Don't be fooled by the modest size of the Alpkit Cloud Base camping mat – inside is a full-size inflatable camping mat. This lightweight and portable air mat is aimed at wild campers, bike packers and backpackers who value space and weight highly, but it will also work for more casual camps, and it definitely punches above its price point. In fact, it's one of the best camping mats around. Read on for our full Alpkit Cloud Base camping mat review (or if you're looking for something more luxurious, try one of the best camping beds).
- Complete your kit with one of the best lightweight sleeping bags
- Illuminate your camp with one of the best camping lanterns
Alpkit Cloud Base camping mat review: design
The Cloud Base is an inflatable 'air' camping mat – there's no foam padding or insulation inside, which is how it's able to fold down so compactly. This design is impressively small – it packs down to the size of a one litre water bottle, and easily fits in any rucksack (including in water bottle pockets for easy access). It's also pleasingly quick to inflate and deflate – we inflated the Cloud Base in under a minute and without the masses of lung power some mats require, and come morning it deflates instantly, then folds into thirds and rolls up ready to stash back in its stuff sack. If you're multi-day hiking, this mat makes regular making and breaking camp that little bit simpler.
Alpkit Cloud Base camping mat review: comfort
Once inflated, the highly quilted surface of the Cloud Base is surprisingly solid and comfortable to lie on, and keeps you warm and off the cold ground – it'll work well from spring through to autumn. You can lie on your back or your side with no issues, and no air is lost in the night. We did find that if you're sitting, kneeling or lying with your elbows up on the Cloud Base you can end up feeling the ground through the gaps in the air pockets. It's no issue for sleeping, but if you want a thick, highly comfy mat you can lounge around on in the day, this may not be the design for you.
The Cloud Base measures 189cm by 56cm, which is about average for unisex camping mats, and shout fit most campers in comfort, but anyone who tends to toss and turn in the night may want to consider a wider design.
Alpkit Cloud Base camping mat review: verdict
We were impressed by the Alpkit Cloud Base on test – it's impressively lightweight and packable, but still comfortable all night long. This camping mat punches well above its price point, and offers great bang for your buck compared to other more expensive mats that performed similarly on test. A great choice for wild campers and backpackers, whether you're on a budget or not.