Air Matress Nightmares.....

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 14:58
ThreadID: 53075 Views:3919 Replies:16 FollowUps:4
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Hi All,
After about 6 or 7 uses in the last 6mth, l've finally decided to scrap the matress. It's a Coleman double infaltable from Rays. We had about 2 good uses out of it during June to August but now just cannot keep the air in it. Cant find the receipt either, so new mattress is the go.

The Coleman looked good initially and was used with a travel blanket under and sheepskin over to keep the cold at bay, so no issues with air mattress' being chilly in winter etc.

Anybody got a good recommendation for an air matress brand that is reliable and has a decent size valve for inflation (under $100 for a double?)

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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:04

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:04

We have a Coleman queen and have had it for about 12 months and we get about 2 nights out of it before we have to put some more air in. Myabe you just had a dud or something but I am very happy with ours
AnswerID: 279540

Reply By: Joe - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:04

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:04
I have just ordered the Coleman self inflating BIG MAT...often called a 4wd mattress.
Comes in double and queen size.
I'm hoping it will comfortable.
AnswerID: 279541

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:06

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:06
>Anybody got a good recommendation for an air matress


Buy a self inflating mattress - bigger but warmer, 1000 times more comfortable and will last a lot longer.

Mike Harding

PS. Coleman are a good company - contact them direct and ask for a refund.
AnswerID: 279543

Follow Up By: Go Fishing - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 21:59

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 21:59
I have one of those 4WD Self Inflating Mattress, Queen Size. Paid something like $180, 4 or so years ago. This when they justy started coming out and were all the rage.

Bulky and 4 years on it tends to want to stay curled up when unravelled and the air is in.

Uncomfortable and can feel nearly every bump in the sand (Beach camping / fishing).

Had my 1st taste of an expensive swag last weekend. Its like a 5 star resort in comparison. It's the best sleep I've ever had on the beach. Bulkier than the 4WD mattress, more expensive but far more comfortable and versatile.

IMHO, waste of money is the 4WD mattress. You live and learn.
FollowupID: 543790

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 07:41

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 07:41

I can echo much of your experience: $180 Queen mattress about 4 or 5 years ago (and later a single) and a swag about 2 years ago.

Both the queen and single mattresses are still very comfortable and lie flat although both have tiny air leaks - doesn't seem to make any difference? The 75mm foam mattress in the swag has compressed at hip level and, whilst OK, is not as comfortable as the self inflaters.

I have always stored the self inflaters in an inflated (unrolled) mode when not camping - I wonder if this is a factor?

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 543842

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:31

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:31
Mine doesn't "inflate", it rolls out.

It's called a swag and is much more comfortable than an air matress IMHO.

We use our swags on every occasion that we don't take the camper trailer and they double as extra beds at home on occasions.

We have ours rolled out ready for use while our friends (who do use an inflatable matress) are still getting the air pump out.


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AnswerID: 279549

Reply By: Member - Gavin B (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:39

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 15:39
I've had the Sevylor model for a few years, has had two small punctures (easily fixed as both on the bottom), other than that no major drama's.

When used in conjunction with a blanket underneath and one on top as you are doing, hard to beat for the price (~$80 from memory).

We actually put a blanket on top of the mattress, sheet on top of that then a doona on top of that. Toasty in all conditions and don't feel the contours of the mattress or have the sheet slipping issues you can have sometimes.

I value my sleep quality when camping ;)
AnswerID: 279551

Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 16:25

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 16:25
I have a couple of these:

Best airbed I have ever used (Expensive though)
AnswerID: 279558

Reply By: DesF - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 16:39

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 16:39
Hi, Go for self inflatables , after 20years camping etc and about 10 air mattresses later ( plastic and rubberised cotton , they were the best but the were APIA blowing them up and then letting them down ), we bought 2 Thermarests and have been using them regularly for 10 years. Just unroll and throw out in tent and when ready for beb just close the plug and ready to sleep, and just roll up in morning close plug and ready to pack.
No problems and you can't believe how good they are to sleep on for only 30mm thick.
They dont seem to be hot or cold, in the add they say you can sleep straight on top of snow and not feel cold. check them out on the web.
We have a wool overlay that we put over them to make a double. they are about $100.00 each but it will be the last you spend ( if use wisely )
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 279561

Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 18:12

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 18:12

We had the same problem as you back in 1980. Two air mattresses u.s. in as many years, pain to pump up, someone got cranky when you used a 12 volt air pump etc etc, and self deflating soon after purchase.

