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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In your camping experiences, what have you found to be the best air mattress to buy? I want to get one for the E. There seem to be a lot on the store shelves with little way to compare one with another except for the photos on the boxes. I remember sleeping on these things years ago and having to get up during the night to pump them up, or freezing to death because they were so cold. I imagine the newer ones are of better quality. Anyone have experience they can share or recommendations about what to buy?
 

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http://www.epicurus.com/store/brows...&BrowseSubNode=&Mode=garden&itemID=B000059YQX
Aero Bed 47211 Deluxe Twin Size
Price: $159.99 $109.99
Features
  • Powerful built-in pump inflates bed in less than 60 seconds
    Secure Seal quick-release valve deflates in 15 seconds
    Reinforced Quadra Coil construction; puncture-resistant; electronically sealed seams
    100 percent cotton mattress surface and machine-washable mattress pad for comfort
    One-touch control for adjusting firmness; 1-year warranty

you should be able to fit a full decently inthe back.. the aero beds are overall the best inflatables.. (I know what you mean about the deflatables, i have had them too!).

here is the sports authority too:
Aero Pillowtop Queen Air Bed w/ Storage Tote
Item no: 1312530
Our Price: $199.99
List Price: $249.99*

The Pillowtop AeroBed® is constructed with a built-in electric pump that inflates the bed in less than 60 seconds and features a recessed design so it fits into mattress frames. The conveniently portable design provides a quick and comfortable sleeping area with 22-guage flock PVC and a velvety-soft pillowtop surface. The One Touch® comfort control allows for micro-adjustable comfort and it includes a handy duffel bag.



ooh i love this one, it is a camping bag with inflatable built in.. cool:

http://www.125west.com/Aero_Bedroom_Air_Beds_Comfort_Camp_Bag_camping_mattress.html

Good luck!
 

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I've found the higher priced models of the Intex line of air mattresses to be quite comfortable. Any air mattress will cool down with the surrounding air, so some insulating foam, blanket or mattress pad between you and the mattress would be good in cool weather.

Size that fits the Element is a tougher question. With the seats folded down, a double size mattress will fit. It will have to bridge the space between the front seats.

Sleeping on the floor with the rear seats up (or out) is trickier. With the front seats forward, you have a length of 6', more if the tailgate is down, but the width is about 42". A twin size mattress has nominal size of 39", so you will have to contend with a gap on one side or the other. Some doubles might fit the space if they aren't too rigid.

With the seats folded up a 5" thick mattress eats up the space between floor and seat bottom, which may reduce the effective sleeping space.

I've decided to go with a pair of tube type air mattresses. Pacific Outdoor Equipment makes such a mattress intended for backpackers. A pair of these or other 20" wide camping mats (e.g. Thermarests) fits nicely on the floor. REI is one place with a large selection of these mattresses. These have a thickness of up to 2", which is enough if inflated just right.

The other thing you have to contend with when sleeping in the Element is distributing the cargo that you are not using. A surprising lot can fit on the front seats, foot wells and dash.

paulj
 

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paulj great info.. and advice.. another thought to add.. if you get one a little larger.. just inflate it in place, you will not fill it all the way but it will fill the space.. and fit snug.. which helps to keep it from shifting around....

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was going to measure the E before choosing the mattress size, hoping it would fit at least a double. I like the looks of that bright blue one; looks comfy. Comfort is my deciding factor. I don't want to buy something that renders me unable to walk or rotate my head the next day! These boomer bones are very picky these days (nights) about where I lay them down. Thanks for the input and info.
 

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i did measure mine last year for someone who had the same inquiry, on mattresses).. i will go out and do that again if you would like..

(old bones.. my poor pup is meeting old age personally.. had to take him to the ER today, his rear leg was just not cooperating.. so now he is on anti-inflamatories.. my poor pup.. I love him.. I hope he feels better!)

I hope your bones will find a nice soft place to sleep (in your E)

Another thought are egg crate mattresses.. but hard to pack, and stuff.. but a nice soft option.. you could put one under or over the air mattress too if it is not enough!!

Good luck!
 

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Some have reported successfully inflating a larger mattress in place. I tried it, and found that my mattress bowwed up before it was firm enough. I suspect it has a lot to do with the internal structure of the mattress. The one I tried had quite a bit of internal stiffening. So one double may work, while another might not.

paulj
 

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Tina,

I think you're right about the "camping bag inflatable" style aero bed. At 41" X 81" X 5" it just might work. :)
 

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[quote:7e72113286=" "]Thanks everyone. When I make a purchase, I'll let you know how things work out.[/quote:7e72113286]

Please do. I looked at the various air matresses when I was at sears last week and wasn't sure which had the correct sizing. Decided to wait until I took some measurements, but even better if someone else does it first! :)

lazily,
-brendan
 

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I have used the Thermarest Base Camp self-inflating mattress.

Inflated Size: 25x72x2in (with a R 6.1 insulation factor when inflated) and then rolls up easily for storage when not being used.

While certainly not intended to provide the full level of comfort you would expect in the mattresses shown in the images above...this does provide reasonable comfort when you settle in and get positioned properly. In my case, I need to use the small area between the two folded down seats to settle my hips.

 

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snowshoe: that is neat.. how supportive is it for you?? and that is nice it can just be tossed on the seats for a nap.. but is it good for sleeping.. you said the space between to settle your hips.. huh??
 

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Given where we live it is certainly not quite camping season yet!

That said, I spent one night in the E...just to try it out. This is the same mattress I use for backpacking...so I figured it would provide a decent enough buffer between my body and whatever I was sleeping on. I fussed around for a bit trying to find the right seat positions and finally set the seats so there was a very short gap between the front and rear seats that would allow me to more comfortably settle my hips while lying down. And while I am not sure I would like a steady diet of sleeping in the Element...the mattress provided a reasonably comfortable pallet to lie on and my night of sleep was acceptable...not exceptional.
 

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snowshoe: have your tried sleeping with the rear seats up and a cushion on the floor.. i think that would not be so lumpy and awkward.. let me know, curious!
 

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I have spent many nights in the field on a military type folding cot, with a mummy style sleeping bag. There are quite comfortable, and the intermediate cold sleeping bag is very warm. This cot should fit inside the E quite easily.

Military Type Folding Cots - Aluminum Frame Cot
heavy duty aluminum frame, 75" x 26" x 16", nylon carry case.
 

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how likely are you to sit up and whack your head if you have a military cot in the back of your E?

Now the plus side is you could stuff your stuff under the cot while you sleep.. good option!
 

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So to all who have used any of these...Am I correct in assuming that the bed / cot / Thermarest / etc... requires the rear gate down? There appears to be not quite enough room to fit the Aerobed (at 81") without lowering the tailgate.

Or is there room if you stuff the mattress on top of the brake lever? I haven't fully measured these, but a dealer nearby has a cabana set fully setup on the "E," and it looks impressive.
 

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