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This is the ultimate review of the Intex Classic Downy Airbed 2021.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- Comfort levels
- Ease of use
- Warmth and durability
- Lots more…
So if you want the perfect balance between price and performance in a mattress, you’ll love this guide.
We tested it in every possible manner and declared it as the TopNotch Best Value product in this segment
Let’s start the show.
- Waterproof flocked top
- 2-in-1 valve
- Folds down small for storage
- 600-pound weight limit
- Takes a while to get inflated
- Needs topping up when new
- Not as stable as some air beds
Intex Classic Downy Airbed
If you take a look at the various metrics chosen for our reviews, one thing will be clear.
From what we’ve seen, it’s extremely rare for one product to excel at all levels.
But the fact is…
Our results aren’t based on the top scores alone. While picking the top products, we look beyond the scoreboard to judge what a product truly offers.
Coming to the Intex airbed, it’s not a superb all-rounder by any means.
The comfort levels aren’t the best. Nor is the ease of use top-class.
But stick with me for a moment.
Just take a peek beyond these rough edges and you have an incredibly affordable queen-size mattress on your hands.
And considering the price, Intex has done an excellent job with the basics.
The overall quality is good enough for outdoor use and the weight-bearing capacity is TopNotch.
Moreover, the smart design keeps air loss well under control.
Also, the upper surface is flocked as well as waterproof.
Also, the material is durable enough to prevent accidental punctures.
As expected, Intex made some compromises to keep the price low.
So you don’t get an electric pump powered by an AC source for effortless inflation.
But trust me, working with the hand pump isn’t difficult at all.
Not to mention, Intex also offers two small pillows with the mattress.
Honestly, we didn’t expect superb performance from the mattress, but here’s what we found instead…
It won’t replace a premium-grade air mattress. But it’s a perfect choice for first-time buyers who don’t care much about the fancy features.
And considering the overall value, it wasn’t difficult to mark the Intex Classic Downy Airbed as our TopNotch Best Value product.
None of the other mattresses we tested could match up to its price vs. performance ratio.
Want to find out more?
Let’s get going.
Related: 10 Best Air Mattress
Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
Now, you may say that value is a relative concept.
And we think you’re dead right.
But what makes the Intex Classic so special is this…
It proves that even a cheap product can deliver the right level of quality.
At the same time, it’s large enough for two people.
That makes it an even better bargain choice for couples.
On the same note, the price to comfort ratio is also on the higher end. So, if you only plan for one summer camping trip a year, this is a great pick.
We put the mattress through the same series of tests as its pricey competitors. The good news is, it held its own pretty well.
Let’s find out what else it has to offer.
Ease of Use
This is a hassle-free air mattress.
All you need to do is unfold, inflate, adjust, and relax.
Just remember to stretch out the vinyl material fully before inflation.
The process of inflation is a bit time-consuming (we cracked open a beer for this bit).
Ease of Use Rating
Intex provides you with a hand pump and it takes around 10 to 12 minutes to get it fully inflated.
Quite a workout, but on the plus side…
You don’t need to bother about electric power to inflate this mattress.
It’s just perfect for off-grid destinations.
The interesting thing is…
The hand pump is a dual-action type.
So you pump in the air both with the up and down strokes of the piston.
That reduces the overall effort a lot.
The process of deflation is simple too. The 2-in-1 valve has an extra-wide passageway to handle more air volume.
Point to be noted – the inners of the mattress are mostly hollow. So air flows out smoothly and deflation takes just a few minutes.
Now, the bottom is made from 15-gauge thick vinyl material. So you wouldn’t find it prone to punctures.
However, our advice is to be always careful with air mattresses.
Don’t forget: The mattress comes without a repair kit, so take your own.
And sadly, Intex customer service isn’t the best.
The dimensions make it a perfect queen-sized bed. We used it inside a 4-man tent and it fit snugly.
Keep in mind that it won’t fit inside smaller sized tents.
A vinyl material of 20.8-gauge makes up the top surface and it’s flocked. That allows you to use it even without a sheet.
Moreover, the top surface is also waterproof. So you can easily clean it up with some soap and water.
On the whole, the Classic Downy is very simple to handle. It’s only the manual pump operation that makes it score low in this metric.
Unfortunately, the Classic Downy comes without any R-value so we don’t have a specific marker to hang our hat on here.
In addition, the thickness is only 9 inches.
So, it’s best suited for indoor use or summer camping trips.
That said, we did test it on the ground…
Even when combined with a high-quality sleeping bag, we saw heat loss to the ground.
Not to forget, if the air inside is is cold, the heat loss would be greater – summer camping is the watchword here.
When the temperatures headed below 50 degrees, we added an extra foam pad on top. The performance was much better.
