Hyalite Peak AC Regular (2013)

Clearly Batman’s mat, this Hyalite (formerly Pacific Outdoor) product has the interesting duality of being both very packable and very supportive. Six air-channelling longitudinal baffles (lilo-like air chambers to you and me) offer good support helped by the two outermost baffles being slightly larger than the inner, stopping you from rolling off the mat and helping keep you warm. A fun technical term is RHR – Radiant Heat Return – a feature that means heat from the body is reflected back at you by the fabric itself. Darker colours aid the efficiency of this, hence the Peak AC’s gothic look. In use, it’s very comfortable, very supportive and warm, though it lacks supplementary insulation so it isn’t as good as some for winter use. Another consideration is those tapers, which – while logical – make the mat perilously narrow at the foot end, so if you’ve got restless feet your legs may end up half on, half off the mat. The valve is short, which makes it hard to grip and twist, and there is no push-pull mechanism. But this is a clever, comfy mat which packs down small and weighs little, so these niggles are easy to forgive.

Dimensions (LxWxD) 183x51x6.3cm
Warmth range 3-season; 2.5-4.4 Tog
Alternative sizes long (198cm); 2/3 (122cm)
Weight (with stuffsack) 375g (392g)
Repair kit / pump? yes / no
Insulation longitudinal air baffles with body-mapped RHR fabric
Website www.hyaliteequipment.com

Verdict

The Hyalite Peak AC Regular is an exciting effort from an emerging big-hitter. A few tweaks would make it even better.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine April 2013