Author Topic: Sleeping mat  (Read 1443 times)

Becky68

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Sleeping mat
« on: 06:45:10, 02/05/19 »
Hi, I'm new to this forum and am planning a section of the Southern Upland Way and looking for tips for the most comfy, lightweight, durable and budget sleeping mat. A lot to ask I know! There are so many options out there! Any tips? Thanks  :)

alan de enfield

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #1 on: 08:17:31, 02/05/19 »
Hi, I'm new to this forum and am planning a section of the Southern Upland Way and looking for tips for the most comfy, lightweight, durable and budget sleeping mat. A lot to ask I know! There are so many options out there! Any tips? Thanks  :)



I guess if you ask 100 people you will get 150 different answers - your criteria are , in reality, not achieveable as it is extremely rare to be able to combine "budget", "Lightweight", "Comfy" and "Durable" into a single product.


Are you a 'back-sleeper' or a 'side-sleeper' ?


Ignoring your 'list' it pretty much comes down to budget;


For under 10 you can get a foam pad (of varying thicknesses) - relatively heavy but durable.
For a little more you can get a self inflating foam pad,
Then you can move onto a 'lightweight' air-bed type pad - you can pay a few pennies for a product from China, or 50 for a European quality product.
If you want to pay 100+ you can get something like a Down-Air mattress, but the weight is heavier than just an air-pad.


Bulk also comes into the equation - do you have a big space in your bag (foam pad) or a small space (air-bed)


Are you looking for the pad to keep you off the rocky/lumpy ground and/or to help keep you warm (insulation from the cold ground) ?


My Down-Air mattress weighs 908 grams but is very warm and confortable.
My 'Air-Bed' inflatable weighs 462 grams but my hips and shoulders 'bottom-out' and touch the ground (I am a side-sleeper)

richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #2 on: 08:27:47, 02/05/19 »
Foam pads are actually pretty light, Alan. My 3/4 length cut down ancient Karrimat weighs 200g. And they are usually strapped to the outside of the rucksack.

Not the most comfortable though!
« Last Edit: 08:34:38, 02/05/19 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #3 on: 08:33:28, 02/05/19 »
Welcome to the forum Becky.

Firstly let me ask when are you planning to camp? If not in the winter, then a simple lightweight blow up mat without any foam insulation will do - Lidl did some a while back for the princely sum of 17.99, and I find them extremely comfortable. Weight 500g. Out of stock now, but similar are available online.


alan de enfield

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #4 on: 08:38:06, 02/05/19 »
Foam pads are actually pretty light, Alan. My 3/4 length cut down Karrimat weighs 200hg. And they are usually strapped to the outside of the rucksack.


Not the most comfortable though!



Agreed - but the thicker you go, and if you get a full length one the weight does increase. I am always reluctant to strap 'stuff' on the outside of my rucksack - I was always 'taught' it was 'bad-form' and a risk of catching on brambles, getting caught up going thru' gates / styles etc.
Anything on the outside of the bag needs a fairly rugged waterproof bag (to minimise potential damage) which all adds weight.


I also have a full length Foam & Air 'self inflating' pad and that weighs in at 990g


If we were all the same it would be easy, but we are not, and we all have our own preferences. There is no right or wrong answer, just alternatives.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #5 on: 08:47:35, 02/05/19 »
Personally, I love Thermarest 'self' inflating foam mats. They come in such a range that I have several depending on whether I am prioritising size and weight or luxury.
I have tried a range of air beds, from the home kind you inflate with a big pump to the high-end ones with down in them. I always wake with severe pain and can't walk the next day as they play hell with my sciatica. I've also heard complaints about their noisiness. However, they are very light and very small and you can get the lower-end ones very cheaply.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

Stube

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #6 on: 08:52:24, 02/05/19 »
I would always recommend a self-inflating sleeping mat.

From about 350 grams for a 3/4 length ultralite to 800 for a full-length comfort mat. Price range 30 - 80. The smaller thinner ones pack down to only a little bigger than an air bed.

Their big advantage is that they provide some cushioning and insulation even when punctured - unlike an air bed.

