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Vango Trek Compact self-inflating sleeping mat

Some people can sleep on hard ground without issue, I on the other hand despite years of camping experience still need something soft to take away the pressures of the day and am unashamed to admit I need the comfort of a proper mattress! I also find that I'm much happier to commune with nature and suffer any poor weather better after a good nights sleep compared one interrupted by stones and other such lumps!

We've used foam roll mats in the past and although we agree that they're extremely comfortable and conveniently lightweight, they are unfortunately just too bulky to pack away anywhere on the motorbike! An inflating mattress was clearly the answer though they can be a lot heavier so it really is a personal decision to be made - something of a trade off between the overall size and thickness and it's packed down size and weight. After much deliberation we decided that we could both do without padding for our feet and so could enjoy a thicker mattress to cushion the bits that matter!

Instead of individual sleeping bags we share one cosy double, however double lightweight mattresses are a tricky find so our mattresses are individual. We also figured that even if we managed to push two nice square edged mattresses together, by morning there was bound to be a gap between them so we went with the ones likely to provide greater individual comfort.

Vango make a wide range of different mattresses, the Trek range being the current lightweight models and available in regular, long, small and compact sizes. We personally decided on the compact size as it allowed us an almost full length mat, and through it's clever tapered design saves a good deal of weight. The compact models weigh a mere 860g each and pack down to a tidy 27 x 16cm. Inflated they give you 160 x 51 x 3cm of mattress, enough to provide padding from your head to below your knees. 

The self inflating mattresses contain foam in a network of diamond patterns to hold their shape and avoid the bounciness you get with regular inflating mattresses. Vango recommends leaving the mats to open gradually by themselves, as forcing extra air in can damage the inside layers and may lead to it bursting. Simply open the valve, throw the mattress into place inside your tent and return later to close the valve off again and seal in the precious air.

They inflate nicely, are easy to roll up again when packing up and come with their own little stuff sack each. I won't lie and tell you that it's like sleeping in your bed at home – it's not! That being said I wouldn't expect it to be since it's only 3cm thick, but judging by some of the Amazon reviews people seem to expect some kind of miracle! The Vango mattresses do what you would expect from such a thin and lightweight mat, they provide some padding to where it matters, the spine and hips, and help to insulate you from the cold of the ground. Despite some remaining pressure points, they've allowed us to enjoy many a peaceful nights sleep and fit nicely into our motorcycle panniers.

See below for the link to find on Amazon.  

Buy a Vango mat on Amazon now! 

only £20.04

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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