Hest Dually Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hest Dually Mattress is the closest thing to an actual mattress in this review. It does have a few features that make it slightly more portable and functional for camping, however. This mattress is large enough for two people, or one person and a dog, or even two people and a small dog, but definitely functions best in a vehicle or trailer as it is a bit unwieldy. Unique among camping mattresses, as well, the Dually is comprised of foam without any self-inflating features.
The Dually is a large mattress made of equal parts of two different densities of foam that are welded together. The top layer is soft and plush memory foam, while the bottom layer is denser and more supportive. The total thickness is just under four inches.
There are two one-person sized slabs of this foam, each zipped inside a giant fabric case that hinges in the middle. This allows the mattress to be folded exactly in half so that it only takes up half the space (though it is, of course, double the height). It also keeps the sleeping surface cleaner.
The surface that is next to the skin is a stretchy nylon material that flexes with your body as you sink into the memory foam. It is quiet and soft to the touch. The fine-knit material does allow dust to get into the foam, so if you are camping in a dusty, dry area, you will want to keep the mattress closed and off the ground when not in use.
Our testers found this foam combo to be truly comfortable. There is no air to add support, so if you prefer a firmer mattress, this may not work for you. But after a full day of hiking and exploring, we enjoyed settling into this rather luxurious bed. Though it works best on a platform, it protects well from rough objects on the ground. Because the mat is really two single mattresses that are held together in a fabric shell, two people can sleep without feeling any movement at all from the other person. The seam between the two parts is quite snug, so the foam parts did not separate, meaning no one falls into a crack.
Keep in mind that this camping mat is offered in two sizes: long or wide. We tested the wide version, which is 60 inches wide and six feet long, which is noticeably shorter than other camping mattresses that we tested. Taller campers may want to look at the long version. However, the long version is not as wide. While the foam can be pushed into some tight corners, make sure and measure your sleeping area to get a proper fit.
Ease of Use
Readying the Dually for use involves unbuckling two large plastic buckles and opening it flat. To store, you reverse the process. The only part that is not easy is maneuvering it around. Did we mention that it weighs 32 pounds? Even with the nylon carrying handles, you are moving 30 by 60 inches of floppy foam, so you are not going to want to carry it very far.
It does feature two pockets in the front of the mattress that are sized perfectly for phones but are also handy for storing a headlamp or keys. The outer surface is polyurethane-coated nylon, which we found to be rugged and durable. Unless you are in the snow, camping is a dirty business, and our testers found that the soft nylon sleeping surface got dusty and dirty quite easily. The entire fabric cover can be zipped off for washing, but you will want to have a large, clean surface to stash your foam while you are doing this. Other than this, it is easy to clean.
Those campers that sleep in a van, truck, or trailer with a dedicated sleeping platform will get the best use out of this mattress, where storing it closed will provide needed extra space for adventure gear. The Dually ships with all the air squeezed out the foam, and you will want to allow it some time to expand back to full size before first use.
The R-value of the Dually is not available, but four inches of solid foam is going to provide ample insulation for four-season camping. We tested in the spring in Central Oregon, where nighttime temperatures can often get below freezing, and our testers reported that it was always cozy and warm. The foam did not harden or lose its pliable feeling. We anticipate that it would be insulating in all but the harshest conditions.
We have to admit that the Dually is not a versatile mattress. It doesn't really pack up, it is large and awkward to carry. You really need a truck or van to transport it, and storing it takes up quite a bit of space. It is probably too big for most tents, and you are definitely not carrying it into the backcountry. Ideally, this mattress can live in your vehicle's dedicated sleeping platform and not have to get hauled around.
However, if you are looking for the most comfortable guest bed you can find that is easier to store and move around than an actual mattress, this would be a fine choice.
As you may have guessed, packed size is simply half the width of the unpacked size, while being twice as tall (nearly eight inches). It is huge.
Really it is folded in half rather than packed. This is quite handy if you are sleeping in your car and need extra space for transporting gear without getting your mattress dirty, but there is no option to roll up this mat for smaller storage, and the Dually does not shine in the packed size metric.
This model works really well for two people or one person who likes a lot of space, but if you are camping with additional family members, storing more than one of these would take a massive amount of space.
This is the most expensive mattress in our test; but if getting a fantastic night's sleep is your top priority and you are living in or spending a lot of nights in your vehicle, you may consider this to be an excellent investment — especially if you are playing hard in the outdoors and need a good nighttime recovery. It is easier to move than a standard mattress and has some features to make it camping-friendly. If you need a camping mattress that can be stashed away in a small space or offers more versatility, then it won't be a good value for you.
The Dually is admittedly not as versatile for general camping use. While we wouldn't want it to be our dedicated tent camping mattress, it is crazy comfortable and warm. If you are leaving the tent behind and want the best night's sleep you can buy, this mattress is an excellent option for your tent trailer or for #vanlife.
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