Mammut Light Pump Mat.
This mini-review is part of Part 2 of our survey of airmats. We have one Mammut mat here: the new Light Pump. It is an 'air core' mat, but it has a layer of insulation inside it to boost its R-value. In addition, it is one of only two mats in this survey which have internal pumps, designed to save you from getting a woozy head and, more importantly, to stop you from filling the inside of the mat up with water vapour from your breath. It is full length and not ultralight.
Light Pump Mat
|Length||186 cm / 73.2 in|
|Width||52 cm / 20.5 in|
|Thickness||6.5 cm / 2.6 in|
|Weight||615 g / 21.7 oz|
|R-Value||2.2 - 7.1|
|Drag Force||13/18 N|
|Insulation||PU foam layer|
|Larger Side Tubes||Yes|
|Material||Two 'TX' fabrics, details not given|
This mat manages to combine the warmth of a foam-core mat with the comfort of a big air-core mat. As you can see from the graph of R-value, it starts out very warm, and manages to stay fairly warm down to a considerable 'softness.' In fact, it did not seem to be very easy to get it below 30 mm thick in testing, so we didn't bother.
Mammut being pumped.
This is not a very 'grippy' mat: it was sliding quite easily in the laboratory. Curiously, the top surface has more grip than the bottom surface - which is strange, but apparently a function of the two different fabrics used. However, in the field we found that the large side tubes and the general shape seem to compensate somewhat for this. We did not find it sliding around.
Comments by Roger (and Sue) Caffin
Despite the pump, this is not a fast mat to blow up as it is rather large, but it does not take a lot of effort to keep pumping away. What does take some attention is keeping your palm over the inlet valve during the pump strokes. We can assure you that if you don't block off that inlet valve the mat won't inflate! OK, you don't make that mistake twice. I would add that a damp hand seems to seal the inlet hole much better than a dry one. After a couple of goes, it is quite easy to inflate.
A key thing to note with this internal pump business is that there are two valves, as shown in the inset. The top one is the exhaust valve, which must be sealed to inflate. The bottom one is the inlet valve, and the red cap is more in the nature of a safety cap you insert at the end. The two seals worked well though, with no suggestion of them leaking over several days' storage while fully inflated at home.
How hard to inflate the mat is an interesting question, but the nature of the pump means you can't over-inflate the mat. We found that stopping just short of where the pump no longer works was enough inflation. You could deflate it slightly if the ground is not cold for even greater comfort. This is a very common trick. The large side tubes did work well at stopping us from rolling off this mat or having it creep out from underneath.
Mammut being used.
Our normal practice (Roger and Sue) is to tie our two mats together with tape loops. Sadly, they are not visible in the photo here, but they were there. That technique works, but the shape of the mat does leave a bit of a gap for the legs. The gap is visible in the photo, where the Mammut Light Pump is teamed up with a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mat. However, we found it did not matter much, as the gap was not too wide, and my quilt had some insulation underneath down around my calves. Sue was testing out a quilt/sleeping bag I had made for her a few years ago, while I was testing out the Katabatic Sawatch quilt. Sleeping on our sides means our legs were angled across the gap rather than running down the length of the gap. The small gap at the head end was never a problem either.
I got to sleep on this mat for only one night on the cold trip in our alpine region shown in the photo. Yes, it was comfortable and warm. After that first night my wife Sue pinched it off me. Now, Sue is not keen on heavy gear, but she did say at the end of the trip 'I'm keeping that one.' It would seem she slept very well on it, down to freezing temperatures. You can take that as a recommendation. We didn't get to test it on snow as we didn't have any lying around ... in late spring in Australia.
Mammut supplies the usual little repair kit with this mat: it is found in a little pocket inside the stuff sack they supply. It may be worth commenting that unlike many over-sized stuff sacks, this one is small enough that it does require some effort to get the mat rolled up tightly enough to fit. You need to start by folding the mat lengthwise into one thirds, then rather aggressively rolling it up tightly. Fortunately there is a hook-and-loop strap at the end to keep it all together once you have rolled it up. Our strong suggestion is that you do not cut this strap off in the pursuit of lightness: you will need it!
This is a mini-review in the 2011 Lightweight Airmats State of the Market Report. The articles in this series are as follows (mini-reviews can be found in Part 2), and a subscription to our site is needed to read them.
- Part 1 covers the basics, testing methods, and lists all the mats in the survey.
- Part 2 examines the actual mats, and the performance of each mat tested.
Disclosure: The manufacturers provided these products to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and they are owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review these products under the terms of this agreement.