/ Bivvi bag and sleeping mat

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Jones_88 - on 08 Apr 2012

Im off to the alps for 2 weeks in july to do a few 4000m peaks and hopefully finish off with mt blanc. We will be Using huts but saving some cash by biving as well.
I don't own a bivi bag at the moment and I think my shitty millets roll mat could do with upgrading as I am fed up of feeling like Im sleeping on a bag of rocks.

Budget for my bivy is around 50-80ish - main use is this and future alpine trips and the odd clear/lightly rainy night in the uk

Budget for my mat is around 60 - 90ish as I will use my mat for sleeping on in my tent,with the bivy and when ever I go camping so getting more use out of it so i reckon i can justify a bigger budget.

Ideally a self inflating mat that doesn't weigh a great deal, is quite tough and is kind to my poorly spine.
Don't really care that much about the bivy as long as it works.
Could stretch to a dearer mat if it isn't prone to puncturing on rocks and gets me a good night sleep.

Any advice/piss taking/constructive crisicism welcome.

Thanks.
teh_mark - on 08 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88:

I'm quite happy with my new Alpkit sleeping mat (the Base 180). Not sure how it'd fare against sharp rocks or in an alpine environment mind, as I've only used it once so far on a nice flat bit of grass on Dartmoor (mind you, it was subzero the entire night).

I also have the Alpkit Hunka bivi bag, but I'm yet to pass judgement on it - again I've only used it once so far.

Trangia - on 09 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88:

Whilst si mats are good, comfortable and warm, they are a right pain if you puncture them - easily done if biviing on rocks/gravel, so although more bulky I'd go for a quality closed foam mat (karimat), particularly where warmth is a serious consideration.
martinph78 on 09 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88: I have a thermarest Prolite and it's not warm when camped on snow.

Have a look at multimat. Their mats seem to be warmer for teh weight/price than thermarest. For a bivvy mat I probably wouldn't go self-inflating either.


A tip for anyone else reading this is for extra warmth you can coil your rope on the tent floor and put the mat on top of that :o)
benallan on 09 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88:

I use a Ridgerest, cut down to 3/4 length. It weighs 300g, it will take a hammering and folded in half then in half again it fits perfectly in my pack (adding some stability to the pack aswell).

I've used 3 different self inflating mats and a 12mm multimat, and personally I would say the Ridgerest is the warmest and most comfortable for me.

And they only cost about 25 quid.
Rich35 - on 09 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88: get your bivi bag in chamonix from technique du extreme. i paid 20 euros a couple of years ago , not goretex but 20 euros cmon ??? mines been used to death in snowdonia scotland and the alps and still ok .
Jones_88 - on 13 Apr 2012
In reply to Jones_88:
Thanks for your advice looks like i will be going away from the self inflating idea now.
davidbeynon - on 13 Apr 2012
In reply to benallan:

Ridge rests are pretty good, but I prefer the z rest generally, as it is less of a faff to pack & feels a bit more comfortable. I know they officially aren't supposed to be as good in cold conditions, but I've never had a problem on snow.
In reply to Jones_88: My ultralite thermarest is more comfy when used alone than my ridgerest (and full thickness thermarests are just luxurious) BUT alpine bivies can be very rough and I wouldn't fancy the chances of a thermarest on those rocks. Better go for a ridgerest or multimat. As they aren't too expensive consider also then getting a three quarter length thinner thermarest (or Alpkit clone). For camping on grass for example the thermarest will be more comfy, but then used together you will have a system that will insulate you when snow camping down to at least -27. It might work for colder weather but that's coldest I've slept out on my mats! :)

By the way, I have 20 year old thermarest that I still regularly use, and my ridgerest is about 15 or 16 years old. They might seem a bit pricey over cheaper copies at first but if you are a regular user you'll get your monies worth from them.
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In reply to davidbeynon:

> Ridge rests are pretty good, but I prefer the z rest generally, as it is less of a faff to pack & feels a bit more comfortable.

I've been thinking for ages about getting a z-rest - now I go camping quite a bit with my kids so we need more mats. I had heard they are actually not quite as warm as ridgerest, have you found this too? The neat packing issue is a big plus point for them though.

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