User Review: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core
Price Paid: $70
This pad is the best, all-around, backpackable sleeping pad I have used for three main reasons:
1. Comfort and warmth. I can't believe this pad is only 2.5" thick. It sleeps more like 4. I used to spend at least ten minutes moving my ground-cover around and lying on the ground before setting up my tent to get the optimal spot for sleeping. Now I just look for the flattest-looking spot and pitch. Even on rocky ground, the pad firmly supports my body and shields me from all but the bumpiest ground.
2. Weight and compactness. The pad weighs half what my Therm-a-rest LE weighs. And, it mates with my BA Horsethief, which allows for a lighter sleeping bag, since BA removed all the down that is normally under you. I roll up my sleeping bag with the pad in it, and stuff it all in a stuff sack that measures 7 x 10 inches. And, the pad together with the bag weigh the same what my old bag weighed alone.
3. Quality. The initial quality is excellent. After nearly a season's use (five camping and one backpacking trip), It looks and works like the day I got it.
My only gripes are that as my first mummy pad, I find myself re-adjusting myself during the night more often, and it takes a few extra breaths to blow up. But, these are really minor compared to the benefits. My wife is a stomach-sleeper and has been yearning for a rectangular bag for some time, and I am looking at getting her the BA rectangular versions of this great combo.