This mini-review is part of Part 2 of our survey of airmats. We show three Kooka Bay mats here: a tiny tapered micro mat, then a short synthetic-insulated rectangular mat, and at the bottom a full-length Down Air Mat or DAM. All are 'air core' mats, but with very different target markets. The mats shown in this photo were measured and field-tested by Roger Caffin; Will Rietveld field-tested some slightly different mats, as explained below.
Note that the mats tested by Will are not the same as the ones tested by Roger. This is partly a reflection of the fact that Kooka Bay does a lot of custom manufacturing. For this reason we have moved Will's comments up to the front here. Roger's comments follow the tables of data covering the mats he tested.
The mats shown use very conventional valves found on many air mats: they screw shut. They can be a bit of a pain to operate at times as they tend to leak while you are closing them up. At the time of writing we understand that Kooka Bay were negotiating for some custom valves, as shown here. Will they be any better? (They do look similar to the valves used by Vaude and Nemo.)
Also, it should be noted that at the time of writing Kooka Bay was not able to offer a pump for any of their mats. Blowing up a DAM with your lungs is hardly the right thing to do. We understand Kooka Bay is actively experimenting with the design of small pumps to fix this problem. We do not know yet what valve their pump will connect to, but it is likely to be their new design.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the fabric is not all that quiet when you slide around on it. For a solo sleeper that won't matter at all, but a sensitive partner might notice the noise if you thrash around during the night.
- GoosePad Down Air Mat
- Rectangular Synthetic Insulated Air Mat
# WORDS: 1870
# PHOTOS: 6
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