How to choose a travel mat: an overview of popular models

One of the key components of a comfortable and safe holiday in the field is a travel rug – a dense layer, laid under a sleeping bag. This is a really important part of equipment: even the warmest sleeping bag will be useless by direct contact with a cold surface – ground, snow. The shield is also needed for softness – it smoothes the stones, helps to relax, fully rejuvenate.

  • Basic criteria for choosing a travel mat
    • 1.1 Model construction
    • 1.2Dimensions
    • 1.3 Thickness
    • 1.4 Filler Specification
    • 1.5Weight
  • 2 Overview of popular design solutions
    • 2.1 Foam and double-layered travel mats
    • 2.2 Self-inflating tourist rug
    • 2.3 Inflatable travel mat
    • 2.4 Folding travel mats
  • 3 How to choose equipment for winter trips?
  • 4 Equipment models for different types of recreation

Basic criteria for choosing a travel mat

The operational capabilities of products are determined by such characteristics as thickness and weight, the structure of the materials from which they are made. It is necessary to take into account the dimensions of the rulers, their ability to retain heat.

Travel matsTo choose the best option, you should find out the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular models.

Foams and double-layered travel mats

The products of the Izhevsk plant of plastics are the most widespread – the products are rather durable, light, and dents on them quickly restore shape. They can be laid out on any surfaces and as they wear out they can be replaced with new ones. The only significant disadvantage is a large shipping volume.

Self-inflating matThis category is compact, easy to sleep. The weak side is considered a high risk of puncture, therefore it is impossible to jeopardize the tightness of the product by throwing it near the fire, on the grass, stones. It is recommended to use it only inside the tent.

During periods of inactivity, the model is stored in a straightened form so that it always returns to its original state. The valve should be left open: the foam rubber needs ventilation, the removal of moisture entering during pumping.

Self-inflating travel mats are optimal for those who prefer active travel with a not very large backpack. They carry with them on any type of transport.

Inflatable tourist rug

This is a special category of equipment in which there is no such thing as surface cooling due to internal air circulation (it is often found in inflatable mattresses similar in design). In some instances, natural fluff impedes such a movement, in others – a complex network of internal partitions. Like the previous version, inflatable solutions need careful handling.

Inflatable travel matsPacked models are very compact – some fit in a pocket, they weigh little, are very ergonomic. The density of inflation, respectively, and the thickness can be adjusted. Experienced tourists praise the supplied mini-pumps – small covers that pump the litter by squeezing and unclenching. Rulers are expensive, but because of the high levels of thermal insulation, they are in demand among climbers and extreme sports.

Folding travel mats

They are also called camping cots. Folding rugs look really like a temporary single bed: they are assembled on the principle of an accordion, folded into a compact canvas cover. Two-layer, in most cases, the canvas is stretched on the lags or crossbeams, the bed is placed at a certain height from the ground. This effect is achieved with the help of improvised legs, support rings, crossbars.

Foldable travel rugThe products belong to the premium class of equipment, but the price will be repaid – the products are different:

  • high quality
  • full compliance with anatomical needs,
  • durability
  • reasonableness of each element.

Among the minuses – a tangible weight, they are not as compact as the two previous variations.

How to choose equipment for winter trips?

When the temperature of the earth does not exceed the mark of + 9 ° C, it is necessary to focus on the insulating characteristics of the mat. There is a scale of thermal resistance, its indicators are marked on the labeling of products as R-value. The higher the value, the colder it can be outside when using a particular shield. For example: R-value from 5 to 9 covers air temperature from -18 ° С to -45 ° С.

To rest on the ground or snow in winter conditions was comfortable, you can combine 2 low-cost and insufficiently insulating (when they are separately) copies, in particular, foam. It will be warmer if you use either a self-inflating or downy inflatable pad designed for the specified weather conditions. Examples of brands in these categories are Terma-Rest BaseCamp and Exped DownMat 7.

When planning a winter outdoor activity, we must not forget that all the rulers that need to be inflated are vulnerable: if they are punctured, their heat-insulating properties are canceled, a health hazard appears.
Therefore, it makes sense to provide for tourism in conditions of negative temperatures or a two-layer “sandwich” of carpets, or a spare pumped shield.

Equipment models for different types of recreation

For hiking, traditional skins are optimal – this is a reasonable economy, which does not affect the quality of leisure. In this segment, it is better to buy expensive shoes designed for intensive walking, than to invest in a tech mat.

Trekking and mountain hikes suggest an increased load, here the equipment should be as light as possible, and sleep should be complete and comfortable. In priority should be inflatable and self-inflating models of durable material, thick enough to smooth out the rocky base. A good example is THERM-A-REST NeoAir Trekker: average weight – 500 g, 2.2 l of transport volume, made of dense polyester and nylon, internal partitions covered with aluminum, prevent air convection.

The main characteristics of the rulers intended for mountaineering are the possibility of using at low temperatures, low dead weight, and high strength. Inflatable products with a surface that does not absorb moisture prevail. Here you will need a high-quality foam, which, located in the first layer, will protect the capricious inflatable “fellow” from contact with sharp rocks.

For cycle tourism should choose the most compact and lightweight model. World brands offer products weighing 300-400 g, with a transport volume of not more than 1.5 liters, with a lower temperature threshold of -6 ° C.

For those tourists who take children with them or spend the night together in a cramped tent, camping, a double tourist rug is useful. On a wide board it is much more comfortable to sleep with an active child, because there will be no gap in the gap. Here, on average, the width starts from 100 cm. Inflatable variations are equipped with a partition dividing the internal volume into 2 parts: each side can be pumped with individual stiffness parameters, as a result of which the comfort of the other person is noticeably increased.

Double tourist rugThe profile market of tourist equipment in this segment is quite wide. Such world-famous brands as Therm-a-Rest (the leader in the niche in question), practical Big Agnes, technological Exped, authentic Mammut strive to improve even budget-class products. For example, foam with a convex surface, resembling honeycombs, are very popular, they are compactly folded into an accordion. Among the Russian manufacturers, the Tramp and RedFox brands with loyal prices, original outwardly and undoubtedly high-quality Nemo products, have proven themselves well.

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