Minimalist Family Camping

Thermarest NeoAir Venture Sleeping Mat

I am a mum on a mission to reduce the size and amount of my family’s camping equipment and needed to replace our old airbeds with smaller, lighter and, above all, warmer mattresses. While my kids are fine on their new 2.5cm basic self-inflating mattresses, I wanted just a little bit more luxury! Thermarest are the experts in compact mattresses, and over the years have perfected their range of insulated air-filled mattresses. While prices for Thermarests range from £50 to £150, this is at the lower end, only £58.50 from Go Outdoors.

I chose it for its tiny pack size (23 x 11cm) and it really is impressively small and light, ideal for back packers, but also a perfect addition to my minimalist grab’n’go car camping kit.

The NeoAir range feature a new ‘wave core’ internal construction which traps air inside in a series of small baffles and is incredibly insulating. As its not foam filled, when its deflated its completely flat and easy to roll back into the small bag provided. It needs to be blown up as its not self-inflating. However, it is quick to do so and the 5cm depth is extremely comfortable, even for side sleepers.

I found it to be seriously warm and didn’t need any other bedding at all, just my sleeping bag. The horizontal baffles gave great support and it was easy to adjust the firmness.

Pros: Incredibly warm, very comfortable, and nice tiny pack size.

Cons: Fairly narrow so easy to roll off when sleeping, however I’d rather it be narrow and pack small than wider and larger to pack. I developed a kind of shuffle for rolling over on one spot! Not self-inflating so does need to be blown up with a few good puffs.

Fabric: 75D Polyester

Length: 183cm

Packed Size: 23 x 11cm

Thickness: 5cm

Weight: 590g

Width: 51cm

Price: £58.50 from Go Outdoors

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