Loss of faith
Guy Hurst wrote (see)
So have I just been unlucky, or are these things basically unreliable?
well, by it's very nature, statistically a proportion of inflatable mats/tyres/innertubes/footballs etc will get a puncture
There does seem to be a huge amount of anecdotal stuff out there of all flavours of airmat leaking sooner or later.
often reparable, but personally I wouldn't fancy attempting a repair when wildcamping.
At least with a SI mat you get a little bit of insulation if it goes flat. And less faff to inflate - especially in a tiny tent in bad weather (or bivying!)
I have been trialling using just a ccf mat again this last year, and have suceeded sleeping ok when solo and can back-sleep (with my other half I have to side-sleep usually cos of the snoring with the former). Most times it's just 3/4 SI TAR. (I add a ccf in winter)
I bought a POE ether something for my OH, (one of the tougher ones) but that sprung a tiny leak right next to a seam (so not a part in contact with the ground even)... Never again -
(except maybe an exped downmat for deep winter- which appear to have better reliability)
What ed says.
Closed cell mats -
There is a tougher version of the NeoAir (Trekker) available if you're worried, and you can carry a puncture repair kit.
Not used our (original) NeoAirs that much, but they're just back from a 2 week cycling holiday where I've been most impressed with their comfort, both as beds and chairs. More of a faff blowing them up, but the savings in space (weight too, but especially space) combined with much better comfort than a light SIM are well worth the cost for me.
One thing I have seen is mentioned somewhere is that apparently each new type of mat tends to need the way its produced adapting a bit. Combine that with the way thats its very hard to properly test the things for relatively rare failures and there's a potential (non trivial) risk to early adoption in terms of models.
Although the better folk do at least happily replace them.
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