Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad Review

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Brett: "For anyone who grew up using a non-inflatable pad, any inflatable pad is an improvement over their cheaper foam predecessors. There is, however, a wide spectrum of styles and qualities in the realm of higher-end, inflatable pads. Big Agnes's Insulated Air Core boats an impressive 3.75 inches of pad thickness when inflated, and packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle. I recommend inflating the pad fully, lying on it, and allowing air to slowly escape from the valve until you attain what I call my "optimal sleep number", then sealing the valve.

If you're like me, you tend to buy gear with just yourself in mind. A "problem" that I did not anticipate with this pad is that in close tent proximity, there exists a tendency for gravity to re-orient arms, legs, and whole bodies off this pad and onto your neighbor's (if you don't use BA's integrated bag/pad system) given the significant thickness of BA pads. This remedy is easily solved if simply purchase one for your significant other/most significant tent mate as a gift.

On longer trips, there are a few aspects of this pad that make it desirable. First, it can be inflated in the bottom of a packraft as extra leg-insulation. Second, if you put some air into the pad it can serve as extra flotation for your backpack in the case of a water immersion.

The first air core that I received had a slow leak at the valve right out of the box, which Big Agnes immediately replaced. My current pad took over 30 days of abuse without a complaint and is worth its weight in uninterrupted sleep hours which are vital for longer trips."