(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 2020 Backpackers.com. This also changes depending on the type of pad — closed-cell foam pads are generally very thin, self-inflating pads are relatively thin but quite comfy, and air pads range a lot in height. It’s not crinkly and packs up extremely small, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants a slightly different pad to the Therm-a-Rest model. Hard to ask for more in an air pad. The Alpine was a replacement for a warrantied "normal" Tensor. Air pads can also cost a fair amount because they utilize a lot of highly-engineered materials, like fancy insulation linings, and design features, like perfectly stretched quilted baffles for an even night’s sleep. NEMO Switchback UL N/A 2 NEMO Tensor Alpine UL N/A 4.8 NEMO Tensor Insulated N/A 3.5 NEMO Cosmo 3D N/A 3.3 NEMO Roamer SI NA 6 NEMO Nomad Camping N/A N/A NEMO Vector UL N/A 3.5 NEMO Astro NA 2.6 NEMO Astro Lite N/A 2.6Sea-to-Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Air 3.8 3.2. I had a tensor and currently have an xlite. The main other kind of valve is a Flat Valve. That said, you can blow it up and sit on it for about 20 minutes — that’s usually enough time to see if it’s losing air. These were the original types of sleeping pads, and are very thin (unless you want to bring a huge one). Knowing a product category, and what products you might want, goes a long way towards the actual purchase. R Value is a national testing standard for the warmth that a sleeping pad can provide. The Tensor, on the other hand, I often find myself having to adjust the inflation a few times before it's just right. The packed size difference of non-insulated versions are not big, Non-insulated Nemo Tensor (Regular) packs down to 8.0″ x Ø 3.0″ whereas Non-insulated Nemo Astro’s packed sizes are 8.0″ x Ø 3.5″ (36% bigger). Offering quieter, more supportive sleep at a tiny packed size, Tensor™ ultralight sleeping pad stands apart as the ultimate backcountry adventurer’s best friend. VS. TENSOR INSUL. We’ve found that the lower the pad is, the firmer it is, with the closed-cell foam mat being the most firm and the flattest, though this depends on the ground you’re on. It’s a simple pad, about .75 inches thick, with a dimpled, egg-crate like surface that gives you a bit of cushion in camp. IME, at least. I can shave the 3 oz. The Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated is the last, but not least on this list. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is time tested closed cell foam sleeping pad, meaning it does not inflate, deflate, or keep you very far off the ground. Really being picky, I would say that the Tensor doesn't have the same amount of "edge collapse" that the X-Lite has, which I think is the biggest factor in it seeming more comfortable. Instead, they test the pad internally and publish a degree range in which it will work — this is often accurate, but there’s no third-party (except for testers and users like us!) The Comfort Plus Insulated actually inflates on both sides, so if you spring a leak in one you’ll be fine. Quality sleep in the backcountry is important. I also have a thermarest xlite that I love. At 27 ounces, the pad features quilt baffles the likes of which you may have never seen in the backcountry — they most resemble your bed at home. Weighing just 15 oz (see below), the XTherm is also lightweight, durable, and rolls up small, which explains its popularity with winter campers and backpackers. These pads have a similar shell fabric as air pads, but are usually more durable. We’ve found that the height of a pad is actually highly subjective — similar to mattress shopping, where people either like firm or soft or somewhere in between. Finally, closed-cell foam pads are the most basic and simple of the three. I suspect the tensor is similar. Therm-a-Rest UberLite vs. Therm-a-Rest XLite. The cells model your mattress at home, and Sea to Summit put a huge number in this pad, making it the most comfortable air mattress sleeping experience we’ve had. You have likely used or seen one of these: a black vertical valve that twists open for inflation (via air or your breath), and then twists and pushes close to keep in the air. Patent-pending, reflective ThermaCapture technology traps radiant heat while Triangular Core Matrix construction minimizes convective heat loss–all without the bulk, weight or durability issues of down and synthetic fills. However, I never had an uncomfortable night on the Xlite - I felt like I could just inflate it until it was full and it was comfy. I feel like I’ve got the first two dialed in, but the “perfect” sleeping pad eludes me to this day. We suggest trying out all three types, and finding what range of price, comfort, and packability makes the most sense to you, then find a model within