Brand: Big Agnes
Model: Air Core (78)
“I have not slept on anything more comfortable in 40 years of backcountry travel.” That was the conclusion of one of our most experienced testers after he packed this 3.5-inch-thick pad on a three-week Himalayan climb. The secret: welded horizontal and vertical tubes, which give the pad its quiltlike appearance and a more uniform and supportive feel than pads with either horizontal or vertical baffles alone.
“It’s as close as you can get to carrying your own bed,” reports another tester. Warmth comes from the polyester insulation that’s woven with heat-reflective silver filament; we tested it well below freezing on snow. It packs down to water bottle size, but there is a downside: All that cushion takes about eight minutes to inflate with your lungs; get help from the Pumphouse ($20, 1.5 oz.), which also serves as a pillow. $140; 1 lb. 11 oz.; 72” x 20” x 3.5”; bigagnes.com
-Durable 70D nylon top & bottom
-Internal polyurethane coating
-Non-breakable EZ-Flate plastic coated brass valve