Therm-A-Rest are no strangers to innovation with new technologies and outdoor gear products and their SpeedValve technology certainly makes for a revelation in setting up an inflatable camping mattress both quickly and quite easily.
Unlike other inflatable sleeping mattresses which take a long time to inflate due to slowly letting air in to fill, some needing plenty of short breaths or others that are a little easier with an air pump; any Therm-A-Rest mattresses with a SpeedValve simply requires a few big breaths of air and they are ready to be slept on.
The Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve technology is hardly their first foray into quick inflation for a mattress, nor are they the first outdoor brand to invent one, but it may well be the most efficient and straightforward to use that we’ve seen here at Webtogs Gear Guru.
Using Bernoulli’s Principle of Fluid Dynamics which explains how variations in pressure result in an increase in the flow of air, the Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve works when you breathe in which sends low pressure, quick moving air through the neck which makes the higher-pressure air outside the mattress to rapidly flow inside and equalises the pressure to inflate quite fast.
Using a SpeedValve Sleeping Mattress
When using a sleeping mattress with a Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve, once laid out in your tent you only need to hold the opening a short distance away from you say 10 – 15 cm and depending on your lung capacity it may take four or more big breaths to completely fill it. Once inflated you need to press the straps together and tightly roll it up seven times to seal. Any less or more than that will cause the camping mattress to slowly leak air. Should you need to top it off, or release some depending on how you prefer the firmness of a sleeping mat; each Therm-A-Rest with a SpeedValve also have small screw valves on the top.
To deflate a Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve sleeping mat all it requires is the unbuckling of the valve and it will quickly deflate by itself without intervention.
Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve Mattresses
Currently the Therm-A-Rest sleeping mats that use the SpeedValve design are the NeoAir Trekker, XLite and Camper SV versions. Each part of the same series and are very similar is design but each one is intended for a different type of outdoors use which are for backpacking, fast-paced trails and camping respectively so factors such as insulation, overall weight and size varies between them.
The Therm-A-Rest SpeedValve mats pack down really small for easy carry, however the buckle does make them slightly heavier than most others so it may be a trade-off for quick and easy use over adding a little extra weight to your gear.