/ lightweight sleeping mat
Please tell me about light weight sleeping mats. I've done a search but there doesn't seem to be anything recent...
Priority is light weight and small pack size. Warmth isn't such an issue (Scotland in late spring/summer/early autumn, low level).
So what do you have/what does your mate have that you wish you'd got instead?
Got a Thermarest Neoair Xlite. Works fine but I just wish it was a tad wider and a bit less thick. Sometimes feels as if its too easy to 'fall off' it. But nice and light and packs down really well. Have primarily used it for bikepacking, where low volume is critical.
Have the Thermarest NeoAir XLite. It's superlight (450g) and packs very small. Isn't self inflating but is fully inflated with a few decent puffs. Can't fault it but not cheap!
When looking at this a few years ago, I prioritised minimal pack size and went for the Sea to Summit Ultralight (the yellow uninsulated one). It's really comfortable and packs down astonishingly tiny very easily. Also easy to inflate by mouth or with the option of using special dry bags by Sea to Summit or Exped to avoid filling it with moisture (not sure how worthwhile that is). It's not cheap but a little less expensive than some of the competition.
I definitely recommend it BUT it offers barely any insulation. My recollection from when I was researching myself is that the competitors from Thermarest started to stack up better once you wanted a bit of insulation.
I found the comparison reviews on OutdoorGearLab.com really helpful.
I agree with the other suggestions for the Neoair. I've been using an original (rectangular) one since not long after it came on the market: never had a problem with it, packs up small, and gives me a good nights sleep. I'm sure the xlite is as good as or better. (I also use it for winter backpacking with a closed-cell mat underneath. Works fine.)
Boringly another plus for Neoair Xlite (bum length, use pack etc for legs). Put it inside cut down Coke bottle for protection when packed. Good comfort, warm, very quick to inflate by mouth, but as above wish it was wider (though makes it slightly less weight I suppose).
Thermarest uberlite is coming this summer.
Another like for the Neoair Xlite. Indeed a little bit wider and less deep though would be good. Also, sometimes think it is a little noisy to sleep on.
That said, weight and size is superb.
The Alpkit Numo is excellent value for money. Alpkit Cloud Base is even lighter and looks pretty good
If weight is your priority then you won't find one much lighter than this
and a bargain at £15.
Its stated weight is 190g but oddly that includes the packaging and the pointless straps which you can ditch. I trimmed 4" off mine to get rid of the brass eyelets but its still a full length, full width mat weighing only 160g and it will never get punctured.
Used it for a few nights bikepacking in the summer and it seems really good. Had a thermarest prolite a few years back and the cloudbase is so much more comfortable
Pack size is really really good, leave it to vent for a few days before longer term storage and it should last years.
Very happy with it so far
Plus one for the Cloudbase. Very happy with mine, perfect for UK 3 season although I'm going to have to get a Thermarest or Exped for winter.
Still prefer my old karrimat (light one for no snow, extreme one for snow) to any of this expensive namby pamby inflatable guff .
Buy once, never have to buy another.
I'm also very happy with my Alpkit Cloudbase. I put a Karrimat on top in winter, but it is great for three season use.
+4 for the Alpkit Cloud base, light and seems well made, I've yet to use it in anger though.
We've got a Thermarest Neoair Xlite and as Dave Cundy says, it felt like you were going to fall off it! So investigating other options. Good to know that people like their Alpkit mats as I was look at them especially the Cloud Base. Thank you also to Luke90 for the link to OutdoorGearLab.com as that is useful.
I've been looking for a new mat and I'm gonna get the Sea to summit ultralight insulated in a size large, as I like a bit of comfort and like the extra width
Cost is around £100 and weight is about 580g
They are supposed to be comfier due to the design of the mat and it's not as noisy as some of the lighter mats
Surprised no one has suggested having a look at the Exped mats. Something like a synmat ul or hl.
Just as light as the thermarest equivalent, but no annoying noise and much easier to stay on.
Or the ME mats made with Exped valves etc. Much better surface material, less slippy, no noise, ... Just bought a second one after my wife confiscated my first one.
Used to have an exped but found that it wasn’t wide enough in the regular as I’m a side sleeper and found my arms hanging over the sides and as it was quite thick the drop made my arms uncomfortable.
The standard exped is 50cm wide but the Alpkit cloud base and the sea to summit ultralight insulated are 55cm in the regular but the sea to summit has got great comfort reviews and found it to be cheaper in the large than other similar mats.
If pack size and weight is really the priority then the balloon bed is hard to beat. It does have down sides though.
- tiny pack size
- actually fairly comfortable
- Provides amusement for other people when you pump it up.
- Balloons can only be used once or twice. Using it is not free.
- Can't really be used directly on the ground.
- Only 3/4 length.
- Provides amusement for other people when you pump it up.
For me their niche is shortish bothy/camping trips where I know I will have a groundsheet or sleeping platform. My optimistic attempt to use it for Scottish winter did not result in a pleasant nights sleep.
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