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Car Camping: How comfortable can you make it?
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By Chad F
From Costa Mesa, CA
Oct 20, 2011
photo
I wanted to find out what other are using for padding in car camping situations while sleeping in a tent.

I use a ridgerest with a thermarest on top. Its pretty comfy, but I bet it could improve.

Some other people use several ridgerests/eggcrates combo

I was thinking of somehow incorporating a memory foam topper to a good base set up.

Thoughts?

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By Abock
From WA
Oct 20, 2011
Vantage, WA
Nothing beats a Paco Pad.

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By Bill M
From Fort Collins, CO
Oct 20, 2011
Something I know about! I start with a decent cot (rei.com/product/798432/rei-cam...
Then a thermarest.
Followed by a 2" piece of foam I bought at an upholstery store. People use it to refoam couches.

The cot is key!

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By Troyd
From Chicago, IL
Oct 20, 2011
Straight up from here. One big reach then great le...
Heres my setup. Still under construction obviously...
Heres my setup. Still under construction obviously.


Got a pad to lay down and blankets. Even my girlfriend likes it! HAHAHA

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By Alex Whitman
Oct 20, 2011
Luxury Liner, Indian Creek
I live in the lap of luxury in my tent (I also live in my car for long periods of time). I have a crashpad as a base but my head and feet stick off of the ends. To remedy this I use two pillows for my head and then my clothes bag at the feet. The two pillows brings my head up higher than the crashpad and the bag just about levels out my feet. If the crashpad is too hard for you little ninnies out there you can put a thermarest on top of that and all is good in the hood.
If you happen to have a ladyfriend over for the night or are feeling extra cushy, bring a bunch of blankets and ditch the sleeping bag; turning the tent into a giant nest of comfortable lovin'. If I could have wall to wall padding and blankets in my room at home I would be one happy camper (pun intended).

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Oct 20, 2011
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Exped Synmat 9 DW. No contest.

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By Angela Mabe
From Flagstaff,AZ
Oct 20, 2011
On top of Dr. Rubos
Dream Time!!!

Check it :)

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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Oct 20, 2011
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow
Nemo Cosmo or Astro with pillow top.
These aren't cheap...$120-$150 for the combination, but they are now the bomb in my home.

If we are traveling and staying in a hotel, the kids fight over who gets the Nemos, they'd rather have Nemos than hotel beds.

When company comes over, the company gets our bedroom & my wife & I sleep in the basement on the Nemos. They are INCREDIBLY comfortable.

In fact, our last trip to the Red (which was the first with the Nemos), was also the first that my wife said she had fun camping.

Get one. Sleep better.

Just my $0.02

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By Josh Brown
Oct 20, 2011
autoanything.com/truck-tents/6...

I've never met anyone with one but they look like they would be pretty cush

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By Tristan B
From La Crescenta, CA
Oct 20, 2011
Hanging out on Royal Arches
This thing looks so prime!
cabelas.com/dome-backpacking-t...

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 20, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Tristan B wrote:
This thing looks so prime! cabelas.com/dome-backpacking-t...



Agree it looks awesome for snake country and for those who don't want to sleep on the hard ground. But starting at 229, well I don't think it's in the budget of most dirtbag car camping climbers. I use a couple of Ridgerest or similar foam pads on top of a ThermaRest, and real pillows too. Old shoulders need the padding now more than the insulation.

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By Troyd
From Chicago, IL
Oct 20, 2011
Straight up from here. One big reach then great le...
Yeah these things do look very comfy but the prices are where Im at also. Personaly Ive spent about $50 on my truck. Not taking into account the stuff I furnish it with. Either way that cabelas thing is very cool. I really like the vestibule like thing on the end. And would be nice thing to bring with in the case of going somewhere you cant get a vehicle. Which, for the record I do bring a tent for these sort of instaces.

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By doligo
Oct 20, 2011
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
I hate to admit it, but I got an air mattress from WM for around $16 - best purchase ever. On my 3rd month of a road trip, could've not lasted on thermarests alone.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Oct 20, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Ye Ole' inflatable mattress is great for 1 person, but not for 2- because it's a little bouncy of the second person moves. They are $30 or so for good ones.

