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Old 04-10-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
AtlantaDR OP
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Air Mattress and Sleeping Bag

I know you almost always get what you pay for but I just bought a queen size Coleman "Quick Bed" that includes a battery powered pump and a travel sack. It was $29 at Costco. They have a great return policy so I thought I would try it out.

They also had a 30 degree sleeping bag for $29. It is called a "sleep cell e bag premium" It has a built in memory foam pillow, it is extra large (40 in wide, 90" long) Has multiple vents for air flow and a moisture wicking liner. It has double zippers on the top which makes it really easy to get into. It is wide in the middle and narrows at the top and bottom, but not too narrow. I am 6'2" and 200lbs and it is really comfortable.

Have not camped with these yet, but brought it home and tried them out in the living room and the combination was really comfortable. I don't need a queen just for me, but that was the only size they sell and it packs small enough.

I figured I could use them on my Alaska trip this summer and if they only lasted the one trip they would be worth it. $60 is one night in a cheap motel.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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I'm thinking you have a large tent, driving a car or truck and you're speaking of Alaska, New Mexico - right?

Seriously - we have had two of those Coleman air matresses. Great for camping in our large tent for ten and throwing in the minivan. After she arrived with all the goods, set up the tents and I arrived on my bike, I connected the pump to my KLR and had it full in a minute. We both slept ok until the early morning - folded like a taco with us in the middle during the night and same with the second one.

Hope your luck's better than ours. We use therma rests now and they pack much much better.

15 Degree Down bag from REI!



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Old 04-10-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
Dale950
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Sounds like what I did for my first trip , you'll be back to buy the better stuff .
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
Andy-Gadget
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This thread is on the Aussie site.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448464
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:43 AM   #5
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AtlantaDR, I'm glad you find that set-up comfy. That's important.

If you come up and it's warm out then you'll be fine. But if you encounter any chilly nights then you may be wishing for more. While a plain air mattress offers comfort there's little to no thermal insulation. They need foam or some other kind of insulation in them to lessen or stop the air from circulating.

Up here we usually recommend a +20f bag for the summer and 0f for Spring and Fall or for those who sleep cold in the summer. And that's with a good warm pad underneath you. There's quite a variety of how warmly people sleep so it's really whatever works best for you.

Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:47 AM   #6
gsweave
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With the Coleman... For the price its okay.

You will find it to pull all the cold air from the ground.

Find a light Polar tec or similar throw to put between your sleeping bag and the air mattress to stop the cold suck.


Better to put your money into an Exped Downmat. Yes expensive but you can't beat a good nights sleep.

www.Exped.com


http://www.exped.com/exped/web/exped...E?openframeset
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:55 AM   #7
hugemoth
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I use a Coleman twin size air bed with a foam camping pad on top for cold weather. Works great and very comfortable. My thermarest now resides in the garage.

Harbor Freight has a very small 12V pump for these air beds that works very quickly and costs $6.99 on sale.

Q
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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I have a SleepCell bag from Wally World and it is NOT good to its rating. On a 40 degree night I froze...put on every piece of clothing that I had. I have since gone with an REI down.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
CollinsB
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I rarely go camping without the queen size air mattress... But, only when car camping with a bigger tent. For Motorbike camping, it's a "Thermarest" and backpacking tent.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:35 AM   #10
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Sleeping bag/Mattress

Your answer is in the first 10 words of your post.

But you knew that...

Hope you and Brian are enjoying Brown County! Wish I was there!

Inland Empire screwed with this post 04-11-2009 at 10:43 AM
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:08 PM   #11
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Wink

I had an Thermarest and really liked it, but the Exped beats it for comfort and packaging by a landslide. I have the Synmat 9DLX and it is the most comfy way to go. The insulation inside the mat prevents you from getting cold. A plain airmatress will result in a night during a coldsnap.
IMHO there is no substitute for comfort, as after a shitty night you're not that concentrated on your ride because of lack of sleep....
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #12
FTCgregg
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Staying comfortable

AtlantaDR, I hope what you got works out great. If you're comfortable and like the way it packs, it's good gear. And like you say, Costco has a great return policy, though that'll be small comfort halfway into your Alaska trip.

