Lizzie PopeSee other accessory reviews written by Lizzie Pope
As camping chairs go, this is a very affordable option, but how does the compact, inflatable Bestway Comfi Cube perform in the Practical Caravan review?
The colourful and funky looking Bestway Comfi Cube was an inflatable chair tested by Practical Caravan as part of an inflatable furniture group test. When it comes to choosing caravan accessories, inflatables are often overlooked – but we don't think they should be.
When you're packing for your caravan holidays, you want products that do the job you've bought them for and that also are easy to store, which is where inflatables are in their element – they fold away until they are nearly flat. And they're pretty lightweight, too. But what about comfort?
Some would say that when you're away from home you shouldn't expect the comfort of your sofa or your favourite armchair, but advanced developments in inflatable furniture design and manufacture mean that these camping chairs can now offer great levels of comfort. Inflatable furniture isn't quite as proficient as modern airbeds when it comes to matching what you've got at home – their height mean it can be hard to eliminate the slightly wibbly-wobbly feeling that inflatables can have. In addition, giving inflatables supportive backrests has proved challenging. Still, an inflatable chair can be a great option for lounging in when on site. And inflatable chairs are quite cheap.
On the other hand, inflatable chairs are often quite large when inflated, which makes them hard to store – they could be good if you have an awning in which to keep them. Also, they cannot be left outside as they'll get carried off by even light winds, plus they are liable to being punctured. You should also remember that every few days you'll need to top up the furniture with a bit more air.
So, how did we test these inflatable items of furniture? We wanted to see how easy (or otherwise) they were to inflate and deflate, and we used the same basic 12V pump throughout our tests to ensure inflation times were fair – large-diameter valves allow more airflow in or out, which promotes faster, easier inflation. We also factored value for money into our decision making process.
Of course, comfort was also a major consideration when assessing these inflatable chairs. The sitting height, how easy they are to get in to and out of, and the support offered when sitting upright or lounging were all taken into account, too. Inflatable furniture can also be rather bulky, so the size of each item was considered, as well as the amount of available sitting space.
With a footprint of just 74cm x 74cm, inflatable furniture doesn’t get much more compact than this Bestway Comfi Cube. And its modest dimensions aren’t the only thing that sets it apart from its rivals: this is definitely a seat you sit on rather than in. It’s far more supportive, and stable, than a square bag of air has any right to be. Of course, if you’ve gone down the inflatable furniture route because you want a chair to lounge away an afternoon in, this is probably not the best choice for you.
During the Bestwat Comfi Cube review, our expert team found that the chair’s main body pumps up incredibly quickly, but the central cushion’s armband-style narrow-diameter valve slows down overall inflation to three minutes and 51 seconds. Still, it's a fun and bright option that really provides a stable camping chair – and it will set you back only £12.
We also reviewed the SunnCamp 5 in 1 sofa bed which retails at £35, received a five-star rating and was crowned our inflatable furniture group test winner, while the £20 Intex Café Chaise, a chair and footstool combination, got a three-star rating, as did the £13 Intex Beanless Bag. The Easy Camp Movie Seat Double scored two out of five. Vango's armchair, a £21 option, and the £19 SunnCamp single flocked sofa both scored four out of five. Two other products by Bestway, the unusual and affordable Moda and Nestair, were also tested, as well as the Gelert ABD099.
At the end of the Practical Caravan Bestway Comfi Cube review, our team gave this camping chair three out of five. It's certainly a very affordable option for your caravan holidays and is surprisingly capable and usable, given its size, but it takes almost four minutes to inflate. However, if you're looking for a useful, compact and fun looking addition to your caravan accessories, it might well be worth considering
- It's just £12
- It is very compact
- We found it to be stable and supportive
- This is not a chair for lounging
- It isn't the quickest to inflate