Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Camping Equipment and all Clothing

Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 3 Jun 2008
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
alpkit fat airic

just to add, i started off with a lightweight 3/4 thermarest on the basis of packed size and lightness, at which it excels.

BUT i never slept properly on it! Too thin by far. and if i dont sleep well i dont have too good a day either!

so having researched the thicker thermarests and big prices, i bought a fat airic. this is sooooo comfy! packed size is pretty damn big, but across the panniers its no big deal, and still hardly weighs anything.

another point not mentioned, i was talking to a young climbing mad dude who said he'd been up much of the alps, himalayas, NZ etc etc, and pointed out if any thermarest type bed gets a puncture its useless. not sure what temp the patch kit glue works down to, but the original closed cell mats are cheaper still even for a posh one, and hard to break!!!
Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jun 2008
stuxtttr's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lutterworth,Midlands, UK
Posts: 466
Thumbs up

Alpkit gets my vote I have a wee aric and a thermarest and the Alpkit product is just as good but way cheaper. If you havnt already then look them up I just ordered a ti mug, so will report back on how it performs, again it was way cheaper than the competition. Good point about the closed cell foam mats they dont break.
Reply With Quote
Old 6 Jun 2008
mattcbf600's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 706
Originally Posted by ukiceman View Post
BTW that little MinieXpresso coffee thing is wicked and it only cost 10 quid coz the packet was mashed a bit, picked it up from a store in town.

Ahhh I LOVE my little espresso machine... it's a totaly luxuary and I can't defend taking it... but... well it's just so bloody nice in the morning!

(sorry for the off-topic post!)

Back to mats.... can't praise Alpkit enough either... really nice bunch of guys...


Watch some of my camp cooking videos

AIM: mattcashmore
SKYPE: matthewcashmore
MSN: matthew@matthewcashmore.com
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Jun 2008
Moderator, Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lancashire England
Posts: 285

I've just returned from a camping trip, where I used my Therm-a-rest, self inflating mat and found it to offer little more comfort than a basic foam pad!

So I need to find an alternative. Mine's around 5ft 6inch in length but's only thin, at around an inch (when inflated).

I'm looking for something that doesn't take up too much space but gives plenty of comfort for my old bones and I'd really like to pick one up from one of the vendors at Ripley.
Reply With Quote
Old 26 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 3
Hey Everyone!

I know there's a lot of replies about this but.....

I used to work for a camping equipment company and can tell you that camping mats are NOT designed to provide comfort - they are designed to insulate you from the cold ground. If its comfort you want get yourself an air matress. I brought mine from Millets in the UK - it cost £10, folds up to about 15cm x 25cm and hasn't let me down in 4 years of use.

You do have to blow it up yourself though!
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Sep 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 5
Alpkit better than thermarest.

Hi Chris. I recently bought man alpkit fat airic and it is like sleeping on a mattress. Quite large but who cares on a bike and beats the thermarests I have used in the past hands down. Link Down sleeping bags and down jackets, Alpkit outdoor gear for alpine activities including climbing, camping, mountaineering and trekking Hope this helps, Phil
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Danmark
Posts: 329
[QUOTE=NRH30;203929]Hey Everyone!

I know there's a lot of replies about this but.....

I used to work for a camping equipment company and can tell you that camping mats are NOT designed to provide comfort - they are designed to insulate you from the cold ground. If its comfort you want get yourself an air matress. QUOTE]

You don't want to use an airmatress if its cold. The air inside can circulate so it doesn't insulate.

Thermarests are made for different purposes: The 1.5cm 3/4 long for survival, maybe when climbing and the 5cm wide and long, for comfort, so: is a Thermarest comfortable? that depends which one you choose! Is it small and light? That depends !

I have a "light" for backpacking and biking, a "normal" for kayaking etc. and a 5cm for camping with a car

I've had them for 8-16 years and they are still OK. I had 2 holes, at the same time, about 12 years ago, when I erected my tent in the dark on top of some thorns. I've patched it and I still use it.
May you enjoy peace and good health !
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Walsall, UK
Posts: 168
Exped Down Mats

I use an EXPED Down Mat. It's an airbed filled with down so you get the comfort of an airbed coupled with the insulation of a mat. The one I've got is the 9DLX, which is the top of the range and can be found for about £100 in the UK. It's expensive but I value my sleep.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Oct 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Britain
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
... I got a decent one from Aldi's a while ago but made the mistake of blowing it up too much and the internal foam seperated from the cover making it twist into some interesting shapes! ...
I bought a cheap (£15) mat (sorry forget the brand, will check) from a camping shop and did exactly the same as you. I though I would be giving myself an extra bit of comfort by putting in a few lung-fulls after the mat had self-inflated. Once I lay on it, I started to hear a strange crackling noise which I eventually realised was the fabric separating. It still did the job though, and kept me snoozing for the rest of the 5-week tour.

Next tour, especially if I go anywhere cold, I am planning to treat myself to the Exped down mattress.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Oct 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 147
Sleeping Well

I've tried many options but after using the EXped 9 DLX, won't be using anything else...ever...Air and down, has it's own inflation bag - 2-3 minutes to full inflation, which keeps you about 4 inches off the ground less if you deflate a little - It's warm, comfortable, durable, smaller than Thermarest or thermalite - deflates in 1 minute or less - reasonably lightweight...

...if you haven't already spent money on something else, do yourself a favor and try/buy the EXped.....it really is good gear!!

(You can get a slightly smaller version if you are a smaller person - 7 DLX - I think)...

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:33.