In our opinion a sleeping mat should not be considered a luxury when you’re setting up camp for the night. While many outdoor enthusiasts in New Zealand think that overnight camping should involve an element of “roughing it”, we believe that’s taking it too far. Even if you’re able to find a soft patch of grassy ground on which to pitch your tent, we still think a sleeping mat is as important as a good quality sleeping bag.
So while you might be lucky enough to be able to lie on the pillow-soft ground underneath your tent, that ground will become colder and colder as the night wears on. A sleeping mat provides a highly effective and warm barrier between you and the ground and will keep you comfortable and safe overnight by helping to maintain body temperature.
Cold ground acts like a vacuum cleaner when you sleep directly on it. It sucks the heat out of your body and makes you feel cold and uncomfortable. That’s why having a decent level of insulation between your body and the ground is necessary. One of our sleeping mats is the answer, be it foam, self-inflating or inflatable. Sleeping mats - also known as hiking mats - come with an R rating of 1 to 7. The higher the number, the more insulation they provide, and the warmer you’ll be. In general terms, 0 - 3R is pretty good for summer camping in pleasant temperatures while something around the 4R+ mark and upwards would be a sensible choice if you’re sleeping in alpine conditions.
Mat to Suit the Conditions
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that one sleeping mat is suitable for all conditions. If you are keen to venture in to New Zealand’s high country, then you should never use a mat that will be nice to sleep on during a summer camping holiday with the family. It’s imperative that you invest in a mat that suits the conditions, and we’re happy to help you make the right decision.
An Essential Item
By choosing the best sleeping mat for your requirements, you’ll stay warm and enjoy a better night’s sleep. This will see you wake refreshed and recharged, and ready to face the physical challenges that the day will throw at you. Fatigue can see you make poor decisions while you’re facing challenging terrain in the outdoors, and reduce your physical performance - and this can have disastrous consequences. This is yet another reason why a sleeping mat should be an essential item in your sleep system, and with modern mats being light and easy to carry, there’s no excuse for not having one.