Best Self Inflating Mattress in Australia for Hiking in 2019

Hiking mat

When we’re sleeping out under the stars, there’s no reason to be uncomfortable. While most people think that campers are out ‘roughing it’ every night on a foam sleeping mat, there’s a plethora of amazing inflatable mats that can provide a fantastic night’s sleep.

Luckily for campers, we no longer have to huff and puff to get our luxurious inflatable mat ready for bedtime. These days, there are a number of great self-inflating sleeping pads that combine the quick set-up of a foam mat with the comfort of an air mattress so you can get right to sleep.

To help you decide which mat you should buy, we’ll discuss what to look to find the best self-inflating sleeping mat to suit your needs, followed by reviews of what we consider to be five of the best options available in Australia.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Thermarest Trail Pro Self Inflating Mat
OUR #1 RATED

THERMAREST TRAIL PRO

  • R-value of 4.0 for four-season use
  • Great warmth-to-loft ratio
  • Ultralight foam for weight savings and comfort


PROLITE SELF INFLATING MAT

THERMAREST PROLITE

  • Lightest in review (510g)
  • Stuff sack included
  • Very compact in storage


SEA TO SUMMIT ULTRALIGHT

  • Very light (550g)
  • Anti-slip print on underside
  • Extra insulation in key body areas
  • Lockable air valve for storage


COMFORT PLUS REGULAR SELF INFLATING MAT

SEA TO SUMMIT COMFORT PLUS

  • 4-season use with R-value of 4.1
  • Knit fabric top for next-to-skin comfort
  • Lockable air valve for storage


THERMAREST BASECAMP AF SELF-INFLATING MAT

THERMAREST BASECAMP AF

  • Stabilising foam support
  • Durable materials
  • Very comfortable and large

How to Pick the Best Self Inflating Mattress

Choosing a self-inflating mat is fairly simple, once you know what to look for. When you’re considering a sleeping pad, these are some key considerations you ought to keep in mind.

Size and weight

When we’re camping, we always have to keep size and weight of our gear in mind. Inflatable sleeping pads vary in weight from really heavy car-camping versions to ultralight backpacking mats. All of the pads in this review are under 1000g, so they’re ideal for backpacking, but some of them are incredibly light, which is great for the gram counters amongst us.

In addition to weight, we’re always concerned about the size of our gear. One of the benefits of an inflatable mat over a standard foam pad is that they are much more compact for packing. The more compact, the better, though a desire for a tiny sleeping mat means that you end up less comfortable at night, so there’s certainly a trade-off.

Finally, inflatable sleeping pads come in a variety of lengths to suit people of different heights. All of the mats in this review are listed as ‘regular’ length, which is great for people up to 1.8m tall, but they all come in larger and smaller sizes, too.

Shape

There are two main shapes of sleeping pads - mummy and rectangular. The rectangular is much more spacious for sleeping but adds extra weight and bulk to your gear. Mummy pads are designed to match the shape of our bodies and are comfortable while also saving weight and space.

R-value

R-values are a measure of a sleeping pad’s insulation abilities, in terms of thermal resistance. For our purposes, we just need to know that the higher the R-value, the more insulating the sleeping pad. Three-season pads usually have R-values between 1.5-3.0 while four-season usually mats have values above 3.0. If you like to camp year round, this is an important consideration for your sleeping pad.


Self Inflating Mattress Reviews

#1 ​Thermarest Trail Pro Self Inflating Mat Review

TOP PICK

Thermarest Trail Pro Self Inflating Mat

​The fantastic Thermarest Trail Pro is a four-season sleeping mat with the best warmth-to-loft ratio of any self-inflating mattress on the market.

It uses ultralight foam to save weight and space in your pack without sacrificing the comfort you expect. With 5cm of loft, it’s amazingly comfortable, even on the roughest of surfaces.

We'd recommend this pad to campers who want to be comfortable at night yet want a fairly light and well-insulating pad. It's slightly heavier than some ultra-light varieties but makes up for the extra grams in blissful sleep.

