Sleeping Mats: Alpkit Dozer & Little Kippa
I remember the days of carry-mats. Cheap, thin foam that, once you'd slept in it for a few nights, would compress to the thickness of a pound coin and offer very little in the way of comfort or insulation. At least they dried quickly I suppose.
Then came the Thermarest and its myriad of copies. Of course there has always been the trusty old lili or airbed, but they are not everybody's cups of tea.
The Dozer and Little Kippa from Alpkit are effectively Thermarest copies, but a whole lot cheaper!
They each sit at opposite ends of the spectrum on almost all counts. The Dozer is the biggest single mat I've ever seen, let alone had the priviledge of sleeping on, whilst the Little Kippa is the smallest. The former weighs in at nearly 2Kg, but covers at least half of a two person tent in a 7.5cm thick mattress! The downside as well as its weight is it's packed size (66cm by 18cm to 22cm depending on how much air you manage to expel). It also takes a surprisingly long time to blow up and has to be done with your mouth because of the twist-lock valves. Its volume is 87,750cm. Granted, if you open the valves and leave the internal foam cells to expand, suck in air and inflate itself, it takes less effort. In reality I've never found a self inflating mat to really do this as quickly as I like so I end up blowing them up. The upside is an ultra comfortable bed once you've got it blown up. Deflating is straightforward and doesn't take as long as you would expect for a mat of this size as it has two valves. I suppose if there were two of you, you could both blow up the mat simoultaneoulsy ;-). The bag it comes in is plenty big enough to get the rolled mat into as long as you expel enough air! It comes with its own puncture repair kit. Basically this is a car-boot camping or base camp sleeping mat, not something you would want to lug around on the back of your rucsack!
The LIttle Kippa is an absolutely tiny little thing designed fir kids, or for serious adventure runners obsessed with minimising their load. It weighs in at a mere 396g and has an inflated capacity of just 11,800 cubic cm. As a result it is extremely quick to blow up, very easy to pack up and carry - it's roughly the size of a toilet roll! - but doesn't offer much in the way of comfort compared to it's bigger brothers and sisters (Alpkit do a whole range of mats in between).
The biggest plus points to both mats is the cost. The Dozer is £60 whilst the Little Kippa a lowly £20. I particularly like the fact that the Little Kippa, which is primarily marketed as a children;s mat, is priced accordingly. I have two kids and it's painful paying adult prices for their miniature kit which a) they will grow out of quickly, and b) if they haven't grown out of it quickly, they will most likely wreck it soon after!
Both mats are available from Alpkit.
7.5cm thick, this is the most comfortable sleeping mat we make. It is so fat it needs two valves to help you squeeze all of the air out of it. Dozer is based on our Fat Airic mat with a few important improvements. We knew people looking at this mat would be interested in maximum comfort so we have changed the surface fabric to a heavier and luxurious soft touch, non slip peachy feel polyester. There have also been some changes in the construction, the foam is cored in a lateral direction through the mid section of the mat to increase warmth and support. In other areas we have die cut the foam to save weight, reduce pack size and decrease self-inflation time.
Weight (gr): 1918
Thickness (cm): 7.5
Real World Packed Weight (gr): 2009
Dimensions (cm): 195 x 60 x 7.5
Min Rolled size (cm): 66 x 18
Realistic Rolled size (cm): 66 x 22
75D Peached Polyester/ 75D Polyester base
Expected R-Value 7*
Repair kit included
A serious mat for adventurous kids and for parents who carry every thing, this pint-sized sleeping mat should lighten your load a little. Kids love camping out overnight in the hills, but sometimes their rucksacks are bigger then they are. In these cases mum or dad are going to have to make space in their own rucksack! Obviously these are already going to be overflowing with other essential stuff so a cheap foam mat is just not going to do. With this in mind we have designed the Little Kippa mat to be lighweight and made to the same high standard as our adult mats with die-cut foam and ripstop polyester for durability. You might find cheaper mats around but remember you pay for what you carry.
Weight (gr): 396
Thickness (cm): 2.5
Real World Packed Weight (gr) 412
Dimensions (cm): 118 x 40 x 2.5
Min Rolled size (cm): 24 x 7.5
Realistic Rolled size (cm): 24 x 10
75D Ripstop Polyester/ 75D Polyester base
Expected R Value 3*
Repair kit included