Resting well when going on an expedition over several days in the mountains is essential, we often settle for a simple insulation mat , leaving out other much more functional options. Within the wide range of mats and mattresses we can distinguish between three main groups: inflatables , self- inflated and EVA foam ones. Their weight and size vary based on the following three fundamental factors: insulating capacity, comfort and price.
Inflatable mats or mattresses integrate a simple inflation system using your own breath to fill them with air. The self- inflating mats or mats are very comfortable to use and take up little space, they have a system that means that once unfolded it can fill itself by up to 70% of their capacity. This makes our work much easier, but they are not as comfortable as the inflatable ones or as durable as the foam ones. The EVA foam mats are the most common type, due to their ease of use and durability. As a general rule and depending on the thickness they have, they offer some comfort by absorbing the irregularities of the terrain, but, above all, they offer a high ability to isolate you from moisture on the ground.
We will describe the most important features to be able to choose your perfect Inflatable mat or mattress . Weight and size: the longer the journey the more important this aspect is. Too heavy a camping mat means a burden on the trail. Evaluate the three fundamental factors to be able to choose correctly. Comfort: the surface of the mat must be taken into account when it comes to comfort, if it has large grooves it can cause pain due to the folds in the sleeping bag. But the most important element is thickness, a minimal thickness mat will not absorb the irregularities of the ground and you will notice them while you sleep. Insulating capacity: very important since when sleeping on the floor you must accept the conditions, not only hardness of the ground below, but also humidity and cold. In addition, while we sleep our bodies lose heat, so the air inside an inflatable mattress can help to regulate temperatures, as the air receives the heat transferred from our bodies. The R value: a factor to consider when buying an inflatable mat is the R value. This refers to the ability to resist heat loss, the higher the number the less heat lost. However, this is very difficult to regulate as it would require perfect and equal conditions at all times and places.
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