Why Does Your Air Bed Get Wet When Camping?

Air beds are essential when it comes to adding some comforts to your camping experience. They’re also comfy, portable, and easy to carry, but there is just one small problem; sometimes you notice your air bed is wet. 

An air bed can appear wet while camping for 2 main reasons, condensation and sweat. This can be caused by your body temperature and the ground temperature hitting and create an air gap where the water in the air forms. This can be prevented with better airflow and a quality air bed.

In this article we will cover the reasons why your air bed feels wet and damp and how you can prevent it.

Why Does Your Air Bed Get Wet When Camping?A

Air beds can often feel wet or damp due to a number of factors the most common being from condensation and sweat. The primary cause of air bed wetness is condensation.

Condensation occurs when your body temperature hits the air and ground temperature, and the ground absorbs the heat from the air bed, then the moisture condenses on the cold bed.

Why Condensation Happens

Condensation happens when you do not have enough insulation under air beds. The ground absorbs the heat from the air bed then the moisture condenses on your cold air bed.

So when you are on a camping trip, and you are using your air bed without enough insulation underneath, chances are that the heat from the air bed, which came from your body, gets absorbed by the ground, which makes moisture condensed on the bed and makes it wet.


You probably might be thinking that your air beds make you sweat. Well, you must be thinking it all wrong. Your sweating is due to variations in your body temperature while you sleep and has nothing to do with your air bed.

Air beds are made from fabrics that are not breathable, and when there is a lack of ventilation in the tent, and you sweat profusely in your sleep, your air bed tends to be wet.

How To Prevent Your Air Bed From Getting Wet When Camping

To prevent your air bed from getting wet and essentially yourself look at taking these extra measures to ensure you have a nice dry airbed.

1. Insulating your Air Beds

Insulating your air bed would help minimize most of the air-bed wetting problems. The primary trick on how to insulate your air bed is to find a way to detach your body from being in contact with the air bed itself.

You can do this by adding sufficient layers of an insulating material such as sleeping pads or blankets between yourself and the air bed.

Of course, there are lots of great air beds out there that have some insulation built-in, but If the air bed you are using currently doesn’t have that feature, you would want to try insulating it with some serious padding.

As I see it, the best arrangement is to get a well-insulated sleeping pad to put on top of the air bed. That way, you will be deriving the best of both worlds with the solace of a typical air bed and the insulation of the sleeping pad. You have numerous choices to look over with sleeping pads. However, your main worry here is excellent insulation since you already have an air bed underneath it.

A decent closed-cell foam sleeping pad may be best since it gives your body the best insulation.

In case you can’t get a sleeping pad, another solution is to layer a bunch of blankets between you and your air bed. It’s advisable to use thicker blankets for better insulation.

Wool blankets are presumably the best since they will absorb the sweat quickly, and they are also one of the “warmest” fabrics that will keep the body warm in cold weather. Any blankets will do; however, despite the fact that it’s not advantageous conveying a lot of blankets, they can work effectively to keep your air bed dry. 

All in all, what is important here is to have something good as an insulator between you and the air bed. You do not want your body in close contact with the air bed because of the air bed getting wet and cold. 

2. Adequate Airflow and Ventilation.

When you are out camping, regardless of whether you are sleeping on an air bed or not, you need to have airflow moving through the tent. Your breath and body give off moisture when you are sleeping, so it’s necessary to have adequate airflow and cross ventilation to reduce moisture build-up.

Make sure your tent windows are opened and if your door has a screen area, make sure the bottom is unzipped. Aside from keeping the windows and doors open, a small fan hung near the top of the tent will also help to keep the air moving.

Inflate To The Proper Capacity 

While it’s crucial to keep your air bed far from sharp items, it’s similarly essential to fill it with the perfect measure of air. An underinflated air bed causes lopsided weight distribution that can wear on the material and make it easier for sharp objects to puncture it and other problems such as water damage to occur.

However, over-inflating will put more tension on the seams and could cause a blowout. It’s typical for your air bed to lose some air; however, pumping it up depending on the situation will keep the air chambers from gurgling or wearing out.

It would be best if you always used an air pump to pump the air bed to stay away from dampness and microscopic organisms development inside your air bed’s air chambers. 

Deflate Completely Before Storage

It’s easy to inflate your air beds, especially when you are using electric or battery-operated pumps. However, it can take forever to deflate completely.

You might be feeling the urge to unplug the air valve of the air bed and roll it over before storing it, but this can be damaging to the seams of the air bed.

Forcefully pushing the air out can induce tension to the seams, consequently causing the closures to burst. Nonetheless, you may unplug the air bed’s air valve; however, you must allow the air bed to deflate entirely before you pack it for storage.

You will know that the air bed is still deflating whenever you can still hear a faded hissing sound near the bed’s air valve.

Store In A Dry Place

Once you are done with your camping trip and you are heading back home take the time to completely dry out your air bed. Clean it and dry it so once you put it away it is in the best condition is can be. This will help overall life expectancy along with preserving the quality of the air bed.

Look at storing your air bed in a dry place such as a house, air tight box in a garage or spare room. This will help keep the moisture from sitting in the fibres and materials of the air bed which should preserve the quality and life of the air bed.

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