Remember, a great nights rest will recharge you for the next day’s activities.
At Alpsport we have seen all the latest and greatest models of sleeping systems evolve over the years, and have seen some come and go. Knowing what has withstood the critics and the market over the last 23 years, we carry what we deem the best brands on the market; Therm-A-Rest – The Original self-inflating mat (Made in USA), Pacific Outdoor Equipment, Exped and OZtrail.
These days there are 3 main styles of sleeping mat available:
Closed Cell Foam
Foam mats are not only a good affordable style of mat, but they are also great insulators, very lightweight, do not mind moisture and cannot be punctured. Foam mats can also be used outside on rough ground or snow, without the need for a groundsheet. We stock foam mats from OZtrail, and Therm-A-Rest. A real standout from Therm-A-Rest is the Z-Lite mat. It has the same properties of a regular foam mat, but engineered for increased comfort and to be more compact when rolled up.
Blow Up Air Mattress
There are many models of blow-up air mattress on the market these days. This style of mattress is made up of air chambers that are inflated by blowing into a valve. Having an inflated cushion of air underneath you can make for an extra comfortable nights sleep. Blow up air mats are also quite compact when rolled up. Generally air mats on their own do not provide much insulation from cold ground, but nowadays there are various models available that put an insulating fill inside the air chambers. Fillings include synthetic fibres, bamboo fibres, and even down, like in a sleeping bag. Down filled sleeping mats dramatically reduce the amount of body heat lost through the ground, without the need for a foam insert. They are very lightweight and compact when packed up. Exped are the innovators of the down filled mat and their Down Mat Series has won multiple outdoor awards. They come in either a 7cm or 9cm thick model for luxurious padding. If you sleep on your side you might consider a down mat for the most comfort.
Pacific Outdoor Equipment also make excellent blow up mats with insulation. Come in and check out the Ether Thermo series with synthetic fibres, or the carbon neutral Eco series based on bamboo fabrics and fill if you are aiming for carbon neutrality!
Therm-A-Rest makes the most advanced air mat on the market, the Neo Air. When packed up it is the same size as a 1 litre drink bottle and weighs just over 400 grams. The Neo Air maintains thermal efficiency without added insulation thanks to the creative and ingenious air chamber construction. It is one of the most stable air mats to sleep on.
Self-inflating air mattresses are a combination of an air mattress and foam mat. These mats are constructed generally as one big air chamber that is lined with sponge foam. The reason it can ‘self-inflate’ is because once the valve is opened the sponge foam inside starts to expand, which then draws air into the mat. It is recommended to also blow a little extra air into these mats for a firmer feel. The big plus for a self-inflating mat is if you happen to get a puncture during the night the foam inside will still provide insulation.
There are many variations of self-inflating mats available these days. At Alpsport we recommend Therm-A-Rest. They offer models for the price conscious and also the most advanced models on the market. All of these are made in the USA. Some standouts include the Prolite series, which is focused more on lightweight walking made from the best fabrics and foam, and also their Trail Pro series, which is designed for maximum comfort but still small enough for a backpack.
As a customer you may be baffled with what is available and what is best for you, so we ask you to come in store and chat with one of our experienced staff to help you make that decision.
Some thoughts to consider before purchasing: