Andrea Murland Please Read - Re: OR - MEC Kelvin 3.8 -
- PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!
Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com
To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.
You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.
Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.
If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.
Edit Administration Manager
- Dear Andrea,
Great first review, thanks for making my life easy! I have a couple of points for you, mainly just comments, and then the next step is creating an html version. That will go in the Owner Review Test Folder. The folder can be found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page, or here:
To create the html file there is a free BGT Report Writer here:
although you are welcome to use another way if you prefer.
If you have any questions about your upload, please ask them in our Yahoo! support group, BGTFileUploadHelp
and let me have a link to the review or at least the name of it once you have it uploaded.
Here are your edits, taking the following format:
EDIT - must change
Edit - suggested change
Comment - something to think about
>>The MEC Kelvin 3.8 self-inflating mat is rectangular with rounded corners.Comment - It might be nice to have an introductory first sentence, maybe rewording this sentence just to describe what the product is in general terms. That is totally up to you though.
>>but the self-inflating was excellent.EDIT - replace 'self-inflating' with 'self-inflation'
>>When I reach the valve and have forced all of the air out, I close the valve, unroll the mat, and re-roll it.Comment - why do you unroll and re-roll the mat? I was wondering and the readers may too.
- Thanks for the edits Sophie! I've made the changes and reworded the Description.
The HTML is here: http://tinyurl.com/n8lg6p
MEC Kelvin 3.8
OWNER REVIEW by Andrea Murland
August 6, 2009
Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Location: Rossland, British Columbia, Canada
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada,
Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends
either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I
can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don't have a lot of
experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3000
m (1600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Kootenays or Rockies. I try for a light
pack, but I don't consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Manufacturer: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
Manufacturer's URL: www.mec.ca
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Model: Kelvin 3.8
Size: Small, also available in Regular length
Colour: Deep Sea
MSRP: CAD $45
Specified Size: 153 cm x 51 cm x 3.8 cm (60 in x 20.1 in x 1.5 in)
Measured Size: 150 cm x 53 cm x 3.8 cm (59 in x 20.9 in x 1.5 in)
Specified Rolled Size: 30 cm x 14 cm (11.8 in x 5.5 in)
Measured Rolled Size: 28 cm x 13.5 cm (11 in x 5.3 in)
Specified Weight: 645 g (22.75 oz)
Measured Weight: 659 g (23.25 oz)
The MEC Kelvin 3.8 is a self-inflating mat, with CFC-free open-cell foam,
75-denier 100% polyester ripstop fabric, and an R-value of 2.8 (manufacturer
specifications). The mat is rectangular with rounded corners, and has a plastic twist
valve. It comes with a stuff sack and repair kit, which includes 2 small pieces of
the top-surface material, a large piece of the bottom-surface material,
adhesive, and instructions in English and French. The repair kit fits into a sleeve
attached to the stuff sack; the sack has a strap on the bottom for a handle and a
This sleeping mat was purchased in the spring of 2006 and has been used for
approximately 100 nights. It has been used for short backpacking trips (2-3
days) in Western Canada in 2006, in Australia in 2007, almost nightly for 2.5
months in Europe in 2008, and continues to be used back in Canada most weekends
for camping or backpacking trips. Elevations have ranged from sea level to over
3000 m (10,000 ft), and temperatures from -10 C (14 F) to 35 C (95 F). The mat
has usually been used inside a tent, and the ground surface has usually been
either grass or gravel.
This mat is a size small, however for my height (5 ft 2 in or 157 cm) it is a
perfect length; my head and heels both just fit on the mat. Since I usually
sleep curled on my side in the sleeping bag, I have not had any issues with
hanging off the end of the mat due to size.
I have found that the mat stays in place in tents with floors of polyurethane-
or silicon-coated nylon. There is no indication by the manufacturer that the
material of the top and bottom of the sleeping pad is different, but the texture
of the top of the pad is smoother and more slippery than the bottom. On some
nights when sleeping on a noticeable slope, I have noticed that I slide down the
mat in my sleeping bag and wake up in a different position than I started in.
