • Putting this pad away takes a couple people only because of the size and it’s just easier to get the air out with two.

All in all, for us this sleeping pad is worth it as it makes camping much more comfortable.

I talk about both the sleeping pad and the lights in this video.

We also picked up these Solar Color String Lights. They add a great bit off color to camp along with some ambiance that you don’t get with a lantern. They weigh 11.3 ounces, so if you are hiking superlight these may not be the best option. Along with being solar powered they also come with a charge cord for at home charging before heading out on your trip. If you need to, this can also be used as a changing station for other electronics. The color changing lights are on an 18 foot cord and there is an LED light if you need something brighter.

Product Image of color Multi

I’d love to know you’re preferred gear when you camp and what makes your campsite just a little bit more comfortable. Let me know in the comments and save travels. Remember, leave no trace.

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