15 Best Sleeping Mats For Hiking In Australia In 2024

There’s nothing quite like waking up on a mountaintop or beside an alpine lake, unzipping your tent and watching the pastel colours seep into the landscape from the comfort of your cozy hiking sleeping mat.

The only thing that can dampen such an experience is a bad night’s sleep, which most often occurs from an insufficient sleeping mat for your hiking conditions. A sleeping mat is a hiker’s main defence against an almost guaranteed bumpy surface and retaining body heat that can be lost to the cold ground beneath. Needless to say, this is a piece of hiking gear you want to get right!

But with so many options out there and the confusing R-Value warmth rating, how do you choose the best sleeping mat for hiking? Well, that’s what we’re here for! We’ve put ourselves in many cold and uncomfortable situations with various types of hiking sleeping pads. And through these experiences and countless hours of research, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to finding the best sleeping mat for hiking.

In this post, you’ll find easy-to-digest information on the important components of a hiking sleeping mat, helpful tips for choosing the right type of sleeping pad, plus a list of the best hiking sleeping mats for backcountry camping.

Cooking camp dinner while staying comfortable on our hiking sleeping mats

Get the ultimate sleep while camping by reading our guide on the best sleeping bags for hiking next!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of a product we recommend through one of our links, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you! This helps to support our blog and enables us to continue providing you with helpful tips and exciting adventures, so thank you 🙂

How To Choose The Best Hiking Sleeping Mat For You

Before I dive into the components of a hiking sleeping mat and how to navigate them, I want to address a very common question…

Do you need a sleeping mat for hiking?

The simple answer is yes, it is very wise to carry a sleeping mat while hiking. Even if you were snuggled into the warmest sleeping bag, the cold ground of your tent will suck all your body heat away from you. Plus, it’s not often you find a perfectly flat and smooth surface to sleep on and hiking sleeping mats do wonders in assisting in a comfortable sleep.

Unpreparedness and hypothermia are two major culprits of disaster in hiking. The overnight temperatures within the mountains can be considerably colder than those found in town and often catches first-time hikers by surprise. Be prepared and pack for colder conditions than you expect to find yourself in when you’re camping in the mountains.

Cooking dinner at sunset Camping in the mountains at Kosciuszko National Park

Define Your Hiking Style

Before beginning to compare the best hiking sleeping mats, you need to identify what your hiking style is and where you intend to use the sleeping mat. This is because there are countless options out there but not all will be best suited to every application or environment.

For example, if you’re planning on venturing into cold climates or even camping in the snow, it’s crucial to have an insulated sleeping mat with a higher R-Value. On the contrary, if winter hiking isn’t you’re cup of tea and you only intend to camp in warmer climates, a lighter and less insulated pad may be the better choice for you.

Once you establish the predominant style of hiking you plan to partake in, you can organise the following factors into a list of the highest priorities.

Sleeping Mats Warmth

The warmth of a sleeping mat depends on two factors – insulation and thickness. The thickness of a hiking sleeping mat can vary from 2 cm to 10 cm – the thickest often being the warmest when coupled with a good insulation design.

The insulation of a sleeping mat is rated in R-value, which we’ll dive a little deeper into below, and it’s essential to take into account both the R-Value and thickness if you’re looking for the warmest possible sleeping mat.

Using our sleeping mats to stay comfortable while camping in harsh conditions in Tasmania

Sleeping Mat R-Value Rating 

Simply put, the R-value measures a sleeping mat’s resistance to the unwanted transfer of heat. This basically means that the higher the R-value, the better it will resist transferring your warm body heat to the cold ground beneath – and vice versa.

Generally, the R-values of a hiking sleeping mat will range from 1 – 7. A higher R-value is beneficial if you plan to hike in cold conditions – or if you generally get cold through the night. But you will find a strong correlation between high R-values and high price tags.

Since 2020, the testing of the R-value is conducted equally throughout various brands thanks to the standardised ASTM International test. This allows you to compare various brands with confidence.

Below we’ve provided a basic table to help you decide what R-value will be best for you.

Detailed Sleeping mat R Value chart to help find the best hiking sleeping mat

Tip: If your hikes vary from winter to summer, you can add a foldable foam mat, like the Nemo Switchback, to your winter hiking kit for an extra layer of insulation. This will increase the overall R-value of your sleeping set-up.

Types Of Hiking Sleeping Mats

There are three main types of sleeping mats that are used for hiking, these are self-inflating mats, air mats and foam mats. Each type has its pros and cons and which you choose will depend on what factors you value most highly.

Self-Inflating Hiking Mat

Nemo Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat for hiking and camping in the backcountry

First invented by Therm-a-Rest in 1972, self-inflating mats are constructed with a compressible open-cell foam membrane that expands when exposed to air. This basically means that when you open the valve and allow air to passively enter, the foam will expand to the specified thickness listed by the manufacturer, and then closing the valve will trap the air to provide a padded sleeping mat.

  • Pros: More resistant to punctures compared to air mats, no need for inflating pumps
  • Cons: Not very comfortable for side sleepers, heavier and doesn’t pack down as small as air mats
  • Best For: Rugged camping, back sleepers

Air Mat

Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat, the perfect all-rounder sleeping mat for any hiker

The most popular type of hiking sleeping mat is the air mat. These are basically blow-up mattresses that have been designed to provide superior padding and warmth while packing down extremely small. The warmth derives from insulation technologies found inside the hiking air pads. The insulation is generally either a reflective barrier and/or small chambers inside the mat that prevents air from passing between the top and bottom of the mat.

  • Pros: Lightweight, comfortable and more affordable than self-inflating mats
  • Cons: More susceptible to punctures, often needs an air pump
  • Best For: Lightweight hikers, side sleepers

Foam Mat

Nemo Switchback foam sleeping mat for camping in the wilderness

A foam hiking mat is a closed cell pad that is very similar to your yoga mat, only it offers more insulation and is often a touch thicker and lighter. While this is the cheapest and most durable option, a foam mat doesn’t pack down and provides very little padding from the hard ground.

  • Pros: Cheap and extremely durable
  • Cons: Bulky, uncomfortable and doesn’t insulate as well
  • Best For: Long-distance hikers, an additional layer for winter hiking

Note: A yoga mat is not the same as a foam hiking mat. The two major differences are weight and insulation. A hiking foam mat will be much lighter and is designed to restrict the transfer of heat from your body to the ground.

Sleeping Pads Durability

Laying on my ultralight hiking sleeping mat on rocks at Brewster Glacier
I highly recommend you don’t do this 🙂

For ultimate durability, you can’t beat the closed-cell foam hiking mats. These are almost indestructible and a favourite among long-distance hikers who can’t afford to risk their mat breaking.

