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Camping /Caravan Parks/ Campers It's all about the great outdoors. What you have and where you stayed.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago
Bru9 Bru9 is offline
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Default Storing Self Inflating Mattresses rolled up?

I know they always say not to, but for storing in a 4wd or camper trailer I simply can't keep them unfolded. Not gonna happen. I have self inflated mattresses years old that have spent 99% of their life rolled up & they seem to still work, however they take alot longer to self inflate.
So I just breath into them to speed the process up.

Can anyone say from experience if the comfort is comprised if stored rolled up? I have the large wide black wolf mattresses.

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I can't answer for the long term effects of keeping the mates rolled up but I'm interested to hear. What I can add is the recommendation to not breathe into the mats to inflate them. Your breath will introduce water vapour and bacteria which can then thrive. Use the pump sacks ie the bag that the mats come in to inflate. Faster and easier too.
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I have found lately that if you unroll it and leave it out in the sun a few days before you head away, Then roll it up before you pack the vehicle and pack it away it will self inflate much faster when you get to your camp site.

+1 for the "don't breathe into it" - use a compressor or other air source if you need to reduce the inflation time.
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I have one of the original camping mattresses when they first came out and you need to roll it with the bag it comes with. It is a double and the instructions said to as well. It is old so is probably only 7-8cm vs the new ones being much thicker.
I recently bought a new one in a king single and it was folded, the instructions say to fold it, and the ties mean you have to fold it.
Best way to inflate them is out them in the sun for a while or the hood of your car at the end of a trip as it’s hot.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pajshomoneroguntero View Post
I can't answer for the long term effects of keeping the mates rolled up but I'm interested to hear. What I can add is the recommendation to not breathe into the mats to inflate them. Your breath will introduce water vapour and bacteria which can then thrive. Use the pump sacks ie the bag that the mats come in to inflate. Faster and easier too.
My old Nomad self inflating mattresses are damaged somewhat from doing this. The foam must become more dense & so you need more air pressure to inflate, they simple won't have enough air in them without additional pressure & you feel the ground. Can't say about comfort as its only a thin one and was never really comfortable.
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My old Nomad self inflating mattresses are damaged somewhat from doing this. The foam must become more dense & so you need more air pressure to inflate, they simple won't have enough air in them without additional pressure & you feel the ground. Can't say about comfort as its only a thin one and was never really comfortable.
Thanks for the feedback. I have the Blackwolf mats. I do note that if I inflate the mat with the pump sack the mat feels just like an air mattress until the foam inside expands to offer some more support/cushioning. I suppose the mat will always work as long as it doesn’t leak but the foam really makes it comfy.
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I still have my original Thermarest hiking (15mm) self inflating mattress which is just over 40 years old and is still used along with another that is 30 years old and 2x 24 year old Thermorest Camping mattresses that are thicker (30mm) and wider. We have had a few other cheaper brands in the quest for more perceived comfort as we got older and the children have grown up so we have more room for luxury items but these have all failed. Recently I was given a Blackwolf Mega Mat which is long, wide and 60mm thick so we will see how long this last before it is back to the old trusting vintage Thermarest's.

The internal foam is what enables the mattress to self inflate as well as providing insulation. The quality of the foam, the internal bonding of the foam to the cover, cover seams and inflation/deflation valve are all integral to the performance and longevity of the mat. Because we have so many they are all stored rolled up tight so they take a bit of time to inflate when first used after extended storage, a warm tent, a short time in the sun or on the bonnet of the car does assist in inflation. We have always used a few breaths to top up the air and have never had any issues. One thing we have found is in the hot weather it is best to open the valve during the day as the air in the mats can expand and put a lot of pressure on the cover seams, this is particularly important on the thicker mats. This also protects them from shock point loads during the day when you are in and out of the tent and you have to crawl or walk on the mats when they are inflated, kids jumping on them also produces the same shock point loads.

Mrs OJ now uses a self inflating mat on a stretcher which she finds more comfortable than on the ground which has its advantages on rocky or uneven ground compared to a mat directly on the ground.

OJ.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old Jack View Post
I still have my original Thermarest hiking (15mm) self inflating mattress which is just over 40 years old and is still used along with another that is 30 years old and 2x 24 year old Thermorest Camping mattresses that are thicker (30mm) and wider. We have had a few other cheaper brands in the quest for more perceived comfort as we got older and the children have grown up so we have more room for luxury items but these have all failed. Recently I was given a Blackwolf Mega Mat which is long, wide and 60mm thick so we will see how long this last before it is back to the old trusting vintage Thermarest's.

The internal foam is what enables the mattress to self inflate as well as providing insulation. The quality of the foam, the internal bonding of the foam to the cover, cover seams and inflation/deflation valve are all integral to the performance and longevity of the mat. Because we have so many they are all stored rolled up tight so they take a bit of time to inflate when first used after extended storage, a warm tent, a short time in the sun or on the bonnet of the car does assist in inflation. We have always used a few breaths to top up the air and have never had any issues. One thing we have found is in the hot weather it is best to open the valve during the day as the air in the mats can expand and put a lot of pressure on the cover seams, this is particularly important on the thicker mats. This also protects them from shock point loads during the day when you are in and out of the tent and you have to crawl or walk on the mats when they are inflated, kids jumping on them also produces the same shock point loads.

Mrs OJ now uses a self inflating mat on a stretcher which she finds more comfortable than on the ground which has its advantages on rocky or uneven ground compared to a mat directly on the ground.

OJ.
OJ is quite right here - I spent 8 years in the outdoor manufacturing and retail game and came across this a lot. Self inflating mats should in theory be stored flat, with the valves open, and away from any heat sources including summer heat in a shed or garage. They should never be left in a tent or vehicle during the day in summer with the valves closed either, even if they are rolled up - this is not so easy to manage sometimes.

The reason for storing flat and with the valves open is to maintain the memory in the foam and minimise it's break down over time. It also allows for temperature variations which may cause a pressure increase if the valves are closed. In summer temperatures, with the valves closed, there is a pressure build up combined with a degradation of the glue bonding the outer surface to the foam. This will cause the surface material to separate from the foam and result in a bubble somewhere in the mat, which only continues to grow, is uncomfortable and not fixable. An expensive result as these mats are not cheap!
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Just bought a new non self inflatable that is inflated via the storage bag. It stores rolled up and is tiny compared to the self inflatable. For the price well worth it.

Crash486
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Quote:
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Just bought a new non self inflatable that is inflated via the storage bag. It stores rolled up and is tiny compared to the self inflatable. For the price well worth it.

Crash486
An R-value of 0.7 is quite low - negligible thermal insulation, to help keep you warm on cold nights. As a comparison, my Thermarest Base Camp (50mm thick) has an R-value of 5.8.

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