Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Mat
The short of it:
It took me a week to get used to sleeping on the Klymit Insulated Static V inflatable mat. At first I found it uncomfortable, but after making sure I filled it with air to maximum capacity, the mat transformed my camping nights into sweet dreams. Whether staying over at a friend’s house or in Australia’s Great Outback, the Klymit Insulated Static V inflatable mat is my go-to in sleeping comfort. It packs small, not much larger than a water bottle and weighs only 709g.
The long story:
When I rolled out the Klymit Insulated Static V inflatable mat, my first thought was: What were they thinking?
Flat and airless, the mat was over 2m long (216cm). It was not going to fit into my MSR Hubba Tent!
Disconcerted, I blew into the vertical protruding nozzle and watched amazed, as the mat shortened before my eyes, the cells filling with air, the mat becoming surprisingly thick. Inflated, the length was a more reasonable 183cm, the width a comfortable 58.4cm and thickness a chunky 6.5cm. The Klymit Insulated Static V mat is without doubt the thickest hiking mat I have ever slept on; deflated, it is the flattest, smallest mat I have ever hiked with; rolled up it is the size of a water bottle. I guess this has a lot to do with there being no foam inside, the insulation material laminated into the top and bottom skin.
Going the distance:
The nozzle is a bit of a worry. It is large and protrudes vertically from one corner. Although this does not impact on sleep comfort, when rolling the mat up for stowage I found the protrusion made for awkward packing and wondered if this arrangement would make it prone to leaks after extensive use. But then again, perhaps this is not a problem at all. Durability testing will come with time.
The first time I used the Klymit Insulated Static V mat was in a house on a tiled floor. Filled with air to maximum capacity, I applied pin point pressure with my knee and hand and could feel the hard surface of the floor, but once I lay down outstretched, contact with the floor was non-existent. In fact, there was a surreal sense of complete separation, even suspension.
Turning over I did feel a little unstable, the mat being so much higher off the ground than I was used to. With previous mats I have always felt very much in contact with the ground, protruding bones like hips and knees becoming painful points of interest through the nights on long range hikes over weeks and months.
This mat looked delicate and thinking I might have a blow out with my weight because I may have filled it with too much air, I quickly released some air which rushed out with startling force, requiring me to blow a few more puffs back in and seal.
My first night was not a comfortable one, my fault I must admit. I struggled to get comfortable, my bum falling into a hollow and making brief contact with the ground, my lower spine becoming sore with the awkward angle caused by the soft mattress. By morning I had developed a neck ache. Not a great start. The second time I used it I was again tossing and turning and very uncomfortable. This couldn’t be right.
The second week I tried something new. I filled the mat with air as close to maximum capacity as I could. This time I was hiking and camping in my little tent, the mat fitting snugly inside with space for my bow on one side and clubbing stick on the other. At my feet I had enough room to fit my leather boots toe to heel and at my head a small space for my Ribz (torso bag). At my head, on top of the mat, I placed my clothes bag to use as a pillow, the Ribz behind ensuring the pillow was not going anywhere, and lay down to rest, draping my sarong over as a sheet. I was in the Southern Kimberley in high summer with no need of a sleeping bag. The mat was firm with no part of my body making contact with the hard ground. I slept like a log. Great night!
From there on I always inflated the mat to maximum capacity and always had a very comfortable night’s sleep, the hard ground not even a consideration. What a pleasure.
The insulation qualities I must still check. Whilst camping on days with 40+C heat, the mat felt hot, but then the ground was radiating a massive amount of heat and I did feel as if I had descended into a slow cooker. Suffering from heat exhaustion at the time, I was exposed on a spinifex plain that had been baking in the sun all day. As a result, I got the impression that the mat did not protect me from the ground heat, the 30cm layer of air at ground level shockingly hot, the mat absorbing that heat and only cooling down as the temperatures dropped slightly into the night.
What will the insulation qualities of the Klymit Insulated Static V mat be like in desert winter nights of -5C?
This is what the Klymit website has to say:
‘Why are there cut outs?
The cut outs are called loft pockets. They increase warmth while decreasing weight. They also allow for a breathable pad on a hot summer night.
What are loft pockets and how do they work?
Loft pockets are the cut out portions of Klymit camping pads. They allow you to capture the warmth of your sleeping bag underneath you for the first time. Rather than having a big, heavy, bulky camping pad for warmth, Klymit pads give you more warmth at a miniscule weight.’
My own findings regarding cold insulation will have to wait until winter.
Comfort wise – I am extremely happy with the Klymit Insulated Static V mat. It is the best hiking mat I have ever slept on.