What’s it for?
Balloonbeds were developed for two- day events where you need to be self sufficient for an overnight camp and carry all your equipment in a rucksack. The weight and bulk of your overnight gear can have a significant impact on your performance during the event.
The balloonbed weighs less than 100g and packs away to a volume of around 250ml. This is roughly the size of a small fist.
Balloonbeds are light and small when packed but as with all things in life, what you gain in one respect you lose in an other. Balloonbeds are fairly robust but need to be treated with some care in order to perform at their best.
If we could produce a bed as durable and reliable as a Therm-a-Rest® and as light and as small as a balloonbed we could corner the world market in camping beds. The balloonbed will take up hardly any room in your sack and add hardly any weight. It should be thought of as one step up from bubble wrap or a thin foam pad.
As well as using the beds ourselves and finding them a real improvement over a piece of bubble-wrap or a foam carry-mat, we have had very positive feedback from competitors in mountain marathons and other events like the Polaris. See the Reviews link under the Information tab for a sample of these comments.
Is the balloonbed suitable for mountaineering?
We have used it ourselves on two day walks in the Pyrenees and Alps. The weight saving was a real bonus. However I would not recommend it for use in awkward bivvies or cramped conditions where it’s difficult to keep the tent area free of clutter and sharp objects.
Can the balloonbed be used for long distance walking.
Yes, as long as you don’t mind taking 7 balloons along for each night. A week’s worth of balloons adds up to quite a bit of weight: 120g. You may be better off with another product, especially as the advantage of weight saving is not so marked in walking activities as opposed to running events.
Can the balloonbed for multiple night events, like the MdS?
The dry dusty conditions on this event aren’t best suited to a standard balloonbed. There will be issues with static electricity and the ground on which the bed will be placed could contain sharp points. Also, as stated above, multiple nights means lots of balloons. Enough balloons for 7 nights weighs: 120g