Choosing a Coleman Air Mattress

Air mattresses are an important staple in our home, and we typically have two or three in storage. My wife has a large family and when we get visitors,all of the air beds get taken out to accommodate them. For this reason we have been through our share of inexpensive air mattresses and have finally settled on the Coleman brand and Aerobed.

Coleman is our go-to air bed when we would rather pick up an extra cot for $30-50 dollars instead of over $100. Once you get them blown up, they hold the air well and are quite comfortable. Here are the models we have tried and what I like and don't like about them.

The Quickbed Airbed 4D Pump Combo: This bed surpassed my comfort expectations. Like it's more expensive competitor, the Aerobed, Coleman has used sueded pvc and has top to bottom 'coils' for supporting the body in any position. After using the Aerobed, having to fit the pump to the air valve and hold it there while it inflates is a bit tedious, but the 4D pump is like a hurricane and inflates the bed fast.

A note of caution-the pump needs to charge for several hours before its first use. Plan ahead so you don't end up having to blow your own hot air. With regard to holding the air once it is inflated, this model is an improvement on past Coleman air beds. It is guaranteed not to leak when the valve is shut properly and it doesn't. I have had my bed inflated for weeks with no noticeable loss of firmness. Impressive.

What is not impressive is the quickness needed to get the valve sealed before air rushes out. The second the pump is shut off, air leaves quickly. The pump nozzle must be removed and the cap twisted on just right to maintain the firmness it was inflated to. It's not that hard to do, but each time I inflate it I wish there were a better way to close it.

Another nice feature is the built-in carrying system. Coleman calls it the Wrap n' Roll system, which is an attached piece of nylon which wraps around the bed and ties tight with drawstrings after it is rolled up. It takes some work to roll the bed tight enough to fit within the 'Wrap,' but it makes a nice compact package when you've finished. The last I will say about this bed is how well made it is. The bottom is made of heavy duty pvc and nothing about its construction feels cheap.

Previous to the Quickbed Airbed we had owned a thinner Coleman air mattress. The air valve was still difficult to put on before losing precious air, but initially it stayed firm and was comfortable to sleep on. This older model soon began to lose air overnight and became a running joke for whoever had to sleep on it. Fortunately, Coleman has upgraded their quality and produced a string of practical air mattresses for camping, traveling or home.

Some options to consider:

1.) If you need the bed pumped up immediately or will not have access to an outlet to charge the pump, buy the large Dual Action Quick Pump. This pump inflates with the up and down motion of the pump. I suggest finding a separate bag to keep it in to avoid misplacing the hose and nozzles. This air pump is cheap but inflates the air mattress in just a couple of minutes.

2.) DC or AC pump which plugs into a standard car charger. This option takes care of inflating the bed when no electrical outlets are available.

Coleman air beds can be dressed with appropriate sized sheets and are guaranteed not to leak. How-to videos on their website even walk visitors through the process of properly inflating their air mattress. For the money, the queen-sized Quickbed Airbed is an excellent value.

The queen-sized Quickbed from Coleman
The queen-sized Quickbed from Coleman

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