February 24, 2021 3 min read

HEST products are designed to bring the comforts of home into the outdoors. Achieving maximum performance and premium comfort for the environment the product will be used is of paramount importance when selecting the best material for our products.

The home market may use fancy materials like 800 thread count Egyptian cotton which doesn’t perform well in the outdoors where you are susceptible to exposure to natural elements like dirt and moisture. In the outdoors, we have found so many products currently select polyester, which lacks comfort and durability.

We checked in with HEST designer, Zac West to take a deeper dive into our choice behind using Stretch Nylon Twill as the primary fabric in our camping mattress & travel pillow designs.


What went into the decision making process to use Stretch Nylon Twill in the HEST product line?

The top panel’s fabric on all of our products ( HEST Sleep System,  Dually,Foamy, Dog Beds & HEST Pillows ) serve two critical functions: Comfortable touch (hmmmm, soft and cozy) and protection from the elements (obviously we are all about sleeping outside).  These can sound seemingly at odds with one another, but our fabric top is able to thread the needle (punny!).  This dense nylon twill provides the suppleness that stretches but with yarns that offer great durability.  The result is a balance of making sure premium comfort is not sacrificed for also having something that can perform well on camping trips.


Overhead shot of product designer looking through fabric swatches laid out on a table

Nylon vs Polyester? What's the difference? Why does it matter?

Both of these polymers are common in outdoor textiles and they each have their advantages as well as challenges.  Nylon is the preferred choice for HEST for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s more tenacious than polyester which helps with higher abrasion resistance and not tearing as quickly as polyester.  And for the weight of fabric, it compresses and packs down more easily which allows the top to be more comfortable to sleep on and better when rolling up.  Lastly, it will last longer than polyester when out in the elements which means your camping mattress is going to be around for the long haul.

Nylon’s common challenges often boil down to two things: it is often more expensive compared to polyester and it is trickier for bright colorations. We selected a more high end textile as it performs better for outdoor use and adapted our color palette to look great with nylon.  


What are the properties of the stretch woven nylon that make it a superior choice for sleep surface application?

HEST offers one of the few outdoor camping mattresses using stretch fabric for our sleeping surface. Common camping pads hold air, making the material hard to stretch (think birthday party balloons).  But with HEST’s design, we separated out the air to stay below (in the dropstitch base) which allows us to target a textile that functions specifically for comfort.  Additionally, using a higher end stretch woven textile allows the top surface to work well with the foams below and contour to your body regardless if you’re a side sleeper or back sleeper. A less stretchy material doesn’t allow for the same pressure point relief.  And finally, this textile is breathable which allows for the temperature regulation properties of the memory foam to be able to work well throughout the night in any outdoor environment. Desert camping, beach camping, winter camping, you name it… the comfortable stretch nylon twill combined with the highest quality memory foam will keep you cozy, comfortable, and rested.