But in regards to self-inflating and air mats, the key factor in durability is the denier. Denier refers to the thickness of the fabric used, which is most commonly polyester followed by polyurethane or nylon.

Basically, the higher the denier, the thicker and more durable the fabric – but sporting a higher denier will also increase weight.

What Denier Do I Need In My Self-Inflating Or Air Sleeping Mat?

Laying out hiking sleeping mats while setting up camp at Wineglass Bay Beach Campsite

Hiking sleeping mats will generally have a denier between 15D – 75D. Most ultralight hiking mats – such as the Nemo Tensor – will be constructed with a 20D fabric to save weight and reduce the packed size. Whereas non-ultralight mats usually come with a much burlier fabric for added durability – around 40D or higher. This not only increases the weight but greatly increases the packed size.

The trick here is to find a balance between weight, size and durability. The ultimate factors to consider for your hikes are the length, terrain, priorities, and pack size. For instance, our main priorities are size, warmth, and weight. Our typical backcountry trips range from 2 to 7 days, requiring us to carry ample gear. As a tradeoff, we prioritised a compact packed size over durability.

It’s important to note that while technology has come a long way, reviews for even the most renowned 20D sleeping pads feature remarks of them popping within the first few uses. With this knowledge it is imperative that you care for your mat and treat it well to ensure a long life.

Top tips to care for your hiking sleeping mat

  • Always use the provided pump sack for inflation
  • Avoid using your sleeping mat to sit on rocks outside your tent
  • Always remove sharp debris from your tent site before setting up
  • Use a ground sheet (tent footprint) under your tent for extra protection

Unless you need a high R-value (which generally results in needing to decrease the denier to save weight) I highly recommend sacrificing the weight and purchasing a sleeping mat with at least 30/40D material.

I owned the Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat – which I highly recommend – for over 7 years and it has only just failed due to a slow leak. I have since upgraded to the Rab Ionosphere 5.5 because of its exceptional R-value and remarkably compact size, making it perfect for the colder climates we now find ourselves in.

With that said, if weight is your number one concern and you need an ultralight sleeping pad, remember to take extreme care and clear any sharp debris from your tent site.

Which Is The Most Comfortable Hiking Sleeping Mat?

Watching the sunset from inside our backcountry tent in Tasmania

The comfort of a hiking sleeping mat relates to its thickness, baffle design and type. As you’d expect, the air mat wins as the most comfortable type of sleeping pad. And in addition, the thicker the sleeping mat, the more comfortable it will be. But there are other factors to consider as well.

A thicker sleeping mat will often incur a heavier weight and larger packed dimensions. And if the baffle design is mediocre then it could feel as if you’re sleeping in a taco.

Commonly, a vertical baffle design is the least comfortable and supportive whereas the eggshell baffle design is the most popular. The eggshell design, which varies slightly from one brand to another, distributes your weight evenly throughout the sleeping pad without depressing one section more than another.

To determine the most comfortable mat for you, visit your local outdoor shop and test their display options. Even if the exact mat you desire is unavailable for trial, you can still experience a similar one. This will help you make an informed decision about your preferred choice.

Sleeping Mats Size

Sleeping mats layed out in a tent

Hiking sleeping pads come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit various body shapes and appease ultralight hikers by cutting unnecessary weight. While it may not seem like a big deal, the size and shape of a sleeping mat can directly affect comfort levels.

The general rule of thumb is to choose a sleeping mat that is a few centimetres longer than your height. You’d be surprised how much warmth you can lose from simply having your feet dangling off the edge. Each hiking mat should have the dimensions written in its description so you can ensure you get the right length.

In addition to the length, you can also choose extra wide sleeping mats which are ideal for more comfort and those venturing into colder climates.

Here is a list of the various shapes you’ll find and who they’re most suited for.

  • Mummy-shaped: This is ideal for hikers looking to save weight but it does restrict movement abilities
  • Tapered: The best of both worlds, the tapered allows for a few grams to be shaved off but it doesn’t impede on comfort as much as the mummy-shaped sleeping pad
  • Rectangle: The traditional rectangle offers the comfiest sleep but will be the heaviest in comparison
  • 3/4 length: These cut off at the knee and are the ultimate choice for the ultralight hikers in warm climates, but in my opinion, don’t do it to yourself!

Women’s Specific Sleeping Mats

Laying on my Rab Ionosphere Sleeping Pad

Most brands are now producing women’s specific sleeping mats. While they will look almost identical, they do have a couple of factors that increase warmth and cut away excess weight.

A women’s specific hiking sleeping mat will often be a touch shorter than the unisex equivalent and have an increased R-value. Some even have extra foam around the hips for added comfort.

While they are marketed as women’s specific sleeping mats, if you’re a cold sleeper and slightly shorter than the regular male then you would also benefit from purchasing a women’s hiking mat.

Weight Of Hiking Sleeping Mats

Putting sleeping mat into Backpacking tent wild camping in New Zealand

The weight of a hiking sleeping mat is a major consideration for most hikers, but unfortunately, it also correlates heavily with comfort and durability. As you may have guessed, the thicker, warmer and more durable the sleeping mat, the heavier it will be.

This is where you’ll need to choose an R-value and weight you’re comfortable with and decide which factors you can compromise on. But a good rule of thumb is to try and keep the weight under 500g – unless you’re planning winter hikes where durability and warmth trump weight.

Recently, I made a switch from the Sea To Summit Ultralight, weighing 480g, to the Rab Ionosphere 5.5, weighing 690g. The sole reason behind this change is the increased R value, providing me with better warmth during my winter expeditions.

Packability Of Sleeping Mats

Sea To Summit Ultralight and Rab Ionosphere sleeping mats packed down side by side
Sea To Summit Ultralight & Rab Ionosphere 5.5 packed size

Air mats easily take the crown once again for their unmatched packability, surpassing both self-inflating and foam mats. You’ll frequently find a hiking air mat that compresses down smaller than a Nalgene bottle!

A sleeping pad that shrinks to almost nothing proves highly advantageous when you’re striving to fit all your necessities for multiple days into a single hiking backpack. However, opting for the smallest packable size does involve a slight trade-off in terms of durability, insulation and thickness.

Our recommendation is to find a happy middle ground. Determine the R-value you require first, and then consider which features you can happily forgo in exchange for a more compact packed size.

Sustainability

While hiking sleeping mats have a long way to go before they can be classed as completely sustainable, there are some brands such as Nemo Equipment that are at the forefront of creating sustainable options.

