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I'm a little spoilt when it comes to camping, my partner knows there are other ways I'd rather spend our holiday time so he buys things which he knows will make the experience more comfortable (and pleasurable) for me. After a disastrous weekend on the most stony campsite in Wales a few years ago I vowed I'd never, ever, ever spend a night under canvas without something comfortable to sleep on - this coming in the form of a Bestway Comfort Quest double airbed. We've used Bestway products before (including other variations on a double airbed) and haven't had many problems - my partner picked it up for around a tenner in a camping shop sale, but Argos have the same bed in stock for £15.99.
The airbed features a built in foot pump, which surprised me as I'm used to using an electric pump to blow up inflatable camping equipment - I've pumped it up a few times since we've had it and it's surprisingly easy to do. Each 'foot full' of air is pretty big and it doesn't take long at all to see it visibly inflating, it's all down to how much strength you have in your legs as Mark can blow it up much quicker than I can but the leverage on the foot pump itself is good so I never feel like my leg is starting to ache or go all wobbly when I've finished! Six year old Hollie, bless her, got it into her head that she wanted to have a go at inflating the bed but she couldn't balance properly on one foot while pumping with the other one - she ended up using her hands and it took an hour but eventually she got the airbed pumped up to a reasonable level, her dad just having to quickly pump it the rest of the way up when she wasn't looking!
The underside of the bed is a rubberised PVC and the top part is flocked, this is great as it means the bottom is water proof and can be easily wiped down if the bed gets dumped in the mud or your groundsheet fails for whatever reason. Each morning when we've slept on this bed I pull it out of the tent and use baby wipes to clean the bottom and give the top a quick wipe over just to freshen it up, then (weather permitting) I'll leave it outside while we go and shower/eat breakfast and pop it back into the tent ready to fall onto at the end of another busy day.
As far as comfort goes this bed is excellent. It has a raised section to provide a pillow which is most welcome by me as I hate sleeping flat, I always take a pillow camping with me anyway (and still do with this bed) but it's perfect for Mark who also dislikes sleeping flat but equally hates being propped up too high. The couple of extra inches of 'pillow' is enough for him, and would be enough for most campers, but what we particularly like is the fact that this pillow area doesn't deflate through the night as has happened with other 'built in pillow' airbeds we've used over the past few years.
The bed inflates to a height of around nine inches (not including the pillow) and obviously the beauty of airbeds is that you can inflate it to the firmness level you require. A bit awkward sometimes if you're camping as part of an argumentative couple like me and Mark (he likes a soft airbed, I like a more firm feel) but whoever wins out I can honestly say I've never had a bad nights sleep on it. We usually take sleeping bags and zip them together so the flocked aspect of the airbed is neither here nor there, but sometimes we'll take a duvet instead of the bags and then I'm extremely grateful for it as it's so much nicer to sleep on a surface that feels like the scratchiest velvet in the world than plastic or rubber - and far less sweaty! The flocking, incidentally, is very well done and is showing no signs of peeling or showing shine in any places - I mention this as we had an airbed once which practically went bald after a two week camping holiday, making me feel funny when I slept on it!
The length of this Bestway airbed is 191cm, which is over 6ft so should be suitable for most campers. The width is 137cm, which is adequate and will allow two to sleep quite comfortably with room around you in case you need your own bit of breathing space in the night. It doesn't lose air in the night, although we noticed last year that when we used it to chill out in the sun outside the tent it went noticeably saggier - a science geek could probably tell me why this happened, but it was no big deal and took less than half a minute to blow it back up to its full thickness so we were never concerned we'd somehow broken the airbed by allowing the sun to get to it too much!
When your camping trip is over it's simply a case of deflating the airbed and then deciding how you're going to store it - Mark kept the original box and that's ideal as the bed is too heavy and bulky to go in a storage bag easily, so popping it back into the box and in with the rest of the camping stuff is the perfect solution.
I can't recommend this double airbed highly enough, it's comfortable and easy to inflate plus seems to be extremely durable (it's into its third year now and we haven't had to use the emergency repair patch) despite being slept on numerous times and even used as a bouncy castle by Hollie and David in the garden when we weren't watching the little monkeys as closely as we should have been!
