Lightspeed 2 Person Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Of the three air beds that we tested for this review, the Lightspeed 2-person is one of the best. In general, however, we found all of the air beds to be inferior to the rest of the competition in our review, mostly because they were less comfortable and significantly colder and without insulating properties. The advantages of these air beds are their affordability, the fact that they sleep two people, pack to a relatively small size, and are fairly easy to use.
The Lightspeed 2-person is easy to blow up with its battery-powered pump. That said, it is not easy to get it full to the point of being super firm, which in our opinion, is necessary for an airbed to reach its full comfort potential.
Air beds are less comfortable than foam-filled mattresses because they rely only on air. With two people on the bed, the air inside the mattress displaced by one person's body tends to buoy and rock the other person. For that reason, we find these mattresses to be more comfortable if slept on with only one person (despite being sized for two), or if they are filled very full to the point of being firm. The Lightspeed battery-powered pump is not super effective at filling the mattress to the point of firmness, and so, in general, we found our sleeping experience on this softer, less full bed to be slightly less comfortable. Its face fabric is also made of slippery polyester, which we liked less than the velvety plush on other mattresses.
Ease of Use
The Lightspeed 2-person is among the easiest car camping mattress to use, although it still takes a bit of work to set up. Just don't forget to buy four size D batteries for the pump before you end up in the middle of nowhere at your campsite!
To inflate, all that is needed is to roll the bed out, insert the nozzle of the pump while in the "inflate position" into the smaller of the two valve openings, and turn the pump on. Wait about 4:00 to 4:30 minutes, and the bed will be as firm as you can get it. Quickly screw the valve closed, so air doesn't leak out.
For deflation and stowing, the battery pump also has a deflate option that will suck the air out of the bed. We found it quicker and easier to simply open the big deflate valve and quickly squeeze all the air out. The bed can be folded and rolled up with the deflate valve open, which is a breeze.
With no foam or insulating materials of any sort inside this mattress, it has an R-value of 1.0. According to Wikipedia, an R-value of 1.0 is similar to that of wood chips or snow. While this bed is clearly not as cold as snow, it does about the same job of resisting heat transfer, i.e., not much. We found that we were pretty cold on this bed out in the mountains, even on a summer night, and indeed, if you will be sleeping in temperatures anywhere below about 60 degrees, we would highly recommend that you select a mattress with better insulating properties.
While this bed does pack down pretty small, it is heavy. Our biggest complaint, however, was that it sleeps so cold. We would only recommend it for outside camping, or even in the back of a vehicle if the nighttime temperatures are going to stay quite warm, which is not the case very much of the year in the mountains where we live. Though it will serve well as an emergency bed for guests, there are not many places or situations we would want to use this mattress, making it not very versatile.
The 2-person packs down into the smallest package of any mattress we tested for the camping mattress review. It is still gigantic and heavy compared to a backpacking sleeping pad, however.
This price for this air bed retails for about the same as others with similar qualities. Because it has very limited insulating properties and marginal comfort, we do not find it to be a great value.
Air beds are an affordable two-person sleeping solution as a spare bed or for summertime camping. However, if you truly want a comfortable and warm car-camping mattress, we would recommend shelling out a few more dollars and buying one of the foam camping mattresses in our review.
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