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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Klymit Inertia X-Frame

Is your sleeping pad from the Stone Age? Try upgrading to this Jetsons-worthy mattress.

by: Will Rochfort

The Specs:
9.1 oz
One Size: 72” L by 1.5” H by 18” W (at the widest point)
Although I typically avoid leading with the punch line, in this case I’ll make an exception; I was utterly astounded by the effectiveness of this sleeping pad. Two broken clavicles, one broken shoulder, and three knee surgeries have turned me into a rather discerning backcountry sleeper, and the X-Frame’s Spartan construct concerned me immensely. Fortunately, my worries were unwarranted. The 1.5” thick pad has cushion in all of the right places thanks to ‘body-mapping’ technology, which essentially means there’ s padding provided at your body’s primary pressure points when you’re horizontal: your head, shoulders, hips, calves, and feet. These points are connected by thin tubes (see photo 1, above), leaving empty space where the padding is unnecessary. This architecture serves two purposes: a) less material means it can easily pack down to a size that fits in the palm of your hand (see photo 2) while weighing a hair over 9 ounces, and b) your sleeping bag can loft into the vacant space and retain more of your body’s heat. As a bonus, it’s also easy to inflate (it took me four or five good breaths) and quick to deflate, too. Klymit includes a handheld pump to inflate to a PSI beyond what you can do with your own lungs, but I never needed it. Durability wasn’t a concern either; a combination of 30 denier ripstop on the top and 75 denier ripstop on the bottom translated to a product that felt a lot tougher than it’s diminutive size initially conveyed.

My first two nights of testing occurred in Yosemite National Park while tenting on a slab of granite with patches of snow, and both nights dipped below freezing. Amazingly, I was just as warm and comfortable in my 20 degree bag as any other night of backcountry sleeping, and the cushion was so effective that I could even sleep on my side (my personal preference). Additional nights along Olympic National Park’s legendary coastline (see BACKPACKER's recommended overnight itinerary) confirmed what I already suspected: this pad’s comfort to weight ratio is unsurpassed by anything I’ve slept on. However, you do have to be careful to ensure your body stays lined up properly with the body mapping technology; I woke up a couple of times to find that I had worked my hips into empty pockets between padding. The pad is skinny enough to fit inside of a mummy bag, which will help alleviate the problem, but I still preferred keeping the pad on the outside so I could more easily roll around inside my bag.

Bottom Line: The X-Frame is an excellent choice for the fast and light, three-season crowd who are still looking for a little bit of cushion at the end of their day.

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star
Jeff W
Mar 26, 2013

BUYER BEWARE!! I spent two nights on this pad on my living room floor. I cannot speak to its insulation value, as I may not get to the wilderness with this mattress. I am 5'8.5" and this kind of works for me with respect to its body mapping if I keep myself a few inches below where my head should go on the mattress, i.e. the pad has a bank of tubes to support & insulate my shoulders, hips and feet. The big BUT is that the innovative missing tubes allow the remaining tubes to exert more pressure on the body parts that contact them. That made side sleeping a sensory nightmare for me when I flexed my hips and knees--it hurt at the contact points where body parts crossed the tubes. I achieved some relief if I lined up a calf or thigh with the tubes, but that required staying aware of body position, which didn't permit a solid night's rest. I have tried changing the amount of air filling the tubes with no improvement. I had this mattress under my sleeping bag, and even though it can be used inside my bag, that wouldn't have addressed the issues I had. In addition, this pad is only 18" wide, and as narrow as I am, my arms kept falling off when I "slept" on my back with the pad under my bag. It may work better INSIDE your bag than out. Your mileage may vary. I returned to my Peak Elite AC for the rest of this second nights sleep and can confirm it is a much better cloud.

Oct 28, 2012

this company rocks, i interviewed them here-

Will Rochfort (the tester)
Jul 21, 2011

To answer some of your inquiries:
@Brickman Way & Evil Tom: I am mostly a side sleeper, although I tend to sleep on my stomach, back, and sides while backpacking. This pad worked well for all of those positions for me, although I will say that being 6'0" helped with having the pad's body mapping align to my build.
@Alonzo: Personally I would not recommend this pad if you enjoy company in your tent. The body mapping maps well to one, but not so much for two!
@Scott and Eric Nelson: This pad does not have much for insulation, but as long as you have a properly rated sleeping bag, you should be fine. I slept in my 20 degree bag in sub-freezing temps in Yosemite, and I was quite comfortable. I would recommend a foam pad on the bottom if you're actually sleeping on snow, but otherwise you should be fine.

