Self-Inflating Mats: Essential Camping Gear for Utmost Comfort and Insulation
If you want to reap the benefits of some forest bathing and spending more time in the company of plants rather than people, camping is the perfect activity you can choose to do – especially in Australia known for its big camping culture.
Still, keep in mind, no matter whether you’re an experienced camper or just a beginner, you can’t count on a memorable experience without the necessary equipment and supplies. Comfort is a huge deal, so why learn this the hard way by waking up with a stiff neck and back, when you can simply take care of it by acquiring the right mat?
Out of all the options nowadays, user-friendly self inflating mats guarantee the most bang for your buck. They’re essential pieces fit for both backpack and tent adventures as much as camping in a caravan. If you’re still unsure about investing in this type of gear, read up to learn more about it and how it can enhance your experience outdoors.
How Does a Self-Inflating Mat Work?
It’s easy to get an idea of how it works thanks to the adjective “self-inflating” in the name. It’s basically a design that consists of an open cell foam that compresses easily and insulates well. You get to inflate this very foam by opening the sealable valve. This means it’s the perfect equipment you can take along with you that won’t require you to invest effort – quite on the contrary, it adds to your relaxation and enjoyment.
The foam, as a mid-component between airtight fabric shell that consists of durable layers such as those made of TPU polyether and 75D polyester, expands in a few minutes and as a result the mat inflates as a whole. This turns it into a very lightweight yet comfortable bed you need for your adventures away from home. Once you’re done with your camping, all it takes is opening the valve again and letting the mat deflate on its own.
Are Self-Inflating Sleeping Mats Good?
We’ve already established they’re light in weight yet durable and easy to use, which means all these positive properties make self-inflating mats a quality and worthy addition to your gear. But that’s not all! These sleeping options are also:
Mind you, this isn’t only in terms of the design, materials, and colour. The versatile sleeping equipment pieces they are, you can repurpose them wherever it is you need more comfort with your camping adventures. With the nice textured surface, you have the required grip that would keep you comfortably seated no matter where you choose to add it. This means it’s a multi-purpose investment you can use also for your leisurely activities, such as reading, lounging, or playing cards.
There’s, of course, a wide range of options you can choose from, but if it’s the comfort you want, then you won’t be wrong in buying a self-inflating camping mat as the perfect base. You may not be able to carry your own bed to the campsite, but this is as good as it gets. Once inflated, it offers a great deal of cushioning so it’s ideal even when added directly on bumpy surfaces. To give you an even better idea, it’s way more comfortable and cushioning than an air pad too.
Thanks to the various layers in these mats, in the likes of fabrics and foam, they’re just as perfect for insulating you. Even if you add them to the ground directly, and not on a tent surface or inside the RV, there’s plenty of insulation between you and the ground. There are different options with different R values indicating the degree of insulation you can expect to get.
The compactness due to the slim design, and easy inflation and deflation, make the mats a piece of cake to bring along as well as store. If you were worried about your camping equipment taking up too much of your home’s space when you’re away from the campsites, you won’t have to fret about storage. Wipe it up with a damp cloth after use, pack it up, and throw it in a designated drawer to protect it from dust.
How to Choose the Perfect Self-Inflating Sleep Mat for You?
Comfort and insulation are personal matters as much as the length and width, the type of design, and the colour or pattern you choose. So, next time you find yourself shopping for suitable camping gear, be sure to consider these two factors.
To be sure of the comfort you’re getting from a specific model and brand, look into the pad’s thickness. The higher the thickness number, the more comfort you can expect. The common number is about 4 cm although there are campers who prefer an even higher one. Just keep in mind, the thicker you go, the heavier the mat will be which can be a nuisance especially if you’re a backpacker.
Choose an extra fine cut to avoid bulkiness and heavy loads. As far as the R-value goes, the higher the number, the more insulation you can get. This is important if you decide to camp in the cold season or colder areas, in which cases you should get at least 6, as opposed to 2.5 for hot seasons and areas.