Sleeping Mats - Why they matter

Sleeping out without a mat is a good way to remind you of their importance. Getting cold and waking up with a stiff back and bruised hips is unpleasant, and will make you wish you’d brought something, anything, to sleep on. There’s definitely a time and a place when you just can’t avoid being uncomfortable, but when you’re not on an Alpine bivvy, a decent mat is well worth taking. The best sleeping mats are warm, comfortable, lightweight, pack down small, and are reliable: they are every bit as essential as a good sleeping bag.

The ground conducts heat up to 60 times faster than air, and if sleeping on ice it could even be 90 times more conductive. That means a huge amount of heat can be lost to the ground, and a sleeping mat helps negate that. An interesting test is to try using a warm sleeping mat instead of a regular one and see how much lighter a sleeping bag you can get away with.

Often the resultant combination of mat and bag is lighter, and more comfortable too. In our own field trials we have found that replacing a foam sleeping mat with an Aerostat mat lets you use a sleeping bag containing significantly less insulation, sometimes as much as 400 grams less down.

Feeling strong and ready for a big day ahead or recovering after a long route requires good sleep, and a sleeping mat is essential for that. Being able to lie comfortably on almost any terrain, whether it’s grass, moraine, snow, or ice is extremely important to good rest, and a thick and protective mat is a key step towards that. Suddenly, even the most remote and inaccessible camp can be made to feel comfortable.


Construction of the Aerostat down and synthetic mats is difficult. We use technology patented by Exped® and licensed by us to ensure that the insulation can never escape the mat: foam plugs are used in the end of the mat to resist insulation leaving the mat, and these are welded into the mat.

Our custom-moulded Gas Mask valve is 2-way and allows a user to inflate their mat without fear of air escaping at any second, but it also allows the user to dump air out quickly when it’s time to strike camp. While an inflatable mat is never going to be as durable as a foam mat, we have used very durable 30D fabrics with coatings that are highly resistant to hydrolysis to create mats that should last for many years. These little details result in the finest sleeping mats that we’ve ever made.