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Sleeping mats

OZAJ

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have tried a few and most were comfortable and light but they were not very robust and suffered punctures.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have tried a few and most were comfortable and light but they were not very robust and suffered punctures.
For the Camino? Unless you plan to sleep outside or will be walking at times when overflow space is open (i.e., sleeping on the floor), a sleeping pad is not really needed. I’ve seen more of them discarded then ever put to use.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have tried a few and most were comfortable and light but they were not very robust and suffered punctures.

Which brands of air mattresses did you use?
 

Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
I have a Nemo tensor ultralight short mummy for backpacking that I’m happy with. I concur that there is no need for it on the Camino. A guy I was walking with carried a full size pad all the way to León, never once using it.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Is there some reason you want to take a sleeping mat?
That is one of the items I see discarded along the Camino more than any other
I see lots of pilgrims with sleeping pads strapped to their packs between SJPdP and Pamplona, and virtually none by Burgos. 😉
 

Pangloss

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata (2015)
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have tried a few and most were comfortable and light but they were not very robust and suffered punctures.
I bought a sleeping mat when I did Via de la Plata. 1000kms and it stayed in the bottom of my backpack all the way. I think you will find that you don't need one
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
I've managed 6,500kms of caminos without one up to now, and I've only ever had to sleep on a floor once, but I'm thinking in these very uncertain times... If I can find something lightweight and not too bulky, it might be a practical consideration for this autumn...
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
The smart Pilgrim would forego the sleeping mat, to start, and if by Logroños, start looking to pick one up free or comprar, very cheap from another Peregrino.
Disagree. THIS smart pilgrim has always carried one, from early solid foam (ridge rest) to Exped inflatables. I DONT use Albergues or beg, buy from other Pilgrims as I buy the best I can afford to begin with and have done since 2003 when I first started. My main reason is that I could only afford to travel for 30 days at a time due to health and wealth problems AND age.. I seldom booked a return flight and had to "wing it". :) The mat was a life saver on railway station floors, airport floors et al. Coming back to BRISTOL, before the new bus service kicked in, I often missed the last bus home and slept on the floor (airport) until the morning bus services recommenced. When next I re-equip for intended camino next year (to celebrate my 84 years) the mat will be a very high priority! :)

Buen Camino and good luck overall :)
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Disagree. THIS smart pilgrim has always carried one, from early solid foam (ridge rest) to Exped inflatables. I DONT use Albergues or beg, buy from other Pilgrims as I buy the best I can afford to begin with and have done since 2003 when I first started. My main reason is that I could only afford to travel for 30 days at a time due to health and wealth problems AND age.. I seldom booked a return flight and had to "wing it". :) The mat was a life saver on railway station floors, airport floors et al. Coming back to BRISTOL, before the new bus service kicked in, I often missed the last bus home and slept on the floor (airport) until the morning bus services recommenced. When next I re-equip for intended camino next year (to celebrate my 84 years) the mat will be a very high priority! :)

Buen Camino and good luck overall :)
Some of us need them, as stated, eloquently. Some do not need them. Others are not sure, as is our poster. My suggestion was to try without first, see if it is needed before deciding, nothing more.
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have a tried and tested Therm-a-Rest (made in Ireland) that has lasted for years, and which I use on non-hutted trails. It is shoulder to hip length.

It would never occur to me to take it on a camino.

When I have had to sleep outside (no room at the inn), with no mat, I have laid out everything underneath me (the cold comes up from underneath), crawled into my sleeping bag (I always take a sleeping bag, winter or summer), and covered that with my poncho or raincoat.

If it is really cold the extremely lightweight emergency space blanket comes out too.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Looks like OJAZ was walking caminos long before nearly all of the people who have responded to this thread. So I will side-step whether it's a useful thing to take on a camino or not.
TBH I wonder if there's much difference between inflatable mats when it comes to puncturing? If you are sleeping on a big thorn or a shard of glass it's probably going to puncture whatever the model. So then it's about having a little repair kit - and Thermarest are pretty good for that.
I've used a lot of the hi-tec ones over the years from Thermares, Exped etc. and never been fully convinced by any of them, especially the squeaky ones! Now I use either the Thermarest Z Sol solid mat, or otherwise my ~20 yr old 'self-inflating' Thermarest. The label proclaims it was made in Midleton Co. Cork - it's strong, well made and very quick to get up and down. And has never leaked yet. Weighs not many grams more than the latest x-lite models because it's 3/4 size. Very likely the same as Jill's (above)!
 