But don’t lose hope, there are more ways than one to ensure you’re supporting an overall sustainable company – even if the sleeping mat isn’t solely made of recycled materials.

  • What materials are being used – For the most sustainable option, look for a sleeping mat constructed with recycled fabrics. Another thing to look for is a Bluesign Approved label.
  • Fair Trade – A Fairtrade label is assurance that the producers of the product are being treated and paid fairly.
  • Durability and longevity – A durable mat that stands the test of time greatly reduces waste and overconsumption. Remember higher denier = more durable.
  • Company Policies – Lifetime guarantee and repairing items is a great company policy to help reduce waste and overconsumption.

15 Best Hiking Sleeping Mats For 2023

Quick Buyers Guide For Hiking Sleeping Mats

  • Decide on the R-value you need first – most hikers will choose a 3-season sleeping mat with an R-value of at least 3
  • Choose a hiking sleeping mat that is a couple of centimetres longer than your height
  • A wider shaped mat is better for side sleepers, but a mummy-shape saves weight
  • An air mat is the lightest and smallest packable option, while the self-inflating mats are more durable
  • As a general rule of thumb, look for a hiking sleeping mat with a weight of 500g or lower – unless you’re hiking in freezing temperatures
  • Try to find a sleeping mat with at least 20D fabric for durability
  • A two-way micro-adjustable valve will allow for fine-tuning the firmness

Hiking Sleeping Mats Comparison Table

Hiking Sleeping MatPriceTypeDenierR-ValueThicknessWeightPacked SizeSustainable
Nemo Tensor$300Air Mat20D4.27.6 cm490 g20 x 8 cmYes
Sea To Summit Ultralight$250 $212Air Mat30/40D3.15 cm480 g24 x 12.5 cmNo
Sea To Summit Ether Light XT$350Air Mat30/40D3.210 cm490 g24 x 11 cmNo
Rab Ionosphere 5.5$350Air Mat20D5.58 cm690 g24 x 12 cmYes
Exped Ultra 7R$350Air Mat20D7.19 cm650 g23 x 14 cmYes
Thermarest NeoAir XTherm NXT$480Air Mat30/70D7.36.4 cm440 g23 x 10 cmNo
Thermarest NeoAir Uberlite$460Air Mat15D2.36.4 cm250 g15 x 9 cmNo
Nemo Astro Lightweight$250Air Mat75D2.69 cm730 g22 x 11 cmYes
Kathmandu Lansan$165Air MatUnknown1.25.5 cm460 g19 x 10 cmNo
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core$205Air MatUnknown4.59 cm794 g19 x 10 cmNo
Mountain Designs Airlite$180Air Mat40D2.35.5 cm690 g28 x 11 cmNo
Thermarest ProLite Apex$292Self-Inflating50D3.85 cm620 g28 x 17 cmNo
Nemo Flyer$210Self-Inflating20D3.35 cm650 g25 x 17 cmYes
Nemo Switchback$100Foam22.2 cm415 g51 x 13 x 14 cmNo
Mountain Designs Hikelite$80Foam22 cm420 g56 x 13 x 13 cmNo

1. Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Mat

Best Overall

The Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad from Nemo Equipment will keep you warm and cosy throughout the night on a plush 7.6 cm thick mat built for comfort. Their innovative design of this pad allows for a 4.2 R-value without the usually associated weight.

In addition, the Tensor comes with one of the best-performing pump sacks, which requires just a little breath blown into the bag, and a micro-adjustable valve that allows for fine-tuning. But the best part is, Nemo uses Bluesign Certified recycled polyester for their product and offers a lifetime warranty!

The only downside to the Tensor Sleeping Pad is its durability, which is most likely caused by the weight-saving 20D fabric used for the outer layer. Extra care is needed to avoid punctures, but it could be worth it for its superior comfort, support and warmth.

What it’s good for: 

The Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is the ultimate choice when weight is of bigger concern than durability. The waffle-like baffle design is perfect for side sleepers and the thoughtfully constructed insulation will keep you warm year-round in Australia and 3-seasons long in colder climates.

Price: $300 AUD
Type: Air Mat
Material: 100% PCR PU Polyester
R-Value: 4.2
Thickness:
7.6 cm
Weight: 490 g
Packed Size: 20 x 8 cm
Sustainability:
Bluesign Certified materials

The Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad, our top pick for the best sleeping mat for hiking

Nemo Tensor Features:

  • Spaceframe baffles (that look like waffles) increase stability and weight distribution – and low-stretch, die-cut trusses decrease springiness
  • A choice of the rectangle for extra room or mummy shape for lower weight
  • 100% Bluesign Certified 20D recycled polyester fabric and 100% recycled and recyclable packaging
  • 4.2 R-Value is sufficient for year round use in mild locations and 3-season use in colder climates
  • 7.6 cm of supportive cushioning
  • The insulation involves 2 layers of suspended Thermal Mirror metalized film which results in a light and considerably quieter sleeping mat
  • An additional internal ultra-thin layer of film reduces convection currents and adds more R-value
  • Laylow multifunctional and micro-adjustable valve sits flush to the mat and allows for fine-tuning of the sleeping pad’s firmness
  • Includes a Vortex pump sack which eliminates moisture inside the mat and saves breath
  • Also included in the sleeping mat are a velcro strap, a repair kit and a drawstring stuff sack
  • Nemo offers a lifetime warranty on this sleeping mat

Variations:

  • Regular (rectangle): 51 cm x 183 cm | 505 g
  • Regular Mummy: 51 cm x 183 cm | 490 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 620 g
  • Long Wide: 64 cm x 193 cm | 675 g

Positives

  • Includes recycled materials
  • Not as noisy as other insulated air sleeping mats on this list
  • Extreme comfort and warmth for a very low weight
  • Very small packed size

Negatives

  • Lower durability

2. Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat

Best All-rounder

For a great all-rounder, the award-winning Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat takes the cake. While not necessarily excelling in any one field, this hiking pad does extremely well across the board at an affordable price.

The Ultralight Insulated sleeping mat was my companion for over 7 years without missing a beat until it finally developed a slow leak. And if you’re wondering this is extremely good for a sleeping mat.

It displayed superior durability throughout its very active life and the Air Sprung cell design provides adequate comfort for side-sleeping on rough surfaces. However, there is no denying it is one of the noisiest sleeping mats on the market.

What it’s good for: 

The Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated sleeping mat is an ideal option for 3-season hiking where durability is slightly more important than the lightest weight or thickest design. While some warm sleepers could get away with using this hiking mat year-round, I strongly advise against it if you’re a cold sleeper – trust me, I speak from frozen experiences.

