Vaude Norrsken (2013)

The name sounds like a shiver, so you would rightly guess the Vaude Norrsken is made with the cold in mind. The secret weapon is the Primaloft Infinity synthetic fill, which prevents cold air from the floor mixing with warm air from your body. It’s double-decked with ‘lilo’-style air chambers, which are very comfortable, and the outer two are thicker, preventing you rolling off the mat and keeping you on top of its insulated zone. It strikes a balance between a lean fabric weight and one built to take punishment so consequently it’s weightier than some, but you’re getting a lot – and the increase in pack size is pretty marginal considering. The Vaude Norrsken doesn’t self-inflate, but has a decent (if stiff) push-to-stop valve. It’s a bit slippy – the underside of the mat could do with being a bit tackier to stop it sliding around on the floor of the tent, and the topside of the mat is rather prone to sleeping-bag creep if pitched on a slope. It’s not that warm, either, and while adequate for British winter, you’re not getting the furnace you might expect from the mat’s -19 rating. Happily the stuffsack is sized well to fit the mat when rolled up, keeping pack space as tight as can be.

Dimensions (LxWxD) 181x49x5.6cm
Warmth range 4-season, -19 deg C
Alternative sizes long (198cm); short (150cm)
Weight (with stuffsack) 623g (644g)
Repair kit / pump? yes / no
Insulation double-decked longitudinal air channels with topside-welded Primaloft Infinity
Website www.vaude.com

Verdict

The runner-up in our test, the Vaude Norrsken is a fine and versatile mat that is difficult to fault, but it is just edged out.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine April 2013