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Camping sleeping mats provide both comfort and insulation, which are needed for a good night's sleep. While it may appear that the major purpose of sleeping mats is to provide a nice resting surface, keeping you warm during the night is often more important. As the outside temperature changes, sleeping mats may feel as though they are losing air, so check and adjust the firmness before going to bed. Breath moisture can get trapped within, causing performance issues as well as bacterial and mould problems. Using a hand pump and storing your sleeping mat unrolled with the valve(s) open will help prevent moisture buildup. Some sleeping mats generate a loud crinkly noise when you move around on them, which you or your tent mates may find annoying. This is yet another reason to visit our store and look at our selection of sleeping mats.

Open-cell foam insulation and air are used in self-inflating sleeping mats like those made by Oztrail leisure mat queen self inflating mattress. When the valve(s) are opened, the foam expands and air is drawn in automatically. Some are made for backpacking and can be folded and rolled lengthwise to fit into your bag. Others are made for car camping and can be folded rather than rolled up. Self-inflating sleeping mats come in a range of temperatures, sizes, and prices. Below are a great products that utilise open cell foam technology.

Closed-Cell Foam Camping Mats: These basic backpacking and camping mats are made of dense foam with small closed air cells. They're usually folded or rolled up in a Z form. They're light, cheap, and long-lasting, and they provide consistent insulation in all types of weather. You don't have to be concerned about punctures or leaks. They're ideal for insulating and preventing punctures when used under other types of pads. Only these pads can be carried on the outside of your luggage without being damaged. They can also be used as camp sit pads. They have the disadvantage of being less comfy. They have a solid appearance and are tough and durable.

What will your sleeping arrangements be?

The warmth of your entire sleep system is the most important aspect to consider when selecting a new sleeping mat (discussed below). It's also a good idea to consider what you'll be doing with it: You can choose a thicker, larger mattress for sleeping comfort when automobile camping if your size and weight aren't an issue. They usually cost less than their lighter counterparts.

For car camping, self-inflating pads are normally recommended. (If you don't want to use a sleeping bag and want to use standard sheets and blankets, large inflated air mattresses are another choice.) These mattresses, on the other hand, are quite heavy and thick, and their insulation may be lacking, so read the product specifications carefully. Proper inflation necessitates the use of a pump.)

Hiking: Self-inflating or air pads, which come in a variety of thicknesses, durability, insulating value, and weight, are a good option for backpackers (or those travelling by bike, canoe, or kayak). Optional chair kits transform your self-inflating or air pad into a plush seat with a backrest. Backpackers may find this to be a lightweight luxury.

Backpacking: In minimalist backpacking, a small packed size and low weight take precedence over all other factors. Your best bet is probably an ultralight air pad. For less than a pound, full-length insulated air cushions are now available. When you're in the store, pay attention to the packing sizes of your pad selections and factor that into your decision.

Thru-hiking: In this scenario, light weight is important, but so is long-term durability. Your best bet is to use closed-cell foam pads. To save weight, many thru-hikers use a "short" or "3/4 length" foam cushion (you can lay your empty pack or extra clothing under your feet for a bit of insulation if needed).

Winter camping: For chilly air temperatures, an insulated, high R-value air pad is recommended. Snow camping necessitates the use of extra insulation. Because R-value is cumulative, consider placing a closed-cell foam pad beneath an insulated air pad or self-inflating pad with a moderate or high R-value. The inflated pad is insulated by the closed-cell foam pad, which also protects it from punctures and other damage. It also acts as a backup in the event that the inflatable pad becomes damaged beyond repair.

The warmth of the sleeping mat:

R-Value and Insulation: A sleeping mat's insulation is critical for a good night's sleep because you lose body heat to the cold ground beneath you. Sleeping mats employ a variety of materials and construction techniques to prevent heat loss to compensate for this. The R-value of a sleeping mat is a measurement of how well it prevents heat transmission (hence the "R"). The R-value of a pad indicates how well it will keep you warm when exposed to cold surfaces. Sleeping mats have R-values ranging from less than 2 (barely insulated) to 5.5 or more (very well insulated). R-values are now tested for sleeping mats using a standardised manner, allowing you to compare this vital measure between any two pads, regardless of brand, model, or kind.

Facts to remember:

A higher number indicates more insulation. The R-value scale is straightforward: an R-value of 2.0 is twice as warm as an R-value of 1.0.
To get the overall insulation, simply sum the R-values of the heaped sleeping pads. Humidity, wind, kind of shelter, ground conditions, clothing, and personal preferences have all caused your actual warmth and comfort to differ from the tested temperature values. The most significant element to consider, though, is your sleeping system. A sleep system is made up of three essential components: The first three items on the list are the sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and sleeper's clothing. In colder weather, if you choose a less-insulated sleeping mat, your sleeping bag may not be warm enough. It's important to keep in mind that a sleeping bag's test rating is based on a person wearing long underwear and socks and sleeping on an insulated pad with an R-value of about 5.5. (Accurate measurements necessitate maintaining those factors throughout all tested bags.)

Although more expensive, hiking pads are perfect for ultralight backpacking. A mummy or tapered design, which has less volume and packs more compactly, can help you lose weight. Closed-cell foam pads with a short length are also lightweight. If you're trekking with a friend, a two-person lightweight sleeping mat could save you some weight. At the very least, you should be able to rest your shoulders and hips on a pad. Regular (72-inch long) and long (78-inch long) cushions can help insulate your legs and feet on chilly fall and winter journeys. A shorter or 3/4-length pad (usually 47 or 48 inches) is more lightweight and portable (you can put folded clothing or your pack under your legs and feet for some insulation).

On practically every pad, a basic width of 20 inches is offered. A breadth of 25 or 30 inches may be better if you're tall or like to roll around a lot (but consider the size of your tent to ensure you can fit two wider pads side by side). Although a broad pad of "standard" length is available in some styles, the "long" version of a pad frequently defaults to being broader as well. Certain pads include larger side baffles, known as "rails," that cradle you and keep you from rolling off as you turn during sleep. These are quite enticing to kids.

A high-volume inflation valve as well as a deflation valve are found on some sleeping mats, allowing for rapid air circulation in and out. Some new sleeping mats have larger "neck" openings, allowing for faster inflation with fewer breaths. Separate inflating chambers or layers in pads can provide you peace of mind by ensuring that if one layer fails, the other will still cushion you.

Sleeping Mats' Surfaces:

If you're a restless sleeper, look for a sleeping mat with a textured or brushed-fabric surface. This keeps you from falling off in the middle of the night with your sleeping bag. There's also a chance it'll be quieter. Hand pumps: If you don't like wasting air after a long trip, look for a pad with an integrated hand pump or invest in a bag-style hand pump that folds up little and is only a few ounces (sold separately). It's a good idea to go backpacking with patch kits. Check to see if they come with the pad or if you can get them independently. Make sure you know how to repair a puncture before leaving the house in case you need to do it in the dark.

Why shop with Outback Equipment?  

  • We’re Australian owned and operated – We’re based right here in the south of Brisbane. If you ever need help with an order or a product, you can call straight through to our friendly local team.  

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Order Your Sleeping Mats Today  

Stay in complete control of your camping set up. For the best camping sleeping mats Australia has to offer, shop online to find the finishing touches for your campsite today.