The Outwell Dreamboat is a self-inflating mat that feels more like a mattress than a SIM.
The Outwell Dreamboat has got to be one of the best Self Inflating Mats for family car camping.
Our Score: 9.3/10
We've given the Outwell Dreamboat Double - The Best Family Camping SIM? the Thumbs Up award.
- The Dreamboat is very comfortable SIM. It also provides good ground insulation. Plus, you don't bounce around like you do on a double air bed.
The not so good
- It is at the top end of the market and so relatively expensive compared to thinner SIMs, but then this is a lot better than cheaper SIMs.
This was a hands-on product review.
Outwell Dreamboat Double - The Best Family Camping SIM? has a recommended retail price of £269.99.
Outwell Dreamboat Double - The Best Family Camping SIM? Videos
Outwell Dreamboat Double - The Best Family Camping SIM? Photos
View our review of the latest Outwell Dreamboat design.
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 very impressed. So, last year, I bought one from Camping World.
The Dreamboat - A closer look
The Outwell Dreamboat is a 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 Dreamboat are hollow channels within the foam that gets inflated, turning it from a roll into a mattress.
You can adjust the air in the mattress to make it 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 for 5-10 minutes, it will be much more inflated.
But, as with just about all self-inflating mats, they usually don't get there by themselves. You'll need to blow some air in to get that little more air.
The Dreamboat has 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.
Oh, and if you get a puncture, a repair kit is included.
The Outwell Dreamboat vs. An Airbed
We've all used the Dreamboat in our family and voted it much better than any airbed we've tried. Even the large Vango Airhead we recently tried.
It's also much 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 much 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
Another Outwell SIM we have been using for a few years is the Outwell Dreamcatcher.
The Dreamcatcher is much more like your traditional SIM, though a lot thicker and more comfortable than small thin SIMs.
The Dreamboat has much 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 for putting it away. After all, SIMs 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 keep it folded down the middle. This keeps it the right size to get back into its bag.
- The valves start rolling it in a tight bundle from the opposite end. 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 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 from 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 of the places we've taken our Outwell Dreamboat. We take it whenever possible, whether sleeping in a big tent or just using a little tent.
Although it's not as clean as when we first got it, the Outwell Dreamboat performs just as well as when we bought it.
The Outwell Dreamboat is an excellent 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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