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Thread: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

  1. #1
    socalkc is on a distinguished road
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    Default Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    MuttShop 125x125
    Desperate for sleeping ideas...

    We go camping once a year for the last 14 yrs with friends,and it seems like every year, we have an air mattress that springs a leak. And while the 14 yr old can tough it like we used to, the 50+ year old parents?..not so much. It especially stinks when it happens on night #1. Finding a leak is next to impossible, and it never happens in the middle of the night. Is there anyone out there that found an air mattress that lasts more than two years? or even a more green alternative? I would love a cotton futon mat, but our vehicle limits the space we would need for transport.


    At the present time we travel in a Honda pilot and usually go for about 3 nights beach camping.

    thanks in advance,
    karen

  2. #2
    MikeB is on a distinguished road MikeB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I have been using air mattress beds for the past 15 years. I have found the same problem that you have. After 2 or 3 years, the mattress developes a slow leak. My response has been to pack a spare new mattress and junk the old one when it starts to fail. They cost me about $30 each and last two years.
    FlashLantern turns your flashlight into a lantern!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I've also experienced the slow leaking air mattress problem. Was also concerned with the transfer of cold from the ground, as I was planning on doing some cold weather camping this past winter. Apparently air mattresses are conducive to hypothermia, from what I've read. So I picked up these ALPS self-inflating foam filled mattresses off Amazon. I'm quite tall, so was pleased to be able to choose a size that fits me. Haven't used them yet, but have tried them out in the living room and they seem to be comfortable.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mountaineering...236158&sr=8-22

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    I WANT TO GO CAMPING!!! SilverMaggie is on a distinguished road SilverMaggie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust Devil View Post
    I've also experienced the slow leaking air mattress problem. Was also concerned with the transfer of cold from the ground, as I was planning on doing some cold weather camping this past winter. Apparently air mattresses are conducive to hypothermia, from what I've read.


    My solution to the cold air in the mattress is a feather mattress pad I lay over it. It keeps me perfectly warm throughout the night and if my air mattress has a slow leak, I'm not directly on the ground in the morning. It does take up space though, I roll it up like a sleeping bag and wrap it with a cargo net I have that came with my car. Works for me!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverMaggie View Post
    My solution to the cold air in the mattress is a feather mattress pad I lay over it. It keeps me perfectly warm throughout the night and if my air mattress has a slow leak, I'm not directly on the ground in the morning. It does take up space though, I roll it up like a sleeping bag and wrap it with a cargo net I have that came with my car. Works for me!
    Maggie, 50 Points! At least you're thinking about it, but the pad of course sags some and you come into contact with it and the mattress. As an insulator, the pad retains heat/cold longer than nothing at all, that's it's purpose, so as the air mattress gets colder and colder through the night laying on the mattress, so do you laying on the pad, aka convection. You lose calories while your body works to overcome the heat sink effect of the air mattress, but it never actually does. At best you don't get as good of a nights' sleep, at worst, you risk hypothermia due to the laws of thermodynamics. You're a good candidate to ditch the pumps, air leaks, wasted space and comfort issues and invest in a decent sleeping pad. Air mattresses and cots aren't intended for use camping, that's why the US military and the Boy Scouts only use sleeping pads in unheated enclosures. Big Box retailers and sporting goods outlets should be severly spanked for selling these for camping, IMHO. BTW, ThermaRest has every comfort level of sleeping pad and they are LIFETIME guaranteed, so you buy them once and forget about it.

  6. #6
    shawnbebout is on a distinguished road
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I didn't know ThermaRest has a lifetime warranty. I will have to look at that. I HATE air mattresses anymore. I have woken up one to many times to a flat air mattress. I am throwing the ones I have out as they go bad and I am not replacing them.

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    Super Moderator renodesertfox is on a distinguished road renodesertfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    Thermarest is the place to be!
    Get campin', Renodesertfox A canvas campateer
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I think REI makes ThermaRest knockoffs and I've heard good things about them. If on a budget, or you don't like buying used stuff off Ebay, that would be a reasonable alternative. REI (and EMS too!) doesn't sell junk.

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    bachse is on a distinguished road
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I always avoid the air mattress problem and go straight for foam mattresses. I've been using them since I was really young because my dad cared about his back. Plus they are super easy to just cut up and alter based on your needs. At the end of the trip you just roll them up and tie them off with a bungee cord. They typically last me about 4-5 years, with about 6 camping trips a year (two of which are long, meaning two or more weeks). The one disadvantage is that they are too bulky for backpacking, but so long as you aren't doing that they work just fine. Unfortunately, it is now kind of a pain in the bum to find listings for it on the internet because google thinks that you want to take a memory foam mattress when you go camping. But typically, I use stuff like this: http://www.foambymail.com/campad.html. But thicker.

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    trishaz717 is on a distinguished road trishaz717's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air mattess alternatives/suggestions

    I camped a few times this year over the winter and found a great way to keep the cold away. I use one of the foam mattress pads from wally world (the thicker blue one), lay a Campmor self inflating mat over that and then my 20 degree bag with me in it. If I take my dog with me, she sleeps in the sleeping bag with me. It really worked great with keeping the cold from transferring to me. I don't use air matresses anymore because of the leaks and the cold transfer.

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