EnerPlex Camping Series Queen Review
Cons: No insulation, bouncy, heavy
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EnerPlex Camping Series Queen
|Price||$80 List||Check Price at REI|
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$107.39 at REI
|$229.95 at REI|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to use||Warm, comfortable, easy to inflate||Bed-like comfort, easy inflation, great value||Very comfortable, very warm, easy to use||Very packable, lightweight, warm enough for three season use|
|Cons||No insulation, bouncy, heavy||Large packed size||Too big for some single person tents||Large packed size, expensive||Bouncy, a little noisy, not warm enough for winter|
|Bottom Line||A classic air mattress, it's easy to use and good for the occasional warm night outdoors||Our favorite option with easy to use valves and pump sack for easy inflation||All our favorite features we love from a camping mat at a great price||Deluxe and plush, this is a top choice for car camping comfort||A lightweight and packable mattress that is also comfortable and warm enough for most uses|
|Rating Categories||EnerPlex Camping Se...||Therm-a-Rest MondoK...||REI Co-op Camp Drea...||Exped MegaMat 10||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||EnerPlex Camping Se...||Therm-a-Rest MondoK...||REI Co-op Camp Drea...||Exped MegaMat 10||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...|
|Dimensions||80 x 60 x 9 in||80 x 30 x 4.25 in||78 x 32 x 4 in||77.6 x 30.3 x 4 in||77 x 30 x 4 in|
|Test Model||Queen||XXL||XL||Green LXWide||XLarge|
|Length||80 in||80 in||78 in||77.6 in||77 in|
|Width||60 in||30 in||32 in||30.3 in||30 in|
|Thickness||9 in||4.25 in||4 in||4 in||4 in|
|Weight||10.94 lbs||5.27 lbs||6.38 lbs||6.1 lbs||2.34 lbs|
|Type||Pump inflation||Pump inflation||Self Inflating||Self inflating||Pump inflation|
|Packed Size (inches)||17 x 17 x 8 in||9 x 32 in||11 in x 30 in||9 in x 33 in||12 x 6 in|
|Bed Material||Polyvinyl Chloride with waterproof flock top||Polyester||Stretch polyester||50D polyester with TPU polyether film laminate||Polyester|
|Valves||One valve||TwinLock||One valve||Two valves||TwinLock|
|Accessories||Electric pump, 12 volt car plug, storage sack||Stuff sack||Air Pump/Pillow||Mini pump, stuff sack, repair kit and manual||Stuff sack, pump, pump sack|
|Breaths to Inflate||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We didn't have high expectations for this rather simple air mattress but put it through the same tests as the more expensive mattresses in this review. While it performed about as well as we expected in terms of warmth and comfort, we were impressed with how easy it is to use and clean and its low price. Anyone who has spent a night on an air mattress will not be shocked by our results, but sometimes other factors come into play when purchasing an air mattress. We thought it was important to give those factors a review.
Like other air mattresses of this style, the Enerplex is basically a PVC envelope with columns to give it structure when filled with air. It is covered with a velvet-like flocking to make it feel softer on the skin and keeps sleeping bags from sliding off. The whole thing is waterproof, making it uncannily similar to a giant pool floatie. We actually quite enjoyed lounging in the middle of a warm day, as the nine nches of air provided a good cushion from pine cones and rough ground.
If you are sleeping solo, you will have loads of space to spread out. Because there is no foam in this mattress, however, there is nothing to dampen any movement. When sharing this queen-sized mattress, both testers felt like they were being launched around in a bouncy house. Every toss and turn is exaggerated with a second person. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to sleep anywhere, and if you are one of those people, you may find this to be an acceptable, if not luxurious, sleeping option.
It is important to note that this mattress is made of PVC, which, while durable, is a known carcinogen. The unpleasant odor quite struck testers, and we recommend that you set it up and let it air out for a good amount of time before spending the night on it.
Ease of Use
Inflating the Enerplex could not be easier, simply turn on the included electric pump and wait for it to fill. The pump does not use batteries and, therefore, must be plugged in. It comes equipped with a wall plug and a car adapter, as well as an assortment of nozzles to pump up other inflatables you may have with you.
It would be mighty challenging to blow up this beast with your lungs, as the only valve is two-way (meaning air goes in as easily as it goes out), and the size is massive. The valve does have a flap that theoretically allows for micro-adjustments, but we found it to be pretty fiddly and easy to push in too much, meaning too much air was released. The pump makes the inevitable loud whine, something to keep in mind if you are setting up camp in a crowded campground.
To deflate, simply unscrew the valve cap, push back the valve flap, and watch the air rush out. With no foam or insulation, it is just a matter of folding it up to the correct size. The storage sack has straps to allow for carrying, like a backpack, which we found to be handy. Additionally, the mattress is waterproof and super easy to clean with a damp cloth. Overall, where this mattress excels is its ease of use.
The R-value of a camping mattress tells you how well it insulates against the cold ground — the higher the value, the better it insulates. With a high R-value, you can expect to be kept warm in much colder temperatures as you create a buffer from the cold.
Because the Enerplex has no insulation and no R-value, you shouldn’t expect it to keep you warm. Air mattresses can actually make you colder if the air that surrounds you is colder than the ground. While you can make it more insulating by covering it with a thick blanket, this model would only be appropriate for warm weather camping or use indoors. Many outdoor destinations are considerably colder at night than in the daytime, so while we found this mattress pleasant for napping in 70 degrees, we were quite chilled when the temps dipped into the 40s, even with warm sleeping bags.
We tested a queen-sized model of the Enerplex — 60 by 80 inches. It fits two people comfortably and fits standard sheets, making it an easy and affordable option for house guests. However while it fits two people, they may not sleep well due to the unavoidable bounce that comes with an air mattress.
The large size will not allow it to fit in many two-person tents, so make sure to check your tent size if you plan to use it camping. Weighing nearly eleven pounds, it is also quite heavy, so you probably won’t want to take it very far from your car. Because of this and its limited warmth, it did not score very highly in this metric.
Considering the inflated size, the packed size for the Enerplex is relatively small. It was easy to fold up to fit into the carrying pack and should fit easily in a storage closet or in the back of the car.
Though it comes with a backpack-like carrying bag, the straps are rather long and do not adjust, making it a bit of dead weight to carry around. Of course, it has to be plugged in to be inflated, anyway, so unless you want to carry the inflated mattress through the forest, you will want to pick a campsite close to where you park.
The Enerplex is one of the cheapest mattresses in our test that still offers some level of comfort, making it an undeniable value. It is super easy to use, easy to clean, and completely waterproof. However, if you're looking for comfort or warmth when you sleep outdoors, you may want to consider a different model.
While the Enerplex doesn’t rank well in our tests, it is super easy to use and very affordable. If you are planning to do a lot of sleeping outdoors, we would not recommend this model, but for the occasional night out and as an occasional guest bed, it is an excellent choice for anyone on a tight budget.
— Laurel Hunter
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