JLV

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I would be interested to learn of people's experience with and recommendations for lightweight sleeping mats.

I have tried a few and most were comfortable and light but they were not very robust and suffered punctures.
I watch Efren Gonzalez, He has done several caminos and mountain treks. He gets his equipment fro Zpacks.
They are not cheap however.
 

casario

New Member
Disagree. THIS smart pilgrim has always carried one, from early solid foam (ridge rest) to Exped inflatables. I DONT use Albergues or beg, buy from other Pilgrims as I buy the best I can afford to begin with and have done since 2003 when I first started. My main reason is that I could only afford to travel for 30 days at a time due to health and wealth problems AND age.. I seldom booked a return flight and had to "wing it". :) The mat was a life saver on railway station floors, airport floors et al. Coming back to BRISTOL, before the new bus service kicked in, I often missed the last bus home and slept on the floor (airport) until the morning bus services recommenced. When next I re-equip for intended camino next year (to celebrate my 84 years) the mat will be a very high priority! :)

Buen Camino and good luck overall :)
Buen Camino!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I agree that, normally, a sleeping pad is one of the most useless items you could take on your Camino. I also saw so many of them discarded, left behind in albergues.
However, I'm wondering if, due to the permanent closing of albergues due to Covid, and the reduced number of pilgrims allowed to stay in open albergues due to Covid retrictions, there might be a shortage of beds along the way and sleeping outdoors might be an unwanted, yet necessary, part of any Camino in the near future, especially with this year and next being declared Holy Years, when numbers normally skyrocket. . Any thoughts (sorry for the run-on sentence)? This has actually been in the back of my mind as I start preparing for my Camino next year.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Take one. Find the best, lightest most practical one you can afford. Yes, they take up some room and weight but in return they can give piece of mind that you are prepared to sack out on a floor somewhere, or even the covered front of a church etc if need be. You can walk relaxed. No worries about the insanity of Camino bed races. Especially now with the infrastructure not being 100% as it was pre-covid 19.
I do not know why people discard them. They are not that heavy, and many of the brands can be pricey. I suppose if one were on the fence about it, obtain a cheap one, bring it and donativo it if found useless.
Mine is a closed cell foam one from military days. We had a very vulgar nickname for them, lol. Not repeatable here.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Looks like OJAZ was walking caminos long before nearly all of the people who have responded to this thread. So I will side-step whether it's a useful thing to take on a camino or not.
TBH I wonder if there's much difference between inflatable mats when it comes to puncturing? If you are sleeping on a big thorn or a shard of glass it's probably going to puncture whatever the model. So then it's about having a little repair kit - and Thermarest are pretty good for that.
I've used a lot of the hi-tec ones over the years from Thermares, Exped etc. and never been fully convinced by any of them, especially the squeaky ones! Now I use either the Thermarest Z Sol solid mat, or otherwise my ~20 yr old 'self-inflating' Thermarest. The label proclaims it was made in Midleton Co. Cork - it's strong, well made and very quick to get up and down. And has never leaked yet. Weighs not many grams more than the latest x-lite models because it's 3/4 size. Very likely the same as Jill's (above)!

I got mine in the mid-80s.
It’s an Ultralight and I’ve never needed the little repair kit. 🤞🏼
I reckon it thinks it’s made of an ultralight kevlar … 😉


@jsalt

Those space blankets have such a good usefulness to weight ratio, don’t they?
 

Lexicos

Jimmy
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
At one albergue I slept on a wood bench and at another I slept in the yard on a concrete surface, with only my sleeping bag for comfort (it was summer both times). I slept well enough, better than I would have in the rooms filled with bunk beds and sleeping fellow pilgrims. Fatigue helps a lot but also there’s a bit of an art to it too, finding the right position on a hard surface.
I took a heap of things with me on my first Camino, the Frances. I ditched half of what I had in my back pack at Orisson on day one! Didn’t miss a thing thereafter.

A sleeping mat? I’ve never carried one. No matter what anyone says, try it in your test runs at home, if it works for you take it, if it doesn’t, leave it. Besides, you can always ditch it along the way or give it to someone else.
 
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