Our take Closed-cell pads will never go out of favor thanks to their reliability, and the Switchback is our new favorite. Like others, it’s durable and instant to set up. Unlike them, it’s comfier and warmer. NEMO uses a hexagonal design to provide more cushion and deeper divots (read: better insulation) than the usual cup pattern. “I camped in a floorless tent on Sugarloaf Mountain in Colorado’s Front Range in a 35°F bag and stayed warm in freezing temps,” one tester says.
The details The Switchback has a thermal reflective layer made of aluminum particles sandwiched between two sheets of low-density polyethylene film, which boosts protection against cold. Stacked on top of another pad, the Switchback will add 25°F to the temp rating, NEMO claims (the company doesn’t provide R-values).
Trail cred “All closed-cell foam pads make good seats, but this one offered exceptional warmth when I used it on snowy ledges during a climb up Mt. Shuksan’s Fisher Chimney in Washington,” one tester says.