Alpkit and Multimat are good makes to start looking at.

fernman

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #7 on: 09:38:45, 02/05/19 »
I love my Multimat Superlite!
As for inflatable pads,  from a personal point of view I wouldn't entertain one because I've never slept very well on the big base-camp ones, which is why I now use a camp bed with a matress topper for that.
But my main reason for posting is to add to the comments about carrying closed-cell rolls on the outside of a rucksack: I once got a puncture in a Thermarest that was inside my pack, but is was at the very bottom and it was almost certainly pricked when I climbed over a barbed wire-topped fence.
« Last Edit: 09:42:27, 02/05/19 by fernman »

richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #8 on: 10:14:17, 02/05/19 »
If we were all the same it would be easy, but we are not, and we all have our own preferences. There is no right or wrong answer, just alternatives.



So true, Alan.

richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #9 on: 10:16:52, 02/05/19 »
But my main reason for posting is to add to the comments about carrying closed-cell rolls on the outside of a rucksack:



You can't puncture a closed cell mat. My veteran is 35 years old - looks the worse for wear but still does the job just fine.

gunwharfman

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #10 on: 11:07:07, 02/05/19 »
I've ended up with 3 mats, 2 self-inflating and one that has to be inflated, which is the one I like best. I started off my hiking career with a blue closed cell, hated it, couldn't get comfortable at all. I now cut it up when I need a new sit-on mat.

For me personally, I've learned from experience that after a long days hike I need to rest comfortably. I also sleep on my side which for me is one of the reasons why the blue closed cell was so useless, my ilaec crest bone was always so painful by the morning.

One of my self inflating mats, they are all Thermalites, is 'old,' about 6' x 2'.52 x 2" thick and I use it when we have visitors, its ideal and very comfortable. I'm always up early and prefer to sleep downstairs so that when I'm up and doing, the visitors can carry on sleeping and I don't have to disturb them.

My other Thermarest is a 4' x 2'.5" x 1" thick Prolite. I bought this one to save weight, in hindsite, daft! I wish I hadn't spent out my money on it because my feet overhang the end, (I use a piece of the blue mat to compensate)  I should have bought the 6' one. I have to be very precise at the inflation of this one, no air and its the same as sleeping on a blue closed cell, too much air and its like sleeping on a rock! If I get it just right its very comfortable.

The Prolight is ideal for my bivi, it would be even better if it was 6' long. I keep thinking of buying a new Prolite but I just never seem to make the final decision.

When I'm in my tent I prefer the luxury of my Thermarest Neo Air, but this one is not self-inflating. I don't use it when I use my bivi and want to stealth/wild camp, too noisy to blow up. But it is very comfortable and it rolls up to the size of a beer can, which is great when packing my rucksack and am on the move each day.

A long winded explanation (sorry) but the point I want to make is whatever you buy, make sure that your purchase keeps the cold from the ground under your matress where it belongs, if it gets though to your body you can get uncomfortably cold at night.

fernman

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #11 on: 12:32:13, 02/05/19 »
You can't puncture a closed cell mat.

Prior to my earler-mentioned Thermarest (which lasted for several years after I repaired its puncture) I had a closed-cell mat until I was sitting on it during a lunch break; when I got up to do something the breeze flipped it up onto my stove, which melted a large, black-edged hole in it. Since then I've enjoyed the superior comfort of self-inflatings mats.

Ronin83

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #12 on: 16:31:08, 02/05/19 »
Berghaus do some reasonably priced self inflaters and so do decathlon.
Pillows are important too, especially for side sleepers. One inflatable and one squishy compactable. Good combo and both light.

Owen

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #13 on: 16:34:14, 02/05/19 »
I've been using a Neo Air short for a while, I've come to the conclusion that's it's just to small. It's not so much it's short length but it's also tapered from 50cm at the shoulders to about 30 at the knees. I keep rolling of it. I've just ordered a full length one. 

alan de enfield

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Re: Sleeping mat
« Reply #14 on: 16:57:44, 02/05/19 »
I've been using a Neo Air short for a while, I've come to the conclusion that's it's just to small. It's not so much it's short length but it's also tapered from 50cm at the shoulders to about 30 at the knees. I keep rolling of it. I've just ordered a full length one.



I often wonder if those buying a 'short' pad to save the odd few grams, are the same folk that cut their toothbrush handle off, squeeze 1/2 of their toothpaste out before they start, etc etc.


I've got to the stage in life where I might be walking / camping but comfort is important and sleeping "well" is at the top of the list.


I might be camping but I'm not living in a uncomfortable cave with no 'mod-cons'.