Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

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Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Sun 05 Sep, 2021 6:34 pm

I've been finding it increasingly difficult to get comfy and sleep well on hikes. Having a problematic hip isn't helping, nor is getting into my 40s. I'm wondering if a new mat is the answer.

For the last few years I've mostly used a Klymit Insulated Static V Ultralight. I used to find it comfy enough, but not warm enough if I was using my quilt (fine with a sleeping bag, when the gaps in the mat are filled by insulation under your body). But now I'm not even finding it comfy...

When my partner doesn't come walking I steal her Thermarest X-therm, which I find okay but rather noisy.

So, hit me with recommendations. Needs to be:
- Comfy for a side-sleeper
- Good to a few degrees below zero for a cold sleeper
- Not much over 500gm
- Not too noisy!
- Cheaper than an X-therm or X-lite (somehow I got my partner's X-therm for only $230 a few years ago - that seems impossible now!)
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Tortoise » Sun 05 Sep, 2021 6:49 pm

Hey Drew,
I'd say get used to ear plugs. I'm a cold side-sleeper, with a dodgy hip and shoulder, and I reckon you'd be hard pressed to beat the X-therm. I'm a light sleeper, but the noise doesn't keep me awake or wake me up. (Plenty of other random things do, so I REALLY want a comfy mat. Especially now I'm in my 60s.) I got mine for about $169 maybe 4 years ago on a half-price special with free international shipping from the UK. Someone here posted about it in the specials thread.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 05 Sep, 2021 7:08 pm

If your budget doesn't extend to a xlite then could try a Nemo tensor full length. (Insulated version).

Light, comfortable, not noisy and cheaper than a xlite. What's the catch.. not that durable.. I put several holes in mine (being careful and using it only in a tent) and then got a unrepairable hole near the valve.

Now I use a xlite which I've found more durable. I don't find the xlite noisy either not sure if they made some changes to it but it's not crinkly at all.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Sun 05 Sep, 2021 7:54 pm

Tortoise wrote:Hey Drew,
I'd say get used to ear plugs. I'm a cold side-sleeper, with a dodgy hip and shoulder, and I reckon you'd be hard pressed to beat the X-therm. I'm a light sleeper, but the noise doesn't keep me awake or wake me up. (Plenty of other random things do, so I REALLY want a comfy mat. Especially now I'm in my 60s.) I got mine for about $169 maybe 4 years ago on a half-price special with free international shipping from the UK. Someone here posted about it in the specials thread.


Thanks Tortoise. Yep, I'm a light sleeper too, so I do often use earplugs. I'm happy to use them when there are noises from other campers etc (or my partner on her x-therm!) but I resent wearing them at other times and not hearing the night sounds of the bush...

If your budget doesn't extend to a xlite then could try a Nemo tensor full length. (Insulated version).

Light, comfortable, not noisy and cheaper than a xlite. What's the catch.. not that durable.. I put several holes in mine (being careful and using it only in a tent) and then got a unrepairable hole near the valve.

Now I use a xlite which I've found more durable. I don't find the xlite noisy either not sure if they made some changes to it but it's not crinkly at all.


Thanks wildwanderer. I had read that the Nemo was good for side sleepers. I reckon lack of durability sucks though - I'd prefer to pay more for something that lasts.

I did just find a second hand Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated for sale at a bargain price, but it's a bit heaver than I'd like at 640gm. The pillow lock system is appealing though (for the Sea to Summit pillow I already own).
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby matagi » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 8:07 am

I'm a side sleeper and use the Exped Synmat HL Winter in size M. It's a tapered mat and weighs 435 g. Previously used a an older version Synmat UL M (not the winter version) weight 500g. Changed to the tapered mat to save a bit of weight and give me a bit more floor space in the tent.

I'm 62 and have arthritis in my right hip but find the Expeds really comfortable.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 9:24 am

I had the same issue with quilt/Klymit combo.

