User Review: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $55
The Insulated Air Core pad is a great value for a 3+ season sleeping pad. Comfortable, warm, light and compact it is a great upgrade from a bulky, leak prone self inflating pad or a lumpy ccf pad.
- Small size
- Thick inflated size
- Inflating it
- Not for subzero temps
- Staying on it
I have the rectangular regular length BA Insulated Air Core for 2 years now. I got it to use when my wife started to accompany me on hiking trips and took a tent instead of my hammock. I wanted to get a nice thick pad because my hammock has spoiled me. Money was definitely a factor in my decision as always. At $55 with student discount it included a stuff sack and repair kit, which many other brands dont. So cost value wise it won by a land slide.
It is well constructed. The material is much more durable than the material used on most self inflating pads which were always leak prone for me. I have used the pad 25 to 30 times and it is still in great shape and I'm not one to baby my equipment too much.
It inflates fairly easily. I use lung power to inflate my pad which seemed inconvenient at first but it really only takes a few good breaths to fill it up.
It is comfortable. With 2.5 inches of air it allows me to sleep on my side nicely. It is usually over inflated at first buy when I lay down I gently open the air valve and slowly release air until its just right. Occasionally I go past that point and have to re add a little air but its usually less than a breath. I have slid off the pad occasionally, if it was over inflated or especially when the tent was on less than perfectly level ground. I have since invested in BA sleeping bag with a sleeve for the pad and am extremely happy with that combination. I can turn over and roll around and stay right on top of my pad the whole night.
It is warm. There is a light layer of insulation on the inside of the top of the sleeping pad for cooler nights. I have discovered that on very hot nights you can actually put that side to the ground and have a cooler sleeping surface to beat the humidity. It's rated to 15 degrees and that is variable. When using a BA quilt like bag with no insulation on bottom it has a bit of a chill at 15 degrees. But I have used it with my -15 degree down bag to 5 below and been quite warm.
I'm happy with my BA sleeping pad especially since I added the BA bag with pad sleeve to the system. It's compact, durable, comfortable and it didn't break the bank.