Whether you’re seeking the relaxation of nature or setting up a hub for a few days of hiking and mountain biking, your car camping sleep system ensures that you are enjoying better, more comfortable nights under the stars. Are you ready for a plush new car-camping sleep system? Here are a few tips to get you started.

sleeping in tent with dog

1. Pick a Comfortable Sleeping Pad

Car camping means you don’t have to worry about weight or packed size, so there is no need to skimp on your sleeping pad. Get a thick, luxurious pad and rest your bones in true comfort. Our Camp & Comfort mattresses are built for this purpose. They provide the ultimate outdoor sleeping experience when  sleeping pad weight isn’t an issue.  The MondoKing 3D is pure luxury with 4.25 inches of StrataCore™ loft. It swallows uneven bumps on the ground and makes you second guess if you ever want to go back to the mattress in your bedroom.

If saving a bit of space is a priority, look no further than our LuxuryMap pad. Using our pressure mapping technology, we’ve intentionally placed variable-density foam to provide comfort and support in precisely the right places.  The three inches of self-inflating foam provides a warm and supportive pad for comfy nights at camp.

For camping couples, we offer two coupler sizes in our Synergy™ Luxe Sheets—a 25-inch and a 30-inch. The 25 will couple two 25-inch wide pads (Regular) together and the  30 will do the same for 30-inch wide (Large) pads. The end result is a cozy, uniform sleep surface for two, plus attachment points to keep your luxurious Therm-a-Rest quilts right where you want them all night long.

blowing up mattress on car camping trip

2. Find a Cozy Sleeping Bag and/or Quilt

After you’ve packed something warm and comfortable to sleep on, top it off with one of our sleeping bags, quilts and blankets to keep you warm on top and around camp too.

For ultimate luxury, we built the Ramble Down Blanket to balance at-home comfort with the technical demands of the outdoors. Spacious enough for two campers to sleep naturally, the 650-fill Nikwax® Hydrophobic Down blanket uses soft-touch fabrics in a quilted design to provide versatile warmth for everything from bedtime, campfires or bundled-up in a chair, watching sunrise with a warm cup of tea.

car camping sleep system with blanket

If you’re camping in chillier conditions and looking to add warmth to one of our sleeping bags, don’t miss our Juno Argo or Stellar Blankets. They excel as an extra nighttime layer for a boost of essential warmth.  They are also great as a tough-yet-soft ground cloth, warm campfire blanket, beach blanket or even as a pillow in a pinch. Here at Therm-a-Rest HQ, they are mainstays in car trunks and truck beds year-round.

3. Include a Pillow

For a comfy and eco-friendly place to lay your head after a long day in the woods, check out the Compressible Pillow. Stuffed with recycled foam from our mattress factory, they pack small but expand for big-time comfort. Pro Tip: Send your pillow through your dryer to get maximum fluff if it’s been packed down for awhile.

relaxing in tent on car camping trip with dog

Extras for Your Car Camping Sleep System

Now that you’ve got the essentials packed, it’s time to add the accessories that can take your base camp from “comfy enough” to “the best night under the stars”.

For fireside comfort and extra warmth ‘out and about’, our Honcho Poncho is an all-time favorite. The Honcho Poncho and the Honcho Poncho Down can both be used as a blanket or as a wearable poncho. Use them between burns while bouldering, after chilly mountain bike descents or as a warm and portable changing room after a morning surf session.

changing in van during surf trip

A quality basecamp can make all the difference. Whether you’re looking to maximize your relaxation in the solitude of the mountains or recover between days of adventure, it’s about time you built a better car camping sleep system.

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Updated. Originally Published March 14, 2018.