It’s no secret to anyone who flogs their gear in the great outdoors that Coleman® has a less-than-stellar record, when it comes to air mattresses. This month, they announced their acquisition of Aero Products International, makers of the popular Aerobed® line of inflatable mattresses.
I have praised Aero’s superior thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) construction for some time – see Camping Products You Need (to avoid). Aero’s mattresses have repeatedly proven their reliability and durability, withstanding everything that our kids and their friends throw at them. Coleman has traditionally stuck with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material for their air mattresses, which is a cheaper material, but one that seems prone to all kinds of issues, from split seems to mysterious punctures that seemingly appear out of nowhere.
I am hopeful that Coleman’s acquisition of Aero is a win-win for both companies. I doubt Coleman will drop their sub-$30 air beds overnight, but I am hopeful that, over time, they will standardize on TPU across the product line. It has always been difficult for new and casual campers to justify an $80 Aero mattress over a $26 Coleman – at least until the first time the Coleman goes flat, but wider distribution and increased production of TPU products should serve to narrow this gap.
Congratulations to Aero, a company whose road to success was paved by building a superior product. And, congratulations to Coleman, for realizing that great products trump bad products, every time.
Nothing worse than not having a backup when the air mattress springs a leak…well, except sleeping in a phone booth…but we won’t talk about that misadventure.
Hey…the new blog is just up. I’ll be going slow with it but here’s the link: http://moontunnel.blogspot.com/
I’m not a big fan of air beds because they to move when you move. Im curious, do you know how much Coleman paid for Aero?
I’ve never had an air mattress, but have an airbed I often use. Is there much difference in size, weight or inflating time? My one cost about $15 seventeen years ago, so it’s done some great service!
Probably about the same, mike. Ours has a battery-powered air pump that inflates it in maybe 20 minutes? Something like that, anyway.
I’ve been using Coleman air mattresses for several years now without issue.
Love my aerobed! This is a great move for Coleman.
My queen size Coleman has been used twice. Would have been used more except finding the tiny leak short of putting soap in a swimming pool is proving a real pain. We are just sticking to our Thermorests and Wegners.
That seems to be very common, Bill. Mysterious little pinholes – I have even heard this from non-campers, who only used the mattresses in their house.
I guess we’ve just gotten lucky, we have two Coleman air mattresses and one that is an even cheaper Walmart brand, and they have all performed just fine for us for years so far. Granted, getting the “higher end” mattresses from Aero is a great move by Coleman, but I hope they don’t stop selling their low-end beds too!
Oh, I doubt they will do that, Melody. I hope that they take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade their low-end mattresses.