Sleeping in your car certainly doesn’t sound like the most glamorous thing to do. I mean, who does that?
Well, for one, I do.
When I go on road trips, I choose to car camp in my Subaru instead of staying in hotels. It’s more adventurous, a lot cheaper (read: free), and you can get off the beaten path and go places you normally wouldn’t be able to go.
But as much fun as it is—it’s honestly not that comfortable. Even on an inflatable camping pad.
But that all changed for me when my Luno Life air mattress arrived in the mail. It’s an inflatable mattress that’s custom-shaped to fit perfectly into the back of your car. All of a sudden, car camping became an adventurous and comfortable experience, which meant I started doing a whole lot more of it.
This has been one of my best purchases of the past year. In this Luno Life mattress review, I’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know.
What to Know About the Luno Air Mattress
- The Luno Life Air mattress is an inflatable mattress made specifically for car camping.
- Luno Life Air Mattresses can fit into 1,800+ different cars. They’re custom cut to fit perfectly into your vehicle and around the wheel wells.
- It takes between 2-3 minutes to inflate both sides with the included air pump. For storage, it breaks down fast and rolls up into the provided bag.
- This car camping mattress is for anyone looking to upgrade their sleep set up in the back of their car. If you are thinking about going on road trips and want an easier, safer and more comfortable way to camp, Luno makes it possible.
Who is Luno Life?
Luno Life is the first brand solely dedicated to upgrading your car camping experience. They’re a relatively new company, but they’re committed to providing comfort and convenience to both new car campers and experienced campers alike.
The idea for Luno Life was born on a snowboarding trip to Mammoth when the team couldn’t stomach the price tag for hotel rooms on a busy weekend and, instead, they opted to sleep in their Subaru. One night was all it took to decide that they could do it better, and the result was the Luno Life air mattress—a comfortable way to sleep in the back of your car.
Birthed by a small team of designers who were tired of designing products for other people, Luno’s mission is to make car camping more comfortable and accessible to everyone, everwhere.
Luno Life Air Mattress Review
If you’ve ever thought about living the vanlife, car camping is the place to start. And if you want to be as comfortable while you’re doing it, Luno is the answer. It’s the pinnacle of car camping without getting a full-on camper van…and for a fraction of the price.
If you read other articles on this site, you’ll see I’m hard-pressed to recommend any product with this much aplomb. If I’m being honest—I’m not easily impressed. And for a product that seems so simple (I mean, it’s just an air mattress, right?), it almost feels strange that I’d be raving about it at all.
But it’s not the mattress itself, necessarily. It’s what it offers so efficiently, that I seem to have fallen in love with. And that thing is a good night’s sleep, whether I’m parked in the wilderness, the far desert or even a Walmart parking lot.
Whether you’re car camping with your partner for a weekend getaway, or you’re a dirtbag on the road for eight months out of the year, Luno serves both purposes without reservation or prejudice.
Sure, the Luno is an air mattress, but in reality, it’s your bed. And honestly, it’s comfortable enough to feel like one.
- Incredibly comfortable! This mattress is just as comfortable as my bed back home. It inflates to 4 inches thick!
- The mattress is custom designed for your vehicle and tapers to fit around the wheel wells. This fills up the entire space in the back of the car, which has a bigger impact on your comfort than you might think.
- Convenience. I love my tent, but the convenience of the Luno mattress has me choosing it over my tent on all of my recent road trips.
- The air pump that comes with their air mattresses is cheaply made. I don’t need anything fancy, but I was surprised by the cheap plastic. The cord on my first one started to fray pretty quickly (but it was replaced for free!). At the end of the day, it works consistently and well, which is all that really matters.
- With an increase in your sleeping area, you decrease a lot of storage space where you’d normally put your belongings. This requires getting creative with how you store everything at night.
There is a little bit of a learning curve when you first get the Luno Air Mattress 2.0 in the mail, and you might need to read some reviews or social posts (there are also instructional videos) to wrap your head around it.
