Car camping is growing in popularity, and if you own a Subaru Forester, it’s something you should definitely try out. This vehicle can handle rough roads and get you further into the wild than a regular van or car can. But if you’re going to be sleeping in your Forester, you’re going to want to bring along a good air mattress or sleeping pad. I learned this the hard way when I bought a cheap air mattress – it leaked while we slept and basically ruined our trip.
In a nutshell, the best Subaru Forester sleeping pad or air mattress is one that will give you a great night’s sleep and pack up easily for road trips. But before you buy, there are some things you’ll need to consider. For example, air mattress or sleeping pad? And how will it fit inside your Forester?
To help answer these questions, we’ve put together this handy guide on the top air mattresses and sleeping pads for Subaru Forester car camping.
Here is a quick look:
- Best Subaru Forester sleeping pads: Exped Megamat Duo 10 & Therm-a-Rest MondoKing
- Best air mattress for Subaru Forester: Wey & Fly & SUV Air Mattress
- Can You Sleep in the Back of a Subaru Forester?
- What is the best size for a Subaru Forester sleeping pad or air mattress?
- Sleeping pad or inflatable air mattress?
- Best Subaru Forester Sleeping Pads
- Best Subaru Forester Air Mattress
- Why sleep in the Back of Your Subaru Forester?
- Tips for Sleeping in Subaru Forester
- Do Subaru Forester rear seats fold down flat?
Can You Sleep in the Back of a Subaru Forester?
You can sleep in the back of your Subaru Forester, and it’s pretty comfy too. Just fold down the rear seats, roll out your Subaru Forester sleeping pad air or mattress and get comfortable. For average-sized people (5’9″), the Subaru Forester can be quite roomy. And it’s wide enough to accommodate a partner that’s the same size or smaller. But if you’re over six feet tall, you may have to curl up or sleep diagonally to make it work – you won’t be able to sleep in the back of a Subaru Forester all stretched out.
So go ahead and grab your single or twin-size Subaru Forester air mattress or sleeping pad for an extra comfy car camping experience. Remember to test your setup before you go on your trip. Spend a night sleeping in your Forester at home in similar conditions so that come D-day, there are no surprises.
Read also: Best Shift Knobs
What is the best size for a Subaru Forester sleeping pad or air mattress?
The Subaru Forester has a pretty spacious interior and can comfortably fit a large air mattress. With the rear seats down, the car delivers up to 74.7’’ length and will fit most standard size air mattresses for SUVs and crossovers. So, the size of air mattress you buy will depend on whether you want full coverage or not. If you’re sharing the inflatable mattress or sleeping pad with a partner, or just need the whole back area covered, then look for one with at least 72L” x 41W” x 4″ to 76″L x 51″W dimensions. If you’re sleeping alone and storing extra gear in the back of your Subaru, then you can get away with a single sleeping pad or inflatable mattress. The best air mattresses for Subaru Foresters tend to have several extensions or panels that can be inflated or deflated to increase or reduce the width and length of the air mattress as desired.
Sleeping pad or inflatable air mattress?
When it comes to sleeping in your Subaru Forester, there are two main choices: a sleeping pad or an air mattress.
Air mattresses offer the most cushioning of the two options. If comfort is your number one priority, an air mattress might be just what you’re looking for. And they store easier- when deflated, they take up less space that sleeping pads. Yet they are more prone to punctures than sleeping pads; and while they can be patched, some people find them more hassle than they’re worth. Sleeping pads, on the other hand, are much more durable and provide more insulation than air mattresses (which can get icy cold in cold weather).
However, while sleeping bags tend to be pricier, they are the preferred choice of seasoned campers. So, if car camping is something you plan to do often, invest in a quality sleeping pad that will last you many adventures. But if you only plan on car camping occasionally, an air mattress is a good choice. Certainly, either of these options will help make sleeping in your Subaru Forester that much cozier.
Best Subaru Forester Sleeping Pads
This high-end sleeping pad is comfortable and insulated (R-Value: 8.1) – an excellent accessory to bring along on your camping or road trips. It expands to 4-5 inches in thickness to provide comfy cushioning for a good night’s sleep. The Subaru Forester sleeping pad self-inflates, but if you want to speed up inflation or adjust firmness, there’s an included hand pump for that. The FlatValve technology means there are two separate valves for easy inflation, deflation, and adjustment of the sleeping pad’s pressure during use. And unlike other mats, this one does not have raised edges– its surface is completely level from end to end, so there are no worries about rolling off at night. It comes with a neat storage bag that has a roll-top opening and an adjustable carry strap for easier transport.
- High level of insulation: R-Value: 8.1
- Stuff sack included
- Regular Wide: 72.1 x 25.6 x 3.9 inches
- Long X-Wide: 77.6 x 30.3 x 3.9 inches
This is our standout pick for the best Subaru Forester car camping sleeping pad- and here is why. It self-inflates to a cushy 4’’ thickness and the 3D construction maximizes the sleeping area while also minimizing the pack size. In addition, the Subaru Forester sleeping pad features a soft and warm stretch knit cover, as well as 7.0R insulation value- meaning it will keep you warm and comfy in any condition or season. It will simply inflate on its own, just add a couple of extra breaths of air to adjust its firmness to your liking. This sleeping pad for Subaru Forester has dual valves (one for inflation, one for deflation and includes stuff sack for easy storage. Available in two sizes: large (77×25 inches) or the XXL (80 x 30 inches).
- Made in USA
- High level of insulation: R-Value: 7.0
- Stuff sack included
- Large: Large – 77 x 25 inches
- Long X-Wide: 80x 30 inches
This sleeping pad makes for a cozy sleeping space in the back of your Subaru Forester or Outback- and it’s not just for car camping! You can also use it at home or while camping outdoors. The sleeping pad is made of high-density foam that doesn’t need inflating and the padding is quite firm and comfortable. The synthetic leather cover is heavy duty and durable too. To store, fold the Subaru Forester sleeping pad down and strap it to the rear seats using the included bungee cables.
