Hi, I just purchased an REI Kingdom Sleep System with a Kingdom Insulated Air Bed through the used store. I slept on it for the first time last night and it seemed to lose air throughout the night. Is there a recommended way to detect leaks? Also, does the queen-sized Kingdom Air Bed tend to stretch out overnight? Can I damage it by putting too much air in it?
Thanks for reaching out, although we're sorry to hear that it is because your sleeping pad may have a leak in it.
We have a few clarifying questions for you:
- Were you sleeping on it inside or outside?
- If you were outside, how cold was it?
- Did the mattress completely lose air (i.e. you woke up on the ground) or just seem to deflate a little bit (i.e. still air in the mattress holding you off the ground)?
- Have you filled the mattress completely with air and let it sit for a while? Did it lose air then? Or is it only losing air when a person sleeps on it?
Often times, particularly when temperatures drop at night, the air inside the mattress can cool and contract, making it feel like it has 'lost air'. The best way to mitigate this is to fill the mattress up when you first get to camp and, long before going to bed, let it sit for a while and balance temperature with the ambient air. Then top off the mattress before going to bed.
Unfortunately, for a mattress this size, there isn't a really easy way to detect a leak. To start, we would recommend checking the valve for escaping air. Fill the mattress and use you hard to feel for escaping air from the valve. You can also listen to tell if there is a leak. You may need to have someone lay on the mattress as well.
Similarly to a bike tire, with a smaller sleeping pad the best way to detect a leak is to fill a bathtub with water and hold the pad under the water (moving it around if necessary to check all the spots) and look for bubbles. With an air mattress of this size, you may need to use the 'soap and water' method of adding some dish soap to warm water and spraying (or sponging) it on the mattress in small intervals to look for bubbles where there may be a leak. You can use a clean rag soaked in warm water to clean the soap residue off your mattress.
We are not aware of the Kingdom Air Bet 'stretching' over night. It is designed to be 'firm' and hold air without changing shape. You do not want to overfill the mattress as you could damage it. If you use the included pump you should be good to go, you don't ever want to use an air-compressor or high powered inflation pump. If you do find a leak in your mattress, we encourage you to check out this Expert Advice article, How to Repair A Sleeping Pad, as it contains lots of really good information.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!