Camping mattresses

Submitted: Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 01:23
ThreadID: 22761 Views:12232 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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Not much mention of these on the forums - looking for a queen size mattress for the tent when camping. We have a dog(!), so regular air mattresses are out, so either a super-heavy air mattress, or a self-inflating foam mattress.

Anyone got experience with either of these two from Rays Outdoors, or other recommendations?

4wd mattress
Wild Country mattress

cheers
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Reply By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 01:38

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 01:38
I have an Oztrail queen size camp bed. It is an air mattress on a concertina base, and is very comfortable. The air mattress is slipped inside a cover, so the dog wouldn't get to it. And you could slip a fitted sheet over it as well if you wanted for extra protection.

I paid $169 in Alice Springs, and have seen them on the Web at Sherry's Camping for $150 plus postage.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: GEG - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 13:23

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 13:23
john,

I have been using one of the kids stretcher mattresses lately which is light and takes up very little room. (and they have taken over my foam mattress used for the back of the car) but i would like the consintina type that you have. I neally bought one once but thought them a little too heavy and they took up a bit too much room in the car with the tent etc...your experience with the mattress would be appreciated.

anything is better than sleeping on the ground like the army days...there with all the dirt and sand!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 15:15

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 15:15
Hi GEG

The camp bed does take up a lot of space in the tent, but then again we only use it for sleeping anyway. Having the bed up off the floor means that you can put shoes and dirty clothes etc under the bed, just like at home LOL. We carry ours in the roof rack bag, and it weighs about the same as the girls' double bunk camp stretcher.
To make it easier to inflate, we got a high-flow 12V blower from Supacheap, which takes about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to inflate the air mattress.
My wife says it's more comfortable than our bed at home, which is good because she was thinking of not coming on the next trip - doesn't like the old foam mattress we used to use!
So, yes it does take up room in the tent and the car, but we think it's worth it.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 16:19

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 16:19
Any issues with it being cold because it's an air mattress?
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 17:47

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 17:47
Hi Scubaroo

We haven't been anywhere really cold yet, but so far no problem. We have -10degree rated sleeping bags, and I think having it up off the floor would help. When the air gets cold we close up the tent to eliminate drafts, and so far haven't get cold at all. I would think that having an air mattress on the ground would not provide enough insulation between the cold ground and the body heat. The camp bed has a cover around the air mattress so there's another layer of insulation, then a good sleeping bag, or a nice woolen underlay if you really want to spoil yourself!!

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Member - Bigbear - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:26

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:26
Hi Scubaroo
we use a QS Coleman selve inflating mattress. Hav had for a couple of years now and find it to be really good. Quite comfortable and no problems with punctures, like the other standard inflatables we used before. Only thing is it doesn't fold up as small as the blow up type.
Bigbear
AnswerID: 110266

Follow Up By: GEG - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 21:02

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 21:02
So Guys,

This consintina queen bed mattress camping bed has a blow up within it right?

And, Does this mean that once you finally pitch the tent and set up the camp, you then get the bed from its bag, set it up where you want it ' then you have to blow the air bag up - before you are right to go to sleep?

Im thinking that might take a while...or more to the point...the time it take s to pack up might be excessive....

those that have this type of mattress - please give me your honest opinions...cheers. - just dont want to buy anything that takes up room or is time consuming to set up...
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Reply By: Pluto - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:44

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:44
Get the self inflator. In short, air mattresses are horrible to sleep on.

From an insulation point of view, the self inflators are the choice by far. Their foam cell structure stops internal air convection from drawing body heat into the ground. Where the air mattresses, having a single air space tend to suck heat from your body at a ferocious rate.

Both kinds of mattresses are susceptible to puncture. When this happens during the night, the self inflator's will still reduce heat loss, even though they have let your body rest directly on the ground. This means you can still get some sleep on them until morning, instead of trying to effect a repair to the air mattress at 3 AM.
AnswerID: 110267

Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:55

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 08:55
I've had both the Ray's single and queen sized self inflating mattresses for a couple of years now without any real problems. Both units leak a bit when they are deflated but the straps keep them in check. They are BIG when rolled up especially the queen. Try deflating the show model yourself before you buy. With the queen, deflating is not a one person job (unless you use a pump to help). They should be stored, at home, in an inflated state so consider if you have room to do that.

Finally: having tried just about every camp sleeping system know to human kind they are, far and away, the most comfortable of all - probably even better than my bed at home - and if I needed new camp bedding I would buy another without considering anything else. However these days you may find better quality/price than Rays. Try these people:

http://www.grangerscampingworld.com.au/
http://www.discountcamping.com.au/index/home

Mike Harding

mike_harding@fastmail.fm
AnswerID: 110269

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 12:27

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 12:27
Thanks for the links, will check them out. Rays have a Privilege Card that gets you up to 30% off on items during members-only sales, so we're hanging out for the next big sale. Bummer that they only knock 10% off Engel stuff though during the sale!
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Follow Up By: Pluto - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 15:50

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 15:50
Mike makes some good points.

Some sleep Self inflating mats (such as Nomad) have velcrow strips down the sides to join them together. Using these gives you the combined advantage of ease of deflating/rolling, storing both rolled and unrolled.

If you choose single mats that don't have velcro joiners, you can achieve the same thing by making a loop from some seatbelt webbing, so the loop goes around both mats in a Figure 8. It's a little fiddley, but will hold the mats together in the same way.
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FollowupID: 366975

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 10:11

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 10:11
Scubaroo, my double air mattress died while we were camping at Echuca recently and we replaced it with two single 4WD mattresses out of neccessity and not too many options from the local camping stores. Best move we could have made, I'm going to buy two more for the kids before our Simpson Trip in July. he only downside is that when rolled up they do take up a LOT more room than an air mattrress.
AnswerID: 110272

Reply By: Lyds - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 20:08

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 20:08
we found with the self inflatable types that you slip around on them and they are still a bit cold. we fixed both those issues by making cotton (flannel) covers for them.
AnswerID: 110348

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 23:34

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 23:34
I can tell you that self inflating materess' wont last a dog either. We had a queen size Drifter Self Inflating Camp Mattress given to us (long story)...

Used it twice, first time threw it out of the tent onto the ground and it holed. $120 later it was 'reskinned', took it away, cant remember what happened this time, but holed again from doing sod all to it, and has sat in the shed ever since.
So dont think they are all bullet (or dog) proof!

They are also so cumbersome, you need a roofrack, they wont fit across a GQ.
AnswerID: 110375

Reply By: Member - Troopytrek - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 14:42

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 14:42
Hi Scibaroo,

We have a Queen size Swag which has a high density matress and another small foam matress on top and found it great for going camping under the stars when we don't have the kids. My husband and I have had this for approximately 6 years and we often go to rallies etc with our off road group and have had no problems simply roll it up and put on roof rack.
The swag is waterproof and if you are concerned about the dust just put some hugh plastic bag around it and tie it up with a zip tie.
Approximate time from go to finish should only take about 5mins to pack up and put on roof rack and visa versa.

Hope this is any help.
Most canvas shops have them or make them.

Regards
Troopytrek
AnswerID: 110452

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 22:13

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 22:13
Thanks for the swag info, but this is going into a tent.
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FollowupID: 367042

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