The Quechua Inflatable Camp Bed Base from Decathlon might look like some kind of life raft, but it is in fact an inflatable bed base for your camping mattress. It can also be linked to another to form a double bed. For glampers and campers who prioritise a comfy night's sleep over all else, it's one the very best camping beds you can buy.
This titan of the camping bed world has an extremely reasonable RRP of £59.99, not including pump and mattress. It's bulky, of course, so if space or weight is at a premium check out the less extravagant options in our best camping mat guide. If not, read on for our Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base review.
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Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base review: design and build
The design of the Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base is quite ingenious, a line of rigid plastic struts - not unlike a normal bed base - run up the middle, and are stitched in place, providing a grid to lie on once inflated, and also making up the bulk of the packed item. Two more struts form an ‘X’ in the middle of the base, preventing it bowing outwards when laid upon. Cheeringly, all this is connected into one piece, so there’s no complications, just pull from the bag, inflate and get on with it. There are also webbing straps and clips to attach a second unit and make a double bed - presumably a popular option - as well as diagonal webbing at each end to use as handles.
The two main inflatable tubes are inflated through a single valve, which has both one-way and purge settings for ease of use, but does require a separate pump to get both reservoirs pressurised to a fairly substantial 6 psi. We tested Decathlon's own double action hand pump (RRP £19.99), which inflated the base in just a few pumps.
The end result is a solid sized base - 200 x 70 x 25 cm, which packs down to a 70 x 14 x 14 cm package weighing 3.9kg. With those specs, and the need for a pump and separate mattress, this is mainly car-camping and van territory, but could be carried a short distance, maybe for the ultimate luxury festival setup.
Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base review: performance and comfort
The Quechua Inflatable Camp Bed Base inflated quickly with the companion pump, the one way valve locking off neatly and preventing any heroics - although when deflating bear in mind that 6psi makes quite a pop when released suddenly! The inflated base has no sharp edges to damage groundsheets and the like, which is helpful, as is the ability to store quite a lot of stuff underneath it, making a handy clothing storage unit into the bargain.
Another benefit of the Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base is that the increased height not only makes it much easier to flop into - and jump up from - your mattress, but also keeps bedding off the floor, away from any condensation/creepy crawlies/etc.
Comfort-wise, the Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base is really kicking the camping bed comfort rating up several gears. It’s incredibly comfortable, adding more flex and rebound to a standard air mattress, as well as that all-important height advantage.
The key caveat here is to pick a mattress that’s 70cm wide, or deal with a slight but annoying overlap, and also manage a certain amount of slippage between the mattress and the base. This isn’t enough to be a big issue, but a minor practical problem - also remember to check it’ll fit in your tent - decent headroom is required.
Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base Review: verdict
Sometimes only the very best in comfort will do, and for those camping times, the Decathlon Inflatable Camp Bed Base is what you’re looking for. For base camps, extended trips and for those who reuse, point blank, to rough it in any way, this is the camp bed you want. The only danger here is that once you’ve got used to camping with this bed, you’ll not be able to go back to the bad old days of rolling around on the floor. We’re not sure we can now.