Home / Gear Reviews / Gossamer Gear’s Air Beam Sleeping Pads

Gossamer Gear’s Air Beam Sleeping Pads

manufactured by :
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
99.00

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 9, 2013
Last modified:December 24, 2015

Summary:

I really like the Gossamer Gear air beam sleeper since I'm a side sleeper and the orientation of the tubes keeps me on my side at night (so I sleep better and snore less). It's also a really comfortable pad to sleep on, not noisy or crinkly, and has a lot more "give" than a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir which can often feel like you're sleeping on a board.

Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper Pad
Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper Pad

Gossamer Gear has a line of ultralight inflatable sleeping pads called Air Beam Sleepers. This is a 3-season sleeping pad available in a variety of sizes that has vertically running inflatable tubes, modeled after the Air Beam Pack Frame that the company introduced last year.

I’ve been testing the size large pad and really like it since I’m a side sleeper and the orientation of the tubes keeps me on my side at night (so I sleep better and snore less). It’s also a really comfortable pad to sleep on, not noisy or crinkly, and has a lot more “give” than a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir which can often feel like you’re sleeping on a board.

The Air Beam Sleeper pads are non-insulated, so you’ll want to use them with an insulating foam pad underneath if you use them when the ground is cold in late Autumn or very early Spring, at least in the Northeastern USA. I used a Gossamer Gear Nightlight pad in the picture above because it’s what I have in my gear-closet, but a thin closed-cell Thinlight pad would probably do the job just as well. But for normal 3 season camping and backpacking, the Air Beam Sleeper Pads are warm enough on their own.

Gossamer Gear has four different sized Air Beam Sleepers for sale on their website and each pad comes with a patch kit and a replaceable valve.

Here are the dimensions available along with gear weights:

  •  Torso: 21″ x 36″ (204 grams / 7.15 ounces)
  • Medium : 21″ x 48″ (254 grams / 8.95 ounces)
  • Regular: 21″ x 56″ (287 grams / 10.1 ounces)
  • Regular – Wide: 25″ x 56″ (386 grams / 13.6 ounces)

Note – the pads  do taper a bit, so the widths listed above are along the top, widest portion of the pads. For example, my 21″ x 56″ pad tapers down to 14″ at the foot end of the pad, which is a nice weight saving measure.

When deflated, the Air Beam Sleepers lie absolutely flat and roll up small, which is great in summer when you’re more likely to carry less and use a low volume backpack.

Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper Pad - Regular Size
Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper Pad – Regular Size

If you’re familiar with the pad lengths offered by other companies (take Therm-a-rest, for example), you’ll see that the Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleepers are a bit shorter than anything else out there. This is especially true for the torso length pad, which is a rarity these days and an excellent alternative for people who want to cut their gear weight, gear volume, or don’t need as much padding when they sleep.

For 3 season camping, short pads like these are far more comfortable than you might realize, simply because your legs need far less insulation or padding than your torso. Many hikers who use shorter length pads, simply put their backpack and extra clothes under their legs at night and that’s the only extra insulation or padding they need.

Disclosure: Gossamer Gear provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a pre-release version of the Air Beam Sleeper for testing and review. 

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26 comments

  1. I’ve tried lots of pads over the years. Long, short, air, foam etc. The only points i would like to make from what i’ve learnt are. 1. Top to bottom tubes are better than side to side. 2. The more tubes the easier it seems to stay in position and the less you fall off it. 3. Full length mats stop you sliding around as much. 3. If the weight is reasonable to the carrier go for 3/4 or full length. (i don’t want to define “reasonable’ here). Flat valves like Expeds are better than protruding valves as per the GG and many others .IMO.

  2. Any photos of the pad deflated and rolled up? I’m curious to see how small it packs to.

    • Unfortunately not. But I just rolled one up and stuffed it into my 1 liter Olicamp cookpot without any issues so you conclude that the 56″ long pad takes up ~1 liter of space. Don’t try this with your NeoAir Xlite. It might not come out of the pot the same way it went in.

      • “It might not come out of the pot the same way it went in.”

        Especially if you decide to cook in the pot before taking it out…

        I stuffed some matches and a baggie of vaseline soaked cotton balls in the bottom of my JetBoil (the very bottom where the heat exchanger fins are). I forgot about that, assembled the stove and lit it. I noticed some weirdness to the way the JetBoil was acting, and then had the conflagration!

