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Thread: The advent of insulated air mattresses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    United States

    The advent of insulated air mattresses

    If you have been haunting backpacking stores or websites you know that insulated air mattresses are popping up all over.

    Here in the Colonies we have Sea to Summit, Nemo, Big Agnes, REI, Thermarest (Neo-Air) and several others.

    I just bought an REI FLASH Insulated (3 season version) at R 3.7 rating. REI is very accurate on rating their own brand gear so I'm pretty sure this rating is far more accurate than Big Agnes' ratings whose insulated mattresses have been notoriously over-rated for warmth.

    OK, now you have your light (around 16 oz. or less), comfy, and warm insulated air mattress. Now you need to inflate it W/O getting nasty bacteria into it by blowing it up with your mouth. You can choose: 1.battery operated pump (nope!) 2.small hand pump or 3. dry bag with nozzle pump.

    I chose the dry-bag-with-nozzle pump B/C it does double duty as a bag for my clothes. I got a Sea to Summit bag as REI was smart enough to make their valve compatible with them.

    SO... how many of you have tried insulated air mattresses, either 3 season or full-on winter versions?

    Eric B.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch Taz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    United Kingdom
    I have a prolite plus, it's okay but not brilliant. My recent set up is neoair venture + z-lite mat underneath, not the lightest combo but it works for me, warm and comfortable. The venture is obviously not insulated but the mat does that jobs as well as being another barrier. You can get an insulated neoair which many rate highly.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    United Kingdom
    I've got an Exped 7 Down Mat - one of the first versions which I've had for several years now. I inflate it with their snozzle pump bag. I can honestly say it's one of my all-time favourite pieces of kit. So comfy to sleep on and the difference the under-body insulation makes has to be experienced to be believe. I can easily get away with a sleeping bag a season lower than I would use with a regular mat.

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