Poll: What category would you place your worst experience with a air mattress on the trail

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  1. #1
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    Default Air mattress failure poll and stories

    The nightmare of a blowout of a air mattress has been part of the decision of what to carry. In my own experience they work most of the time, and the few times that they don't it's a annoyance but still usable, as the slow leak allows hours of time before having to refill. For the comfort level they give over CCF the risk has been worth it.

    What is your worst experience with a air mattress?

  2. #2
    Registered User ScottTrip's Avatar
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    Had a Big Agnes pad on my 2014 hike that developed a leak in the seam in SNP. I tried several times to patch but because of location of hole the patch would not hold. Got in touch with BA and they mailed me a replacement to Harpers Ferry for no charge. Finished the hike with pad and used many times since with no issues.

  3. #3

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    Only issue i have ever had was with "blown baffles" sounds like a shotgun going off, still stays inflated but with 1 baffle twice as large as the rest where the glue comes loose inside the mat. Manufacturer replaced everytime.
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  4. #4
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    I prefer a firm mattress anyway, so CCF isn't such a sacrifice in my case.

  5. #5
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    I choose no 3 I've only had annoyance problems with my air mattress. I have a small leak somewhere i may have to add a little air in the night.

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  7. #7
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I always carry 1/2 (6-8 sections) of a z-rest in addition to whatever else I'm sleeping on. It provides protection for the inflatable, a quick lunchtime seat/nap pad, extra insulation, or a ground option if I'm hammocking.

    The one time I opted to leave it at home, my Big Agnes failed.

    That was the last time I opted to leave it at home!

  8. #8

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    Have had some valve issues and some slow leaks, but reasonable given extensive use and that I am not always so careful.
    Had a friend puncture one badly in the winter (user error.... had it in a garbage bag outside the pack and snagged it) where repair wasn't working out well, but some spruce bows and a thin ccf got him through comfortably

  9. #9
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    I have a full length Thrmarest that I used befor mt thru and am still using without any problems.
    Grampie-N->2001

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I started a thread on this back in 2017---

    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...est?highlight=
    My experiences, rom that thread: This is the fourth synmat 7 (I originally bought two) that has done this on me. This latest failure was a replacement pad for one of the originals that failed. Exped has replaced the previous ones and I just mailed this one out yesterday to a probable replacement, as well.

    This particular model is no longer produced, according to Exped, and I got a 3-D model for my last failure which hasn't had a problem, but it's real early. The older synmats failed in the 60-night range.


    Current 3-D update, this pad has performed flawlessly for over two years and over 100 nights. Still have a couple of years of warranty left, too.

  11. #11

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    I heard Exped went to this configuration to solve their delaminating baffle problem though it seems excessive---each individual tube gets its own blow up valve.


    RAGGED-011015-063539.JPG

  12. #12

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    Have had two mattress failures that left me on the hard ground, though was once able to borrow a pad mid-trip. Have used A 20+ year old Thermarest on my last couple of trips.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I heard Exped went to this configuration to solve their delaminating baffle problem though it seems excessive---each individual tube gets its own blow up valve.


    RAGGED-011015-063539.JPG
    Now, that's funny

    Annoyances only for me. I've had a total of 3 punctures(2 tiny, 1...not so tiny) on the Exped Downmat UL7 and Synmat HyperLite that I've used for the last 7.5yrs. All 3 have been on top, and due to my own carelessness. I've woken up on a flat pad 1 time, and spent a total of maybe 10 minutes applying patches(though a lot more than that *finding* two of those leaks, which were tiny pinholes).
    Both my Expeds are older ones like people have had problems with delaminating, so part of me keeps expecting to pop a baffle, but they just keep ticking, in spite of me being pretty rough with them-no room to spare in a small 1p shelter, so they get knelt and sat on a lot.
    Before that I had a slow leak that I could never find on a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core, which would partially deflate during the night.
    Pretty good, overall, I think.
    Every now and then, I do get the what-ifs, and debate going back to a self-inflator with 50D instead of 20D fabric, but the loss of cush, and increased weight and bulk, outweigh whatever concerns I may harbor about inflatables(and which my personal experience has lent little credence to in real life use).

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I heard Exped went to this configuration to solve their delaminating baffle problem though it seems excessive---each individual tube gets its own blow up valve.


    RAGGED-011015-063539.JPG
    Correct. Comes with numbered snozzles to prevent cross-contamination.

  15. #15

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    My Therm a Rest blew a few baffles at the top initially and looked like a pool toy with a pillow top. Initially not a big problem, but then the rest of the baffles started popping at random times, waking me up, and making it useless within two days.

    I was on the trail, they shipped me a new one. They'd only commit to a seven day delivery. It in fact arrived at the destination within two days. Based on the seven day projection, I purchased A Klymit Static V2, which I liked a whole lot more than the original.

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