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Mattress Guide

Which Mattress Would Be Best For My Adventures?

Your sleeping system is an essential factor to consider when packing for a trip in the outdoors. Selecting the correct mattress can make all the difference to your sleep in the effectivity of your sleeping bag, packing space, weight and overall comfort.

This selection is dependent on a variety of factors, all being catered for by our range of mattresses and pillows.
Used in combination with our sleeping bags, the perfect sleeping system is at your fingertips with this guide.

Let's get started!

By answering the below questions to ensure you understand what type of mattress you need for your next adventure.

Air Mattresses
These are generally lightweight and compact, catering for those who need space, or who are conscious about their packs weight. They are ideal for long, multiday treks, or the lightweight enthusiast looking to be quick on their feet.

If these are inflated with your breath, moisture can diminish the products lifespan, making it important store these vertically and unravelled, with the valve at the bottom and open, to allow the moisture to leave the system.

These are also best used by putting them inside your sleeping bag, as their lightweight fabrics are often prone to punctures from rough surfaces. Luckily, our range offers a contoured shape to fit perfectly across our range of sleeping bags.


Self Inflating Mattresses
Internal foam that expands once opening the valves, offers excellent insulation. This means that they are often less compact, in addition to being made with stronger fabrics. Ultimately, what you sacrifice with weight and space, is made up for with comfort and durability.

These are designed to be used outside, underneath your sleeping pad, and are great to be paired with our Contour sleeping pad, for additional insulation and protection.
If your breath is used to inflate, moisture can get trapped between the foams cells, causing them to lose their loft. Therefore, it is important to store these vertically with the valve open, and facing down to maintain the integrity and inflation power of your mattress. Only roll them up when packing for your trip, and avoid leaving them in direct sunlight.


Closed Cell Foam Mattresses
These are often inexpensive, durable and lightweight. They generally don’t offer as much comfort as inflatable mattresses, but are more versatile and durable.

Our Contour sleeping pad is the perfect addition to your sleeping system. Its dimple design traps heat, and suspends you further off the ground. It’s ideal to put underneath your inflatable mattress (great for colder climates, and to increase the inflatable’s lifespan), to simply use as a seat around camp, or when taking a break on the trail.

Multiday minimalist
Here, your focus would be on packing your bag with essentials, taking only what you really need. This usually entails a focus on compact and packable gear, and in this case, your mattress is no different.

Backpacking/Bike Packing
Here, there is generally lesser focus on being light, but keeping it in mind as to avoid overloading you bag/bike. Here, a lightweight self-inflating matt is the perfect choice, and can be combined with a closed cell matt for added comfort, and insulation.

Car Camping
When unpacking directly from your car to your campsite, there is little worry about weight or space. Here, comfort is an essential factor, meaning your focus will be more towards heavier, denser and wider mattresses. Of course, the back of your car or trailer can take a lot more gear than your backpack, so why hold back? Also, your tent will generally be bigger, allowing you more space for a wider mattress, pillows and storage space for the rest of your gear.

R – Values
The R-Value is a measure of resistance to the flow of heat through a given thickness of a material. In layman’s terms, this is determined by the level of insulation that is offered by a materiel. Generally, thicker materials will have higher R-values, as they would offer more insulation. In saying this, the denser a materiel, the more weight it will have, meaning that your research on the environment and conditions are imperative to selecting a mattress that will suit your needs.

In colder climates, you’ll want a mattress with a higher R-Value, and vice versa for warm climates.

Length and Width
The length and width of your mattress should fit comfortably in your tent, and match that of your body and sleeping bag.
It’s always a good idea to test your mattress before taking on a trip, to ensure you have the correct length and width for your trip requirements.

Shape
The shape of each mattress is designed for purpose. An example here are the First Ascent UL Insulated Mattresses and Aero 5.5 mattress. Their tapered shapes and rectangular baffle construction make them perfect to put inside your sleeping bag. This both keeps you on you mattress when you sleep, but also protects you mattress from any sharp objects it might encounter if it was placed outside.

The First Ascent Ultralight self-inflatable and Comfort light self–inflatable mattresses are best used outside the sleeping bag, with, or without a foam pad underneath.