        Oh well, my mom once baked my brother’s fur lined leather gloves that he’d placed on the oven rack to dry. Some years ago, my wife was baking in my father’s Airstream, opened the oven to check on the food and didn’t notice the propane lighter fall in… although she did notice the large BANG which shook the trailer a few minutes later. We mounted the blown up and melted lighter on a board and presented it as “First Place. 1989 Big Bend Airstream Torch Off.”

      • Reminds me of the time that Captain Mouse tried drying her palm pilot keyboard in the oven after spilling water on it. Salvador Dali.

  3. The regular-wide is about my ideal size. I know it’s been said before but I really wish short-wide pad dimensions were a standard offering.

    • When you say short wide, do you mean like a torso-length wide pad? This is a small company and they might be willing to make some up if it would give them a competitive edge.

      • Yes, that would be awesome if they offered a wide torso length pad. I’m 6’4 and it’s hard for me to fit (width) wise on normal width pads. At the same time, it’s annoying that to get a wide pad it’s usually xtra long too and, therefore, has extra weight. Right now I use a wide closed-cell foam pad that I’ve cut to between torso and 3/4th length. It would be so great to have an inflatable option. I hope they consider making one.

      • There are some YouTube videos and web pages on cutting and resealing a NeoAir pad. It might be a little bit expensive proposition but you might be able to buy the extra large NeoAir, which is 25″ wide, and then shorten it to the length you wish.

      • I can’t imagine that being a very good idea….

      • It’s definitely not for the faint of heart… or wallet. I think the mindset for trying that can be wrapped up in what used to be a motto about hang gliding–“Never fly higher than you’re willing to fall!”

  4. How thick is this pad? I ended up buying a Neoair X-lite womens pad as it was 66″ long and had a slightly higher R value. At 5′-9″, the 66″ length supports my legs well below the calf, something the short version does not do, yet still weighs only 11 oz.. At 2.5″ thickness, this required supplementing the short version (47″) with some makeshift support ( pack, sitlight pad, etc.) or side sleeping was out of the question.

    BTW – I also picked up a Klymit Inertia X-lite pad on clearance for $35 last summer and used it one night so far. It is a short pad, weighs 6oz., and is small enough to fit inside my sleeping bag, so it does not shift around. I always carry a 66″ long thinlite pad ( back support for my Gorilla pack) which goes against the groundsheet. The Klymit worked well for me as a side sleeper, despite some reviews to the contrary. I think this is because the support areas of the pad line up well with my shoulders, hips, etc. This is definitely the lightest option I have come up with that still provides a decent night’s sleep.

    • 2 inches deep on the sectionhiker ruler. I’m not a big fan of those cutouts on the Klymit pads because I feel that more seams increase the likelihood of pad failure. I also think it’s a bit of a gimmick.

  5. “hard as a rock” is a little harsh on the NeoAir. I fully inflate mine and then let out enough air so that it is quite comfortable. I am a fan of Gossamer Gear and have several of their products, so am sure their pad is good.

    • I deflate my NeoAir Xlite a bit too but it still feels hard, although the NeoAir All-season (no longer made) feels softer, which I attribute to the use of a softer surface fabric.

  6. I talked to Grant about this earlier this year and was equally happy to hear about it. Do you have any insight on whether GG is going to be offering tapering models (tapering in both width and height) like the lost Kookabay-style? I had one for awhile and it was the most comfortable mat I owned, but the valve was terrible. I sent it back, then Kookabay decided to play David Copperfield.

  7. That seems like a really well made light weight pad, I feel like GG has been coming out with a lot of new stuff lately, which is a good thing, they are a great company! I usually sleep on my side as well, so I recently got a BA insulated air core, which is about 3 inches thick when fully inflated. I’ve been happy with it so far. I purposely went with a pad that doesn’t make a lot of noise or crinkle, that annoys me to no end. It is nice to see we have more options available again. I’d try something else but my wife doesn’t always like the unnecessary gear purchases.

  8. I like toso length pads when my backpack is not soaking wet from hiking in the rain.

  9. In defence of the Neoair, it is *not* like sleeping on a board at all, unless you overinflate it. It is easy to provide precisely as much give as you wish to have…

  10. This sounds like a good alternative, what is the fabric? 30d on top and on bottom? Durability is always the consideration.

  11. Would putting a space blanket under it help to keep you warmer. Just thinking that the nice light weight would be negated by having to bring another pad.

  12. I love companies like Gossamer Gear! It just seems like they are more innovative that big brand companies because they don’t rely on the name of their company as much and appeal to a whole different audience of backpackers and enthusiasts.

  13. Hi,
    Is this pad discontinued?
    Thank you.

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