Air Mattress

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:38
ThreadID: 20049 Views:5899 Replies:17 FollowUps:12
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Hi just wondering what the best Air Mattresses would be to get,or self inflating that doesn't take up too much room. Not after swags.
Also a camp chair that will withstand my mass, most prefer to live their life in pieces rather than suffer my butt.
Thanks for any information that will help.
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Reply By: rolande- Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:53

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:53
Self inflating any day - the thicker the better.

Captains type chairs with a side table - $25 fromm Bunnings. Don't fold as small as the others but much more comfortable for the price.


AnswerID: 96317

Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:55

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:55
Hi Warndu

We have a drifter self inflating mattress, it has a foam core and is excellent to sleep on. We have a queen size. Rolls up and deflates as you roll and has straps to secure it in a roll. Also on the chairs, we use the caribee delux chairs, has a stubbie holder and all. Very comphy
AnswerID: 96319

Follow Up By: warndu - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:58

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 20:58
Hi Crazie
Thanks they look pretty good, do you think they could handle a fat b.

regards Warndu
FollowupID: 355087

Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:33

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:33
Hey Warndu
Yeh I think they would cope mate. We use to have just a double foam mattress, but found it too bulky to cart around, this is much better.
cheers mate
FollowupID: 355092

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:54

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:54
I also got the queen size Drifter.
But its too long to fit across a GQ... and with cargo barrier in the car, WAaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to long.. you need a roofrack.

I use one of the 20 yr old double airbeds for $15 from Rays Camping.

Works well. packs away to nothing as well.
FollowupID: 355115

Reply By: Member - W.Wallace - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:08

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:08
Therm-a-rest self inflating mattresses are good.
re: fat b - you can always blow a bit more air into a self inflating if you need too.
AnswerID: 96323

Follow Up By: Member - Mozza (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:24

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:24
i'm pretty sure that your not supposed to inflate a self-inflating matress!>
FollowupID: 355128

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:44

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:44

Maybe that's what the manufacturers say but we've had our thermarest self inflating mattresses for 13 years and routinely blew extra air into them. They certainly don't seem to have suffered and apart from being a little grubby, they are as good now as they were when new. Maybe that's the difference between buying a top quality mattress and a lower quality one.

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 355266

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:08

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:08
Well, this is gonna sound corny, but hey, it's from the Wolf!

Tracy & I have amassed a LOT of camping gear over the years, and I mean a LOT!!!

When we want the BEST nights sleep, say after skiing on the Murray, we are buggered.


2 El cheapo Air Mattresses, with 2 crappy foam mattresses placed on top.

We just 1/2 inflate, the air jobs. Pure bliss.......

AnswerID: 96324

Follow Up By: warndu - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:15

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:15
hi Lone
Sounds like a plan. Do you recomend any brand of Air mattress or just toss the cheapo's as they blow out?
The self inflating sound good but the cost does grate $130 upwards.I know you get what you pay for but it still has to be heaps better than an air to warrant the money.But I'm willing to be converted to self inflating.

FollowupID: 355089

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:22

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 21:22

Just went for the Colemans. Most of their stuff works okay for us.

We also have the Carribee Jumbo self inflating mats. These are good, but not quite as cosy as our skiing set up.


FollowupID: 355090

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 00:04

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 00:04
El cheapo Rays camping ones for $25 a double I think they are.. PERFECT, also pack away to NOTHING.

bollox to self inflating, most are huge...
FollowupID: 355116

Reply By: Jim-Bob - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:00

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:00
G'day Warndu
We use a self inflating(Great outdoors brand I think) mattress and if need be just blow a little air into it.
As for the chairs I have stuffed two in the last 18 months(Caribee brand), I don't know if it's got anything to do with it but i'm 6'2'' and only 118 kgs, they just don't make e'm like they used too.
Safe travells
AnswerID: 96339

Follow Up By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 09:07

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 09:07
We are both of the fuller figure and have discovered that most of the folding chairs actually have a weight limit on the label, which is usually 100kg. Hence they don't last very long if you weigh more than that. We now have 2 folding chairs of the variety that people put on their verandah. They fold reasonably flat, so they aren't too much trouble in the troopy, and have a weight rating up to 120kg!
On the mattress issue, we use self inflating mattresses and love them! They are really comfortable. We gave up with air mattresses because we kept getting punctures - probably our weight problem again. The good self inflating ones are expensive, but what value do you put on a good nights sleep. Poor sleep can ruin a good holiday!
Happy travels
FollowupID: 355136