Price: $250 $212 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 30/40D Nylon
R-Value: 3.1
Thickness:
5 cm
Weight: 480 g
Packed Size: 24 x 12.5 cm
Sustainability:
None

Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat, the perfect all-rounder sleeping mat for any hiker

Sea To Summit Ultralight Features:

  • The Air Sprung Cells (ie. eggshell baffles) move independently, allowing the mat to conform to your body shape and disperse weight evenly
  • A choice of rectangle or tapered shape in various sizes
  • Durable 40D ripstop nylon outer fabric with a TPU laminate to reduce slippage and increase anti-puncture strength
  • 3.1 R-Value is sufficient for 3-season use
  • 5 cm thickness reduces weight while still allowing enough comfort for side sleepers
  • Thermolite insulation prevents convective heat loss
  • Exkin Platinum insulation, a lightweight metallised fabric, reflects body heat back to you
  • Multi-functional high flow-rate valve allows for quick inflation and deflation
  • Included stuff sack doubles as an Airstream pump to save weight and allow for ease of inflation without adding moisture
  • Includes a repair kit and a PillowLock system that attaches Sea To Summit pillows to the mat
  • Sea To Summit offers a Lifetime Guarantee on their products

Variations:

  • Extra Small Tapered: 55 cm x 128 cm | 349 g
  • Small Tapered: 55 cm x 168 cm | 430 g
  • Regular Tapered: 55 cm x 183 cm | 480 g
  • Large Tapered: 64 cm x 198 cm | 595 g

Positives

  • Very durable
  • Affordable
  • Great all-rounder

Negatives

  • Not sustainably made
  • The thin design may not suit everyone
  • Very noisy

3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite

Best Lightweight Sleeping Mat

For ultralight hikers, there is no better sleeping mat than the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite. Weighing an unbelievable 250 g, you’ll be able to stuff extra snacks into your pack without worry. But of course, with such a low weight there are bound to be a few compromises.

The NeoAir Uberlite saves weight by having a low 2.3 R-value and an ultra-thin 15D outer fabric. Unless you’re a wizard at caring for your gear, the thin fabric is concerning and slightly unreliable for multi-day treks – you certainly won’t want to forget your repair tape!

Durability aside, the NeoAir Uberlite offers the same quality comfort found in the other NeoAir options with a 6.4 cm thickness and supportive horizontal baffles.

What it’s good for: 

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlight Sleeping Pad is a valuable companion for summer overnight adventures where weight is of the highest concern. Packing down smaller than a Nalgene bottle, you’ll even be able to stuff this hiking mat into a day pack.

Price: $460 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 15D Nylon, Polyurethane core
R-Value: 2.3
Thickness:
6.4 cm
Weight: 250 g
Packed Size: 15 x 9 cm
Sustainability:
None

Thermarest Neoair Uberlite hiking sleeping mat for ultralight hikers

Therm-a-Rest Uberlite Features:

  • Horizontal baffle design
  • Various sizes available, including a 3/4 length and wide options
  • 15D nylon outer fabric
  • 2.3 R-Value is sufficient for summer and mild shoulder seasons
  • 6.4 cm thickness for increased comfort and support
  • Triangular Core Matrix – two stacked layers of triangular baffles minimise convective heat loss
  • WingLock valve system is simple to use and allows for increased airflow, the wings toggle for one-way inflation
  • Includes a repair kit, pump sack and stuff sack
  • Therm-a-Rest offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on their sleeping mats

Variations:

  • Regular: 51 cm x 183 cm | 250 g
  • Small: 51 cm x 119 cm | 170 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 310 g
  • Large: 64 cm x 196 cm | 340 g

Positives

  • Very lightweight
  • Small packed size

Negatives

  • Extremely fragile and prone to punctures
  • Expensive
  • Not sustainably made

4. Nemo Astro Lightweight Sleeping Mat

Most Comfortable

The Nemo Astro Lightweight Insulated Sleeping Mat will ease your earth-conscious mind with 100% Bluesign-approved recycled polyester and 100% post-consumer recycled Primaloft insulation. If that isn’t enough of a selling point, then perhaps the highly durable 75D polyester outer fabric will do the trick.

While the Astro Lightweight Insulated sleeping pad is ironically the heaviest option listed, it earns its place due to its superior durability and comfort thanks to a 9 cm thickness and the much-loved lateral baffle design.

What it’s good for: 

For rugged 2 – 3 season backcountry adventures where a durable and reliable hiking sleeping mat is more important than a lighter-weight option, you won’t find a better contender than the Nemo Astro.

However, its low 2.6 R-value will limit the amount of use you’ll get out of this sleeping mat for the year – unless you’re a warm sleeper or live in a warmer climate.

Price: $250 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 100% recycled 75D PU polyester
R-Value: 2.6
Thickness:
9 cm
Weight: 730 g
Packed Size: 22 x 11 cm
Sustainability:
Bluesign Approved, Recycled insulation and outer fabric

Nemo Astro Ultralight Sleeping Mat, the most comfortable sleeping mat out there

Nemo Astro Features:

  • The lateral baffle design prevents sides from curling around the body
  • The Pillow Baffle provides an integrated pillow or can be used to bolster your pillow to prevent it from falling off the end
  • Rectangle shape for increased comfort which also comes in long wide
  • 100% Bluesign Approved 75D recycled polyester, 100% post-consumer recycled Primaloft insulation
  • 2.6 R-Value provides adequate warmth for 2 seasons – or 3 for warm sleepers or mild locations
  • 9 cm thickness for superior comfort and support on uneven ground
  • Primaloft synthetic insulation creates a barrier against the cold
  • Laylow multifunctional and micro-adjustable valve is flush to the mat and allows for fine-tuning of the hiking pad’s firmness
  • The Vortex pump sack is included in the newest model (check supplier notes)
  • Includes a stuff sack, velcro straps and a repair kit
  • Nemo offers a lifetime warranty on their products

Variations:

  • Regular: 51 cm x 183 cm | 730 g
  • Long Wide: 64 cm x 193 cm | 930 g

Positives

  • Extremely durable
  • Affordable price
  • Great comfort levels especially for side sleepers
  • Integrated pillow
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • Heavy
  • Low R-value for cold sleepers

5. Nemo Switchback Sleeping Mat

Most Durable

If you’re looking for an indestructible hiking mat, then look no further than the Nemo Switchback sleeping pad. This foam mat is one of the thickest of its kind and will keep you insulated from the ground on cool summer nights with an R-value of 2.

