Self Inflating Camping Mats

froze

Senior Member
I had fusion done to my back due to an auto accident so I take a rather thick pad but it's very comfortable for a camping mat, it's the Thermarest NeoAir Camper self inflating mat in the large size. When inflated it's 3 inches thick but that 3 inches works for my back. When the mat is packed according to the factory specs it's 15 x 5 inches, not as small as the water bottle pictured above, it also weighs almost 2 pounds, but I don't carry a bulky sleeping bag I just carry a SOL Escape Bivvy bag which only weighs about 8 ounces and packs real small, so I'm probably darn close to taking up the same space and the same weight as someone carry a smaller mat and a larger sleeping bag.
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
I had Thermarest a few years back and didn't find it comfortable. Then Exped Downmat, now an Exped Synmat UL7 which doesn't have a pump of any sort and I inflate by mouth with zero problems after a few years (not got insstructions to hand but was definitely sold as not an issue.

Small light and comfy

I sleep on my side which means more padding needed
 
Location
London
I don't understand that. Even if comfortable (I'll take your word for it) doesn't the cold come through those very large holes?
Or do you entice small mammals to vigorously mate in them to generate heat?


I have an old fashioned Thermarest. Will probably use it till it dies then look for something more modern.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
I don't understand that. Even if comfortable (I'll take your word for it) doesn't the cold come through those very large holes?
The idea is that your sleeping bag lofts into the holes, providing insulation rather than being squashed flat by your body weight, as seen in the 3rd of the 4 photos the seller provided.
What puts me off is that I'm not a back sleeper, and I don't trust the comfort for side or front sleeping.
 
Location
London
Ah thanks, though i'm still not convinced by the theory. And it surely depends on your sleeping bag being in tip top condition. Am more interested innsomething that adds to my bag.
 

clid61

Veteran
Location
The North
I don't understand that. Even if comfortable (I'll take your word for it) doesn't the cold come through those very large holes?
Or do you entice small mammals to vigorously mate in them to generate heat?


I have an old fashioned Thermarest. Will probably use it till it dies then look for something more modern.
The holes create pockets of warm air , believe it or not !
 
Location
London
Intriguing clid.

How do you rate it against any others you have used? How much have you used it and in what range of conditions? Ever used it for bivvying? How tough is it and do you think you have used it enough to assess it on that?

Sorry for the (almost) 20 questions :smile: but I am kind of interested in it but also wary of a lot of superlightweight compact modern stuff. In fact have decided that my next sleeping bag will probably be a snugpack army special.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
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Oh yes. Doesn't even need inflating.
 

mcshroom

Bionic Subsonic
I really like my Exped Synmat, but unfortunately the baffle welds started failing on my trip to Ireland earlier this month so I now have two bigger lumps where the compartments have combined. Now I'm about to find out how good the 5 year guarantee is.
 
Location
London
I really like my Exped Synmat, but unfortunately the baffle welds started failing on my trip to Ireland earlier this month so I now have two bigger lumps where the compartments have combined. Now I'm about to find out how good the 5 year guarantee is.
ah, I fear my reservations are well founded. Can I ask how much you have used it/how long you have had it for?

Re the guarantee, where do you take it back to or do you have to post it? At your expense both ways?
 

mcshroom

Bionic Subsonic
ah, I fear my reservations are well founded. Can I ask how much you have used it/how long you have had it for?

Re the guarantee, where do you take it back to or do you have to post it? At your expense both ways?
I've had it for two years, and it's done at least five weeks of cycle touring, plus a number of shorter camps where until this last camp it has been faultless, despite me being rather heavy. The mat itself still holds air fine, and you can still sleep on it, but where the baffles have gone you get a bulge the length of the mat as the two smaller cylinders now have made one bigger one.

I also have a couple of self inflating mats, but they are bulkier and less comfortable.

I've just contacted the UK distributor today as the mat has a 5 year warranty on it so I'll find out more soon. It was bought from a seller on Amazon so I may have to go back to them.
 
Location
London
Thanks for the reply - not the greatest amount of use is it? - cannot help but think a simple jobbie from the likes of Decathlon or mainstream store would be way less hassle - just pop it back to a branch if any problem - if on tour, especially in the UK, you could even carry the receipt with you and be on your way. I shall follow this with interest. all the best, good luck.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
I've just contacted the UK distributor today as the mat has a 5 year warranty on it so I'll find out more soon. It was bought from a seller on Amazon so I may have to go back to them.
Exped seem to be pretty good about replacements, at least according to common report.

The real problem is if the failure is such that you can no longer sleep on it, which leaves you sleeping on the cold ground, or having to find some sort of replacement, possibly in the middle of nowhere, and having to carry both the replacement and the dead mat for the rest of the tour.
 
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