- Dimensions: 70″ x 41.33″ x 1.7″
- Material: High-density sponge foam, synthetic leather, cloth fabric
- Color: Black
- Weight: 12 lbs
- Package includes:- 1 x NitePad (74.8″ x 41.7″ x 1.7″), 2 x bungee cords for strapping pad to rear seats
- Fitment: 2014-2018 Toyota 4Runner, 2009 and up Subaru Forester, 2009 and up Subaru Outback
Best Subaru Forester Air Mattress
With a 4.5 rating on Amazon, this air mattress is a hit amongst users, thanks to its comfortability, versatile design, and durability (read reviews here). It is designed to fit perfectly in the back of your Subaru Forester, but it can also double as a sleeping mat in your tent or home. The thick suede covering is warm and soft, and the mattress itself has four panels so you can inflate them how you choose: fully if you’re sharing with someone else, or just the main chamber if you’re riding solo. We also like the separate panels that allow for different levels of inflation so each person can set their preferred level of firmness. The bed for Subaru Forester will keep its shape without tears or leaks—and can be inflated in minutes using the included air pump that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Overall, one of the best Subaru Forester camping mattresses on the market and quite affordable too!
- Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
- Dimensions: 75.98″L x 51″W x 3.94″T
- 4 separate segments for inflation as needed
- The package includes: SUV car inflatable air bed (No pillow incl.); Carry bag; Electric car air pump; Repair kit; Instruction manual
You might also like: The more affordable Pavoni Subaru Forester air mattress, a quality air mattress that is just as liked by users.
This air mattress is designed to fit in SUVs and crossovers including the Subaru Forester. Affordable and yet well-constructed, this Amazon top seller comes with everything you need: an electric air pump and repair patches in case anything goes wrong. Plus, it even has an inbuilt pillow that can be separately inflated. The Subaru air mattress has three inflatable panels that you can fill up as needed. When used in the back seat of your car, you’ll only need to fill two of these panels—but when used in the trunk, inflate the three panels for full coverage. The bottom is lined with thick PVC to keep your inflated mattress moisture-proof and warm. This product is great for Forester camping, outdoor camping, or even home use.
- Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
- Dimensions: 72.8 x 51.2x 4.7 Inches
- Comes with a storage bag
- What’s in the box: 1 Air Mattress, 1 Air Pump, 1 Nozzle set, Repair patches & 1 storage bag
This inflatable car camping mattress is a great fit for your Forester and has a ton of features that make it an ideal car camping mattress. First, its five separate inflatable panels let you customize your sleeping experience: You can make it as large or as small as you need it to be. Plus, its ribbed air cushioning and soft, breathable top offer good support for your body. It’s also easy to use: it inflates in just a few minutes with the included electric air pump and packs down quickly when you’re ready to hit the road again. Overall, a sturdy and comfortable Subaru Forester inflatable mattress that has earned rave reviews from users.
- A good fit for SUVs and Crossovers
- Dimensions: 71″L x 51″W x 5″T
- Weight limit: 300 Pounds
- What’s in the box: 1 air mattress & 1 air pump
Why sleep in the Back of Your Subaru Forester?
Whether you are car camping or road-tripping to your next vacation destination (and taking breaks at truck stops), sleeping in a Subaru Forester provides a solid shelter option. With a few pillows and blankets, you can transform your Forester into a cozy refuge and save tons of hotel money.
For those who want to explore remote locations, car camping in Subaru Forester is safer than sleeping out in the open or under a tent. Unless someone breaks your car window or picks the locks, you’re going to be pretty safe from animals, crooks, and weather elements that could make for a restless night
There are other perks to sleeping in the back of Subaru Forester: if you get caught in colder weather than you were prepared for, being able to run the heat or AC can really help you out. Finally setting up camp in your Forester is a quick affair compared to having to set up a tent.
However, once you roll out your air mattress or sleeping pad, you will have less room to store your cargo (always leave your driver’s seat free in case you have to get away quickly). This means you have to pack light or get this waterproof car roof cargo bag.
Tips for Sleeping in Subaru Forester
Sleeping in the back of Subaru Forester has its challenges – the main one being that you’ve got less space than usual and you’ll need to figure out where to put all your stuff. The best option is to pack light, or if that isn’t an option, install a roof cargo box. Another place you can store your stuff is on the front passenger seat (but never in the driver’s seat—you need to be able to make a quick getaway if necessary).
Secondly, it can get pretty chilly at night when car camping in Subaru Forester. The metal and glass can let the heat out, especially if you’re in a cold area. Be sure to bring some warm blankets and a pillow or two with you so that you stay warm all night long.
But don’t forget to crack open your windows at night—otherwise, condensation will build up inside and you’ll wake up soaking wet! If you’re concerned about bugs or dust getting in through the windows while they’re open, hang up this convenient window meshes before bed. We also recommend these magnetic blackout curtains if you want to sleep in late – not only do they help block out the morning sun, but they also give you an extra layer of privacy. That’s not all; they also help to keep your car cool when temperatures outside are on the rise.
Do Subaru Forester rear seats fold down flat?
It depends on your Subaru Forester’s make. While some, like the 2022 Subaru Forester, have seats that fold down flat, others do not; -the cargo area sits two to three inches lower than the folded-down seats. But the rear seats do go down far enough so that when you lay an inflatable mattress on top of them, you can sleep comfortably.
Here’s a quick video showing you how to lay rear seats down flat when sleeping in your Subaru Forester.