And one more thing…
Intex mentions that location, temperature, and humidity will affect the overall firmness of the mattress.
So, if you’re heading for higher altitudes or humid climates, look at one of our other recommendations.
For a mattress that performs well in lower temperatures, try the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite, our Top Pick.
To start with, let’s talk about the overall dimensions. At 60 x 80 inches (W x L) the mattress is large enough to be marked as queen-size.
Now, the weight limit is 600 pounds. That makes it sturdy enough for two people.
However, with the increase in weight, the amount of air leakage is greater of course.
I have to add, the overall comfort levels aren’t as good as premium-grade mattresses. But considering the price, we had no problems accepting that.
I tell you what though…
The lightweight design works in its favor. The mattress is easy to store and is a great choice for car camping trips.
Also, the flocked upper surface keeps the bedsheets from slipping off.
On the other hand, the inflatable pillows were just too thin to provide any kind of support for the head – but if you’re a seasoned camper you’ll probably take your own pillows anyway.
Remember: The mattress doesn’t come with a warranty. Not that we expected any at this price point.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a mattress that’ll deliver years of faithful service. But with the right amount of care, it can easily last a couple of years or more.
To sum up, the Intex is a versatile product and can be used both outdoors and in.
The trick is…
You need to understand its limitations and work with them.
Oddly enough, there’s no carry bag offered with this mattress.
In all probability, cost-cutting was the reason behind it.
Intex would have done better including a bag instead of the pillows.
It comes in a box, but that’s no substitute for a carry bag.
Packed Size Rating
Also, folding it up and placing it inside the box isn’t so easy. More so when you add the two pillows and the hand pump as well.
At slightly less than 10 pounds, the mattress is on the lighter side.
Still, it’s not ultra-light like some other air mattresses in this category.
Quite simply, it’s not our choice for a backpacking trip.
On the other hand, it’s compact enough to store in the car or at one corner of the RV.
Considering the overall dimensions, the packed size is pretty good.
But we have to admit…
The packability of queen size beds is never the easiest.
…keep it around the car or RV and the packed size won’t be an issue at all.
If you have used a top-class air mattress before, you’ll feel the difference when you try the Intex Downy.
But let’s not forget the superb price to comfort ratio that makes this mattress so special.
I liked the comfort levels offered by the flocked top. There was hardly any slippage while using a bedsheet.
I prefer horizontal baffles but the vertical ones did offer good support.
Some of our reviewers were big fans of the horizontal pattern.
We noted it was slightly bouncy when two users shared the mattress. Then we reduced the air pressure and the comfort levels were even better.
However, that resulted in the reduction of the overall firmness.
When we used a sleeping bag, the overall comfort levels were good.
Beyond that, there are vertical air tubes that support it from the inside by a wave-beam construction.
What about air leakage?
With two users sharing the mattress there was some amount of leakage. But it wasn’t large enough to disturb our sleep.
You’ll be glad to hear, the new mattress smell went away after a few days.
We suggest you air it out for some hours before the first use.
Then again, the top layer is waterproof and easy to clean. But make sure to dry it properly after you use it so that the trapped moisture doesn’t form molds.
When your goal is to avoid the hard, cold ground the Intex Downy is a great choice.
Especially when you keep the price in mind.
On the other hand, if comfort is your priority there are better options available.
In that case, try the Noble Comfort Double High Raised Air Mattress, our Editor’s Choice.
Our Final Verdict:
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress
This is the part where I sum up the Intex Classic Downy airbed review for you.
Note that this mattress didn’t end up as a high scorer in our charts.
Nevertheless, we couldn’t ignore the incredible value it offers to buyers for whom comfort isn’t the top priority.
It’s not suited for cold weather and inflating needs some work with the manual pump.
But once you look beyond that, the overall ease of use is fantastic.
On top of that, you get a queen-size bed at an absurdly low price.
Also, the tough vinyl surface does a good job when it comes to durability. So using it in an outdoor environment isn’t a problem at all.
It’s not the heaviest air bed in the list and folds up into a compact shape.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the mattress isn’t the best choice when you’re looking for TopNotch comfort levels, but…
It’s an excellent option for enjoying an occasional outdoor trip or for house guests.
For sure it lacks the bells and whistles many other air mattresses offer. But Intex has delivered a simple and effective product that left us impressed.
With a super-affordable price tag, it offers a perfect deal for buyers on a tight budget.
Finally, after some hot debate (cooled by a few chilled beers), we decided to mark the Intex Classic Downy Airbed as our TopNotch Best Value product.
It overtook quite a few high scoring mattresses to occupy that spot. Now that’s quite a feat!
That settles it from our end.
Now it’s your turn to take the next step. Which will you choose today?