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Subject Topic: Air bed - cold to sleep on?
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Message posted by moonmummy on 16/5/2010 at 5:17pm
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My littlun and I have been on a couple of camps this year. We have had frosty nights on both trips and I have been really cold at night, which is unusual for me. (Littleun slept like a log in all his many thermal layers)

We only have 2-3 season Vango sleeping bags :( With lots of fleece blankets under and over!

I've just been reading through some different threads, and have noticed people mention that air beds can be cold to sleep on. I didn't know this, and got a new one this year so we would be comfy. Maybe that's why I have been so cold...

I am wondering, if I put a couple of roll mats underneath the double airbed, will that insulate the airbed from the cold floor, thus keeping me toasty at night?

Are there any other ideas? (Cheap and small/light to carry)

I can't afford to fork out on 4 season bags at the moment, and it's supposed to be getting warmer...!

Thanks

Message posted by PigletandTigger on 16/5/2010 at 6:26pm
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Personally I'd ditch the airbed and go for self inflating mats. I found airbeds hugely cold no matter how much I insulated over or under!

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Piglet

Message posted by Rob71272 on 16/5/2010 at 6:38pm
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hi piglet,

as another cold air bed user, are self inflating mats as soft as an airbed?

Rob


Message posted by PigletandTigger on 16/5/2010 at 6:47pm
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Hi Rob

I think the answer is "different" . I'm probably not the right person to answer the question as I hate the feel of airbeds - I don't like the wallowing - so for me SIM's are fantastic but then I was very attached to my old fashioned foam roll mat!

Sorry, I know that's not much help but I'm not sure that you can particularly compare them but I love my SIM!

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Piglet

Message posted by moonmummy on 16/5/2010 at 6:50pm
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I'd be interested to know how soft they are too. As a non driver and backpacker with trolley and 3 yr old, it would save space and I wouldn't need a pump either.

Are they expensive?

Message posted by roulston on 16/5/2010 at 9:16pm
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Self inflating mats have a bit of foam inside them and this is what keeps the air inside them warm. With an air bed all you have is air Cold air and when is gets cold at night the cold air gets Colder.

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Happy Camping
Andrew.

Message posted by scrumble on 16/5/2010 at 9:27pm
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As Piglet says, SI mats are really quite different. IMO - pretty much all better :-) I would say a thick (5-7 cm SI mat is as soft as an airbed but more supportive. I always find airbeds either too soft and wallowing, or feel I'm perched on top. But they are certainly much wamer.

Yes if you want to an airbed , insualting with foam mats, fleecy shets etc. is probably the way to go. (Though I'd rather bee on a cloase cell foam mat than an airbed anyway). But that is even more stuff to take and sort out.

I suggest trying out an SI mat. Though for lighter weight/packed space you want to have a thinner one - 3/ length for minimum size. My lightweight Thermarest packs down very small (about a 1/3 size of a roll mat) but is pretty thin (but acceptable for backpacking)


Message posted by beefysmum on 17/5/2010 at 3:07pm
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Personaly I'd put the foam mats on top of the airbed , not under it , if you are taking them anyway.
The air inside the airbed will still be cold , so a layer seperating you from it is better than trying to stop the cold coming up from the ground.
I find plastic backed picnic rugs are good insulators too, again I use on top of airbed not under. (warmer than a fleece blanket , and fold smaller than a roll mat.

Cheap too, 6 in primark . poundland usually get the foam roll mats in this time of year too, okay they are thinner than the branded ones , but worth a try for using on top of airbeds.


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Debbie

Message posted by heath63 on 19/5/2010 at 2:19pm
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If you think about it, for an airbed you will be laying on top of a block of cold air, just seperated by a piece of plastic, insulation between the body and bed is important on those frosty mornings. also sometimes bedding can become damp because of condesation through body heat ect.  I did toy with the idea of self inflating mats.  I went around the campshops trying them out. Some are comfier than others, but the thicker they are, bulkier they become. It will depend on your definition of comfort. 

Why not go and try them out and have fun.

Heather


Message posted by Speedcamp on 19/5/2010 at 5:30pm
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Cover the airbed with a Wilko's or Dunelm fleecy mattress protector and it won't be cold to sleep on any more.

