Festivals don't necessarily have to mean unfettered physical discomfort. A little consideration and preparation and you can live in the lap of luxury – relatively speaking, of course.

But most festival-goers don’t take a blow-up mattress with them, despite the extra sleep and, therefore, festival enjoyment that one would afford. They're traditionally bulky and a pain in the backside to inflate.

It likes to blow

The AeroBed Active aims to address one of these issues. It comes with a compact rechargeable inflator about one and a half times the circumference of a drinks can.

This makes setting the AeroBed up dead simple. Unroll the tough-feeling, flocking-topped mattress, line the inflator up with its proprietary valve, twist to lock and presto! It'll start puffing the AeroBed full of air.

The double mattress we tested inflated to full in just shy of a minute, and the inflator runs remarkably quiet. It's really rather impressive – as mattress inflators go.

Once inflated the bed feels tough and solid. It's reassuringly stable, so it shouldn’t tip you off its side while you're asleep, and it's tall enough (23cm) to provide plenty of insulation from the cold ground.

Letting it back down is equally easy. The whole valve assembly unclips and the mattress is flat as a pancake in no time. AeroBed claims 15s, we’d say 20s max.


The package comes with a wall and a car charger that will fully re-juice the inflator in two hours (after an initial 24-hour battery break-in charge). Alternatively, the inflator can be powered direct from your car battery for inflation without charging beforehand.

In short, it's a very, very good inflatable mattress. But it doesn't address that other issue.

The inflator is small and relatively light but it remains significantly heavier and bulkier than a pair of lungs, and the package as a whole is a similar size to – but significantly heavier than – a roll mat.

Even so, the benefits outweigh the cons. If you want to fest it up in luxury, the AeroBed's a great way to ensure you do.


Stuff says... 

AeroBed Active review

The best inflatable mattress we've ever had the pleasure of filling with air.