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Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp AF

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The BaseCamp AF has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best self-inflating sleeping pads for 2024.

photo: Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp AF self-inflating sleeping pad

A very comfortable pad for front country camping excursions.


  • Thick and comfortable
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Easy to pack into the stuff sack


  • Too bulky and heavy for backpacking

Though my Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated pad is light and packable for the backcountry, when car camping, I am going for comfort. The Therm-a-Rest Basecamp AF pad has proven to be just the thing when weight and bulk aren't an issue.


The mattress comes in a large, roomy stuff sack about 7 x 12 inches. It is super easy to get the mattress in and out of this spacious stuff sack, which is really nice. How often do we find ourselves wrestling a pad into its sack?? At 1lb / 12 oz, it is certainly too heavy and bulky for backcountry travel, but when you are unloading it from your car, who cares??

I always found the term "self-inflating" to be a bit of a joke. When most Therm-a-Rest pads will self inflate a little bit, it still takes a little lung power to get them up to full inflation. I found I could do this in about a minute, so it's not hugely taxing. With the standard valve one finds on Therm-a-Rest pads these days, it is easy to tweak the amount of firmness, should you so desire.


The pad is even easier to deflate when you are packing it up. And with the oversized stuff sack, it is easy to roll and pack.

I have used this on two trips thus far this spring: A three-night stay in Yosemite, and a four-day charity cycling tour in the Sierra foothills. It is super comfortable, and I slept great on both trips. The texture of the outer fabric kept my sleeping bag in place pretty nicely, so there was no sliding off of the pad.

The construction is pretty beefy, and I expect it should hold up nicely. And it is on sale on many sites right now, so with a little shopping around, it is a good value. 

Note: I am 5'11" and the regular size pad worked fine for me. It also comes in long and extra long versions, which are proportionally bulkier and heavier.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

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Price Historic Range: $39.73-$129.95
Reviewers Paid: $40.00

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