Helen


Message posted by RAS_Chris on 24/5/2010 at 3:55pm
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I would definitely recommend insulation (eg foam mat) between you and the airbed, it made a huge difference to the comfort level. However, I have just converted to a SIM, and I would say it is far superior in terms of insulation and sheer comfort. Plus it is much lighter than my flocked rubber airbed. I got the Alpkit "Fat Airic" probably one of the last few they sold! But note,I'm a car-camper and don't have to carry my kit very far!

Message posted by madtrucker on 24/5/2010 at 7:53pm
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have you tried blowing them up with a hairdryer on hot  only joking can't really help we are in a caravan sorry

Message posted by Dave & Linda on 24/5/2010 at 9:34pm
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Hi Moonmummy

Heres my take on airbeds vs self inflating mats and its only my opinion i dont know all the technical jargon you can google for that if you want to.We have been backpackers for 34 years only started car camping 4 years ago and we camp all year round. 

When you sleep on an airbed it is not the cold air inside  that makes feel you cold what happens is the warmth of your body is transfered to the bed somthing to do with convection i think any way as you move about in your sleep the air inside the bed moves about and the top layer of air you just heated up with your body heat is replaced by colder air which has to be warmed up again by your body and so it goes on again and again hope you got the idea.

Self inflating mats are totaly different they have a layer of foam inside them  open cell foam i believe when you uroll the mat the foam expands sucking air into the mat but because the air is inside the foam it  does not move about when you do so once you have warmed the mat with body heat you do not have to do this again as the air inside does not move around as it does in an airbed wow! glad thats over with the old grey matter was in overdrive for a while there.

Oh one more thing there are good and bad mats the better ones have higher quality foam better insulation,roll up smaller, expand better when unrolled.We have thermarest mats and they add a season to your sleeping bag because of the better insulation so a 2 season bag becomes a 3 season bag. Cant comment on quality of other mats as we have only used thermarest and no i do not work for Thermarest in fact dont work for anyone now just retired a year early this March instesd of next.

Sorry about the long post but only way i can explain to you.Do you perhaps have camping friends who use mats as opposed to beds perhaps you could borrow.

 

 


Message posted by moonmummy on 25/5/2010 at 12:11am
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Hi Dave and Linda, that makes perfect sense!

I have been looking at mats and although I like the idea, they seem quite bulky. Our air bed rolls up quite small, takes up much less space than 2 SIM would. I have got a plastic backed picnic blanket and a space blanket to insulate me...for now.

Also, money is tight this year because... I am going to order my long awaited and saved up for Djakarta tomorrow
Yay!!!
I want to get a footprint sized groundsheet for her, I remember you mentioned that you had one. I haven't found one that will be a good fit, and am wondering where you got yours from? I feel I need a good solid floor throughout,so I can tuck under all the mud wall/flap thingies properly, especially with my littlun around. Is a pvc one a good idea? I would like to be able to use rugs too, but doubt I can manage the added weight on my trolley!

Once my little tent is all sorted, I will think about SIm again.

Thanks

Message posted by smashing69 on 26/5/2010 at 5:10pm
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Quote: Originally posted by moonmummy on 25/5/2010
Hi Dave and Linda, that makes perfect sense!

I have been looking at mats and although I like the idea, they seem quite bulky. Our air bed rolls up quite small, takes up much less space than 2 SIM would. I have got a plastic backed picnic blanket and a space blanket to insulate me...for now.

Also, money is tight this year because... I am going to order my long awaited and saved up for Djakarta tomorrow
Yay!!!
I want to get a footprint sized groundsheet for her, I remember you mentioned that you had one. I haven't found one that will be a good fit, and am wondering where you got yours from? I feel I need a good solid floor throughout,so I can tuck under all the mud wall/flap thingies properly, especially with my littlun around. Is a pvc one a good idea? I would like to be able to use rugs too, but doubt I can manage the added weight on my trolley!

Once my little tent is all sorted, I will think about SIm again.

Thanks
Good luck backpacking with a 16kg tent!  My entire sack loaded up weighs about the same.  If you're not fit now you soon will be!

Message posted by bluebottle on 07/6/2010 at 10:42pm
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I loathe self inflating mats - they are either too bulky to pack or too shallow and hard. The best alternative I've found is an Exped down mat or synmat - they have insulation inside. We cycle camp all year, so it makes a big difference. The alternative of blankets under the mat is ok, if you don't mind the bulk.

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