8.2

Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat

£27.50

Average Score 8.2
Value for Money
9
Quality
8
Practicality
7.5

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The Vango Dreamer is a lightweigth self-inflating camping mat.

Vango Dreamer Review

Vango kindly sent us a couple of their Dreamer Self-Inflating Mats (SIMs) to test out while we try some non-car camping adventures, such as bike packing and backpacking.

These are the single Vango Dreamer SIMs that are 3cm thick and weigh less than a kilo (0.89kg, to be precise).

Bag packed with Dreamer SIMs

My backpack packed with the two Vango Dreamer SIMs attached

We’ve used these SIMs a number of times now, including by our daughter on her Duke of Edinburgh expedition, but I wanted to try them myself in what they were intended for: backpacking or bikepacking.

One thing you imediately notice from the photo above, is that although they are lightweight,  they are not small when rolled up, and take up a similar amount of space as a rolled up foam mat. OK, may be a little less, but they were two big to fit in my backpack.

SIM rolled up

This is the Dreamer SIM rolled up. It comes with two elastic straps and a bag, plus a repair kit.

Being such small self-inflating mats, I wasn’t expecting them to magically self-inflate. Very few mats that call themselves self-inflating actually inflate themselves we found.

Inflating the mats

Inflating the Vango Dreamer mats

Not Self Inflating

The mats didn’t ‘self inflate’

After leaving the SIMs for a while, I blew air into them to get them properly inflated.

These use standard SIM valves, and not the large inflate/deflate valve that you can find on the massive Vango Shangri-La Grande sleeping mat.

Testing the Mat Thickness

Once inflated, the Vango Dreamer is about 3cm thick.

The thickness of 3cm may not sound a lot, but it’s about twice the amount you get on a foam roll mat. So, despite it taking a similar sort of space to carry, you do get a more comfortable sleeping mat.

Although this is firmer to lay on than the thicker sleeping mats, I didn’t find it too hard.

Vango state that the mat contains open cell foam insulation to provide additional warmth.

Verdict

Don’t expect a luxury mattress or a SIM that magically self-inflates. That’s near impossible in a mat that’s designed to be lightweight for backpacking.

This SIM is good at being lightweight, simple, and does the job. Yes, I’d like it a bit smaller when packed as I haven’t worked out how to fit it on the bike for bike-packing.

It also did well on the D of E, which is also what it’s designed for. So for that reason, we’re happy giving it the Thumbs Up award.

8.2Expert Score
The Vango Dreamer is a lightweigth self-inflating camping mat.
Value for Money
9
Quality
8
Practicality
7.5
PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Despite just 3cm thick, not bad to sleep on
  • Includes insulation
  • Can be bought for a good price
CONS
  • The mat is quite long when packed
  • No R-Value to compare insulation levels
  • Doesn't self-inflate fully (which is to be expected)

Photos: Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat

Videos: Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat

Specification: Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat

Pack Size

55.0 x ø12.0cm

R-Value

Not specified

Number of Valves

1

Re-Inflation Prevention

No

Depth

3 cm

Dimensions
Weight 0.89 kg
Dimensions 183 × 51 × 3 cm

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  Review Author

Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat
Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat

£27.50

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