After temporarily moving in with friends after we sold our house, we had to come up with a creative solution to not having a conventional mattress. The room we stayed in had to be set up and torn down as a "bedroom" each day so we wanted something portable but also comfortable. Since both my wife and I love camping and the outdoors, my mind quickly turned to something that I thought could solve our problem. What if we got high-end mattress pads to sleep on and by combining two, it would act as a single “mattress” but also give us the versatility for easy set up at night and clean up each morning? 

After searching I kept coming across the Thermarest LuxuryMap Mattress. This is not a “backpacking” pad but one that could be used for car camping, and in our case, everyday sleeping!

My wife is five foot eight inches and I am six feet tall, so we decided on the the large version of the mattress. There is a large option, XL option and regular option available. Each varies on the length, so we chose one that was 77 inches long. These pads inflate up to three inches which provides good stability and comfort when sleeping. There is a good reason why they call it a “mattress” because it does provide the sense that you are on a true mattress and not sleeping on the ground. We could both comfortably sleep on our side without waking up in pain.

One trick that we used to make the experience more “bed like” was to add a fitted sheet over both mattress pads so that it kept them together and made it feel more like a single mattress instead of two separate ones. After almost 90 days of use, these pads easily stood up to the use and barely showed any type of wear and tear. Inflating was a breeze and by using the screw valve on the top corner, adjusting the firmness was simple and took seconds to do so. There were many nights and even weeks that passed without ever having to inflate the mattress pads at all.

They do provide a nice stuff sack that the pads go back into when finished and work great for storage and travel. Even once they have been placed in their stuff sack, they are still too large to pack in a backpack but would work great for car camping or even sleep overs at the house. When guest come in, we use this as a bed option and provide regular bed linens to make it feel like a guest bed. The only difference is they are sleeping lower to the ground!

One option that I would consider if I did this again and still may do for future use is to invest in a Thermarest Universal Sheet. This would make it easier to clean and not have to clean the actual mattress pad itself. This would also increase the overall comfort of the pad as well.

If you are in the market for a mattress pad, I highly recommend this one. There are a lot of great options out there for all different occasions, but only you know which one will fit your needs best!

Happy adventuring!

Jon DeMeo