Airbed recommendations?

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nirakaro
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Airbed recommendations?

Postby nirakaro » 26 Jun 2017, 11:30am

I used the standard Thermarest Prolite happily for years, and when old bones started to want something a bit softer, upgraded to the Evolite, twice as thick for less weight. I loved it - until it died on me, in the middle of France, after less than a month's use (delaminated and turned into a balloon). Fortunately I was less than a mile from a Decathlon, so could replace it, and fortunately near enough to the end of the tour that I could bring it home and get it replaced under guarantee. However the next year the replacement failed – in exactly the same way – in the middle of Italy – after even less use (again, amazingly, less than a mile from Decathlon!).
As you can imagine, I shan't be buying another of the same, and I've reverted to the old Prolite. But old bones are complaining, so I'm looking for an alternative. Ideally self-inflating, 5cm thick, not much heavier than 500g, and above all reliable. Any recommendations?

tatanab
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby tatanab » 26 Jun 2017, 12:53pm

I had exactly the same problem. I have a prolite which is ok, but having had one delaminate in the past I take great care not to overinflate or leave the valve shut in a hot tent. So I bought an Evolite which was very comfortable but like yours failed quickly mid tour. Decathlon to the rescue with a temporary mat.

Back home I looked for a replacement. About 6 years ago I had a Neoair, first generation, that was simply too delicate. Now there are several grades so I bought a Neoair Trekker being a compromise between bulk and robustness. It seems fine, I've used it about 30 nights so far. Not self inflating, but using a Neoair mini pump (small enough to keep me happy) overcomes that problem and also means it is impossible to overinflate the mat. I replaced the AAA batteries in the pump after about 30 nights because I was off on a new trip, not because the battery was too feeble - yet

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al_yrpal
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby al_yrpal » 26 Jun 2017, 12:57pm

Halfords to a backpacking one with a built in inflator for about a tenner. If it punctures buy another. I use that reflective bubble wrap you put behind radiators for insulation.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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andrew_s
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby andrew_s » 26 Jun 2017, 1:06pm

I'd recommend the Thermarest Neoair.
Either the Xlite, or the Xtherm if you want to use it much below about 5°C.
There are also short versions (shoulder to knee) or women's versions that are lighter and smaller packing.
They are also usable in the same chair kit as is used for the self-inflating mats, if you haven't gone to Helinox etc chairs yet.

I've heard too many tales of popped baffles on the Exped Downmats to recommend them. A generous replacement policy is no good when you are mid-tour, especially if there's no immediately handy Decathlon (as I'm sure you are aware).
My one mat failure (delaminated Prolite, my fault) was also less than a mile from a Decathlon too (Briancon).

Short original (much the same as the xlite)
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Last edited by andrew_s on 6 Nov 2017, 7:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

nirakaro
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby nirakaro » 26 Jun 2017, 4:13pm

al_yrpal wrote:Halfords to a backpacking one with a built in inflator for about a tenner. If it punctures buy another. I use that reflective bubble wrap you put behind radiators for insulation.

Al

That would be a perfect solution, if I always camped within a mile or two of a branch of Halfords. :D

PH
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby PH » 26 Jun 2017, 4:52pm

al_yrpal wrote: I use that reflective bubble wrap you put behind radiators for insulation.
Al

That reminds me of an ultra light walker who used to just take a sheet of bubble wrap, a few would pop each night and by the end of the week he'd have become accustomed to sleeping on the ground and could throw it away!
My 2nd Exped has given up so I'm watching this thread with interest.

nirakaro
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby nirakaro » 27 Jun 2017, 6:18pm

This one looks promising -
http://www.seatosummit.co.uk/products/s ... lated-mat/

Any experiences?

albal1
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby albal1 » 27 Jun 2017, 8:54pm

Know the feeling failed airbeds.

I got a Exped UL 7 I think, will check, but it packs up the size of a drinks bottle, weighs less than Thermarest too.

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pjclinch
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby pjclinch » 28 Jun 2017, 8:26am

My wife and I use (and are very happy with) first generation NeoAirs. It's a bit more of a faff to get in to a chair kit than a self-inflator (plus of course you need to supply all the air), but very comfortable and remarkably low bulk.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

gloomyandy
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby gloomyandy » 28 Jun 2017, 9:58am

I have a Exped Symat UL it is about 5 years old now, I regularly use it with the chair kit (which gives it pretty rough treatment. So far it has been perfect. But I don't use it for a huge number of nights a year, probably around 25 or so. It does pack nice and small and gives me a comfy nights sleep. I also find the chair kit pretty good making longer times in the tent much more pleasant!

jk49
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby jk49 » 28 Jun 2017, 10:18am

Exped basic, slightly heavier than their ul versions. Its been really comfy for me for about 5 years now and showing no signs of giving up the ghost.

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meic
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby meic » 28 Jun 2017, 1:01pm

gloomyandy wrote:I have a Exped Symat UL it is about 5 years old now, I regularly use it with the chair kit (which gives it pretty rough treatment. So far it has been perfect. But I don't use it for a huge number of nights a year, probably around 25 or so. It does pack nice and small and gives me a comfy nights sleep. I also find the chair kit pretty good making longer times in the tent much more pleasant!


That is hopeful news. How do you inflate it? My first one was blown up by mouth and rapidly failed internally. The replacement is inflated with a plastic bag as bellows and has survived over a year now!
Yma o Hyd

gloomyandy
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby gloomyandy » 28 Jun 2017, 4:19pm

I just inflate by mouth, but I usually leave it pretty soft. I find it works better in the chair kit that way (because you have to fold it up) and I also find I get a comfortable sleep with it soft.

hoppy58
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby hoppy58 » 29 Jun 2017, 9:26am

I've had 2 self-inflating thermarests, one has never properly retained air over-night, but the other (a prolight I think) has been ok..punctured once but ok after the repair.

However I've recently been using a thermarest z-lite sol.....it's warm, 100% reliable, light - about 400g and easy to pack (concertinas), just a bit bigger pack size and arguably not as padded, although I find it comfy and sleep on it just as well as the self-inflating mats...and only about £35.00!

Other than this, Alpkit seem to have some well-regarded mats at reasonable prices..

mercalia
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Re: Airbed recommendations?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jun 2017, 4:40pm

fact is you cant get some thing for nothing. To get a airbed to work properly it needs to work as memory foam in the sense of molding to your body. This can only happen if it is quite thick and then under inflated so it sticks up where appropriate and compresses where appripriate. I have the Thermarest Mondo King which satisfies these condititions and is the only bed I have yet to try that I can get a decent nights sleep on. Yes when packed it is hmm rather large and heavy but thats life. oh it also costs a lot :( I cant comment on its durability as I havnt tried it much.