~~*~~ Bestway Comfort Quest Flocked Double Air Mattress ~~*~~
You may think I'm completely insane (I don't actually care) but I love camping with my 3 large dogs - 2 Labradors: Pig n Oink and an Irish Water Spaniel: Puddle. Admittedly, the first time was a little stressful - there were fat baby Pig footprints all over the inside and out of the tent, then there was the ripped door when she basically tried to run through it and we're just going to ignore the millions of tent pegs that have literally been lost into the ether when the girls and their friends have run through the guy ropes. However, there's nowt quite like waking up in the morning, opening your eyes just a wee bit to see your 3 best friends staring intently at you 2 inches away from your face - there are no sneaky lie-ins when you go camping with gundogs.
I'd camped through America and Thailand and the worst thing for me was not sleeping because I'd pitched the tent on a load of pine cones (I'm not renowned for my common-sense). So back in the UK and planning a weekend with my bestest friend (Pig) in the lakes, I purchased my first airbed and I've never looked back. This however, is my 4th airbed, the others going the way most inflatables do when they encounter the combination of claws and fat arses. 2 years ago I bought my first Bestway Air Mattress from Wilkos and I still have it - not bad considering it's been on numerous camping experiences and kept me comfy in the kitchen whilst whelping Pig's babies for 3 long and arduous weeks. It has since then been used for all drunken friends that stay over and I'm so pleased I got another to line the entire base of my 4 man tent (I was fed up with being turfed off by the 3 fat butts as they wanted comfort).
The airbed comes neatly packed in a cardboard box with a lovely picture of it placed lovingly on a lawn - I've never camped on a lawn but I have placed the airbed on very uneven horse trodden fields and with the airbed underneath me, I couldn't tell. Beware, after removing it from the box and using it once, you will never ever return it to its original state but this shouldn't be a problem - I keep mine in a bin bag in the shed and neither of them have suffered. There are minimal instructions included which basically state not to set fire to it, blow it up using industrial machinery or float out to sea - I can confirm though during one particularly damp Cumbrian experience June 2012, that the air bed floats quite happily though the flocked material was damp for many days after. I like the fluffier side as sleeping bags don't slip and neither do the girls; there's also a distinct lack of 'farty' noises when you turn over which is always nice when camping with friends.
This is not merely an air bed, it is an air mattress with coil beam construction which actually makes it ruddy comfortable and retain its shape even when the Pig clambers on and Oink makes a leap for cuddles. It's a double airbed and this is actually a double - there's plenty of room for 2 humans. It doesn't come with a pump and although I survived at first without buying one, it takes a great deal of puff to blow it up so I invested in a car lighter/mains pump thingy which is ace and takes about 3 minutes to inflate. Deflating it takes no time at all - remove the quick deflation valve and start rolling it up from the opposite end - done. It states on the details that it'll take 295kg/46 stones - I can confirm that the 4 of us weigh just over 150kg so that's loads more doggies I can happily take camping with me. With this weight in mind, we slept on it for a week, (in the middle of gale force winds, hail and torrential rain) and it didn't need re-inflating once. It measures 140x191x23 and fitted easily in my 2 man tent, 2 of them line the floor nicely of my 4 man with no gaps at all. It's not a light object when deflated (3.5kg) so don't go packing it in your suitcase as a 'just in case' but definitely do sling it in the car if there's the slight possibility you'll be sleeping under the stars.
You can purchase them for £13 from Wilkos at the moment so I suggest stocking up because Christmas is coming and it's perfect for unwanted family guests. http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/camping /bestway-comfort-quest-flocked-air-mattress-double/invt/0228343/
Or give them a ring on 08456 080807 and ask them how many people have purchased airbeds for their dogs - I must be mad.
Me, Pig, Puddle & Oink.
Review will more than likely appear elsewhere.
My parents have a caravan in the Lake District and my boyfriend and I love to go up and stay over, pitching the tent next door to their caravan. We used to look enviously at their double bed as we crawled in to our sleeping bags on the floor. I saw this on blow up bed on offer on the internet for £17.00 and decided that enough was enough of "being at one with nature" and I needed (or my back need) a little bit of luxury! Since purchasing our comfort quest we have used it in our home when friends from afar come to visit and have received no complaints the next morning! It's comfortable and robust and definitely think it was worth £17.00.
