Review of Wenzel Twin Flocked Air Bed

This is one of the very cheapest air mattresses out there on the market - the Wenzel Twin Instabed. It will run you about $32 - not a lot of cash. The downside: this one is not for using at your house. You can find a lot better options for about $5 more (try this one from Intex). BUT - if you are looking for a cheap option for a hiking or camping trip, this would be a good pick. The short rule for this one: ONLY buy it if you're going somewhere you aren't going to have power.

 

 

   

 

  

You also get a couple of patches along with the air mattress itself. They're not really high quality (just little stickers, basically).

Manual Pump:

The main selling point for this product, in my opinion, is this: the internal hand pump below that you can use to inflate it. As you'll see below, it's both a plus and a minus, but the plus part is that you don't need electricity to pump this up. That makes it ideal for a camping trip, where you may not have an outlet for the internal pumps in many other competing brands.

Air Release Valve: 

You technically don't need to use the hand-pump. As you can see below, it's got one of the little inflation points like a swimming pool floatie, so you can use any air pump on it. You can also use a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner to do it more quickly.

Inflating It:

This is the hard part. The strap functions as part of the pump - you stick your hand on and start lifting and pushing down. However, this is a PAIN to do. It took me about ten minutes and gave me a good workout. The instructions weren't all that helpful. I thought for a while I wasn't doing anything - I figured out after a few pumps that it helped to pin part of the mattress to the floor with my foot (so that the bottom wasn't coming up as I lifted).

Before Inflation: 

 

After Inflation:

The mattress is roughly 74 inches by 39 inches when fully inflated. I'm 5'10 and I wouldn't recommend this for anyone over 6 feet tall. I was cutting it pretty close as far as having my feet hang off the bed - a couple inches more, and I would have been over. It feels decent, but not spectacular. It's not very high off the ground, and there's no built-in pillow (available with some other brands).

The Deflation Test:

I left this one laying around inflated for a couple of weeks. It didn't seem to have lost any air at all, and still felt firm when I laid down on it.

To deflate it on purpose, you just twist open a little cap and it starts letting the air out. Without a pump, it can take 5-10 minutes for all the air to come out. Even then, you're going to have to roll it up kind of like a tube of toothpaste to squeeze the last pockets of air out of it.

Verdict:

Buy it only if you want to use it outdoors and won't have power. For indoor use, there are better options in this price range (see here). But if you are going to be out someplace where you may not have a power outlet, I think the hand-pump is a good idea, if kind of a pain to use. 

You can buy it online here for about $32.

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