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Self inflating mats

(42 Posts)
Purplehulk Tue 21-May-13 17:12:51

Last year for our first camping trip we got kitted out with a regular blow up mattress each.
This year we are actually going to do some proper camping and all I read about is self inflating mats.
Come tell me why they are better please!

Fairypants Tue 21-May-13 18:41:20

I have some of these. They look like the foam mats with a cover over them. When you undo them, they inflate (to foam mat thickness only) and you close the valve so the air is trapped and doesn't squeeze out like normal foam mats.
I'd say they are more comfortable than normal foam mats but less comfortable than blow up beds. The main pro compared to the blow up ones is that they don't go down in the night as much and you don't need a pump. I find I'm warmer with more air between me and the floor though.

hillbilly Wed 22-May-13 11:21:56

We have a vango 7.5cm double SIM and it's really comfy. Also warm.

hillbilly Wed 22-May-13 11:23:32

Blu Wed 22-May-13 13:51:19

You can blow into the valve of a SIM and add air to the foam, which helps. I find them far more comfortable than blow up beds but I guess that is personal choice . I don't like the lack of squashiness in a blow up, or the way they move under you. SIMS insulate you from the ground do are warmer. They take less time to set up and put away.

Purplehulk Thu 23-May-13 09:08:25

Thanks for this. Am thinking they would take up less room in the boot of the car too.
But am I just looking for an excuse to go shopping?
This camping thing really sucks you in doesn't it?

SlubberInAWinkleWagon Thu 23-May-13 09:15:31

It certainly does grin.
I'm the same as Blu in that I find sleeping on a sim much more comfortable than sleeping on an air bed.
As for size when packed I'm not sure. Our 5cm thermarests do take up a fair amount of space in the car even rolled tightly. They are of course a doddle to set up and give you freedom to camp without the car (as most people use an electric pump attached to the car battery to inflate air beds it seems).
Who remembers being on foot pump duty as a kid?
Squink squink squink squink "can I stop now please mum, my leg is reaaaaally tired?" "no"

SlubberInAWinkleWagon Thu 23-May-13 09:16:09

Aldi sims will I'm sure be on sale fairly soon.

Quenelle Thu 23-May-13 10:46:09

I remember squink squink squink. Had to do it for every stopover of our two week holiday last year. The night I realised I had been pumping away for 20 minutes while the valve was out I almost punched myself in the face.

We have bought 7.5cm Vango sims for this year's trip.

The only downside I can see to SIMs is that you are supposed to store them open at home. They are currently standing against the wall in the laundry drying spare room but I will have to try and find somewhere out of sight for them after the summer.

StupidFlanders Thu 23-May-13 10:53:10

They take up a lot of room when folded but they are great.

SlubberInAWinkleWagon Thu 23-May-13 11:26:23

Haaa Quenelle I just properly lolled at your valve fail grin. Sorry.

Our sims live up on the rafters in the garage when they are not in use

hillbilly Thu 23-May-13 11:47:43

Ours are stored rolled up which I know is not the right way but the double is such a b*****d to roll up and takes 2 of us, that I'm buggered if I'm doing that before we go away each time!

Abzs Thu 23-May-13 11:49:45

My thermarest is 15 years old and is stored rolled. I do try to remember to leave it open for a while after use for drying. Our sleeping bags are stored unrolled or in big massive mesh bags though.

I find SIMs warmer than blow up airbeds, as there is a smaller volume of air to warm up. So, I think, SIMs are better for DCs (and shortarses like me).

MinimalistMommi Fri 24-May-13 18:15:41

I have the Basecamp Thermarest and I sore it rolled.

OrlaKiely Fri 24-May-13 18:39:51

I slept on them last year for the first time and got NO sleep. Am I doing it wrong? It were rubbish sad

MinimalistMommi Fri 24-May-13 20:13:12

Did you put any extra breaths of air in it? I definitely prefer them under inflated than over inflated.

OrlaKiely Sat 25-May-13 08:04:06

yes a bit - but not massively iykwim. They are quite hard to puff into.

I think I'll try the air bed this year!

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 25-May-13 23:18:34

Airbeds are brrrrrr cold.

FannyBazaar Sun 26-May-13 22:32:16

I have an ultra light 3/4 length SIM which is more comfortable than the air bed or foam mat, lighter than an air bed and smaller than a foam mat. I think mine is 3cm thick. We have to carry all our stuff so need light and compact. I store it in the gap between my wardrobe and the wall.

Zigster Mon 27-May-13 09:58:21

I've just spent a night in the tent in our garden - just me and DS aged 6. We both had full-length SIMs which had been stored unfolded under the spare bed for the winter with the valve closed. I assumed that meant it was already inflated.

After a pretty uncomfortable night (DW inside the house with DS aged 4), DW told me this morning that the opposite was true. Finding it hard to believe, I went back to the tent and opened the valve. Hiiiiisssss as all that lovely comfortable air flooded in. sad

LoveSewingBee Mon 27-May-13 20:54:52

We bought some for a camping trip a few years ago. They were supposedly as comfortable as air mattresses but not taking up the space and self inflating. They were a top brand and very expensive.
Never ever have I slept so poorly. I could feel every hard lump, pebble whatever it was. So I would definitely not recommend them. We use ours now only when we go to the beach ...

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 27-May-13 21:42:20

Fanny, what make is it that you use? Looking for some backpacking ones.

FannyBazaar Tue 28-May-13 21:16:13

It's this one Gelert xtreme lite actually I see it is 4cm. I'm happy with 3/4 length as the pack/pannier bags have to go somewhere, so I put them flattened at the end.

zanz1bar Tue 28-May-13 23:12:59

Love my aldi sim.
Just back from the first weekend camp and slept brilliantly well. Never again will I have to pump up the air bed in the middle of the night, never again cold and sleepless as DH snores reverberate thought the air bed, never again making emergency trips into nearest towns to buy yet another air bed in the hope that this time it won't burst/leak when Dc jump on it.
I have made some fleece covers just to add to their loveliness.

NulliusInBlurba Thu 30-May-13 12:34:41

Does anyone have any experience of the Vango Trek, standard length? How reliable and comfortable is it? We'll be in the Alps at 1300 metres so will need to be off the ground to stay warm. Up to now we've used proper off-the-ground campbeds, the ones on legs, but this time we won't have enough space in the tent or car.

How often does it happen that these things start leaking? We won't be anywhere near a camping shop to buy a replacement. And there's no way we can afford to buy five Thermarests!

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