Vango Aotrom Sleeping Pad | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Vango Aotrom Sleeping Pad | Review

An ultralight, highly packable and affordable air mat that is perfect for summer camping and backpacking adventures

Why We Chose The Vango Aotrom sleeping pad: Lightweight, packable, great value

We’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Vango here at OM. Undoubtedly one of the great British outdoor brands, the company was founded in 1966 up in Scotland – in Govan to be precise, on the banks of the River Clyde, just west of Glasgow. Maybe our enduring affection is down to the many years we spent camping in the brand’s famous orange ‘Force Ten’ tents back in our youth. They were an intrinsic part of family camping holidays and Scout camps alike. In fact, the iconic Force Ten remains in production today, still with that classic A-frame design, still made from sturdy cotton canvas and still bright orange.

But Vango is hardly mired in the past – far from it. More recently, their Project Hydrogen collection has resulted in some impressively advanced 21st-century kit, while the Earth collection puts a thoroughly modern focus on sustainability at the heart of the brand.

Photos: Mike Drummond

The Aotrom is a similarly modern product, which Vango describes it as “one of the most technical and advanced sleeping mats in their range”. It weighs in at just 410g and packs down to around the size of a can of juice.

Who is the Vango Aotrom Sleeping Pad For?

Being so light and packable, it’s an attractive option for summer-season backpackers, particularly if you’re looking to drop trail weight and save space in your pack.

But it’s also competitively priced, which puts in the frame for beginner backpackers or maybe those going on DofE expeditions and other adventurous outdoor challenges.


It’s made from 20-denier ripstop nylon and uses modern TPU fabric lamination, which is lighter and more compressible than traditional PVC lamination (as well as being less environmentally damaging).

The mat is supplied with a small, drawcord stuff sack that minimises bulk. You’ll hardly notice it in your pack, unlike bigger and heavier mats. It’s ideal for going fast and light. Also, unlike some ultralight pads, which are let down by a bulky air valve, the flush fit air lock is also unobtrusive but works well, allowing for quick inflation/deflation.


Unlike the usual transverse or longitudinal baffles that you see on most sleeping mats, the Aotrom utilises air-filled welded channels. These are designed to mould to the contours of the ground and your body for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

“The main benefits of the Aotrom are that it offers decent comfort in a very compact and lightweight package.”

The dimensions measure 185 x 55cm (72.8 x 21.6in, in old money), with an inflated thickness of 5cm or about 2 inches. When you first unroll the Aotrom, it looks surprisingly long, but as you inflate the mat, the air-filled cells expand, pulling in the fabric. The mat is slightly contoured but nowhere near as tapered as some sleeping mats, giving plenty of width from the shoulders right down to the knees.

It’s not the thickest mat around, and though we could lie on it without ‘bottoming out’, we’d still say it’s better suited for people who tend to sleep on their back or front rather than their sides.
The pack size is a tiny 15 x 8cm (6 x 3.1in), which is impressive – it’s even comparable to premium mats like the ThermaRest NeoAir Uberlite. Obviously, it’s not insulated like that mat, but it’s also around a third of the price. If you’re only going to be camping in summer season, this is a much cheaper alternative.

Obviously, the Aotrom’s major drawback is that as a non-insulated air mat, warmth is limited. But Vango are about to release an insulated version called the Aotrom Thermo, which might be well worth a look if you need a warmer air mat for three-season camping. Inevitably, it’s a little bulkier and heavier than the standard Aotrom though.


The main benefits of the Aotrom are that it offers decent comfort in a very compact and lightweight package, at a price point that won’t break the bank. As such, it has plenty to recommend it, especially if you’re planning some summer wild camping adventures or perhaps aiming to tackle a multi-day backpacking trail this year.

Tester’s Verdict

Our testing of this product is still underway. We’ll post the verdict here in the coming days.

Vango Aotrom Sleeping Mat

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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