Great for camping and trekking – the Rab Stratosphere inflatable sleeping mat series balances maximum warmth with minimum weight for a super comfortable night’s rest.
Rab Stratosphere sleeping mat review
- Lightweight sleeping mat with small packsize
- Superb warmth-to-weight ratio with Stratus™ R insulation
- Unrivalled comfort with 8cm thickness
- Great for 3-season camping
- Expensive, although difficult to beat
- Marginally heavier than competitors
- Weight: Regular 695g – Long Wide 950g
- R-Value: 3.8
- Dimensions: Regular 183 x 51cm – Long Wide 196 x 64cm
- Packed Size: Regular 24cm x 12cm – Long Wide 30cm x 15cm
- Thickness: 8cm
Rab Stratosphere Sleeping Mat Review
Founded in the attic of a terraced house in Sheffield back in 1981, Rab quickly proved itself to be one of the top outdoor brands in the UK.
Famed for down insulation technology, Rab is the go-to for warm winter coats, quality sleeping bags and outdoor apparel. But in 2023, the company decided to diversify with a range of five new sleeping mats (four inflatable and one self-inflating) that they’re proud to put their name on.
The Rab Stratosphere 4 and Stratosphere 5.5, near identical in appearance, make up the all-new Stratosphere range. Unlike the popular lightweight Ionosphere range, the goal of the Stratosphere sleeping mat is not to create an uber-lightweight sleeping mat, but a comfortable all-rounder.
The Stratosphere is just as at home on the campsite as it is wild camping along the West Highland Way and is one of our favourite inflatable sleeping mats available on the market today.
Available in both regular (183 x 51cm) and long wide (196 x 64cm), the Rab Stratosphere sleeping mats are two of the best all-rounders on the market.
The Stratosphere 4 has an R-value of 3.8 – perfect for 3-season camping and great for keeping the weight of your bag and packsize down when carrying gear. The Stratosphere 5.5, however, comes with an R-value of 5.5 and is great for 4-season adventures and extra cold sleepers.
The higher R-value rating does come at a cost – that cost being an extra 90g of weight for the standard size and an extra cm in packsize width.
Comfort is king in the Stratosphere range and the decision to create a hybrid rectangular sleeping mat is an intentional one. There’s more room to move and the rectangular design offers more sleep position options than the rigid mummy mats. If, like me, you’re a side sleeper, a rectangular mat is a real must-have.
There’s a total of six chambers used to inflate the mat, of which the two outermost are oversized to ensure a central sleeping position. This, combined with the pad’s grippy exterior, means that you’re unlikely to slip off in the night.
The materials used in the Stratosphere range are, as you’d expect from Rab, absolutely top-notch.
Rab is best known for their insulation and it’s their pioneering technology that helps produce quality sleeping mats. There’s 160gsm of the 100% recycled polyester Stratus™ R insulation that goes into each of the Stratosphere 4 sleeping mats – a figure that’s upped to 250gsm for the range-topping Stratosphere 5.5.
The fabric choices are also highly intentional with a 75D recycled polyester outer and an internal TPU coating providing a range of benefits. A final fluorocarbon-free DWR coating keeps everything water-resistant, completing the high-quality finish.
Inflating the Rab Stratosphere 4 sleeping mat
The Rab Stratosphere sleeping mats can be quickly inflated and deflated thanks to a low-profile two-way valve located on the underside of the mat.
Instead of inflating the mat with the breath, a pump sack, with the features of a cartoon elephant, is supplied as a great hygienic solution. This prevents the build-up of moisture and ultimately the formation of black mould which will decrease the lifetime of the mat.
The pump sack itself can either be stored within the pack or used as a separate compression dry bag. This is particularly useful for storing a sleeping bag on uber-lightweight trips.
To inflate the Stratosphere sleeping mat, first, entirely unroll the mat and locate the two-way valve. Open the top layer on the valve and attach the pump sack. Next, fully open the pump sack to gather air and roll the top over – compress the air into the mat. Depending on ability, this should be repeated 3-5 times to reach the desired firmness level.
To deflate the sleeping mat, simply open the two-way valve fully. The mat can then be rolled, packed and stored.
Packsize and storage
The packsize of the Rab Stratosphere range is, unfortunately, one of the weakest product characteristics when compared to rivals on the market.
The packed size of the Stratosphere 4 sits as 24cm x 12cm (9.4in x 4.7in) for the regular size and 30cm x 15cm (11.8in x 5.9in) for the long wide option. Only an extra 1cm in width is added in each size for the Stratosphere 5.5 packsize.
The weight of the sleeping mat is another area that ultralight campers may find issues with. With a 695g weight for the regular mat and a 950g weight for the long wide mats, these are bulkier than the minimalistic Ionosphere range. The Stratosphere 5.5 weighs in at 785g for the regular size and 1,060g for the long wide option.
Both the Rab Stratosphere 4 and Stratosphere 5.5 are fantastic all-around inflatable sleeping mats – perfect for your next adventure.
Both mats are great for 3-season camping with the 5.5 suited to year-round conditions in the UK. If you’re searching for a great-value inflatable sleeping mat that can take everything in its stride, look no further than the Stratosphere range.
FAQ: Rab Stratosphere Sleeping Mat
Have a question about the Rab Stratosphere inflatable sleeping mat range? Check out our FAQ below where we aim to answer the most popular questions.
The main differences between the Stratosphere 4 and 5.5 lie in the R-value and weight of the sleeping mats. Both the price and packsize between the two sleeping mats are negligible.
The Stratosphere 4, with an R-value of 3.8 and weight of 695g is great a great all-rounder for 3-season camping. However, if you’re a cold sleeper or are looking to camp in the winter months, the Stratosphere 5, with an R-value of 5.5 and a weight of 785g, is the better choice. For more information – check out our guide to choosing a sleeping mat.
The Stratosphere sleeping mats are great all-rounders that can be used for just about anything.
From car camping to wild adventures, the Stratosphere range is the pick if you’re looking for a one-mat-fits-all.
To inflate the Rab Stratosphere sleeping mats, users should attach the pump pack (resembling a cartoon elephant) to the inflation point of the two-way valve.
Once connected, open the pump sack fully, turning over the top a couple of times before compressing the air into the mat. This should be completed 3-5 times until the optimum firmness is achieved.
With a higher R-value, the Stratosphere 5.5 can be used in winter and on 4-season adventures.
The Stratosphere 4, however, is only recommended for 3-season camping trips due to the lower R-value of 3.8.
Each of the Rab Stratosphere sleeping mats comes with puncture repair kits stored within the pack.
To repair the Stratosphere sleeping mat in the field, simply apply one of the self-adhesive patches to the problem area. This should keep the mat inflated for the duration of your adventure until a more permanent solution is found.
Still not managed to find the answer to your question? Reach out to the Adventure Pending team over on our socials and we’ll get back to you with tailored sleeping mat advice!