Have you seen those fabulously comfy-looking khaki campbeds when you stroll past the fishing section in outdoor stores?
Carp anglers have to stay in one place for hours, so they demand comfort. Why can’t campers have squishy beds and chairs too? Here’s our guide to what might work for all of us – fish or no fish.
Campbeds, chairs, shelters and camping storage – and all in stealthy khaki
You’ll already have spotted the downside maybe? Can you really have both comfort and portability/packability.Fishing beds, chairs and shelters aren’t as lightweight as some camping gear. So, they won’t work unless you have a vehicle. Carp anglers park nearby or use a trolley to cart all their fishing equipment to the waterside. And these beds and chairs are probably not going to work for a family, because carrying more than one or two of these beasts isn’t usually feasible. Having said that, she who pitches the tent or threads the awning into the rail deserves the best chair! The rest can sit on the ground!
We’ve left no riverbank uncombed in our bid to find the lightest and foldiest campbeds, chairs and more. So, read on…
Camping beds for ultimate comfort
Here are the lightest campbeds we’ve found from the carp fishing world. If you could cope with something heavier or bigger, then we’d recommend having a look at the huge range of well-thought-of bigger beds on Amazon or at Decathlon. These, though, are our favourites.
If you’d be just as happy with a super-comfy, deep self-inflating camping mattress, we have just the thing!
Have a look at our guide to the best camping mats that feel like your bed at home (sort of).
Some of the cheaper campbeds will be much comfier with a blow-up camping mat on top, of course!
For £120, you can get pretty lightweight, extra wide and sprung comfort. The Abode Big Boy (a grrrr from this big girl!), has air-mesh to keep you ventilated and the edges are cushioned. A rubber grip makes it easy to adjust and recline.
- Folded: 88 x 88 x 24cm
- Size: H31cm (adjustable) L210cm W88cm
- Weight: 10kg
The Cyprinus campbed (it doesn’t convert to a chair) comes with its own five-season (sic) sleeping bag and, while it costs £150, has the advantage of being super-flat. The fleece liner and cover are removable for washing. The cover is water resistant too.
- Folded: 80 x 80 x 24cm
- Size: H28 at the lowest L2m W80cm
- Weight: 12kg including sleeping bag
Other comfy campbed options
Funnily enough, the ‘normal’ camping beds we looked at weren’t all that much lighter (heavier in some cases) than these carp beds and nowhere near as sturdy or comfortable. These are the best we found:
Sturdy fishing chairs for camping
If you’re after a bed and a chair, it might make sense to combine them in one. However, you might not want to drag your bed outside to eat.
So, here are some lighter weight fishing seats that would make stable and comfortable camping chairs. Have a look at our favourite ‘normal’ camping chairs too.
Sleeping bags that fix to campbeds
Sleeping bags specifically made for overnight fishing trips tend to wider, warmer, bulkier and…khaki! The best have hooks that fasten around the legs of your bedchair so that the bag doesn’t slip off. You could always sew on your own hooks if you have a bag already – attach them to wide elastic so you can stretch to fit.
Shelters, bivvy tents and more
Quick to put up, waterproof and sturdy – anglers get their own selection of shelters and overnight bivvies (bivouac tents).
This neat shelter fastens to your bedchair and will keep you dry in light rain (not a torrential downpour – add a tarp for complete waterproofness). It will fit all Caperlan bedchairs (and any of a similar width/length).
There are two small windows, a zipped folding door and ventilation panels. Plus it only costs £55.
- Size: 205L x 85W x 110cmH
- Weight: 3.5 kg
- Price: £55
This £150 Rapid Tanker shelter tent from Decathlon is big enough to take two large bedchairs, but packs down fairly small. Removable groundsheet and waterproof flysheet.
It’s a pop-up design so it can be moved from place to place once it’s up. Front awning and inside storage too. As with all pop-ups, there’s an art to getting them back into the round bag. Read the instructions and practise!
If the weather’s fine, you’ll get to see the stars if you lie back on your comfy bedchair with a simple mosquito net for protection. You might need to add some straps/hooks to keep it in place, and you’ll definitely need a tree to hang it from.
Alternatively, have a look at a ground-based bivvy tent with integrated mosquito net like the Aqua Quest West Coast we use all the time. Light, up in seconds, but no BIG campbed, of course!
Lots more like this in our wild camping article.
Clever kit that works for camping too
If you don’t have to design any colour choices into your kit (would you like that in khaki or khaki, madam?), perhaps you can spend more time designing clever and useful gear. How about these?
The Decathlon barrow trolley (shown in use above) can carry a lot of camping gear but folds down nice and small to 60 x 60 x 11cm.
Two wheels, storage bag at the front, comfort grips and bungee straps included. Just under £75.
If you don’t need a heavyweight all-terrain barrow, Vango’s Transit is fab. Folds completely flat and weighs just 3kg. Around £35. It can take up to 70kg and comes with an elastic tie-round.
These might be designed to carry bait and tackle, but imagine this neat storage pack filled with kitchen supplies, herbs and spices or other camping bits and pieces?
The Decathlon all-in-one has a table that fits into the bottom and the whole thing can be easily carried because it’s under 4kg (empty, of course). Around £50 – and imagine the fun you’ll have organising it!
This NGT Deluxe has two tiers, a separable table and costs around £45.