Alpkit Airo (2013)

Alpkit is a cult superstar in the outdoor gear world, dealing direct via its website – and only from there – to minimise overheads and keep prices low. Its kit is always well put together, robust and usually highly affordable in comparison to the competition. The Airo is no exception, offering outstanding value for money. There are other decent mats around this price – the Robens Trekking 25 (£35) for one – but in terms of lightweight versatility for little money (which includes postage) the Airo is impossible to beat. The dimensions are a nice balance between contoured and square, though at 25mm it’s thin and therefore not the warmest. The vertically punched, diamond-cut foam creates air pockets that do a fine job of insulating, though not to the degree of thicker foam mats we looked at. Such things can be sacrificed in favour of the light weight and the price, and the mat is extremely comfortable for its lean depth, with dimples on the bottom, which aid grip. A self-inflator, a few puffs on the basic screw valve will get the Alpkit Airo up to pressure, and once you’ve deflated it a decent stuffsack with a compression cinch will keep it compact.

Dimensions (LxWxD) 180x51x2.5cm
Warmth range 3-season
Alternative sizes ¾ (120cm)
Weight (with stuffsack) 606g (637g)
Repair kit / pump? yes / no
Insulation vertically punched self-inflating foam
Website www.alpkit.com

 

Verdict

Unbeatable value and decent quality: the Airo is another great product from Alpkit. It won ‘Best Value’ in Trail’s test .

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine April 2013