Alpkit‘s sleeping mats provide a seriously tempting entry into the self-inflating mat market. They come in at close to half the price of some of the competition, and are seemingly just as well made.
On the left is my Airic, on the right is my Duke of Edinburgh 2 quid job. You decide.
Self-inflating mats make a big difference if you’re trying to sleep on rough ground. They don’t require a pump as their clever construction means that they inflate of their own accord and require only a wee top up from your blowers. Of course, real men don’t need such pansy things, but I don’t care anymore because I’ve decided that sleep is important. A few years back my first true camping experience was the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition, and I may as well have slept on tissue paper. I still slept like a baby of course, but that had rather more to do with the 50 miles of hills than the kipping comforts.
The bigger one is the Airic, the wee-er one is the wee Airic. Lovely.
I own two mats Alpkit, the Airic (currently out of stock I’m afraid) and the wee Airic. My brother has a slim Airic. Are we happy? Pigs in shit, folks! Brown, gooey, yummy shit! They are simply awesome. I actually get a better nights sleep whilst camping with my sleeping mat than I do at home. This may or may not have to do with other factors, such as tiredness, city noises, the beauty of the countryside and general well-being of the mind, but I like to think the Airic plays a part too. I’ve used mine on pal’s floors, in hotel rooms and in the middle of the highlands, and it has always helped me sleep soundly.
They pack up reasonably small (well, really quite small if you can be bothered to squeeze all the air out each time). I tend to strap mine to the outside of my rucksac which work quite nicely. They come with bags and compression straps too, for the masochistic.
Downsides? (1) It’s slightly heavier than the competition (Thermarest) (2) It’s….eh, not sure of anything else.
I don’t own any Alpkit sleeping bags (yet), but a pal of mine has one and by all accounts he’s well chuffed with it. Crimbo perhaps..?!
More reviews over on Outdoormagic.
Buy yours from..well, Alpkit!
See also: my Alpkit Walking Poles review.