In honour of the festival and camping season, these delectably warm and toasty summer days, PlayPennies was sent some adorable sleeping bags and self-inflatable mattresses to review. Parents can choose from a funky flower design called Flowies Rose, or a DINO Explorer range with lots of lovely dinosaurs.
While I appreciate that perhaps girls won’t like dinosaurs or boys won’t like flowers, I’m not a fan of forcing a gender stereotype on anyone so I won’t be allocating a gender to this review.
How cool is this? I loathe having to blow up/pump up anything. I think old age has rendered me incapable of blowing up even balloons, so getting in a mat that will do all the hard work for me is pure genius.
The two different self-inflatable mats we were sent had either a funky green and red dinosaur pattern or a pretty lilac and green flower pattern. They have plenty of other colours and designs on their site too, so if neither of these appeal to you there will be others there that you might like.
The mattress didn’t take long to sort out. I only had to slip it out of the included cover and follow the simple instructions. You have to do a teeny bit of inflating at first. I suppose this is to activate it or something, but it didn’t demand a lot of effort to do.
After about five minutes, as opposed to the advertised two, the mattress was fully inflated and ready to go. I had to top it up a bit after a while but this is quite normal for most inflatable mattresses as the fabric settles.
My daughter adored it. She lay down on it and refused to get off. It’s really a lovely size for her (she’s four) and its dimensions are 160x51x3cm. Because we didn’t have any camping trips planned in time for this review I did a field test in the lounge. My daughter was set up with the sleeping bag (see below) and snugly ensconced on the mattress for the night.
I must admit that I expected lots of cries of, “Mooommeee” to continue throughout the night, but instead she did her usual three (a wee, a drink and a cuddle) and fell straight to sleep. In fact, because of the novelty value, we got an extra hour of sleep that morning. Oh, how I wish I could keep this mattress!
The only down sides, for me, are the fact that the site is determined to make them gender specific, and that the dinosaurs were a bit disappointing. I would have hoped for something a bit more detailed than the plain black images.
These retail for around £17.99 which feels like a good price for a product that does all the hard work and looks good for kids.
The same designs seen on the self-inflating mattresses are repeated on the sleeping bags but with some neat little extras. Flowies has a fairy motif while the dinosaurs have, well, a dinosaur motif. The bags come with a cap compression sack and measure 165x70x40cm. They are really cute and my daughter just adored hers.
What makes these quite impressive is the long list of specifications. They come with a ridge hood and thermocollar insulation around the shoulder area for extra protection. There is a full length zip baffle complete with an anti-snag guard (thank goodness!) and an inside mesh pocket for storing all those little toys and secret things.
The fabric, for those of you who are camping buffs, is 230T microfibre polyester.
I have to admit that, in spite of a life of camping up and down two continents, I am possibly the worst roller-upper-of-sleeping-bags in the universe. I have been incapable of reducing a sleeping bag to the size it needs for insertion into tiny bag from Day One.
Sadly, this is no exception. I sweated, heaved and rolled until I gave up and had a sulk. This isn’t really a good basis for a review though, because my husband ambled in and did it in seconds. I think, perhaps, sleeping bags have it in for me. Possibly they’ve teamed up with spiders to keep me on my toes.
These Outwell sleeping bags sit in the region of £22.99, a reasonable price for a quality sleeping bag methinks. I love the patterns and styles available and felt that this was a good quality product that appealed to its target market.
As a special surprise for PlayPennies readers we are giving away two complete sets of the Outwell kids range to two lucky winners. Check out the competition here and follow the simple instructions to win. I really do recommend these products to future parental campers and festival goers so good luck to you all!