Mat Options

Discussion in 'Sleep Mats' started by Pipe Cleaner, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Pipe Cleaner

    Pipe Cleaner Summit Camper

    I'm looking for different mat options to cover different uses. We've had quite a few different mats over the years and still haven't found anything we like.

    So what would you recommend for the following uses?

    Family car camping all seasons (preferably capable of being made into a double or already in a double and very comfortable too).

    Lightweight and compact pack size for backpacking and cycle touring (suitable for two adults and one child).

    Our current mattress options consist of ccf, exped synmat 7 ul, TAR in full size and 3/4 and vango TAR copy.

    Ccf is too thin for comfort. Exped mat has not survived very well and now squeaks with every single body movement. Don't know why but it's effectively unusable now. The TAR suits my partner doubled up because they're 3 season and not thick enough to give enough comfort in a single layer. This means it's going to be bulky to carry two mats per person.

    I'm hoping there's a good, thick TAR kind of mat that's comfortable for car camping (tents and camping pods in early season).

    For uses when we're carrying the kit I'm not sure what's the options. More like the synmat? Aren't they going to be noisy? Are they able to join to make a double? Or available in a double. The reason for this is so junior and one adult are on the double mat. It stops junior moving around too much in a tent in our experience.

    What are the options for each use or for both uses? We're not opposed to one solution or multiple solutions.
  2. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    I struggled with mats, using Expeds with long baffles worked for a while but comfort as a side sleeper was lacking.

    I currently use a Xlite and find it extremely comfy. The rustle does not bother me much. I have also recently been trying out a Nemo Zor 20s, self inflating mat and have been surprised at how comfortable it is.
  3. Nigelp

    Nigelp Hiker

    Car camping - Vango Comfort 10- single, wide and double options.
  4. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Selfinflating Multimat "Ice Mat 100" for base camps / car camping. Heavy and bulky but like a full bed away from home - including sleepers with back problems. 2 mats automatically attach to each other to form a double. We use them for extra guest beds at home too.

    For hiking IMO - the Sea to Summit range is the most comfortable range of inflatables
    - Thermarest are the least comfortable inflatables (the "torture mats" :D)
    other manufacturers tested are somewhere inbetween these two extremes ...
    cathyjc likes this.
  5. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I don't want anymore weight - so S to S is probably not in consideration.
    And I'm not up for being less comfortable - so the Thermarest isn't worth it.

    ……..that confirms my decision to stick with my Expeds :D :thumbsup:
    Arne L., Chiseller and tom like this.
  6. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    We use Alpkit Fat Airics for car camping (now called Dozers I think)

    For hiking I’ve fallen out of love with TAR Xlites and now use either a Klymit Static V Junior or Exped HLMW for the cooler months
    Chiseller likes this.
  7. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I find the neoair pretty comfy, but 50cm too narrow for me, and the valves are ridiculously bad compared to s2s and exped. The standard s2s width of 55cm is just enough for me and the wide is luxury :D the material used on the s2s UL insulated is a little squeaky, though not as noisy as an xlite.
  8. Taz38

    Taz38 Section Hiker

    I have a neoair venture for warmer nights (above 5c), I find it very comfy semi inflated (with a ccf mat underneath).
  9. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Incidentally, I'll be trying out an Exped hyperlight in the Pyrenees in early April - with a la palma mat underneath and a 1m piece of 3mm evacote on top for warmth and comfort above 2000m :) I hope it not too narrow...
    gixer likes this.
  10. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Putting the Evacote (stiffer ??) underneath might be comfier ?? ……trial and error to find the sweet spot :whistling:
    tom likes this.
  11. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    For car camping we use Alpkit Dozer's, great but don't have them inflated all the way or it's like sleeping on concrete! For hiking i now use a Big Agnes Q core SLX insulated and its great for me being a side sleeper. Tried a Exped down mat for a while and was good but made my hip sore, then tried a Klymit static V but sometimes my hip would actually rest on the ground if it was positioned between the V shaped baffles. I use an Evacote sheet under the BA during the winter.
    What i have learned is that it's horses for courses, what might be great for a 100 people might be kack for you, my fiance would sleep on a sheet of paper and it wouldn't bother her...then again she is 15 years younger than me!!!

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