Tent sleep system for overweight / obese people.

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by dbhost, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    We all know, or should know, that a good nights sleep is important for your health. Typically speaking most tent camping beds leave a LOT to be desired for overweight / obese campers of which I am clearly in that range... Airbeds are typically too low to the ground, and many don't support sufficient weight limits.

    We also should have the decent sense to know that many people find outdoor activity a good way to help fight their struggles with weight...

    I have found some conflicting info, but I am going by what is on the product label. I assume there are changes over the years.

    I am using cots. Specifically Stansport Big Ol Cot which is an 86" x 42" sleep surface 19" high with a 600lb weight limit. The specs match, and the pics match what they are selling as the Heavy Duty GI Cot.

    I top it with an early 90s Therm A Rest Camp Rest, 3" self inflating sleeping pad. But still not soft enough. On top of that, I have a 6" cut to fit convoluted memory foam topper. That gives me 9" of "mattress". I wrap the mattress with an old sheet that I use these elastic sheet tensioner things that look like suspenders and then top off with my regular bedding. Sleeping bag etc...

    The drawback to this setup is most tents have walls that come IN very fast.

    We set up the cot on each side wall and set up an AC in the back wall of the tent in the summer. We have plenty of room to move around the tent, and do what we need to and be comfortable.
     
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Camp cots are nice because you can put stuff under them.
     
  3. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    There is another style of tent called cabin tents meant for outfitters. They have straight walls.
    That would give you more room.
     
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  4. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    You are quite right. Outfitter tents however are not something my back is going to tolerate well for setup, transport and takedown.

    Yes Dome tents tend to slope in FAST,

    Mind you, IF I can get my wife to actually help with setup, and it would be HER preferred setup anyway, our old Swiss Gear Appenzell which varies from the photo ONLY in the color of the fabric, instead of the wine color ours is a medium darkish blue.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway IF I can get her to help set up that tent, I get TONS of standing room, Easy setup for the AC, those eyebrow windows allow me to just moosh the unit up against the screen and act like an AC boot. I close off the one side room with the AC in it for sleeping and sakes alive that thing is like sleeping in the house...

    FWIW, Alternative system #2. And this works and has been tested and bad back approved.

    While the Intex Double High Twin Dura Beam airbed lists a 300lb capacity, the queen version of the same mattress with the same exact materials and construction methods lists at 600lbs. I can and do at 380lbs use the twin with no problems.
    [​IMG]
    This is NOT without risks though.

    #1. I know I am exceeding the rated weight limit. Can't help it yet...
    #2. Needs a pump. I have a Coleman 4D quickpump, it works, but IF it breaks and we are too far away to get another pump, we could be in trouble.
    #3. Air leaks / holes. They happen. Keep a patch kit handy.

    The airbeds are much more comfortable long run, but they make me nervous to use due to the limitations of a vinyl airbed....
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I'm not overweight however I always had trouble with air mattresses. I always seem to wake up with my butt on the ground almost like a "v" position. I ultimately just used a thermarest directly on the ground. Kind of like if you can't beat them join them. Problem I have is getting back up. Sure not as young and spry as I once was. Now that I have the popup I don't have to worry about that much but still take my tent out on occasion. I probably should have done the cot from the beginning would have been less headaches or rather body aches.
     
  6. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I orignally posted this thread in other camping for those still tenting. And yeah, Air mattresses do have some risk.

    Funny story about that. When I was single I went camping with a singles camping group, one of the women had an Ozark Trail air mattress that aired down on the first night. My Coleman Queen size stayed aired up. She was going to throw out the OT... I offered to trade her. That night the OT stayed aired up, and the Coleman aired down. We figured out that when she pumped it up, she didn't put the cap fully back on the mattress, and as she moved at night, the valve flexed just enough to let a bit of air out... We aired her up again, locked the cap on the way it is supposed to be and night 3 was perfect for her.

    We are still friends to this day, and she still is using that same Coleman queen Air mattress. From 2005.

