PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The Pakmat® is a comfortable, eco-friendly, and compact inflatable air mattress ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as for emergency use during disaster relief efforts. There is no need to carry a separate pump or rely on an electrical power source—the Pakmat® uses human energy combined with an easy to operate hand-held pump to inflate the bed. It is the first air pump that is specifically designed to act as a clean storage unit for the airbed it is designed to inflate. The Pakmat® pump provides quick, reliable and durable storage for an Aerobed® mattress in a compact structural vessel. The client’s objective was to create a product that was sleek and compact enough to easily be tethered to a backpack. The biggest challenge when designing the Pakmat® was making it as small and lightweight as possible for both extreme and base camping. Field-testing was done to test the size and shape of the mattress, as well as the comfort level and ease-of-use. There were several compromises made in order to find a balance between comfort and the size/weight of the product. The final solution incorporates a “surfboard” shape mattress that was reduced in size to meet the weight and volume requirements discovered through interviews with actual users. The Pakmat® had to be large enough to fit the 90% male, yet small enough to take on camping trips. The Pakmat® was designed to be both ergonomic and produce maximum air flow to allow for quick ninety second inflation of the airbed. The fully inflated mattress measures 4.5” thick by 78" long and 26" wide. Designed with environmentally friendly materials, the airbed itself is made of 100% phthalate-free materials which is lighter weight and more comfortable to use. It is reinforced with heavy-duty polyester, providing unparalleled strength, comfort and total body support for sleeping. The structural package design is blow-molded polypropylene and was chosen to provide a sealed vessel that houses the deflated Pakmat® for protection during transportation and storage, as well as being operational as a pump. This material was also selected because of its flexible, resilient and self-lubricating properties that are ideal for this telescoping application. Further weight and cost reduction features were integrated to the blow-molded parts and include: carrying/pump handle, twist-lock, speed bumps, and snap valve. The Pakmat® structural package is also used for retail merchandising, thus reducing the need for additional packaging materials. The package design further supports the quality image Aero is known for, and its simple form with ergonomic handle design communicates strength and durability. The structural packaging aesthetics reinforce the brand positioning through form, color and graphics. Weighing only four pounds, it is even more desirable for campers and backpackers. The Pakmat® has enabled Aero to gain entry to new markets and channels of distribution by targeting outdoor enthusiasts and growing retail stores like REI and Cabela’s. Since the conception of the Pakmat® efforts for a global initiative includes donations to the Red Cross, FEMA and other agencies who are looking for support for disaster relief victims around the world.

About Designer

Beyond Design, Inc. is a product development consultancy based in Chicago, IL. Since 1994, we have been established as premier product development specialists. Our multi-faceted new product development team provides research, strategy, industrial design, engineering, graphic communications, user interface, and manufacturing support services to clients across a diverse range of market segments.