If you wake up with aches and pains that last for days each time you visit a campsite then you might need to think about buying an air bed, but what are the best air beds for camping and glamping?
When we get older… and dare we say it, heavier… our bodies need a little bit of extra comfort. Simply sleeping on a mat or on the ground just won’t do. A few days are fine but any longer than that can cause aches and pains that last for days, especially if you suffer from back pains or any other medical ailments. The added bonus is that a bed off the ground will also insulate you from ground damp and cold, which can also lead to an uncomfortable camping experience.
But what are the best mattresses to buy and how do you pump them up at the campsite? We’ve used the Outwell Flock Excellent Air Bed, but we’d heard some good things about the Coleman Raised Quickbed too, especially if it is topped with a Luxury Extra Thick Duck Feather Mattress Topper to stop the cold penetrating through the bed to freeze the happy sleeper. So we were very pleased when one of our readers made his own decision and wanted to share his experience of purchasing the bed and air pump in the hope that it might help others.
We’re loving comfortable camping in an Outwell Montana 6 three roomed tunnel tent. Usually with the two of us space isn’t normally an issue so when the old inflatable mattress decided to go come apart and bulge at the seams I searched for a long-term comfortable alternative. My search ended on a recent trip to Bristol when I came across the Coleman Raised Quickbed Queen.
Impressed by the sheer size of it and the extra layer of mattress my thoughts that it could be used as an occasional bed at home for unexpected guests proved well founded. However, after 30 minutes using a track pump and it still resembling a soggy beige lump I was less than impressed. I imagined I’d either be here at home or on my perfect campsite toiling like a chain gang.
With the Port Eliot Festival in mind I decided to source an electric pump, but then remembered the campsites are far from the car parks so a 12V DC lighter plug pump wouldn’t do and a 240V mains was only of use in the house.
I searched the web and found a few likely candidates for the best air beds for camping. I found the Easy Camp Mistral Battery / DC Pump I was a little surprised how small it was at first and after loading the 8AAA size batteries, and selecting the correct sized nozzle from the choice of three, I set it to ‘On’.
The pump started in a relatively quiet whir. It took 8 minutes to inflate what is a massive air bed. The instructions say don’t let the pump run for longer than 10 minutes continuously. So if you’re pumping anything up that requires more than 10 minutes I don’t think this is for you and your bouncy castle at the weekend!
Comfort and stability are key for a tall mattress and my partner and I were pleasantly surprised by the Its dimensions are: 168cm wide x 213cm long x 47cm high and it comes with a 2 year limited warranty. The box contains a repair patch and instructions. The flocked surface provides grip for blankets or sheets and clothes if it remains exposed. It doesn’t feel plasticky and sweaty, which is good as that’s always been the worst part of other inflatable camp beds for me. The edge of the mattress is slightly raised with a recessed regular pattern in the centre that would allow moisture and air to move to maintain a dry comfortable feeling. With two people on there’s very little wobble. When one moves the other is barely disturbed and testament to this was a dinner we had whilst sat on it with wine and food on our laps that stayed where it was meant to for the duration of the meal as we tested its stability for a day bed type set up, should the need arise.
To us the mattress seemed a well priced, sturdy, comfortable, leak free air bed that packs down to a good size, weighing in at 8 kg. This coupled with the Easy Camp Mistral Battery / DC Pump make a superb combination that should enable some great full nights sleep at the campsite.
A big thank you goes out to Simon Jacklin who took the time to share his tips with us.
If you have any advice to share then we’d like to hear from you… and don’t forget to add your email to the updates and bonuses box to get more free glamping and camping inspirations and unique giveaways.
Picture Credits: Simon Jacklin and Glampit
Update: Here’s an interesting and inspiring Kickstarter airbed inflatable project from Windcatcher, with a totally new approach to inflating an airbed.