Sleeping Mat Options

As highlighted in a previous post, I’m looking for a new and ideally inflatable sleeping mat, with view to backpacking adventures, beginning with The Ridgeway in May.

My current mat (at 1800mm long and 40mm thick) is deemed to be too bulky in its pack size. Anything equal to or less than my two-season sleeping bag is what I’m aiming for.

I’m going to share some of the options currently under consideration:

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OEX Compact 3/4 2.5 Self-Inflating Mat

Inflated size: 1200mm x 570mm x 25mm
Pack size: Not specified
Weight: 440g

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Multimat Adventure 25 S

Inflated size: 1190mm x 510mm x 25mm
Pack size: 265mm x 115mm
Weight: 460g

(I’ve also found this one available for £20 on Amazon!)

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Multimat Superlite 25 S

Inflated size: 1190mm x 510mm x 25mm
Pack size: 260mm x 105mm Not specified
Weight: 350g

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Alpkit Airo 120

Inflated size: 1200mm x 520mm x 25mm
Pack size: 270mm x 100mm
Weight: 450g

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Snugpak Self-Inflating Midi

Inflated size: 1200mm x 510mm x 25mm
Pack size: 280mm x 110mm
Weight: 500g

Snugpak Travelite Midi

Inflated size: 1220mm x 510mm x 25mm
Pack size: Not specified
Weight: 420g

With regards to the overall dimensions of the self-inflating mats, I have no preference, My only criteria was that they’d be a maximum of 1200mm long and somewhere around 500mm to 550mm wide.

Pack size is very important to me. My sleeping bag measures approximately 300mm x 175mm inside its compression sack. I’ve been hoping to find a mat that packs down to a size of nothing greater than this.

I know from first-hand, in-store experience that the OEX model is barely any smaller than its full-length cousin (300mm x 200mm). while my other options appear to be around half as much in diameter and maybe an inch shorter in length (every little helps).

I’m not as picky on weight as I could be… Although, I am surprised to see that Snugpak’s cheaper model weighs more than the OEX, for example. This is one reason I’m reluctant to spend much money… What if I buy one and and later wish I’d saved 100g with a different purchase? What if the three-quarter length mat is a setup I find to be uncomfortable?

I keep referring to the Multimat Adventure 25 S and purely for the fact that I’ve found it available for only £20 (plus postage) on Amazon. Being completely honest, I cannot see an awful lot between one of these mats and the next. Some have a more rounded design, physically… The OEX mat has less traction pads to prevent your sleeping bag from sliding off…

What about old-fashioned lung power?

Another option I hadn’t considered was to purchase a non-self-inflating mat… One that you need to blow up with your own two lungs.

Immediately, I’m considered by the physical effects of this. Imagine walking twenty-miles in one day, across a changing landscape and with 15kg of weight on your back… Squat down at the camp site, pitch your tent, exhausted… Now, you must huff and puff in to a plastic sack before you can rest for the night.


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Outdoorsmanlab Ultralight

Inflated size: 1850mm x 550mm x 50mm
Pack size: 200mm x 90mm
Weight: Not specified

This is one I was alerted to, during a recent YouTube video from Paul Outdoors. Paul is also planning to walk The Ridgeway this year. He’s got the same rucksack as me (albeit, 15lt smaller) and is currently surveying his own backpacking options.

Yes, this is a full length mattress. But, it packs down more concisely than any of the other options and imagine its weight to be minimal. I’ve not seen any three-quarter length models available in this style.

I’m sceptical of the brand and, to be honest, knowing the realities of my ‘tipi’ style tent, I fear it would be too long, even for me (I’m 6ft1in). All of those grooves and crevices… On a product that doesn’t cost the Earth, I worry that there’s a lot of scope for failure and the potential for a tricky repair.

Being really honest… I’m not going to consider it for my own needs. But that’s not to suggest that it may not suit you.

In summary: I’ve narrowed my selection down to either one of the two Multimat models (I can’t ignore the £20 option) or possibly the Alpkit Airo 120. £40 is set to be my budget. It’s now a question of pack size, features and, who knows; maybe even weight.

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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