Pros
  • R-value of 4.0 for four-season use
  • Great warmth-to-loft ratio
  • Ultralight foam for weight savings and comfort
cons
  • Expensive
  • Slightly heavier than ultralight varieties (740g)

#2 ​​Thermarest Prolite Self Inflating Mat Review

PROLITE SELF INFLATING MAT

​The Prolite is Thermarest's flagship self-inflating sleeping mat for three-season use. At a mere 510g, it is the lightest pad in our review but doesn't sacrifice on insulation as a solid 2.4 R-value makes it ideal for shoulder-season camping.

The lightest and most compact self-inflating mattress available, the Prolite has diagonal cut channels in the foam to reduce weight and increase its insulating efficiency.

Its foam core expands quickly and can be topped up with a few breaths to customise the pad to your desired firmness. If you're concerned about weight and bulk of your sleeping pad, but don't want to sacrifice your sleeping comfort, then the Prolite might be your go-to mat.

Pros
  • Lightest in review (510g)
  • Stuff sack included
  • Very compact in storage                           
cons
  • Three-season mat only                              

#3 ​Sea to Summit Ultralight Self Inflating Mat Review

best value

​Sea to Summit brings us the fantastic Ultralight Self Inflating mat that combines a great low weight, with a respectable 2.6 R-value, all at an affordable price.

The Ultralight provides enough insulation in its memory foam core for shoulder season use without any extra weight. You can close off the air valve when packing the mat so it doesn't try to inflate on you, either, which is quite convenient. Anti-slip print on the underside of the mat also holds it in place on uneven surfaces for a comfortable night's sleep.

It even has extra insulation in key body areas, so you can stay warm in the chilly nights of Autumn and early Spring. The Ultralight is a great value buy for weight and bulk-conscious campers.

Pros
  • Very light (550g)
  • Anti-slip print on underside
  • Extra insulation in key body areas
  • Lockable air valve for storage                      
cons
  • Three-season mat only                              

#4 ​​Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Self Inflating Mat Review

COMFORT PLUS REGULAR SELF INFLATING MAT

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​Another great sleeping pad from Sea to Summit, the Comfort Plus is all about, you guessed it - comfort. The Comfort Plus has the highest R-Value in our review at 4.1, which is great for year-round use. Plus, it has the most loft of all the mattresses in review with a whopping 8cm of insulation from the group.

If that wasn’t good enough, it even has a nice knit fabric top for next-to-skin comfort while you sleep. This pad combines the comfort of an air mattress with the support and easy setup of a self-inflating foam core. Although it is the heaviest mat in our review, it is still fairly light at 895g, so it’s suitable for most backpackers.

Campers who value comfort over everything else would really appreciate the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus.

Pros
  • 4-season use with R-value of 4.1
  • Knit fabric top for next-to-skin comfort
  • Lockable air valve for storage
cons
  • Heaviest in review (895g)
  • Expensive                                                   

#5 ​​Thermarest Basecamp AF Self Inflating Mat Review

THERMAREST BASECAMP AF SELF-INFLATING MAT

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The Basecamp AF from Thermarest packs small but doesn’t sacrifice on comfort. It’s thick when inflated and uses a stabilizing foam core to support you while you sleep.

Made of incredibly durable materials, it can withstand whatever you throw at it. Plus, you can even add a few extra breaths of air into the mat to customise it to your desired firmness.

The Basecamp AF is the only rectangular mat in this review and, as such, it is a bit bulkier than the other options. We'd recommend this mat to people who want to be comfortable at night but that primarily sleep at basecamps where they don't have to worry about packing this mat away into their rucksack every morning.

Pros
  • Stabilising foam support
  • Durable materials
  • Very comfortable and large                    
cons
  • Heavy (820g)
  • R-Value of only 1.7
  • Least packable of all mats in review       

verdict

In the end, there can be only one winner, and for this review, we give the top prize to the Thermarest Trail Pro for its great warmth-to-loft ratio, high R-Value, and excellent comfort at a reasonable price.

Ultimately, it’s about finding the mat that’s right for your needs. So, keep our key considerations in mind as you decide on a self-inflating mat for your next adventure.

About THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.


As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.


She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

Categories Hiking