Airbeds Archives

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road to take. The cat said it depends on where she is going. That pretty much answers a question that one could ask about what portable bed to buy. It depends on where you are going, what you are doing, or what you are. Are you going camping, to college, or vacationing? Are you a backpacker, a student, a mother, someone who travels a lot?

For Campers, Hikers and Backpackers. If you are frequently going on trips to the mountains, up steep trails and camping grounds, you have the choice of sleeping pad, inflatable mattress or sleeping cot. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage. A sleeping pad is easy to use, but it is generally less comfortable as it would put you more directly over rocks and tree rots than an inflatable mattress or cot would. An inflatable mattress, being cushioned, is more comfortable than a sleeping pad while being comparable in size, ease of use and weight. But it is prone to puncture and is more complex to use as it would need inflation and deflation. A sleeping cot has the advantage of height over a mattress and a sleeping pad. But it is more complicated to set up than a sleeping pad and could take up tent space. With these considerations, it’s for you, the buyer, to balance these factors when choosing a bed.

For Mothers. Running a home would most likely mean having to accommodate relatives, the kids’ friends or other visitors in the house. Portable beds will be a good thing to have when there’s no more room space in the house. An air bed or inflatable mattress would always come in handy when unexpected guests arrive or when going over with the kids to the house of relatives or on hotels during vacation. Inflatable beds offer the advantage of being light to carry and easy to keep without the need for large spaces. They can also be rolled and folded to variable dimensions.

For Babies. Portable air beds for infants and toddlers could help a lot in making the child comfortable whether at home or somewhere else. With the baby comfy, Mommy could enjoy and relax herself. Kids’ travel beds usually have raised edges to keep the child from rolling off and falling. They’re great to carry when visiting grandma and grandpa, when traveling or napping at a visit to the park.

For Students. Going off to your first year in college and living on your own in your first apartment? Just like Mom in your home, an inflatable mattress, air bed or sleeping pad would come in handy around your dorm. You can bring it when sleeping over to friends’ place, or going on camping trips. You can also have use for portable beds if you have guests coming over and they need a place to sleep. Or perhaps an opportunity will come to you when you need to travel to another city or state to do summer jobs, volunteer works, trainings and the accommodation is such that you need to bring your own bed.

Rachel Nunez

The opportunity for a restful night is appealing to campers today, as people realize their need for a good night’s sleep. Camping beds come in a wide range of sizes and comfort levels. Now campers can choose from an ultra-light backpacker to the creature comfort car camper. Models of camping equipment, with exciting new features, emerge daily. With the right choices, spending the night in the woods can include the same comforts enjoyed at home. Thanks to the increased development of quality camping beds, campers have dismissed the fear of a possible sore back with each camping venture. They are free to concentrate on their enjoyable camping experiences.

Foam Camping Beds

For years backpackers have used rolled foam camping beds. These beds are durable enough to be used for cooking in camp. They double for a table when needed to keep cookware free from dirt and sand. These reasonably beds are light and warm, a gentle comfort for backpackers.

Self-Inflating Camping Beds

Thermarest, a line of self-inflating camping beds, provides more warmth than foam mats, and they are of comparable weight. A layer of air, held between two layers of insulation, keeps a camper warm. Self-inflating beds give extra cushion, sorely needed when rocks and sticks lie beneath the tent.

Full Inflating Beds

Full inflating beds offer even more warmth and protection, but their weight and bulk restricts usage to groups who are car camping. These inflatable beds are a luxury for campers, who bear the burden to transport them to their campsite. Nevertheless, sleeping in these beds out under the stars is as comfortable as any bed in your home. When inflated, these beds occupy as much space as a standard mattress. It takes a lot of air to fill them and they are susceptible to punctures. A night on the cold, hard ground could be a possibility.

The Classic Cot

Another alternative to the inflatable camping bed is the classic cot. It is appreciated by car campers and base camps, as well, for it is comfortable, sets up quickly, and maintains the camper at a high level, well above the cold. These cots are much too heavy for backpackers. They are perfect for family-sized or wall tents. They take up too much space for smaller tents.


Hammocks are light and make a small bundle. With the right rain fly, a good hammock might even replace a tent. A hammock is great for a backpacker, who can easily assemble a rain fly using a tarp and a few pieces of rope. It is not wise to use a hammock during cold weather, as hammocks do not store heat. Heat escapes from hammocks and is absorbed by the surrounding air. Summer is the time for using hammocks.

Gregg Hall

I have the tent, sleeping bags and airbeds. There are 2 adults and 2 kids going. What else do I need? Could you also recommend brands etc. Dont want to buy anything that turns out to be useless!!!
Thanks in advance.

Tarp for over the tent just in case it rains
Cooking Grill
Pots & Pans
Cooking Utensils
Paper Plates
Paper cups
Dish Soap
Trash Bags
Pot Holder
Hot Dog Roasters
Mountain Pie Makers
Table Cloth
First Aid Kit

Nowadays there are some good quality, heavy duty airbeds available, but nobody I know uses them as their regular bed, instead they use them as a spare or extra bed or for traveling. Meanwhile, a lot of people can’t sleep on their regular mattresses because the traditional spring mattresses are very uncomfortable for them, so they buy those memory foam mattresses. Why don’t they get a good air mattress for 1/20 the price of a Swedish memory foam mattress? Is there some reason I don’t know of why people wouldn’t use air beds for their everyday bed? Like a foam mattress there are no pressure points from springs.

My mattress is getting old and I was thinking of getting a memory foam mattress but now I’m thinking of trying an air mattress instead. Should I?

The reason that memory foam mattresses are so supportive is their pressure point reduction. The mattress is able to conform to your body and provide support where it is needed. While air mattresses have become significantly better over the last couple of years, they are still not pressure relieving. An air mattress is unable to compress to conform to your body. It is a bladder that is filled with air. When you lay on it, your body puts pressure on the bladder and displaces the air which allows it to conform to your body to an extent. How much it is able to conform depends on how full the air mattress is. Fill it too much, and the mattress cannot completely conform to you. Fill it too little and the mattress will “swallow” you up and provide less support. While some air mattresses, such as Select Comfort alleviate some of this issue with their adjustable fill features, your inexpensive air mattresses will not provide anywhere near the support you are going to get from a memory foam bed.

There is also the issue of holes and wear and tear. Should you accidentally puncture your air mattress you will need to go purchase another one, or spend time and effort finding and patching the hole. These are all issues that need to be weighed when selecting a new sleeping surface.

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