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SIMS advice

(11 Posts)
Skala123 Sun 19-Mar-17 07:18:43

We have always camped using airbeds but have seen so much about SIMs that we are thinking of investing this year. Are they much better then airbeds? Do they take up less room in the car? Can't stretch to the cost of the much raved about dreamboat so any other recommendations?

Skala123 Sun 19-Mar-17 07:20:27

Also what thickness do we need? We are very much fair weather campers (South of England and never before May!)

thehumansaredead Sun 19-Mar-17 09:33:07

following smile

profpoopsnagle Sun 19-Mar-17 12:01:16

I prefer them, but then I hate airbeds with a passion!

We bought 2 thermarests (5cm which was the thickest available at the time, think the name was basecamp) over 15 years ago and they're still going strong. We also bought 2 from Lidl about 5 odd years ago and they were ok, but much thicker when rolled up compared to the thermarests. A valve went on one after about 2 years so we rarely take it camping now but useful for sleepovers. The we have some smaller backpacking ones from decathlon- they roll small and are good for children.

Then, a few years ago we upgraded ours to thermarest mondoking which are amazing especially as we are less lithe than we used to be!

So I think you do get what you pay for, but I understand that you have to consider how much you will use them. We camp for at least 5 weeks/year plus kids do lots of guide/scout stuff.

Regarding warmth, we have never had to bother with fleece blankets too much etc the way you have to with airbeds, which are essentially a block of cold air. They are easier to fit into bedroom pods but you also have to that consider getting up/down is a bit further.

NotMeNoNo Sun 19-Mar-17 20:17:41

We have got the Alpkit Dozer 7.5cm self inflating mats (only DH and I, kids have smaller ones!). I find it very warm and comfortable, I do need a decent pillow too as I sleep on my side. It pack into a fat roll about 20cm x 65cm, but then I only have my down sleeping bag in a tiny stuff sack and a pillow to add to it. It saves taking loads of extra duvets, blankets, cardboard etc to insulate your airbed.

hillbilly Mon 20-Mar-17 12:12:25

We have a vango 7.5cm double. It was £70 in 2010 and still going strong. The kids have Hi Gear ones which I think are now discontinued. Would highly recommend the vango in particular and outwell ones get good reviews too.

Skala123 Mon 20-Mar-17 13:08:20

Thanks all, I think we will invest!

IToldYouIWasFreaky Thu 30-Mar-17 17:04:08

profpoopsnagle Would the Decathalon ones suit adults too? Specifically this one? I need one for 9 year old DS but also for me and potentially also my relucant camper and quite heavy boyfriend for a 3 night camping trip.

profpoopsnagle Thu 30-Mar-17 22:54:35

The type we have from decathlon is quite thin, I'd say 2.5m like that one but it is also narrower than the other sims we have- almost half the size. Perfect for backpacking/D of E/ children but I'd be tempted to go for something else as an adult. If your camping trip isn't just yet, I'd wait to see if Lidl/Aldi have them for sale at some point or look at Go outdoors?

IToldYouIWasFreaky Fri 31-Mar-17 11:36:05


Go Outdoors have some incredibly cheap (£10!) ones which have decent reviews so I've ordered three. They should be fine for DS and if they are no good for adults, we can at least use them to layer up I suppose.

I really hope that Aldi do a camping special buy before we go, they had some good stuff last year!

Skala123 Fri 31-Mar-17 14:31:54

I've signed up to the Aldi email alerts in the hope the camping special buy event pops up soon!

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