Including an air mattress in a review of breakthrough gear might seem like a stretch, until you spend a chilly night shivering instead of snoozing, and arise cadaver stiff, grumpier than hell, and unable to high step onto your project’s critical, nipple-high nubbin. Then you’ll understand the value of a good night’s sleep, and see the beauty of the Big Agnes REM Insulated Air Core Pad, an air mattress stuffed with synthetic insulation. Although it’s not the only insulated air pad in town, Exped has a down-insulated air mattress, this one has a synthetic fill, which, because it isn’t affected by moisture, lets you blow it up with vapor-laden lung power, a feat this windbag could do in 47 seconds flat.
Eight interconnected tubes run lengthwise, as you toss and turn, air scootches from tube to tube, contouring the pad to your particular anatomy. This helps make the REM, according to one tester, The most comfortable thing I’ve ever slept on. Thanks to the ubiquitous Primaloft insulation, the pad, rated to 15 degrees F, isn’t icy cold like standard, uninsulated air pads. While suitable for light-duty four-season use, the pad is not cut out for Arctic conditions. There, you’ll need to beef up with a closed-cell pad.
Weighing 24 ounces, the regular (72 -inch-long by 20-inch-wide) version is lighter weight than self-inflating pads, and heavier than closed-cell foam pads, though actually more compact than the latter, rolling into an 11-by-5.5-inch tube roughly the size of a six-pack of bagels. The REM Insulated Pad is also available in mummy and long cuts.
Big Agnes: 877-554-8975, bigagnes.com.