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Feb 07 2012

Do You Travel With a Self-Inflating Mat?

One item that doesn’t tend to get a mention when people talk about what to pack for a trip is a self-inflating mat.  It is probably because space is tight when you are packing for an extended travel experience.  It certainly isn’t the most important item to take but I was really glad that I had it with me when I was travelling.  I didn’t use it all the time but I was happy that I had it when I needed it on my RTW trip.

It is worth thinking about what you might do when you are away,  That will help you to determine if having some kind of self-inflating mat is worth taking.  I did that before I left.  I knew that I would be staying with people and might not have a bed or could end up sleeping in airports for the night before a flight.  I wanted to be able to do that but still be comfortable and get the best night’s sleep possible.  I find sleeping on hard surfaces really uncomfortable and hate waking up in the morning freezing from a cold floor so that is why I ended up buying and taking a self-inflating mat with me.

These are some of the times I used my Thermarest when I travelled the world:

  1. I placed it on a wooden board that was a poor excuse for a mattress and had a fab night’s sleep!

  2. I used it when there was no bed, which did happen a few times.  You’ll always find a piece of floor somewhere!

  3. Whilst camping in Western Australia and in Torres del Paine National Park.

  4. Whilst having a little picnic for myself on a rather rocky ferry crossing in New Zealand going from the North to South Island.  It was much better for me to sit on the floor of the ferry in comfort.


This is similar to my Thermarest and, yes, it is pink!  It was one of the only vaguely ‘girlie’ things I packed for my travels.

self-inflating mat, Sleeping mat, camping mat, camping, trekking, backpacking, travel

Thermarest Prolite

 Don’t worry fellas, there are more suitable mats for you too… see…

self-inflating mat, Sleeping mat, camping mat, camping, trekking, backpacking, travelMultimat – Adventure ‘Superlite Compact 25’

If you have company, you might prefer something like this… but don’t argue over who is going to carry it!

self-inflating mat, Sleeping mat, camping mat, camping, trekking, backpacking, travel

 Vango Adventure DLX Mat (Double 5 cm)

Do you travel with a self-inflating mat?  I’d love to hear from you!

Please note:  I will receive a small commission on any of the above products you purchase from Amazon.  I would like to thank you in advance if you do so.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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