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By Eric Robertson
Oct 20, 2011
This is what my GF and I use for car camping. I'm a side sleeper, and this pad keeps my hips off the ground. It literally couldn't be any more comfortable, and still not overly bulky when traveling with other gear. Worth every penny.

rei.com/product/778152/rei-cam...

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 20, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Eric Robertson wrote:
This is what my GF and I use for car camping. I'm a side sleeper, and this pad keeps my hips off the ground. It literally couldn't be any more comfortable, and still not overly bulky when traveling with other gear. Worth every penny. rei.com/product/778152/rei-cam...



!! Looks like a plump oversized ThermaRest kind of air mat. Looks comfy for the price.

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By Eric Robertson
Oct 20, 2011
That's exactly what it is. The reviews on rei.com say it all.

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By andrewc
Oct 20, 2011
Eric Robertson wrote:
This is what my GF and I use for car camping. I'm a side sleeper, and this pad keeps my hips off the ground. It literally couldn't be any more comfortable, and still not overly bulky when traveling with other gear. Worth every penny.


I have this and if I inflate it to my liking (not too much, not too little) it is as comfortable as my bed at home.

I spent way too many years camping on beat up ridge rests. I wish I had given in a long time ago.

If you can ever make it to an REI garage sale they always have a ton of air mattresses of all shapes and sizes. Every single one of them will have holes you have to patch but you can fix them very easily.

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Oct 20, 2011
Chad F wrote:
I wanted to find out what other are using for padding in car camping situations while sleeping in a tent. I use a ridgerest with a thermarest on top. Its pretty comfy, but I bet it could improve. Some other people use several ridgerests/eggcrates combo I was thinking of somehow incorporating a memory foam topper to a good base set up. Thoughts?



How much effort are you willing to put in to make things comfortable?

Best bed around
Best bed around


A slightly smaller version fits in a mid sized SUV

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By Troyd
From Chicago, IL
Oct 20, 2011
Straight up from here. One big reach then great le...
^^^^Thats freakin great! Wheres his partner though?

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By Peter Spinazze
Oct 26, 2011
machu piccu from huyana piccu
When car camping with a tent I use an Aero bed, extension cord, and a 12 volt inverter in the truck. Inflated in minutes and ready to go! On solo trips though a thermarest in the back of my 4runner is perfect.

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By Drew Hayes
From Charlotte, NC
Oct 26, 2011
yay bouldering
self inflating therma rest and a thermarest eggcrate pad as the base, then spread a sleeping bag out over top of that, then a blanket on top of that. sleep under a blanket and another spread out sleeping bag and pillows from my bed. even my girl is comfortable in that!

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By Nathan Stokes
Oct 26, 2011
Queen Sized Aerobed just fits inside a 4 person Eureka tent, you can't get any better sleep than that, even for 2. The new Aerobeds have a battery in the inflation system and can charge / run off 12V. The only drawback on an Air mattress is they get cold when the temps drop.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Oct 26, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
thermarest dreamtime works for me! we have two that snap together

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By Evan1984
Oct 26, 2011
I use two crash pads pushed together, and I always have the best setup in camp. When it is not too cold, I prefer a comforter to a sleeping bag; it makes it a little more home like.

Air bed are OK, but they are too saggy for me and they get COLD in the fall.

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By jhn payne
Oct 26, 2011
"Ragin Cajun" 5.12c Jackson Falls, So Il...
I have a question for everyone, for me its not the underneath that disturbs my sleep, but the mummy style bag I use in fall and winter weather in which I toss back and forth all night, I zip and unzip all night trying to get it right, while at home I'm under my comfort with my legs splayed out and sleeping nicely. I have a 3 season bag that opens flat, and I'm considering using that as my top cover but that would leave me cold on the mattress side, so whats your solution. Oh and no this isn't my first rodeo just getting a bit older.

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