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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Despite just 3cm thick, not bad to sleep on
- Includes insulation
- Can be bought for a good price
- The mat is quite long when packed
- No R-Value to compare insulation levels
- Doesn't self-inflate fully (which is to be expected)
Specification: Vango Dreamer Self Inflating Mat