mattresses and sleeping bags

Submitted: Monday, Oct 14, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2152 Views:6079 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Hi All,
I need some experienced advice on the best mattresses and sleeping bags for camping. The wife and I are planning a driving/camping holiday in Tassie. Do I get a blowup or self inflating? Saw a letter from Jenny saying how good Caribee mattresses are - ok, where do I go to look at/purchase them? I live at the Central Coast in NSW. Thanks for taking the time to help.
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Reply By: Derek - Monday, Oct 14, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 14, 2002 at 00:00
Contentedman. I've been camping for 20 years and gave up on air beds etc about 15 years ago. They either deflate (as opposed to going down on you) or the pump packs it in. We bought 2/ 100 mm medium density pieces of foam, cut to a specific size and haven't looked back. Yes they are bulky, but bad nights of sleep can ruin an otherwise good holiday. As for sleeping bags, I think you get what you pay for. Go for ones that are cross stitched (to keep the down evenly distributed) and have zips on 2 sides so as 2 singles can be joined to make 1 double. Also try to get 100% down rather than 50/50 feathers and down. Happy holiday...Tassie is a beautiful part of Oz.
AnswerID: 7407

Reply By: Brian - Monday, Oct 14, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 14, 2002 at 00:00
Or on search for "Caribee"
AnswerID: 7413

Reply By: tkd - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
my worst childhood memories of camping is blowing up matresses
do your self a huge favour pay the extra and get yourself inflating matresses, you will never regret it.
as for sleeping bags, you get what you pay for
there are so many brands and designs out there it can be confusing
decied how often you will use them and how much you are prepared to pay, we camp at least once a month so got good quality bags
what space do you need to sleep comfortably, ours are taylored in at the bottom but this does not suit larger men
don't just look a them in the shop get in the thing and see if you do fit, if you are paying big bucks you want to be comfortable.
temperature ratings can be hard to judge as different brands use different measures, in Tassie a low rating may be great but no good if your next trip is in high temperatures.
what space capacity do you have to carry the sleeping bag the smaller they are the higher the cost is the general rule for quality bags
feathers are great in a doona but have you tried to dry a wet sleeping bag full of feathers, the new materials available are light, warm and dry quickly when needed
many are also Australian made, always a bonus
happy shopping
AnswerID: 7421

Follow Up By: Cj - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
I agree - airbeds are the pits ! Over the years I have tried most beds including stretchers, but nothing beats the large 'The Great Outdoors' self inflating mattress we have now. It is approx double bed size x 8cm thick - it has 4 screw in plugs and is filled with high density foam so if it does get a hole you wont finish up on the ground! It is a bit bulky and is fidly to deflate (2 people needed) but a good bed is probably the most important piece of camping equipment and we manage OK in the Subarus we have. They do come in different sizes. As for sleeping bags, I have never been able to afford a decent one, and I find them too restrictive, so we just take the doona and fitted warm sheets off the bed - the doona rolls up and fits into a pillow slip - LUXURY !! ZZZzzzzzz
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Reply By: jono - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
I agree with all the preceeding info..also buy a dense foam mattress underlay ..available from all camping stores..(those blue roll up ones).
Only about 20 bucks and they not only protect your self inflating mattress and give an extra measure of comfort,but most importantly will insulate(to some degree) the mattress from the ground temperature. Go for quality when buying your self inflating mattress..the cheapies are not worth a cracker.
AnswerID: 7429

Reply By: Member - Mal - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Mr C, After over 50 years of camping we have -10 degree sleeping bags that you can open out to use as a doona in not so cold weather, a double sheet sewn into a bag as a protective liner for the sleeping bag and can be used in warm weather by itself ,self inflating mattresses which are great insulators, and folding stretchers which are made from inch square aluminium and nylon. You may think -10 degrees is over the top but we have certainly needed it in Tasmania in November and several times in the Simpson Desert. You can purchase the sleeping bags and mattresses at Mountain Designs or Paddy Pallins, the stretchers at any big camping store, and the sheets at Target or Best and Less. You can have the sheets sewn at a clothing repair and alteration shop if you cant do it yourself. The most important things to me when camping is good company, a good bottle of red and the resulting good nights sleep. Have a great time. Mal T.
AnswerID: 7430

Reply By: flappan - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
Agree with the others. Selfinflating are the way to go. We bought some Coleman ones 3.5cm Should have gone bigger though. We also bought some sleeping bags from The Great Outdoors. Do you zip them together or sleep seperately ? We bought a minus 3 and a plus 8. Being the same brands, only different ratings they can be zipped togther and depending on the weather can be turned either way. Minus on top for cold or plus on top for warmer weather.
AnswerID: 7435

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
When we can't take the campomatic (with it's inner spring mattress) we use a 100mm self inflating matress, as we find it more comfortable than a 100mm foam matress.

