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The Best Lightweight Sleeping Mattress

I have written about other expedition kit topics here. You can read about all my expedition experiences here.

Here are people’s answers to that question…

CotsOutdoorSalisburyCotsOutdoorSalisbury â€I’md go with the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite if your after one that packs small (23x10cm) and it only weighs 350 grams!

Caroline SmithCaroline Smith I’md recommend the NeoAir. You have to blow it up yourself but it packs up really small and it’s warm!

Kent PetersonKent Peterson @Thermarest still makes great mats.

Activ AdventuresActiv Adventures â€ Beacon  is less warm but idiot-proof and comes with handy ties. Conrad Dickinson on the packet – must be good.

Activ AdventuresActiv Adventures the Ridgerest Solar is very warm but water collects in ridges. Took it to Finse last week and ideal in the snow.

 Andrew BradleyAndrew Bradley  go @Alpkit I use a dirtbag when there’s room to carry. Super comfy… for a sleeping mat..

Joe SpeddingJoe Spedding â€This is the future! â€¦

Simon AtkinsonSimon Atkinson â€if you want light and small a lot of people are using Klymit X frames. Mine arrived yesterday but I haven’t tried it yet.

Adam LongAdam Long â€Thermarests are still prob best all-round, but its worth looking at Exped downmats if you’re going to be on snow or glaciers.

Mansel KerseyMansel Kersey â€@Thermarest @Alpkit do a good range too

Mark KalchMark Kalch @Thermarest I’md second that. Used a neo air for 117 nights paddling Mo-Miss River in 2012. Dreamt about it all day!
David HineDavid Hine â€I like @Thermarest prolite short. Good for 3 seasons on its own and with a full length foam mat underneath good for winter

EmrysEmrys â€klymit inflatable matts seem to be the Gucci option these days but you still can’t beat the reliability of a roll matt

neelneel â€@neel_mistry don’t go with Black’s own brand self inflt. I learned the hard way this wknd. Froze my balls off.#wildcamping

Sam WhiteSam White â€Heard good things about the AlpKit stuff, but as the thermarest (like mine) lasts so long – why change? 🙂
Far Out AdventureFar Out Adventure â€ @thermarest neo-air feels like a comfy mattress after a long day! But got to keep a puncture repair kit handy just in case!
Fearghal O'NuallainFearghal O’Nuallain â€did you try @Thermarest‘s neo air? It’s almost as good as a sprung mattress.

Peter dixonPeter dixon â€ my trusty thermarest must have been that old at least..exped for me now..the winter down one is stunning,but pricy

Daniel PaladinoDaniel Paladino â€ I love my Montbell UL sleep system. Light, durable and warm.

Tom HillTom Hill â€@2 Thermarest neoair for new school lightweight, or try an inertia x-frame!

Sam DaltonSam Dalton â€@samjdalton Exped all the way – the most comfortable mat I’mve ever used.

And a few thoughts from Facebook too:

Jörgen Johansson I have never slept better in all my outdoor life than on a NeoAir Short in later years. But of course, I am an old man

Graeme Willgress Have a look at Exped mattresses if you like comfort. They use down insulation are are light for the thickness and comfort

Joe McDonald Thermarest lite never let me down Al

Vin Cox Thermarest’s Neoair is warm, comfy, compact and tough. Alpkit make some good stuff too.

John Katherine I’mve got a Exped, mixed reviews in the research online. Still, thought I’md give it a go. So far I’mve only used it about 7 nights. Though it’s the mattress coming with me across Australia and South America.

Stephen Smith Alpkit have some pretty decent mats, well worth a look. If you’re passing Nottingham, its also worth popping into their offices as they’ve loads of ex-display models/old colours on sale too (including other gear) for less than half the price + it’s one of the coolest offices i’ve been in!

Will Gibbs For space age have a look at Klymit Inertia X-Frame. It does look like a swiss cheese but I think that is its main flaw.

Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere Neoair wins hands down!

Gunilla Lindh Exped down- spent five weeks on one while on expedition and ended up keeping sleeping on it in the living room over a comfy bed coming back. That’s saying something!

Vin Cox Over 100 nights on my NeoAir. 70 of them last year

Will Goodall Copestake Thermarest Z-Lite Un-poppable, indestructible

David Leaning multimat used to sponsor me, I can definitely recommend their kit, combination of a foam & inflatable mat worked well below -40*C

Fiona Harris Exped – brilliant mat used it in the arctic and I was never cold:)

Spike Reid If you want lightweight I’md highly recommend the Klymit Inertia X Frame. It doesn’t look comfy but it is. Gimme a shout if you want to borrow and test mine.

John Darbeloff Alastair. Check out clymbit. Amazing technology.

Steve Chao Thermarest NeoAir XTherm

Richard Bannister Are you telling me Thermarest won’t give you a free one after all your field research???

Lara Nicole Dunn Hard to argue with Alpkit

Chris Leakey Themarest has lifetime guarantee. So u can get it replaced

David Piper Alpkit for weight / price ratio. Thermorest Neoair if its just price (although I find myself slipping off mine but that may be too shiny a bag!)

Andy Madeley Get a Pacific Outdoor mattress – lightweight AND doubles-up as an alarm clock by deflating by 3am every morning, I love ’em 😐

Philip Hodgkiss Eric Newby recounted a meeting with Evelyn Waugh where he was shamed by having a sleeping mat. But that was probably middle east, not Sibera:o)

David Adlard I got an AMAZING mat from what used to be Pacific OutDoor Products (Now, Hi-life or something like that, I think) that had a layer of aerogel inside the pad itself, eliminating the need fro a base mat in anything except the most extreme conditions – I used it on Rainier in -8 F with no problems. Slightly heavier than a comparable full size mat, but not much, and losing a base pad etc more than made up for it. I will msg you the details and contact info. Also, I have two “X-mats” from Klimat that fit inside a standard water bottle, complete with small hand held pump… I think the heavier one is 9oz… not for full winter, but great for most everything else, especially when weight/size matters.

Lara Nicole Dunn Actually, if weight isn’t as much of an object as comfort/warmth then you can’t beat an Exped Synmat Down

Edmund Carter Another thermarest would not be a bad bet, as it must have given you good service to last that long !.

Dick Willis Er, I think it was Wilfred Thesiger, not Evelyn Waugh… Go for a Thermarest, I agree with Edmund

Bruce Phillips Exped downmat’s are great, really glad i got mine.

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  1. So what did you pick Al?

    • Currently making the most of their lifetime guarantee – I sent the broken mat back and they say they will replace it. Not bad for something I bought in the ’90s!

  2. Bob Diefenbacher Posted

    Surprised not a single person recommended the Big Agnes Q-Core

  3. Patrick Posted

    Hi Al – any more recent thoughts on best camping air beds / mats? Self-inflating vs. not? Going camping this weekend and really need to get a new one…

    • Alastair Posted

      I’d say go for a Thermarest or, if you’re worried about it popping, a Z Rest.
      Alpkit do good budget alternatives.



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