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MEC Reactor 3.8

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: MEC Reactor 3.8 self-inflating sleeping pad

Lightweight sleeping pad. Compact and still comfortable for sleeping. Self inflation is mediocre.


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Not expensive


  • Self inflation does not always perform well
  • Valve can be tricky

A323C88F-C3AA-433E-AC9C-10343E170D7B.jpgThe back view

79FE766A-51A0-4D15-AB8A-E5DFD8B02865.jpgFront view


I purchased this pad last year to replace my aging 3/4 length pad. My old one was bulky even though it was 3/4 length and had to be strapped to the outside of my pack. Not ideal.

The MEC Reactor 3.8 is described as a medium thickness pad with an R value of 3.4 And is full length. It comes with a stuff sac and a repair kit. 

This is a self-inflating pad. Mine has not been the most reliable for self inflating. I usually have to give it a breath to get it going and one more at the end to ensure it's tight. Many people are concerned that this will add moisture and possibly mildew inside the pad. I'm not too worried about that, so for me it's not a big deal. The valve can be tricky. If I haven't used it for a while it always takes me a minute to figure it out.

This pad is very lightweight and compact. I've used it on back country trips and it's not taken up much room in my pack. I've found it very comfortable to sleep on. I've used it in summer and winter tenting (real Newfoundland winter) as well as indoors with a cot. It looks like the day I bought it and is not showing any wear.

All in all I'm quite pleased. One colour is on clearance at MEC currently for $65 CDN so I bought two more for my sons.

Colour choices are limited. If you are a fan of green you are in luck.

I've slept on it at least a dozen times in the past year. Quick and easy to use, lightweight but still insulating to prevent heat loss. It is an economic option for a sleeping pad, especially if you get the clearance colour. I'm not a hardcore top of the line gear guy. If you want an average sleeping  pad while saving cash in your budget, this is a good option.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89 cdn.

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The Reactor 3.8 replaced the MEC Kelvin 3.8 Sleeping Pad.


R Value 3.4
Thickness 3.8cm
Product Details from MEC »

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