My old Thermarest Neoair mattress that I’ve owned for some time was coming to the end of its life. It was looking a bit shabby and began deflating during the night, resulting in a sore hip and back. It was time to get a new mat. I had seen the newer Neoair first hand, and it resembled a crisp packet with the noise. I did not particularly want to spend silly money either. Step forward the Alpkit Numo.
At £40 including postage, the Alpkit Numo is fantastic value. But is it comfortable and light enough for backpacking?
I’m fairly slim and I have bony hips. I found my old Neoair quite uncomfortable as the ridges ran across the mat horizontally, my hip would sink towards the ground, it was also easy to slide off the mat during the night.
The Numo ridges (air chambers) are deep and run vertically down the mat and it is 8.5cm thick, so if you sleep on your side like me, you won’t slide off quite as easy. That said, the Numo material is quite slippery and on its first test, I was pitched on a slight slope and in the morning I found the mat with me on top had slid to the bottom corner of my tent. This happened with the Neoair too.
The Numo tapers at the end where your feet are and I noticed that my feet would sometimes be off the mat when I woke up.
At 5’10”, I find the mat the perfect length (180cm). If you are much taller you may find the mat a little short if you sleep on your back.
Alpkit rate the Numo as a 2-3 season sleeping mat. There is little insulation, so I wouldn’t want to use this in winter.
Despite the slight issues with the slippery material and tapered end, the Numo still supports me as it doesn’t sink in the middle with the weight of my torso, my sleep has improved and I don’t wake up sore.
Alpkit advertise the Numo at 433g including the stuff bag. However both together weighed in at 370g on my own digital kitchen and luggage scales . At 21x15x2cm perhaps not the smallest pack size on the market. But the Numo is stowed away in its stuff bag folded rather than rolled making the mat slim when packed, so slides down the inside of your rucksack easily.
It can be a bit of pain getting all the air out. I have found that leaving your sleeping bag on top whilst making breakfast gets most of the air out by the time you’re ready to break camp.
The Numo is certainly not perfect, but overall this is a excellent all round camping mat for comfort and usability for wild camping/backpacking etc. I’m happy with the purchase and at £40, you cannot go wrong. A repair kit is provided and Alpkit also offer a 3 year guarantee.
Alpkit gear can only be purchased direct from their website, to view or purchase the Numo click here.
Pros: value for money, lightweight and comfortable.
Cons: slippery material and can’t always get all the air out.