Sleeping Pads

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Eric O

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
165
I'm going to try not to step on toes here, but I do need to be forthright. I would not feel comfortable buying a Big Agnes mattress, even though the new ones look quite awesome, at least not yet.

I've consistently found that Big Agnes mats are simply not as durable as competitors like the NeoAir. I went through three different pads on the Appalachian Trail. Now Big Agnes has excellent customer service and was happy to keep mailing me new ones as the old ones popped, but it got quite frustrating to have a product that didn't work reliably for me. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I got back from my thru-hike, used my pad (#4 by this point) for one night in Utah, and... you guessed it. I woke up on the ground.

I went out and bought a NeoAir later that month and have probably ~200 nights on it (along with maybe 20 on a warmer NeoAir I bought recently) with nary a leak. I couldn't be happier with my new pads. Since then, my buddy (who gets out maybe 15 nights per year tops) has gone through two more Big Agens pads.

So yes, I want to believe that the Big Agnes mats are going to be the equal/superior to the NeoAirs, but given my experience with them, I'll let other people test them out for a year or two before I run out and buy one. I just don't trust them not to spring a leak.
That's a very good point. Hopefully these new BA mats are as durable as the NeoAirs because I wouldn't mind more comfort without a huge weight and bulk penalty.

My Xtherm has been very durable and I've never had any problems with it. It's also extremely warm for how light it is.
 

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Brendan S

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Messages
295
I'm getting older so I'm more concerned about comfort at this point (over weight). What are your thoughts between the two?
Just remember that comfort carrying it matters too (a lot). The idea of carrying extra weight to be "comfortable" is a false choice IMO. Obviously you can take this as far as you want (which gets to a point of diminishing returns, $$$, and less durability) but for 3 season backpacking you should be able to be very comfortable, warm, with affordable and durable gear at <25lbs pretty easily (for say, a 3 night trip).

I'd recommend hitting up the Backpackinglight Gear Swap. Very active and you can likely get some killer deals on stuff to get started. Especially for getting started you can probably post a WTB for starter gear and get it for dirt cheap. It's inevitable once you go on some trips you will see how things work for you or don't work and want to swap things in/out.

RE: pads, the lifetime warranty on the Thermarest pads is worth a lot on something like an inflatable pad that has plenty of ways it can fail.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
18
I'm going to try not to step on toes here, but I do need to be forthright. I would not feel comfortable buying a Big Agnes mattress, even though the new ones look quite awesome, at least not yet.

I've consistently found that Big Agnes mats are simply not as durable as competitors like the NeoAir. I went through three different pads on the Appalachian Trail. Now Big Agnes has excellent customer service and was happy to keep mailing me new ones as the old ones popped, but it got quite frustrating to have a product that didn't work reliably for me. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I got back from my thru-hike, used my pad (#4 by this point) for one night in Utah, and... you guessed it. I woke up on the ground.

I went out and bought a NeoAir later that month and have probably ~200 nights on it (along with maybe 20 on a warmer NeoAir I bought recently) with nary a leak. I couldn't be happier with my new pads. Since then, my buddy (who gets out maybe 15 nights per year tops) has gone through two more Big Agens pads.

So yes, I want to believe that the Big Agnes mats are going to be the equal/superior to the NeoAirs, but given my experience with them, I'll let other people test them out for a year or two before I run out and buy one. I just don't trust them not to spring a leak.
Thanks for the info
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,658
I'm going to try not to step on toes here, but I do need to be forthright. I would not feel comfortable buying a Big Agnes mattress, even though the new ones look quite awesome, at least not yet.

I've consistently found that Big Agnes mats are simply not as durable as competitors like the NeoAir. I went through three different pads on the Appalachian Trail. Now Big Agnes has excellent customer service and was happy to keep mailing me new ones as the old ones popped, but it got quite frustrating to have a product that didn't work reliably for me. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I got back from my thru-hike, used my pad (#4 by this point) for one night in Utah, and... you guessed it. I woke up on the ground.

I went out and bought a NeoAir later that month and have probably ~200 nights on it (along with maybe 20 on a warmer NeoAir I bought recently) with nary a leak. I couldn't be happier with my new pads. Since then, my buddy (who gets out maybe 15 nights per year tops) has gone through two more Big Agens pads.

