As a brand Thermarest are pretty innovative and for spring 2020 they have come up with two new valve systems for their sleeping mat range. The Winglock and Twinlock valves replace their original valves which, aside from changing from brass to plastic, have been on their mats since 1972.
Their aim with the two new valves was to stick to their already tried and tested formula by keeping the valves tough so they stand up to the abuse of camping outside and also making inflating and deflating their mats faster and easier. They have also kept their ethos of making the valves replaceable in the field which is great for the longevity of the mat.
The Winglock valves can be found on all sleeping mats in the Fast & Light and Trek & Travel range., with the exceptions of the NeoAir Topo Luxe. This new valve has two parts to it; the inner valve is used for inflation and the outer wings are used for deflation.
The inflation part to the valve has been increased in size allowing a greater volume of air to pass into the mat, reducing the time it takes to inflate your mat. A one way valve has also been added which stops the air rushing out during inflation.
The trademarked Wings on the outer part of the vale are unique, when turned they open up the diaphragm on the one way valve allowing the air to be dumped out making deflation much easier. This is especially great on mats such as the NeoAir range where before emptying the mat of air could take quite a bit of time.
Twin Lock Valves
The new Twin Lock valves can be found and all of the Camp and Comfort sleeping mats, and the NeoAir Topo Luxe. The Twin lock valve utilizes two separate valves, the first valve is for inflation and as with the Winglock has a diaphragm on the inside to create a one way valve. The second is a simple wide opening dump valve for which is used for deflation. The large dump valve is especially useful on the large mats.
Thermarest have also added a couple of useful items to their range that help inflate your mats.
Thermarest NeoAir Micro Pump
The Thermarest NeoAir Micro Pump is a battery operated pump. The pump is designed so that it not only inflates your NeoAir mat but deflates it too.It runs on 2 x AAA batteries and will do approximately 25 inflation’s.
Thermarest NeoAir BlockerLite Pump Sack.
All the NeoAir sleeping mats come with a pump sack included, however it doesn’t have taped seams and is not water proof. The 20 Liter BlockerLite pump sack is a completely waterproof dry sack with taped seam. Using a pumpsack is much easier than using your mouth and also stop you breathing damp air into your mat.