One of the best features of the Luno is the ability to inflate either one half or two halves of the mattress. If you’re sleeping two, just inflate both sides. Both sides also have a unique inflate/comfort valve that allows each side to be inflated to personal preference.
If you’re solo car camping, you can inflate just one side of the mattress and use the other half of your car for storage.
If I’m on a weekend trip, I actually just leave my Luno set up on the right side of the car and keep all my gear organized on the left side of my car. That way, I’m basically traveling with a made bed, and I don’t have to set it up every night.
However, if there are two of you, things do get a little more complicated. Two people means you need more sleeping space and you’re probably carrying twice as much gear. The problem is that, at night, when you inflate your mattress, you have to find a place to put all your gear that isn’t the back of the car.
Here’s what works for me.
Tips for Car Camping with Your Luno Life Mattress
Load your gear into the footwell instead of using the base extenders. The base extenders are great, but you probably need the space to store things. I always car camp with a YETI Roadie 24L cooler, which fits perfectly in the rear footwell of my Subaru and is the same height as the base extender.
You could do the same with other gear you may have, like bags or other camping equipment, and put them in the rear footwell on the other side of the car.
Pro Tip: load up the footwells with your gear and then inflate the base extenders partially to fill any remaining space.
Additionally, you can move items to the front seats, front footwells, and your roof rack if you’ve got one.
Once you get your system nailed down to a fine science (it took me about two nights), it’s smooth sailing from there on out.
Luno Air Mattress 2.0 Features
The Luno air mattress is not just any old air mattress! It’s designed and built specifically for car camping and for your car. With any purpose-built product like this, there are going to be a few key features that make it different from anything else on the market.
The first Luno was designed for a Subaru Outback, which was incredibly well received. Now, they’re on a mission to make car camping accessible to everyone with an SUV or hatchback, no matter what car you drive. Whether you’re car camping in a Subaru or want to take your Tesla out to the forest for the weekend, Luno probably makes a model that fits your car.
And if they don’t, trust me when I say that they’re working on it. It seems like they’re dropping a new fit every other week.
Dimensions & Specifications
|Width||Depends on your car||16.6 inches|
|Depth||Depends on your car||29 inches|
|Weight||15 pounds||15 pounds|
|Weight Limit||600 pounds||N/A|
Honestly, the Luno is so comfortable, I’ve almost given up tent camping when I’m road tripping. Recently, I set up a tent on a car camping trip because it had been so long since I slept under the stars, and as I lay on the ground at my campsite, all I could think to myself was, “why the hell am I doing this?”
The fact is, the Luno Life air mattress provides tons of body support. Each one uses a grid of air beams to provide support to your body, and the comfort valve gives you options for adjusting the firmness. You can be content with the soft, cozy side of your mattress while your partner sleeps easy on a more firm side (or vice versa).
The air mattress 2.0 is made up of a 300D Oxford material. It has a soft, micro fiber-like finish on it. This is nice to sleep on, and makes it less likely you’ll roll off if you’re parked on an incline (tent campers, you can probably relate).
Luno also just released a fitted sheet for their mattresses made of a polyester-spandex blend. It’s machine washable and makes the mattress feel even more like a bed.
The ability to extend the sleeping surface with the base extenders is a game-changer. My 6’ 4’’ friend sleeps very comfortably in the back of his Subaru Crosstrek, and as a tall person, that’s something that doesn’t go unappreciated.
I’m not quite that tall, but when fully inflated, the back of my Subaru Crosstrek becomes something of a luxury suite.
Durability is always a big concern for air mattresses. If they’re punctured, your night of sleep is ruined. Slow leak? Yep, your night is ruined.
The 300D Oxford material of the Luno Air Mattress is extremely strong and waterproof. From what I’ve read, Luno Life chose it because of its ability to stand up to wood chips, sharp objects, pet claws, and the general wear and tear that campers put on their gear. This means that your dog walking all over it shouldn’t be a problem.
