Gear Review

5 5

Goldilocks' favorite sleeping pad!

I currently own the 2010 model of this pad. I would own the most recent model, but this thing is a tank and I don't fix it if it isn't broken. To review, I've compared this mat to several styles of mat. First and foremost, the foam mats. I've always been a fan of these (because I am cheap and poor). This mat is clearly WAY more compressible. On an ultralight weekend I have the joy of keeping this beauty INSIDE of my 40L pack. On the other end of the spectrum are the "NeoAir" style of pads. These are hyper expensive, and in my experience, less durable. Also, because I usually sleep in a bivy sack, the large NeoAir mats leave less room (I'm a squirmy sleeper). I've found this mat to strike a perfect balance of light weight, high durability, and compact size (both packed and unpacked). It is a very comfortable mat (it is currently my bed).
A few considerations if you plan to purchase this mat, or if you currently own it. It IS self inflating, but it takes an awful long time to do so, especially in cold weather and if you roll it up tight. Lay it out as soon as you set up your bivy site, don't wait until bed time. You may have to blow in it a bit, but be careful, any condensation inside the mat will freeze up on you. Also, my first few nights on the mat I thought it was super uncomfortable. This being my first self inflating mat, I had a tendency to overinflate. Let the mat puff up to it's "resting state" and close the valve. This allows the perfect amount of give and will be an extremely comfortable setting (depending on what your sleep number is ....). ;-)