Insulating Air Mattress Against the Cold?

Submitted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:45
ThreadID: 69045 Views:22655 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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I know a lot of people are dubious about the reliability of airbeds due to their reputation for leaking. But I bought a quality Aerobed and find it very reliable and comfortable when I use it at home.

The only time I have taken it camping (ironically in summer) I half-froze to death. The things absorb all the cold from the ground.

Are their any practical tips for insulating them? I have some quality foam from Clark Rubber. If I put this under or on top of the air mattress, will I be okay?

Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:49

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:49
Put the foam on top. If it is underneathe the sides will leak all that body warmth out into the outside air.
AnswerID: 366018

Reply By: D200Dug- Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:49

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:49
I have slept on airbeds for years and never had a problem.

My wife always complains about how cold they are.

I would get a sheet of high density foam to insulate from the airbed.

Either that or just try a good quality under-blanket.
AnswerID: 366019

Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:51

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:51
Or Doona
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FollowupID: 633771

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:55

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:55
We have "Eric the Doona" an ancient goose down doona that is just wonderful on cold camping trips :-)
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Reply By: Holden4th - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:52

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:52
This is the reason I bought a self inflating mattress. You don't have huge amounts of air in them to circulate the ground temperature and they are well insulated at the bottom and the top.

Even if you do put an insulating layer below your airbed, the cold will still get through via the sides.

The only way to keep warm is to put an insulating barrier between the top of the mattress and yourself but even this may not fully work.
AnswerID: 366020

Follow Up By: DesF - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 14:38

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 14:38
Hi, Have to agree with the self inflator, spent a fair few cold nights when traveling on the bike in the outback with blow up's, but now in the 4x4, we all use self inflating ones and no problems, some of the lads took a bit of convincing to spend the extra, but all have seen the light now.( we got sick of the them up half the night trying to get warm)
Cheers Des.
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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:53

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 20:53
I gave up on airbeds 30 years ago. The swag does me just fine :-) No tent, just a ground sheet and a beanie for my bald head
AnswerID: 366021

Follow Up By: Member - Damien L (Cairns) - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 21:41

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 21:41
Its alright for you young blokes. We old folk need comfort theses days.
Love the bush

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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 21:46

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 21:46
LOL. I've never found an airbed I would describe as comfortable, but my swag sure is. I have taken a few decades to get it the way I want it. Ditto my Dad 75 and loves his swag. He will be on the Canning trip with me next year and will be sleeping in a swag for the 23 days
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FollowupID: 633972

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:01

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:01
One of those blue foam camping mats are great insulators.
AnswerID: 366024

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:01

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:01
Most camping shops would have "space blankets". They are silver on one side and will retain your body heat. Put them under the mattress with the silver side upwards. Or even under your body, on top of the mattress.

Emergency services use them to wrap around people to stop them losing body heat and going into shock after an accident.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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AnswerID: 366025

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:54

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:54
Space blankets do not breathe and can get quite wet in the wrong conditions. they are great in emergencies and every car should carry a couple but I would not use them for this purpose.

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 22:24

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 22:24
Used them for 10 years bush camping throughtout WA.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:58

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:58
It wont work under the matress. the heat loss is from the sides of the air matress and the convection current that occurs inside the matress: moves the air around inside the matress and drains the heat away.
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Reply By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:34

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:34
i use my 20 something year old single sleeping bag opened up on top of the matress then a fitted sheet to hold it all in place, it must work well as SWMBO doesn't complain that she is cold which would be a first! ouch!!!!!!
AnswerID: 366039

Reply By: Rowdy6032 - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:37

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 21:37
Have had the same problem and put a couple of layers of newspaper under the mattress, works for the old warbs :-)
AnswerID: 366041

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:26

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:26
As Phil says, a closed cell foam (blue foam at camping shop) sheet immediately under your body.

Have used same directly on snow with good bag and slept very warm.

The self inflating materesses usually have some thin closed cell foam in them for insulation as well.

And the closed cell foam doesn't absorb moisture.

Alan
AnswerID: 366083

Reply By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:47

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 07:47
There are many who prefer the air bed for comfort.

Yes! The can be damned cold in winter.

My solution is a large piece of thick felt as used as protective padding by furniture removalists. Double over and on top of the air bed prevents the cold air from sapping the warmth out of the bed.

I have a number of pieces , in zero weather I use one as a bed spread, amazing the warmth it retains.

Ian
AnswerID: 366091

Reply By: tdv - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 10:46

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 10:46
Our solution was found on this site a few years ago. We bought a mattress protector that has a wooly (synthetic) cover on the top. About $20 from woolies from memory. Works a treat.

Tez
AnswerID: 366126

Reply By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 12:58

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 12:58
Just go to your local camping shop (or camping section of Big W/K-Mart) and grab one of those foam camping mats (they're around $10 each). Put this ON TOP of your air mattress and your sleeping bag on top of that - they insulate very well, are very cheap, very lightweight and roll up in ~30 seconds.

For more info, see recent thread on the same topic (ThreadID: 68763)
AnswerID: 366154

Reply By: Member - Brad S (SA) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 14:31

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 14:31
Hi folks

Go down to your local hardware store and buy a two metre length of the aluminium foil insulation material that is like bubble wrap, not the single layer sislation. It is tough and I think about 2.2R.

We use pop-up tents instead on swags...more room. A piece of this material goes under the whole tent or alternatively cut it lengthways and you end up with two pieces which can fit easily under a single blow-up or self inflating matress. Rolls up easily and easy to stiore.

Cheers
Brad
AnswerID: 366474

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