Should I sleep on top of an Airbed or a Self Inflating Mat?
Cast your mind back a few years ago and you probably wouldn't have heard of a self-inflating mat, but in today's World of Camping, they seem to have overtaken the airbed as the most popular thing to sleep on.
A self-inflating mat comes rolled up with the valve (or valves) closed. When you open the valves the compressed foam inside the mat expands and the tiny air pockets fill up creating a comfy layer of cushioned foam. No pump is needed, you just leave the mat for a few minutes then do up the valve.
If you prefer the bed to be a bit firmer then just blow into the valve a bit to top it up. If the bed has two valves, close one of them off before doing so.
The self-inflating mats are available in three different categories. Most people will go for a Single Self Inflating Mat. These are more compact and easier to transport.
If you require a little more room then go for a Grande Self Inflating Mat, or if you are a couple then there are Double Self Inflating Mats available. These doubles generally fold in half before you roll them up.
Self-inflating mats come in various thicknesses, anywhere from 2.5 mm up to a luxurious 15cm thick mat, great for people with bad backs. Read the specifications section of each product to see pack sizes and open sizes to see if you have room to transport, and indeed to fit inside your tent bedroom, and of course to see what your budget will allow. However, even though some of the prices of the thicker more luxurious mats may seem a little steep, factor this over several camping trips and comfy nights of sound sleep and it won't seem like such a bad investment.
Airbeds are the old-school staple to lay your sleeping bag on at night and many people still swear by them. Airbeds are available in Single, Double and King Size versions.
You can get the standard airbed or for those who prefer to be raised a bit further off the ground Raised Airbeds are available. Airbeds enquire to be pumped up, either with a manual or electric pump or a very big pair of lungs. We also have a small section of Airbeds with Built-in Pumps.
You will also find Children's Airbeds and just your simple roll mats in this section of the website.