Are you looking for a camping rug but are unsure which brand is best?
We know the importance of a quality rug while camping that will keep feet and gear clean, improve your campsite look, and even double as a tarp or blanket in a pinch.
That’s why we put the top camping rugs to the test and detail the five best in this guide. We also explain why you need a campsite rug and what features to consider before making a final purchase decision.
If you’ve put off buying an outdoor camping rug, trust us, the investment is worth it, so check out our picks to see why!
Benefits of Outdoor Rugs for Camping
Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than tracking dirt or mud into your tent or RV, and the best way to eliminate this hassle is to use an outdoor camping rug.
Outdoor camping rugs or mats may seem strange initially, but the materials that can withstand sun, rain, heat, and snow while also being tough enough to handle use over rocks, dirt, sand, gravel, or grass.
Most rugs for camping are eco-friendly, with a weave that allows water and air to penetrate so it doesn’t kill underlying plants during short-term use. Many companies also manufacture their products from recycled plastic, which also helps the environment and reduces landfill waste.
Camping mats are great as a tent carpet versus a tarp because they don’t allow water to pool on the surface, and the material is thicker, giving your tent and feet a bit more cushion.
Camping rugs are very lightweight. The mats are made to fold into a compact package and are not heavy like a traditional rug or even many indoor/outdoor rugs that you can only roll up into a long bundle for storage.
The material of camping rugs is also super easy to clean and will quickly dry so that you can pack up your campsite without delay.
Lastly, camping rugs come in many sizes, so you can pack an extra one for hiking or beach excursions to relax and enjoy a meal or the scenery without getting dirty.
The 5 Superior Camping Rugs
1. CGEAR Original Sand-Free Outdoor Camping Mat
Material: PVC (Polypropylene)
Size: 10′ x 10′
Weight: 7.52 pounds
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The CGEAR Original Sand-Free Camping Mat is great for RVing but is an ideal tent carpet because the square shape provides better coverage than the typical rectangular-shaped camping mat.
But what sets this outdoor rug camping product apart is the manufacturer’s attention to quality and detail. From the heavy-duty, water and UV-resistant material with a tight-knit weave to the securely-stitched edging and corner D-rings, this rug stays put and lasts much longer than the typical camp mat.
The military-grade material is tear-resistant yet allows sand, dirt, and water to slide off or fall through the tiny openings so the surface remains clean. In addition, the rug is reversible so that you can switch up the color, and the material drapes, so you can use it as a blanket if necessary.
This camping mat is also perfect for trips to the beach, for a picnic, or for stargazing and even folds up easily into the carry bag for transport or storage. The company offers this rug in four sizes so that you can find the perfect fit.
2. Camco 42858 Large Reversible Outdoor Patio Mat
Size: 9′ x 12′
Weight: 9 pounds
The Camco 42858 Large Camping Mat features a tighter weave and large size that works wonderfully as an RV patio mat over cement, grass, dirt, or gravel and as a tent mat, so your gear stays clean. The high-quality material feels soft underfoot and can resist the antics of kids and pets.
We love how the rug is reversible so that you can change the look and that the company beefs up the edge stitching to reduce fraying. Adding fabric loops at each corner allows you to stake the rug down to keep it where you want it on windy days, eliminating the need to poke holes through the mat.
Water, dirt, and sand fall through the rug, helping reduce campsite mess, but the material is also a breeze to hose or sweep off and dries quickly. We appreciate the thicker-gauge fabric in the weave, and customers state that with basic cleaning and proper storage, the mat lasts for many years, making it a great value.
Camco makes camping rugs in a good range of sizes and color/pattern designs, so it’s easy to find a match for your tent or recreational vehicle.
3. LATCH.IT RV Outdoor Rugs
Material: Recycled Polypropylene
Size: 9′ x 12′
Weight: 9.93 pounds
The LATCH.IT Outdoor Rug brings extra style and function to any RV or tent-camping trip with a modern design and durable, long-lasting construction and material that the company stands behind with a lifetime replacement policy.
The rug features reinforced edge stitching with a special heat treatment to stop fraying and hooks at each corner to anchor it to the ground so it stays taut and won’t lift in the wind.
