Home Duke of Edinburgh Award Showcase Vango F10 Aero sleeping Mat

Vango F10 Aero sleeping Mat

£60 www.dofe.org/shopping/dofe-expedition-kit-list/

Having never done any lightweight camping before I looked to do the DofE, this F10 Aero was a bit of a revelation. I’d always slept in sleeping bags on inflatable airbeds before – but the weight of one of those without the air is restrictive. This, on the other hand, weighs just 720g. It does roll up pretty compact into the provided bag, but it did take up enough room in the Pinnacle Rucksack for me to question whether I needed it. As soon as I pitched, I realised I did. Even without inflating, the Aero mat between myself and the floor made all the difference. Once inflated – which does take a bit of doing for an asthma-sufferer – it’s very comfortable to lie on. The recent cold snap gave me chance to check its performance, and I didn’t notice any cold spots at all. There isn’t an R-value here, but Vango’s own “Sleep Experience” rating of 7 suggests it’s one of the best in their range. The recessed patterning is designed to stop your sleeping bag from slipping off in the middle of the night, and it’s quite effective at doing that. Whilst I had no need for it on my travels so far, the supplied repair kit could be quite handy in the future.

► Verdict: Useful beyond its size or price.

► Best for: Multi-day wild camping expeditions.

Review by DofE participant Alannah White