Amid the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions, more and more anti-campers are giving car camping a try. I am not a camper, but I’ve found a way to tolerate—dare I say enjoy—it, especially when the payoff is staying at a national park. The key? Ditching the tent and sleeping in your car on a custom Luno mattress.
I’m spoiled to live in Seattle, just a couple hours away from some of the most bucket-list-worthy national parks in the country. But these parks’ popularity—especially Olympic National Park—means crowds. Car camping gives you a head start on busy trails and overrun visitor centers because you’re already there. It’s very satisfying to be one of the first cars at a trailhead parking lot and to skip the morning lines at ranger entrances.
To get these park perks, you do still have to endure the parts of camping that are less glamorous—walking to a vault toilet in the middle of the night with a headlamp as your guide, for example. However, there are several creature comforts that will make your car feel more like a hotel room, from super-soft, breathable cotton Pendleton bedding to travel-friendly, Mulberry silk Night Pillows. But the luxury bedrock is the Luno Air Mattress. Unlike other camping mattresses, Luno is made to fit exactly to your car make and model, maximizing every square inch of space for a good night's sleep. Here’s why this mattress is a game changer for sleeping under the stars.
Luno isn’t just a mattress. It's a tailored system. The Luno Air Mattress 2.0 comes in nearly 2,000 different configurations for the backseat of 42 different car brands. And it’s not just for big SUVs. There are Luno mattresses for hatchbacks and station wagons, too, with a design long enough to comfortably sleep someone up to 6’2” tall. Beyond its signature puzzle-piece fit, Luno offers custom pressure, too. The mattresses are designed for two sleepers and its dual inflation system means you and your travel companion can choose your own pressure—like a very primitive Sleep Number. You can also inflate just one side for solo camping or to create a nap pod on road trips.
Luno makes custom fitted sheets for each mattress variation, too, and that is the ultimate premium. I hate sleeping bags and much prefer bringing actual, soft linens for a more elevated, glamping-style experience. The fitted sheet pops on in a snap for an easy base layer—and when you get home, it goes in the wash like any other bedding.
At $330, a Luno mattress is definitely more expensive than a beginner's tent and camper bed. But it’s worth it for the easy setup alone. I couldn’t tell you the first step in setting up a tent, but I can handle inflating the Luno. The mattress comes with a super-fast electric pump that can be powered by your car or a portable generator. (I recommend the Goal Zero Yeti power station.) And the valves are all accessible from the sides of the mattress so you can easily reach them while standing outside the car.
Your car’s flipped-down back seats act as the mattress box springs, but as an additional support for your head, the Luno mattress comes with extra inflatable cubes for the backseat floorboard area. These pieces inflate the same way and, in total, you’ll have the entire system inflated within minutes. Deflation and packing up are just as fast. Just flip the deflate valve, squeeze out the air, and roll the mattress up into its own handy carrying case.
Luno is tough. The 300-denier Oxford fabric doesn’t feel like a regular plastic inflatable mattress. It’s the same thick material used for winter car coverings, which means it can handle a tumble or two. (Though I still wouldn’t recommend standing or jumping on it.) The mattress can hold up to 600 pounds and is even claw resistant for those camping with pups. However, if you do have a blow-out with the “life-proof” mattress, know that it comes with a repair patch kit and a one-year factory warranty.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler