2021 Reviews

The Great Outdoors Mat

Folding Camping Mat Review TGO

The Great Outdoors Mat June 2021

The Lomo Folding Mat is tough, warm and inexpensive. There’s no need to blow it up. It can’t deflate and can’t be punctured, and it stands up to mistreatment. You can chop bits off it and it still works. Against that it’s very bulky and nowhere near as comfortable as an inflatable mat. The bulk is such that the easiest way to carry it is to strap it outside your pack. Happily, its toughness means it comes to no harm carried like this.

The mat has 14 closed cell foam panels that fold up for carrying. It can also be folded into a half-length double thickness mat for extra warmth and comfort, or even a quarter-length quadruple-thickness seat. The foam has an eggbox-like construction that adds comfort and warmth (pockets of air are trapped in the little spaces) compared to a flat foam pad. There’s also a silver coating on one side of the mat to reflect radiant heat back up to the sleeper.

Just how much difference to warmth the construction and the silver layer make it’s hard to say, but I’ve certainly found the mat warm enough on cold, wet ground. Indeed, I’ve used it under non-insulated airbeds on frozen ground or snow and stayed warm.

If you’re comfortable on a fairly thin firm pad this one could well be the only one you need for year-round camping. However, combining it with an airbed adds greatly to the comfort. Using the Lomo mat like this means you don’t need an insulated airbed and that if the latter gets a puncture you still have insulation under you.

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