Self Inflating Camping Mats

clid61

Veteran
Location
The North
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.
Use it a lot mainly between march and October .I'm a back sleeper occasionally on side , bivvy with sleeping bag and liner and same in banshee 200
 

simongt

Über Member
Location
Norwich
I never got around to buying a pump, and just blew it up buy mouth, although I seem to remember reading about a risk of fungal growth (or something) inside the mat caused by mouth inflation.
Then if that's the case, I'm pretty much done for as I've been mouth inflating my trusty Thermarest for the last twenty years - ! :rofl:
 

ChrisEyles

Veteran
Location
Devon
I'm looking for one of these at the moment. The alpkit one looks very good, but I am a bit worried about the longevity of an inflatable mat (especially when I see the state of my trusty old foam roll mat).

I'm really tempted by this one that @Blue Hills suggested as a budget option:

https://www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-self-inflating-mat/753-6267.prd?skuId=753-6267&pageLevel=&source=awin&awc=7090_1500991244_d26fe9c03591ec762e8117e2515d3467&sc_cmp=aff*awin*gmo*HotUKDeals_47868&utm_medium=gmo&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_campaign=aff*HotUKDeals_47868&source=awin&awc=7090_1501011056_08ae03b8d46dc9048ca2225b7fe32eaf
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
I'm looking for one of these at the moment. The alpkit one looks very good, but I am a bit worried about the longevity of an inflatable mat (especially when I see the state of my trusty old foam roll mat).

I'm really tempted by this one that @Blue Hills suggested as a budget option:

https://www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-self-inflating-mat/753-6267.prd?skuId=753-6267&pageLevel=&source=awin&awc=7090_1500991244_d26fe9c03591ec762e8117e2515d3467&sc_cmp=aff*awin*gmo*HotUKDeals_47868&utm_medium=gmo&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_campaign=aff*HotUKDeals_47868&source=awin&awc=7090_1501011056_08ae03b8d46dc9048ca2225b7fe32eaf
I guess it depends how portable you want. The Alpkit Cloud is about the size of a coke can, whereas the Tesco one is the size of a tent. I use the Alpkit when travelling light and a self inflating roll when car camping.
 
Location
London
I guess it depends how portable you want. The Alpkit Cloud is about the size of a coke can, whereas the Tesco one is the size of a tent. I use the Alpkit when travelling light and a self inflating roll when car camping.
Where do you get the "tent" dimensions from for the Tesco mat? I can't see any packed dimensions listed. I wouldn't be massively surprised to find that it packs to something like the size of my old thermarest.

By the by @ChrisEyles i first came across that mat listed at £6, but when I linked to it it was showing at £12. This morning it again seems to be showing at £6. Am tempted to get one myself as the stockchecker seems to show stock at my Tesco down the road.
 
Location
London
@Milkfloat

That alpkit mat does look interesting, have come across it before.

It is I take it an air matress, no foam. I think some folk suggest that such mats are less warm on cold ground. How do you find it and what seasons do you camp? Also, how tough/durable do you reckon it is? As you can maybe tell I tend to be somewhat wary of some superlight compact camping stuff. Genuinely interested.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
@Milkfloat

That alpkit mat does look interesting, have come across it before.

It is I take it an air matress, no foam. I think some folk suggest that such mats are less warm on cold ground. How do you find it and what seasons do you camp? Also, how tough/durable do you reckon it is? As you can maybe tell I tend to be somewhat wary of some superlight compact camping stuff. Genuinely interested.
For the Tesco mat I am assuming it rolls to the size of similar mats I have, not too dissimilar to a foam rolled mat. For sure it is 51cm wide and won't fold.

For the Alpkit - yes it air, with no foam at all. You could probably describe it as an expensive more durable lilo. For sure it won't have the thermal properties of a thermarest, but certainly when my feet hang off the end (6'4") and touch the ground they are a lot colder than the rest of my body. I am a spring/summer kind of camper, for anything in winter I would not use it. I suppose a roll of baconfoil underneath might help.

