HOW TO REPAIR YOUR SLEEPING MAT
Therm-A-Rest’s KEITH ERPS gives a few handy tips and recommendations for repairing your sleeping mat and keeping it in good condition.
An inflatable camping mattress pretty much has one job: to be airtight. If something causes the mattress not to be airtight, well then, you have a problem.
False Alarms | One thing that is usually not a leak at all is a mattress that seems to have lost pressure during the night. If it’s not flat, but not as full as you inflated it before bed, the problem can often be attributed to the loss of air pressure as your mattress cools. This is particularly true if you inflate your mattress by mouth. The air going in is warm and, as it cools to the ambient temperature, you can lose quite a bit of pressure, requiring you to put a few more breaths into your mattress. This is also the reason we say to partially deflate your mattress before you leave it in your tent for the day. A full mattress can actually burst from the extra pressure if it warms enough in a hot tent all day.
Therm-A-Rest Repair Kits | If you’re at home, Therm-A-Rest's Permanent Home Repair Kit can help you patch the puncture. Depending on the model of mattress, it may require sitting overnight. If you experience a puncture while out camping, hopefully, you’ve brought a Field Repair Kit with you. These kits are included with all of our NeoAir pads and easily slide into the included stuff sack.
Pro tip: Check your pad and the rest of your gear a few days before heading out. This can save a lot of hassle!
Find & Patch | Inflate your mattress as firm as you can get it with your breath. If you’re lucky, you might hear air escaping and you’ll be able to locate the puncture right away. If it’s not readily apparent where the leak is, you can either submerge the mattress fully in water (a tub at home, or a body of water nearby if you’re out in the wild) or you can use a wet soapy cloth to wipe the mattress. In all cases, you’re looking for bubbles to form, which will indicate where the air is escaping. In the case of a pinhole puncture that takes all night to leak out, it may take a while for bubbles to form, in some cases ten or more minutes. Patience is the most effective tool in the toolbox at this point.
One trick is to fold the mattress over on itself when submerging it or soaping it up. This will increase the internal pressure and hopefully force air through the hole a little quicker. Another method to try is to mentally break the surface down into smaller areas and go through one section at a time, slowly and meticulously. Flip the mat over and inspect the other side. Therm-A-Rest's repair techs follow these same procedures when they receive mattresses for repairs. At any rate, once the leak is found, follow the repair directions to patch that sucker up and you’re back in business.
Send To The Pros | If you have tried everything, or your mattress damage is significantly more than you want to take on, you can bring your mattress to your local Tiso store. If the problem is covered under the Limited Lifetime Warranty, Therm-A-Rest will repair or replace your mattress at their discretion. If the repairs are not covered by the warranty, Tiso can send your mattress to Therm-A-Rest for a chargeable repair. Ask in store for more information.
Look After Your Mat | Keeping your mattress clean is vital to its longevity. For folks on long-term camping trips, body oils, insect repellents and suntan lotion can all contribute to the breakdown of the laminates that bond the external fabrics to the internal components. Using a sheet on the mattress and cleaning it regularly will help you get the most out of your mattress.
Thermarest are the original pioneers of portable inflatable sleeping mats, and it shows. For the best quality and super design, look no further. Here's our top Thermarest picks from our range.
Thermarest NeoAir Venture | £80 | A simple, classic design that has proven its worth on numerous expeditions. At only 0.56kg and packing down to just bigger than a tin of soup, the NeoAir is the becnhmark inflatable camping mat.
Thermarest ProLite Apex | £125 | Based on the original self-inflating concept, the ProLite offers fantastic warmth to weight. The expanding foam increases comfort and warmth for a great night's sleep.
Thermarest NeoAir XLite | £160 | The pinnacle of lightweight. In a package of just 350g you get softer fabrics for next-to-skin comfort, 6cm of cushioning and reflective technology to keep the heat in.
Thermarest NeoAir XTherm | £195 | The warmest pure air matress ever made. Reflective technology make this a real 4-season mat, yet with the pack size and weight of a summer pad. Quite simply brilliant.
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