Inflatable Lounger

9:23 p.m. on November 13, 2016 (EST)
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Hello! We are new to backpacking and just beginning to put our gear together. We are curious if anyone has used the inflatable loungers for sleeping/lounging? We will be doing 3-day trips for now and hope to eventually work up to longer trips. Most of these weigh 2.4 to 3.2 lbs. Thank you for your input.


8:59 a.m. on November 14, 2016 (EST)
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The main purpose of a sleeping mat/pad is insulation from the cold ground. I'm not familiar with the lounger you are referring to but it does not have any insulation, it's very heavy, and it wouldn't fit in any shelter I would use. Also not clear how durable it is. It says it can hold two people, but looking at the photos showing just one person pretty much taking up the whole thing I doubt the both of you would be comfortable in one of these.

11:39 a.m. on November 14, 2016 (EST)
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Way too heavy and unnecessary to boot....

11:57 a.m. on November 14, 2016 (EST)
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Too cold and too heavy.

It might be fun for truck camping on a warm day.

2:08 p.m. on November 15, 2016 (EST)
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You could also get a pair of regular backpacking inflatable mattresses plus one of the slip-in sleeve/chairs.
The left chair is a Crazy Creek folding chair that a lot of people use for backpacking. It is not what most people would use for a mattress, although I and many of my fellow climbers on Denali used them as an additional insulating layer under our inflatable mattresses.

The other two are sleeves into which you place a regular inflatable (Thermarest in both cases, one being one of the old-school fairly thin ones, the other being a 3/4 length medium thickness). The sleeve on the middle one is a ThermaRSTR, from Cascade Designs the company that makes Thermarest mattresses. The far right sleeve is intended for a full length inflatable. Both sleeves have carbon fiber stiffeners to provide good support while you are sitting in them.

All of these are plenty comfortable and good insulators, plus they all pack pretty small and are light for backpacking. I suspect they are a lot cheaper than the "loungers"

10:55 p.m. on November 16, 2016 (EST)
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I agree with Bill. I've used the Crazy Creek Air Chair Compact a couple times now as a sleeping pad, as well as chair. It's not a full-length pad for my 6'2" frame, but it's certainly better than sleeping sans-pad.

1:03 p.m. on November 17, 2016 (EST)
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Hi! I purchased a couple of the loungers in the right of your photo from Ebay and can say that they look great in the pictures, but, if it's not somewhat breezy out, they're VERY hard to get inflated properly, and if they're not fully inflated, you're going to wind up on the ground. Haven't seen the "Woo-hoo" brand in action, but as others have said, it seems a bit too heavy and may not fit into a tent. Also, I note they say the mesh gives it a hammock feel. If that's the case you can get a Vertex hammock from Clark Jungle Hammocks which will hold two people and weighs about a pound more than this and I'm sure would be a lot more comfortable. Interesting idea though.

4:16 p.m. on November 17, 2016 (EST)
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The biggest difference is that these loungers only use air as insulation - just like a traditional air mattress made for people coming over to stay in the living room for the holidays.  They do NOT have any insulative materials inside of them. Thermarests and other sleeping pads use materials like down, synthetic insulation, open cell foam, reflective materials to trap the heat that you are transmitting from your body and keep it from seeping into the ground.  The loungers will not do that. Just like with people, it's what's inside that counts.  

10:19 a.m. on November 18, 2016 (EST)
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I've looked at these kind of inflatables and don't think they are intended for backpacking.  More for a beach outing, road camping, concert, backyard, type of use.  They look like they'd be a fun/different kind of lounger but not something I'd consider for a backpack trip unless you just want to lay out next to your tent for an afternoon lounge but not designed for an overnight air mattress!

5:39 p.m. on November 18, 2016 (EST)
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I don't see that the OP is asking about something that can be used as a chair, just about a sleeping pad. Your three basic choices are closed-cell foam, self-inflating, and inflatable. CCF is the lightest option and provides insulation but not cushy comfort. Some people still use self-inflating, but those seem to have been surpassed by the inflatables because the self-inflating are heavier and pack bigger. The inflatables have come a long way to provide decent insulation and pretty nice comfort for not a lot of weight. Keep in mind, though, that you have to blow these up. There are products and DIY approaches to having something that will inflate your pad more easily.

Most pads are single person but there are some 2-person pads out there (Thermarest, Klymit). Check the R-value to see how much insulating value the pad provides and compare that to the conditions you expect to be camping in.

Some pads are rectangular while some are tapered or mummy-shaped to save a bit of weight and to fit better into smaller shelters.

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