Once you have invested in a Sea to Summit sleeping mat you hopefully quickly discovered how comfortable they are and how easy they are to inflate and deflate. We designed these mats to withstand the elements however there are some steps you can take to ensure that your mat lives a long and happy life.
Here are our suggestions:
Do I need to use a pump? Or can I inflate my mat with my mouth?
You can mouth-inflate a Sea to Summit mat. Unlike other mats, which often suffer from internal mold along the welds caused by condensation from the user’s breath, Sea to Summit mats have an anti-microbial component in the laminate which will prevent mold from occurring.
However, our Jetstream and Airstream pumps are super effective and will ensure that your mat is inflated in an incredibly short time. Once you‘ve used one, you’ll wonder why you lived without it. While you’re hiking, the Jetstream pump works as a stuff sack for any of the non-insulated mats (you can find a list of the models/sizes of mats which will fit into the Jetstream here). The Airstream pump works as a dry sack to store your clothing or sleeping bag inside your backpack.
Which way up should I use an insulated mat?
The conventional orientation would be to use the mat with the Sea to Summit logo facing upwards. However, in terms of insulation value, it makes no difference which way up the mat faces.
Storing the mat
All air mats should be stored with the valve open. This will increase the chance that any moisture inside the mat can escape. (There is an anti-microbial finish built into the laminate which will prevent mold from growing inside the mat, but it is still better to allow for some ventilation).
Do not store the mat inside its stuff sack, and ensure the mat is completely dry before storage. To allow the greatest chance for ventilation the mat should be stored flat, folded as few times as possible. If there is any moisture inside the mat (see the section on pumps above), storing the mat tightly rolled for a prolonged period can result in damage to the urethane laminate. If the face fabric (the external shell) of the mat is damp when it is put away, it may well grow mold. Additionally, storing an insulated mat tightly rolled for a prolonged period can unduly compress the Thermolite insulation and reduce its effectiveness.
Avoiding contact with things which can damage the mat
The most common solvent in use in the outdoors is the DEET in mosquito repellent. It will not harm the nylon of the sleeping mat, but it will destroy the proprietary coating on the outside which is designed to make the mat more waterproof/less slippery/easier to repair. If you are using DEET, do not spray it anywhere close to your mat.
Another element to be aware of as an air-filled mat user is embers from a campfire. It may be romantic to sit or even lay close to a fire on your sleeping mat, but the embers which float off into the air are hot enough to melt holes in the nylon/urethane laminate. Best to avoid this risk.
Repairing the mat
Your mat was supplied with four patches which utilize a 3M adhesive. If these are not available to you and you should need to repair a puncture in your sleeping mat, the best product to use comes from a company called McNett, and is called Seam Grip. Follow the instructions for dry bags listed on our blog under ‘Repairing Holes’
The repair kit also contains a silicone insert for the valve for the unlikely event this should go missing.
Washing the mat
Wiping the mat down with a sponge using soap and warm water should be all the washing your mat needs. If the mat has been exposed to some kind of organic material and you need to neutralize an odor, the best product to use is McNett MiraZyme.
If the mat should be exposed to a solvent such as DEET or Gasoline, it is important to wash it as soon as possible before damage ensues.
If you have questions which are not covered here, just shoot us an email: email@example.com