that type that fits your comfort level the best. Update: We tested the NEMO Tensor in 2017 (technically the Tensor 20R Mummy, which indicates the width, shape, and insulation of the pad). It's the tensor Insulated, but the only difference in the Alpine should be the insulation amount. The Tensor has often been praised as one of the most comfy pads to lie on. Most of them don’t keep air inside while inflating, so you have to do it in one go. The NeoAir XLite from Therm-a-Rest is lightweight, easily packable, and will help you rest easy at the end of a long day. It was time to talk about the sleeping pad that has been showing up in our videos. The Xlite was way too noisy. Our team uses it, many on thru-hikes use it, and those who want a premium pad should seriously consider using it. more and is more comfortable for my legs to stretch out. It has medium stats across the board, with a $130 price point, an R Value of 3.3, and a height of 2 inches. Warm enough to get you through any season and light enough to bring on almost all your adventures, the ProLite Plus sleeping pad has staying power in an increasingly crowded category. Even if they did, the main concern is popped pads, which can be difficult to repair. This sub is about overnight backpacking with a focus on moving efficiently and packing light, generally aiming at a sub 10lb base weight. While it is not as thick as the previous two pads, the Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is still a respectable 3 inches thick. A lot of gear. Also did this with the older version, it works. It really depends on your sleeping style and the environments you plan to camp in. The “V” in Static V is all about the baffle shape of this pad — it is an air pad with a large ribbed V throughout, which, according to Klymit, is better for your back and creates a more comfortable sleep experience. The pad is a standard 2.5 inches in height, but has a little extra width in the Regular size. The construction is identical, with comfortable and even-spaced horizontal baffles, 2.5 inches of height, and Therm-a-Rest’s outstanding build. Read our About Air pads are now the most common for backpacking. The baffles are quilted like a real bed, and comfort is key. The higher the R Value, the more insulation the pad provides. The downside? The pad includes a reflective layer that returns valuable heat to your body and creates air pockets that help you conserve additional warmth. You might luck out and find a perfectly used pad, with no rips or tears or holes, but it’s unlikely. Looks like they have one left. While the pad is insulated, Big Agnes doesn’t give a temperature range, and it runs colder than other insulated sleeping pads in the same class. Join us and ask yourself the question: Do I really need that? If I where to just buy one I'd also buy the Xlite. I'm between the XTherm/XLite or the Nemo Tensor. The Thermarest NeoAir XLite is one of the most popular backpacking sleeping pads on the market due to comfort and packability. They are relatively lightweight, by far the most durable of any pad, and typically have a lower price point because it’s a simple product to design and manufacturer. However, the construction of the pad has to be really solid at that height, or it’ll flip and flop quite a lot. The Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad weighs just 17 ounces or 22 ounces for the insulated version. Typically they are just a piece of foam about the length and width of your body, and fold up like an accordion. The baffles run horizontally much like Therm-a-Rest’s Neoair sleeping pads. I have the new version as well and it isn't that loud - and definitely quiet enough that after a long hiking day that I don't notice. They don’t use any air, have no inflation valves, and don’t pack up complexly. You "know" the noise is coming, they don't. The Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is definitely one of the coziest pads for side sleepers. Finally, you can easily attach accompanying stuff sacks to them, which allow inflation without breath, which is a huge advantage after a long day on the trail. NEMO Tensor Insulated Ultralight ($160, 15 oz), which has been updated for 2019, possibly causing closeouts of the current model; and, Sea-to-Summit Insulated Ultralight ($140, 17 oz), which is heavy but has proven reliable. Best Sleeping Pads Backpacking. Closed cell foam pads were the first kind of sleeping pads for backpacking, and this is the creme of the crop. The Big Agnes Insulated AXL air pad is new on the market, and aims to compete with the popular Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite. Self-inflating pads inflate faster (duh), provide a more even sleep experience, and have some foam to help cushion your back, even though the overall height of the pad is only 2 inches. The patent-pending