This year we have decided that we both needed to invest in some new sleeping mats. We have tried many different sleeping options through the years camping that we have done, some good, some not so good. We have had roll mats, various thicknesses of self-inflating mats, air beds (single and double-height), camp beds that we have paired with various SIMs and hiking inflatable mats. So we tend to know what we like and look for when it comes to a good sleeping system.
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The one thing we always advise for campers new and old is to invest in a good sleeping system. If you don’t get a good nights sleep you can be tired, sore or cranky or all of the above the next day. Not only will this spoil your camping trip but it can spoil your fellow campers too.
We have also included a video at the end so you can see it being unpacked and used.
About the Outwell Dreamcatcher SIM
Outwell has many models in the Dreamcatcher range. I have chosen the Single 10cm Dreamcatcher SIM and this is the one I will be writing about in this post. The other half chose a different SIM that we will review in another post.
The Dreamcatcher Single come in depths of 5cm, 7.5cm, 10cm and 12cm. While the double come in 5cm, 7.5cm and 10cm models. Outwell also have a Dreamcatcher Seat Pad in this range.
The mat, when inflated measures 195 x 63 x 10 cm (LxWxH) and 66 x 17 cm when rolled and packed in its carry bag. Our mat has the new AFC (Air Flow Control) valve to allow for easy and quick, inflation and deflation.
The mat has a wave-shaped foam core both for comfort and to help reduce pack size when rolled away. This is then covered with 190T 75D 100%, polyester peach on the top and, 190T 75D, 100% polyester on the bottom. The polyester peach gives it a nice warm feel.
The Dreamcatcher also boasts an R-Value of 6.7 (-30 degrees C), to help ensure that no matter what time of year you are camping you are going to be warm and protected from the cold ground should you be using the mat directly on the floor.
I wasn’t slow in opening this when it arrived as I was desperate to see how it compared to my wife’s Kampa Kip Luxury 10cm SIM. It was opened, inspected, allowed to inflate and then tested for a whole 30 mins while I lay on it chatting. The valve was clearly marked and easy to use and the mat inflated fairly quickly for what may have been the first time since being manufactured.
I could have easily fallen asleep as having just returned from a camping trip where my sleep mat had a slow puncture and a temperature of -2° during the night meant very little sleep. Why could it not have arrived a couple of days earlier, then I would probably have slept like a baby all night.
I then tested how easily it rolled away. The new AFC valve on this SIM is clearly marked so you know which position to have it in for both inflation and deflation purposes. Deflation was easy and quick compared to some other SIMs, even though I suffer from arthritis in my hands I managed this fine.
Overall I was impressed with this SIM and couldn’t wait to try it out.
The New AFC Valve
The Dreamcatcher comes with Outwell’s patented AFC Valve which stands for Air Flow Control. This control valve is clearly marked for inflation and deflation and we feel it performs its function extremely well. Switching between the control settings is made super easy by the little toggle handle on the outside of the valve. Inflation and deflation are quick and easy despite the valve being smaller than others we have used on other SIMs.
The placement of the valve on the corner of the SIM also works well. We normally have our two beds pushed together and a double fitted sheet over both and the valve doesn’t restrict this in any way. You also have easy access if you want to add or take the air out of the SIM to find your own comfort level.
Since receiving this SIM I have now used it twice. Once on a framed camping bed and the other time straight on the floor of the tent. Both times I have slept great although when I had it on the framed bed I definitely had the better sleep.
Now, I don’t think this had anything to do with the SIM. I am a heavier girl and a side sleeper. I just felt that when using it on my bed it hugged my body more and gave even more comfort. It must have, as I slept past 6.30 am which is unusual for me.
This may also be due to the interior foam used in this SIM. The foam has horizontal air channels running the length of the mat and these not only help to provide comfort when you are switching sleeping positions throughout the night. They also allow for the mat to have a slightly smaller pack size and weight.
This certainly has been a worthwhile buy. The fact that I purchased this on sale from Millets for a bargain price of £45 may just make it my camping purchase of the year! They do normally retail at around £85.
A great night’s sleep, super warm with a great R-rating. The peach polyester topping is soft against your skin if you are going to lie straight on top of the SIM. The SIM is easy to use and pack away. I love the fact that the storage bag opens almost right down one side. No more trying to squeeze the SIM back into it.
This SIM would be a great addition to anyone’s camping kit. I would highly recommend it and think you would struggle to get a more comfortable SIM without going for a deeper depth of mat.
Watch Our Video Featuring this SIM
If you have experience with this or other SIMs why not share it in the comments below and help your fellow campers make more informed choices with their gear. Or share some pictures over on our Facebook Group page, we love hearing from you.