1977 Air Mattress

Q: How far have we come in backpacking technology in the last 30 yrs?

A: Not as far as you might think

This ad comes from an old 1977 copy of Backpacker Magazine:


Individually inflated components! Awesome if you get a puncture – it will just affect one segment vs. the entire pad. Surprisingly, at 20oz, this air mattress isn't all that far off a modern Themarest Prolite  air mattress today.

When you think of how far the computing industry has evolved in a similar time period, isn't it time the backpacking industry took some bigger leaps?

Where's my 2oz sleeping pad made of puncture-free space-age materials?

Where's my just add water and it inflates from the size of a pea to a super-comfy feather bed  air mattress?

What about the gravity-defying or rocket-booster backpack?

3 thoughts on “1977 Air Mattress

  1. Joshua R. Godinez

    LOL. I totally agree. The Jetsons came out in, what, the late 50’s early 60’s? Where’s my pop a pill and it’s a 7 course meal? Sure would make backpacking easier.

  2. Peter Spiro

    I had a couple of these air mattresses in the day. And it’s true, one breath per tube to fill. Very comfortable, compared to an Ensolite pad. But they always leaked. On a bike tour from St. Louis to NH, eventually every tube popped; so as the trip went on you slept with fewer and fewer tubes. Pain in the ass to try and sleep on 2-3 tubes.

    You young shits don’t know how good you have it! 🙂


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