    Mind you, she's no small woman either...
     
  7. Blackripley

    Blackripley Active Member

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    My wife has this problem every time she goes out with the girl scouts, she hates tent camping with a red hot passion. Nothing ever works out for her tent, air mattress, chair, you name it. I pack and label everything, to make matters worst for her when I take our daughter camping everything is awesome. Even if things go wrong it does not bother us.
     
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  8. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    So I think I found a system that works well that can be replicated that does NOT involve an air mattress..

    Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Cot. 86x40 bed size, with a maximum weight rating of 600lbs.
    Cut to fit memory foam 5" mattress topper with twin sheet tucked. This provides good cushioning and thermal protection.
    Bedding of your choice

    The advantages is that this will support a substantial amount of weight, is plenty comfy, and is high enough off the floor you don't have to stoop to get in and out of bed if you have back issues.
     
  9. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Okay so I wanted to follow up on this one as I found what so far has been a very reliable, and comfortable setup.

    #1. I went with a more or less straight wall cabin tent. Not perfectly straight but I don't stoop anywhere in there, so good enough for me. It is the Ozark Trail 10x14 10 person Dark Rest Instant Cabin tent.
    #2. I found that the eTekcity double high twin air mattresses have a maximum weight rating of 550 lbs which is way above where I am, and so far have proven to be quite comfortable and durable. I insulate myself from the airbed with a couple of layers of blankets and sleeping bags beneath me, and it is every bit as comfortable as a pillow top Select Comfort, although a touch low for easily getting in and out of... And to top it off, nowhere near as expensive as a cot setup. Plus it has the advantage of being able to put 2 together side by side, combining them with an ultra deep pocket fitted sheet and the lower blanket layer, and effectively having a short King size bed in the tent. VERY nice and comfy...
     
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  10. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    camp 002.JPG Was going to suggest this tent but I think you got it figured out. Easy setup,
     
  11. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    That tent looks like it might be the Coleman Grand Prairie model (?), but honestly it looks bigger than the current version...

    I was considering the Coleman Dark Room 10 person 10x14 instant set tent. There were some seriously bad drawbacks for me with it.

    #1. Looking at the reviews, the instant set frame design Coleman is using, seems to be a lot weaker than the competitors. And for me with my back issues instant set was a big plus for me...
    #2. Just like the Ozark Trail, the Coleman had a reputation for leaking seams. Now I have no qualms about seam sealing a new tent, but I am unwilling to pay extra for the honor.
    #3. The walls of the Coleman slope in at an annoyingly sharp angle, greatly reducing the usable interior volume, and causing more stooping for me. Not something I would be happy about.
    #4. The Coleman lacked the interior blackout panels between the inside of the tent, and the screening in the interior. So no way to un, black out the ceiling at night for stargazing short of removing the rainfly, plus the panels give me added options for controlling airflow / venitlation in the tent. With the Ozark Trail I just have the 2 end triangle panels that are left without covers, and Reflectix panels could be easily and cheaply made to cover those up. The idea here is to reduce heat loss / gain in the tent after all...
    #5. And something camping gear manufacturers seem to ignore a lot, but honestly, the Coleman, in my view, is kind of ugly. A matter of personal taste, but if I have t live with it, I want something I can be happy with.

    So I went with the Ozark Trail which honestly I wouldn't trust without generous application of seam sealer and waterproofer.... I had to actually use a piece of Kenyon K-tape on one spot above the E port on the inside to repair a pin head sized hole in the fabric, and sealed all the way over and around it with seam sealer and waterproofer. Honestly every single one of these blackout type tents seems to have this problem. Of course the only MFGs that offer these that I know of are Coleman and Ozark Trail so I could have missed a LOT...

    And lastly, aside from the Dark Rest features, colors, this tent is 100% identical to a friends Ozark Trail 10x14 10 person instant cabin tent, and I have some experience with seeing how these things work and hold up. With proper use, they are decent enough...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021

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