Outdoors types are always innovating and looking for ways to make items more practical – as our recent coverage of the Earl survival tablet proves. Similarly, the Windcatcher is a portable air bed that can be fully inflated in seconds.
Traditional air mats for campers can be cumbersome and take time and effort to inflate and deflate. The Windcatcher takes advantage of the physics of air pressure – fast moving air has low pressure, and high-pressure air is drawn to it. When users blow into the airbed’s valve, which is much wider than typical plastic toggles, its size enables it to take in all of the high-pressure air that is dragged alongside the breath of the user. The creators of the Windcatcher estimate that the system is ten to 15 times more efficient that current models and therefore fills up the bed with air after around five short blows. Without need for a separate pump, the airbed doesn’t take up much space in hikers’ backpacks and is even smaller than a traditional roll mat at around 9 x 3.5 inches. The Windcatcher recently raised just under USD 150,000 on Kickstarter, and the product’s usual retail cost is USD 120. The video below shows that airbed in action:
What’s interesting about the technology behind Windcatcher is its multiple potential applications in other fields. The inflation technology could be used for quick inflation of temporary structures from tents to bouncy castles, and could even work for lifesaving flotation devices. Where else could this technology be applied?