Getting a good night’s sleep always makes camping a lot better.
We’ve covered ways to set-up your sleeping area for best results, but getting a good mat to sleep on really helps.
The top of the range sleeping mat from Outwell is their Dreamboat.
I saw this when it first came out and was really impressed. So, last year, I bought one from Camping World.
The Dreamboat – A closer look
The Outwell Dreamboat is part foam mattress and part self-inflating mat. They’ve taken concepts from both to make an incredibly comfortable mattress for family camping.
Inside the Deamboat are hollow channels to within the foam that get inflated, turning it from a roll into a mattress.
You can adjust the air in the mattress to make it either softer or firmer.
Inflating the Dreamboat
Being a ‘self-inflating’ mat, the dreamboat should, of course, inflate itself. And true, if you open the valves on the Dreamboat and leave it 5-10 minutes, it will be a lot more inflated.
But, as with just about all self-inflating mats, they usually don’t get all the way there by themselves. You’ll need to blow some air in to get that little bit more air in it.
On the Dreamboat, there is a one-way valve with a smiley face on it. Just put some gentle blows in there to adjust how firm or soft you want it.
Oh, and if you do get a puncture, there’s a repair kit included.
The Outwell Dreamboat vs. An Airbed
It’s also a lot warmer than an airbed, especially in cooler temperatures.
Airbeds can get quite cold as the air inside them cools down.
With the Outwell Dreamboat, all the foam inside the mat keeps it a lot warmer. I don’t think Outwell have published any insulation figures, but we have used it in the winter months, and it still works well.
The Outwell Dreamboat vs. Outwell Dreamcatcher
The Dreamcatcher is much more like your traditional SIM, though a lot thicker and much more comfortable that small thin SIMs.
The Dreamboat comes with a lot more padding and insulation, making it more comfortable than the Dreamcatcher.
Deflating the Dreamboat and rolling it up
As with any SIM, there’s a technique to putting it away. Afterall, SIM’s keep trying to re-inflate themselves.
Here’s how we roll up the Double Dreamboat mat.
- Open both valves
- Fold the airbed in half down the middle, making it a single size, and then lean on it to start getting the air out. Then, fold it in half again, and lean on it to get the air out.
- Unfold the last fold, but still keeping it folded down the middle. This keeps it the right size to get back into its bag.
- From the opposite end as the valves, start rolling it in a tight bundle.
You may need to pause to force more air out of your bundle.
If you have a little person, getting them to lie on the unrolled part of the mat helps keep it from re-inflating too much.
- By the time you have rolled it up, a lot of air will have been forced out. However, it still might not be enough to get it back in its bag. Just quickly unroll it and reroll it. It won’t take very long as most of the air is out, but this second roll can get the bundle nice and tight.
- Use the elastic straps that came with the Outwell Dreamboat to secure it and keep the bundle together. Put it back in its bag.
Storing the Dreamboat
The official guidance, as with any other SIM, is to store them unfolded with the valves open.
This helps them keep their shape and prevents mould building up inside.
One of the best places is to keep your SIMs unrolled under your bed.
It is recommended to store the Outwell Dreamboat unrolled, though we’ve been using it so often, that we’ve not done so 😐
The Dreamboat after nearly two summers
I’ve lost count on the number of places we’ve taken our Outwell Dreamboat. We take it whenever we can, whether we are sleeping in a big tent or just using a little tent.
Although it’s not looking as clean as when we first got it, the Outwell Dreamboat is still performing just as well as when we bought it.
The Outwell Dreamboat is a great bit of family camping it. If you can afford it, we highly recommend getting the Outwell Dreamboat.
It gets the GOWTK Thumbs Up award.
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