Self inflating Mattress in Swag?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 18:15
ThreadID: 132762 Views:9326 Replies:10 FollowUps:2
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After about 12 years use I think it is time for a new swag mattress!
I have heard that self inflating mattresses are excellent in swags but I have never had anything to do with them.
The way I see it, if you put the bung end at the head end of the swag, when you roll it up you won't expel all the air, if you out it at the foot end it would be inconvenient to say the least.
How do people fit them & are they any good?

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Reply By: Member - Geoff B (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 19:03

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 19:03
Was discussing this with the boss just last night, Shaker. So I'll watch the answers with keen interest.
AnswerID: 601359

Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 19:55

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 19:55
It depends on the thickness of the mattress. Rolled up, my biggest self inflating mattress is almost the same size as my swag rolled up, and that's with all the air rolled out of it. I wouldn't like to roll them up together, that would be a battle royale... :-)

I usually don't even put the plugs in mine while I'm using it, it's comfortable enough letting the air in an out as I move. When I roll it up I do the plugs up to keep it smaller once its rolled, otherwise it balloons up like some pastry baking. You wouldn't be able to do that if it was in your swag.
AnswerID: 601362

Reply By: gbc - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 20:06

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 20:06
Do your research on the difference between bonded and unbonded sims.
These days I'd look hard at an insulated inflatable mat over a sim, especially if comfort and packing size are important.
AnswerID: 601365

Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 22:20

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 22:20
Shaker, I use both the 75mm eggshell foam that came with the swag and a separate 3/4 length sim that I inflate and have under my shoulders and hips, as much for insulation as comfort.
Takes very little extra time and easier to roll away in separate cover.
Cheers Andrew
AnswerID: 601379

Reply By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 22:25

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 at 22:25
Hello shaker : i use to do the self inflating mattress but have moved on to the lambs wool underlay & egg shell on top of swag mattress .....lovely :-)

I found that the self inflating are a pain in the ass to roll up , to big & may move around in the swag when sleeping .

Also they say you should roll out Self inflating Mattress when not in use as it may not self inflate if rolled up with no air in side for long periods .

well that's my 2 bob's worth

Cheers Nick b

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AnswerID: 601380

Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 08:22

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 08:22
Thanks all, I thought I had read here some time ago that self inflating was the way to go.
I think I will just replace it with another quality foam mattress, I do use a hiking style mat under the mattress for insulation, that made a big difference in stopping cold creeping up from the ground.
I don't use the swag much now, but it's still nice to be comfortable on those odd occasions.
Thanks again!

AnswerID: 601390

Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 08:52

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 08:52
I just bought a new foam mattress for the camper. Ended up at Clark rubber. They also do swag mattresses.
FollowupID: 870839

Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 09:54

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016 at 09:54
Self inflating mattresses have an insulation R rating similar to insulation bats. Mine has a rating of R 4.5. You can get them up to R 8 and above depending on your needs.

Research has shown that about 2/3 of your body heat goes straight to ground.

Sleeping bags rely on the air trapped in the layers of Down or other fluff insulation, however, the parts of the sleeping bags that you are laying on are compressed and lose their insulating properties.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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AnswerID: 601395

Reply By: Tony F8 - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 17:17

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 17:17
We have used both the std swag mattress and a sim in the swag, we have now gone back to the std swag mattress, we have a solar blanket on the base, depending which side up is determined by the season and an eggshell topper. We found the sim was more hassle when packing up, size wise. The current set up is very comfortable.
AnswerID: 601470

Reply By: Member - Charlie B2 - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 19:29

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 19:29
Hi Shaker,

We have an old (now!) Trak Shak wedge-style "double" swag that (at only 4'/1.2m wide) was designed to fit across the roof rack of a 60 series LandCruiser.

When we bought it, I made the mistake of getting it factory-new with an ultra-firm foam mattress that was only a couple of inches thick. This proved to be quite uncomfortable for both of us (perhaps even more so for my wife, with her more attractive body shape!), so we tried a variety of alternatives, including two single air mattresses and ultimately a self-inflating double mattress (I think "Drifter" brand - I can't access it at the moment), which was actually 6"/150mm wider than the swag as originally made, but these required some modification to the foot of the swag, so we could open it up from the foot end to deflate the mattress(es) and still roll up the swag from the head end. Even with bedding inside it and with the SIM in place, we didn't find it particularly difficult or too large when rolled up, although our swag now had to travel lengthwise along one side of the roof rack! The only issue we had was that my wife still needed more air in the mattress than would be drawn in naturally as it self-inflated with the bungs removed, so "someone" had to do the old huff and puff.

While we still have both, it's becoming more difficult to use the swag, particularly to get off the ground, now that we're getting a good bit older, so these days the Jayco camper gets a fair bit more use than the swag, but I'd certainly do it the same way again.

I'd say the only issue I'd really be concerned about would be the design of the swag itself - if you can't access the mattress bungs even though you need to roll it up from the opposite end from where the bungs are located, it'll look like a huge balloon gone wrong! :-) And there's nothing you can do about it. :-)
AnswerID: 601476

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 19:42

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 19:42
Thanks, those are the exact issues that I envisaged, I think a trip to Clark Rubber might be in order!
It's only recently that I've really noticed a drop off in comfort, which is only to be expected after 12 years of being tightly rolled up.

FollowupID: 870967

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 08:32

Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 08:32
G'day Shaker

I have a lambswool underlay the same size as my mattress in my swag, an unopened sleeping bag for a sheet and a single bed woollen doona for warmth and comfort. If needed I can get in the sleeping bag but I have camped out in the high country in winter and never needed to get in the sleeping bag - too confined but it's there if needed.

Then I throw my swag on a camp stretcher ( the same size as my swag ) and I can honestly say it's as comfortable as you could want away from home !

Since my travelling companions have started using stretchers they all say the same thing - easy to get in out out of bed and more comfortable as well !

Happy safe and comfortable travelling


AnswerID: 601498

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