I had a few priorities when I set on a five-month journey across the United States, living out of my truck, in 2019. I wanted to stay clean, so I signed up for a few nationwide 24-hour gyms that I knew would have showers. I wanted to stay in shape, so I brought my bike, hiking boots, jump rope, and kettle bell. And I wanted to sleep well each night, so I bought this trifold memory foam mattress.
This mattress was the perfect companion for my #trucklife (only a slight deviation from #vanlife) adventure. Though my time on the road involved a lot of campsites and sleeping on public land, I didn’t want to feel like I was camping for five months straight. For me, the biggest compromise on a camping trip is getting a good night’s sleep. Most backpacking mattresses are narrow and can be easy to slip off of, or too delicate, making them susceptible to popping if you put them down on the wrong rock or stick. And while those limitation are worth the convenience for backpacking or canoeing, since I had the extra space, I wanted something a bit more substantial, comfortable, and durable to top the plywood bed frame I built in the back of my truck. After a lot of searching online, I found the Olee.
I’m six-foot tall, and this mattress is just big enough that I can sleep flat on my back or on my side without worrying about my head or feet hanging over the ends. The four-inch memory foam is just the right thickness — supremely comfortable without being too bulky. I never woke up with hot spots in my hips or a crick in my neck or back. The only real issue I ever faced with hit was on nights when temperatures dipped near freezing, and the mattress would feel a bit hard until I warmed it up with my body heat. With real sheets and blankets, it almost felt like sleeping at home. (Although at home I can sit up in bed without hitting my head on the ceiling.)
Just as important, it’s versatile. That’s crucial when you live out of 90 cubic feet. If I needed more room in the bed of my truck, like when I had to lock a bike inside as I went on a weekend trip, I could just fold the mattress, stack it neatly in the corner, and stash the bike on the bed frame.
Today, the mattress still gets a lot of use, even though I have an apartment, complete with a real bed. If I need to slip away for a night, I’ll toss it back in the bare metal bed of my truck, or put it in a tent at a car camping site with friends. The rest of the time, it stays under my bed, available as a comfortable alternative to the couch when a friend comes to visit. It’s far easier to set up than any air mattress, and you know it’ll never have a leak.
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