Air mattress leaks

8:46 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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I have 3 air mattresses which all leak. I used a vinyl patch kit on it as recommended but patch just peals away after a couple of days. For the record, I know how to patch holes, but this has me stumped.

Plus 1 of these 3 mattresses is brand new and even it has a slow leak.

What is the deal?

9:06 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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6,010 forum posts

What brand and model of air mattress?

A common point of leakage has long been the valve. But you said that you patched using a vinyl patch kit. Was the kit made specifically for the air mattress(es)? Different mattress materials do require different adhesives, though McNett makes a kit that is supposed to work on a wide variety of the quality inflatables.

Holes, especially the slow leakers, can be really hard to find. And sometimes you can get the same "snakebite" that befalls bicyclists - a thin thorn that goes through not only the first side, but as the pad goes flat, puts a hole in the opposite side when the pad gets too low.

I have never personally had an inflatable go flat, with the exception of one "traditional" air mattress when I was a kid and careless in my desert camping - wasn't a cactus needle, though, it was the valve that got crud in it and wouldn't close completely. I did have a climbing partner who got a slow leak in his Thermarest on Denali. He, his tentmate, and I spend a long time finding the leak (you can't easily get a bathtub full of water to dunk the pad in to find the bubbles from the leak at 14,000 ft on Denali). As a Scoutmaster, I did get to repair a few too many air mattresses (traditional type, not the foam, down, or Primaloft filled ones). After the 3rd or 4th trip, I laid down a rule that the youth were not allowed to have inflatables of any kind, only closed cell foam - cut down on the finger-pointing, too ("I didn't puncture the mattress, it was my tentmate who did it!")

11:10 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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What brand and model are the mattresses odm09? It could be that some others had the same problems with the same producer/model and has some suggestions. And also those that are looking to buy a mat could be warned if there is some consistent fault with the one you have.

12:14 a.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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All three are Coleman and the repair kit is Coghlans.

2:15 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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outdoorsman09 said:

All three are Coleman and the repair kit is Coghlans.

 Years ago, I had a Coleman air mattress. It seemed to develop leaks frequently, though that might have been because we were camping in the desert and maybe because of cactus needles and bull-thorns. Doesn't explain the leaks through the valve that made me give up on air mattresses, though

7:54 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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To ward off holes I use a polyethylene foam pad for my air pad. You can get one on ebay for under $20.00 shipped. They weigh 15 ounces.

Before that I was getting leaks. Best way to find a hole is to submerge the pad in the bath with some air in it. I sleep on my pad before I go on a trip to make sure it's going to work.

1:42 p.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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get a new one

June 24, 2018
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