Vacuum Mattress


The Snowsled Vacuum Mattress was developed for the Mountain Rescue Committee of England and Wales and first introduced during 1994. It was designed for the specific requirements of mountain rescue,  to be very robust and easy to use. The fact that it is still the specified product after 22 years, having had only very minor changes to design, suggests that its design for purpose is exactly right.

Major benefits of the MRC pattern vacuum mattress

In fulfilling all the above advantages, it is,

  • lightweight and very hardwearing.
  • quick and easy to use and to learn techniques.
  • very reliable in use.

It is the only vacuum mattress available that has the double protection of an outer envelope enclosing the inner bead bag. It  has outstanding resistance to puncture and consequent damage to the bead bag, and is ideal for use in hostile environments.

The Snowsled Vacuum Mattress is in service with all the Mountain Rescue Teams in England, Wales and Ireland and most in Scotland, also with the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service in Scotland, some Ambulance Services in England and also some Rescue Teams in the USA and Canada.


  • Unrolled size:  2  X 1 m (79  X 39.5 ins )
  • Sac size: 95 X 40  X 30 cms (35.5 X 16 X 12 ins)
  • Weight in sac: 8.3 Kgs (18.7 lbs) complete with pump
  • Patient weight to 150 Kgs (330 lbs)
  • Push fit/easy release valve – couldn’t be easier to operate!
  • 5 easily adjustable patient straps with Delrin buckles
  • 5 lifting handles on each side
  • Outer cover – heavy duty proofed polyester/lightweight proofed Nylon fabric
  • Inner bead bag – welded PU/Nylon fabric sandwich – highly puncture resistent
  • High density beads
  • Transparent A5 pocket for patient notes
  • Use down to -40C

vac mat instructions. 8.13-7 (pdf)

Advantages of using a vacuum mattress

  • It provides optimum spinal support.
  • Circulation is uncompromised, aiding speed of recovery.
  • X-ray compatible.
  • Excellent insulation from surroundings.
  • Unaffected by extremes of temperature.
  • Cleaning is easy.
  • It can be used in whatever is the most useful position for the patient.