The mat is UV, mold, and mildew resistant, a must to remain in good shape under any camping conditions. The rug quickly folds into a neat package and tucks into the carry bag for storage. The kit even comes with anchoring hooks and a collapsible trash can!
We find the weave of this outdoor mat to be tight, so it keeps chair legs from pushing through yet allows dirt, sand, and water to pass through easily. The thickness is also worth noting, allowing it to buffer your feet nicely over any surface.
4. Mountain Mat Earth-Friendly Outdoor Patio Mat
Material: 100% recycled polypropylene
Size: 8′ x 16′
Weight: 12.12 pounds
The Mountain Mat Earth-Friendly Outdoor Patio Mat will make any tenter or RVer happy because the quality is top-notch, won’t stain, and will last for years, unlike less expensive outdoor rug brands that fall apart after a season or two.
The rug weave is of extra-thick, ultra-durable, breathable material, allowing dirt, water, and sand to fall through. It also allows enough sunlight and air to penetrate so it won’t kill or harm plants growing underneath. This design is important since many campgrounds forbid you from placing items on grassy campsites that will cause damage.
The edges are double-stitched, with grommets set into each corner so you can stake it down. The mats have a UV treatment to eliminate sun damage, disintegration, and fading for years. You’ll only need to wash it down occasionally, let it dry, and store it in the handy carry bag to keep it in great shape.
We especially like the smaller-scale reversible pattern that blends nicely into any campsite or RV decor, but the company does offer a few other colors/patterns and has
8′ x 12′ and 8′ x 20′ size mats available.
5. Ming’s Mark Stylish Camping RV Mats
Material: 100% polypropylene
Size: 9′ x 9′
- Breathable material won’t damage grass
- UV coated to protect against fading and other sun damage
- Soft and durable virgin polypropylene material
- Easy to clean and dries quickly – sweep away dirt or spray clean with water
- Lightweight and compact – folds for easy storage into included carrying bag
Ming’s Mark Stylish Camping RV Mats only use virgin material in their outdoor camping rug, which means it will withstand the abuses of camping trips longer than other brands that rely on recycled plastic for construction.
We really like the affordable price for such a durable and lightweight campsite rug that keeps the dirt and wetness off the surface so your RV or tent stays cleaner. The rug is also UV-treated to protect from sun damage and is lightweight so that you can tote it anywhere.
The mats have enough breathability to be grass-friendly when in place for short camping trips of a week or less, so you don’t have to worry you will kill or damage any plants on your campsite.
The rug edges are bound to deter fraying, and the corners have loops to secure them to the ground to prevent movement. Store the bag between uses in the convenient carry tote.
The Stylish Camping Ming’s Mark RV patio mats come in five sizes and a delightful array of reversible designs that will customize your camping experience. The company even has a rug with built-in LED lighting along the edge that is worth checking out!
Features to Look for in an Outdoor Camp Rug
When shopping for a camping rug, think about these features and what you’ll need for your tenting or RVing style.
Polypropylene is the material of choice for most outdoor rugs because it can withstand pressure, heat, cold, dirt, and water better than other fabrics. In addition, the fabric is super-easy to clean and won’t stain.
The fibers of the rugs weave into a flat mat, with small gaps that allow dirt, water, and sand to fall through, as well as air and sunlight penetration.
The tighter the weave, the harder it will be for things to pass through, so keep this in mind if you want to ensure you aren’t killing grass or keeping the surface free of sand or dirt.
Other camping mats may be of materials like jute or a polyester blend that will work in outdoor settings, but they tend to get moldy, are bulkier to move and store, and are heavier, especially when wet.
Size and Weight
Camping mats come in many sizes, but the most common are 6′ x 8′ and 9′ x 12’/16’/18′.
While most are rectangular and made to fit outside an RV on the cement patio, you can also find square camping rugs or smaller versions to use as RV kitchen rugs.
The larger the size, the heavier the mat will be, but overall any polypropylene mat will weigh under ten pounds, making them simple to tote on trips.