Its hexagonal nesting pattern allows for a smaller packed size and taller nodes (pointy bits of rubber) for greater comfort. But the best part is, this mat only costs $100 AUD and due to its high durability, it can be used outside of the tent as a seat as well.

Despite its benefits, foam mats lack the comfort provided by air mats or self-inflating mats. Additionally, they are bulkier to carry as they fold instead of rolling up, often requiring storage on the outside of your pack.

What it’s good for: 

The Nemo Switchback Sleeping Mat is a great option for those that are searching for a basic and indestructible hiking mat – and aren’t phased about a comfortable night’s sleep.

But the best use for the Nemo Switchback foam pad is as an extra layer for winter hiking. It can provide a durable and insulated base beneath your air or self-inflating mat to increase R-value and durability.

Price: $100 AUD
Type: Foam Mat
Material: PE Foam
R-Value: 2
Thickness:
2.2 cm
Weight: 415 g
Packed Size: 51 x 13 x 14 cm
Sustainability:
None

Nemo Switchback foam sleeping mat for camping in the wilderness

Nemo Switchback Sleeping Pad Features:

  • Hexagonal nesting pattern allows for taller nodes which increase comfort
  • The taller and thicker nodes provide extra space for uncompressed sleeping bag insulation, which increases warmth
  • Two sizes are available, a regular length and a 3/4 length for weight saving
  • Premium dual-density abrasion-resistant Axiotomic foam affords increased comfort, support and durability
  • 2 R-value provides enough warmth for summer adventures or additional insulation underneath your air or self-inflating mat for winter hiking
  • 2.2 cm thickness is greater than the industry standard
  • Metalised thermal reflective film, which is protected by a durable film, provides increased warmth by reflecting heat back to you 
  • Creative folding panel design allows for no wasted space when folded and allows for a smaller packed size
  • Packaging is made from recycled materials
  • Nemo offers a lifetime warranty on this sleeping mat

Variations:

  • Regular (rectangle): 51 cm x 183 cm | 415 g
  • Regular Short: 51 cm x 130 cm | 300 g

Positives

  • Near indestructible
  • Lighter and smaller packed size than other foam mats
  • Very affordable

Negatives

  • Not very comfortable if used on its own
  • Not sustainably made

6. Rab Ionosphere 5.5 Sleeping Mat

Best All-Rounder For Winter Expeditions

The Rab Ionosphere 5.5 Insulated sleeping mat is the newest addition to my overnight hiking gear and so far, I cannot say one bad thing about it! The Ionosphere features a 5.5 R-value, 8 cm thickness and 20D material – all crammed into one incredibly small package!

While some will argue that the 690 g weight is a negative for this sleeping mat, I personally disagree. In reality, this weight is impressively low for the level of warmth you receive. You’d be hard-pressed to find another sleeping mat in the same category that comes close to achieving the Ionosphere’s weight and packed size.

The only thing I can say about this sleeping mat – which goes for all – is that I find the vertical baffle design slightly less comfortable than my previous egg-shell design. However, this is a personal preference and one that didn’t impede on my decision.

Furthermore, I’ve always been hesitant to purchase a 20D sleeping mat as longevity and durability are paramount to sustainability. However, I have been extremely impressed thus far with the durability displayed in the Rab Ionosphere 5.5.

What it’s good for: 

The Rab Ionosphere 5.5 is the perfect sleeping mat for winter expeditions and hikers pursuing summits worldwide. The packability makes the Ionosphere an easy companion to carry on your travels and the high R-value makes this mate suitable for almost any condition.

Price: $350 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 20D Recycled Polyester
R-Value: 5.5
Thickness:
8 cm
Weight: 690 g
Packed Size: 24 x 12 cm
Sustainability:
Recycled fabrics & insulation

Rab Ionsphere 5.5 sleeping mat

Rab Ionosphere 5.5 Features:

  • Impressive 20D Recycled Polyester outer fabric with internal TPU Coating and fluorocarbon free DWR
  • Recycled Insulation – Stratus™ R 100% recycled polyester 200gsm insulation with TILT
  • Great packability for such a warm mat
  • 5.5 R-Value offers a warm sleep for 4-seasons
  • Whopping 8 cm thickness for a more comfort
  • Stratus™ R insulation effectively captures air, minimising heat loss caused by convective currents.
  • Radiant heat loss is effectively reduced by incorporating TILT reflective film within insulation
  • Oversized outer chambers to keep you centralised on the mat
  • Graduated grip print finish to reduce sleeping bag slip
  • Low profile two-way valve for easy inflation and deflation
  • Pump sack included for rapid and hygienic inflation
  • Roll-away stuff sack with repair kit included

Variations:

  • Regular: 183 cm x 51 cm | 690 g
  • Long-Wide: 194 cm x 64 cm | 950 g

Positives

  • Extreme comfort and warmth
  • Great for snow camping
  • Feels very durable for a 20D mat
  • Packs down very small for its performance
  • Sustainable

Negatives

  • Overkill for warmer climates

7. Exped Ultra 7R Sleeping Mat

Best For Extreme Cold Weather Camping

For the ultimate winter sleeping mat without breaking the bank, you can’t beat the Exped Ultra 7R. This hiking mat will keep you snoozing through the coldest nights with an R-value of 7.1 and an innovative design that includes 700-fill goose down in its insulation.

While the Exped Ultra 7R isn’t as light or durable as the competing Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT, its 9 cm thickness, similar R-value and lower price tag afford it a solid spot on this list. Not to mention, Exped has included recycled 20D ripstop polyester in their design, which is Oeko-Tex 100 Certified.

Unlike most of the options listed, the Exped Ultra 7R is built with vertical baffles. This usually causes concern for weight distribution and comfort, however, Exped has nailed the design and instead you’ll find nothing but supreme support.

What it’s good for: 

The Exped Ultra 7R is the on par with the warmest hiking sleeping mat on this list. While this level of warmth is overkill for Australia, the Exped Ultra 7R is great for those pursuing overseas mountain summits in countries such as New Zealand and Nepal.

While the 20D ripstop polyester does call for a little concern regarding durability, the low weight and small packed size could be worth it when your pack is most likely filled to the brim with additional winter hiking gear.

