I wrote about this fairly extensively in my evaluation of the Exped Downmat 7 sleeping pad, however after I arrived in South Africa I shortly found that my third Exped sleeping mat had a brand new and main defect in it. I slept on the pad for the primary week of my bicycle tour throughout South Africa, however the defect was rising and I feared I might be capable to survive the subsequent month and a half of tenting on this sleeping pad with a serious bubble in the course of it.
So after I arrived in Beaufort West, South Africa (the primary ‘main’ metropolis I had seen since leaving Cape City), one of many few issues on my agenda was to discover a new sleeping pad. This, nevertheless, turned out to be harder than I imagined.
I had thought that with the Karoo Nationwide Park so near town and with a number of campgrounds close by, there could be no less than a number of tenting shops within the metropolis with an entire host of tents, sleeping baggage, sleeping pads and extra. However tenting on the bottom, it seems, shouldn’t be the best way that the majority South Africans camp. As an alternative, most people both keep in guesthouses or the actual tough ones will camp in RVs (which isn’t actually tenting). So there have been no tenting shops in Beaufort West.
I did, nevertheless, handle to discover a small looking/ATV/bike retailer that had a small sleeping pad on the market for under 150 Rand (about $16 USD). I purchased it and crossed my fingers that it might work.
The advantage of this explicit sleeping pad was that it was virtually the identical measurement because the Exped sleeping mat. The nozzle used the blow the factor up was smaller and extra like that of a pool toy, and I knew that this may make blowing the pad up and deflating it every day a small nightmare, however I crossed my fingers and hoped that it might get me via the remainder of my journey.
Sadly, the sleeping mat didn’t final. It labored properly for a few week, then it began to slowly lose air all through the evening. At first I must blow the mattress again up simply as soon as in the course of the nighttime. However after about two weeks of use, the mat would solely maintain air for about 30-40 minutes. I used to be capable of finding a small gap within the high of the mat at one level, and I did my finest to patch the opening, however that did little to cease the pad from leaking.
Ultimately, I changed the blue pool toy mattress with an affordable foam mattress than price even much less (solely 110 Rand) and it was this low-cost blue foam that I used to sleep on for the remainder of my time in South Africa. It was removed from snug (it felt like sleeping on cardboard), nevertheless it did present a small quantity of safety from the arduous floor and the chilly nights.
There are two issues I discovered from this expertise:
1. It makes a giant distinction when you have got a top quality sleeping pad. You sleep higher at evening and are higher shielded from the chilly.
2. South Africa, for some unusual motive, doesn’t promote any sort of high quality tenting gear. Not one of the cities I cycled via had something even near a top quality sleeping pad out there.
I have to discover a new sleeping pad for my travels now. Any suggestions?