Sleeping Mats and R values
Some companies give “R-values” for their sleeping mats. At Alpkit we looked into what these values actually mean and what we found was quite surprising.
A quick google gives a definition for R-values of:
"Under uniform conditions it is the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux (heat transfer per unit area per unit time, ) through it..."
Looking at this it becomes pretty obvious just how useless an R-value is for rating a sleeping mat. Depending on where you're using it the temperatures on each side of the mat will be changing all the time. Over the course of a night the ground will become gradually cooler and then warm up again in the morning. Likewise, any air movement going over the surface of the mat will cause the temperature on the upper side of the mat to change. Also, every time you move in your sleep you'll be heating and cooling different parts of the mat different amounts with your body.
On top of this, R-values aren't all given in one set of measurements. There's a European system, "RSI" which is metric and the RUS which is in imperial units. It's not often though that anyone will say which number they're giving you. Some people might ask what difference these units make, and it turns out it's quite a lot. The conversion factor between the units comes out as:
1RUS = 5.68RSI
That means that you could be looking at two of the exact same mats but one claims to have a R-Value almost six times bigger than the other. That’s why we decided not to get our sleeping mats rated using R-values. We advise getting a sleeping mat based on your needs and experience, not meaningless numbers from expensive pointless tests.
Similarly tagged stickies: Brukit Jackal and Brukit Wolf, Bruler, Carbonlite Trekking Poles, Chilkoot softshell trousers, Clip, Cloud Cover, Dishwasher Safe - Can I put my cookware in a dishwasher?, Filoment Hoody, Fuel Pod, Fuel Pod Large, Gamma - How to change the battery pack?, Hadron 2000 lumen bike light, Head Torch Functions - how to turn on the sidelights or change light colours on your Alpkit torch?, How big is Alpkit bike luggage in litres?, How breathable is the Hunka bivi bag?, How do I prevent condensation in my tent?, How our sleeping bags are tested, How to attach a Koala seat pack to your bike, How to pack a Double Dozer, How to roll up a dry bag, Jaran tent pitching instructions, Koala, Lampray, Ordos tent pitching instructions, Packing your sleeping bag in an Airlok, Phantac hydrophobic RDS jacket, Possum Frame Bags, Prism battery lock - How to save my batteries?, Pulsar waterproof top, Self inflating camping mats - Alternative repair techniques, Self inflating camping mats - Find your puncture 2, Self inflating camping mats - Locating a puncture, Self inflating camping mats - Repairs, Self inflating camping mats - Repairs and care, Self inflating camping mats - Using in winter, Self Inflating Sleeping Mat Instructions - First use and care guide, Shox Trekking Poles, Stem Cell, Storing Gas in your BruKit, VIDEO: How to make your Stingray template, Viper II,
Didn't find the product you were looking for or can't remember it's name? Try searching again or clicking on a category.
Download instructions for your product
Living with your Alpkit goodies and looking after them.
All about shopping at Alpkit
- Alpkit Sponsorship
- Alpkit Finance Options
- Keeping up with the exchange rate fluctuations
- Where does it come from? Alpkit gear sourcing
- Alpkit Foundation
- Can I swap a product in a bundle?
- Save 15% on books
- SagePay US State Abbreviations and US State Postal Codes
- International stove instructions
- Alpine Bond
- PayPal Payments
- Club or Group Discounts
- International Orders
- Website Problems
- Placing an order
- Shipping Options
- 123 Day Returns