Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Air mattress

I bought a light weight air mattress for camping in Scotland probably around 2006. It weighed around 500 grams and packed into a small pouch the size of a bread roll. The best thing with it was that I could finally sleep in a tent without a) having my hipbone digging into the ground and b) freezing. The light weight air mattress increases the protection from the cold ground. I sleep very cold and often freeze during the night, even it if is warm outside during the day. I have a mountain down winter sleeping bag that goes down to -15 degrees C to keep me warm. The only time I did not zip it up during night was in August during the hottest summer along the Côte d'Azur (outside Nice).

The Scottish mattress lasted many years.
Eventually one of the ribs started leaking and a replacement was found, probably 2011 (although I remember buying it and where, I cannot remember when).
The man had an identical air mattress. When his broke in the middle of the night on a hiking trip in the German mountains 2012, we went into a village-town, found a very exclusive camping/outdoor shop and on the spot he bought the best air mattress they had.
The man has slept peacefully and happily ever since.
Me, I have been happy with my 2011-mattress. I have however had a new air mattress on my wish list for a long time. I had researched it. I knew exactly what the market was. I knew size, weight and volume of what I wanted to buy. I looked at all available models and I have lain on many shop floors trying them out. The prices are high and not a purchase to make on a whim unless needed.
I would buy a new air mattress as soon as the existing air mattress gave up - under the condition that we continued to sleep outside regularly.

We still sleep outside every year.
The old air mattress lasted five years.
During the cycling vacation 2017, it started to leak.
I was not exactly happy about it. I was however immediately looking at the map for larger towns that would have a camping shop. (General sports shops does not generally have this sort of outdoor equipment.) Two days later, one minute past opening hour and after having cycled for two hours, we stood outside a shop from our favourite chain of outdoor equipment.

Ten minutes after, I had a new air mattress. Better than expected because of technical development and cheaper than predicted. That week the shop had a 15 % discount on sleeping mattresses. Thank you for that, serendipity! In the end it cost me €140 (or the equivalent of 1 to 2 nights in a hotel-ish location).

The remaining nights of the cycle trip I slept on my new air mattress - just as well as I always sleep outside. This means that wish list item air mattress is crossed out and placed on the do-not-need-to-buy list for the next 5-10 years.


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed! I love a bargain but the best ones come along when I need something!

  2. It's so great how you research and don't just buy things for the heck of it. Also glad you found a sale! Hooray!

    1. It has been a long process to buy needs instead of wants and to get out of consumerism, but is is worth it.

  3. I haven't camped for quite a few years, but if I spent that much on an air mattress it better be really good. What I do know is that you usually get what you pay for. Glad there was a discount.

    1. These modern thin light air mattresses are really comfortable and packs up so small it is almost better than home.