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Are self inflating mats really so much better than airbeds?

(21 Posts)
TheHouseofMirth Sun 30-Mar-14 18:38:21

I haven't camped since i was a child when airbeds were the only option. Am planning to take the 2 DSs who are 5 and 9 camping for the odd weekend. We have a little 3 man tent and I was planning to but 1 double and 1 single airbed and have found some Karrimor ones which are reasonably priced. I gather self inflating mats are better but budget is a consideration and if we are camping very rarely does it matter that much?

BearsInMotion Sun 30-Mar-14 18:40:35

No idea, but wondering the same thing!

jungletoes Sun 30-Mar-14 18:48:25

I use self-inflating mats and they are brilliant. they pack small and you get none of the awful bounce effect that you have with air-beds.

youmakemydreams Sun 30-Mar-14 18:51:41

We have self inflating mats. Pack up easily and very small. Don't have the bounce back thing with air beds or the deflating slowly through the night problem that I seem to have with air beds.
I personally think if you can get the self inflating you should go for it.

TheHouseofMirth Sun 30-Mar-14 18:55:49

They look so thin Jungletoes are they really comfortable?

They just seem sooo much more expensive than airbeds I'm not sure I can justify it.

BingoWingsBeGone Sun 30-Mar-14 18:58:06

We have the extra wide, extra thick sim's. they are very comfortable and worth the money, albeit we do camp a lot - 3 week summer hols etc

Suttonmum1 Sun 30-Mar-14 19:03:14

Yes yes yes. Much warmer as you're not sleeping on a bed of freezing cold air.

workingtitle Sun 30-Mar-14 19:05:12

Think they're worth it too, use ours a lot and fix them way more comfortable and warm than an air bed plus easy to transport.

TheHouseofMirth Sun 30-Mar-14 19:06:34

Would this one be any good?

gardenfeature Sun 30-Mar-14 19:51:21

Aldi do some self inflating mats that are reasonably priced. I think these are the luxury expensive ones: Personally I would rather sleep on the ground than sleep on an air bed as I find them terribly uncomfortable. It's a case of "you get what you pay for". We have Aldi and Outwell self inflating and they are fine for weekends but I would love an Airic.

TheHouseofMirth Sun 30-Mar-14 20:13:56

Presumably the Aldi ones are not constantly available? I don't live near an Aldi but could make a special trip.

FourArms Sun 30-Mar-14 20:15:20

We (DH & I) have alpkit dozers (£60 each). They are only slightly better than Aldi ones (DSs' mats - £15 each). Definitely get Aldi ones if budget is an issue.

Blu Sun 30-Mar-14 21:19:49

Kids, for a weekend, are absolutely fine on foam roll out mats like this , IME.

I never slept on anything more sophisticated than that when camping until I was in my 30s.

Get a SIM for yourself - and roll outs for the kids. Remember they have the padding on the underside of the sleeping bags to lie on, too.

Airbeds are a pain to inflate, a pain to deflate, cold, puncture when the kids jump on them and uncomfortable.

SIMs are memory foam and you blow into them as a top up for more distance from the ground.

Do you know anyone who could let you have a little try? Or try out a demonstration one in a camping shop? (probably not lying in the aisles in Aldi grin )

Blu Sun 30-Mar-14 21:21:54

We have Aldi ones.

DS still takes his roll up foam mat if he goes camping with Scouts as it is marginally less faff and he says he is fine on it. Most of the kids in our little camping group sleep on roll ups.

Selvedge Mon 31-Mar-14 00:35:33

SIMs are more expensive but camping can be hard work and a good nights sleep is really valuable. Airbeds aren't awful, I'd been sleeping on one for 15 years of camping, but last year we bought a SIM and I had NO IDEA it was possible to be that comfortable in a tent. We got a 7.5cm deep Vango double for £30 off ebay so not crazy money. It takes up a little bit more room in the car but you don't need the pump, or an under layer and you don't have the faff of the initial pump or subsequent daily topups. Don't forget, you are supposed to be on holiday! We are currently facing the dilemma of what to do for DS as this summer he will be too big for the travel cot. We are keeping a keen eye on Aldi specialbuys but have not seen any featured yet...

TheHouseofMirth Mon 31-Mar-14 14:23:37

From all the Googling I've done it seems the Aldi Camping stuff is usually on sale end May/beginning of June. I'll keep an eye on Gumtree and eBay in the meantime.

MissWimpyDimple Mon 31-Mar-14 19:48:40

Remember to measure your tent sleeping area. Generally a double and a single won't fit in a 3man tent...

TheHouseofMirth Mon 31-Mar-14 22:38:48

Really?! We've only used it in the garden so far with a borrowed double airbed and the single mattress from DS1's bed. Will measure.Thanks for the tip.

Selvedge Wed 02-Apr-14 02:06:44

Thanks TheHouseofMirth, I will keep looking ahead for Aldi specialbuys. MissWimpyDimple is quite correct, a 3 man tent will literally have enough room for 3 people to lie down next to each other, and only that! Our old tent was a 4 man which realistically accommodated me and my OH (on a double airbed) and our stuff. If you have used it already you will know how the space feels, a single SIM or airbed is unlikely to be bigger than the 'proper' mattress, so you should be ok. Don't forget the stuff though!

chicaguapa Wed 02-Apr-14 19:31:45

If you go down the airbed route, I'd recommend two singles instead of a double. You can still put a double fitted sheet on to hold them together but it means you won't disturb each other when you turn over etc.

whitecat Thu 03-Apr-14 09:46:28

We got our singles from Costco for about £20. They are good quality and so much warmer than air beds and none of that rolling or riding a wave that happens on a double.

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