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Alternative for campsite mattress

Discussion in 'Shelter & Sleeping' started by Paul_B, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Basically I have tried a few things over the years to sleep on. From the old rubber backed fabric lilos of my youth through closed cell foam mats of various sizes (right down to torso shaped custom CCF mat to reduce weight) and the ubiquitous thermarest types used by backpackers and DofE groups. We have been using simple air mattresses of late purely for the increased comfort (with CCF on top in colder weather).

    This is all not very satisfactory so I am looking for alternatives. I would really love to get a nice 9cm exped down mat and live the life of camping luxury but as always there is a cost issue (my partner, well she disagrees and thinks we should spend hundreds on a downmat).

    Basically we need a double width and a single width alternative to an air bed for comfort (and warmth ideally). I doubt downmats come in double widths. We want something thicker than a thermarest but with the performance of them or better. All camping out of the back of a car (if solution is light enough perhaps cycle touring too).

    Any suggestions??
     
  2. Squidders

    Squidders Full Member

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    If you absolutely need a double mat for car camping in all conditions, the best are things like the Exped MegaMat Duo 10 or Sim Comfort 7.5.

    My partner and I have two Thermarest Dream mats that popper together. They are VERY comfy, the fleece topper is nice to sleep directly against and we just throw a duvet over the top. Considering the comfort, they pack quite small but not nearly good enough for cycle touring.

    I actually prefer two mats because when we move around during the night, the other person is unaffected.

    Another option would be to get two Thermarest Neo Air mats and a down coupler.
     
    #2 Squidders, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  3. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    Why not a raised camp bed with an insulating cheap foam mat?
     
  4. Robbi

    Robbi Full Member

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    do you have an electric hook up option ?
     
  5. ADz-1983

    ADz-1983 Native

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    Two people on one air bed is bad idea. When other moves, so do you. Get two separate and strap them together instead.

    Two Thermares NeoAir Xtherms will keep you toasty. Best R value you can get on an air mattress.
     
  6. cranmere

    cranmere Settler

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    Another vote for two single mattresses here.

    I don't understand why anyone buys double sleeping bags either, they are never big enough and you end up fighting the other person all night.
     
    #6 cranmere, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  7. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    2 singles zipped together often gives you a bigger bag than one double. Ours is palatial.
     
  8. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    Our two single vango inflatable mattresses combined are narrower than our double vango inflatable mattress on it's own so doing two singles isn't always the best plan.

    My wife is not a happy camping sleeper, at least until now. We had previously done rollmats and air beds but not got it right. I splashed out a while back and got a 7.5cm thick vango comfort double. It's a winner!
     
  9. cranmere

    cranmere Settler

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    2 singles zipped together still doesn't work for me, they have to be enormous caravan type bags for it to be even remotely practical. Each to their own I guess, we have an enormous bed or we end up tangled in a heap which keeps both of us awake.
     
  10. petrochemicals

    petrochemicals Full Member

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  11. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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  12. petrochemicals

    petrochemicals Full Member

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    Not really, a quilt works bytrapping the hot air like a hot air baloon(convection) a mat works by keeping you away from a dense surface (conduction) silver foil works by reflection(radiation). If you need a bit more insulation (any) take a silver coated duvet to lie upon. And get a bigger tent.
     
  13. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    They are enormous caravan types - for car camping.
     
  14. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    Not really what?

    Believe what you like but that air bed will be colder than a self inflating mattress that's thinner. I say this from experience, even with putting an extra blanket on top of the air bed before sleeping on it. Spend your money as you like but I wish I had known this earlier and could have saved my money by buying the right thing at the start....
     
  15. S.C.M.

    S.C.M. Nomad

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    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned hammocks- but then if you are sleeping two in one hammock, I've heard it's not so comfy
     
  16. Robbi

    Robbi Full Member

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    #16 Robbi, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  17. FlyingFox

    FlyingFox Member

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  18. mrcharly

    mrcharly Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    A cheap air mattress with a pile of sheepskins on top.
     
  19. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    We have been using air mattresses for car camping for the last 2/3 years. OK for summer and some we've had seemed warmer than others. We've had 3 or put it another way one a year. Not durable even if you buy expensive and good brand like Outwell. Plus cold in early 3 season use, we've had to resort to closed cell foam mats on top. They just don't offer much insulation. That's a known fact I'm afraid, no responsible retailer will sell it for cooler use because they'll just get it returned I reckon. Simple reason they convect heat away to the ground. CCF mats, self inflating mats and those airbeds with synthetic insulation or down inside effectively restricts air movement (convection) making them more effective insulation. Try using one on a cold night, first on its own then put a CCF mat on top. You'll very soon notice the difference. CCF mat on its own will be as warm as CCF on air bed if you tried it out.

    Was thinking of alpkit self inflating mat, so the double dozer does look good.
     
  20. The Ratcatcher

    The Ratcatcher Full Member

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    Having been out and about in all sorts of places and conditions around the UK for over 40 years, I thought I'd found the answer to the problems of sleeping comfortably when the thermarest was invented. Last year, I discovered I was wrong. Putting together a traditional bed roll as an experiment, and unable to find a bearskin, I got a double sheepskin, intended as a large hearthrug. After the first weekend using it in the woods, the thermarest was relegated to the kit for sale box. The sheepskin on its own rolls to about the same size as a decent CCF mat but is a lot softer and warmer, and can't spring a leak.
     

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