UKH

Sleeping mats for alpine use

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 Big Lee 06 Apr 2021

I've been using a Thermorest Z Lite SOL for alpine use for a number of years, like a lot of people I guess, because I don't have to worry about a puncture from anything sharp. Problem is I'm sleeping terribly due to the lack of padding. I am very bony! I constanstly need to roll into different positions through the night, which is probably affecting my partners' sleep as well.

I'd say the mat is warm enough with the sleeping bag I use though, and I like that it's not too wide, meaning I keep to my 50% of the floor space when using the BD First Light tent or bivi bag.

Any recommendations for a mat that will offer a bit more comfort? Anybody dared to use inflatable mats in the loose presence of axes/crampons/ice screws with a bit of discipline? What about down mats? I'd ideally want it for everything from winter mountaineering in Norway to use in the greater ranges. The Z Lite SOL has been warm enough though as I say, but I wouldn't want anything with even less insulation (more is always nice of course). I could carry a mat that was a little heavier if it packed down to a smaller volume, and I don't mind splashing out if it's going to do the job.

 waitout 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

I've been through a few mats. Xtherms are good and warm and I've never punctured one with crampons etc but of the 3 I've had 2 have got slow leaks I haven't been able to find. They also suck to inflate by mouth as they are big, especially at altitude or in a cramped tent.

Down mats are warm too but again, had 3 and all three blew inner baffles to turn into useless large tubes. Friends have had same. I won't waste more money on them. Also a pain in the ass to inflate as above.

These days I use a mash up of a very thin Nemo Zor sandwiched between a layer of foam from my packs frame and a layer of silvered bubble insulation (that may or may not insulate any better than the foam). As warm as the Xtherm, contingent if i puncture it, takes 3 lung fulls to inflate. Have slept on it directly onto ice and rock at about -18c ambient. The Zor rolls up tiny and as the foam is already part of my pack, takes up minimal pack space.

In reply to Big Lee:

A piece of bubble foil insulation from Screwfix underneath an old fashioned thermarest ridgerest. I know how long an inflatable mattress would last in my "care". Probably get snagged on something queuing for the telepherique before even started.


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