MiniMotel makes airport campouts possible, still awkward

minimotel.jpg

The MiniMotel is a tiny, fold-up tent with everything you need to camp out in an airport or other transit station, including an inflatable air mattress, alarm clock, reading light, toothbrush and paste, and even earplugs. Everything folds up into a pouch small enough to be included in your carry-on luggage. Incredibly, it's reasonably priced at $50.

But I have to agree with Mark Crummett, who suggested the MiniMotel to us, when he says, "I can't believe that airports would let something like this be deployed by mere civilians. Throw this thing up and I bet you'd get rousted by Security within 15 minutes." The only way I could see these getting traction is if an airline bought a bunch to be used during emergencies — and even then the airline would probably catch hell for trying to get passengers to camp out in lounges instead of providing a proper hotel.

MiniMotel product page [MiniMotel.net]

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20 Responses to MiniMotel makes airport campouts possible, still awkward

  1. Mark Crummett says:

    I emailed my concern to MiniMotel.com. I received a reply from customer service manager Beth Giotto- “So far we have not had any hassles from the airports. In fact many of our customers are airline pilots and stewardesses.”

    Well, I’m glad no one has gotten hassled yet, but I’m not how I feel about flight crews sleeping on concourse floors between flights.

  2. Enochrewt says:

    I can see pilots and attendants (They get sad if you call them stewardesses #1 and Ms. Beth Giotto;). The thing that gets me is that I couldn’t fit this in my tight carry on without planning, and that meant I was planning on sleeping in an airport.

    Cool design though, If it’s heavy duty enough, I see a cheap backpacking tent with built in air mattress.

  3. Wigwam Jones says:

    @ #1 Mark – I doubt you’ll see airline employees sleeping on the floor, they have crew quarters in areas of the airport you don’t see.

    @ #2 Enoch Rewt – I agree. As a former road warrior, I have slept on many an airport floor, and of course this would be quite nice – but as all road warriors know, size and weight are everything, and if it does not have applicability to each and every trip to the airport, it doesn’t go.

    In any case, those crazy days are behind me – ya’ll can have ’em. I drive or go by train now. Life is good when you’re not in a hurry.

  4. Kornkob says:

    Funny— I once tried to take a nap on a concourse in the Milwaukee airport while on a several hour layover and was rousted by the local PD. And I was just laying on the floor with my head on my bag and my hat over my face.

    I can’t imagine why they’d put up with me getting that ‘hotel’ ready.

    However, I could see some sales to some airports for those instances where an airport gets totally snowed in and no one gets to go to the hotel because everything is shut down including the roads. Except that airports have long abandoned customer service and replaced it with ‘well – the TSA makes us do that’.

  5. Skep says:

    //I agree. As a former road warrior, I have slept on many an airport floor, and of course this would be quite nice – but as all road warriors know, size and weight are everything, and if it does not have applicability to each and every trip to the airport, it doesn’t go.//

    The thing weighs 5 pounds. I can’t imagine any one packing one. Most importantly, it is just a floorless tent, the only conceivable advantage it provides is to keep people from tripping over you as you sleep stretched out on the filthy airport carpet–assuming you aren’t immediately rousted as a terrorist for setting this thing up.

  6. Marley9 says:

    This seems like a lot of BS to carry for *Justin.

    *Just in case

  7. jonathan_v says:

    i’d love to see these in airport vending machines during the holiday season

  8. Stefan Jones says:

    These would be great for emergency shelters too.

  9. Wigwam Jones says:

    @ #8 Stefan – Newspapers from vending machines work, are already available. You do need to have some quarters, though – or not be shy about scavenging the trash. Lessons taught by park bums are still valid.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This seems like something for teenagers to have sex in, that’s all.

  11. HeatherB says:

    If I am ever flying through DFW again I am so taking one of these.

  12. Avi Solomon says:

    Also useful for the Newark airport ‘refugee camp’

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if they are anygood for outdoor use. Perfect little tent for someone who wants to travel light. Long distance cycling and hiking for instance.

  14. Not a Doktor says:

    I bookmarked this in my “to buy” folder. This seems like it’d be great for outdoor music festivals and long term raves (sometimes I’d sleep in my car but that’s not always an option). It seems like one of those things that be a good idea to keep in my milkcrate full of emergency stuff that I’ve been meaning to finish.

    (-mini fire extinguisher
    -tool kit
    -first aid
    -road flares
    -couple cans of pop-top soup (I think I’ll go check on them and maybe rotate. And sporks would probable be a good idea)

    Things I should put in:
    -shaker flashlight
    -Vacuumed packed change of clothes
    -Gallon of water
    -toilet paper
    -maybe an emergency radio?)

  15. Anonymous says:

    #13 and #14: their site says “indoor use only” on the last line of this page:
    http://www.minimotel.net/mini-motel-uses.asp

  16. Not a Doktor says:

    and a road-flare says “automobile emergency use only” but that doesn’t make any less of a campfire starter

  17. homodachi says:

    I’ve gotta ask: does anyone really sleep overnight in airports anymore? As a female traveling alone I would never even consider it for fear of my personal safety, but I would think that even guys would at least be worried about having their stuff stolen.

  18. Marshall says:

    Although I don’t see this coming into use for air travelers, I have no problem imagining these being pretty popular amongst the new working class homeless of the coming economic apocalypse.

  19. wanderingaramean says:

    Plenty of people still sleep in airports all the time. Check out http://www.sleepinginairports.com if you don’t believe it.

    And I wouldn’t worry about airport security. I’d be more worried about the fact that it is too small to keep your bag inside with you more than anything. Go with an air mattress, eye shades and your bag looped around your wrist or ankle and you’ll be fine.

  20. desert24rat says:

    I saw this on NBC’s morning show, then spotted the guy sleeping in an airport with a coat over his head, lying on the floor against a wall with his carry-on bag. I bet he would have loved this tent! The privacy plus you could read …

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