The Coleman Extra Durable Airbed is – on the face of it – a camping airbed with extras. The reputable brand name suggests it's probably more reliable than some of the no-name airbeds out there, and worthy of consideration for our best camping bed guide. It sits at the top of Coleman’s camping airbed range – we tried the single bed, but there's also a double version and an epicly large ‘raised double’ iteration that's bigger than many actual mattresses we've slept on. Of course, it's bulkier option aimed at car campers looking for some extra comfort (if you're tight on space, we recommend picking up one of the best camping mats instead). Read on for our Coleman Extra Durable Airbed review.
Coleman Extra Durable Airbed review: design and build
The design of the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single is neat enough – a drawstring at each end of a pouch unravels to let you unroll the body of the airbed. This (in reverse) also allows quick and easy ‘wrap and roll’ deflation and stowage too. Made from REACH compliant PVC with a soft-touch brushed polyester surface, the airbed is soft to the touch, and features 24 internal inflatable ‘coils’ for better comfort.
Coleman claims that the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single is 47% more puncture resistant, 25% stronger and up to 42% lighter than a standard air bed, weighing in at 1.8 kg, and packing down to a reasonable 198 x 82 x 22cm. That’s a good packsize for a fairly substantial mattress, so car-campers with limited space (or high camping equipment aspirations) can rest easy.
Finally, the valve system is nice and simple, a Double Lock system that pulls out to open, push in to lock, with a robust outer stopper to prevent accidental deflation.
Coleman Extra Durable Airbed review: comfort
Inflating the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single begins well, simply unrolling the stuff sack and laying the mattress out is nice and straightforward, and the valve system is intuitive enough. You will need a pump to inflate the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single, and using a high-volume hand pump takes quite a while, requiring several minutes of energetic pumping.
Weirdly there’s no mention anywhere of inflation pressures, on close inspection of the instruction manual a line reads to inflate until ‘most of the wrinkles in the material are gone and the bed feels firm’, which seems a bit vague. The manual also notes that using a hairdryer to fill the mattress with hot air ‘could cause melting’ – so bear that in mind, kids.
Once inflated, you’re the proud owner of an airbed, which is pretty comfortable to sleep on. The depth is similar to a standard mattress, so it’s easy to feel at home, and the fabric finish isn’t unpleasant to the touch. Inevitably the camp bed does feel more homogenous and less responsive than a sprung indoor mattress, but it’s still pretty comfortable, keeping you well off the cold ground and nicely insulated. The 82cm width is generous too, providing plenty of wiggle room before you fall off the edge.
We tested the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single for a couple of days, during which time it didn’t leak, but the real proof of the pudding would be in longer use, especially repeated use, where damage can cause issues.
Coleman Extra Durable Airbed review: verdict
The Coleman Extra Durable Airbed is a quality camp bed at a mid-range price point, and it delivers exactly what it says on the tin. For car camping and family weekends away in larger tents, this is a perfect home-from-home sleeping experience, the low packsize and light weight both being helpful even here to keep clutter down. The integrated carry bag also helps here, one less thing to lose, and the robust valve adds confidence that disaster will not strike and leave you with a deflated mess to sleep on. In addition, the claims of improved puncture resistance and stronger construction should help you sleep easier.