Over the past few decades, humanity has witnessed so many advancements that have been made in the field of technology that improved our lives in so many ways. However, this simple fact also made us more sedentary than ever which eventually led to the increase of a number of debilitating diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Compared to the life of our predecessors, we are simply highly tech-dependent and overwhelmed with busy schedules. Moreover, for many of us the pressure of everyday life responsibilities, made us feel highly anxious, lacking a sense of purpose and joy in our lives. By allowing media and technology to consume our lives, we felt that we lack time and will to do some essential activities, that are vital for our mental and physical health, such as spending time in nature.
The Joy of Sleeping Under the Stars
I bet there is not a person on the planet who hasn’t dreamt about sleeping under the stars at some point in their life. But how many of us actually did it, or does this wish simply stay on our bucket lists? Sleeping in nature can be a truly amazing experience, that will enable you to have a fresh dose of wilderness and get a better perspective on your life goals, allowing you to escape the hustle of modern-day life for a moment.
However, for this, you need to be properly equipped and consider taking with you some important outdoor gear. Among the many camping gadgets and accessories, a quality camping mat is of utmost importance.
How Do I Choose a Sleeping Mat for Camping?
Your sleeping mat makes a huge difference to your comfort in the bush. Nowadays you can find a variety of sleeping pads that differ in their price, brands, types, warmth, and comfort level they offer. For this reason, in order to get the most out of your adventure, you need to carefully pick the right shape and size, have a look at the different brands on the market, consider the comfort and warmth aspect of different sleeping mats and of course, consider your budget.
Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Camping Mat
Size and Shape
Whenever we go shopping for clothes we usually pick an item that suits our body type and measurements. Well, the same is true when it comes to selecting sleeping pads for camping For this matter is very important to choose a mat that has the right size and shape that will offer you enough space and comfortability when sleeping under the stars.
As a rule of thumb, you should opt for those that feature similar measurements of your hips and thighs that will add enough convenience and general support. Also, If you want to cut down on your baggage you should opt for a medium, lightweight sleeping mat that won’t occupy too much space in your backpack.
Choose your Preferred Brand
The market is swamped by a number of recognizable brand names in the field of manufacturing quality outdoor camping gear, including camp mattresses. Some of the most well-known sleeping mats brand names are Thermarest, Exped, Mondo King, Big Agnes, and many others.
Types of Sleeping Pads
Now that we mentioned some of the big brand names on the market, let’s consider the next important factor, which is choosing the right type of camping mat. So let’s have a look at all the different kinds of camping mats and their features so you can become better informed and purchase sleeping pads that best suits your individual needs. There are three basic types of sleeping mats for camping including, air, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam.
The aired ones come in a wide range of styles from lightweight ones that are ideal for backpacking to extra-thick that are great for glamping. Moreover, they are made from specific materials that offer enough insulation and warmth.
One of their advantages is that you can customize your desired firmness level by releasing or adding air from the valve.
Closed Foam Pads
The closed-cell foam sleeping mat is the most basic sleeping mat type which is made by using a dense foam filled with small closed air cells. They often feature a metallic, heat reflective layer on one side of the pad to provide extra warmth and comfort. This type of pad is incredibly lightweight, durable, and the most affordable of all three types.
Self Inflated Pads
The self-inflating pads are a combined version of the previous two designs, featuring both cell foam insulation and air. Those used for backpacking are usually folded lengthwise and rolled up to fit inside your bag.
The camping sleeping mats on the other hand are designed specifically for camping and can be rolled without folding. They are very comfortable, offering enough insulation, warm and durability at the same time. One of their disadvantages is that they can be more pricey and aren’t as compact as the air-inflated ones.
Insulation and R-value
Another essential factor that is crucial for a warm night’s sleep is choosing a camping mat with the ideal insulation and R-value level. As we already mentioned when describing the three basic types above, insulation is a key factor in keeping your body warm when sleeping out in the open. The air in the bag or the heat-reflective material plays a major role in their construction and has a big impact on how well insulated the mat will be.
The camping mat’s R-value measures the sleeping mat’s capacity to resist heat flow through it. The higher the pad’s R-value, the better you will be insulated from the cold surface ground beneath you. The sleeping mat R-values can range from less than 2 (minimally insulated) to 5.5 or more (very well insulated).
Depending on their level of comfortability, choice of material, warmth, and insulation features, different camping mattresses can differ in their prices. All these features whether included or not dictate the price. Your budget and how much you are willing to spend will eventually dictate which type, size, or brands you choose to buy.