Oh yeah, this seems like an easy one, right? Just something to lie on, nothing special at all…
Well, there still are some decisions to make…
Mattresses basically come in two varieties, static and inflatable.
Remember the greyish roll of styropor mattress from the 80:s? They haven’t developed that much since, upside is they definitely kept there sturdiness. You just can’t break them by normal use, only remember to keep them out of the fire…
Downside: not very (or, to be frank, the least) comfortable
So, God bless Thermarest, giving us one of the first mainstream “self inflating”
mattresses some 20 years ago. Of course there’s nothing like a truly self inflating mattress, the foam filling somehow remembered its former volume and sucked some air into the device making the final filling with air so much easier.
Thankfully we’ve had quite some development here and today you can chose from a variety of different producers and models.
That mentioned you could probably find a pretty decent used car for the price of a high end mattress, filled with down, almost 4 inches thick and inflated by a built in pump, providing a level of comfort that is unchallenged by your bed at home. At the same time weighting down your backpack with 2kg (a good 4 lbs) or more. While at the other hand getting away from that bed at home might kinda be one reason for this whole hiking adventure.
In the case you intend to go hiking in polar conditions, or are extremely sensitive to cold climates, I’d definitely recommend a down filled mattress 7cm (roughly 2/5 inch) or thicker. For a summer hike while camping on soft ground a traditional static camping mat might be sufficient, leaving you huge budget space for other extravagances.
It all boils down to the same old questions to ask ourselves:
Where, when and how is the equipment to be used?
And then we chose the most appropriate option!
Please leave a comment below to let me know if this was helpful or if you have questions!
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Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!
Peace // Claes