Bushwalking Equipment | Do closed cell foam sleeping mats absorb water?

You’ve probably heard comments that closed cell sleeping mats don’t absorb water, but is it true?

Intuitively, most people don’t trust the sales talk that closed cell foam pads don’t absorb water.

Thermarest Z Lite

On any track you will see that most people carry their closed cell pad in a plastic bag, strapped to the outside of their packs. If it has rained heavily, you will see them drying their mat in front of the fire.

Well what do the gear review websites say? Anything from they don’t absorb water at all, to they absorb very little. What is the truth? Well this depends on the quality of the mat you have and how much contact the mat has had with water.

My closed cell foam mat absorbed about 17- 25% of its weight in water, depending upon how I exposed it to the water. Deep submersion along with squeezing absorbed more than a superficial sprinkling from the garden hose

My advice would be to keep your mat inside your pack, where it will not be exposed directly to water, perhaps even using it as a pack liner.

  Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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