The mat does a good job of insulating me from the ground, using either a
synthetic 0 C (32 F) rated sleeping bag or a down/synthetic hybrid -12 C (10 F)
rated bag, which has synthetic fill on the bottom. I generally only feel cold
from the bottom if I roll off of the mat, so the mat must be keeping me warm!
The strap/handle on the bottom of the stuff sack is very useful. It is an
excellent carry point for the mat, as is the drawstring closure. I find the
strap very convenient when pulling the mat out of the sack; I undo the
drawstring, hold onto the mat with one hand, and pull the sack off using the
Inflation & Deflation:
My usual procedure when reaching camp is to set up my tent, unroll my sleeping
mat (with the valve open) and bag, and then continue with other activities for
the evening. When the mat was new, it self-inflated by the time I was ready to
sleep. I would frequently add one or two breaths of air manually through the
valve since I prefer a firm mat, but the self-inflation was excellent. After 3
years, the mat no longer self-inflates fully; I have to blow more air into the
mat before sleeping on it. Needing to manually inflate the mat has not affected
the insulation properties or the comfort of the mat, it's just a bit
To deflate the mat, I open the valve, fold the mat in half, and begin to roll it
from the bottom towards the valve. When I reach the valve and have forced all
of the air out, I close the valve, unroll the mat, and re-roll it, just to make
sure that it's tightly rolled. The mat then slides comfortably into the stuff sack.
The manufacturer recommends that the mat be stored unrolled and with the valve
open. I did not have a storage location where I could do this from 2006-2009,
so the mat was stored rolled. I now store it as recommended under my bed. I
don't know if storing the mat incorrectly is related to why the mat doesn't
inflate as much as it used to.
Durability & Customer Service:
This mat has never had any tears or required repair in the field. In summer
2008, while in Europe, the mat began to lose air overnight. Closing the valve
more tightly, with considerable force, seemed to fix the problem. In spring
2009, when the backpacking season started, I noted that even with the valve very
tightly closed the mat would lose air overnight. The problem seems to be
getting worse; I have had to manually re-inflate the mat in the middle of the
night several times. Submersion of the mat in water revealed a slow leak from
the seal of the fabric around the valve housing. I contacted MEC Customer
Service, and they recommended that I bring the mat into a store for repair or
replacement. However, since I live about an 8 hour drive from a retail store,
they had several other suggestions:
-use a seam sealer to try to repair the leak
-if the valve itself is leaking, they will send me a replacement valve kit at no
-if neither of those measures work, they asked that I mail them the mat for
repair or replacement at no cost (except the shipping)
I will attempt the at-home fixes before mailing the mat for replacement, since
it is backpacking season and I'm currently using the mat weekly. It is nice to
know that as a backup the manufacturer will fix or replace the mat, even though
it is 3 years old and has seen heavy use.
The Kelvin 3.8 has provided excellent comfort for 3 years, and the small is a
perfect size for me. Although I have not used the repair kit, it was nice to
have it in the field just in case. The included stuff sack is convenient and a
good fit for the mat.
Comes with stuff sack and repair kit
Sleeping bag slides on top of mat
Leaking air after 3 years
No longer fully self-inflates
- The html looks great Andrea! Only one more change and then you are free to upload. In the title, it is good to include what the product actually is so people can tell at first glance. Something along the lines of 'MEC Kelvin 3.8 Sleeping Pad'.
After that you are free to upload it here:
and remember to delete the version in the owner review folder.
Congrats on your first OR!
- Done! Thanks so much Sophie! Now for the second one...
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Sophie" <sophiep3@...> wrote:
> The html looks great Andrea! Only one more change and then you are free to upload. In the title, it is good to include what the product actually is so people can tell at first glance. Something along the lines of 'MEC Kelvin 3.8 Sleeping Pad'.
> After that you are free to upload it here:
> and remember to delete the version in the owner review folder.
> Congrats on your first OR!