Reply By: ianmc - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:09

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:09
Only 118kgs Jim-Bob, no wonder theres two of U! Keep working on it mate!
I used an el cheapo inflateable on trip to FNQ over 2 months & it was quite good at about $10- however the rolled edge seemed to sag & I tended to roll off it.
Air beds are cold in winter too. Still having said that I still have a couple of old Euro made ones about 30+ years old which are still ok.
Also have used thin selfinflatables which are a bit too thin & ones slides off as they are covered in shiny nylon so something with a good edge helps in this.
AnswerID: 96340

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:38

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:38
Get tubular frame "geodesic" bed frame and put the mattress on that. Not that compact but worth it if you live/travel in the colder climates. The reason the air mattresses are cold is they conduct the ground temperature into the mattress. Putting a bit of distance between you and the ground does wonders.

Comfy as, too......
FollowupID: 355100

Reply By: warndu - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:17

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:17
I have had the roll of the edge experience too, (hence the what's the best question) I have had many years sleeping in swags with next to no padding but I think what I drank before sleep was padding enough Now I'm older wiser and married with child I need comfort that doesent give a hangover,
AnswerID: 96343

Reply By: Member - Russell B (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:12

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:12
Not being a normal runt than can sleep comfortably on skinny inflatable mattresses, I bought a Coleman inflatable with 12v inflator.

When I've got more room I throw the folding wire frame bed in and leave the inflator home.

Far as I'm concerned leave the inflatable mattresse in the shop.

I wouldn't buy any cheap chairs from bunnings only, read the loading label and sit on sumthing designed for your weight.

AnswerID: 96352

Reply By: Mike-TS - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:22

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:22
Been through every make on the market. The best ones are Great Outdoors 60 mm self inflating (long blue ones). They are really good.

However, that said. IF you are moving every day it's a pain to keep rolling them up so I would recommend kingsize folding colman stretcher.

The Coleman folding metal chairs are the best I've found. Metal frame with plastic arm rests. Not the high back as they sort of keep your head forward!

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 96360

Reply By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 03:16

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 03:16
G'day Warndu,

Went through this excercise a while back. I've got a friend who is about 150kg's. I'm not that big, but big enough. Anyway, his wife is around 65kg's. He steered me onto a Sevylor airbed that has 5 different air pockets. He said that he (at 150KG's) could get into bed and not wake up his wife (nor punt her out of the tent like on the beer add.)

Anyway, we bought one and it is outstanding. Has a Boston valve for the main chamber which you blow up nice and hard then adjust the comfort tops to suit. We put a cheap underlay on then fitted sheet and she's just like home. Packs away small too. Went camping in Jan for 2 weeks and once inflated, never put another breath into it. Got a little 12v inflater that pumps it up in about 20 seconds.

I reckon it is absolutely the ducks guts.

Good luck with whatever you get anyway. Think hard though. I reckon there's nothing worse than waking up in the morning with a sore back, or worse, waking up at 2am to put air in the deflated airbed. Been through the cheapies and never will again.


AnswerID: 96384

Follow Up By: Member - Paul J (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 12:14

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 12:14
Ive got one of those as well, like you said "duck's gut's", having the pillow tops puts a good barrier between you and the ground, therefore not allowing the cold up as much as single chambered one's. It's hard to pump up the large 1 way valve, as i dont have the correct fitting, i just hold my hand around it with the nozzle in the other end of my fist, takes a little longer i spose, but is worth it, then like you said, just adjust the other chambers to suit.

FollowupID: 355153

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 12:20

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 12:20
G'day Paul,

Another thing that makes a big difference in terms of cold, is put something between yourself and the vinyl. We take a doona with us when we go camping which means no bottom layer. To fix this, we use a cheap underlay and a sheet. We've also just used a woolen blanket in the past.

We really like the mattress. Bigger than normal size too and the edge chamber means you don't roll out of the sucker.


FollowupID: 355155

Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:06

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:06
Like anything, there are "self-inflating" mattresses and there are "self-inflating" mattresses.

We have had a lot over the years, and find that (if you go down this route) that only the better-quality ones (usually American) perform. We have found that the Therm-a-Rest are usually the best for three reasons:

1) They actually self-inflate to full (at least for a few years of use). Be aware that if you have to actually blow into an air mattress (especially during a cold-winter camp) you get a lot of moisture form your breath into the mattress, and this condenses to a liquid - even in small amounts. Given this, you eventually get internal mould - and other nasty growths. The high-quality mattresses suck their own air in without help and stay nice and dry - and clean.