On the more bulky end of the spectrum is the Dream Deluxe, which has a rectangular shape, which is wide and thick. This is designed to be placed in your tent, and offers as much comfort as any outdoor camping experience allows.

Dream Deluxe

Self-inflating Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Car Camping

Weight
Foam thickness
2.7 kg
7/10 cm
Dimensions
Packed size
196 x 65 x 7/10 cm
64 x 19 cm

The Dream Deluxe Camping Mattress offers the ultimate in outdoor camping comfort. This self-inflating mattress has an integrated pillow that adds unmatched comfort, while the lightweight, easy self-inflating system saves you time and effort. Patented design valves ensure no slow leaks during the night, while the anti-bacterial treatment offers additional hygiene protection for those multi-day adventures. The ideal sleeping companion for any overnight adventure.

Ultralight

Self-inflating Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Hiking / Backpacking / Bike Packing

Weight
Foam thickness
0.62 kg
2.5 cm
Dimensions
Packed size
183 x 57 x 2.5 cm
30 x 16 cm

The Ultralight Mattress is one of the lightest self-inflatable mattresses in the First Ascent range. Ideal for the hiker who wants to pack light, but still wants to have a good night's rest. This mattress sports a contoured design that expertly moulds to the shape of your body, while the differential die-cut foam saves weight on your travels. The ultra compact design makes this one of the easiest items to pack up and go, so you can focus on making the most of your adventure after a good night's rest.

Comfort Light

Self-inflating Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Hiking / Backpacking / Bike Packing

Weight
Foam thickness
0.81 kg
3.8 cm
Dimensions
Packed size
183 x 57 x 3.8 cm
30 x 16 cm

The First Ascent Comfort Light Mattress is the ideal overnight companion for your next camping getaway. This trekking mat offers 3.8cm of superior padding that will ensure ultimate comfort when tucking in under the stars. The full length contour design expertly moulds to the shape of your body, for a more comfortable feel, while the extra thick foam increases insulation so you never go to sleep cold again. Integrated pillow attachments offer improved comfort and versatility, while the lightweight design won't take up unnecessary space or weight on your travels.

Aero 5.5

Air Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Hiking / Multiday Minimalist

Weight
R-Rating
0.41 kg
1.3
Dimensions
Packed size
189 x 54 x 5.5 cm
17 x 10 cm

The Aero 5.5 Lightweight Mattress weighs an impressive 410g as the name suggests and offers unparalleled comfort for those night's spent under the stars. The aero pocket design adapts to the shape of your body and movement, the perfect combination for any tired hiker after a long day of adventuring. When stored, the Aero 5.5 Mattress is extremely compact and lightweight, to leave enough space for other essentials. Make your next overnight camping trip one to remember with this essential item.

Ultralight Insulated

Air Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Hiking / Multiday Minimalist

Weight
R-Rating
0.46 kg
3
Dimensions
Packed size
180 x 50 x 3.2cm
16 x 12cm

This lightweight mattress is designed to keep you comfortable as well as insulated on cold nights with its Thermofibre technology that assists in retaining body heat. Compact, durable and easy to inflate and deflate, this mattress is the ideal overnight companion to ensure a good night’s rest during all four seasons. Its packability and lightweight design also means no hassles or added weight on a multi-day hike.

Contour Sleeping Pad

Closed Cell Foam Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Multiday Minimalist

Weight
Foam thickness
0.57 kg
2 cm
Dimensions
Packed size
184 x 56 x 13 cm
56 x 13 x 12.5 cm

The Contour sleeping pad is a light, compact closed-cell mattresses featuring a accordion-style shape with heat-trapping dimples. Wherever you’re headed, the Contour sleeping pad is the right choice for ultralight warmth, durability and comfort.

Supreme

Self-inflating Mattress

Ideal For

Camping / Car Camping

Weight
Foam thickness
2.73 kg
7.6 cm
Dimensions
Packed size
198 x 76 x 7.6 cm
76 x 23 cm

Never miss a restful night's sleep under the stars with the self-inflating Supreme Camping Mattress. With more than enough length, width and thickness, this mattress will make you feel at home, no matter where your camping adventures may take you. Effortless to set up with its patented self-inflating valves, this mattress saves you time and energy, so you can focus on making the best of your time outdoors. The soft touch feel along with the anti-bacterial treatment will see to it that you never miss your own bed again.

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