I have trouble sleeping in my own king-sized bed at home so imagine what Im like hiking. If possible I would carry my Coleman Comfort airbed and rechargeable pump with me always, but since it weighs 2.3 kg and wont fit in my tent or my bag and my mates would laugh at me, I dont.
They wouldnt be laughing in the morning when Im as fresh as a daisy and theyre looking like Andrew Lloyd Webers dog.
On a long trek, sleep is important and you have to juggle the old weight verses comfort dilemma. As the previous owner of an outdoor shop Ive had the pleasure of trying out a few different mats. Below is a list of all the ones Ive tried and Ive rated them for comfort.
Since Im a terrible sleeper I class myself as an expert in sleeping discomfort so you can trust my ratings.
I think adding a couple of decimal places to some of the figures makes it look more like a legitimate scale.
As you can see a few of these need to be ruled out. My bed for starters, like I said Im a light sleeper and having you in it isnt going to help, and my wife wouldnt be happy (or maybe she would?). The floor and the airbed are out because thats silly. The Gossamer Gear Nightlight is the lightest with good thermal insulation, but its not much comfier than the floor. I use the Nightlight underneath another mat if its cold but not on its own. However, if you classify yourselves as a true ultralighter, this is for you.
If youre a bit skint at the moment then I would definitely recommend the Gelert X-treme Lite range. The regular is 950g which is a bit heavy, but the ¾ is only 520g. They are as comfy as the Prolite (only 0.25 difference on the Winwood Comfort Scale) but they dont have a R-Value (measure of thermal resistance). Ive used them in the summer and never had any problems.
As for the remaining mats, I think, for the summer months, the best option if youve just worked a bit of overtime is the NeoAir XLite. Its comfier than the Prolite and lighter than the Exped and it packs down really small. Its a slight pain to deflate and pack into its pouch, but not that bad.
If youre going out in the Winter or Autumn, and a rich relative as just died, lug the extra weight and take the Exped Downmat (R-Value 5.9)
If you havent got any dead rich relatives or your boss is a bit stingy with the overtime, heres the best deals I could find on Amazon and eBay on 2 May 2013