Sleeping mats - a 2010 search
In planning for my upcoming trip I've come to the "which mattress" stage. After a couple days of reading and cutting down on numbers I've come up with a few options which I thought I'd share for others in the same boat. Comments, opinions and criticisms are most welcome!
My options I have cut down to include 3 lines - Black Wolf, Thermarest and Exped. I think the Black Wolf and Thermarest and Exped Sim Light are on par. With me thinking about the thermarest for quality, and a slightly larger size and better pack down size. The Exped 7 DLX, sounds good however I do worry about the air mattress feel and have heard several cases of punctures causing deflation. Others I have decided against are shown below too.
Black Wolf Self-Inflating Mat Lightweight Long 3.8cm thick – $109 AUD
Weight: < 830 grams
Size: 183 x 51 x 3.8 cm
Seams: heat bonded
Filling: Anti-Fungal CFC Free foam
Shell: Slip-resistant Ripstop
Packaged Size: 29cm x 16cm x 16cm
Thermarest Prolite Plus Regular ($150 AUD) or Large ($180 AUD)
Weight – 680gms (reg) or 940 (lg)
Size - 183cm Long x 51cm Wide x 3.8cm Thick (reg) or 196 x 63 x 3.8 (lg)
Rolled Size - 27cm x 12cm (reg) or 33 x 13cm (lg)
Exped DownMat Pump 7 Deluxe - £115 / $190 NZD
http://www.traveldriplus.com/product_info.php?products_id=34&osCsid=e92d4e4b9f0 0554368f5a27cbb9a1759 or
Dimensions: 197 x 65 x 7cm
Rolled size: 27 x 14cm
Exped Sim Light – $75 AUD
Weight: 870 g / 31 oz (mat only)
Packed: 27x16 cm / 11x6“
Temperature: -7°C / +23°F
I excluded some mats like the Vango ($70 AUD) and Alpkit Airo 120 or 180 (£ 35.00) because of mattress thickness, the Reimo Self-Inflating Super-Light Air Mattress ($70 AUD) for its lack of details and a couple others for compacting size or questionable quality. While these may be good options for short hiking trips, I think they are unlikely choices for a longer RTW trip or other. They can however be found here:
Alpkit Airo – £ 35.00
Airo 120 or 180
Weight (gr): 399 (120) or 582 (180)
Thickness (cm): 2.5
Real World Packed Weight (gr) 439 (120) or 653 (180)
Dimensions (cm): 120 x 51 x 2.5 (120) or 180 x 51 x 2.5 (180)
Min Rolled size (cm): 28 x 12 (120) or 28 x 13 (180)
Realistic Rolled size (cm): 28 x 14 (120) or 18 x 15 (180)
33D Mini Ripstop Nylon
Expected R value 2.5*
Repair kit included
Vango – $70 AUD
Dimensions: 183 x 51 x 2.5cm
Packed Dimensions: 28 x 12cm
Material: 75 Denier Non-slip Ripstop Polyester
Weight: 660 grams
Core: open cell laminated foam
Reimo Self-Inflating Super-Light Air Mattress – $70 AUD
Lightweight full self inflating mattress mat – thick – $40 AUD
Total Dimensions: 184 x 52 x 15cm
Mattress Dimensions: 160 x 52 x 2.3 cm
Pillow Dimensions: 24cm long x 15cm high
Packed Dimensions: 42 x 16cm
Material: Ripstop fabric with Anti-fungal CFC free foam
Weight: under 1 kg
3 carry bags (1 main, 1 pillow, 1 mattress) + 2 repair kits
Caribee LITE Full size Self-inflating Hiking Camp Mat – $82 AUD
Full size Size: 183 x 51 x 3.8cm
Approx. weight 1.4kg
Horizontal Cross Coring to aid air flow and weight
Fabric: Slip resistant polyester
Compact and light weight
Anti fungal foam
Repair kit included
Packed size rolled: approx 25cm x 27cm
Look forward to hearing your views and comments. Cheers, Rossy.
