What's your favourite sleeping mat?

Discussion in 'Sleep Mats' started by PhilHo, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    You have got me thinking @PhilHo!
    Much the same size as you Bob (@Bob-W ) but a bit of a sleepy mover so thinking the wide version would do the trick. Happy to wear the extra weight given my tossing and turning. The width at the waist is quite narrow compared to an Xlite-which carries the width a fair way down.
    Want to try and avoid hands falling off the side.
    Do you notice the 'hold' of the side slightly higher baffle keeping you on the mat?
    Are any of you including Craig @craige and Gixer @gixer able to compare the comfort and durability (many people here with older models had blow outs-which someone mentioned is no longer an issue) to the TR-Xlite. Is it much more comfy Gixer?-Sounds like you think so.
    Ta for any help any of you can offer.

    Postscript according to the 'Bigfoot' Youtube chap the newer models come with the Pumpsack-and the issue with the baffles is resolved on those made after 2016.
    Wont link clip but is titled 'An issue with my new sleeping pad- on Bigfoots thing on Youtube.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    PhilHo likes this.
  2. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I had an xlite reg. Sold it. On balance it is a good pad but for me there are multiple better options. It's noisy and clammy and the valve really sucks. As others have said it's narrow, but feels narrower as the edges collapse easily due to the baffle orientation. I'd be fine on a large but honestly can't stand the valve. It is comfy to lie on.

    I'm 6'3", ~100kg with a 33" waist and ~55cm shoulder width. I have 3 pads I use:

    Either an exped synmat HL LW which is now my go to. Lightest full length and the brushed fabric is nice and non clammy. It's really comfy especially on lumpy ground the pumpsack (yes it's included) is really good and a decent size for a pack liner. It's also my least noisy pad. Shouldn't have any baffle issues now. The bigger side baffles seem to work for keeping centred but I don't notice them being bigger when I'm lying on it. I don't know if it's any comfier than the xlite tbh, but it is really comfy. Especially with some air ket out.

    I also have a sts ultralight insulated (large) which I also really like. Really comfy, probably a little more so than the exped, but doesn't absorb lumpy ground the same due to being thinner. The valve is the absolute best as far as I've seen. Air in quick, easy to adjust and air out in literally 2 seconds. 40D fabric also makes it both the heaviest and most durable. It's a little clammy and the fabric makes some noise. It also has the best shape, being wider all the way down.
    My other mat is a sts ul insulated regular chopped and sealed. The 55cm width means I fit perfectly on it with nothing to spare but not hanging off and it is lighter and I can use something else under my legs.
    Arne L. and PhilHo like this.
  3. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    That's the one I've gone for just got the tracking number for delivery today. Apparently Santa is going to intervene and make me wait to play with it until next Wednesday. :)
  4. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Thanks very much for the info. Yes, I have the Xlite in Large but the Syn for about the same weight looks quicker and easier to inflate and perhaps less cumbersome in the more reasonable length. I have had a couple of STSs but prefer the Xlite but not the valve. The Syn wide regular looks a nice compromise. I either chop the Xlite to about 170cms or go the Synmat. Get the Syn and sell the Xlite seems a better idea.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    PhilHo likes this.
  5. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    …… only in UK from a particular generation do you get such a mix of Metric and Imperial. LOL :D.
    I do the same - whichever is most convenient :thumbsup:. Love it :angelic:
    Patrick, Enzo, Clare and 1 other person like this.
  6. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Nice, I do think you'll be happy with it. It's a really good pad. The taper is quite aggressive but it's not been an issue for me.

    Yeah, @Arne L. Has the synmat RW and really likes it, which cemented my decision to get one. The reg length was too short for me though. The valve in exped is good, not quite as good as the sts but MUCH better than TR. I think the only reason I'd buy a tr and deal with the valve would be if it was an uberlight in wide to be chopped to torso length. Saving a lot of weight for summer trips and holding less air so the valve would be as bad to deal with.

    Haha, true. I barely even think about which is which anymore, but that's why I do ~ that. My in my head quick conversions are never that accurate :rolleyes:
    cathyjc likes this.
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Trail Blazer

    Just to throw a curved ball into the discussion: for a few years I used a cut down Ridgerest CCF mat together with radiator insulation ( In my, then, Trailstar and using a bivy bag). I'm a side sleeper, but was comfortable to below zero C.

    I have now got an X Therm and X Lite, but on the TGO in May I used a full length NEMO Switchback: I was very impressed with it. I didn't want to have any fears of the X THerm/X LIte letting me down. Years ago one of the original Neoair's did let me down.

    With the Switchback there was no faffing around inflating it - no need to nanny it - I could use it as a seat, etc and it was remarkably good at insulating on some particularly cold nights.

    I know a lot of folk find CCF mats don't suit them, but I'm able to get on with them..... and feel comfortable.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    Chiseller likes this.
  8. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I've not given ccf a proper try since I started hiking. It was fine when a few mates and I were just loading the car up with drink and firewood as a teen to around 22, but then I was sleeping drunk and in an indoor envelope sleeping bag and was still warm below freezing. I should give it a try... but it's so bulky compared to a nice inflatable and the weight difference isn't massive.
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Trail Blazer

    No question CCF mats are bulky - mine just goes on the back of my pack. Makes it quick to use as a seat etc - on route.