A camping shop recommended Thermarests, my wife expressed grave doubt and they said: "Take one home and sleep on the bedroom floor with it tonight. Either bring it back tomorrow or pay for it". We were back and bought two the next day plus a "coupling kit" so we could use them with our double sleeping bag.

These days. mainly in a caravan but have spent many many nights on the Thermarests and have NEVER used the puncture repair kit. Grandkids use them when they come with us.

Like DesF, I'd say they are the only way to go. Thermarest will probably go over your budget, but there are plenty of "house" brands at the camping shops for less and they seem to have a good record too.

FollowupID: 543758

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 20:47

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 20:47
Self inflating are the way to go IF you have room for them. I don't. So I always carry a spare Coleman in a box. Since doing this I've never opened the box...Murphy's Law I guess.
AnswerID: 279606

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 21:54

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 21:54
Never in a million years would i go back to air mattresses.
Learnt that lesson 30 years ago.
Have been using self inflating and foam mattresses ever since and never slept on the ground since !!!
One of the most important things everyone needs on a camping trip, short or long is a good sleep when you hit the hay, and there is nothing quite so deflating to that good sleep than a sinking air bed.
Yes i know there bulky, and worth every square inch !!

Cheers Pesty
AnswerID: 279621

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:11

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:11
I am another self inflating convert. The LIARS above who say they get more than one camping trip from a air mattress make me sick. I reckon we've had 10 of the things, they last one trip and are useless, even some didn't last the whole trip. I have even bought them mid trip cause I didn't like sleeping on the ground. (p.s. they are expensive on Fraser Island but necessary)

Bought a self inflater at Anaconda approx $140 and its divine.
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AnswerID: 279626

Reply By: rumpig - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:11

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:11
another vote for the self inflating matresses, we slept on ours for 5 weeks straight when we went up the cape, not a single problem. have had it a few years now and all is good, we've got a queen size one and like said it takes up alot of room, it lives on the roofrack cause it won't fit in the back of the cruiser. have slept on the beach in a tent and not had a problem with the cold coming through the sand, ours has a vinyl bottom but a velour / cloth type top on it.
best nights sleep i've had in a tent.
AnswerID: 279627

Reply By: CoopersRed - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:56

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 22:56

I'd also recommend go for a Therm-a-rest. They are expensive, but it's basically a once in a lifetime investment. Ours are now roughly ten years old and we slept a whole year on them on our trip around OZ. No hassles and very comfy.

Cheers Wolf
AnswerID: 279640

Reply By: Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 23:43

Thursday, Jan 03, 2008 at 23:43
We have the self inflating mattress. Queen size 4wd one, very bulky and takes two to roll up and get all the air out but the best we have slept on. Have had numerous air mattress's and threw the last one last year as soon as we got back from high country after spending two nights sleeping on the floor of the tent on only a flat mattress and blanket. It was a Coleman guaranteed not to leak double valve sealing all the rest of the crap they say. And it really bleep es people off when at 2 in the morning its gone flat again and you want to pump it up but been the considerate person I am we got as comfortable as we could as to not wake any body up with a 12 volt pump screaming its nut off that time of the morning. Swags are just as good these days but take up probably more room especially for two. Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 279648

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 06:01

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 06:01
I recon thats where you are making your mistake !

Get yourself a self inflating mattress.
We put one into our Trak Shak, and have never been more comfortable.
They do not go wishy washy on you in the middle of the night, and drop you on cold ground.

Think its a 4x4 brand, or something like that

Cheers Mate

AnswerID: 279669

Reply By: marq - Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 08:59

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 08:59
10cm self inflating mattress are the way to go (make sure you cannot see thru the seem over hang - classic sign that it is crap product).

Used on sand (simpson) to the rocky pilbara.

We used two king singles (much easier to carry) pushed together with queen sheets over the top. Used in simpson negative 8 degC with a single 2degC $45 black wolf sleeping bag spread out under the sheets and 500g/m2 wool doona on top - nice and toasty. Biggest problem was the head freezing - the beany keep falling off!

Suggest purchasing and leaving up for a few months prior to leaving - it they do not some up properly (ie nice square 10cm thick) - take it back - there is nothing worst than a 10cm mat that is only 6-7cm thick on rocky ground.
AnswerID: 279705

Follow Up By: marq - Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 23:39

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 23:39
You can never get warm with an blow-up air mattress.
FollowupID: 544031

Reply By: Ozboc - Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 09:09

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 at 09:09
had the same problem no matter what mattress we bought , got tired of sleeping on the ground by 2 am -- so bought a jayco pop top :)

not a cheap alternative but no more sleeping on the ground :)

AnswerID: 279707

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