Choose a mattress of ground suitable for your use
It is often difficult to choose your future pads so the supply is large (depending on the type of mattress, weight, price, etc…) The choice will naturally depending on the use you want to make.
1 / hiking without portage (portage mechanical or animal).
Choose the comfort with fairly thick self-inflating mattresses. Don’t go on the lightest (and therefore more expensive), because the weight criterion is secondary in this type of hiking.
2 / casual hikers
Inflatable or self-inflating mattresses are quite expensive (or very expensive). For occasional or rare practice, a basic foam mattress will do. Your nights will be a little more “difficult” but that is also the joy of mountain nights 😉
3 / regular hikers / Star Touring.
You are looking for a compromise between size and comfort. So choose an inflatable model or a model auto-gonflant. Prices are higher than a traditional foam mattress, but the investment is actually worth. Your nights will be really better comfort level.
4 / hiking long distances and/or ultralights:
Looking for the lightest possible mattress. There are three options:
- a basic foam mattresses
- a very lightweight inflatable model
- a model auto-gonflant size 3/4 (to win again in weight and volume)
5 / winter hiking expeditions
The winter bivouac requires more insulation. The ideal is to have a first foam protection on which we add an inflatable mattress. Or, opt for the latest generation of mattresses with a high insulation (but the price is much higher). Beware, there are also the model chosen is strong, because if the model loose you at the beginning of expedition, the situation may be difficult to manage).
A single watchword: try before you buy!
The variety of the PADS is so big, that absolutely try and see the equipment before you buy.This will let you know:
- What thickness of mattress you feel uncomfortable (if you have a rather light jig, a thickness of 2-3 cm mattress may you be enough).
- What is the width that suits you best (shoulders and pelvis may not exceed the mattress)?What is the optimal length (a little more than your size, a 3/4 mattress)?
- How inflates and deflates your mattress and its size.
Look also in detail the “r-value” : the value, the more the mattress can isolate you from the ground. The R values on the data sheets of the products. They range from 1.0 (low isolation) to 9.5 (good insulation).