Have you ever navigated buying a Subaru? You look at the trim packages and you think you have it down, but then you realize that all trim packages come in all body types on some models. An Impreza Wagon is not the same as an Outback Wagon is not the same as a Crosstrek Wagon. Huh? Looking through the sleeping pads from Klymit can be a little like shopping for a peppy go-fast family truckster.
After last year carrying the Thermarest Neolite and finding it not nearly cushy enough I began looking around in earnest for a new sleeping pad. It needed to be warm, cushy, and light. Worried that I was going to get into the impossible “fast, cheap, and easy” problem I knew I’d likely have to sacrifice “light”.
I’m pretty well set on using an inflatable sleeping pad. While I like the idea of the foam ones I don’t like the bulk that they present when on the move.
So there’s two major reasons why I didn’t like the Thermarest Neolite pad. First, I’m a side sleeper so it takes my entire weight and puts it on the edge of my body. Secondly, not for lack of trying with my Stalker 0 degree bag, but I got cold on nearly every outing with the Neolite.
So where do you go from here? Well in order to not be sleeping directly on the ground you’re going to need more loft. Without a solid foam pad I’d need a fairly puffy inflatable. Enter Klymit. Their Static V pad is a venerated backpacking staple for portable comfort. It also happens to retail for under $60. However, that has an R value of 1.3. R value, like the same as the insulation on your house keeps you warm and toasty in your sleeping bag, and up from the cold ground. It’s a measure of insulating property. For reference, sleeping directly on snow has an R value of 1.
We seem to be headed in the right direction though, the Klymit Static V is indeed cushy. It has a series of V shaped air tubes that take 10-15 breaths to inflate, allowing for a lot of loft, and air pockets between them that sandwich in some warmth. Klymit’s Insulated Static V Luxe SL pad is 3.5″ thick when fully inflated and provides an R value of 6.5! With the insulation and the added loft comes a bit of a price hike, the MSRP is $140. There’s a slight taper to the bottom of the pad that allows it to fit the contour of a mummy bag without being so small that you slide off the pad in the middle of the night.
The package comes with the mattress, stuff sack, and patch in case you need it. I’ve heard of people having issues with needing to patch their Klymits — so maybe carry a couple wraps of duct tape on your nalgene or trekking poles when out in the field. I have had no such issue but I’ve only used it less than a dozen times to date.
Dimensions: 78″ l x 27″ w x 3.5″ t
Packed Dimensions: 9″ x 7″
Weight: 31 oz (1.94lbs)
Country of Origin: China
At the time of this writing if you’re a Costco Member it’s already a pretty low price with the pillow at $99, but right now they’re offering another instant coupon to bring it down to $79.99 through 8/24.
Honestly, if you’re a side sleeper like me — you’re hard pressed to find a better pad. This pad has given me some of the best sleep in the backcountry I’ve ever had.
There’s two downsides I can think of. After a long hike, rest. Don’t blow up your air mattress immediately. Recently we made a couple thousand feet of elevation gain with 45 pound packs and then immediately set up camp because Colorado decided it was time to rain. Blowing up the pad after that hike I wanted to pass out. The other downside is weight. It’s not particularly bulky since it’s a full inflatable but it is an insulated 30 denier polyester fabric. The same strength that keeps it from popping like a water balloon is weighing you down.