The OEX Traverse 2.5 is a lightweight sleeping mat that you can pick up from many of the major camping retailers in the UK. I bought mine on sale from Tiso for a low price of only £30.
But is the OEX Traverse 2.5 a bargain, or is it just … cheap?
Read on in our OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat review!
Overall verdict on the OEX Traverse 2.5 Sleeping Mat
The OEX Traverse 2.5 is a poor sleeping mat. It’s very uncomfortable and its self-inflate function doesn’t work, which means it’s difficult to set up.
Perhaps the only thing going for it is the small amount of room it will take up in your backpack and that you can sometimes pick it up for relatively cheap from high street retailers.
In this case, you get what you pay for. If you need a pad for casual camping, I’ve tested the Kamui camping mattress and found this to be very comfortable, albeit much bigger in its bag.
And if you’re going out backpacking, I would recommend spending extra to pick up a better sleeping mat – your back will be thanking you!
My test results mean that I place the OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat firmly in the DON’T BUY category.
Overall test results:
- Comfort: 2/10
- Ease of setup: 2/10
- Portability: 5/10
- Insulation: 4/10
- Durability: 5/10
Who is the OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat for?
The OEX Traverse sleeping mat is suited towards:
✅ Back sleepers
✅ Budget backpacking
However, I would not recommend this sleeping mat for:
❌ Side sleepers
❌ Car campers
❌ Comfort seekers
❌ Festival goers
Our sleeping mat review criteria
I’m using five major criteria for reviewing sleeping mats:
- Ease of setup
I’ll also give my general thoughts on value for money later in the article. But this can depend a lot on your personal budget, so I don’t score this.
Let me be clear in no uncertain terms – the OEX Traverse sleeping mat is NOT comfortable.
We tested it by placing the sorts of things you might find yourself accidentally camping on – small rocks, twigs, and sticks. I could feel all of these sticking into my back clearly, even the very small items.
Then there’s the meagre thickness of the pad, coming in at only one inch thick. This might be one of the thinnest sleeping mats I’ve ever seen.
Not only does this make sense as to why I could feel everything through my back, but it also makes it impossible to sleep on your side on this mat. Your shoulder digs through the pad and right into the cold, hard ground.
The OEX traverse 2.5 is fairly typically sized for a sleeping mat. That is to say, look elsewhere for a sleeping mat in large size if you’re approaching six feet.
Personally, I like sleeping on my side a lot so the mummy shape of these pads can be a little too narrow to bring my legs up to sleep in a foetal position. I would opt for a pad that comes in a “wide” model instead. This may not be a problem for you if you are a back sleeper only.
On the good side, it’s fairly easy to use the nozzle to let out a little air if you prefer a slightly softer mat. Although there’s very little air inside to play with!
In general, I was very disappointed with the comfort of the OEX Traverse 2.5. I think I would even prefer a traditional foam roll mat over the Traverse.
- I suppose it’s better than the cold, hard ground.
- A wider, longer version is available.
- Not comfortable.
- Very thin.
- Terrible for side sleepers.
[2/10] Ease of setup
The setup initially sounded easy. After all, the OEX Traverse 2.5 is a self-inflating sleeping mat and there’s only one inch of thickness to inflate, so it shouldn’t take long, right?
I set up the sleeping mat at home in advance to make sure it spent some time inflated. I’ve had problems with self-inflating sleeping pads in the past and they do need a little time to get used to being in their fully inflated shape after sitting packed up in a factory.
So when it came to trying the Traverse mat out, I pulled it out of its carry bag, took off the elastic bands, loosened the valve and threw it lengthwise onto the ground triumphantly. Aaand … nothing happened!
After double checking the nozzle and trying on other occasions, I have been unable to get this sleeping mat to self-inflate. Given that there is no pump sack included, this means huffing and puffing through the nozzle to fill it up.
I compared this side by side to the self-inflation of the Kamui Camping Mattress and the difference was night and day. The OEX Traverse is significantly more difficult to set up and doesn’t deliver on its promise of being self-inflating.
Perhaps I’ve just been unlucky but I have heard other reports of this happening too.
Finally, no setup instructions are included. This isn’t too bad since the valve is fairly straightforward. But I suspect quite a lot of people who aren’t familiar with self-inflating pads will know that they should set it up at home the first time and leave it inflated.
Overall, the OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat performed very poorly when I tested its setup.
The OEX Traverse 2.5 packs down nice and small, with a packed size of 29 cm by 13.5 cm. This is quite a lot smaller than many other pads. Although this is probably linked to the thinness of the pad.
The weight comes in at 1 kg which is okay for backpackers who aren’t too serious and definitely light enough for casual campers.
However, this is much heavier than quite a lot of other sleeping mats out there, some of which are almost half as heavy. That being said, the OEX Traverse 2.5 is much cheaper than most of these, so if you’re on a budget you might be okay with 1 kg.
I would, however, certainly recommend spending a little more to buy a better mat given that it will not just be lighter, it’ll also be comfier.
- The weight is about average for a backpacking style sleeping mat.
- A small packed size for a sleeping mat.
- Other sleeping mats can be significantly lighter, albeit they cost more.
OEX claims that this sleeping mat has an r value of 2.6. This should be okay going down to fairly cold temperatures but the r-value isn’t high enough for a sudden overnight cold snap during Spring or Autumn.
If you’re only planning to use it during the summer, the OEX will be fine for back sleepers. But if you do want something that could potentially extend to times of the year where the temperature is more variable, I would opt for a mat with more insulation instead.
I’ve had no problems with my OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat so far and its durability seems okay.
Normally this is the point where I would say that I’ll come back in a while after plenty of nights testing it. But, honestly, I really can’t bring myself to use the OEX Traverse again. It’s, in my view, a poor product.
So please forgive me but I’ll save myself from some poor night’s sleep and, without any signs of it being particularly durable or non-durable, I’ll just give it an average score. It won’t change my overall impression anyway!
Value for money
I bought this sleeping mat on sale for £30 from Tiso in July 2023. It had an RRP of £50.
Do I think this sleeping mat provides value for money? No. I would highly recommend paying a little extra for another pad or choosing a cheap mat off Amazon.
I did find that the Kamui camping mattress was comfortable – although this is one for folk who aren’t backpacking since it’s heavier and bulkier.
Don’t buy it! 🙂
- 26 July 2023: Review published.
Final thoughts on the OEX Traverse 2.5 Sleeping Mat
I’m very disappointed with my test results. If you take anything from our OEX Traverse 2.5 sleeping mat review, either spend the same money on a less big brand mat or spend a little extra for a better quality sleeping mat.