The trick with self inflating matresses is do not store them rolled up. Inflate them and store them flat or else you will kill the foam inside and end up with an crappy airbed.
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Reply By: Sambo - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2002 at 00:00
I would recommend self inflating mattresses as they are comfortable aswell as insulating from the cold ground. As for sleeping bags check out the Fairydown brand sold through Great Outdoors. We have 2 -7 degree bags that zip together for cold weather and have a synthetic fillaments which keeps the price down but works exceptionally well. These bags cost us $160 each. We were camping with friends who used cheaper bags and doona's when the weather turned nasty (unexpected) they couldnt get warm enough so we gave them 1 of our bags and used ours as a doona (it was about -5) and slept like it was 20 degrees outside. As soon as we returned home our friends bought the same bag and have not regretted spending a little extra to make their camping more enjoyable. Cheers
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Reply By: Dianne - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Here, here to self inflating matresses. doesn't matter where I go I get cold.(Typical Woman) we borrowed a friends s/i on our trip to the Vic High country at eatser and I have never been so warm, these we about 5mm thick, took up a bit of room but we put them in the roof bag.As for sleeping bags, Go for the Roman brand made in Australia(not the Roman international which are made in china) They have a life time warranty on the Zips, and I have used it when I buggered one myself, not the zips fault. the service was faultless and the bag repaired and returned to me.Get a brochure at "great out doors" they have a whole range, if you want them to zip together tell the assistant (the zips are different) and remember, women generally, feel the cold more so buy some thermal underwear for the Wife. No ones happy if the cook is cold.Cheers Di
AnswerID: 7575

Follow Up By: Contentedman - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for your response Di. I had previously heard that Roman sleeping bags were good, but didn't know that some were made out of Australia. You mentioned that the self inflating mattress that you used was 5mm thick. Was that a typo? 50mm thick sounds better, or even 100mm to 200mm. I'm used to sleeping on the ground - the wife needs more padding. Thank goodness we aren't all made the same. Should I get a thick blanket for her to put on the s/i? I'm happy to cook, but still want a satisfied woman. cheers Darryl
FollowupID: 3481

Follow Up By: Dianne - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Sorry, yes typo, anyway they were great,but not cheap, but if your doing a lot of camping could be worth it. Or else hire a camper trailer, then you'll have no worries.Cheers Di
FollowupID: 3549

Reply By: Melissa - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
Hiya Contentedman, My hubby and I used Thermarest self-inflating mattresses for years and never regretted tossing the old air-mattresses. When we bought our Thermarests, they were the standard against which everything else was measured and you paid for it ($165 10 yrs ago). These days there are plenty of others on the market and probably because of the competition, I noticed last time I looked, that Thermarests were still selling at about this price. Anyway, I can certainly recommend this brand of mattress. As for sleeping bags, be aware that the temperature rating on the label doesn't always reflect the "true" rating. This is because it is generally based on the insulating qualities of the fill material, but this can be drastically effected by the design and construction of the sleeping bag itself. Cool air can seep in through zippers, seams and through thin or empty patches in the fill. To avoid these problems you should look for sleeping bags with a wide flap behind the zipper, offset stitching between inner and outer layers and fill contained in "pockets" to prevent it moving and leaving thin or empty patches in the quilting. A hood may also be desirable, but this is a personal preference. Also, take care when packing the sleeping bags up. A sleeping bag that is consistantly tightly folded in the same way, can over time, cause the fibre filling to "break" or move away from the crease in the fold causing cold patches. If you can afford the room, it is better to keep your SB loosely bundled. Otherwise, some sleeping bags can simply be stuffed into their bag without folding. Happy shopping, Mel.
AnswerID: 7605

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