A 30 degree bag might keep you comfortable down to the low 40's, but that's if you heat it efficiently and have a well-insulated pad under it. At 90" long, that bag will be hard for your body to heat, and every time you change position you'll find another cold spot. With a non-insulated cushion under you, heat will bleed out of your sleep environment like crazy. Not a problem in mild weather, but a big problem if the mercury drops. I really don't think you want to go to Alaska with a 30-degree bag and no underside insulation. You might get lucky and get away with it, but the odds aren't very good.

As others have mentioned, an Exped SynMat or DownMat (or a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core) would be very comfortable, prevent groundward heat-loss, and pack to the size of a lunchbox.

Again, I hope everything works out great and you have a fantastic trip.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:34 PM   #13
AtlantaDR OP
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Appreciate the advice

Suppose to be 32 degrees tonight so I sent up the tent, inflated the mattress and put the sleeping bag out there. I will let you know in the morning how it goes. Based on your wise counsel it sounds like tomorrow I will be in the market for a good sleeping bag and a high quality insulated pad.

The airbed will get good use as a guest bed here at the house or in the back of the truck for summer camping.

The sleeping bag will be good for those purposes too.

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #14
Blacknblue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDR
I know you almost always get what you pay for but I just bought a queen size Coleman "Quick Bed" that includes a battery powered pump and a travel sack. It was $29 at Costco. They have a great return policy so I thought I would try it out.

They also had a 30 degree sleeping bag for $29. It is called a "sleep cell e bag premium" It has a built in memory foam pillow, it is extra large (40 in wide, 90" long) Has multiple vents for air flow and a moisture wicking liner. It has double zippers on the top which makes it really easy to get into. It is wide in the middle and narrows at the top and bottom, but not too narrow. I am 6'2" and 200lbs and it is really comfortable.

Have not camped with these yet, but brought it home and tried them out in the living room and the combination was really comfortable. I don't need a queen just for me, but that was the only size they sell and it packs small enough.

I figured I could use them on my Alaska trip this summer and if they only lasted the one trip they would be worth it. $60 is one night in a cheap motel.

I'd check out www.campmor.com if you want to save some money and get some viable gear, i.e. a base camp thermarest and some decent cold weather protection.

After riding in the wind you will be fatigued and much more susceptible to cold. I would venture to carry an extra closed foam pad just in case the thermarest fails to be on the safe side. Compare "Alaskan Wilderness" with "My Living Room." The mountains have a tendency to throw us surprises and it behooves us to have excellent gear and a back-up plan. I use a Marmot Trestles bag (15 f). It's synthetic because I camp near the ocean alot and it gets very foggy. I supplement this with a down vest and a bag liner to increase the warmth. Understand, this is a minimum three-season set-up. For winter or high altitude camping I'd be investing in a heavy down mummy bag and would also have a spare closed cell pad, despite the added bulk.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:31 AM   #15
AtlantaDR OP
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Back Yard Update

It is 6:00AM here in Indianapolis and I finished my backyard camping experience. I tried to simulate a riding day as much as possible. Did a 400+ mile riding day in temps that ranged from 39-54 and ended about 6:00pm. Set up the tent, air mattress etc. about 6:00pm. Went to bed about 10:30pm and it was 42 degrees and a little damp. When I got up at 6:00am it was 33 degrees.

So here is what I experienced:

Coleman air mattress performed as promised. Went up and down in about 3 minutes each. Stayed inflated all night. It is pretty tall so it kept me off the ground and was comfortable. Allowed me to roll over, sleep on my back or side with equal comfort. Slept for a solid 7 hours which is about average for me. I did not feel cold from underneath, at least not that I noticed.

Sleeping bag performed surpisingly well. It kept me warm all night without sweating or dampness. It stayed in place when I rolled over. I wore my base layer and a long sleeve t-shirt. I did not close the top of the mummy, but probably would have if it had gotten any colder.

Conclusion:
Because I have a lot invested in my Alaska trip (bike, accessories, major time off of work, and high expectations), it makes sense to get some quality gear as insurance for a great trip. With that said, if someone is looking for some low-budget camping gear during these tough economic times, I would say this would be $60 well spent.
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