The Robens Air Impact Single 3.8 Sleeping Mat is seriously light at the price, and makes the difference between a good night's sleep and, well, no night's sleep.
There are, I know, a lot of hardcore bare-bones tourers among you who will assert that sleeping mats and the like are an unnecessary luxury and dead weight when bike camping. I would disagree. Find a compact, lightweight sleeping mat and it can make all the difference.
Robens' mission is to produce high performance camping equipment at a good price. The company has a variety of different types of sleeping mat, catering to different users and different comfort requirements.
The Air Impact Single is the lightest model of mat that Robens offer, with the 3.8cm being the thicker of the two options. The thinner model is the 2.5cm which is about 100g lighter. Both are designed to be a balance between comfort and weight/packsize for backpacking or bikepacking.
Coming with its own drawstring bag, rolled up, the mat has a decent packsize of just 26cm x 17cm. It'll fit into a pannier or on top of a rack with no bother at all. Opened out, it's 182cm x 51cm and 3.8cm thick, so it'll be full length for most people, but not if you're over 6 foot.
It has varying thickness throughout, to cater to providing warmth and insulation to the bits of the body that need it most without unnecessary extra weight. The shape is also designed to keep unnecessary weight to a minimum, with trimmed corners at head and feet. It's self-inflating, and uses a high performance valve for quick inflation and deflation.
Sleeping on it was comfortable enough to give a decent night's kip, but ultimately it's an ultralight backpacking mat and therefore not designed for princess and the pea types. The crucial thing was that it gave cushioning, protected the body from the cold of the ground and generally improved comfort, with the minimum of extra weight in the bag. The slightly sticky stripes down the middle meant that my sleeping bag (and me) didn't end up sliding off the thing during the night too.
There are only a few models of sleeping mat available on the market that match this sort of weight, packsize and performance/comfort, and by far the majority of them are a good bit more expensive than the Robens. £45 marks a genuine bargain for a well performing super light sleeping mat that reliably does just what it's supposed to.
Light, compact and does just what it's supposed to, at a very reasonable price.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Robens Air Impact Single 3.8 Sleeping Mat
Size tested: 3.8
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at campers, backpackers and tourers looking for light weight, small packsize and good performance without spending too much money.
Does just what it says it should.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
20d baby square ripstop
Open size 182cm x 51cm x 3.8cm
Packed size 26cm x 17cm
Oversized push/lock valve
Anti-slip print on front to help stop sleeping mag slide
Vertical cores through foam to help reduce weight and packsize
Very well made from good quality components and materials.
Did just what it was supposed to, very well.
Should last well. Comes with its own emergency patches.
Just the right balance between low weight and proper functionality.
Pretty comfortable for a lightweight mat. There will always be a compromise between weight and comfort.
Really good value. A good bit cheaper than most equivalent products on the market.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Anti-slip stripes, balance of weight and comfort, elasticated straps provided to hold it closed for packing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Spot on for low weight bike camping adventures, and a decent price.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.