Bach Relay 3R Split Sleeping Mat | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Bach Relay 3R Split Sleeping Mat | Review

Our verdict on this award winning design from Swiss brand Bach

Every now and then something will really catch my eye at an outdoor tradeshow and at last year’s OTS show in Liverpool that was this sleeping mat from Bach, the Relay 3R Split. 

What’s interesting about this sleeping mat is the fact that it has a detachable section that can be used as a very comfortable sitting pad. This, of course, needs to be inflated separately to the main part of the sleeping mat, but it takes mere seconds thanks to the handy pump sack that comes with it. 

Will using the Bach Relay 3R Split in the hills of Pembrokeshire. Photo: Dave Macfarlane

From my experience using the sitting pad part, I’ve found it to be very comfortable and quite durable in feel too. Admittedly, I haven’t sought to find its threshold on rough ground, but so far it’s been fine for me while using it on grassy surfaces. I’d be happy to use this on most surfaces, including on rock, so long as I know it’s clear of sharp and spiky things. 

Reattaching it to the pad is very easy. You just need to click the two press studs together and that’s it. These hold very well and I haven’t had any issues with the mat coming apart while I’m lying on it. 

The press studs that connect the two parts together. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

The mat itself comes in three different sizes. I’m 5 foot 10 and found that the Medium size (185 x 58 cm) was perfect for me. It also fitted well inside the one person Forclaz Trekking Tarp that I tried it with and alongside another mat in the Bach Moa Lite 2 tent. The tapering to the edges is only slight so I’d say this actually sits somewhere between a rectangular mat and fully tapered one like the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite NXT. 

Inflating the mat with a pump sack is very straightforward and takes about two minutes. I’ve found it’s quickest if you angle the mouth of the pump sack into the wind while blowing into it at the same time. 


The top of the mat is a 30D polyester while there’s a tougher 70D polyester on the base and recycled materials are used throughout including for the insulation that’s glued to the walls inside the mat. 

The valve is one way and can either be fully opened up for rapid deflation or you can press down on it when you want to just ease the air pressure a bit. This is simple to use and very functional. It’s also relatively flat and durable so there’s not much risk of placing a knee on it and breaking it by accident.

The stuff sack it comes with is basic and has a simple toggled drawcord. To fold the mat up, it’s best to fold it lengthways three times and then roll from the bottom. I’ve found that by doing that, the mat is guaranteed to fit into the stuff sack easily. The overall packed size is 3 litres, which is OK.


The Bach Relay 3R Split weighs 576g altogether, which isn’t as light as the likes of the Therm-a-rest NeoAir Uberlite or the Exped Synmat UL but it is warmer than those mats. The R-value is 2.9 which gives it a comfort range of 0°C to 10°C. As such, I’d say the warmth-to-weight ratio is good here; it’s a mat that I’d happily use in those shoulder periods in spring and autumn.

Will gives an idea of the packed size. Photo: Dave Macfarlane

The baffles are horizontal, which isn’t my usual preference as I find longitudinal baffles tend to make for more stable mats. Still, I’ve found this a comfortable mat to lie on, with the 8cm depth creating lots of padding and keeping you far from the cold ground. It’s also a quiet sleep, with no rustling from the insulation, and I’ve found that the slightly brushed top material adds a touch of grip to prevent you sliding off the mat in your sleeping bag.

Bach Relay 3R Split Verdict

It might be a little on the expensive side, but it is at least a very decent mat and, from what I’ve seen, it’s deserving of the awards it’s picked up. If you like a bit of comfort at camp and want a mat that will keep you warm through all three seasons then it’s a mat that’s worth considering.

What we liked: comfortable, good warmth-to-weight, innovative design
What we didn’t like: quite expensive.

Bach Relay 3R Split

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Sping/Summer 2024 guide
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