We at Action Outdoors, pride ourselves on the wide range of sleeping mat that we can offer our customers, from simple Closed Cell foam mats to the luxurious Thermarest Mondo King or the Exped Downmats.
Sleeping or camping mats are available in three main groupings: Closed Cell Foam Mats; Self Inflating Mats; or Inflatable Mats.
Closed Cell Foam Mats - These are the most economical mats available, are fairly light weight and very robust. The down side is that they tend not to offer the comfort of the other options and have a relatively large pack size.
Self Inflating Mats - These are constructed using open cell foam, surrounded with an airtight covering. Insulation and comfort are dependent on the thickness of the foam, however there is a trade-off between size/weight and comfort/insulation. If you are prepared to compromise on size and comfort then models such as the Thermarest Prolite can be used for backpacking. If you're car camping then you can opt for the luxury of a Thermarest Mondo King - but at 2.7 kg you're not going to carry it far!
Inflatable Mats - The modern take on the airbed. Traditional airbeds were comfortable, but heavy and poor at insulating you from the cold ground. The current versions are lightweight and offer better insulating properties by utilising either heat reflecting films, or down/synthetic filling. Mattresses such as the Thermarest NeoAir or Exped SynMat Ultralight are extremely light and small; Exped DownMats are slightly heavier, but with a down fill offer superior insulation.
With both the Self Inflating and Inflatable Mats, one does need to take more care to avoid punctures, but trail side repair kits are available.