“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
In 1972, Cascade Designs patented the first Therm-a-Rest® self-inflating
mattress. In celebration of the 40-year anniversary, the company is
releasing this limited edition mattress, retro-branded with the original 1972 logo and mattress color. It may look like a throwback, but features an exclusive cutting-edge, lighter-density foam, resulting in the most comfortable, thickest and warmest self-inflating mattress in the Fast & Light® category. The individually serial-numbered mattresses also feature a glow-in-the-dark valve and a new softgrip bottom fabric to prevent slipping on the tent floor. R-value: 4.8