An excuse to lie down on the job, as if I needed one.

I ventured out to Grand Anaconda Father’s Day sale last Friday night at Fyshwick. Every time I went by the sausage sizzle table, I got sorry mate just run out, be more in a few minutes. Three times this happened (bastards, it’s all a conspiracy against me).  Anyhow, been thinking about what type/sort of sleeping mat to buy for the Nullarbor trip, there so many makes and models to choose from. I was originally favouring the Synmat’s range of UL 9 and UL 7 mats but these type of items I like to actually see and feel in person to check their toughness and comfort and not be swayed by someone’s else opinion and photos and some Retail websites well their information is limited to company specifications which in some cases errs on their side.

Anyway back to my Abe Simpson type of story telling, whilst meandering around the aisles, tables and racks at Anaconda, I came to their sleeping mat area (not very big, had a total of three different brands, but only two were in stock, the 3rd was on special but no where in sight) I had narrowed my choice down to either the Black Wolf Standard (full was $179) or Standard 3/4 (was $120.99) but not on special and the ‘helpful man’ couldn’t tell when they would be on sale (head office doesn’t tell us in advance any more) or the Denali Slimline full length on sale at $72 (down from $119).

One thing in Anaconda’s favour is that each of their mats are actually on display so you compare them in real life. After much humming and harring, I went with the Denali slimline mat, due to price at the time ($62 with $10 voucher), it seemed ok to lay on in the store and the size and weight of the mat.  While the Synmat was my favourite for a while, I couldn’t justify gambling on a mat they may not be good for the job after some of the reviews I had read on them although not all reviews had the same problems. The Synmat are expensive plus add postage on top, and Thermarest mats, well their prices are outrageous no matter how their fanbois rave about them.  Even the missing 3rd brand was missing from the display area.

Haven’t slept on the Denali yet, but have unfolded it for overnight to let it inflate and what not according to their instructions and it actually rolls back up to a similar size that it was in the store. If it is deemed to be too thin, I can always buy a foam roll which weigh next to nothing and shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to carry about on the bike.

Time for some company literature on said item:

The Denali Slimline Wave Hike Mat is a lightweight self inflating mat that is perfect for your trekking or hiking adventures or crazy bicycle touring ideas! After a long day on foot all you want to do is have a lie down. This matt includes a waterproof carry bag, ensuring you’ll have a dry nights sleep even if you’ve walked around in the rain all day. It’s light and easy to carry around while on your trek or hike in the great outdoors.
Features

  • Unique wave design for lower back support
  • Lightweight self inflating hike mat
  • Diamond TPU coated 75D rip-stop polyester top (techo jargon)
  • 75D polyester non-slip moon dot base
  • Waterproof dry sack carry bag included
  • Repair kit is provided (a whole 100 x 100mm patch and 1 tube of glue)

Specifications from the Anaconda Website:

  • Material: Diamond TPU coated 75D rip-stop polyester top, 75D polyester non-slip moon dot base
  • Fill: 19 kg/m3 foam
  • Dimensions: 180 x 57 x 4 cm
  • Stuff/ rolled size: 32 x 18 x 18 cm
  • Weight: 1.22 kg (the plastic bag states 0.990 kg)
  • Primary activity(s): Hiking or trekking
  • Warranty: 2 year

I think Denali must be an in-house brand for the Anaconda stores as I haven’t seen it in any other camping shops in Canberra, plus when I search on Denali Slimline the first ten pages are all Anaconda links.  I have no idea what TPU 75D polyester is and google doesn’t shed much light on it.

The instructions state to open the valve for the first time and leave it open for 6-8 hours to let the foam return to its natural height.  With the valve closed, the mat is a bit thin, but a few breaths and it inflates to its claimed 40mm height and is quite comfortable although I am lying on the carpeted floor inside.  After a few breaths you feel like having a lie down in any case with head spins.

When I actually roll it up again I’ll weigh it and see who is correct about the weight.  Added 25 Aug, The mat weighs in just over 1 kilo (1065 grams). Should have weighed the bag as is when I got it home after unpacking, inflating, re-rolling it back to original size. This weight is not including the carry bag (300 grams).

P.S. This model only comes in this colour