Off-Topic > General Discussion

Roll/Sleeping Mat Advice.

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Sandy Sanderson:

Iím looking at replacing my none existent sleeping mat and was wondering what style to go for.

My last one was a 4 Season ex-military foam mat (that they still use today or the navy just hasnít kept up with the rest of the Armed Forces) which I cut down to just cover to below my back.  I also used it as a liner for my rucksack as it made a nice round tube to pack every thing into.

Iím looking for something light weight but at the same time stops the ground temp from coming up. 

I have looked at the Vango and Therm-a-rest self-inflating ones but they still look a little bulky and too long, as im happy for it only to cover from my head to the top half of my legs.

The one that Iím looking at purchasing is Ajungilak Alpine Mat.  I have never heard of this company, but i saw it on Amazon for £35 where as the rest where about £6 telling me either the others are not worth having or the seller is trying to pull a fast one.

Any advice or suggested products would be greatly appreciated.

Hugh Westacott:
Welcome to the friendliest of forums, Sandy!

I'm afraid that the younger generation has gone soft and now expect self-inflating sleeping mats (they can't even bother to inflate them themselves!)

I come from a sterner generation and have used a Karrimat for at least the past forty years and it's still serviceable. I am a geriatric dwarf and I cut the mat so that it protects my trunk from my shoulders to my fundament.

Unfortunately, they are no longer made but I have found what may be an acceptable substitute Like you, I roll the mat inside my rucksack which helps to keep its shape.


I grow old...I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. T.S.Eliot

Horses for courses to a large extent.

In terms of tough - I have some of the ultra thick green closed cell foam mats - possibly ex German Army? - Bomb proof and ok - but pretty bulky.

Have a partner who has had back surgery prompted trying Thermarest a good few years ago.  I looked askance at the inflated design and lugged around repair patches in abundance - but haven't managed to pierce one over a good few years now.

With advancing years and stomach, combined with doing a lot of Hammocking I dropped on Tamarack doing a sale on Exped  downfilled mats. I went for an Exped7 or something - circa 3/4 length. It compresses to the packed size of a double fist.  Too early to comment on puncture resistance and the cave-man area of my brain remains concerned at the 'preference' to use an inflation bag to set it up. BUT...

my oh my is it comfy!  Not tried it on really cold surface yet, but it is considerably warmer than anything I have used before.

I believe there are similar systems by other makers - Neo Air?  That people rave about, but I haven't used or seen them yet.

If the Exped type arrangement meets your needs in terms of being tough enough, I think you'll be more than happy with pack size and performance.

Hope that helps.

My trusty Karrimat stayed with me until a mishap 2 years ago when all of my kit was taken from the back of my car >:(

As Hugh says, the Karrimat does the job, although it was bulky to carry. I bought a cheap foil backed foam mat from Cotswold, the price of these, compared to the inflatables, was nothing, plus the weight of the inflatables with many around 1.5kg and some even 2kg put me off. This mat was fine for sitting on, but not good enough for a descent night kip.

Then a colleague of mine lent me his Exped SynMat Ultralite 7 Camping Mat and this ticked all the boxes except for price. Firstly, it weighs only 460 grams and is made of a very tough material so punctures would be rare, I blew it up in under two minutes inside my tent and slept like a baby! I paid £100 for mine, which is the large as I am 6í2Ē. I see now they have dropped in price to around £70. The only problem I have had with it is that peat stains, which is in abundance in the Lake District, do not wash off so the mat looks grubby even when it is clean.

Hugh Westacott:
I suppose that I'm one of those irritatingly fortunate people who can sleep well however hard the surface, even on a concrete floor, providing that I'm sufficiently warm.

My cut-down Karrimat, which I find ideal for three-season use, weighs 130 grammes.


I grow old...I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. T.S.Eliot


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