reflective layer bounces your body heat back at you and collects within the internal baffled structure. Ill have a video about this next spring where I do some wierd stuff. I just grabbed a tensor alpine long/wide from moose jaw. Both great pads. They also typically keep in the air while inflating, so you can take a break, and sometimes pads have two of them for separate inflation/deflation. The pad does crinkle a bit when rolling around, but provides enough warmth (through R Value) to keep you toasty, and well off the ground, all night. full adventure of the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol, full adventure of the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated, full adventure of the Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air, See Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air Insulated, Best 4 Person Tents for Camping and Backpacking, Best Backpacking Water Filters and Purifiers, The Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking of 2020, Meet Pixie Cup: The Outdoor Menstrual Cup that Gives Back, Meet Surviveware Small First Aid Kit: The One-Pound, Perfectly Organized Backpacking FAK, Hikers Brew: Sustainable Flavored Coffee for the Outdoors, The Moosejaw 96 Hour Holiday Sale: Hand-Picked Deals. Brands are not required to use R Value to sell products, and it’s costly to run the test. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm lives up to the phrase “go big or go home” — except that it packs up quite small for an ultralight backpacking sleeping pad. It is an air pad that boasts 3 solid inches of height and an extremley comfy quilted baffle pattern that mimics your bed at home. It has an outstanding set of features, including a winter-ready 5.7 R Value, 2.5 inches of height, and 70D nylon fabric on the bottom to reduce the chance of tears, all while weighing just 17 ounces. An evenly shaped mummy with a flat, semi-dimpled surface, this pad does not pack tiny, and it doesn’t weigh a minuscule amount, but it performs year after year for introductory and experienced backpackers alike. I'm leaning towards the XTherm or Tensor because I tend to sleep cold (5'10'', 140lbs) and would like a pad that I can use for backpacking at lower elevations as well as some mountain summits in … The NEMO Tensor is a sleeping pad that hits nearly every mark well in an overcrowded field. blown up and ready for you to test. Pro Tip: R Value is pretty accurate, so you can trust it (as opposed to sleeping bag ratings). Do you want to sleep .75 inches off the ground, or 3.5 inches off the ground? somewhere else. If you sleep like a log no matter what, don’t like air pads, or want a cheap but rugged option, consider the Z Lite Sol. Also keep in mind the xlite noise decreases as the humidity of the environment increases. Below we discuss the key elements of finally choosing a sleeping pad. Following from the above, once you’ve made a general decision, you can definitely buy the pad online or in stores. It uses a new flat valve for easy inflation and deflation, and Big Agnes’ custom patterned ripstop for heightened durability. Required fields are marked *. This new model incorporates the comfortable “air sprung cells” we love from their other pads with a lofty 4-inch thickness to prevent bottoming out. Backpackers.com is a participant in multiple affiliate programs, including Amazon Services LLC. That said, the best pads around — the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm and XLite, and really all of the Therm-a-Rest pads — use them. Your email address will not be published. The materials used are top notch and it’ll give you plenty of support, and it can be used in the depth of winter. The new version of the xlite is way less noisy. The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated sleeping pad is a burly air pad that aims for extreme comfort in a relatively lightweight package. The Insulated AXL is more comfortable than the XLite. As materials get stronger and lighter pads are decreasing in weight every single year. It’s an air pad with a flat, single valve for inflation and deflation, which works best with a Big Agnes pump sack. Below you’ll find the best sleeping pads for backpacking with different styles and budgets in mind. The main things lacking in this pad are height — it’s just 2 inches, which for an air pad is low — and some issues with durability. Twist and Pull valves work well, but they have some flaws. Choose a pad that will best fit for your typical coldest weather trips, unless you want more than one sleeping pad. If you love backpacking in cold climates, we definitely suggest a warmer pad, with options like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm, Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated, REI Flash Insulated being the warmest. When it comes to sleeping pads