- They’re noisy. I’m an active sleeper and every time I change position in the night, they squeak and thump, waking me.
- They’re cold. While camping in Maine once, a bone-chilling cold seeped up through the ground, turning my air mattress into a veritable dry ice pack.
- They’re hard to share. If you’re bunking with someone who weighs more than you, you’re going to end up on a very hard hill filled with air. Your bed partner will likely find a soft comfy nest, but you will be launched out of the tent if they change position quickly.
Air mattresses are not the only choices out there that offer a more comfortable night’s sleep. There are thin pads that many hikers use to cushion their sleeping bags from the ground. Sleeping pads come in various thicknesses and firmnesses. Thinner ones can be rolled like a sleeping bag and thicker pads are usually folded in thirds. The thicker sleeping pads require much more room to store, but are surprisingly comfortable.
What made our tent so popular a hangout was the fact that we had two cots made up in similar fashion, one on each side of the tent. We topped them both with throw pillows and a cotton throw blanket for good measure. We covered the floor of the tent with thick Indian blankets and set up the tent on an indoor/outdoor rug. The plastic camp box doubled as a coffee table and the set of plastic storage drawers made a suitable night stand and place to set the battery powered lamp.