We have been a big fan of Therm-a-rest sleeping mats for a number of years and between Gill and I we own four of them. To help us celebrate our second birthday the Australian Therm-a-rest supplier has generously provided us with a Them-a-rest Trail King SV Sleeping Mat (1 only) valued at $299.95 AUD.
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Rating: 7.1 / 10
Value for Money 1.4
Recently I had the opportunity to try out the Therm-a-rest Trail King SV Sleeping Mat and I given that I have been using a Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite I wasn’t sure how this particular mat would perform. My trepidation was based on this being a low R-valve, high weight mat, that took up considerably more space in comparison to my existing mat.
The mat is definitly on the heavier end of the sleeping mat scale weighing in at 830 grams in addition to its fused lofting which makes this a bulkier mat when packed that is more the size of a sleeping bag. When compared to the very compact Therm-arest NeoAir XLite or the larger Thermarest Xlite All Season SV (see image below) you definitely notice the size.
The most obvious difference on this sleeping mat is the speed valve inflation system. Instead of blowing into a small valve system you initially wave the matt a few times which fills up a lot of the air need. You then exhale into a larger opening from about 150mm (6″) away which greatly reduces the strain on the lungs. I’ve read reviews on the internet complaining of a leaking issue with the speed valve but I didn’t find that this was an issue for me at all. Loss of air can be a generic issue with all inflatable mats. Thermarest have a great video on their website that talks you through the process and also states that if you don’t follow the instructions that there can be leaks. Five days later this mat is still fully inflated and while it has lost some air it’s hard to pick.
I find that with the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite I take about 25 breaths to inflate it and I’m a bit lightheaded by the end of it; I need a mat to lay down on by that stage! The speed valve system fills the mat to almost its capacity with far less breaths (7 breaths though the speed valve) and any last minute fine tuning just needs four(4) extra breaths into the small side valve to get just that right tension on the mat. Most people may not need to last bit of fine tuning but I like a fairly firm mattress so this worked well for me.
This mat feels comfortable to lay on and out of all the inflatable Therm-a-rest mats I have tried so far this is without a doubt the quietest. There still is some noise but its very minor and I don’t think it would be possible to make a mat any quieter than this one.
The Trail King has a different construction to a lot of Therm-a-rests lighter weight mats and as such feels fairly stable across the full width. I didn’t feel like there were any soft edges which is one of the criticisms levelled at the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite.
This mat was very comfortable to sleep on but doesn’t have a lot of insulation properties only having an R-value of 1.8 which essentially means that it is a three season mat only. If you camp in winter or are a cold sleeper then this may be an issue. I found the pad size was fine for my 188 cm, 95kg frame.
Where this mat makes up ground is in the pricing sitting at around $299 at the time of this review which makes it one of the cheaper Therm-a-rest inflatable mats. There are however a number of other mats available on the market that have a higher R-value, cheaper price, and less weight but I can’t speak to the comfort level, or the noise level of those.
Due to my focus on reducing weight this sleeping mat is not likely to replace my Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite anytime soon as my main hiking mat and if given a choice for car camping I would still prefer to use the Therm-a-rest NeoAir All Season SV Regular Sleeping Mat even at the dearer price. This would however be a great car camping mat and one that i would gladly swap out my lighter mat for a quieter more comfortable sleep.
Overall the mat is a robust, comfortable, stable sleeping mat and one that I would be happy to use in the circumstances where weight and bush are not an issue.
These mats are also available in many specialty stores
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If you have used the Therm-a-rest Trail King Sleeping Mat or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or questions below
$299.95 AUD. Keep an eye out for the regular sales that occur and you may get a great deal
Therm-a-rest make a large range of sleeping pads however the following are in the same range and provide alternatives depending on your needs:
Therm-a-rest Trail King Sleeping pad inflated
The above three sleeping pads are a similar sizes. The speed valves on the bottom two mats (Thermarest Trail King SV and Thermarest Neolite All Season are easy to spot compared to the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite on top
This review was done with product supplied by the distributor for testing