An update on my choice. I opted for the Exped Downmat 7 Deluxe. My reasoning being I liked the extra thickness and width/length for the price ($145 AUD from http://www.bivouac.co.nz/gear/camping-and-tramping/sleeping-mats/exped-downmat-pump-with-wide-valves.html) compared to the thermarest ones. The thermarest ones are a similar price but for a smaller mattress (width, length and thickness) and the large thermarest prolite plus is worth $190 AUD.
I figure I can keep it protected enough from punctures by having a tent or if need be a light fly/groundsheet for the grass etc. Any punctures I figure I can fix with a repair kit. Hopefully. I'll keep this thread updated with the results.
It would be great still to see others opinions if they use this thread to select or review a sleeping mat. Happy camping.
+1 For the Exped Downmat 7
I got the short length version in August and have used continously in the UK since inside a hammock and also for 2 weeks wild camping in Morocco inside a bivi.
Very warm and very comfortable plus packs down really small.:thumbup1:
Another vote for the Exped Downmat 7 because they're awesome. Warm, comfy and a small pack size... all the qualities adventure bikers need. Unfortunately quite expensive but worth every penny.
I was gutted when my beloved thermarest prolite decided to wrap itself around my rear wheel and tear itself to pieces.
After a bit of research and with some trepidation, I splashed out on the new thermarest (is it called neo-air?). Now that I've forgotten how much I paid for it, it's fantastic. Early days for ruggedness, but tiny pack size, great warmth and comfort.
No experience of others to compare.
Had a quick ride out to North Wales last weekend, camping just 1 night . I used my Thermarest mat and my mate had the Exped 9 Deluxe. I was cold and uncomforable . He was warm and had a good nights sleep. The Exped inflates by hand prints where as mine is supposed to be self inflating but needs a top up. As I am planning a run up to the Arctic in 2012 Im considering changing my mat . Plus leaving half the gear I took behind. My tent is a Vango Spirit 100+ [with porch]
What sort of temperatures can I expect in northern Norway and Finland in June ?:stormy:
We have 2 of the Exped's 7DLX and wouldn't use anything else after sleeping on the Exped. You won't regret the investment.
I have the Exped 9DLX. The additional width of the DLX means you're not forever falling off the thing. It's extremely comfortable and wonderfully warm in cold conditions.
My only moan is that the hand inflation with the built-in inflation valve takes several minutes.
I have a Thermarest self-inflating (very good), an Alpkit self-inflating (very good). Exped are said to be good also. Nordic Outdoors (.co.uk) have an Exped mat at half price for £49 at the moment.
Perhaps see what shipping would cost...
Have both the 9 and 7 (for the kids). still the old fashioned bag roll-up-pump. 7 is too small for 6ft guys/gals. Also with the warmth the Exped keeps you don't need a bulky sleeping bag
I agree with the others - it's not so much the brand, rather the inflated size and thickness... (and to a lesser extent the pack-down size).
I have a Thermarest Trail-Comfort (I think they've renamed it now), full length and 50mm thick when inflated - very comfortable, although as Tim suggests, had I realized they do a slightly wider version, I'd have gone for that as although I like to sleep on my side, you can still slip off it if turning over in the night...
You might be comfortable with a 3/4 length mat, but personally I like the full length versions as the whole of you is supported and off the ground. A trick I've found is to fold the mat in half lengthways before you roll it up, then it's about the same size/shape as a sleeping bag when you stow it.
Another vote for the Exped 9. Fantastic bit of kit.
Another vote for th 7DLX. Expensive but worth it in my experience. That and my Alpkit SkyeHigh 600 made a couple of weeks in Europe a breeze - in fact it was a little too warm on some nights.
there's no way to fall off it, in the night. and the bag plus mattress weigh less, and have a smaller pack size, than conventional bag and mattress.
worth a look, I think.
I used a Thermarest mat for a few years but it has a lot of pinhole leaks now. I switched to sleeping on my sheepskin that I can remove from the bike seat for the night. It's a long haired skin and it's much warmer and even lighter than any mats I've tried before.
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