for backpacking, there are three main types to choose from: air pads, self-inflating pads, and closed-cell foam pads. For our comparison, Thermarest NeoAir XLite is the clear winner, both top and bottom of its fabric are 30D rip HT Nylon (which can be considered as a very durable material for an air sleeping pad). So I'm thinking about settling on an X-Lite wide. I hardly notice it at all now and it's comparable to other blowup pads I've had. It is built for ultralight thru-hiking and has a very minimal weight no matter the size you get. It’s undergone substantial improvement since we last reviewed it a few years ago including a new flat 2-way valve, new insulation, reduced … If there's one thing to be thankful for in 2020, it's the updated valve system on one of our favorite sleeping pads of all time. For the OP, I also have a torso Tensor and haven't had a lot of time on it but I don't feel much of a difference really. While this isn’t as comfy as the higher-end pads, it’s nearly winter-capable with an R Value of 4.4 and only costs $90. The updated version has a flat valve, which we prefer, and comes with a pump sack. The Nemo Tensor 25L sleeping pad has a frame for better stability and a reflective film for better warmth. The beauty of buying a lightweight pad is that you aren’t necessarily compromising comfort, but as weight goes down you may see durability decrease and price increase. I find that it is easily "too firm" for me, and I have to use it at a level that initially seems way under-inflated for it to be perfectly comfy. The backcountry is a lot less fun to explore when you can’t get a comfortable night’s sleep. 3. One thing I recommend for the Xlite is NOT to inflate it all the way. Other pros/cons: The Tensor fits me a little better and I tend to not wander off of it while wiggling at night quite as much as I did the Xlite. The ProLite Plus uses a highly durable 50D mini hex ripstop and polyester for the top and bottom respectively, and has a decent R Value of 3.4, making it usable in 3 seasons. The xlite is still very loud compared to the tensor, and I have the wing valve version. Beyond orchestrating the daily flow of Backpackers.com, Daniel writes surrealistic short fiction and novels, adventures into the backcountry and abroad, surfs, reads, drinks tea, and obsesses over gear. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. I just tried to share this review to the sub, but it was taken down for low effort. (This is not true of all Twist and Pulls). They can be quite comfortable, though backpacking self-inflating pads are usually thinner (closer to the ground) than air pads. The NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is a lightweight insulated air mat that’s available in a wide variety of lengths and widths. If you’re looking for larger, warmer, and heavier camping pads (mattresses), see our recommendations for the Best Camping Mattress. If you’re a taller person definitely consider a longer pad, as you’ll want your feet to be on it or they’ll get cold! NEMO offers this in a lightly insulated version that works to about 35 degrees F, and in an insulated version that can handle winter. With the Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad, NEMO focuses on the common pain points to deliver a killer ultralight product. However, this is also a great pad to take as a seat, as an R Value booster for another pad, or as a “just in case pad” if you’re sleeping in a rather poky area. If I were buying a winter pad today, I would almost certainly choose the Tensor Alpine if it was in stock, but the X-Lite is also an excellent choice and you really couldn't go wrong with either. The Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus is that iconic self-inflating sleeping pad you’ve seen your whole life. As we mentioned in a Pro Tip above, the best way to go about sleeping pad shopping is to try some pads in real life. page for more information, and check out our gear reviews and outdoor guides. Instead, our conclusion is that this is one of the best lightweight inflatable sleeping pads you can buy. They’re just not as comfortable. In fact, when you buy online there is a much greater selection of sizes, so it may be a better bet. That being said, the X-Lite is just fine. Hi r/Ultralight,. The Z Lite Sol is a closed-cell foam pad, meaning there is no air at all, just foam to lie on at night. The ProLite Plus is the only self-inflating pad on this list, so if that’s your preferred type of pad, we suggest starting here. I have the Nemo tensor alpine, sea to summit comfort plus, and the exped ul winter pad. MUMMY, this ways 0.5 oz. Because it’s made for ultralight outdoor adventures such as backpacking, Nemo Tensor packs down smaller than Nemo Astro. Padding comfort, I think the Tensor maybeeeee is a bit better but if you’re exhausted at the end of the day it won’t matter. While comfort is not the primary purpose, this pad is extremely durable (it can’t pop! Some air pads are now broaching 3.75 inches of height, which, when done correctly, works well. Sleeping pads are considered “bedding” — in California, anyway — so most big stores won’t sell old pads. It will bottom out if you sit on it this way with just your bottom. Trust us — you won’t be disappointed. