Comfy Lightweight Sleeping Mats


9 April 2013

I have trouble sleeping in my own king-sized bed at home so imagine what I’m 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 won’t fit in my tent or my bag and my mates would laugh at me, I don’t.
They wouldn’t be laughing in the morning when I’m as fresh as a daisy and they’re looking like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s 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 I’ve had the pleasure of trying out a few different mats. Below is a list of all the ones I’ve tried and I’ve rated them for comfort.

Since I’m a terrible sleeper I class myself as an expert in sleeping discomfort so you can trust my ratings.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young
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Winwood Comfort Scale

My bed at home – Weight: 136078g , RRP £650, Comfort Rating: 10
Coleman Comfort Single – Weight: 2300g , RRP £35, Comfort Rating: 7.5
Exped Downmat 7M Weight: 855g , RRP £145, Comfort Rating: 6.15
NeoAir XLite (Regular) Weight: 350g, RRP: £120, Comfort Rating: 5
Thermarest Prolite (Regular) Weight: 460g, RRP: £90, Comfort Rating: 3.5
Gelert X-Treme Lite Mat - Weight: 950g, RRP: £43, Comfort Rating: 3.25
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleeping Pad- Weight: 130g, RRP: 22 dollars, Comfort Rating: 1
The Floor – Weight: 0g, RRP: Free, Comfort rating: 0

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 I’m a light sleeper and having you in it isn’t going to help, and my wife wouldn’t be happy (or maybe she would?). The floor and the airbed are out because that’s silly. The Gossamer Gear Nightlight is the lightest with good thermal insulation, but it’s not much comfier than the floor. I use the Nightlight underneath another mat if it’s cold but not on its own. However, if you classify yourselves as a true ultralighter, this is for you.

If you’re 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 don’t have a R-Value (measure of thermal resistance). I’ve 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 you’ve just worked a bit of overtime is the NeoAir XLite. It’s comfier than the Prolite and lighter than the Exped and it packs down really small. It’s a slight pain to deflate and pack into its pouch, but not that bad.

If you’re 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 haven’t got any dead rich relatives or your boss is a bit stingy with the overtime, here’s the best deals I could find on Amazon and eBay on 2 May 2013

- about £100
Thermarest NeoAir XLite Mattress (Regular) on Amazon - £119
- £69.99
- one on sale for £28 which is a bargain

Photo by: lifebeginsat50mm

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