Price: $350 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 20D 100% recycled ripstop polyester
R-Value: 7.1
Thickness:
9 cm
Weight: 650 g
Packed Size: 23 x 14 cm
Sustainability:
OEKO-TEX approved recycled fabrics

Exped Ultra 7R Sleeping Mat, the warmest sleeping mat for cold weather camping

Exped Ultra 7R Features:

  • Vertical baffles are internally welded to create separate air chambers for increased support and minimal cold spots
  • Exped Comfort Cradle – the outer chambers are oversized to keep you centred and prevent you from rolling off the mat
  • The option between rectangle shaped for increased comfort or mummy shaped for less weight
  • 100% recycled 20D ripstop polyester is included in the construction, plus this product is climate neutral
  • 7.1 R-Value provides superior warmth year round
  • 9 cm thickness provides exceptional comfort and a non-slip layer prevents you from sliding off the mat
  • The use of 700-fill goose down for insulation (called DOWNMAT TECHNOLOGY) avoids any noise and allows for an exceptionally warm hiking mat
  • Separate one-way Flat Valves (labelled in and out) provide a high-volume airflow, allowing for easy inflation and deflation
  • The Schnozzel pump bag doubles as a waterproof stuff sack – it is essential to use to avoid damaging the down insulation inside
  • Includes a stuff sack (different from the Schnozzel pump bag) and a repair kit with adhesive patches
  • Exped products have a 5-year warranty on materials and workmanship

Variations:

  • Medium: 52 cm x 183 cm | 650 g 
  • Medium Wide: 65 cm x 183 cm | 790 g
  • Long Wide: 65 cm x 197 cm | 855 g
  • Medium Mummy: 52 cm x 183 cm | 495 g
  • Medium Wide Mummy:  65 cm x 183 cm | 655 g
  • Long Wide Mummy:  65 cm x 197 cm | 690 g

Positives

  • Extremely warm
  • Lightweight for its R-value
  • Affordable
  • Includes recycled fabrics

Negatives

  • Not as durable as we’d like
  • Heavier than the similar Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm

8. Nemo Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Best Self-Inflating Hiking Mat

Nemo’s Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad breaks all the rules with an innovative hybrid design that combines the durability of a self-inflating mat with the plush thickness of an air mat. They’ve done this by cutting away 60% of the foam and creating deep ridged baffles that self-inflate and provide insulation and progressive suspension.

The Flyer competes with the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex with a very similar warmth-to-weight ratio, yet beats the competition with a smaller packed size and a lower price tag.

What’s more, Nemo has produced the Flyer sleeping mat in a Bluesign-approved manner with 100% recycled materials used for the top, bottom and stuff sack.

What it’s good for: 

The Nemo Flyer Self-Inflating mat is an ideal companion for 3-season backcountry camping when you need a reliable sleeping mat. Although the 20D polyester outer can cause a little trouble with durability, the thick baffles will keep you off the ground in the event of a puncture.

Price: $210 AUD
Type: Self-inflating
Material: 100% Recycled PU Polyester
R-Value: 3.3
Thickness:
5 cm
Weight: 650 g
Packed Size: 25 x 17 cm
Sustainability:
Recycled Material, Bluesign Approved

Nemo Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat for hiking and camping in the backcountry

Nemo Flyer Sleeping Pad Features:

  • Deep ridged horizontal baffle design allows supreme suspension and comfort
  • Various sizes to suit all body shapes
  • 100% recycled ultralight 20D polyester soft touch fabric used for the outer material
  • 3.2 R-Value allows for a comfortable sleep throughout 3 seasons
  • Open cell foam inflates to a comfortable 5 cm thickness
  • Horizontal coring allows for increased insulation without the added weight
  • The Laylow zero-profile valve provides fast inflation and deflation and allows micro-adjustments for fine-tuned comfort
  • Includes a repair kit, velcro straps and a stuff sack
  • Nemo offers a lifetime warranty on this sleeping mat

Variations:

  • Regular (rectangle): 51 cm x 183 cm | 650 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 770 g
  • Long Wide: 64 cm x 193 cm | 810 g

Positives

  • Lightweight for its warmth
  • Sustainably made
  • Packs down relatively small for a self-inflating mat

Negatives

  • Not as durable as other self-inflating mats
  • Some issues with leaks occurring around the valve
  • Can be time-consuming to pack down properly

9. Mountain Designs HikeLite Sleeping Mat

Best Budget Sleeping Mat

The Mountain Designs HikeLite Sleeping Mat is the cheapest option on this list and will be a great addition to your winter hiking kit or a durable option for rugged wilderness adventures. 

Just like the Nemo Switchback above, this closed-cell foam mat has an R-value of 2 and an indestructible nature. Compared to its competition, it’s slightly heavier, thinner and packs down larger – but for $20 less it could be worth it.

What it’s good for: 

The Mountain Designs HikeLite sleeping mat offers a highly durable and affordable option for rough camping conditions or casual hikers who don’t want to send a fortune. But remember, the comfort levels are extremely minimal and the low R-value will only keep you sufficiently warm through summer.

Price: $80 AUD
Type: Foam
Material: Closed-cell foam
R-Value: Unknown
Thickness:
2cm
Weight: 420 g
Packed Size: 56 x 13 x 13 cm
Sustainability:
None

Mountain Designs Hikelite Sleeping mat, a cheap option for beginner hikers

HikeLite Features:

  • Egg carton pattern increases comfort and insulation
  • 2 cm thick closed-cell foam
  • A reflective film on the outer layer increased warmth by reflecting body heat back to you
  • The accordion-style design allows for easy folding and unfolding, with minimal space wasted
  • Includes two elastic bands for ease of transportation

Variations:

  • Regular: 56 cm x 184 cm

Positives

  • Very affordable
  • Almost indestructible

Negatives

  • Not as light or small as the Nemo Switchback
  • Not as comfortable as an air or self-inflating mat
  • Not sustainably made

10. Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Insulated

The Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Insulated sleeping mat is an active side-sleepers best friend. With an exceptional eggshell baffle design, an additional 4 cm width compared to most designs and a mighty 10 cm thickness, you’ll be able to set up on the bumpiest of surfaces without a worry.

But what’s most impressive is the fact that the overall weight of the Ether Light XT is only 490 g while still offering a respectable 3.2 R-value. They also save weight by doubling the stuff sack as a pump sack – which allows for easy inflation without adding moisture to the mat.

The biggest negative we can find is its price compared to the R-value rating. The Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated mat has almost the same specs (aside from a 5 cm thickness) and will save you $100.

What it’s good for: 

The Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Insulated sleeping mat is a great companion throughout spring to autumn and provides just enough durability with its 30/40D fabric to ease your worry about setting up on rough surfaces – though I still wouldn’t suggest using it without a ground sheet.

For most, this level of thickness is overkill and you’d be better off saving weight and adding extra R-value. But for those that always seem to find the ground with a hip or an elbow, the Ether Light XT is a fantastic choice.

