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I have a rather nice lightweight sleeping mat but it's a rather slippery plastic material, and when camping on a slope tends to slide in my tent. The tent is an old VauDe Hogan, with a synthetic sewn-in groundsheet (the current model is polyester, not sure about mine).

At the weekend I ended up pitched across a slope, and always woke up with the mat trying to slide up against the tent wall. As I was at the beach I had a fairly long proper towel, but that didn't add enough friction when placed underneath - the mat slid on the towel.

So how can I get more friction between the sleeping mat and the groundsheet - without adding lots of weight or bulk, as this is my bike set-up and a foam mat is out of the question.

I've now tagged this ultralight, as space and weight are really tight - that's why I've got such a lightweight mat to start with.

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    I think the best answer is to find a flatter spot. Which, of course, is not always possible...
    – Jon Custer
    May 3, 2023 at 18:03
  • @JonCuster in this case the entire campsite had a consistent slope, so even if I'd been able to swap to a different pitch it wouldn't have helped. I've been luckier wild camping, or maybe the groundsheet I use with my tarp grips the mat better
    – Chris H
    May 3, 2023 at 19:04
  • I get it, I've found myself wanting to slip out the door at times. But nylon on nylon is going to be slick,..
    – Jon Custer
    May 3, 2023 at 20:20
  • It is possible that a smaller non-slip mat would function as well as one as long as your mat. I would test with pieces at the pressure points of hip, shoulder and head.
    – bob1
    May 4, 2023 at 1:59
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    @bob1 I got the chance to try it - I was car camping with that tent and mat combination for the first time this week, and I have non-slip mat in the cupboards in my van. Head to mid-thigh coverage in 3 pieces was of quite some benefit, but just under my torso did very little (the mat seemed to pivot about the grippy stuff). So based on my 400gsm measurement, roughly half the weight of the sleeping mat, and more bulk.
    – Chris H
    Jun 3, 2023 at 20:30

3 Answers 3

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There is a product sold to keep carpets from sliding on smooth floors. I have mine from IKEA. It is an open structure with a mess size of about 1 cm, a couple of mm thick.

You will have to buy a much bigger sheet of it but a narrow strip under the part of you with the most ground contact should do the job.

I just ran an 'under carpet anti slip' search and several different options came up, from several stores.

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  • I thought I knew the stuff you mean - I have some from IKEA under some rugs and doormats. It's thinner (<1mm) and lighter (120g/m²) than the stuff mentioned in the comments, but being designed for carpets has a smooth side to contact a smooth floor, and a textured side that works well on carpet but far less well on rubber-backed doormats. There's a chance it could work upside down though against a smooth fabric I'm sceptical
    – Chris H
    May 4, 2023 at 6:03
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    I have a version of this from IKEA that is essentially a think rubber net/mesh that provides friction against both smooth floors as well as any kind of fabric. It is very light as well.
    – fgysin
    May 4, 2023 at 6:20
  • @fgysin "Stopp"? That's what I've got at home and it's smooth on the underside but not the top. It's worth a try and wouldn't be wasted if it didn't work.
    – Chris H
    May 4, 2023 at 8:50
  • That Stopp looks very much like the one I have at home which has been working for 20 years so far, but in the way intended by the producer.
    – Willeke
    May 4, 2023 at 17:14
  • A similar product is mats to prevent items sliding off a car dashboard. May 4, 2023 at 23:13
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You could add some strips of friction tape to the bottom of your sleeping pad.

There are various brands that provide such tapes, just pay attention to get one with a rubbery / silicone surface and not the one intended to provide grip for shoes stepping on it, as that will be quite rough and might damage your tent floor.

As an alternative you could go with some silicone seam sealant. This is sold to, well, seal seams of tents or rain gear and leaves a rubbery silicone surface. Applied in dots or strips to the underside of your sleeping pad it should provide a fair bit of additional friction.

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  • I reckon the seam sealant would be better than the tape on this particular mat. The air cells curve in 2 dimensions so tape would have to be very stretchy. The seam sealant I used recently isn't silicone (polyurethane I think) and isn't very grippy; I'd also worry a little about the solvent in the PU sealant, but strips of silicone sealant might work with the stiffness of the mat to help
    – Chris H
    May 4, 2023 at 8:46
  • +1 for silicone seam sealant on wither the bottom of the pad, or the floor of the tent. that's what I use, it works fine
    – njzk2
    May 5, 2023 at 17:45
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One possibility that should be quite lightweight is to use Velcro tape that you attach to your mat and the tent floor with some strong double-sided adhesive tape. Three stripes on the top, middle and bottom of the mat should suffice to prevent movement of the mat during the night. As soon as you do not need the Velcro tape any more you could simply remove it.

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    Instead of the double system of two layers of velcro and sticky tape on both you could leave out the velcro and tape the mat to the tent.
    – Willeke
    May 26, 2023 at 10:23

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