My mats of choice now, are something you may not find comfortable, (Various CCF variations or a GG Thinlight with Klymit Inertia Torso) but I did try a WHOLE lot of mats after my Klymit and would recommend you check out BA Qcore SLX insulated. Some say the Qcore isn't as warm as advertised, but I can vouch for it being far warmer than the Klymit. Its pretty robust, very quiet and mega thick.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 9:38 am

Ms_Mudd wrote:I had the same issue with quilt/Klymit combo.

My mats of choice now, are something you may not find comfortable, (Various CCF variations or a GG Thinlight with Klymit Inertia Torso) but I did try a WHOLE lot of mats after my Klymit and would recommend you check out BA Qcore SLX insulated. Some say the Qcore isn't as warm as advertised, but I can vouch for it being far warmer than the Klymit. Its pretty robust, very quiet and mega thick.


Thanks Ms Mudd. Hmm, not too keen on the CCF combo idea - such bulky things! But one big potential positive of that system would be the end of sliding around on the tent floor! Despite all my efforts with silicon dots and stripes I find it impossible to not slide around on the silnylon floor of my Tarptent!

I'll have a look the the Qcore though.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 9:41 am

matagi wrote:I'm a side sleeper and use the Exped Synmat HL Winter in size M. It's a tapered mat and weighs 435 g. Previously used a an older version Synmat UL M (not the winter version) weight 500g. Changed to the tapered mat to save a bit of weight and give me a bit more floor space in the tent.

I'm 62 and have arthritis in my right hip but find the Expeds really comfortable.


Thanks matagi. I'm a bit concerned about durability of Expeds - I have a feeling they're well known for having baffle failures. Maybe they've improved? Also, can they be inflated by mouth, or only with the bag? If you need the bag then that's an extra 60gm (still a pretty good weight though).
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 10:15 am

Drew wrote:
Ms_Mudd wrote:
Thanks Ms Mudd. Hmm, not too keen on the CCF combo idea - such bulky things! But one big potential positive of that system would be the end of sliding around on the tent floor! Despite all my efforts with silicon dots and stripes I find it impossible to not slide around on the silnylon floor of my Tarptent!

I'll have a look the the Qcore though.


Yes! So bulky which is why sometimes I just take the thinlight and the teeny inflatable klymit inertia xlite torso set up when I value less volume of my gear. The QCore is pretty swish I think and an underrated mat.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby matagi » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 5:14 pm

Drew wrote:
matagi wrote:I'm a side sleeper and use the Exped Synmat HL Winter in size M. It's a tapered mat and weighs 435 g. Previously used a an older version Synmat UL M (not the winter version) weight 500g. Changed to the tapered mat to save a bit of weight and give me a bit more floor space in the tent.

I'm 62 and have arthritis in my right hip but find the Expeds really comfortable.


Thanks matagi. I'm a bit concerned about durability of Expeds - I have a feeling they're well known for having baffle failures. Maybe they've improved? Also, can they be inflated by mouth, or only with the bag? If you need the bag then that's an extra 60gm (still a pretty good weight though).


They seem to have solved the baffle issue, and you can inflate them by mouth but really the bag is a better idea as it stops moisture getting inside and destroying the glues, etc. I use the bag as a waterproof bag to hold my sleeping gear and change of clothes so I'm not carrying it for only one purpose.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby bernieq » Mon 06 Sep, 2021 6:26 pm

I had an Exped that failed (in warranty) and replaced it with the improved version (synmat hl m 365g) - lots of use since and no issues. BTW, I'm a side-sleeper and find the mat very comfortable (at almost full inflation).

The inflation bag is, as matagi says, very useful as a dry bag. I put in all my clothes & sleeping bag, roll it up and clip then expell the air and seal - slides into the pack nicely.

