I’m going to deviate from the norm a bit in this post. Generally, when I write about camping air mattress beds, I gravitate towards companies like Coleman and other proven industry leaders. For guest beds, I gravitate to companies like German-based Aero. Today, I’m going to flip the norm, though, and highlight a particular air bed produced by Aero which I think fits nicely in the camping category.
Now, let’s clear the air on one thing right off the bat - Aero makes several beds that are great for vehicle camping. By that, I mean, air beds you can comfortably use in your SUV, camper, or truck or in your tent if you pitch it by your car. But I haven’t shown them much love when it comes to my preferred style of camping which involves hiking for miles with everything you need or want on your back. What I’m focusing on today is a notable “hybrid” that offers all of the convenience of vehicle-centered camping but which also might fit the bill should you like to hike.
The Aero Performalite Air Mattress Bed is our subject for today’s post and if you glance at the picture above you might be thinking I’m a bit off my rocker. Yes, it looks like your run of the mill air bed for guests. Yes, it looks like something you might pack in your trunk and use at a camp site or in the back of your pickup. But, hiking? Really? Well, yes… sort of.
What the Aero Performalite offers in comfort, it also attempts to offer in portability. The one feature about this bed that has me calling it to the attention of campers and hikers interested in air beds is that this model packs down to about the size of the self inflating air mattress beds most of us settle for on our hiking trips! That’s big news, folks, and earns the Aero Performalite some worthy recognition.
But it isn’t perfect. If you have visions of super luxurious snoozing under the stars in this fit-for-a-king in a twin size mattress, you might be overlooking one thing and that is its inflation. Though the Aero Performalite pumps up in a zippy 60 seconds (isn’t camping supposed to be about relaxing and taking your time?) it requires you to haul along the pump. Absent a convenient power outlet in the middle of nowhere (hello 60mile extension cord) you will have to pack that pump full of 8 C-size batteries and that means substantial extra weight.
Before I close, let me list some of the Aero Performalite Air Bed’s other features. The Performalite is built with water resistant ripstop material which is fairly durable and abrasion resistant. It is constructed of 100% PVC-free materials which gives it high marks for environmental friendliness, and includes a stuff sack for carrying. As mentioned, it deflates to about the size of a moderately-thick, self-inflating mat but is voluminous enough to far exceed the comfort offered by such mats. The pump is included and features a built-in flashlight (good thinking, Aero) for inflating the bed in the dark. As mentioned, the pump runs on 8 C-cell batteries or a DC outlet.
If you are an avid hiker or camper willing to haul the extra weight or willing forgo a few other items in your pack to allow for a sublime sleeping experience, the Aero Performlite may be the air mattress bed for you.
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