What's in the box:
* The Comfort Quest Flocked double Air Bed
* Heavy duty repair patch
* Nylon carry/storage bag
The bed measures 203cm x 163cm x 40cm. This is smaller than a standard regular double bed. This means no feet hanging off the edges for me but my boyfriend finds it more of a problem being 6'1"! There is an end that is supposed to be pillow like which is slightly more elevated. I quite like this feature but my boyfriend complains of neck cramps.
The Sturdy Coil Beam Construction makes the bed robust and comfortable. With old fashioned blow up beds that are simply full of air do not offer the support the body needs. The internal coiled construction provides firmness and comfort and is extremely comfortable. We did find however that if the bed is not pumped up to full capacity these coils do feel a little uncomfortable and stick in your side. After a nights use I'd recommend putting a little more air in the bed as even though it has a double lock valve and supposed to be airtight we did find that some air escapes leaving the bed a little saggy and the coils sticking out.
The flocked exterior is comfortable and easy to clean. It doesn't make much noise when people get on it or move around, which is good. I have slept on a blow up bed before that was made out of PVC. The poor person sleeping next to me had to put up with listening to it squeak every time I moved!
New SID valve (Smart Inflation Deflation Valve) makes the bed easy to pump up. We used a foot pump the first time which is a bit of a pain and took about twenty minutes. We have just invested in a pump which blows it up in less than 3 minutes. You would not be able to blow this up with your lungs.
The bed weighs 3.6kg so it is not practical to take hiking as it is far too heavy but since we use a vehicle to go camping, this is not a problem. When in the bag it folds down to less than 50 x 60cm which is good but it is not easy to get it back in the bag! After a few uses the stitching has become a bit loose on the bag so we have given up on it now. We use a bit of rope to fasten the bed down into a storable size.
I like the bed and since buying the pump it is so easy to inflate. Deflating is quick and it is easy to clean and care for. I am yet to use the repair kit but I'm glad it comes with one. I would recommend this product.
Where from and how much:
If you want to buy this item then I would advise shopping around. Argos sold it last year and you could get a half price pump if you bought from them for £20.00. I've seen it online for £15.00 and Amazon sells it for £23.00.
I live in a small 2 up 2 down house and my spare bedroom is quite small. Its big enough for a single bed and a chest of drawers but thats about it. In November last year I started to work from my home so my spare bedroom was turned into an office. My dilemma then was that there was no room to put a single bed. i like to have a spare bed just in case anyone comes over to stay, like my best friend or my niece and nephew. So i got the argos catalogue out and started to have a look at what options were available to me. There was all sorts of things from camp beds to sofa beds but they didnt really appeal to me + the sofa beds were just too big.
Thats when i came across the air beds, which were perfect as they could be easily deflated and stored away. I bought the Bestway Comfort Quest Flocked air bed which at the time cost me £19.99. As soon as i got it home i got it out of the box and started to inflate it. The air bed comes with a built in foot pump that is in one corner of the bed. I didnt have much luck trying to pump it up with my foot so i used my hand instead which worked much better for me. And it didnt take long at all before it was fully inflated. It also has a double lock valve which proved invaluable as the air bed didnt lose any of its firmness.
The Airbed can be used indoors and outdoors although mine will be an indoor bed only. There is a built in pillow at one end of the bed and there is a flocked sleeping surface, the vinyl is also very sturdy. The bed measures at 72" x 30" x 9" and it comes with an easy to read set of instructions on how to inflate, deflate and clean and store the bed. It also states that the product should not be used in water and that it should be kept away from fire. A heavy duty repair patch is also included in the box which i am yet to use.
I havent actually spent a whole night on the airbed as i much prefer my own bed and thats always going to be my first option. I have laid on the bed for a short time to see how comfy it is & i know if i was to sleep on it i would have no problems doing so. The bed is nice and firm when fully inflated and not too soft. My best mate has had the full night experience on it and so has my niece. They both said they slept fine on it and had no problems sleeping on it again. I usually put a sheet over the bed and add a pillow on top of the built in one as i dont think theres quite enough lift there for all night comfort.
So all in all i'm pleased with the airbed and so far has been great value for money. Its easy to inflate and just as easy to deflate and store away.
Features: Double lock valve / Sturdy pre-tested vinyl / Flocked sleeping surface / Built-in pillow / Coil beam construction / Built-in foot pump that inflates bed / Quick inflation/deflation screw valve / Great for indoor & outdoor use / Heavy duty repair patch included / Approximate size 72in x 30in x 9in.