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Plans for Use
Please don’t buy a camping outdoor rug until you think about how you intend to use it. For example, will it be a base for your tent, a mat outside your RV over grass or cement, or a play area for kids or pets?
What about flexibility? Will you want to bring it on day excursions to the beach or a hike to sit on for meals or to take a nap?
The size and weave of the camping mat will vary with brands, with some doing a better job holding up against the constant poking and pressure of camp chairs and extreme weather conditions.
However, other brands are thicker and softer, so they are more comfortable for direct contact, and yet others allow dirt and water to pass through more quickly, so your tent and RV stay cleaner or you aren’t harming the grass.
When you find the ideal rug or rugs to fit your needs while camping, you will get more enjoyment and use from them than you expect. A camping outdoor rug is one of the best camping equipment purchases you can make.
Tips To Clean and Maintain Rugs for Campers
To maintain your camping outdoor rug so it lasts for years, you will need to follow these tips:
Never Put Rug Away Dirty
Storing your camp mat dirty will only decrease its lifespan, so sweep off any debris from both sides, wash the rug with soap and water if necessary, and let it dry before putting it away.
Luckily camping mat material is resistant to most messes, so it should only take a short time to clean it after use.
Vary the Storage Position
It may seem much easier to continually fold the outdoor camp rug into the original shape it came in the packaging, but it’s better to give the fabric along those folds a break so they don’t degrade faster than the rest of the rug.
Try to reconfigure the folding pattern of the rug after each use for more even wear and tear on the material fibers.
Beef up the Edges
From experience, we all agree that the first area where camping mats fail is along the edges, where the binding attaches to the material, especially when you stake down the rug to hold it in place.
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While a good-quality rug will have reinforced stitching and edge treatments to keep this from happening, most less-expensive rugs will last much longer if you take time before use to beef up the edges.
Some people prefer to use commercial-grade duct tape on the underside to secure the edge trim to the main rug, while others wrap the edge with the tape so it shows on the top and bottom of the mat. Finally, you can find a tape that matches the rug so it blends in with the design.
Other people find success smearing a line of clear 100% silicone caulk along the edges and into the main weave of the rug about an inch to hold this weak point together.
Best Camping Rug Wrap Up
A rug for camping is a game-changer that will keep your camper or tent cleaner and give you a place to play games, cook, or relax without grass, dirt, sand, or mud ruining the fun.
Setting up a tidy campsite is easy when you have a great outdoor camp rug, and we hope you compare our top picks and find one that suits your needs!
- What are the environmental benefits of using camping rugs?
Camping rugs, also known as RV or outdoor mats, contribute to environmental preservation by reducing the direct impact of camping activities on the ground, such as soil compaction and vegetation damage.
They also help in minimizing the spread of invasive species by reducing the transfer of seeds and plant material from one location to another on campers’ shoes or equipment.
- How does the material of a camping rug contribute to its functionality?
The material of a camping rug significantly contributes to its functionality by determining its durability, water resistance, and insulation properties.
For instance, rugs made from polypropylene are known for their durability and water resistance, making them ideal for outdoor use, while wool or polyester rugs provide better insulation, keeping the ground temperature more comfortable.
- What are some tips for maintaining and prolonging the life of a camping rug?
To maintain and prolong the life of a camping rug, it’s essential to clean it regularly by shaking off any dirt or debris and washing it with mild soap and water, then allowing it to air dry completely to prevent mold and mildew.
Additionally, storing the rug in a cool, dry place when not in use and avoiding exposure to direct sunlight for prolonged periods can help prevent fading and degradation of the material.
- How does the size and weight of a camping rug affect its usability?
The size and weight of a camping rug significantly impact its usability.
A larger and heavier rug may provide more comfort and coverage but can be more challenging to transport and set up, while a smaller and lighter rug is easier to carry and manage, but may not offer the same level of comfort or insulation.
- What are some unique features of the top-rated camping rugs?
Top-rated camping rugs often feature durable, weather-resistant materials with reinforced edges to withstand outdoor conditions, while also providing soft and comfortable surfaces for relaxation.
Additionally, many of these rugs come with convenient features like foldability and compact storage options, making them easy to transport and set up for camping adventures.
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir