Multimat Superlite Air Blow-up Airbed
Likes: Packs down small
Dislikes: Can’t use in the Winter
Packed weight: 24 x 6 cm
Feistiness rating: 4/5
At only 300g this airbed is one of the lightest full size beds on the market. It’s also extremely compact and takes up no room in your pack. But of course this bulk reduction comes at a cost – it’s not insulated so in really cold situations you’d be better off reaching for your Thermarest. However for three season use it’s hard to find anything better especially when you consider the price. Retailing at about £50 few sleeping pads/air beds come close to offering the reduced pack size, weight and comfort that this Multimat offers.
Sure you could look at something like a Klymit, but they are very expensive and aren’t as comfortable. The Klymit is lighter but to achieve this they have sections cut out of the mat, making it less than ideal for anyone who sleeps on their side.
When inflated the Multimat Superlite is actually quite large – 183 x 51 x 2.5 cm- but like many inflatable mattresses you may find you slip down it during the night. It also takes a bit of puff to inflate it compared to a Thermarest but I can’t say this has ever bothered me.
It comes in a handy sack and includes a puncture repair kit. The mattress is constructed from very thin material so this might come in handy although let’s hope not! Extreme light weight campers should note that on the instructions the mat says it should be used in conjunction with a ground sheet.
We really are astonished at the pack size of this product and it’s priced very competitively. If I was only buying one sleeping mat I would probably choose a Thermarest Pro Lite plus as I do a lot of camping in cold conditions but the Multimat is ideal for camping between Spring and Autumn.
Klymit Inertia X air mattress
Likes: Light and blows up a few breaths of air
Dislikes: Just look at it! Side sleepers beware
Packed weight: 7.5 x 15 cm
Feistiness rating: 4/5 for back sleepers. 1/5 for side sleepers
This is a full length inflatable sleeping mat that is bind bogglingly light. At only 258g it’s astonishing. However to achieve this weight the makers have created a unique and admirable design but it won’t be for everyone. As you can see in the photograph they’ve cut out certain sections and retained others. They claim that the sections they’ve kept are the parts of the mat you most need, so you have support for your head and shoulders etc.
From a dimensions angle it is a 1.5cm thick and 183 x 38cm.
The mat doesn’t have any insulation inside it but the manufacturers claim that the cut out sections allow your sleeping bag to loft more and as such that will help you stay warm. Plausible but in reality I think the lofting benefits are minimal.
If there was a competition to see which mat was the quickest to inflate, the Klymit Inertia X frame would not only win it would spank the opposition. It takes about two or three breaths and then you use a small tool to top it up and ensure you have the right pressure for your back.
This is a really innovative product and we were split on what to give it as a rating. It’s a great ultra light mat there is no denying that, however for people who like to sleep on their side this is not very comfortable although back sleepers should be absolutely fine as this is easily comparable to sleeping on a Thermarest.
Retailing at about £80 you can certainly find cheaper mats on the market but you’re paying for a truly innovative product that is a market leader in being light weight. As an ultra light alternative you could look at the Multimat Superlite Air Bed which is only about 40g heavier and is full size without anything cut out so it’s more comfortable but there is something inspiring about the design of the Klymit that we rather like!
Thermarest Prolite Plus
Best uses: general feisty camping moving into the lightweight territory
Likes: even if punctured you get insulation. You will not get this with an air bed
Dislikes: a little heavy for some. The packed weight is also a little large but better than a roll mat.
Weight: 680g (for the regular)
Packed size: 28 x 11 cm (for the regular) Price: £80
Feistiness rating: 4/5
An epiphany has occurred. You have realised that wild winter camping in the UK is an enjoyable experience. It’s the same as summer camping as long as you wrap up warm and the long winter nights lend themselves well to a hot campfire. You have realised this and you want to cautiously dip your big toe into the enticing pool of winter camping. Then treat yourself to the Thermarest Prolite Plus.
The Thermarest Prolite Plus targets the newly awoken Feisty Camper. It is self-inflating to some degree but you will need to top it up with some air. It comes in three sizes- small, medium and large. These have different packed sizes, widths, and weights and we suggest visiting the manufacturers website for more accurate details. We have quoted for the regular. It has dimensions of 183 x 51cm. At 4cm thick and packed full of insulation it offers a cracking nights sleep even on quite hard, cold ground. I have been camping at -8C and camped on snow and have not had any issues with coldness seeping through to my skin. There is another advantage of the thermarest that I did not appreciate. Even if you puncture it you still have good insulation and a comfy. I punctured mine whilst on the snow and still had a warm nights sleep.
They are pretty hard wearing and although everyone worries about air mattresses and camping, as long as you are careful you should be fine. They come with a puncture repair kit. The Thermarest also works with the Thermarest Trekker Chair which is lightweight and provides you with a) a comfy seat with a back rest (not to be underestimated) and b) a warm back and bottom on a cold winter’s night.
A couple of downsides: they are at the heavier end of the spectrum and the packed size is similar to a lightweight sleeping bag. However, the packed size is still better than a roll mat.
All in, not a bad deal at all.