I just added the coolest thing to my camping stash. A SmartSpeed® Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad. Tent camping is a WHOLE LOT more enjoyable when you aren’t directly sleeping on the ground. When we camp in Yosemite the ground is rocky and hard, not to mention cold!!
I was thrilled to be offered this sleeping pad! My shelves of camping equipment is getting very full so the first thing I love is the fact that this rolls up to a nice size. I can flatten the pad down to about 4″ thick and 24″ long. Not only is that nice for storing the pad away but for hauling everything to the campsite itself! We pack two cars full of equipment for a week’s camping trip. At that, we still have the cars packed to the gills!
The blue and gray sleeping pad is made of a durable PVC coated fabric with non-slip soft bottom. The pad arrives with two elastic straps that slip on and off to hold it together while it’s in the nylon carry case. Inside the pad for extra cushion and comfort is a foam pad. At the top of the sleep pad is pillow that you do have to manually blow up. The pillow is a great bonus! Another added bonus is the snaps along both sides of the sleep mat so that you can attach extra mats for more sleepers!
Open the large black valve by unscrewing the lid, then walk away for 15 to 20 minutes and let the sleep mat self-inflate.
The pillow, well, just like blowing up beach balls for kids it takes a while. Then I realized that my bike pump will work. WHEW!!! Good thing because the pillow can be blown up to rather large.
I’m not sure what I was expecting for a self-inflating mat. I think maybe I was imagining something thicker or well, truthfully, I was imagining The Dick Van Dyke Show when Laura opens Dick’s mail and there is a self-inflating boat in the package. This isn’t that type of mat.
I wasn’t sure if the mat was fully inflated so I did add more air by blowing in the valve. That did indeed add more cushion.
Even though the sleep mat isn’t very thick, between the air and the foam it is very comfortable to lay on. Having the foam will definitely be a life saver with the cold. Last year I used a regular air mattress and then my sleeping bag, however the cold air in the mattress only seemed to intensify the cold!! So I ended out buying a second sleeping bag to lay on the mattress as a buffer. This mat will fix that!!
Putting the mat away was equally as easy. Open the valve and start rolling the mat from the pillow side. It only took a few moments to get the mat back to the original size and back in its duffel bag. There are also 2 elastic bands that hold the mat together.
I wish this mat was just a little wider. I do a lot of tossing and turning at night (YES! Even in a sleeping bag!) I also am the one that the grandkids come too when they want to snuggle. Ummm yea… the sleeping bag is a tight fit! A little wider mat would be awesome, then again there are snaps to attach more mats together so really, it’s a minor whine.