Blackcan system heats water, and pumps it through a camping mattress
While there already are camping mattresses with built-in heating elements, they use batteries that have to be frequently recharged. The Blackcan II Pro system is different, in that it utilizes hot water which is heated by a gas burner.
There are two main parts to the Blackcan setup – the roll-up mattress and the heating unit.
The latter consists of a water-filled "power pot," below which is a burner, below which is a user-supplied butane or propane gas canister, below which is a controller. All four are connected to one another in a vertical column, which hangs from an included tripod located outside the tent.
As the burner heats the water in the power pot, it also heats a flat thermoelectric generator located between itself and the pot. That generator produces an electrical current, which is used to power an integrated circulating pump … and that pump in turn sends the hot water out of the pot, through a hose that runs into the tent and throughout the inside of the mattress, then back into the pot.
As an added bonus, the thermoelectric generator can also be used to power or charge devices such as lights or smartphones, via an outlet on the controller.
According to the designers, the whole system can be set up in about five minutes, and is capable of heating the water to over 86 ºF (30 ºC) in outdoor temperatures as low as 22 ºF (-6 ºC). They also state that a single 1-lb (454-g) gas canister should be good for up to 12 hours of use.
The water temperature can be adjusted by opening or closing the gas flow valve between the canister and the burner. And if the heating unit overheats or runs low on water, it will sound an alarm – if it gets knocked over, it will automatically close the valve to cease the gas flow. One thing that we do wonder about, however, is whether mold might be an issue inside the hose.
In any case, should you be interested, the Blackcan II Pro system is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Pledges start at US$539 for a package that includes a single-sized mattress (queen and king sizes are also available). Assuming it reaches production, the retail price will be $819.
There's more information in the following video.