Our take Plush, thick sleeping pads are great once you’re passed out, but inflating them can be a chore (especially at altitude). Thankfully, the oversize intake on this Therm-A-Rest mat means you can get it inflated with just a few breaths. We won’t go too deeply into the physics, but to make it simple, blowing into the 9.5-inch wide SpeedValve draws surrounding air too, multiplying the effectiveness of your lung power. Roll the opening down and close it like a drybag, and voila, you’re ready for bed. Bonus: The valve makes quick work of deflation, too.
The details The pad also has self-inflating foam, which both speeds up the inflation process and adds support. The foam is shaped like a rib cage, which keeps weight down by using less material while still providing more support than the average mat. Need to fine-tune the inflation? There’s a traditional valve as well. Tradeoff for all this comfort: It’s hefty, and packed size is 11 by 6.5 inches.
Trail cred “The R-value is only 1.8, but this pad helped keep me warm on a subfreezing night in New Mexico’s Santa Fe National Forest while we were watching the Taurid meteor shower,” says a tester.