Price: $350 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 30/40D Nylon
R-Value: 3.2
Thickness:
10 cm
Weight: 490 g
Packed Size: 23 x 11 cm
Sustainability:
No

The Sea To Summit Ether Light XT sleeping mat for hiking

Sea To Summit Etherlite XT Features:

  • The loop baffle Air Sprung Cells (ie. eggshell baffles) move independently, allowing the mat to conform to your body shape and disperse weight efficiently
  • A choice of rectangle or tapered shape, plus two women’s options that have an increased R-value of 3.5
  • Light yet durable 30/40D ripstop nylon face fabric
  • 3.2 R-Value offers a comfortable sleep for 3-seasons
  • Whopping 10 cm thickness for a luxurious sleep
  • Thermolite insulation lofts up inside the Air Sprung Cells to prevent convective heat loss
  • Exkin Platinum insulation, a lightweight and quiet metallised fabric, reflects body heat back to you
  • Multi-functional high flow-rate valve that allows for fast inflation and deflation
  • Included stuff sack doubles as an Airstream pump to save weight and allow for ease of inflation without adding moisture
  • Includes a repair kit and a PillowLock system that attaches Sea To Summit pillows to the mat
  • Sea To Summit offers a Lifetime Guarantee on their products

Variations:

  • Small Tapered: 55 cm x 168 cm | 470 g
  • Regular Tapered: 55 cm x 183 cm | 490 g
  • Large Tapered: 64 cm x 198 cm | 625 g
  • Regular Wide Rectangle: 64 cm x 183 cm | 630 g
  • Regular Large Rectangle: 64 cm x 201 cm | 690 g
  • Women’s Regular Tapered: 55 cm x 168 cm | 495 g | 3.5 R-value
  • Women’s Large Tapered: 64 cm x 183 cm | 600 g | 3.5 R-value

Positives

  • Extreme comfort
  • Lightweight compared to the thickness
  • Relatively durable

Negatives

  • Expensive for its R-value rating
  • Not sustainably made

11. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT Sleeping Mat

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT Sleeping Pad stands out among the competition with an ingenious design that allows for an exceptionally durable and warm hiking mat weighing under 500 g! But you will pay a pretty penny for it – especially in Australia.

The NeoAir XTherm NXT boasts an R-value of 7.3 thanks to its impeccable design lofty 7.6 cm thickness, Triangular Core Matrix and ThermaCapture technology (explained below in features). In addition, a 70D nylon bottom and 30D rip HT nylon top makes this one of the most durable sleeping mats on this list.

When it comes to specifications alone, there’s no denying that this mat stands out as the best on the list. However, it’s important to note that this excellence comes with an enormous price tag.

If you’re searching for ultimate warmth at a reasonable price, the Exped Ultra 7R above is still our number 1 choice. However, if added durability and lower weight are more important then this is the hiking mat for you.

What it’s good for: 

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad is built for rugged alpine regions and winter expeditions. You’ll rest easy knowing you’re sleeping on top of a durable mat that can handle a little abuse and will keep you warm in freezing conditions.

Price: $480 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 30/70D Nylon, Polyurethane core
R-Value: 7.3
Thickness:
7.6 cm
Weight: 440 g
Packed Size: 23 x 10 cm
Sustainability:
No

The Thermarest Neoair Xtherm hiking sleeping pad

Therm-a-Rest Xtherm Features:

  • Horizontal baffle design
  • Tapered shape with the option for a wider sleeping mat in regular and large
  • 70D nylon on the bottom, 30D rip HT nylon on the top
  • 7.3 R-Value provides a toasty sleep year-round
  • 7.6 cm thickness for increased support and comfort
  • Triangular Core Matrix – two stacked layers of triangular baffles minimise convective heat loss
  • ThermaCapture – a reflective coating inside the sleeping mat that reflects your body heat back to you
  • The WingLock valve is easy to use and allows for increased airflow, the wings toggle for one-way inflation
  • Includes a pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit
  • Therm-a-Rest offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on their sleeping mats

Variations:

  • Regular: 51 cm x 183 cm | 440 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 550 g
  • Large: 64 cm x 196 cm | 570 g

Positives

  • Superior warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Durable
  • Packs down very small in comparison to R-value

Negatives

  • Not sustainably made
  • Expensive

12. Kathmandu Lansan Air Mat

With one of the smallest packed sizes listed and a weight of 460 g, the Kathmandu Lansan Air Mat provides a budget-friendly option for weight-conscious hikers. The Lansan is a summer sleeping mat with an R-value of 1.2 and a 5.5 cm thickness

It’s not necessarily the leader in any components, however, it’s been tried and tested by Dylan on multiple backpacking expeditions and he loves it. There have been many nights when the ground we slept on has been far from smooth and he’s enjoyed a comfortable sleep each time thanks to the effective diamond-shaped baffle design.

What it’s good for:

The Kathmandu Lansan Air Mat is the ideal companion for summer adventures and perhaps the odd spring night. The specs for this sleeping mat don’t include the denier count, however, it’s been durable enough to withstand some pretty gnarly conditions and is yet to deflate or puncture after 3 years of heavy use.

Price: $165 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: Nylon
R-Value: 1.2
Thickness:
5.5 cm
Weight: 460 g
Packed Size: 19 x 10 cm
Sustainability:
B-Corp Certified Company

Kathmandu Lansan Hiking Sleeping mat

Kathmandu Lansan Features:

  • Diamond-shaped baffle design allows for even weight distribution for increased comfort
  • The regular tapered shape is slightly longer and wider than the average sleeping mat, allowing for a broader range of heights
  • Durable and water-resistant TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coated nylon increases longevity
  • 1.2 R-Value is ideal for summer use only
  • 5.5 cm thickness is great for back sleepers
  • Simple inflation with a valve that sits flush with the mat, a rubber flap restricts air from escaping while blowing up the sleeping pad
  • Includes a stuff sack and a repair kit

Variations:

  • Regular Tapered: 55 cm x 185cm

Positives

  • Cheapest air mat option listed
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Packs down small
  • Durable

Negatives

  • Only suitable for summer use
  • Thin design isn’t great for side sleepers
  • No pump sack

13. Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Mat

The Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra screams luxury without the usually associated price tag. This budget-friendly hiking sleeping mat boasts a 4.5 R-value and a luxurious 9 cm thickness for $220! 

Wild, I know.

But as you may have guessed, this low price does come with a few compromises. Most noticeable is the weight, which comes in at 794 g and the support of the vertical baffles leaves a little to be desired.

