Need help finding the perfect self inflating air camping mat? Or want to know more about how they work? This handy guide covers everything from what’s on offer to how to repair them.
What is a self inflating mattress?
A cross between an inflatable airbed and a camping mat, a self inflating sleeping matress gives you the best of both worlds. Easier to use than an airbed, just unroll the self inflating mat and it will blow up on its own without any pumping. This gives you an air filled mattress to sleep on, offering more comfort than a flat camping mat.
Benefits of an Outwell self inflating mattress
Hassle-free set up – all you need to do is unroll your self inflating mat and it’s ready to use
Warm and comfortable – self inflating air mats provide a cushioned barrier between you and the ground for a happier night’s sleep
Easy to carry and store – our lightweight self inflating camping mats have a small, compact packsize and come with their own carry bag
Find your perfect self inflating mattress
Match your self inflating sleeping mat to your camping style!
Luxurious comfort for two. You need a double 12cm or 10cm self inflating sleep mat. Great for family holidays, romantic getaways, touring holidays.
Sumptuous comfort for one. You need a single 12cm or 10cm self inflating camping mat. Great for extended holidays with friends, single parent camping, touring, camping beds for teenagers.
Deluxe comfort with extra length and lots of wiggle room. You need a 12.0cm or 10.0cm self inflating queen air mattress that’s wider and longer. Great for taller people or those who like space to move around. They come as singles in XL or XXL.
Comfort and convenience on the go. You need a 7.5cm self inflating air mattress – available as singles or doubles. Great for laidback summer holidays, weekend breaks, touring.
Easy days, happy nights and travelling light. You need a 3cm or 5cm lightweight self inflating mat. Great for backpacking, trekking, touring, weekend breaks.
Keeping the kids happy. You need a single self inflating mattress. Go for a 7.5cm thickness or above for extra warmth and comfort all night. Great for Family holidays, sleepovers, club trips.
How do self inflating mattresses work?
Self inflating air mats are made up of an open cell foam that sits within an airtight casing of material. This has a valve that can open and close. The foam is compressible, so when you unroll your self inflating mattress and open the valve, it automatically sucks in air and expands. No pump needed. It takes a couple of minutes for the self inflating camping mat to inflate. Some people like to add a couple of breaths of air into the valve at the end to make the mat extra firm.
How to deflate a self inflating mat with a normal valve
Your self inflating mattress starts out as a small, compact piece of kit that fits nicely into its carry bag. This is how you want it to be at the end of holiday, when you’re packing up. Once you know how to deflate a self inflating camping mat, it’s easy. But there is a technique to it. This is what you need to do to ensure the mat doesn’t try to burst out of its bag and reinflate itself on the way home.
1. Open the valve and let out some air
2. Fold the self inflating mat in half (most carry bags are half the width of the mat, if your bag is a third of the size, fold the mat into three, length ways)
3. Go to the opposite end of the valve and start rolling the mat towards the valve
4. Roll as tightly as possible, using your body weight to force air out as you go
5. Once you’ve finished rolling, close the air valve
6. Pull on any compression straps and put the self inflating mattress into its carry bag
How to inflate and deflate a self inflating mattress with the Outwell Air Flow Control Valve
This special valve is designed for faster inflation, deflation and fine-tuning firmness to suit individual preferences. The valve provides flexible operation through three positions. Inflate position; In this position air can easily enter the mat. The valve design also maximizes airflow to further speed inflation as the foam expands. Deflate position; The valve only allows the removal of air for fast, simple and easy deflation and packing. Closed position; When closed the valve prevents air from leaving the mat while allowing more to be blown in to adjust firmness. See the film about the Air Flow Control Valve here.
Looking after your self inflating camping mat
How to clean a self inflating mattress
Usually a quick wipe down with a soapy sponge is all you need, but accidents happen and sometimes you need a more thorough clean. Here are some readers’ tips on the best way to clean stains and smells from a self inflating mattress. These should work for mud, dirt and potty training mishaps.
Campers’ cleaning tips*:
Use a 50:50 white vinegar and water mix to safely disinfect your self inflating sleeping mattress. Then sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and leave for a few days to remove the smell.
Give the mat a good hose down and leave in the sunshine to completely dry. The sun should naturally bleach out any stains.
Use soapy water to clean your self inflating mat, let it dry, then spray with a fabric freshener like Febreeze
*These are suggestions only. We can’t guarantee their effectiveness.
How to repair a self inflating mattress
If your self inflating mat is deflating overnight, you’re likely to have a slow puncture. This can be easily fixed but first you need to locate the puncture.
Finding the puncture:
1. Fill a water bottle with water and add a couple of drops of washing detergent
2. Spray the mixture all over your self inflating camping mat
3. Roll the mat from the bottom up – bubbles will form around the leak
Fixing the puncture:
1. Clean off all the soapy water and let it dry
2. Attach your puncture repair patch following the instructions on the packet
3. Inflate the self inflating mat to check you covered the leak – if not repeat until the puncture is fully covered
You can see more about repairs here.
How to store a self inflating camping mat
If you have space, it’s best to store your mat unrolled with the valve open. This lets the foam breathe and prevents it getting overly compressed. Store it out of direct sunlight. Good places to keep the mat are out the way under the bed or in the loft.
Got a question? We’re here to help
View Outwell self inflating mattresses before you buy at one of our many dealerships across the UK.
Or, contact our customer service team for support before or after your purchase.