Remember, quality over quantity…and quality camping gear is not cheap.
Luno Life has done what it can to keep its fully-featured air mattresses affordable. However, the Luno life air mattress is an investment in your adventurous life and it’s an item that will last you a long time.
That said, it’s not crazy expensive. I’d say it’s too highly priced to be an impulse buy, but it’s priced low enough to be accessible to most.
Yes, there are cheaper alternatives but they don’t fit in your car so snugly, nor do they have base extenders. If you plan on sleeping in your car even a few times a year I think that a Luno Mattress is a worthy investment.
Luno Life stands behind its products. They have a 1-year warranty on manufacturing defects. That’s all of their products and accessories—even the pump which I was able to get replaced in less than a week (and the Customer Support was great).
As of February 2021, Luno is selling an additional lifetime Warranty on their mattress. The warranty covers literally everything, from your dog chewing through the mattress to dropping a knife onto it, and more. The warranty covers everything short of your mattress getting stolen (you have to be able to return the product).
This warranty is amazing for regular campers. Stuff happens, but Luno Life has you covered.
Luno Life is the first and only dedicated car camping brand. They already offer the best car camping air mattress on the market, and they’re releasing new products to make Luno the one-stop shop for car campers.
For people new to car camping, Luno Life offers bundles that help turn the back of your car into a hotel room! That includes things like:
- mesh car window screens to keep the bugs out
- custom fitted sheet
- seatback organizers
- car camping fan
- and more on the way!
Car Camping Packing List
Other than the Luno Air Mattress 2.0, here are a few other car camping essentials you should pack for your trip:
- Bedding/Sleeping Bags & Pillows: The Luno Mattress only keeps your body warm from the bottom. You’ll need a sleeping bag or some blankets (I love the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket) to keep you warm on top. You don’t need a camping pillow, either. Just bring your pillows from home! Extra comfort.
- Camp Kitchen: I could write a whole article about the perfect camp kitchen (maybe more than one), but a few essentials you’ll need are:
- Lanterns or Lights: Who wants to find their way around a totally dark campsite? Fairy lights from REVEL GEAR are an awesome way to add ambience and make your camp more perfect for a photo op. I’ve also been using solar-powered inflatable Luci Lights for years.
- Foldable Camp Chairs, like the Helinox Chair Zero
Alternatives to the Luno Air Mattress 2.0
If you Google “mattress for car” there are many cheaper options that come up. But the price isn’t everything, and any of these “alternatives” are inflatable pads that fill up the backseat of your car. A few try to provide some inflatable pieces to fill the gap between the backseat and the front, but none of them do it quite as well as the Luno air mattress.
You can use your camping sleeping pad but I can guarantee that it’s not 4 inches thick. A regular inflatable mattress costs less in price and might be 4 inches thick, but it won’t fit perfectly around the wheel wells in your vehicle.
Probably the two best alternatives to the Luno air mattress are:
- build a raised platform on some posts and create a rectangular sleep surface
- get a piece of foam and cut it into the shape of your vehicle
While the raised option gives you storage space underneath the platform, it cannot be packed away when not in use. The foam option is bulky and takes up more room when not in use.
There are many ways to sleep in your car but none of them offer the ease and set up of the Luno Life air mattress. The reviews don’t lie!
Final Thoughts on the Luno Air Mattress 2.0
I said this at the beginning of the review and I’ll say it again: I love my Luno Life Air Mattress 2.0. If you’re reading reviews, take this one as your sign to go ahead and make that purchase. I’ve taken this mattress all over the place—including all over the States—and I’m a very happy camper.
This mattress has changed the way I road trip and camp, and if I’m not backpacking, I usually have my Luno Mattress. This is an amazing investment for people looking to enhance their camping experience. No matter how you do it, have fun camping, and remember to always pack out your trash!