Chris Townsend tests out the latest sleeping mats best for the winter months. On test Mountain Warehouse Ultimate Self-inflating sleeping mat

This is the lowest cost mat tested but also the heaviest and bulkiest. Although reasonably thick it’s really only suitable for mild winter conditions as the cores in the foam go right through, leaving holes to conduct away warm air. It’s a self-inflating mat but like similar mats a few breaths are needed to fully inflate it.  Once inflated it’s quite firm, lacking the softness of air-filled mats, which may appeal to those who prefer a hard mattress (though air beds can be made fairly solid if required). I don’t find mats like this as comfortable as air beds and they don’t adapt to bumpy ground as well either. That said, it’s still far more comfortable than a closed cell foam pad.

Overall this Mountain Warehouse mat is an adequate three-season mat at a low price if weight and bulk aren’t important. For sleeping on snow I’d want to back it up with another mat such as a closed cell one though.

For another sleeping mat see here

Reviewed in January 2015 issue