However, if you don't want the extra 60g, you can make your own at around 28g - see this thread : https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... on#p291491

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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby jobell » Tue 07 Sep, 2021 6:33 pm

I traded put my thermarest neoair xtherm 458g (my scales) recently for the S2S Ether Light. I think the Ether Light is a regular size by memory, not the women's. 527 grams (my scales again). As a side sleeper with ageing hips, it's worth the extra weight well and truly. So much more comfortable. I forget the R values, I think the Thermarest is meant to be a bit warmer but I honestly haven't noticed a difference temperature wise. Hope that helps.

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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Tue 07 Sep, 2021 8:39 pm

Thanks guys. Sounds like the Exped issues are fixed and they're worth a look then. My partner is suggesting that I should try sleeping on the floor on the mats we own to see how much of my discomfort is the mat and how much is to do with being in the tent, uneven ground, being sore and tired etc. I can't quite bring myself to do it when my bed is calling though!

jobell wrote:I traded put my thermarest neoair xtherm 458g (my scales) recently for the S2S Ether Light. I think the Ether Light is a regular size by memory, not the women's. 527 grams (my scales again). As a side sleeper with ageing hips, it's worth the extra weight well and truly. So much more comfortable. I forget the R values, I think the Thermarest is meant to be a bit warmer but I honestly haven't noticed a difference temperature wise. Hope that helps.

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Jobell is that the Ether Light insulated? That one is listed on the S2S website as 490gm for the regular, at R3.2. That definitely seems worth considering too...
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 07 Sep, 2021 9:45 pm

Have you thought about adding a LW or UL cot.??
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Wed 08 Sep, 2021 9:51 am

Moondog55 wrote:Have you thought about adding a LW or UL cot.??


Moondog I didn't know such a thing existed. Just had a quick look though and at over a kilo I wouldn't be too keen! Also can't imagine how they'd go on uneven ground (on clumping grasses etc) and I'd be worried that the feet would damage the tent floor. Have you tried one?
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby slparker » Wed 08 Sep, 2021 10:36 am

Exped synmat UL is the bomb. warm, quiet and comfortable for a side sleeper with arthritis.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Drew » Wed 08 Sep, 2021 11:22 am

slparker wrote:Exped synmat UL is the bomb. warm, quiet and comfortable for a side sleeper with arthritis.


Hmm, lots of votes for the Exped. And there I was thinking they'd gone out of fashion. I think I'm going to have to wait until shops are open and I can try a few out. Might be waiting a while, but I'll be waiting even longer to go on a walk anywhere. :(
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 08 Sep, 2021 1:17 pm

I haven't tried any of the UL cots them such being well out of my price range but I find a sheet of cheap builders plastic is enough to protect the floor of my big tents
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Hiking Exped » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 12:48 pm

I have had four Expeds fail on me now, and was starting to think It was me. Last one popped on Bogong giving me a cold uncomfortable night. I always use a fold up closed cell underneath so none of them have popped due to stones, etc. They have all had baffle fail bunions or just split. I switched to sea to summit after the last one, (recommended by another old side sleeper) and liking the idea of the dual side inflation and resilience of the comfort plus, despite the bit of extra in weight. Used it about six times and very comfortable for a fidgeting old side sleeper like me. Warm enough for most nights in Oz with my closed cell underneath and a good down bag, but I’m about to buy a sea to summit Ether light for colder climates overseas. This does not have the resilience of the dual inflation, but the durability, comfort and quietness of these seem worth the extra grams so far. Best nights sleep I’ve had I think on an air bed in a tent. Worth a look.
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby andrewa » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 8:22 pm

Exped ultralight down mat….perfect.

Had 1 Exped fail on me, which was horrible, but fortunately only a weekend ski touring trip. The other 3 have been fine. As a side sleeper, I buy the short versions, which saves weight, as I’m not stretched out.

Love them.

A
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Re: Comfy, light, warm mat for side-sleepers

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Sat 16 Oct, 2021 9:38 am

As a side sleeper Nemo tensor Alpine is ridiculously warm, comfortable, no noise & at 555g is a tad heavy However my new additions cut weight (Stratospire Li and Mariposa pack)
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