Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress: I Bought & Tested It
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Rating and Summary
The Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress is a very comfortable air mattress, complete with an in-built pillow that’s 2 inches higher than the air mattress. It’s also pretty high quality and user-friendly with its Boston valve. Most importantly, it’s a highly inexpensive PVC-free camping mattress.
However, the included pump isn’t very good, and there’s some amount of bouncing. Would I still recommend it though? Read on to find out!
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Check out the Sierra Designs 2P Mattress:
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought the Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress from Amazon, and here’s what the outer packaging looked like:
In the Box
After unboxing the Sierra Designs 2-Person Mattress, I got the inflatable mattress inside a stuff sack, and a pump.
Here are my personal measurements and timings of the Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress:
- Thickness: 7 inches
- Loft: Air
- Length: 77 inches
- Width: 54 inches
- Weight (Mattress): 4.8 pounds
- Weight (Stuff sack): 1.5 ounces
- Weight of pump (with 4 D batteries): 27.9 ounces
- Packed Size: 14 by 8 by 7 inches
- R-value: None
- Material: TPU-coated
- Valve: 1 Boston valve (color-coded)
- Storage Pouch: Yes
- Pump: Yes (battery-operated)
- Features: In-built pillow (9 inches off the ground)
- Fastest Inflation: 3.5 minutes (with included pump)
- Fastest Deflation: 2.5 minutes
Testing and Performance
I put the Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress through these 5 tests:
- Ease of Use
- Versatility + Sizing
Here’s how the Sierra Designs Mattress performed.
Thickness and Loft
The Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress gets me about 7 inches off the ground. When inflated fully, my body does not touch the ground whether I’m sleeping on my back, stomach, or side. Even when I was leaning on my elbow or sitting down, I could not feel the ground.
There’s an in-built pillow at one end of the mattress, which is about 9 inches off the ground.
The Sierra Designs Air Mattress measures about 77 by 54 inches, which is slightly larger than a Full size, but smaller than a Queen for sure. For me, it fits 2 people quite comfortably.
I found the in-built pillow very comfortable, and even though there were lots of divots along the air mattress, they supported my body very well and was surprisingly very comfy.
The surface is not flocked, so it was a little bit noisy when moving in bed.
As for bouncing, there was a fair amount when there’s another person sharing the mattress, but it’s not the worst I’ve seen in an air mattress.
Ease of Use
The Sierra Designs 2-Person Air Mattress has a Boston valve along the side of the airbed, nearer to the top.
To inflate it, you can unscrew this black 1-way valve, and using the included pump, it’ll take about 6 and a half minutes for the full inflation.
You can also use this white 2-way valve for inflation, which takes about 2 and a half minutes, but air will leak out when you remove the pump, so you can use the black 1-way valve to top off the air after, which will take another 1 minute or so. (So altogether, 3 and a half minutes.)
When inflating, you need to hold the pump in place.
I find the mattress super comfortable when it’s firm, but if you like it a bit softer, you can unscrew the white 2-way valve slightly to let a bit of air out. Just don’t unscrew it too much or too much air will leak out and you’ll have to re-pump.
To deflate the Sierra Designs Air Mattress, just unscrew the white 2-way opening fully, fold the mattress in thirds, then use your body weight to push the air out.
Fold it in thirds again, and then half it. This will get most of the air out, and takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds or so. Folding it up properly will take about another 1 minute 15 seconds, so altogether about 2 and a half minutes.
The Sierra Designs Mattress comes with an oversized stuff sack, that makes it easy to fit the mattress back in, even if it isn’t fully deflated. The stuff sack doesn’t come with any handles or straps for carrying though.
After deflating, the Sierra Designs 2-Person Air Mattress has a smallest packed size of about 14 x 8 x 7 inches. Here’s what it looks like beside a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle and the included pump.
The packed size will change depending on how you fold it and how much air you push out of it.
How to Fold
For me personally, I like to flip the mattress over, with the gray side facing upward. Then, I fold it in half, width-wise, 3 times. Then, I fold it in thirds, push more air out, and finally, roll it up and store it back into the stuff sack.
