A good quality sleeping mat is vital to the performance of your sleeping bag. We have a comprehensive range of lightweight sleeping mats that not only provide a soft bed, but insulate you from the cold, damp ground. We’ve also factored in some other neat design elements – things like extra padding, insulation fill, ease of storage and self-inflation capabilities. Don’t let your sleeping mat come between you and a good night’s sleep.
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1. What are the benefits of using a sleeping mat?
A sleeping mat (or sleeping pad as they're also called) brings a number of benefits to your sleeping system. Primarily it improves comfort by providing support under your body as you sleep. No matter how comfy your sleeping bag is, the softness and support of a sleeping pad underneath it will always be more comfortable than the hard ground. A sleeping mat can also help to prevent heat loss during the night through its insulation and by creating a barrier for your sleeping bag from cool, or even wet, ground conditions. Minimising the direct contact that sleeping bags have with the ground or other external elements will even assist in extending the life of your bag as they are less exposed to abrasions, scrapes and sharp objects (while all our sleeping mats do come with repair kits, as always, prevention is better than cure). With the right sleeping solution, including sleeping mats, you can easily enjoy one of life's simple pleasures - a great sleep in the great outdoors.
2. What are the most popular sleeping mats?
Self-inflating sleeping mats are very popular because they offer comfort and support, but are super quick and easy to set up. You simply open the air valve, wait a few minutes for it to fill with air, add a few extra puffs of air if required, then close the valve off. This allows you to keep setting up the rest of your sleep system or gear at the same time. On the other hand, an air mattress is a great choice when you want to minimise packing weight and space. It may not have quite the same level of comfort or support as a self-inflator, but it will most likely be more lightweight and compact, making storage and transport very easy. Like with most outdoor gear, you ultimately have to consider multiple factors before making your choice.
3. Are sleeping mats easy to pack?
Like our sleeping bags, all of the sleeping mats in the Mountain Designs range - from the half-size self-inflating mats to the largest air mattress - are designed to pack down into a compact size for easy transport and storage. Once fully deflated, you can simply roll them up into their specially-designed stuff sack, which will keep them from taking up too much packing space in your bag or pack. For tips on how to inflate and deflate your air mattress, head to our How-To Guides here. For tips on how to inflate and deflate self-inflating mats, head to our How-To Guides here.
4. Which sleeping mats are self-inflating?
We offer a great range of self-inflating mats that make setting up camp quick and easy. Inflating them is a simple three-step process:
- Open the valve and let the mat self-inflate as much as possible.
- Once the mat has self-inflated, blow extra air into it if required to achieve your preferred firmness.
- Close the valve.
These designs also include foam insulation to enhance warmth and body weight support, and heat-welded seams to ensure airtight integrity and construction strength
5. What are the thickest sleeping mats?
The thickness of a sleeping mat is generally determined by how much insulation it has packed inside. An air mattress will typically range between 5-10cm in thickness at full inflation while self-inflating mats with foam insulation can be anywhere up to 15cm. Note that when it comes to these inflating mats, thickness may not always be an indicator of weight, because it will often depend upon the engineering of the foam insulation inside. A cored foam design will still offer great support and insulation, but will weigh less than a foam-insulated mat that has no structural re-engineering.