    I think it's a trade off: no fear (of punctures/valve failure), no fuss, no faff - with a CCF mat: use it and abuse it.

    The old, solid, CCF mats were uncomfortable, but, the "dimpled" ones are surprisingly comfortable and insulate well.

    I'm tempted to cut down my Switchback, but the weight saving is not that great.
  10. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    I'm a stomach/side sleeper so I need a wide mat.

    Has anyone tried a combo like short/wide inflatable mat and cut up Nemo Switchback? The Switchback could do a double duty as a seat pad and a porch cover getting in and out of the shelter.
  11. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Yes; the Exped is probably the best airpad I've used (started out with a TAR Prolite Plus, moved on to a Exped Synmat 7UL M, got a NeoAir Xlite S, bought a Multimat Superlite Air & finally settled on a Exped Synmat HL MW). It's comfortable, fast to inflate with the bag and is pretty light.

    It failed on me in the Pyrenees last September and then I bought a Etherlight XT. Exped repaired the pad for 30 EUR which, IMO, was quite a lot but well.

    Now I'm paranoid to have another airpad fail on me, so I use 8 sections of a Zlite now. I've had some nights on it and I sleep very well. I sleep on the 8 and 2 sections go into the footbox of my quilt vertically; pretty much a full length pad.

    The benefits of CCF are well known.

    Planning to take that setup to Skye & the GR5 next year.
    Gordon and WilliamC like this.
  12. RobH

    RobH Trail Blazer

    Tried all and now have Exped Winter and Synmat for the summer. No issues ever.
  13. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    No frozen valves?
  14. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I used the wife's exped synmat a couple of weeks back. I didn't realise hers is rectangular... I liked it more than my hl.
  15. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    I used the Locus Gear Onda 2 cut to 140cms (140 gms) a couple of times but only because when it went into the sack it basically vanished. I would happily use one of the thicker CCF mats but I agree they take up too much space (in a small rucksack) and end up having to be carried on the outside-good if there's no bush but otherwise you get snagged all the time. I tossed and turned a bit with the Onda but my back in the morning felt great.
    WilliamC likes this.
  16. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Just out of curiosity Arne @Arne L. was the failed Exped a newer improved model? What was the issue that couldn't it be mended on the spot by yourself?
  17. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Yes; bought late 2018 after making sure it was the most recent model.

    It was a very slow (and probably very tiny) leak that I couldn’t locate. After a few hours the pad was worthless. I’ve spend a lot of time trying to find it but was not very succesful.

    I’ve always used it in a double wall tent but maybe the 20D is not as though as I hoped... although it did keep me warm & comfy on the entire Cape Wrath Trail. So seeing it fail was a bit disappointing but may very well be my own fault.

    Exped did not specify the location of the leak.
    Cranston likes this.
  18. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Ta. Yes, the 20D had me thinking too. Xlites 30D and a reputation for easy field mends and basically the same weight. Might just have to take the plunge as I would really like to try the vertical baffles.
  19. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    I wonder about this- does anyone have one by any chance or able to offer some thoughts?
    A tad higher R value than the Uberlite. But 20D and a wee bit heavier. Narrowish at 52cms (by 183 cms which is fine) but as the length goes all the way down (rectangular) which I reckon may work out and and 5cms thick instead of 7 cms which I don't mind as long as I don't bottom out. I am 87 kgs and about 52 cms shoulder width.
    380 gms and apart from that even more attractively I can get one for about 70 pounds posted here. It seems to me to be very good value. The wide tapered version would set me back 98 pounds posted.
    I don't really need the pumpsack even though as you mentioned Craig (@craige ) it does look good value. The one I have made from a Nylofume bag worked on a STS internal valve like this. Might anyone know if the STS and Exped are the same size valve internal dimensions please? The Schnozzle would work on both. I believe it does?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  20. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Valve is the same; I’ve used my Exped bag on my Etherlight with success.
  21. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Thanks for confirming Arne. I was pretty sure from my past STSs it would still be the same.
    Arne L. likes this.
  22. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    I don't have a favourite sleeping mat. They're all fragile, the wrong size and shape, and too heavy.

    Does anyone know of a robust insulated inflatable that is long but not wide?
  23. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I used the TAR Xlite SHORT (1.2m) for years with a head off the top (S2S pillow) & feet off the bottom, MY best compromise for low weight & reasonable comfort. Now use an Xlite Womans version which is a bit longer (1.7m) but the feet still tend to overhang a bit.
    For the vertically challenged simply adopting a similar tactic with any standard (or long) length mat would work.
  24. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    That's an interesting take on vertical challenge. I've always taken it to apply to those on the petite end rather than us taller humans. I'll let my little mate know that it is I that face the challenge not he.
  25. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Try Caving & see who's vertically challenged :)

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