Outwell Dreamcatcher for a good night’s sleep

(2 customer reviews)


Average Score 8.8
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SKU: Dreamcatcher Single 7.5
Brand: Outwell

The Outwell Dreamcatcher is a great self-inflating mat for family camping as it doesn’t have to be as small as backpacking SIMs, so it’s a lot more comfy.

There’s all sorts of things that can keep you awake at night when camping: windy weather, noisy neighbours, and of course, snoring!

But the one thing that can really irritate most people, is an uncomfortable bed.

We’ve had air beds for years, and then got some Self Inflating Mats (SIMs) for the kids.

The problem with air beds is that they can be bulky and bouncy – especially a double. If your partner moves, then so do you!

The SIMs are a great invention. They save time setting up camp as well.

The downside with SIMs is that they’re really aimed at the backpacking market, so they’re small at light. Being able to pack something small is of greater importance than comfort.

Fortunately this does’t apply to most family campers, as we take the car (and roofbox, and trailer). So, what we want is something that is easy to put up like a SIM, but more comfortable than the regular backpacking SIM.

Enter Outwell’s new range of Self Inflating Mats: the Dreamboat, the Deepsleep, and the Dreamcatcher. I saw these when they were first unveiled at the Outwell trade show, and was extremely impressed. They looked a lot better than other brands’ SIMs that were coming onto the market.

As they’re not intended for backpacking, Outwell have made these SIMs a lot more comfortable.

Outwell sent us a 7 cm Outwell Dreamcatcher to review. You can also get it as a 5cm and a 10cm thickness mat.

Outwell Dreamcatcher Review

Outwell Dreamcatcher 7cm

The Outwell Dreamcatcher comes rolled up in a carry bag, which is a lot bigger than the previous SIMs we’ve had before, but it’s not too big, and is an easy size to pack.


Inflating the Outwell Dreamcatcher

Outwell do provide some instructions and advise that as the mat has been rolled up since manufacture, the first time you inflate, you will need to gently blow into the valve to help it on its way. This is usual on self inflating mats; you often have to give them a little blow.

Sure enough, after leaving the mat for a few minutes it was clear that it needed some help. Quite a bit actually, but I was not as out of breath as when blowing up balloons.

Once inflated the Outwell Dreamcatcher is very firm. In fact, Outwell also advise that you may wish to let some air out if you want a softer bed.

They also recommend that the Dreamcatcher is left inflated for a while on its first use, in order to let the foam expand. So if you’re going to get one (and I recommend that you do), inflate it at home first before you take it to the campsite.

A sound night’s sleep

The sleeping mat was very comfortable to sleep on. It didn’t deflate either overnight.

Two of us have now tried the Dreamcatcher, and we both think it’s better than the air bed, and better than the old (thiner) SIMs.


How to roll up an Outwell Dreamcatcher

Putting the Outwell Dreamcatcher away is straightforward.

It has two valves so that you can get the air out quicker.

Here’s the steps for putting away the Dreamcatcher:

  • Open both valves.
  • Start to roll up the SIM from the opposite end to the valves.
  • Keep the roll nice and tight, and push down to force the air out. If it doesn’t look that tight, unroll a bit and re-roll. You’ll find it easier the second time as you would have got rid of a lot of air.
  • When you get to the valves, tighten them up.
  • Use the velcro straps to keep the roll together and slide it into its bag.


Our opinion?

Update 2015: We have been using the Outwell Dreamcatcher for the last year and it’s still going as good as new.

This self inflating mat is a great alternative to air beds and a lot more comfortable than most smaller backpacking SIMs.

It gets the thumbs up from us 🙂



8.8Expert Score
The Outwell Dreamcatcher is a great self-inflating mat for family camping as it doesn't have to be as small as backpacking SIMs, so it's a lot more comfy.
Value for Money
  • A great option for family camping with a car.
  • Much thicker than hiking SIMs, and so more comfortable.
  • Much wider than hiking SIMs, providing more comfort.
  • New valves make it easier to inflate and deflate.
  • More expensive than cheap SIMs, but well worth the extra money IMHO

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2 reviews for Outwell Dreamcatcher for a good night’s sleep

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  1. Daniel Duerden

    Garbage quality, material too weak. Gets punctures all the time. Buy something else.

    + PROS: None
    - CONS: Weak material, punctures too easily.
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      Gav Grayston

      That’s not our experience of using one a lot. Are you sure you’re talking about the same product? Were you using it directly on stony ground?

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  2. Kevin Nisbet

    We have the Vango Comfort 10cm Sims and I find that opening both valves and folding it a quarter at a time while sitting on each quarter to squeeze the air out, once you’ve squeezed most of the air out close both valves unravel and then start to roll, the entire rolling process is much simpler and you get a nice neat roll, once you get to the last 1/8th open one valve and squeeze any remaining air out.

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    Gav Grayston Contributor

    Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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