Thermarest have been improving a number of their mattresses for this season, here’s a run through of what they’ve done.
They’ve taken the popular lightweight luxurious mat and added their new Speed Valve technology. This makes the mat 2-3 times quicker to inflate without a pump as the Speed Valve uses Bernoulli’s Principle of fluid dynamics which, put simply, means that every breath pulls in surrounding air molecules to amplify the airflow and inflate the mattress faster and with less effort than with traditional valves. We’ve tried it out at Facewest and it definitely works, though with the larger sized mats it still takes quite a lot of breaths to inflate so I’d still recommend a pump if you’re going to be inflating and deflating it a lot. It’s definitely quicker to deflate – almost instant. For more information on the SpeedValve check out what Thermarest have to say about it - http://www.thermarest-speedvalve.com/eu.
Thermarest have taken their best value camp & comfort mat and made it lighter and less bulky, though this is at the cost of warmth. The AF stands for AirFrame, which essentially means that rather than having foam throughout the mat it now alternates with channels of foam and air. The original BaseCamp is still available and is still a great value mat for cooler conditions, the new BaseCamp AF gives you a lighter weight summer version without losing any comfort. Plus it’s the same price as the original!
The Evolite was only released last year, but already Thermarest have created a new version, this time with added ThermaCapture technology, which they originally designed for use in their NeoAir range of non self inflating mats. The ThermaCapture technology works by having reflective layers inside the mat which trap body heat. As a result the new EvoLite plus takes the advantages of the original EvoLite and makes it a great lightweight 3 season mattress.
Not a new mat, but brought back due to popular demand. It’s not small and it’s not light but it is definitely comfy. It’s a 3 layer mat with an outer soft, machine washable cover, a layer of foam and a 6.3cm self inflating mattress. If space and weight are not an issue then this mat brings serious warmth and comfort to the campsite.
The largest Self Inflating mat from Thermarest has been improved. It’s been redesigned to give it vertical sidewalls, this means that it remains much more stable when lying near to one of the edges. In fact Thermarest say that it has increased the useable area of the mattress by 20%, it also means that it will work much better when used as a pair as their won’t be the space between the mattresses to roll into.
Only small changes have been made to the LuxuryMap, the only mat to feature Pressure Mapping Technology. It’s been given a new soft stretch knit outer fabric for more comfort. They’ve also added a carry handle to the stuff sac so carrying into camp is easier. Not much, but a few little bits to make this mat even better.