Unfortunately, even when well cared for, sleeping mats can be damaged, especially if climbing or mountaineering, leading to deflation. This can be caused by faulty or damaged valves but the major cause of deflations are punctures. These are not covered by our warranty as this is deemed normal, if unfortunate, wear and tear. Luckily most minor punctures and some valve problems can be repaired ‘in the field’.
1) Puncture repair - Gaffa Tape / Duct Tape
Gaffa Tape or Duct tape applied over the immediate puncture may work effectively as a short-term fix. The fabric needs to be clean and dry.
2) Punctures - Tenacious Tape™ or Betrafol® TapeSpecialist repair tapes such as Tenacious Tape™ or Betrafol® Tape can also be very effective at repairing small punctures, but they do have a somewhat distinctive aesthetic. Please be aware however that such tapes, whilst extremely durable and often able to endure sustained use even at very low temperatures can leave residual marks which when taken off are near impossible to remove.
3) Punctures - Mat Repair KitSpecialist repair kits which include adhesive and patches should always be carried, especially if travelling to remote regions. Correctly applied, they will provide an effective long-term fix. Here’s what to do:
1) Inflate the mattress then close the valve.
2) Apply a mix of soap and water (or just water if that’s all that’s available) to wet the entire surface of the mattress. Alternatively, if you are near a body of still water, submerge the mat. Small escaping bubbles will indicate where the puncture is. Apply pressure to the mat if you’re struggling to find the puncture(s). It is worth taking the time to do this step thoroughly and find all of the holes, which may be extremely small.
3) Note the puncture location with chalk or a felt pen and dry the area around the puncture thoroughly.
4) Open the valve to release the air, then apply adhesive to the puncture.
5) Allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly (usually around 2 hours), then inflate the mattress and examine the repair.
6) If the puncture has sealed, apply more glue to the repair patch and surrounding area to increase the durability of the repair.