What it’s good for: 

For a budget-friendly 3-season hiking sleeping mat, the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra blows the competition out of the water. Its plush 9 cm thickness also accommodates side sleepers wonderfully. However, be wary of where you set up as a number of reviews have complained about punctures.

Price: $220 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: Nylon Ripstop
R-Value: 4.5
Thickness:
9 cm
Weight: 794 g
Packed Size: 19 x 10 cm
Sustainability:
None

Big Agnus Insulated Air Core Ultra Hiking Sleeping Mat

Air Core Ultra Features:

  • Vertical baffles with thicker outer chambers keep you comfortably cradled in the middle of the mat
  • A wide range of sizes to accommodate all, including a double mattress option for couples
  • Durable nylon ripstop outer fabric (denier unknown)
  • Aviation-grade TPU lamination technology increases strength and durability
  • 4.5 R-Value provides a warm option for 3-season use, or 4-seasons in mild locations
  • 9 cm thickness for increased comfort and support
  • Thermolite insulation works with a heat-reflective film to trap your body heat and reflect it back to you
  • Two high-volume valves (labelled in and out) with micro-adjustments to easily fine-tune for desired firmness
  • Includes an upcycled pad inflation sack, a protective storage sack, a replacement valve seal and 3M repair patches
  • Big Agnes off a Limited Warranty for their products

Variations:

  • Extra Small: 51 cm x 123 cm | g
  • Small: 51 cm x 168 cm | 558 g
  • Regular: 51 cm x 183 cm | 624 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 794 g
  • Large: 64 cm x 198 cm | 879 g
  • Double: 127 cm x 198 cm | 1.7 kg

Positives

  • Very affordable
  • Great R-value in comparison to the price
  • Comfortable for side sleepers

Negatives

  • The price increases drastically for bigger sizes
  • Some durability issues
  • A little heavy
  • Not sustainably made

14. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex Self-Inflating Mat

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex Self-Inflating sleeping pad boasts a very competitive warmth-to-weight ratio for self-inflating mats, providing a 3.8 R-value with an acceptable 620 g weight. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better ratio out there within its price range.

While it doesn’t win any competition for weight, warmth or comfort compared to the self-inflating mats above, its durable design does afford a little more peace of mind and even if it does happen to puncture, you’ll still have a few centimetres of foam to keep you off the cold hard ground.

What it’s good for: 

The ProLite Apex is a winner when durability and ease of use are of higher importance than weight or warmth. The simple twist valve does the inflation for you and the 50D outer and robust design ensures it will stand up better against rough and rugged terrain. It will be a good companion for 3-season hiking, but may not be comfortable enough for side sleepers.

Price: $292 AUD
Type: Self-inflating
Material: 50D Polyester, Polyurethane core
R-Value: 3.8
Thickness:
5 cm
Weight: 620 g
Packed Size: 28 x 17 cm
Sustainability:
None

Thermarest Prolite Apex Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Apex Features:

  • Horizontal baffle design offers superior support and weight distribution
  • The ProLite comes in three sizes to suit a wide range of users
  • 50D polyester outer allows for great durability
  • 3.8 R-Value allows for 3-season use
  • Expanding foam core self-inflates to a 5 cm thickness that can be topped off with a few breaths for a firmer sleep
  • StrataCore Construction uses an unbroken layer of thermal foam fit between ridges of foam and air for an increased weight-to-warmth ratio
  • Therm-a-Rest’s WingLock valve maximises airflow for fast inflation and efficient deflation, toggle the wings for one-way inflation
  • Includes a stuff sack
  • Therm-a-Rest offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on their sleeping mats

Variations:

  • Regular: 51 cm x 183 cm | 620 g
  • Regular Wide: 64 cm x 183 cm | 790 g
  • Large: 64 cm x 196 cm | 850 g

Positives

  • More resistant to punctures compared to air mats
  • Good warmth-to-weight ratio for a self-inflating mat
  • Lightweight for a self-inflating mat

Negatives

  • Not sustainably made
  • Multiple reported issues of the baffles inside the sleeping mat popping (can be rectified with a replacement)
  • Thin design isn’t ideal for side sleepers

15. Mountain Designs Airlite 5.5 Insulated Sleeping Mat

The Mountain Designs Airlite 5.5 Insulated Sleeping Mat offers a great budget-friendly option for 3-season hiking. The 5.5 cm thickness and diamond-shaped baffle design will keep you comfortable throughout the night while the 40D micro ripstop nylon will ease your mind of thoughts of punctures.

With a slightly lighter weight than the Big Agnes Air Core and a higher R-value compared to the Kathmandu Lansan, the Airlite is a great contender when budget is of highest concern – especially if you sign up to be a member with Mountain Designs (for free) as you’ll receive this sleeping mat for just $80!

What it’s good for: 

For first-timers or occasional hikers, the Mountain Designs Airlite is the ideal choice to save money while still acquiring a good all-rounder hiking mat. The 2.3 R-value provides adequate insulation for 3-season camping in mild locations and the wide design is attractive for side sleepers. 

Price: $180 AUD
Type: Air mat
Material: 40D micro ripstop nylon
R-Value: 2.3
Thickness:
5.5 cm
Weight: 690 g
Packed Size: 28 x 11 cm
Sustainability:
Primaloft Black Eco-synthetic Insulation

Mountain Designs Airlite Hiking Sleeping mat

Airlite Features:

  • Diamond-shaped baffle design for increased comfort and weight distribution
  • Regular tapered shape
  • 40D micro ripstop nylon outer with TPU coating for increased durability
  • 2.3 R-Value allows for 3 season use in mild locations
  • Heat-welded seams for better construction strength
  • 5.5 cm thickness allows for a comfortable sleep
  • Primaloft Black Eco-synthetic Insulation creates a barrier against the cold ground
  • High-flow valve and included pump sack allow for efficient inflation and deflation
  • Includes stuff sack and repair kit

Variations:

  • Regular Tapered: 55 cm x 185 cm 

Positives

  • Affordable
  • Sufficiently durable outer fabric
  • The wider design is beneficial for side sleepers

Negatives

  • Not very thick
  • On the heavier side

Final Thoughts

I hope this article helps you determine which hiking sleeping mat is the best fit for you and your adventures. Just remember to define your hiking style and choose the R-value first to filter out your options.

What’s your favourite hiking sleeping mat? We’d love to hear about your experiences with sleeping mats in the comments below. And as always, please feel free to reach out here or on Instagram – @_trackslesstravelled if you have any questions at all.

Happy Hiking 🙂