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Advantages and disadvantages of the three major types of sleeping mats

Update:07-07-2021
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If you have seen scenes or pictures of firefighters goi […]

If you have seen scenes or pictures of firefighters going to the scene of "jumping off a building" for first aid, you will understand what an inflatable cushion is. The outdoor inflatable cushion is a reduced version of the fire-fighting cushion. Because it is inflated, it can be made soft and comfortable. At the same time, it locks the air and it also obtains a high R value. The advantages and disadvantages of inflatable cushions are obvious: advantages
When not inflated, the storage volume is small, the weight is light, and it is easy to carry.
The R value ranges from 2 to 7, applicable to various scenarios.
Disadvantage
Use requires aeration operation, once it is punctured and leaks, it will become waste in seconds.
The structure of the inflatable bag is not completely strong, and the damage of part of the internal connection will cause the air cushion to bulge and affect the use.
Inflate, make small to big.
There are so many models of inflatable cushions, and the price is also heaven and earth. From more than 100 yuan to 1000+, there is a dazzling array. The same question, where is the expensive inflatable cushion?
Airbag structure
Blow a plastic bag and it will turn into a ball. However, the inflatable cushion needs to be inflated to form a flat cushion, so there must be countless compartments in the middle, which lock the air to keep warm, and also stabilize the structure of the inflatable cushion. The pros and cons of these structures are inconclusive, but the more complex the structure, the higher the cost.
Tube-the most classic airbag structure, the disadvantage is that it may slide when turning over while sleeping, causing the cushion to separate. The air cushion products of the famous American sleeping pad manufacturer TAR basically adopt this structure, and TAR has made many improvements in this structure.
Vertical tube-the problem of side-slip has been alleviated, but if the user is sleeping on the side, the gap will be pressed down, and the comfort will be reduced. The Swiss brand EXPED has such a design throughout the entire line, and this type of standpipe is actually simpler in structure.
Honeycomb-the airbag structure most like a household bed, with improved comfort
Skeleton-a newer idea. When the structure is formed, leave enough space to allow the air to directly insulate it. The principle is a bit like a bed frame. This is KLymit's exclusive design.
Stuffing
Due to the existence of microconvection in the airbag, it is difficult to achieve a high R value by closing the airbag alone. At this time, adding thermal insulation fillers in the airbag is the only way. While various fillers improve the thermal insulation performance of the inflatable cushion, the cost also increases. Down/rayon-Fill the airbag with thermal insulation to improve thermal performance, but increase the weight.
Each airway is filled with a fluffy layer of artificial cotton, which greatly improves the warmth retention performance
Aluminum film sandwich-aluminum film is added to the middle of the upper and lower airbags to reflect the heat radiation of the human body and improve the thermal performance.
Inflatable process
If you have blown through the swimming ring, you must have experienced the panting and red-faced state after blowing full air. If the inflatable cushion is so inflated, it is an unfriendly experience outdoors.
Manufacturers have worked hard on the inflation valve and developed a variety of patented designs. The purpose is very simple, making the air intake easy and pleasant. The traditional cylindrical air nozzle, the inflatable valve of the last era, needs to be blown with the mouth, and the saliva will always be stored in the cushion if it is accidentally.
Although it can also be compatible with some inflatable mercury, the biggest problem is that it is not one-way when inflated. Once the pressure in the cushion is high, inflation becomes very difficult.
Large opening air nozzle-the mainstream design of the mid-to-high-end air cushion inflation valve on the market at this stage, the air intake/deflation is faster, and the air bag can be used for portable inflation. At the same time, one-way ventilation is realized.
Multi-channel secondary valve-multiple one-way valve dogs are constructed inside the air cushion, which can minimize the inflation resistance and achieve rapid inflation
Inflatable bag-Although electric inflatable mercury effectively solves the dilemma of laborious mouth blowing, it has an extra weight of more than 100 grams. The inflatable bag is more reasonable and easy to inflate. It can also be used as a storage bag.
Inflatable cushions can find a balance between warmth and lightweight (light weight and small size), but the biggest disadvantage is durability. Many outdoor players have the experience of air cushions being pierced by unknown objects. Although the air cushion can be used to repair the stickers, but Finding leaks is a hassle, and there are even situations where there are no leaks but "leaking yin air", which makes people a headache.
Because of the ubiquitous air leakage problem, manufacturers will give away air cushion repair stickers.
So is there a sleeping pad that is small in size and not afraid of puncture? The answer is no.
The third type of "self-inflating cushion" to be introduced is not such a product, it is just a compromise design of the first two sleeping cushions.
Self-inflating mats
Self-inflating mats is not a black technology, it just uses the inhalation and expansion capacity of open-cell foam to prop up the shape of the sleeping cushion. Its history is actually earlier than that of pure inflatable cushions, and its technology integration is not as good as pure inflatable cushions. Its advantages and disadvantages are as follows:
Since a large amount of open-cell foam is added to the structure of the inflatable cushion, it can effectively keep warm and provide excellent comfort.
It is relatively convenient to expand on its own.
After being accidentally pierced, it still has good thermal performance.
The open-cell foam can be compressed, so the volume is relatively small when stored.
Disadvantage
Heavy weight, larger storage volume than air cushion
Under the same weight, the warmth retention performance is lower than that of foam cushions and pure inflatable cushions. The so-called "warm-to-weight ratio" is low. This point offsets the other advantages of the self-inflating cushion to a large extent.
This is a fast release, generally it takes 10-30 minutes to fully support it. Picture source: REI
After fully understanding the advantages, disadvantages and design of the three major types of sleeping mats, you can choose to use them.

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