User Review: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core
Price Paid: $59.95
I bought this after reading the above review, from the reviewer who borrowed her husband's pad on Mt. Adams. I was about to buy the other model but glad she pointed out that this one has insulation! AND It IS wonderfully insulated, unlike my therm-a-rest self-inflating open celled one.
I have lots of pads and have not found one this comfy yet! This will be my pad for good now, I can stop searching. No more hip pain and waking up early...
Pro: Very, very comfy 2.5" padding (even sleeping on side)my body did not touch the ground at all. (and I didn't fall off it, like the old army kind...thanks to the closed cell design probly)
Pro: lightweight and VERY compact (mine is 21oz)
Pro: comes with stuff sack
Pro: fits easily into my Kelty women's Redcloud backpack sleeping bag compartment, next to my compressed sleeping bag and even has a little room for raingear, and compressed pillow left over.
Pro: easy enough to blow up (only about 2 minutes of moderate deep breaths)
Con: harder to get the air out than a self-inflating open celled pad (tip: lie on pad while you let the air out then roll it up to get the air out, then unroll it... then fold it like they sent it, into the stuff sack) (( I am quirky and like to keep things folded the way the manufacturer sent them))
Next model wishes: if they make another model of this, I would hope that they add an attached blow up pillow, and maybe two valves...just for deflation to go a bit faster. Although my sweatshirt (or whatever) works well as a pillow, and the deflation time wasn't bad at all...IMO the 4 or 5 minutes to deflate is WELL, WELL worth the extra, heavenly comfort. I would recommend getting this pad if comfort and compactability are important... it is even comfy enough for base camping.
-Stephanie in Cincinnati (backpacker for 15 years)