Camping Mat Tested: Klymit Inertia X-Frame (RRP £80)
Reviewer: Mick Ryan, UKC/UKH Advertising Manager and Senior Editor
What he was looking for: "I've been enjoying getting into fell racing recently, and with a bit more training will be looking to compete in a marathon. I was looking for something super lightweight and innovative..."
I was reminded of my Duke of Edinburgh award expeditions a few weeks ago on a wet and windy day in Langdale. There they were, a troop of teenagers trogging along the road weighted down with Vango tents, various pots, pans and meths stoves, leaky ponchos and those unwieldy spongy Karrimats dangling from their huge canvas rucksacks. They looked miserable. I joked in an evil way to them that they had miles to go and that the rain was only going to get worse.
I'd been there: bronze, silver and gold, on Dartmoor, in the Yorkshire Dales and in the Lakes; wet, cold, lost and miserable, looking like a tramp carrying all my wordly possessions. Feet sodden and blistered, lower back and shoulders sore from carrying far too much heavy gear and there was no relief when the tent was pitched and we were lying in a damp synthetic sleeping bag on a spongy wet karrimat in a pool of water. Our matches were sodden and we couldn't light the stove. The night was never ending, hunger ached at our bellies and sleep rarely came. Character building stuff.
"...A space age sleeping mat, it is a series of inflated connected tubes with big chunks missing. The theory here is called body mapping..."
Whilst outdoor gear technology has moved on considerably it seems that nearly 30 years on schools are still issuing the same kit as they did in the early 1980's. My pet hate was always the old foam Karrimat; it was bulky, hard to attach to an already over-packed rucksack and you could never get a good nights sleep on it. When I got my first inflatable sleeping mattress, a Therma-a-Rest, it was a revelation, I had my first comfortable night in a tent. The early Therma-a-Rests were bulky but the trade off was worth it for a good nights kip. Now you can get lighter models that pack small but none as small as the mat I was issued with for this review, the Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Mat.
A space age name for a space age sleeping mat, the Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Mat is an odd looking beast, it is a series of inflated connected tubes with big chunks missing. The theory here is called body mapping. The mat only gives support where you need it, at your bodies pressure points; your feet, calves, hips and buttocks, your upper back and shoulder and your head. This parred down designs explains why this mat is so light and fits into a stuff sack the size of a coke can.
It took four or five breaths to inflate to a comfortable pressure - normal inflatable mats because of their higher volume take 30 or so breathes, to inflate further you use a small hand bulb pump that is provided. It takes a minute to inflate fully. I spent two nights on the mat camping in the Duddon Valley last weekend. Did I have comfortable nights? Yes I did. This mat is incredibly comfortable. Using the hand pump you get a solid bouncy base that feels thicker than it actually is, about 4cm's. I start my nights on my back but like most people I will toss and turn. When on my side, in the recovery position, my hip, shoulder and legs were comfortable. I slept well.
The other important feature is what they call loft pockets - these are the spaces between the inflated tubes. In normal inflated mats you will compress the down in your sleeping bag flat against the inflated mat which will lose you some insulation. With the loft pockets (holes!) of the Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Mat much of the base of your sleeping bag is not compressed but drops into the spaces and maintains its loft and hence insulation.
I'm a smidgen over 5ft 10 inch, if you were taller this mat may be a touch small at 6ft in length to give you full coverage, width is 18 inches when inflated, ample for the average person. Klymit do do a larger mat, the Inertia XL for larger people
This is a preliminary review. My friend Greg Rimmer is taking the mat with him on next weeks Lowe-Alpine Mountain Marathon in Scotland to give it a thorough testing in real life conditions where lightweight kit really comes into its own. This really is a piece of gear that will be of great interest to the light and fast (or slow) brigade. Actually scrap that, this will be of interest to anyone who camps.
I'm a bit sad I have to pass this onto Greg. It's a revolutionary piece of gear, everyone I have shown it to has gone, Wow! At £80 is represents good value for money compared to other inflatable mats. Its light weight (301g or 10.6 oz with the bulb pump) and small packable size is incredible, and it is as comfortable as my reliable Therm-a-rest, if not more so. It is claimed to be robust too, with a ripstop 30 dernier top and 75 dernier bottom, with a burst pressure of over 10psi. Every DofE'er should be issued with one.
Klymit Inertia X-Frame
Weight: 258g without bulb pump
Inertia X-Frame review by Charlie Sproson - HERE
Sometimes you come across new products that give you a purple haze in your eyes, this little puppy is one of them... This is what Si Berry from Beta Climbing Designs just said to me on the phone. So I had a little look on the internet... I want one!!
We have stock of the Klymit Inertia X Frame Sleeping Mats and have them online. Si has been testing it out around Scotland for 5 days last week, and gives it the thumbs up and heads down, for a great nights sleep.
Do you enter Mountain Marathons? Do you travel Ultra Light? Do you Backpack across the wilds of Scotland? Do you just love kit? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, or even smile at them, then you need to get yourself one of these. They come in 2 shapes, one is a UL version, its the Inertia X Frame, and for those of you who want a little more padding and protection, then check out the Inertia XL Frame in black (coming later this month or in June). So there's one for him, and yes, one for her... here's what Klymit say about them, plus a couple of images to get you salivating..... drool drool....
At 258g the Inertia X Frame is the world's lightest, most compact, and most technically advanced camping pad available. Designed with body mapping technology it gives you support and comfort where you need it and not where you don’t.
The multiple award winning Inertia X Frame is the world's lightest, most compact, and most advanced full length camping pad available. Designed with body mapping research, it gives you support and comfort in all the key pressure zones, while eliminating unnecessary material to reduce weight and pack size.
Watch Demo Video
|Ideal for 3 season use, the Inertia X Frame rolls up to the size of a soda can, and takes only a few breaths to inflate. However, it still offers the adjustable comfort through the use of a dry air pump, which allows you to reach higher pressures than ordinary mouth-inflate pads.
Watch Durability Video
The cut out regions of the pad not only reduce the pad's bulk and weight, but is the basis for Klymit's patent pending loft pocket technology. Loft pockets allow the insulation on the bottom of sleeping bags to maintain loft and warmth beneath your body, where it would normally be compacted and useless, while promoting breathability. Built with ripstop 30d top and coated 75d bottom, the Inertia X Frame is also one of the toughest pads on the market with a burst pressure of over 10 psi.
Watch Why Body Mapping Video
Comes with stuff sack and bulb pump.
258g (9.1oz) without bulb pump
301g (10.6oz) woth bulb pump
Length: 1829mm (72in) inflated
Width: 457mm (18in) inflated
Height: 38mm (1.5in) inflated
Deflated: same size as a drinks can!
Top: Lightweight 30D Ripstop Nylon
Bottom: Durable 75 D Polyester
Chartreuse Neon Green with Charcoal Grey Base
Inflate with mouth or bulb pump (best for larger bodies!), can be used with argon pump for year round winter use