Review: Rab Stratosphere 4 Sleeping Mat

A durable, medium weight, insulated sleeping mat that provides extra comfort for back country bivying and car camping

Feature type Review

Read time 4 mins

Published Aug 02, 2023

Author Sam Hill

Photographer Sam Hill

Sam Hill
Sam Hill International mountain leader, adventure photographer and ultra running coach, whether fastpacking, ski mountaineering, sea kayaking or bikepacking, Sam’s passion in the outdoors can be summed up in one word – journey.

Our Verdict

A durable, medium weight, insulated sleeping mat that provides extra comfort, both in the back country and closer to home.

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Weight 695g (regular)
Dimensions 183 x 51cm
Packed size 24cm x 12cm
Features R-Value 3.8, recycled Stratus™ R insulation, 75D Recycled Polyester outer fabric with TPU Coating and fluorocarbon-free DWR, two-way valve and pump sack

Pros

  • Super comfortable – at 8cm thick it pads any lumps and bumps and keeps you well off the ground
  • Hybrid rectangle shape allows for movement without sliding off the mat
  • Very reasonable warmth to weight ratio – perfect for colder nights
  • Inflation bag is efficient and quick

Cons

  • Inflation valve can be difficult to use (especially with gloves)
  • On the heavier side for lightweight adventures like fastpacking or bike packing
  • Although small for its insulation value, this is still a large mat when packed down compared to uninsulated options

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

Like with all of my outdoor kit, I’m looking for something that is well-made and durable. Simplicity is usually key. This is doubly important for a product like a sleeping mat as a bad night’s sleep is not what anyone wants on their adventure!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The mat is heavier than products that I have used before but this is because of the amount of insulation and the heavy duty fabric. But, on first glance the mat seems really well made and looks like it will stand up to a lot of nights out under the stars.

THE TEST

I used this mat in 3 settings: The first was on a four day backpacking trip for work in the Swiss Alps, second an overnight bivy close to home and the third in the back of my van. I have spent about seven nights in total using the product. 

This mat was a bit overkill for a summer backpacking trip but as we were not covering huge distances it felt fine to take a bit of extra weight and in turn, have a bit more comfort. 

It was lovely to have this mat for a local bivy, again where weight wasn’t an issue. I felt confident putting the mat straight on the ground without a ground sheet, and although it soaked up quite a bit of moisture from the ground, it was thick enough that I stayed dry.  

This mat is a great option to have in the back of the van for an impromptu overnighter. Just as comfy as a regular air bed but 10 times smaller! 

I felt confident putting the mat straight on the ground without a ground sheet

WHO IS THIS MAT FOR?

This would be a great winter camping mat, or for any trip where weight isn’t a problem (sea kayaking etc). It’s fantastic for car camping and close to home overnight missions.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

DURABILITY

The build quality and fabrics seem like they will stand the test of time.

COMFORT

Well padded, thick and insulated with a hybrid rectangle shape that allows for different sleeping positions and for those who move around!

PACKABILITY

A small package for such a thick, comfy mat. 

 

Well padded, thick and insulated with a hybrid rectangle shape that allows for different sleeping positions

VALUE FOR MONEY

Pretty good value I’d say. It comes in a bit cheaper than the Thermarest equivalent and seems like a product that will last.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

If you’re looking for a super-comfy, warm sleeping mat but you’re not counting every single gram, then this mat would be a great option.

I have had similar thickness mats in the past but I was really happy with how small this packed down compared with other models. My only concern is the plastic cap that is used to plug the mat – it doesn’t seem super-sturdy, but time will tell how it goes.

Although not the lightest mat on the market, Rab do not market it as such – it is a good compromise between warmth, weight and comfort. I would recommend this mat to those who are not looking to go light and fast, but are looking for some comfort on their camping trips. This would also be a great mat for those sleeping in colder conditions. All in all, it performed well and I would definitely recommend this product.

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