Important Factors in Picking a Quality Camping Mat
Nothing ruins a camping trip as quickly as a poor sleeping mat. My experience is that you don’t necessarily need to purchase the most expensive mat on the market to have a great experience. On the other hand, most of the inexpensive mats are made in China, and do not meet the demanding needs of this camper. I have put several mats at different price points through the paces. My experience has left me with a handful of a handful of mats that are reasonably priced and perform well.
The features for sleeping mats that I find to be the very most important are, weight, size, comfort and warmth. The warmest sleeping mats are insulation with goose down. Other sleeping mats are insulated using primaloft or open cell foam.
Poor quality sleeping mats are inadequate in terms of size, thickness, or insulation. An undersized mat is not sufficient to contain all of the body parts of the camper. No matter how you turn, something is always hanging off of the mat. Mats that are insufficiently thick are uncomfortable to sleep on. Mats with inadequate insulation fail the warmth test.
My personal favorite is the Exped Goose Down sleeping mat in the LW size. It is 9 cm thick, the outer material is durable and highly puncture resistant, each chamber is stuffed with a high grade of goose down, it provides warmth down to -20F or below, and it is wide enough to fit one’s elbows onto the sleeping mat itself. This sleeping mat is about 26 inches in width and 77 inches long.
You really can’t go wrong with the mats manufactured by Exped. They make sleeping mats for all seasons. The offer a full range of Exped Sleeping Mats from goose down, to pellet filled, to air filled. For the price, I just don’t think you could make a better choice than Exped. In particular, I think the Exped Goose Down Sleeping Pad in the LW size is a great value for the performance.