Eric Nelson
Jul 12, 2011

I would guess R-value is less than 2 which means it's pretty useless in anything less than 40 deg F. It's a great idea for summer packing but I'll take my 1.5 inch thermarest for anything above freezing and my cozy 2.5 inch down inflatible for the cold stuff.

Jul 10, 2011

I have a lot of concerns similar to others. It doesn't seem like this review addressed many of the specific, obvious questions people would have (side sleeping, figety sleeping). I'd like to know:

How do two do when with a cuddle buddy? I camp and sleep with my sweetie, so can you spoon with it?

Further, would it interact well if cuddle buddy is using a different type of pad?

Highland cruiser: Your solution is a sheet instead of a sleeping bag. Hot summer camping is awesome with just a simple sheet.

Obiwan Canoli
Jun 30, 2011

highland crusier, if the pad keeps you warmer, try alighter, higher temp-rated bag - you'll win on both counts!

Jun 29, 2011

Do these types of sleeping pads really provide any insulation? Their web site doesn't claim an R-value, which is a big deal to me. I do a lot of hiking and canoeing in the spring and fall. I can't tell if these are the equivalent of a true self-inflating pad with closed cell foam with respect to insulation.

Evil Tom
Jun 28, 2011

I do not see this being a feasible sleep pad I like many many others do not sleep like a corpse(in a perfect straight line on my back arms on top) its not natural.

Jun 28, 2011

Since this is a six foot pad, and only one size, would it work for a five foot person??

Jun 28, 2011

I tried out the Intertia XL, which is similar, but wider and designed to fit a broader range of users. My conclusion was similar to the reviewers in that it can indeed be comfortable. The problem for me was that my height (5'9") did not effectively fall into line with the body mapping of their one-size fits all solution, which seems to be sized for a 6' male. In my case, when I had my head situated so it was supported properly, my elbows and heels would fall short of the areas designed to support them and would therefore, touch the ground. No matter what I did, it was very difficult to locate that "sweet" spot. In essence, using a body-mapping sleeping pad in a "one-size" solution is like using a single size boot for all feet. Will work for some, won't work for most. But... if you fit the pad, you will be surprised at the comfort available. Truth be told, however, I have recently switched the the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Elite AC pad, which weighs in at just 10.7 oz for a 72" x 2.5 x 20 pad. Pack down very small, had better insulation properties than the NeoAir or the Exped UL 7, and costs 1/2 to 1/3 less, depending on where you purchase. I can highly recommend that pad as a serious solution for all those looking for an ultra-light, extremely comfortable air pad.

Jun 28, 2011

Do these types of sleeping pads really provide any insulation? Their web site doesn't claim an R-value, which is a big deal to me. I do a lot of hiking and canoeing in the spring and fall. I can't tell if these are the equivalent of a true self-inflating pad with closed cell foam with respect to insulation.

Scouter Ed
Jun 28, 2011

Cool idea -- though it seems to me because it necessitates perfect alignment to the body, it could be troublesome if one were not on perfectly flat ground (a real rarity) or for someone who tosses in their sleep (like me). Perhaps the addition of a method of attachment to a sleeping bag would alleviate these concerns.

Brickman Way
Jun 28, 2011

Do you have to sleep on your back for this to work, or would a side-sleeper (like myself) be happy with it? It's interesting, definitely.

Brickman Way
Jun 28, 2011

Do you have to sleep on your back for this to work, or would a side-sleeper (like myself) be happy with it? It's interesting, definitely.

Brickman Way
Jun 28, 2011

Do you have to sleep on your back for this to work, or would a side-sleeper (like myself) be happy with it? It's interesting, definitely.

highland cruiser
Jun 25, 2011

I have wondered about this pad? I am a hot sleeper (furnace ) And have tried to find away to curb the problem if this keeps me warmer that might be a big problem!


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