Although I have take my bigger thermarest on a bike it is when I go fully panniered up - now I am trying to travel a lot lighter. This is my current setup.

Tent, thermal sleeping bag liner, alpkit mat, inflatable pillow, clothes and tools in the rear. Sleeping bag strapped to the bars.

20170724_192638733_iOS.jpg
 
Location
London
If that tesco mat is like a thermarest milkfloat it will pack way smaller than a simple foam rolled mat. The thermarest folds in half lengthways, then you roll it 2 or 3 times to expel the air. Then it goes in the bottom of a pannier, not on the rack.

Looking at your nice pic milkfloat our touring/loading styles are dramatically different :smile: each to their own.
 

ChrisEyles

Veteran
Location
Devon
For £6 I would snap one up in an instant. At £12 I'm still umming and ahing.

EDIT: just looked online and they are £6 again. Planning on picking one up this afternoon while I'm in store. Thanks for the heads up @Blue Hills!

I'd also be very surprised if it didn't pack down to something at least as small as a lightweight sleeping bag.

@Milkfloat haha, if I was going on camping trips on a SS bike I'd be wanting lighter gear too :smile: The MTB triple gearing is far better suited to my kit!
 
Last edited:
Location
London
@ChrisEyles well I popped to my local Tesco (online showed stock) - some were priced at £12, some at £6 so I took a £6 and it scanned as that - though all would I suppose. As milkfloat suggested, as presented rolled up it does appear to be near the size of a traditional foam mat and it comes in a long bag - with two straps to hold it rolled inside.

It will though pack smaller using the traditional Thermarest system I outlined above. How do I know - well I got down on my hands and knees and rolled it on the store floor. Won't maybe pack as small as my Thermarest but then while the same size top to bottom side to side it is a little bit thicker. And, lo, I would say it is more comfy than the Thermarest I paid £40 to £50 for a few years ago. It doesn't have the Thermarest's quasi semi fabric finish but is smooth and plasticky but I don't think I'll be rolling off it, especially when it is used inside my bivi - nowhere to roll :smile:

Do make sure you keep your receipt Chris in case of problems - I checked mine out at an auto till and forgot to take the receipt.

All in all, especially as your bivi trips don't seem to be long haul at the moment I'd say it's ideal for your purposes as an intro to mats. You can always get something posher later.

edit ps - I paged you upthread of your comment to say they had gone to £6 again. You not sleeping well :smile:
 
Last edited:
Location
London
The Tesco one looks like the Trail branded ones I got for backpacking. The difference is that the trail ones roll up and have straps to hold them rolled. I haven't gone bike-touring with one but would happily take one along.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Single-Self-Inflating-Camping-Roll-Mat-With-Inflatable-Pillow-Sleeping-Mattress-/121896506780?var=&epid=540209984&hash=item1c6199159c:m:mvhPBLZPMqfk11L7SEyhuuw
Not the same actually - doesn't have the integrated pillow that your linked one does. But then to be honest I think a separate pillow is better.
 

ChrisEyles

Veteran
Location
Devon
Didn't have any in store, so just ordered one to click and collect. I'll probably roll it after folding as you suggest and tie it up with a bit of para cord rather than using the full width storage bag. As you say most of my bivvying trips are short range, and the longer trips I do on my touring bike which is a complete and utter tank in any case so I'm never gonna get anywhere fast.

Hopefully the blissful zzz's on the air mat will make me more observant of helpful posts here on CC :smile:
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
@Milkfloat That's a very light setup. And on a single-speed! I assume the sleeping is in some sort of waterproof bag (it looks a little thin)?
It is fixed gear (glutton for punishment). It is a cheap setup, the sleeping bag for example was less than a tenner from Aldi and the tent less than twenty. It is housed in a cheap dry bag that I simply strap to the bars with some webbing straps. I have actually ordered a thicker dry sack to make it more durable, I think it will then sew the webbing straps onto the dry bag.
 
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