7 Essential Features to Look for in an Outdoor Rug for Camping

Posted by Savannah Phillips on

7 Essential Features to Look for in an Outdoor Rug for Camping

Outdoor rug for camping. That's all you need to type into the search box to find one. Unfortunately, when you do that, you will get many options, making wading through them an almost endless task. 

Choosing the best outdoor rug for camping isn't as simple as getting a load of options and picking one. It requires some forethought and consideration.

So, what are you to look for when buying an outdoor camping rug? Think quality, price, and color. These are all the questions we are going to answer here today. 


What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Rug for Camping

We have a panel of experts who have been dealing with rugs designed for both indoors and outdoors.

Let's draw on their wealth and knowledge to help you find the perfect outdoor rug for your next camping trip.


1. Material

While many people place price above all else, the materials used in the outdoor rug’s construction should be the number one thing you look at. When it comes to outdoor rugs, you want a material that is not difficult to clean and doesn’t stain easily; when it does, the stains should be easy to remove. It should also dry quickly and be lightweight, making it easy to lug around to your campsites. 

While several materials meet these criteria, the most popular and reliable when it comes to outdoor rugs is polypropylene. This is essentially a plastic material that has been tightly woven to create an outdoor carpet or rug. Polypropylene can handle high moisture and heavy foot traffic, and it is also easy to clean and maintain. 

Of course, other materials, such as polyester, jute, and even nylon, work well for outdoor rugs as well and are excellent options, but polypropylene stacks up better than most because it's also tough and weatherproof. 

Yorkshire terrier sitting in camping chair on outdoor rug at campsite

Synthetic fibers like polypropylene and polyester are great for outdoor camping rugs because they are free of dangerous toxins, they are mold and mildew resistant, and they are safe for pets and children. 

Most importantly, rugs made out of synthetic fibers are usually quite affordable.

This outdoor artificial turf with marine backing is an excellent example of an outdoor rug made of polyester fibers. This artificial turf makes for a comfortable addition to your campsite.

When you need extra space or just to increase your living area, especially when camping somewhere without much grass cover (like the beach), this Outdoor Artificial Turf with Marine Backing comes in handy.


2. Ease of Cleaning

Outdoor rugs should be easy to clean. From the sun to dust, rain, random debris, or paw prints tracking mud all over your rug, your outdoor carpet takes a lot of abuse. That's why polypropylene and polyester are perfect for outdoor rugs.

Rugs like this green outdoor carpet are a wonderful choice for avid campers. Made from polyester, this outdoor carpet is built for toughness and, most importantly, easy to clean.

In many cases, all you have to do is shake it, and all the debris will come loose. For a thorough clean, however, once you are back home from a week-long camping trip with the family, it's advisable to:

  • Start by sweeping it clean of dirt and debris
  • Vacuum it so you get any leftover debris, dirt, or sand from the fibers
  • Hose it off (you can use a store-bought carpet cleaner)
  • Let it dry out in the sun

All that shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. Outdoor rugs like this don't require a lot of special care or have strict cleaning instructions. That's what makes them so easy to own and use when camping. Bonus? This indoor outdoor carpet can be used as is or trimmed down to whatever size you need using a utility knife or scissors. 


3. Ease of Storage

Most people go camping occasionally, while a lucky few go at least once every month or so. The point is you will be folding or rolling your camping rug anytime you go camping, or even switch from one location to another.

With that in mind, you must buy an outdoor rug that is easy to store whenever you aren't camping or using it around the house. Ideally, your outdoor rug should fold or roll easily without fraying the edges. Those edges should also easily lay flat after you unroll or unfold the carpet on your next trip. 

Weight and space are also considerations to keep in mind. When storing your rug, it is better to roll it up rather than fold it. Rolling helps prevent any creases. However, if you don’t have the space to store a rolled-up rug, you will need to fold it with the curled edges down. 

This outdoor turf rug in gray is one of the best options. It can easily be rolled but is also thin enough to fold into a more compact size. 

It is made of outdoor/artificial turf with a lightweight marine backing. This outdoor rug is hemmed on all edges, preventing any kind of fraying. It also has reinforced, grommeted corners that can be staked down in your outdoor space, so you don't have to worry about the edges curling up when you lay it out. 

Furthermore, it's UV-protected and, most importantly, lightweight. You can easily fold, unfold, roll and unroll this turf rug on any camping trip, and it will be as good as new.


4. Aesthetically Pleasing

Campsite with chairs arranged on outdoor rugs

Avid outdoor campers know that the look and quality of your camping or RV gear are almost as important as functionality. Having an outdoor rug for your campsite that complements your setup—whether it is RV or tent camping—is just as important as having one that meets all the above criteria.

While stylish camping is not the most important consideration, it is still one to keep in mind. Does the outdoor camping rug you have your eye on complement the exterior and reflect your style? Camping should be a relaxing activity, so why not find something that makes you happy and helps you enjoy your surroundings even more!


5. UV Protection

Outdoor rugs require some level of protection from the elements. One of the most damaging factors for outdoor gear is the UV rays from the sun. The worst kind of damage UV rays can cause to your outdoor carpet is an unsightly fade.

UV light interacts with the chemical bonds that make up the colors on your outdoor rugs and outdoor furniture. This breaks them down and causes the gear or outdoor furniture to fade, eventually becoming unsightly or, at the very least, old-looking.

As mentioned, how good your camping gear looks is almost as important as its functionality. No one wants to go camping with gear that looks old and faded.

All our outdoor carpets and rugs, such as this indoor outdoor double-ribbed carpet area rug, feature UV protection, making them ideal for those longer outdoor camping trips and excursions. These rugs won't fade in your outdoor space and can take a beating from the sun while withstanding other outdoor elements at your campsite.


6. Mold and Mildew Resistance

Mold and mildew will be problematic with almost any outdoor gear you buy. This is particularly true if you store your gear for long periods without using it, especially during the winter, when you can go for months without camping.

The best kinds of outdoor rugs have mold and mildew protection. This means you can depend on them to keep well and be mildew-free the next time you bring them out of storage.


7. Size

When it comes to size, it's all a matter of personal preference. Some people like to go big, while others prefer to be minimalist. Outdoor rugs for camping are all about extending your living space, and how big you go will depend on your need for that particular space.

Are you looking for a small mat that gives you and your significant other enough sitting space outside your tent? If so, then something like this outdoor turf rug in black will work. 

It's small (6 ft. x 6 ft.) although you can get it in different sizes up to 10 ft. x 30 ft., depending on your needs. It’s also easy to carry and offers UV protection.

If you want to go big, something like this green outdoor carpet is perfect. Its sizes range from 6 ft. x 10 ft. to 6 ft. x 50 ft. It's excellent for massive camping area extensions. You can even get two or more if you need even more space.

Finally, other factors like price, texture, and brand are all very subjective. Not to push those factors aside, but once you have all the above requirements checked, you can rest assured you have a better chance of choosing an excellent outdoor rug for camping.

Savannah Phillips is an NCIDQ certified Interior Designer

Savannah Phillips is an NCIDQ certified Interior Designer with a Bachelors of Science in Interior Design from Illinois State University. She is skilled in Space Planning, Furniture Layouts, Material and Finish Selection and FF&E Procurement.