The AirPad 2+ is a versatile inflatable mattress that saves you from killing your lungs. In a few seconds you have an airbed ready for the night. Or fold it to create a comfortable seat.
The views are breathtaking. One moment you’re surrounded by trees yearning for heaven, the next you’re staring into dark water crashing white into cliffs a 100 metres below.
A breeze carrying a blend of iron- and beechwood smells sneaks up from behind and smacks you on the nose, battling the ocean for your olfactory attention. You stop, close your eyes, draw a deep breath and exhale your bills, your family troubles, your mistakes of the past year.
This is the fourth time you walk this route, and you can’t get enough.
Today’s a difficult hike. The hills are working your legs and energy is seeping from you like water from a dripping tap. Despite the tiredness, you feel exhilarated.
Your weary satisfaction hits a bump when you realise you still need to set up camp later. There’s no cabin at the next stop. It’s tent and mattress, or sleep under the stars.
Sleeping under the stars is fine; it’s inflating your infernal air mattress that punches your energy in the gut.
It’s not that much of a workout at home when you’re testing your gear.
It’s when you hit the trail and need to do it after having trudged through a day. That air pump becomes the bellows of hell and you’re inflating satan’s ego.
Ryan Frayne wants to change the way you feel about inflation.
While the R&D department of top camping equipment companies were playing beer pong, he created an air mattress that inflates in seconds.
It’s called the Windcatcher AirPad 2+.
Let’s take a look.
What is the AirPad?
The AirPad is an air mattress, or camping mattress, or inflatable airbed. It looks like a standard inflatable camping bed you inflate with a hand- or electric pump.
One of the main differences between the AirPad and traditional airbeds—besides the way it inflates—is the AirPad’s ability to fold up into a chair.
How does it work?
The AirPad makes use of Quickstream™ inflation technology. That’s Windcatcher’s proprietary in-house inflation technology.
When you exhale into a Windcatcher valve, your breath amplifies, speeding up the inflation process up to ten times.
Mr Frayne says this is due to a phenomenon called entrainment.
The AirPad’s enormous Windcatcher valve allows for instant deflation. No squeezing required.
The AirPad’s valve doubles as a carrying case, so you’ll always have it ready when you pack up.
Why it looks good
The Windcatcher AirPad looks like a great product. Here’s why…
The AirPad needs only a few breaths.
Instead of spending your last energy blowing into a plastic bag after a long, arduous day, spend a few breaths on the AirPad and chill.
The AirPad inflates in seconds.
No need to set aside half your evening for an inflation session. Get the AirPad inflated and join your friends at the campfire.
The AirPad folds up into a tiny ball, light enough to carry all day.
You don’t need a trailer to carry it. Fold it up and keep it together with the valve, which doubles as a carry bag.
The AirPad has a traditional inflation valve. This comes in handy if you inflate the AirPad, lock the valve and realise you need a little more air.
It’s a seat too
Need a comfy camp seat, but don’t want to pack your throne?
The AirPad 2 folds up to form a decent camp seat.
It doesn’t look as comfortable as the Coleman oversized quad chair, but the AirPad’s main purpose is to act as a mattress.
Buying the AirPad allows you to carry one less piece of equipment, which goes a long way when you spend plenty of energy outdoors.
There are one or two issues with the AirPad that might switch you off from buying it.
Here’s a warning from the Windcatcher website:
IMPORTANT: If you cannot blow out all the candles on your birthday cake in one breath, then Windcatcher is NOT right for you. Windcatcher isn’t magic, it’s science! If it takes you 10 minutes to inflate an air pad of equal size (when blowing into an ordinary valve), it will take you 1 minute with the Windcatcher valve. If you’re like me and it normally takes 3 minutes, you’ll be able to inflate the Windcatcher AirPad 2+ in 18 seconds.
— Ryan Frayne / Inventor & President of Windcatcher Technology
This comment seems to say that the AirPad requires a steady stream of air to inflate.
Here’s the thing though…
The AirPad comes with a traditional valve. So even if you can’t use it as intended, you can still inflate it as you would any other airbed.
You’ll not always get it right
A standard air mattress, although tedious to inflate, doesn’t need a careful touch. You slip your lips over the valve and blow. An electric pump makes it easier.
From looking at the how-to videos, it seems the AirPad needs a delicate touch. You might have to attempt it more than once when you need to inflate it.
But as with the previous point, you’ll still be able to inflate the AirPad, because it comes with a traditional valve.
SpecsTechnical specs for the Windtamer AirPad 2+. Metric and Imperial.
|Rolled up size||215.9 x 114.3 x 114.3 mm||8.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches|
|Inflated size||1879.6 x 508 x 101.6 mm||74 x 20 x 4 inches|
|Weight||0.57 kgs||1.25 lbs|
|Weight capacity||129.27 kgs||285 lbs|
|Material||75D Ripstop Polyester laminated with TPU|
|Claimed R-value||1.5 (untested)|
The AirPad comes with a limited lifetime warranty. From their website…
We have a limited lifetime warranty on all of our products covering the original owner. Windcatcher will replace or repair any defective items. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your proof of purchase and/or order number.
You must be the original owner to qualify.
Shipping costs are for your account.
You have 30 days from receipt of the AirPad to return it if you’re not happy.
Shipping is for your account.
The product must be in the same condition in which you received it.
You must send back the AirPad with a receipt or proof of purchase.
The Windcatcher AirPad looks like a phenomenal product.
It’s quick. The AirPad takes a few seconds to inflate and deflate. Spend your time hanging out with friends, not battling a bed.
It’s effortless. With a few quick exhales your AirPad is inflated and ready for use. You have a little energy left at the end of a long day outdoors. The last thing you want to do is spend what’s left on kissing plastic.
It’s compact. It’s about the size of a water bottle when folded up and weighs a little more than half a kilo, making it easy to handle, even on the toughest of hikes.
If you’re in the market for an inflatable camping mattress, the AirPad should be on your shortlist. And your shortlist shouldn’t be long.