By Jason Boyle
CGear is an Australian company that was established in 2003 developing mats for the military to use when landing helicopters in dusty and sandy landing areas. The mats keep sand from being blown around and potentially causing damage to the helicopter or personnel in the area. In 2010, they decided to take the concept to the recreational market and introduced it in the United States. They make the Sandlite Mats, Tote Bags and even sandals with the same sand-free technology.
The Sandlite Sand Free Mat (Sandlite from here on out) comes in three sizes: small – 40”x 78”, medium – 61” x 78” and large – 78” x 78”. They retail for $49.99, $64.99 and $79.99 respectively. I received the small size for this review. Their website does not give the material content of the mat, but the tag on the mat says 100% polyester. The Sandlite mat can be folded or rolled up and there is a small elastic band and button to hold the rolled or folded mat together and a carry handle on the top for easy transport.
The first thing I did when the Sandlite mat arrived was to open it and try it out in the yard. The small size is about the size of a large beach towel. The fabric of the mat is softer than I expected it would be and seems like it will be comfortable for sitting or lying on. CGear definitely put a lot of attention to detail into their design, one feature that really stands out to me is the fabric flap and elastic strap and button to keep the mat rolled or folded up. It is a small feature but will make it easier to carry in a beach bag or backpack.
There are numerous uses for the Sandlite. I anticipate taking it to the beach for use as a traditional type of beach towel, but I can also see using it while camping as an entry mat for my tent or under my hammock. I think my usage is only limited to my imagination.
Thanks for reading my initial review. Please check back in a month or so for my first update.
Special thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and CGear for providing the Sandlite mat for this review.