nomadic life guide

Mountain Equipment women’s Helium 3.8 Sleeping mat review

First impression, this is not a sleeping mat for ultralighting, it weighs in at 750g, but for longer trips where comfort needs to become more of a priority we think the Helium to be a good choice.The Helium relies upon a foam core with bilateral holes to keep you insulated from the ground. Whilst it is sold as self inflating, we find the mechanism to be quite poor. About five or six good breaths are still required to achieve the level of firmness required. For most reasonably fit people though, this is not a problem. The valve has a push and twist mechanism which holds firm all night long, as long as you line the valve up correctly.

Insulation wise, we have used it when temperatures were around freezing point and did not have any problems whatsoever.

Although this mat is specified for women, both myself and my husband both have one. He tried mine and liked it so much he got himself one. Although not a small man he doesn’t feel he suffers any for its slightly smaller size and reaps the benefits of the lower pack weight.

The surface of the mat is allegedly non-slip, however we find that it can be like an ice rink, if you end up pitched on a slight slope it is all to easy to slide down to the bottom of your tent! We have used the Helium for a number of nights without a tent, under a tarp and on small gravel. A reasonably comfortable nights sleep was had by both of us.

A stuff sack is provided.

Product features

    • Self Inflating(ish)
    • Push and twist Valve
    • Stuff Sack
    • Polyester 75D Fabric
    • Inflated size 183 x 51 x 3.8cm
    • Packed size 27 x 16cm
    • Weight: 750g

Nomadic Life’s conclusion, a very good medium weight inflatable mat. Comfortable, warm and durable. For the £40 price tag we are happy.

Performance 7/10

Design 9/10

Value for money 8/10

Overall rating 8/10 good, solid, reliable piece of kit.