Camping Mat Buying Guide
Camping Mat Buying Guide
Camping mats are one of the most essential items you could possibly take on a camping trip. By creating a thick, cushioned barrier between your body and the ground, they provide the warmth and comfort you need to enjoy a sound night’s sleep. But with so many styles to choose from, picking the perfect mat is no easy task. Thankfully, our camping mat buying guide is here to help.
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Things to Consider
There are three main types of camping mat: closed cell foam mats, open cell foam mats, and air filled mats. Before you even think about choosing one, you should take the following points into consideration.
Camping mats come in two sizes: single and double. Whilst single mats are a perfect size for one person, double mats are big enough for two. So, if you’re camping on your lonesome, choose a single mat, and if you’re camping with a partner, choose a double.
Like warmth, comfort is usually determined by the thickness of a mat. After all, the thicker the mat, the softer it is to sleep on. Also, if a mat is comfortable to sleep on, it usually provides better back support. So, if you suffer from back pain, opt for a thicker mat.
The warmth of a mat is usually determined by how thick it is. However, material also plays a crucial role in keeping you warm. Whilst air mats are filled with air and provide little insulation, foam mats are dense to reduce heat loss and provide better insulation from the ground.
Portability is another factor you should think about when choosing a mat, especially if you’re backpacking or heading to a festival. As well as choosing a mat that’s light to carry, you should think about its pack size. Usually, air mats pack into a smaller size than foam mats.
Choosing a Mat
So, now you know the key features you’re looking for, it’s time to choose a camping mat. Below, you’ll find a rundown of the camping mats we stock at Trail. Also, we’ve included the pros and cons of our camping mats to make your decision all the easier.
Self-Inflating Mats contain a thin layer of compressed foam which contains thousands of open cells. When the inflation valve is opened, the open cells draw in air and the foam expands – automatically inflating the mat. By combining the cushioning of a foam mat with the compact pack size of an air mat, they’re a popular choice with campers. What’s more, they come in a range of sizes and thicknesses. Plus, we sell a self-inflating mat with an integrated pillow.
As the name suggests, our Ultralight Inflatable Mats are super light and compact to carry. In fact, when deflated, they’re small enough to pop inside a backpack. As a result, they’re great for backpacking and festivals. Also, once inflated, they have a honeycomb structure which is designed to provide exceptional support, regardless of your sleeping position. As well as a single and double mat, we also stock a single mat with an integrated pillow.
Foil Camping Mats
Foam mats don’t get any warmer than our Foil Camping Mat. Because it’s made from 7mm thick closed-cell EVA foam, it provides excellent insulation from the cold, hard ground. Better still, it has a special foil lining which is designed to reflect your body heat back towards you and keep you extra warm and toasty. As a result, it’s a perfect choice for colder weather.
Thick Foam Camping Mats
Like our foil camping mat, our Thick Foam Camping Mat is made from closed-cell EVA foam, the difference being that it’s an impressive 15mm thick. What’s more, it has a special contoured base which is designed to form a flat, level surface on an uneven ground for extra support and comfort. As well as being a top choice for wild camping, it’s perfect for summer festivals where the quality of a pitch site often depends on how early you get there.
Air beds are the closest thing you’ll get to your good old trusty bed. Not only are they thicker than camping mats, but they have a unique coil beam construction for luxury support and comfort. Also, many of them have a flocked surface for extra warmth and comfort. Sadly, they’re big and heavy to carry. Plus you need a pump to inflate them. In fact, some have an inbuilt electric pump, which is hardly ideal if your campsite has no electrical access.