The Sierra Designs Air Mattress weighs about 4.8 pounds for just the mattress alone, the stuff sack weighs about 1.5 ounces, and the pump with 4 D batteries weighs 27.9 ounces or 1.7 pounds.
Versatility + Sizing
The Sierra Designs 2-Person Air Mattress is not insulated, so it’s best to use this during the summer. It’s a little too heavy for backpacking, especially with the pump and batteries, so you’re limited to car camping.
Here’s what the Sierra Designs Air Mattress looks like inside a Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent.
It fits just nicely into the tent, with maybe a couple inches of extra space at the top. But basically, there’s no space for gear or anything else after inflating the mattress.
Livable space is pretty good, and there’s enough space for me to sit up and also to crouch.
When I was inflating the Sierra Designs Mattress inside the tent, I was squashed between the mattress and the tent, so I had the squeeze out after. But thankfully, the valve is somewhere near the top of the mattress, so you can inflate it from outside the tent.
Also, when I was lying on the in-built pillow, the wall of tent kept brushing against the top of my head, which was a little annoying, so I’d prefer to use this mattress inside a bigger tent.
Here’s what the Sierra Designs Mattress looks like inside a Coleman 4-Person Dome Tent when placed vertically inside the tent.
There isn’t enough space to fit 2 of these mattresses, but having just 1 mattress gives me plenty of space for my camping gear. I also have lots of livable space.
The Sierra Designs 2-Person Air Mattress is made of a TPU-coated, stretch-resistant, and abrasion-resistant material, probably polyester (at least, this is what I think). It’s PVC-free, I never had any issues with stretching, and my mattress was firm even on the first night of use.
The top feels more velvety than the bottom, I think this is for additional sleeping comfort. The material feels decently thick and heavy duty, and I do believe that this can last for some time.
The valve is a Boston valve that’s made of hard plastic, is color-coded, and feels good quality. I never had any issues with leaking in the few weeks that I was using this.
Seams and Air Retention
The baffling is comfortable, the seams are good quality and air retention is very good. I slept on the Sierra Designs Mattress with another person (about 300+ pounds together) 3 nights in a row without having to top up any air at all.
The included pump is not very good; it’s quite low powered and it stopped working a few months in. It doesn’t even turn on anymore.
Stuff Sack Quality
The stuff sack feels high quality and seems to be pretty strong.
Pros and Cons
For pros, the Sierra Designs 2-Person Air Mattress is very comfortable. My body felt well-supported, and the in-built pillow supported my head really well. It’s very user-friendly, because the Boston valve is well-positioned, and makes it very easy to inflate and deflate.
It’s also easy to pack away into the oversized stuff sack. It’s lightweight and packs down small for a camping but not backpacking air mattress, and is one of most portable 2-person air mattresses. It’s also the least expensive PVC-free camping air mattress that I have, and has great air retention and high quality materials for the price.
As for cons, the pump I got wasn’t very good and stopped working a few months in and there’s some amount of bouncing.
Also, I’m probably being nit-picky, but it’s quite a few inches smaller than a Queen. At 77 by 54 inches, it’s not a Queen, but in between a Full and a Queen. (Sierra Designs used to advertise this as a Queen, but they no longer do, so I guess this isn’t an issue anymore.)
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the Sierra Designs Air Mattress worked. It performed almost as well as some of my other air mattresses that cost 2 to 3 times more.
It does have flaws, yes, but I don’t think they’re very serious, and this is a solid case where the pros outweigh the cons. I think this is perfect for anyone looking for a comfortable, user-friendly and portable 2-person air mattress without a large budget, just be prepared for some bouncing and having to buy a new pump eventually.
Bonus: Must Read!
To find out how the Sierra Designs 2-Person Camping Air Mattress compares against the competition, here’s a blog post where I bought, tested and compared 10 of the best camping mattresses for couples.
Or, check out the Sierra Designs 2P Mattress: