Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?





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  1. #1
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    Default Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Hi all
    I plan to upgrade my sleeping gear over time, obviously budget does not allow to get everything at once.

    I already have a small Bushtech tent, it's long in the tooth though and I plan to eventually replace it with a Malamoo Xtra popup tent.
    Now I'm thinking to get a stretcher and self-inflating mattress, I've been looking at the ATG Ribbz stretcher because of the low tent, I also read here on the forum that it works perfectly in the Malamoo tent.
    I'm also looking to get a self-inflating mattress, still undecided between the Carmaquip and First Ascent, they both seam to be getting equally good reviews.

    I read of people sleeping on the Ribbz stretchers without any type of mattress and I also read of people sleeping on the self-inflating mattresses without any type of stretcher or bed so now I'm wondering, which do I buy first?
    Both is expensive items so I'll definatly first buy the one and a few months later the other, I believe in buying right the first time even if the right item is quite expensive and if I have to save up for a couple of months before I can afford it. Who knows maybe I buy the one and decide that the sleep is comfortable enough and that I don't really need the other.
    Oh and if it makes any difference, I use a sleepingbag, currently also a long in the tooth cheapy so will also be replaced eventually.

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Stretcher - had enough of sleeping on the floor and never by an inflated mattress (they will leak eventually). I'm a 'big' bloke and I sleep quiet comfy on the stretcher. I however bought a cheaper mattress cover (or fold-up mattress from Makro) not for the comfort but to create some insulation from the bottom.
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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBart View Post
    Stretcher - had enough of sleeping on the floor and never by an inflated mattress (they will leak eventually).
    You are probably thinking of the normal inflatable type (afblaas!!) mattresses, the self-inflated type is a complete different design hence why they are so expensive.
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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    For camimg we Used blow up mattresses until early last year then decided to get stretcher beds, so much better. Currently have 4 of them, 2 x Coleman beds (136 kg), 1x (100 kg) from ODW 1x Makro (100 kg) will not go camping without them again. ..

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    You will get lots of different answers - all with their merits. What we have found is that if you go the stretcher way in a tent, a lot of space opens up in the tent by being able to store things under the stretcher that would otherwise occupy open floor space in the tent.

    I like your approach to buy good stuff one at a time instead of lower quality-everything-at-once!
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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Stick to a stretcher as mentioned by JohnBart a mattress will always leak a total waste of money.

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    The First Ascent Dream Deluxe self inflating is my choice, brilliant comfort and relatively compact. I haven't used the Carmaquip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liizl View Post
    Stick to a stretcher as mentioned by JohnBart a mattress will always leak a total waste of money.
    He is NOT talking about an inflatable here, but the two Rolls Royces of camping mats, self-inflatables that can just as comfortably be used with no air in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    The First Ascent Dream Deluxe self inflating is my choice, brilliant comfort and relatively compact. I haven't used the Carmaquip.


    From previous reading I saw you use one of them, do you use it just like that on the ground, or do you have a stretcher to go with it.

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    I use the matress only, but they do have a good looking bed
    SEE HERE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carel Kriek View Post
    You will get lots of different answers - all with their merits. What we have found is that if you go the stretcher way in a tent, a lot of space opens up in the tent by being able to store things under the stretcher that would otherwise occupy open floor space in the tent.

    I like your approach to buy good stuff one at a time instead of lower quality-everything-at-once!


    The Ribbz stretcher I'm looking at is very low to the ground, it keeps you something like 5 cm off the ground, reason for such a stretcher is the low roof tent, normal higher stretchers doesn't work very well in those low roof type tents, but get your point.
    I've always been like that, will rather do a lot of research and save up for a while to buy something decent which will last.

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    IMHO you should answer a different question first:
    Are you camping alone? Or will be Swambo with you? In case Swambo is with you and you guys tend to cuddle up while sleeping, then stretchers are not going to do it...8)
    We use those CarmaQuip self inflating ones and we are quite happy with them since they are quite thick and therefore quite forgiving on uneven ground for example. When camping in winter and when things are really getting cold we even double up with a fold-able foam mattress on top of it. Nothing worse then getting cold from underneath in Winter.
    Yes, the CarmaQuip is quite bulky to pack, but not bigger then a stretcher. Stretchers are good as long you sleep on your own or you don't care that Swambo is a bit a further away....That is, in my books, what will in the end define the stretcher or mattress route...
    Last edited by LR110; 2016/03/24 at 01:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    From previous reading I saw you use one of them, do you use it just like that on the ground, or do you have a stretcher to go with it.
    On the ground, making sure there is nothing sharp underneath it.

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    I am in the same predicament.

    Also considering a stretcher. haven't had a look at the mattress though.

    One question, the Ribbz seems to be the only stretcher without "feet". Will normal stretchers not damage the floor of your tent?

    And how does these "self-inflatable" stuff work??
    Last edited by Nys; 2016/03/24 at 01:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Oh forgot to add, the eventual idea with all these gear is for it to fit in some kind of big rucksack or duffel bag for easy transport and carrying around. Currently I can strap my tent and sleeping bag to each other and carry it on my back. I know with the Malamoo tent this will change because it doesn't fold up very small, but the Malamoo is still some way in to the future.

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    One question, the Ribbz seems to be the only stretcher without "feet". Will normal stretchers not damage the floor of your tent?

    And how does these "self-inflatable" stuff work??
    Well designed stretchers do have usually feet with a bigger foot print in order to distribute the weight over a bigger surface. This will prevent the feet of poking through the ground sheet of your tent.

    Those self-inflatable mattresses are using a high density foam with lots of little holes inside. When rolling up the mattress you are pushing all the air out of those holes. You are literally compressing the material of the mattress and air will escape. In order to keep the compression of the material you will use a couple of straps around the packed mattress.
    When unpacking the high density foam will try to go back to its original shape, sucking air into those holes again. Finally it will take a couple of blows of air in order to get the mattress a bit harder if you like so.
    hope you got what I am trying to explain there....8)
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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    I am in the same predicament.
    And how does these "self-inflatable" stuff work??
    As far as I have it,
    it is a memory foam mattress of thickness x (60mm or so) inside a sleeve.
    You roll it up crunching the mattress as thin as possible and pushing as much air out of it and the sleeve, you then plug the sleeve so no air gets in (vacuum packed ).
    When unpacking you open the valve and allow the memory foam to expand and thus drawing in air, after a while you close the valve to form a seal so that the air doesn't escape when you sleep on it, thus you have a memory foam mattress with a little bit of an air buffer.
    Neil

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    Default Re: Which would you buy first, stretcher or self-inflating mattress?

    Thanks LR and NeoT, that is fully understandable. How big are they when rolled up?

    Now....where to get in Windhoek?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    How big are they when rolled up?
    Now....where to get in Windhoek?
    I've just measured my First Ascent - rolled up 70cm long by 23cm wide, about the same as two sleeping bags end to end. Weighs just under 2.5kg on my kitchen scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    I've just measured my First Ascent - rolled up 70cm long by 23cm wide, about the same as two sleeping bags end to end. Weighs just under 2.5kg on my kitchen scale.

    Tony, does it come in a bag and is it a typical never get item back in to its bag bag, or is it a decent bag?

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