I am not a camper, so please excuse my ignorance here. We have purchased a 2 person tent. The normal width is 140cm, which means that sleeping mats can go down fine (many seem to be 70cm wide, or slightly narrower). But you can see that the tent tapers at the feet. I have measured it at about 97cm.

enter image description here

How do you fit sleeping mats inside a tent like this? It seems the only way is for one to overlap the other, which is not ideal.

My only idea is to get two foam mats like this and trim each one to fit. I'm sure there is a better solution. (This tent is "Recommended by The Scout Association".)


1 Answer 1


It certainly seems a little tight. The wide end of the inner, at 140cm, is only just wide enough for 2 mats, and the measured 97cm (which roughly agrees with scaling the drawing) at the foot end is narrower than a pair of any rectangular mats I've seen. As the total length of the inner is 215cm, there isn't enough length to simply avoid putting full-length mats into the foot end.

Here's the drawing with a few more dimensions from your measurements and scaling off the picture. marked-up drawing

You have a few options.

  • If you're using foam mats, you can cut them, for example tapered as you say.
  • For backpacking in mild conditions you can cut foam mats short, to run down to your hips. You can also buy them like this, and save a lot of packing bulk.
  • Many air-filled mats are themselves tapered, whether self-inflating or blow-up. As an example, here's the one I have. Note that the description says "shape: mummy", which matches the description used for sleeping bags that taper at the feet, and indeed those pictured.
  • Thin mats of any type can be overlapped a little, or some may bend. This is useful if you're caught out, but not something I'd plan on except with the very thinnest foam.
  • As the sleeping compartment is longer than most people, sleep with your head right against the inner door, and use the narrowest space for stuff. That's worked for me in a rather small tent even with 2 tall people, combined with overlapped or cut-down foam.

Where you'll really struggle is using one of these tents with big thick rectangular air-filled sleeping mats (example very similar to one I've had), which are often long as well. Many of those are too bulky and heavy for anything but car-camping. Unfortunately plenty of camping shops sells lots of tents and sleeping bags this shape, but only a few truly compatible (as sold) sleeping mats. I suspect this is because people often buy a bigger tent than the number of people would suggest (e.g. a "3-person" tent for a couple). Many, but by no means all, tents are rather cramped when fully occupied.

Always test this sort of thing before you leave - you've spotted this, but there may be other things to catch you out.

  • 1
    I would go with the last point: sleep in the central untapered part of the tent and put your stuff at each end. Otherwise it will get in the way making it awkward to get in and out. Living in a very small space is a matter of organisation. Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 7:16
  • As the tent only seems to taper by 10cm on each side, sleeping in the center with two 70cm mats definitely sounds like the easiest option. You want to keep a certain distance from the tents walls anyway as touching them often means pressing the inner tent against the outer tent and getting condensation water on your sleeping bag
    – Manziel
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 7:22
  • @Manziel It gets a lot narrower than you think. The OP states that they've measured 97cm. If you look carefully at the drawing 160cm is the outer width of the outer, while 140 is the inner width of the wide part of the inner. The width at the taper isn't shown...
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 9:05
  • ...neither (@WeatherVane) is the length of the tapered part shown. If the drawing is approximately to scale you've got about 140cm before it starts to taper - so a short person on a cut down foam mat would fit before it gets too narrow
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 9:07
  • 1
    Oh I see now. I had assumed the inner uses the full space available and that the blue area was the underlay - but I can see from the elevation that it is the inner, just over half the total length. Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 10:04

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