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November 2020 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Sleeping mats

Kiwi Camping Intrepid Lite Single



Our Rating:

At a glance
Plusses: Low cost, durable, extra long and wide.
Minuses: Heavy for a summer-only mattress, not warm.

Kiwi Camping Intrepid Lite Single
480g, 1.3 R-value

Features: It has a single push and pop wide-opening valve and is made from a robust 40D ripstop nylon fabric. The mattress is longer and wider than most mats: 185cm long – about two centimetres longer than most other regular-sized mats – and 55cm wide, which is 3-4cm wider than most others. Because it’s uninsulated, it has an R-value of 1.3 – putting it squarely in the summer-use range. 

Weight: At nearly 500g, it is heavy for an uninsulated summer-only mat. The main reasons it is so heavy is because of its extra length and width, and the heavy-duty fabric used in its construction. 

Comfort: It inflates to 5cm thick and proved supportive enough to ensure it kept me off the ground so that I didn’t bruise my hips or shoulders while lying on my side. 

In use: Inflating the mattress is done with a few deep breaths. Because the valve is wide-opening, I had to blow from deep within my chest to force air in, which was a strange sensation.

Deflation and packing away were easy – the air gushes out and the mat can be rolled tight in less than a minute.

The valve is super-secure – I left the mattress inflated for a couple of weeks and it didn’t noticeably lose air.

I slept confidently on the mattress – it is so wide I don’t think I came close to rolling off. Because the fabrics are so durable, it’ll take more than a prickle to puncture it.

I used the mattress while camping in a single person tent and found it a tight squeeze. Being such a large mat, there’s extra air inside to warm up to ensure heat loss is kept to a minimum and I did find it cold to use in late autumn. Sleeping on it again in mid-spring, where the temperature, and especially the ground, was much warmer made for a more comfortable night’s sleep. 

Value: Cheap and durable makes this a good value for money proposition if you limit use to the summer. 

Verdict: An excellent budget option for those starting out and whose camping trips are confined to the summer season.