Sleeping in a car on road and camping trips makes a lot of sense, except for one small problem: it’s super uncomfortable.

Especially as a tall person, that has always frustrated me. A car could potentially be more private than a tent, and it’s obviously cheaper than a motel. But despite most cars having plenty of internal volume, they’re not arranged in a way that lets anyone lay flat.

Recently, however, a promising solution has been taking the internet by storm. It’s an inflatable mattress that converts the back seat of a car into a bed:

air mattress 1
Via Lightinthebox

The model shown above — and which everyone is talking about — is sold by a company called Light in the Box. However, there are apparently other models out there from Ebay and Amazon.

This mattress doesn’t solve every problem; I’m just over six feet tall, so nothing is going to allow me to stretch straight out in a back seat. Still, I learned recently on Air New Zealand that simply having a flat surface to lie on makes a huge difference.  (I could also imagine leaving one door open and letting my feet hang out, though I’m not sure how well that would work.)

In any case, on long drives through remote areas I can imagine this kind of mattress coming in handy. If I get a car this year, or if I plan a road trip with a rental long enough in advance to order this mattress, I’ll pick one up and review it.

— Jim Dalrymple II


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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