Welcome to T3's Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review. Decathlon's own-brand Quechua's design centre is located at the foot of the magnificent Mont-Blanc, so the company has a perfect area on its doorstep to test out its myriad of camping products.
The Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress is a great case in point. This self-inflating mattress is similar in design and concept to the Vango Shangri-La II 10, which currently occupies the top spot in our guide to the best camping beds. Although the Ultim Comfort is not quite up to the Vango's level of comfort, it is quite a bit cheaper to buy.
At this moment, I should mention that this mattress bed should not be confused with the much lighter and thinner lilo-style inflatable mats designed more for lightweight backpacking and bikepacking adventures. If you're after something along those lines, check out our excellent guide to the best camping mats.
I shall now get this snazzy bed out of the bag, blow it up, have a nap and get back to you in due course with my thoughts on whether this is the best inflatable camping mattress for you.
[First reviewed July 2023.]
Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review: price and availability
The Quechua Ultim Comfort retails at £84.99 (approx. £108/ AU$ 164) and is available from Decathlon. Since Decathlon is such a brilliant store for all things camping – and outdoor–related, we urge you to peruse the company's wide range of other keenly-priced camping gear while you’re at it.
Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review: design and features
The Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress, to give it its full moniker, is a self-inflating mattress that’s covered on one side in soft flock and filled with porous foam and several large air channels. The mattress arrives folded and compressed into an admittedly large by thankfully light-ish carry bag that measures 72 x 50 x 11cm. For size alone it therefore isn’t suitable for backpacking or bikepacking. It is, however, perfect for car camping or a trip to the beach.
The bed itself is two metres in length – the average – and 70cm in width, which is two or three centimetres shy of some of the competition but easily wide enough for the majority of users. Fully inflated, it stands at around 8cm in depth.
Now I should add that some campers will definitely prefer having more height to their bed than being just 8cm off the floor, and the best way around this is to either place the Quechua mattress on top of a standard airbed or, much better still, put it on top of the remarkable Quechua Inflatable Camp Bed Base, which T3 camping expert Mark Mayne mostly raves about.
Another handy feature of this bed is something you’ll really come to appreciate when the temperature plummets. Normal pump-style airbeds tend to adopt the surrounding ambient and floor temperature, and no amount of body heat makes a blind bit of difference in warming them up on a chilly night. To make users aware of this, a new standard that measures a specific mattress’s thermal properties came into force in 2020.
The ASTM R-Value standard is a ‘measure of a structure’s thermal resistance to heat loss’, and it’s an important thing to consider, especially if shopping for a mattress that is to be used out of season. According to winter camping expert Alpkit (external link), ‘the higher the R-value, the more your mat resists heat loss and the better it insulates you from the cold ground. As a rule of thumb, an R-value of 1.0 to 2.0 is fine for summer use, but you’d need a rating of 4.0 to 5.0+ for winter camping.’ The Quechua Ultim Comfort has an R-value of 8.6 which is brilliant for all seasons, including winter use and even some extreme conditions.
Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review: performance
At first glance, the Ultim Comfort’s depth of just 8cm seemed awfully shallow but I was pleasantly surprised when I lay on it, since no part of my body came into contact with the ground, even when sleeping on my side. In fact I tried several times to dig my hips and shoulder into it but I still never felt any firm resistance. I should add that I only weigh 60 kilos and the mattress has a maximum recommended weight of 110 kg.
Unlike some self-inflatable mattresses that have just one two-way valve, this one has two valves – IN and OUT. To use, simply unfold it and pull the inlet valve tab out, and you’ll hear a rush of air as it self-inflates and expands to its maximum depth. It took about 40 seconds to fill in my test – it’s rated to up to 200 inflation/deflation cycles – and I found the initial amount of air pressure ideal for my spindly 60kg weight. In fact I felt no need to add extra puffs or reach for an air pump which ups the PSI considerably but makes the bed too firm to sleep on – unless you’re a baby elephant.
To deflate it, you simply open the outlet valve, fold it in half and lie on it until all the air has been expelled. Then fold it up into three, lie on it again, and stuff it back into its figure-hugging nylon bag.
I positively loved this mattress’s smooth flocked surface, which has absolutely no impressions or bulges like most normal air beds. And unlike a standard air bed which makes a noise when you move around, this one is completely silent. It’s also much easier to get into one’s sleeping bag without lurching from side to side – a common anomaly with standard air beds.
However, for me, one of the most reassuring features of a mattress like this is that there is very little chance of it being punctured by a stone under the groundsheet or the weight of a knee blowing a seam. The latter scenario happened to me while getting into a standard airbed on one occasion, and I had to sleep the entire night on the ground and then go out the next day to find a new bed.
The upshot is that, even if the Quechua somehow produced a dirty great hole in it, the foam alone will ensure the entire night isn’t ruined. In fact, I tested this by opening the outlet valve and lying on it. Amazingly, it didn’t seem to make much difference to the cushioning, and I still felt relatively comfortable. Although this is a single mattress, Quechua has designed it so that you can link two of them together to form one extra large 1.4m wide double bed.
Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review: verdict
In the arena of camping mattresses, the Quechua Ultim Comfort is a sterling choice that provides excellent comfort while being effortless to set up and fold down. For the price, it performs superbly well in all temperatures, making it a shoo-in for car camping, caravanning, the beach and even the patio or garden on a warm summer’s day.