It’s time to load up your car with all of your camping gear, including all the bedding that’ll keep you dry, comfortable, and cozy for the cool nights ahead. Right before shutting your trunk, your dog and you exchange a rueful look: you forgot to buy her bedding!
Before you spend the next few hours researching the perfect camping bed for your dog, save yourself the time and take a look at some of our top picks.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A DOG CAMPING BED
When taking your dog out into the elements, you want to make sure that she’ll be as comfortable as you. What do you look for when shopping for a sleeping pad and sleeping bag? Use the same parameters to judge a good dog camping bed. When I was researching dog camping beds, I looked for something rugged, comfortable, waterproof, and portable. I also looked up words like “outdoors” and “travel.” Many great options came up. Not everything in the list below is necessarily meant exclusively for camping, but would do well in most outdoor conditions.
Listed below are pet beds we’ve tried at Timberdog or approve of due to being highly rated and coming from solid companies who back their products. And as always, we receive no compensation for promoting any products – everything you read below is 100% authentic.
BEST INDESTRUCTIBLE BED
If you’ve got a chewer on your hands, or a dog that thinks every pet bed you buy them is a toy, take a look at K9 Ballistics. They’ve got durable, waterproof beds for “diggers, scratchers [and] dogs who play rough.” Their innovations include inverting seams and rounding corners to reduce chewing hotspots. They carry various types of beds, including raised options, and also have a line of crate pads. The great thing is that they also have pet beds in the extra large and giant sizes, which are hard to find in the pet bed market. Their pet beds start at $89, which is fairly affordable given the materials and construction, with a handy 10% off coupon for signing up.
PROS: indestructible, waterproof, chew-proof guarantee, sizes for extra large and giant dogs
CONS: not the best for travel as it’s not portable or compressible, no blanket or sleeping bag option
BEST AFFORDABLE BED
Look no further than Amazon if you’re in a rush and need something quick and dirty for the outdoors. I liked Cheerhunting’s camping travel pet mat (currently Amazon’s Choice). Highly rated and only around $30 bucks, this simple mat can compress into an included stuff sack. Amazon has many such choices, actually, so if you’re looking for something cheap, spend a few minutes browsing here as you may come across another, similar bed that may have the color or specifications you like.
PROS: Very versatile - can be used as camping mat, crate mat, or mat around the home; inexpensive; lightweight
CONS: Only comes in large and extra large sizes, not very warm, thin stuffing, has no cover/sleeping bag option, and not the best option if you need something immediately – it will still take two days to reach you through Amazon Prime
BEST UNIQUE/BESPOKE BED
Head over to Etsy to discover dog camping beds that are tailored to you and your dog’s personalities. Though not exactly suited for camping, but having excellent versatility, I liked Hunting Pony’s Dog Car Seat. It looks like a nice handbag but doubles as a comfy car seat and appears to be able to handle some degree of “outdoorsiness” due to being waterproof. Buyers love it and the customer service is great, too.
PROS: Handmade, high walls (den-like construction), comfortable, versatile, waterproof
CONS: Expensive, not particularly made for camping (but may do well in warm weather), only good for dogs up to 15 kg (roughly 33 lbs), no sleeping bag option
Looking for something super light, as well as beautiful, for spending summer with your pup outdoors? I recommend Layzy Official’s Cotton Dog Travel Blanket on Etsy.
BEST INDOOR/OUTDOOR BED
Reddy’s Indoor/Outdoor Dog Bed from Petco is a fan favorite, as it can go out on the porch or used indoors as an attractive little sofa for your pooch. It’s a great option for glampers who want their dog to be resting on a well-padded piece of home. We love the olive-colored one and the fact that there are bolsters on all four sides.
PROS: Attractive, comfortable, versatile, well-padded, bolstered, indoor and outdoor-suitable, odor-resistant treatment
CONS: Not sure if it’s waterproof, but on the Petco website they do say your dog can enjoy this bed at the campsite. Only comes in small and large (no medium size), not compressible, no carry handle, not for chewers (canvas material is durable but not for destructive dogs), and no cover/sleeping bag option
MOST CUSTOMIZABLE BED
We love Snoozer’s Bed Builder and don’t think there’s anything else like it on the market. Though Snoozer’s beds themselves are fairly unremarkable and no-frills, they utilize quality materials and come in a huge array of styles and colors, from cave beds to orthopedic mattresses. They’ve got shipping from the US to the UK and are also endorsed by Conde Nast and other travel influencers.
PROS: The bed builder is pretty amazing, good quality product, widely-endorsed
CONS: Somewhat expensive; nothing truly stands out, feature-wise
BEST ALL-AROUND DOG CAMPING BED
Timberdog’s RuffRest is hands-down the best all-around dog camping bed and, frankly, pet bed I’ve come across. It’s compact, portable, waterproof, durable, comfortable, attractive, and packs up like a suitcase. No other pet bed on the market can do that. One of the features I love is that it’s got a see-through organizer that allows you to quickly find what you need, so you’re not having to rifle through different bags to find it. Additionally, the organizer is removable, so you can hang your dog’s things up in a hotel closet, or around a tree branch at the campsite (the hanging loop located at the top is wide and adjustable). Plus, it’s not only got a handle to carry it around, but also a shoulder strap that doubles as an adjustable, tangle-free leash for your dog. Best of all, it’s got a bolster that hides a built-in blanket to warm your dog.
For nights in the tent, the blanket converts into a sleeping bag, with zippers that adhere to the bed, snap buttons to seal it shut, and temperature-control vents to keep your dog well-ventilated if he sleeps hot, or sealed up if he sleeps cool. Every feature on the RuffRest is designed to have a dual function, down to the reflective webbing on the corners of the bed that also provide a loop for carabiners, to the colorful trim on the bed that also serves as a zipper hood to keep your dog from chewing on or getting poked by the zippers. The bed is built for safety, as well. Included with every bed is a large medical checklist (with a handy travel checklist on the flip side). We think this is a great feature if you happen to leave your pet with the vet overnight, or with friends while you’re traveling. The emergency information is right there at everyone's fingertips.
PROS: RuffRest is the equivalent of ten pet beds in one. Incredibly versatile, indoor/outdoor, air-travel friendly, sleek enough for hotel stays, and rugged for road trips, camping, and the outdoors. Substantially padded for a travel bed. Compressible. Organizes your pet’s things and makes traveling with your pet fast and easy.
CONS: Price. The small starts at $259 but timberdog.com has a section that breaks the price down and shows you the value they’re providing (one infographic shows you how much you’d pay if you bought the bed’s elements separately vs buying a single RuffRest). The company is also still taking pre-orders as they are still a startup. Beds will be shipped by or before Christmas 2022.
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Photo by Peter Barrot