Nemo Zor Short – initial assessment

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Nemo Zor with MYOG fleece cover

The Nemo Zor Short was another bit of gear that had a first outing on my trip around the Northern Fells. After the puncture that I suffered with my Exped Synmat UL last year, I decided that it might be a good idea to return to a self inflating mat in the expectation that it would be less vulnerable to punctures.

The Zor is probably the lightest self inflating mat on the market. The short weighs 277g, which is a bit lighter than the Thermarest and Multimat equivalents. The main reason for the lower weight seems to be that it has horizontal as well as vertical cores. Not only does this make it lighter but also makes it more compact when rolled up.

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Multimat Superlite (left), Nemo Zor (middle) and a Thermarest NeoAir (right)

As it was still winter, I used a thin foam mat under the Zor (which has been my normal practise anyway over the last few years). I also used a MYOG light fleece cover for the top side. Both the foam mat and fleece cover will have made some difference to the insulative quality of the Zor, which needs to be taken into account with my comments.

This is the first time I’ve used a self inflating mat for nearly five years. I was expecting a significant decline in perceived comfort. However, I was pleasantly surprised. On both nights, I was very happy.

As a side sleeper I was concerned that my hip might be uncomfortable, but this was not a problem. The contrast with an air bed is like that between a firm mattress and a medium one. One area that the Zor scores over an air bed is that it doesn’t bounce around when you move around on it. It feels more solid and secure.

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Nemo Zor (left) Multimat Superlite (right)

It was certainly on a par with the Synmat in terms of perceived warmth, although, as I say above, this was helped by the foam mat underneath and the thin fleece on top. Where it was exposed, the face fabric of the Zor is pleasantly warm to the touch.

Inflating the mat took considerably less effort than an air bed. It takes about three breaths to fill. I like the push pull valve, which can be twisted to lock. It’s definitely easier than others I’ve used. There was no perceptible deflation during the night.

Clearly, durability can only be assessed over a few years, so the jury will be out for some time. There are some suggestions elsewhere that the Zor is less durable than competitors and only time will confirm or deny this assertion.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Zor. The level of comfort exceeded my expectations and as did the the insulative properties. At the moment, there’s nothing to criticise about it. As a compact and lightweight self inflating keeping mat, it hits the mark.

My thoughts on Air Mats.

Disclaimer: the Zor was purchased with my own funds and I have no relationship with Nemo

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8 thoughts on “Nemo Zor Short – initial assessment”

  1. I agree Robin, the Zor’s seem like a good mattress. I used mine in February in conjunction with a foam mat. What surprised me about the Zor was that I never really felt that my hip was touching the ground even when most of my weight was on it. I normally carry a foam mat and I think this combination appears to be very promising. I will look forward to hearing more as time progresses.

    1. Only time will tell how durable the Zor is. At least if it fails, there’s a little more residual insulation than an air bed.

  2. Interesting. I agree it looks a good product and your comments are fair for an initial assessment. Your long term opinion will be worth watching as it seems to tick many boxes. Re your earlier post re left compass in car – I carry two, my second is the rather handy Silva (http://silva.se/products/outdoor/metro-green) Metro which is clipped to my pack, it would at least get me out of trouble.

    1. That’s a very good idea. Fortunately I didn’t really need a compass and I had my iPhone plus battery extender. The iPhone was in a waterproof case as well.

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