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad (2020 edition) is an insulated air mattress designed for cold weather camping with an R-value = 6.9, using the new Outdoor Industry sleeping pad R-value measurement standard. We have extensive experience sleeping outdoors, and have tried innumerable pads to create this best sleeping pad guide. Finally, most manufacturers make a pad that’s insulated and non-insulated. Many pads now use flat valves — on our list, the updated NEMO Tensor, the Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air, and the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated and UltraLight Insulated pads use them well. Neither pad is particularly tough, but the Tensor’s 20-denier fabric is more likely to get a puncture (the XLite is 30D), yet it’s still the heavier option. We don’t think you sacrifice much by choosing the Tensor over the XLite. Sea to Summit makes some of the most comfortable sleeping pads on the market. It’s a dilemma backpackers have faced for years and is the main reason the entire product category of sleeping pads were created. In addition, the Nemo is slightly less insulative with an R-value of 3.5 (the XLite is 4.2). In fact, there’s a bit of a foot race among brands for who can have the lightest pad on the market. It’s a budget-conscious pad from an innovative company. Like the name, they lie flush against the pad, meaning they’re not bulky or in your way at all. Considerations include ease of inflation, weight, compactness, insulation … The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is a sleeping pad that has groupies. It is quite thick at 3.75 inches, has a softer fabric than most pads, and has two raised baffles on either edge to help keep you in the middle. Daniel Zweier is Editor-in-Chief of Backpackers.com. I use the Tensor in warmer weather on extended trips, because it’s a bit longer and I can toss and turn without spilling over the side, and sleep on my stomach without my feet hanging over the edge. Overall an excellent pad, and an exciting addition to the ever-increasing competitive field of sleeping pads. The Therm-a-Rest UberLite and NEMO Tensor are a little quieter than the XLite. If you do it will feel like you're sleeping on a balloon and you'll keep sliding off. The Thermarest NeoAir XLite mattress delivers lots of warmth and comfort per ounce for a three-season air mattress. But it is quiet. Press J to jump to the feed. Therm-a-Rest is kind of the godfather of sleeping pads, and developed the first highly usable inflation valve — what we call the “Twist and Pull”. The NEMO Tensor Insulated Mummy provided comfortable and near-silent sleep during our test. I notice the crinkle sound when I fold and unfold it, but not while sleeping on it. Ultra-Packable: Low-bulk materials make the XLite mattress an incredibly compact NeoAir mattress – as packable as a water bottle. r/Ultralight is the largest online Ultralight Backpacking community! The Tensor uses ultralight 20D PU Polyester on the top and bottom, yet doesn’t suffer from durability issues. That is coupled with new valve concepts, advanced lining materials, and different baffles designs all aimed to get you comfortable when your head hits the pillow (or pile of clothes). more. But tbh I probably won't mind it too much. The crunch subsides with time although the new wing valve version (Xlite) is not as noisy. NOISE - All air pads are going to be a little noisy, and the XLite is no exception. Air pads with a 2.5 inch height, like the NeoAir XTherm, XLite and Klymit Insulated Static V, are your standard, even-keel sleep experiences. I am a stomach sleeper so really even my Nemo Switchback is comfortable to me at 47 years old as well, might be my beer belly is enough padding? Foam pads and inflatable pads models compared for Klymit, Sea to Summit, NEMO, Exped, Big Agnes, REI, Therma-Rest and Gossamer Gear. They don’t suffer from small leaks as much, and take up much more room when packed due to all that foam! The mode is very similar to the more beefy Comfort Plus Insulated above, but the UltraLight Insulated is the fast and light version. It’S important to know what you’re getting into when selecting one a heavy pad 27.7. ) with nothing on the placement even if they did, the Ether XT! Products, and the exped ul winter pad on an X-Lite wide ( the XLite, this is not of. 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