A new review has been created: BCB Sleep-lite Folding Sleeping Mat
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The Sleep-Lite Folding Sleeping Mat is part of BCBs bivouac range. This is not the future soldier mat.
Folding sleeping mats have two main advantages over rolling and self inflating sleeping mats. The first advantage being pack-ability compared to the rolling mat. They compact right down without the need to have a hole in the middle and, when compared to an inflating mat, folding mats can be used to support bags but of course don't pack down as well. When fully folded up the mat measures about 515mm x 220mm x 70mm, which fits perfectly inside the newest Camelbak Motherlode.
Unlike other folding mats which either have no way to keep the mat secure when folded or use straps that must be tied every time, the Sleep-Lite uses elastic straps attached through strong plastic eyelets. This feature further emphasis's the second benefit of having a folding mat which is that they are the quickest type of mat to unpack and pack. The elastic straps take seconds to flick over and require no knot tying or tightening. The only issue i have had with the straps is that the joins on both straps seem to be very poor; one side has a hole in the middle of the join whilst the other strap has the fabric around the join damaged and is beginning to break. I suspect this is due to carelessness in the heating process of the join.
I recently used this mat on Strensall training area in Yorkshire. An issue with a previous folding sleeping mat that i had was that it slipped everywhere but the sleep-lite experiences none of this problem making it great for any surface and ideal as a seat when folded. In terms of thermal properties, the mat boasts ultra fine closed cell foam, which makes the mat have great thermal protection despite the mat being slightly thinner than the usual roll mat. In terms of comfort the mat is compression resistant making it is slightly less comfortable than a usual roll mat but not really noticeable.
The mat itself is 100% waterproof so there is no chance of the mat rotting due to moisture absorption or loss of thermal properties although the elastic straps do absorb water, which causes no issue other than being cold to the hands.
Foam sleeping mats often crumble around the edges after a short amount of use but i have yet to experience any breakages or crumbling with this one. The mat feels very durable to the hand and doesn't tear easily. But in terms of durability i did find the mat marks easily and on one side of my mat there are a few deep dents and crevices where items have been resting on it. On the other side there are very small pin prick like holes from where the mat was touching the floor when i was sleeping on it. These are probably from small stones. The mat has also deformed around the edges where the straps have been.
The mat comes in a yellowy olive green color, and it is the only color currently available.
Overall a very good folding roll mat that i would recommend to anyone looking for a new sleeping mat that doesn't want the price of a self inflating mat or has the need to pack up in an extreme hurry. It would have received 5/5 if it wasn't for the poor joining on the straps and the easy marking.
Read the full review here...
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