Author Topic: Air beds  (Read 1359 times)

Air beds
« on: September 29, 2011, 04:40:32 pm »
Just got back from a camping trip and on the last night the airbed had gone down. On the camping trip before on the first night the airbed went down with a fast leak. Because it was cold we didn't put the air bed up till later on(no one was near us to disturb) and in 5mins it was flat. So that was a night spent on the floor. Luckily we bought an air bed and some foam sleeping mats to put underneath it. This kept the aired warmer and I hoped this would protect the bottom. But no.
So, if we went for some of those self inflating ones instead of a normal air bed, are these less easy to puncture. To be honest I have no idea what is puncturing them. The bottom of bed has 2 foam matts stuck together underneath. There is then a sheet on top and mine and my GFs sleeping bags. The only thing I can think of is my GFs rings on her finger. There is nothing jagged in the sleeping area. The only other thing I can put it down to is from us getting on it and the GF being a fidget the seams go. It has only been slept on 6 times though.
Any recommendations? Self inflating matts? Better air bed?


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Re: Air beds
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 04:44:12 pm »
I'd put some money on it being a leaking valve.
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Euan Uzami

Re: Air beds
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 04:45:27 pm »
i've got a coleman one which is pretty good. Hasn't ever gone down yet. It comes with a puncture repair kit, you can probably get the puncture repair kit separately
The self inflating ones don't literally self inflate, they just have a pump permanantly attached to them. Which might reduce the problem of the valve leaking as the pump doesn't need to disconnect.

Kim

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Re: Air beds
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 04:54:53 pm »
Having used them as a bed for a year, there's airbeds and there's airbeds.  The cheap vinyl ones puncture if you so much as look at them.  The heavy, rubberised cotton ones are a lot more durable, slightly less comfy, but do tend to die of old age, especially around the valve.

Self-inflating mats tend to me made from decently durable material, so are somewhere in the same category, punture wise, as the good sturdy airbeds.  They also have the distinct advantage of having more than just air in them:  Common misconception with airbeds is that the air will act as an insulator, but in reality, convection currents mean they conduct heat away from you surprisingly well.  Self-inflating mats have some kind of foam (which is what makes them self-inflate), which prevents the air from moving around, making them much warmer for their thickness.  They're also less faff than airbed pumps, though people with hips and shoulders may find them significantly less comfortable.

Exped mats (basically high-tech airbeds with an insulating filling) tend to be the gold standard, and meet that elusive combination of being actually comfortable and reasonably lightweight.  I don't think they're immune to punctures, though, and you do have to perform comedy CPR to inflate them.

If you're not too fussed about weight/bulk, I recommend the thicker Alpkit self-inflating mats.


As for what's causing the punctures, if not something like sleeping bag zips, think about how you're transporting/storing them?
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Kim

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Re: Air beds
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 04:58:50 pm »
The self inflating ones don't literally self inflate, they just have a pump permanantly attached to them.

I'd say they do.  "Self-inflating mat" == Thermarest or equivalent.  Something like an Exped Downmat (which has an integral pump) isn't self-inflating.


It's swings and roundabouts, though.  While a Thermarest may inflate by itself, you have to put the energy into it to deflate it (by compressing the foam), and then seal the valve to keep it deflated.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Air beds
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 05:04:55 pm »
i've got a coleman one which is pretty good. Hasn't ever gone down yet. It comes with a puncture repair kit, you can probably get the puncture repair kit separately
The self inflating ones don't literally self inflate, they just have a pump permanantly attached to them. Which might reduce the problem of the valve leaking as the pump doesn't need to disconnect.

The first one my money was on the valve. It was slightly loose but I did try to mend it. In the end I gave up.
Sleeping bag zips could be a possibility. Hadn't thought of that one. I do try and took the zip on mine away but at times it does get exposed.
We found putting the foam matts under the air bed kept the air bed once you had been on it. Before we would wake up with a cold air bed, after the foam matts we would wake up to a warm air bed.
Not too fussed about weight, we go by car(sorry!) so we can load it up.
I'm mainly just after something that won't jus puncture, the vinyl ones do seem to be just as you say Kim, puncture a little too easy!
We won't be going camping now until next year :( due to the GF being at uni and lacking the time for us to go, and she isn't keen on winter camping. But I would like to be ready for next year and try and catch places on their winter sale.

Cheers


Don't question. It makes people angry.

Re: Air beds
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 08:11:25 pm »
For car camping we have the ridiculously thick Alpkit mats and have recently bought a 10cm thick gelert mat. They're all excellent and very comfortable but obviously you lose out on packing space. I'll never use air beds again...
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Euan Uzami

Re: Air beds
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 08:32:23 pm »
Not too fussed about weight, we go by car(sorry!) so we can load it up.
don't apologise, i always do ;) should see the size of my tent, it's huge - you'd never get it in a pannier ;D

Re: Air beds
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 09:50:13 pm »
If you put the foam mats on top of the air mattress instead of underneath, it's even warmer AND you protect the mattress from zips / rings / passing hedgehogs.