2) The cheaper units (like the blue and green ones from places like Great Outdoors) do not have the same internal construction and the more expensive units. In the better units, the actual foam layers are logitudinally bonded to the inside surface of the outer layer (the "bag"). This means that there is no "puffing up" of the mattress if you over-inflate just a little. We have taken our cheaper mattresses back after a single use because the outer and inners are independent and let the outer layer bag out with both of us sleeping - leading to a rolly-poly sleeping experience. It's easy enough to let a little air out to compensate, but it's then a case of the old shoulders-on-the-ground comfort problem. Stay with the better units and the inner and outer stay together, so no matter how much air is in them, they do not let more air down to the end of the bed that has no weight (you) on it.

3) The more expensive units roll up smaller - because they don't have to be so thick to begin with. We have our hiking Therm-a-Rests that are only 1" thich inflated (but are still very comfortable once your weight is distributed on them) and roll down to a tight roll that is only about 4" in diameter. Our cheaper ones only used to roll down to a foot in diameter - taking up half the rear seat.


AnswerID: 96391

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:29

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:29
We bought Thermarest (USA) - not cheap but very good. Comfort is suprising - they are only 1.5 inches thick but you get a good sleep on them - retailer told us that the 2" jobs are for sleeping on ice/snow. They were dearer and he said it was overkill. I think he was right.Re chairs.....I like to be quite comfortable when camping....we are there to have a good time of course...many chairs are too low in the back to relax properly....Coleman make a high backed beauty ... got mine from Snowies for $35 on special ....more like $55 normal.....khaki fabric...wooden arms.....big green printed box....khaki bag. Folds up longwise like those cheap crappy chairs you see everywhere, but its very long when folded. The compromise is good comfort but a long package.
AnswerID: 96394

Reply By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:58

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:58
We have swapped from pump up to medium thickness thermarest self inflating (on sale) and find them much warmer and very comfortable. We then went one step furher and bought X stretchers. We have the room in the Troopy though normally prefer a double, we read all the info and advice previously in here and went for two singles. These are easier to roll up and store. They fit the Oztent perfectly and allow for storage underneath and walking space.

After many years of sitting all day in egometrically correct seating, I find normal camp chairs uncomfortable for any length of time. I purchased a Colemans Chair from Target on Sale which has a very upright back and is very stable. I am now waiting for them to get some more to buy another for the MOTH.

There is no need these days not to be comfortable, there are lots of sales once you decide what you want and keep a look out.

Happy Travelling


AnswerID: 96397

Reply By: D-Jack - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 17:31

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 17:31
My mattress cost a lot, but comes with a lot of extras. Is in between King and Queen size, does not need blowing up and always keeps your perfectly warm, as it is about 4 feet off the ground. It keeps the insects away, gives you a shelter to play cards under if its raining, and privacy if you need it. It is about 6 inches of high density foam with an eggshell further foam top. I have never woken up cold or uncomfortable. Even comes with a kitchen. THIS MATTRESS COST ME $8000 and is worth every cent. Yes, its a ............

AnswerID: 96486

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:05

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:05
100mm thick self inflating mattress - there are differing qualities, I have two both bought from Rays - they leak a bit, ie. leave them rolled up with the caps in place but no ties around them and they flatten out in a day or so. Nevertheless the are _extremely_ comfortable (probably more so than my bed!). On the queen size I cannot feel my partner turn over. Actually she says they're a little hard but I find them perfect. However they are quite large - but worth it. I have tried every form of camping mattress know to man and these are the best. Warm too, fine down to -4C, coldest I've had in Oz. I store them in an inflated condition - probably important.

Chairs? Spent a lot of time looking for these, have two veranda like chairs with reclining backs, not small although not too big either, about $70 each, again from Rays.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 96505

Reply By: Glenno - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:00

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:00
We did 40 days straight on a Double size Caribee self inflating matress.

Its a prick to roll up in the morning if you are using a small 3man tent like we did, but apart from that they rock. Ours has a hole in the corner (is 3yrs old, prob over 120 nights of use so far), and i havent bothered to patch it up as the foam in the mattress is good enough as it is.

Ive seen (and heard) too many people pump their air mattress up in the middle of the night - stuff that.


AnswerID: 96531

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:53

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:53
One thing to remember about air mattresses is they can be quite cold to sleep on because the air within them reflects the air temp. So, a cold night means cold air in your mattress. The trick is to insulate them by placing a rug, foam mattress or similar between yourselves and the mattress. You can even put something between the mattress and the ground. Self inflating mattresses don't suffer from the same problem because they have a foam core. We used thermarest self inflating mattresses for years and much prefer these over air beds. However, if your a big person you'd probably need a bit of extra padding. Even one of those cheap blue foam sleeping mats that backpackers tend to favour.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 96568

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