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

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, super fatty 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 carry-weight isn’t an issue. None more so than the MondoKing 3D. This ultra-thick monster sports 4.25 inches of StrataCore technology loft. It swallows uneven bumps on the ground and makes you second guess if you ever want to go back to the box spring in your bedroom.

For targeted and thoughtful comfort, 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 size Large 30-inch wide pads. The end result is a cozy uniform sleep surface for two.

camping sleep system

2. Find a Cozy Sleeping Bag and/or Quilt

After you’ve packed something to sleep on, you need something that keeps you warm. Your sleeping pad provides warmth from the ground. Top it off with one of our sleeping bags, quilts and blankets designed to keep you cozy at camp.

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 is the size of a comforter and uses soft-touch fabrics in a quilted design.

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 booth of essential warmth. Yet, these synthetic-filled, go-anywhere camp blankets are super versatile. They are great as a tough-yet-soft ground cloth, warm campfire 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.


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, our Honcho Poncho is an all-time favorite. With stylish mountain prints, the Honcho can be used as a blanket or as a wearable poncho. Use it between burns while bouldering, after chilly mountain bike descents or morning surf sessions.

A quality base camp can make all the difference. Whether you’re looking to maximize your relaxation in the solitude of the mountains or recover between days of climbing, mountain biking, trail running or hiking, it’s about time you built a better car camping sleep system.

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Updated. Originally Published March 14, 2018.