So yes, I want to believe that the Big Agnes mats are going to be the equal/superior to the NeoAirs, but given my experience with them, I'll let other people test them out for a year or two before I run out and buy one. I just don't trust them not to spring a leak.
Couldn't agree more with this. Love Big Agnes for a lot of reasons, including their great customer service, but their pads have always died early for me. Thermarest pads have been the opposite experience, especially the NeoAir series.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
18
Just remember that comfort carrying it matters too (a lot). The idea of carrying extra weight to be "comfortable" is a false choice IMO. Obviously you can take this as far as you want (which gets to a point of diminishing returns, $$$, and less durability) but for 3 season backpacking you should be able to be very comfortable, warm, with affordable and durable gear at <25lbs pretty easily (for say, a 3 night trip).

I'd recommend hitting up the Backpackinglight Gear Swap. Very active and you can likely get some killer deals on stuff to get started. Especially for getting started you can probably post a WTB for starter gear and get it for dirt cheap. It's inevitable once you go on some trips you will see how things work for you or don't work and want to swap things in/out.

RE: pads, the lifetime warranty on the Thermarest pads is worth a lot on something like an inflatable pad that has plenty of ways it can fail.
Thanks
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
1,587
I'll third what others say about the Big Agnes pads, tentatively. I went through one, and it lasted maybe 15-20 nights before developing a leak. They sent me a newer version of the pad to replace it (insulated Air Core Ultra), and it's held up well so far, but I'm still not convinced it will last a very long time. I've gotten maybe 20 nights on it so far. It has a different type of valve that I really like, and I'm hoping that that will make the difference. But we'll see.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,070
A little update to my earlier post in this thread.

I've been using an Xlite for about 5 years now and have been pretty happy with it. Only had an occasional leak that was easy to repair. Late last year I got a few more leaks and repaired them, but still have one slow leak (need to blow it up once in the middle of the night) that I haven't been able to fix. I'm going to send it in to Thermarest to see about getting it repaired, but I needed something else in the meantime. Last week I decided to get an Xtherm for my backpacking trip over the weekend to the Needles. I liked that that bottom part of the pad is a little thicker and tougher, even though it weighs a few extra ounces. I've never been cold with my Xlite, so warmth wasn't really a factor.

Anyways, after using it this weekend, I can definitely tell it's much warmer than the Xlite. Maybe even too warm for me at this time of the year? It was also much quieter than the Xlite, even after 5 years of use. It's obviously too early to tell about durability, but hopefully it's a little better in that department, too.

Both are very comfortable and the sizes are the same.

Just thought I would share my experience...

http://adventr.co/microposts/therm-a-rest-neoair-xlite-vs-xtherm/
 
Last edited:

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,070
Here's another update. I finally got around to sending my old XLITE in to Thermarest to get it repaired at my cost (it states on their website they charge like $20 to repair most of them). The package they sent back to me arrived today and they sent me a brand new XLITE (which I think has been updated since I bought mine over 5 years ago) and didn't charge me a thing! I wasn't expecting that!

A little update to my earlier post in this thread.

I've been using an Xlite for about 5 years now and have been pretty happy with it. Only had an occasional leak that was easy to repair. Late last year I got a few more leaks and repaired them, but still have one slow leak (need to blow it up once in the middle of the night) that I haven't been able to fix. I'm going to send it in to Thermarest to see about getting it repaired, but I needed something else in the meantime. Last week I decided to get an Xtherm for my backpacking trip over the weekend to the Needles. I liked that that bottom part of the pad is a little thicker and tougher, even though it weighs a few extra ounces. I've never been cold with my Xlite, so warmth wasn't really a factor.

Anyways, after using it this weekend, I can definitely tell it's much warmer than the Xlite. Maybe even too warm for me at this time of the year? It was also much quieter than the Xlite, even after 5 years of use. It's obviously too early to tell about durability, but hopefully it's a little better in that department, too.

Both are very comfortable and the sizes are the same.

Just thought I would share my experience...

http://adventr.co/microposts/therm-a-rest-neoair-xlite-vs-xtherm/
 

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
325
Looks like y'all may have just saved me around 150 bucks in a mistake.

Looks like I'm gonna have to save up a little longer for a XTherm

Thanks
I have 2 months straight when new and another 2 months or so intermittent use with my Xtherm Large.
BY far, the best sleep I've ever had when sleeping on the ground.
Wayne
 

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