Open main menu

REI Stratus Insulated Air Pad

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: REI Stratus Insulated Air Pad air-filled sleeping pad

This is the best back-packable mattress pad I have used. The Stratus is aptly named.


  • Very comfortable

I bought this mattress for a sailing/camping event along the Maine Island Trail in a small boat. The pad has proved to be just right for camping on land as well. The outside ribs help prevent rolling off, which always happens to me on other sleeping pads I've used. This one provides a nice cradle effect and even on the boat I did not slide off.

I find it easy to inflate and deflate, a welcome change compared to the larger car-camping models. Also, it packs up smaller and easier than the Therma-Rest type. It is arguably worth the high comfort factor at about 1 1/2 lbs.

I am 6'3" and many of the other mattresses are too short. The Stratus comes with several choices with both wide and long as well as regular size options.

As with any air mattress used in cold conditions you may need an added insulator especially if your sleeping bag compresses as down bags do. Its rated r-value is 2.9. I've found the fabric cover to be sufficient and durable in conditions I've found so far.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79

Good backpacking air mattress, you won't roll off it at night, not the lightest out there. REI used to have an excellent lifetime warranty, but this was the last REI branded item I purchased as the staff is now rude and doesn't honor returns on defective items beyond a couple of months.


  • Insulated
  • Won't easily puncture
  • Larger side air channels to prevent rolling off
  • User friendly air nozzle
  • Does not make crinkle noise when turning in sleep
  • Inexpensive compared to other brands


  • Heavy at 24oz for large size
  • Takes time to inflate by mouth

Nice green color, sturdy construction, larger outside air channels to prevent you from rolling off in the night, very user friendly air nozzle.  The material is quiet compared to Thermarest which makes crinkle noise that wakes me up whenever I turn over. 

This mattress has given me the best sleep so far. No need to take a separate closed cell foam pad. It is relatively heavy but it makes up in comfort and assurance that you won't wake up on the cold ground with a deflated pad. 

I've had this mattress for 16 months and gone on several backpacking and camping trips. I choose this to sleep on even when car camping. I have used in below freezing weather and on hot summer nights. I took it on backpacking trip to the Zion Narrows.  Slept like a baby.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

Lightweight and comfortable.


  • Comfortable
  • Rugged
  • Lightweight


  • Cold

I really like this pad, but wish it had a slightly higher R value. I took it out for the first time in January as I received it as a Christmas present and the temperature got down into the low 30s. I was using a 32 degree Mountain Hardwear bag with a liner and ended up with a couple of cold spots. 

Since I was doing some testing for a first run I luckily brought my 0 degree Mountain Hardwear bag also and was warm once I switched bags. I did get a really comfortable night's sleep.

I generally use a Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp self-inflating mat, since I do mostly car camping, but this mat was much more comfortable. The fabric is rugged and I look forward to many good years of use.

Source: received it as a personal gift

Version reviewed: Long

Affordable, comfortable backpacking mattress.


  • Comfortable
  • Affordable


  • Heavy/Packs Large

Purchased in 2013. Has held up well over four years with a lot of usage. Long option fits a 6'3" person well.

Pretty easy to inflate and comfortable. Packs up decent after getting used to it. Pretty heavy as they go, but for the money, very solid.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70

Had this for years, solid purchase.


  • Comfortable
  • Light
  • Easy to use


  • Think the valve has a very slow leak.

Had this for years, solid purchase. 

It's lightweight and comfortable.

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $30

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


regular long wide
Price MSRP: $89.95
Historic Range: $43.93-$99.95
Reviewers Paid: $30.00-$80.00
Best Use Backpacking
Sleeping Pad Type Air Pad
Sleeping Pad Shape Rectangular
Insulated Yes
Insulation Type Synthetic
R-Value 3.3
Pad Thickness 2.5 in
Packed Size 5.25 x 7 in 5.25 x 7.5 in
Dimensions 72 x 20 x 2.5 in 78 x 25 x 2.5 in
Weight 1 lb. 5 oz 1 lb 13 oz
Product Details from REI »

Recently on Trailspace

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Review

Fire Maple Petrel Ultralight Pot Review