Self inflating mattress in a swag – advice sought

Submitted: Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:06
ThreadID: 58727 Views:8878 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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As night follows day so the foam mattress which came with my swag, a few years ago, has compacted - therefore it’s time to replace it with a self inflating (or better – if there is such a thing?) one.

The major requirement I have is that the self inflater will roll up “in the one go” inside the swag as the foam one did. ie. I do not wish to remove the mattress – deflate it – then roll up the swag – I wish to do the whole thing in one go.

Currently I’m looking at the Roman Moon Mat series, especially the 80mm super de-lux (or whatever they call it?) or their “4WD” mat with built in pillow – cost is not an issue. Ease of use and comfort certainly is! My experience with “normal” 100mm “4WD” mats suggests there is no way I could roll them up into a small enough size inside the swag.

Most suggestion gratefully received :)

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:17

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:17
A proper 100mm self-inflator will roll up if you are religious about keeping your swag tight while rolling. One bugger is that the head end of my swag is the inside of the roll meaning that I have to leave the mattress's valve open. I roll it with my knees keeping it tight as I go.

A totally different construction and situation to the standard 4WD mats which provide little support and less insulation.
AnswerID: 309732

Reply By: Holden4th - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:18

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:18
Your major problem would be trying to stop the mattress from reinflating if you couldn't access the screw top valve that all SI mattresses use to stop air coming back to reinflate. The majority of sefl inflators I've seen have these at the top of the mattress and therefore are not accessible after you roll it up inside the swag.

After many years of 'swagging' it, the cold seeping up through the ground finally got the better of me and I went to my local camping store for advice. As I never sleep outside (my tent is enough thank you) they recommended a self inflator and I got a Coleman 120mm job. The insulation it provided from the cold compared to my swag was quite exceptional and I'm now a dedicated fan of this form of camping bed. They are so comfortable and take up the same space as a swag.

So forget the swag, just get a self inflator. If you want to sleep under the stars then you'll probably have to pack them separately
AnswerID: 309733

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 23:27

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 23:27
It's not an issue.

I've used mine with a Thermarest about 30mm thick and an Exped Deluxe mat that's 100mm thick.

The 100 is too thick and puts you too close to the canvas at the foot end of a dome style swag - mines a Darche Super Dome.

The thermarest mats are sooooo comfortable. I lived on my 30mm mat in the swag for six weeks and loved it.

FollowupID: 575752

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 23:29

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 23:29
Just to clarify my comment "It's not an issue" - I meant leaving the valve open when rolling the swag up and packing it then it reexpanding.

FollowupID: 575753

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:22

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:22
Gday Mike,
We use a 100mm 4wd self-inflating mat from Rays Outdoors inside a double swag. We removed the 4 bungs, and leave them out. Works for us, and is more comfortable than the 50mm foam. Its a bit bulkier, but that doesn't matter. Been doing this for a couple of years.
AnswerID: 309734

Reply By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:37

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:37
Mike the best method imo is to get another 70mm foam mattress and buy some egg foam to put on top,some places hav it stuck to the foam..Thats what i hav in my B&W Redgum Double...Folds up nice and sleeps comfortably..

Stay with what you know works !

AnswerID: 309738

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:47

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 19:47
Have a look at the Thermarest range of self inflating mattresses.

Only 50mm thick and comes with a lifetime warranty.

We use the Thermarest LuxuryCamp XL, expect to pay mid $300.00 each

Thermarest are the best you can get.
AnswerID: 309742

Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 22:13

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 22:13
x 2..........

I have the same setup and simply cut a little hole in the end 'pocket' of the swag, so I can undo and do-up the little valve.

From my experience, the Thermarest brands roll up much smaller and easier than the other "4WD" type mats and are made of the highest quality materials. I found one on eBay for $90 and so far so good.

I also use other thicknesses of Thermarests for other outdoor pursuits and they can't be beaten. You may get a good one cheaper, but these are the 'best'.

When using the swag, I roll up my sleeping bag, pillow and the mat all into the swag and it's still smaller than what it was when I bought it new with the silly foam mat inside.

Hope this helps.


FollowupID: 575736

Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 20:28

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 20:28
Mike, What I have done is use a thinish self inflating mattress, bought cheap from ebay and a memory foam topper. The topper is quiet thin and easily rolled up, the self inflater is under the foam mattress. Open the bung, roll up, leave bung open. Roll out, let mattress inflate, a few puffs and insert bung, comfy sleep.
John and Jan

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AnswerID: 309756

Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 21:28

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 21:28
LIke all the others.....either way get one.....ours is comfier than our real bed...!

we have ours in the swag all the time and its easy to pack up...doesnt have the pillow thing my own....cannt remember the brand.....4wd something i think....
AnswerID: 309771

Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 22:43

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 22:43
Mike, good quality foam with a "hiking mat" underneath works well for us!
AnswerID: 309791

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 00:16

Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 00:16
Yep mine makes a pretty huge sway rolled up but ive got the room and certainly makes for a good nights sleep. dont haver to worry if there are rocks underneath the swag.
only thing is i cant tell the difference with the bungs in or left open as far as im concerned its best vale is just as a thick mattress.
Cost about $100 (country prices)
AnswerID: 309801

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 07:04

Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 07:04
One thing I have done, I use a ground sheet under my swag..
I went to a Clarke's (spelling) Rubber store, and purchased 1 ( one ) sheet of 1" thick waterproof pool rubber. It's looks like that sky blue hiking ground sheets, but it's 10 times tougher and it fits under my swag.

So my aching bones are relaxed and warm, but which self inflating thermo also !!

Can anyone help me ??

Cheers all

AnswerID: 309817

Follow Up By: Trev (SA) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 16:56

Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 16:56
I will probably get jumped on for this but I can't understand why people put groundsheets, tarps etc under their swags. I've seen it so many times. I imagine they are trying to protect the swag and I do acknowledge that if you are in prickle country it can be a better surface to step out onto. I gather your issue Bucky is comfort and fair enough.

What I laugh about though is what happens when it rains. My swag is quite waterproof and I have spent many nights out in storms etc. The water just runs off and soaks into the sand / ground next to it. If you have a waterproof tarp under you however, the runoff does not soak into the ground but forms a lovely pool of water for you to lie in!

One option, although I can never be bothered, is to use shadecloth which will still let the water soak through. The prickles are likely to get caught in it I suggest though.

Just my 2c worth

FollowupID: 575885

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 19:07

Saturday, Jun 14, 2008 at 19:07

Apart from the comfort and the warmth I get from my ground sheet, I also protect the base of my swag.
Camped up in some pretty dodgy places over the last 5 - 6 years.

And if it does rain, well I am a little higher than the ground around me. Seriously though with me its more about comfort & warmth.

Some of my mates have swung over to those aluminium stretchers, and swear by them ,, but muggins here, cannot sleep on them.

guess I am stuck with my 1" thick ground sheet.

AnswerID: 309968

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