I’m starting this camping equipment review with a confession: I’m not a natural camper.
I love getting outside and exploring all that the great outdoors has to offer, but I also like my home comforts; things like running water, comfy mattresses, and hairdryers.
Mr H, on the other hand, is never happier than when he’s pitching himself against the elements with the bare minimum of supplies. He’s camped, tramped and trekked, and just cannot understand why I find it impossible to travel light.
Since having kids, we’ve naturally gravitated towards a middle ground. We’re getting familiar with the world of family camping, and are building up our equipment with a little bit of home comfort in mind.
We’ve been trying out some inflatable camping mattresses from Buydirect4U, to see how they perform on a family camping trip.
The Bentley Explorer Premium Queen Size Air Bed has a soft flocked finish, and is a great size for two adults to share. The air bed comes in a storage bag, and has a built-in pump which you need to attach to a mains power supply.
Once you’ve connected up the pump, the mattress is fully inflated in around four minutes, which is super-quick. Having spent ages stomping on foot pumps in the past I really like this feature! You can also pump the mattress up manually if you don’t have access to mains power.
The built-in pillow on this air bed is great; no more losing your pillow down the back during the night, and no pillows taking up space in the car boot.
At queen-sized the air bed is 5 feet wide, so it really is quite big. We’ve always had double airbeds in the past, and this is so much better to sleep on, because we each have that bit more space to get comfortable. You do need quite a large tent for this mattress; our tent is 7 feet wide and it pretty much filled it.
The kids tried out the Bentley Explorer self-inflating camping mat and pillow.
This product is lightweight, and packs down small into it’s own storage bag. It’s really easy to inflate; you just open the valve at one end, and it sucks air in. There’s also a puncture repair kit included.
You need to inflate the pillow yourself, but that only takes a few seconds. Again, the built-in pillow is a nice feature, particularly for my eldest who really travels around in his sleep!
The camping mat is quite narrow at just over 2 feet; it was perfect for the kids, but I think adults might find themselves rolling off it. It’s so much more comfortable than a standard bed roll though. It’s a great option for adults who want to travel light, or kids on a family camping trip.
We all slept perfectly well on our new camping mattresses. It was great having that cushion of air to protect us from uneven ground, and both mattresses were still fully inflated in the morning. The kids’ camping mat was really quick to deflate; you just open the valve and rolling it up forces the air out. Our queen size air bed has reverse function on the pump, so it’s speedy to deflate too.
The premium queen-sized air bed costs £39.99 and the self-inflating camping mat and pillow costs £12.99. Both camping mattresses are part of the camping range from home, garden and leisure specialist Buydirect4U; you can see the full range on their website here.
What equipment do you recommend for family camping? We’re still building up our camping equipment, so do share your tips in the comments.
We were provided with the premium queen-sized air bed and self-inflating camping mat and pillow for review purposes. All comments and opinions are honest and genuine.