Self inflating mats

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 09:34
ThreadID: 3390 Views:5730 Replies:11 FollowUps:2
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Self inflating mats, 198 x 63 x 6.3, cost around 180.00, has anyone used them and do you think they are as comfy as the sales chum would suggest.
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Reply By: Thommo - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 09:57

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 09:57
You get what you pay for. A good and reliable nights sleep is worth the extra cost of the top brands, and they with care will last for many years.
Don't sleep on sharp objects, and carefully pack them in the vehicle each time.
If you sleep on your side, get the thickest mat you can.
We have drifter mats for mum and dad (10 cm and bulky), the kids have 6 mm mats. I have slept on the kids mat a few times, and these are OK.
You can get cheaper mats the same size as quoted, however go for the top brands.
AnswerID: 13234

Reply By: Peter - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 10:34

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 10:34
Excellent, but as said before you get what you pay for. We bought "Earth Mat" brand and cant fault them. Happy Camping
AnswerID: 13239

Reply By: Nicholai - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 11:13

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 11:13
I bought the US make - Thermarest- about 15 years back - excellent.
The salesman said 1.5 inches thick is plenty - the 2 inch thick models are made for sleeping on frozen ground !. He was right - 1.5 inches is plenty
(you save a few dollars on the 2'' model). I was skeptical because they are so thin, but you do get a good night's sleep !
AnswerID: 13243

Reply By: ken d - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 11:50

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 11:50
If you're talking about the Thermarest type mats they are pretty good.
I use a 3/4 length one for cycle touring, but I now also take one of those cheep foam rolls, (about 7mm thick) and put it underneath.
The foam rolls weigh nothing, protect the thermarest from sharp rocks ( which are sometimes the only ground to sleep on) and add a bit of comfort which is pretty good when the bodys a bit sore.

Personnaly I wouldn't buy one unless weight and space are a serious problem.
I find a swag or camp bed is much more comfortable.
By the way, I also use one of those cheep blue mats under the matress inside the swag. For about $12 they earn their money.
They do insulate from the cold reasonablly well.

AnswerID: 13246

Reply By: Truckster - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 12:39

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 12:39
We have one, queen size, and have had it recovered once, and needs it again. $100 to have recovered, but comfortable.

I like the idea of the cheap rolls of foam to put under it to protect it.

I think they are fairly fragile personally... It was given to us free (for work I did), and would think long and hard about handing out that much cash again.

I still have 2 blow up air bed things you use to lay in rivers on, they are the old 70's colors and that old too! Never had a problem with them EVER.
AnswerID: 13253

Reply By: Jack - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 13:03

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 13:03
Hi Dean:
I recently did a Kosciosko/Gt Oean Road trip, and bought two Roman Super Deluxe "Moon Mats". Excellent! We had packed camp stretchers as well (just in case), and did not take them out of the truck. Very comfortable. I usually carry a lambswool underlay for use in cold conditions, as protection against the cold coming up underneath, and that has worked very well too.
Happy camping.
AnswerID: 13255

Follow Up By: Member - Des - Monday, Feb 17, 2003 at 12:42

Monday, Feb 17, 2003 at 12:42
We have these Roman Moon Mats as well. When I looked around, they were the best value in the thick models. They are quite comfortable, although of course too bulky and heavy for bushwalking or cycling trips.

Only negative is that they are not easy to roll up small enough to get them back in the carry bag - I generally squeeze the air out as much as possible first time, do up the cap, unroll the mat, roll it up tight again and then again, getting more air out each time. Takes some time.

Sleeping equipment is a very personal thing. Try before you buy. Compare for example the best airbed available and see which you prefer. Arguably the best airbed is the Aerobed - just recently on the Aust market, and only available from limited suppliers (incl Spotlight, Howards Storage World and Bedshed). They have a built in pump - rechargeable battery in some models, AC in others. We got the AC one - useful as a spare bed, and can be pumped up from 12v source (e.g. portable battery pack or car cig lighter) using an inverter (e.g. from Jaycar). They are top dollar (about $200 for DB), but that is less than the cost of good mats and they don't compare with ordinary airbeds.

Happy camping!

FollowupID: 7798

Reply By: Bonz - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 18:02

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 18:02

As everyone has said they are great, but you can get a bargain too. My brother in law has purshased to of these mats for under $20 each at a swap meet in Melb (its coming up again this weekend).
AnswerID: 13261

Reply By: sean - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 19:23

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 19:23
We have them also. Yes comfy - but BULKY.

AnswerID: 13264

Follow Up By: Truckster - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 22:19

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 22:19

I had to buy a roof rack, mine wont fit in a GQ LWB With cargo barrier.. Its wider than the car!
FollowupID: 7783

Reply By: Voxson - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 20:29

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 20:29
Hi Dean...
Only yesterday we bought our first self inflating queen size mattress for $189 and christened it last night at Ngarkat Desert......

Better than i thought it would be...
Absolutely creams the likes of the mattresses which you find in swags by 300% and i sleep on my side and didnt find the bottom....
AnswerID: 13271

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 22:05

Sunday, Feb 16, 2003 at 22:05
We got a double self inflating matress 4" thick, and it is definately more comfortable than a normal 4 " foam mattress, and much better than an airbed. The trick is to store them inflated so the foam doesn't get compressed too much, and then roll them up to take them on a trip.

They aren't as comfy as an innerspring, but the next best thing in my opinion.
AnswerID: 13280

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 15:24

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 15:24
Hi Dean,

We have full length Thermarest mattresses. Used them for 10 years when we used to tent it (have a campertrailer now) and found them absolutely wonderful. Never had any problems with holes and the cover is a kind of canvas that can be wiped clean. Thermal insulating capacity is excellent. They are also very handy to have at home when we get extra visitors.

Agree with comments above though, we only have the 1.5" type and on rough ground you can feel lumps and bumps. We put a thin foam camp mattresses underneath ($12 each from K-mart).

Hint: once you've rolled them back up after use, close the valve before trying to get them back in the bag. Also, if it's been awhile since you last used them, the self-inflation can take a bit longer. In this case we would lay them out, make the bed, by then they were inflated.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 13393

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