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Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad – Mummy

With the onset of Autumn, night time temperature are starting to drop into the mid-40’s F in Vermont’s north country, and it’s time to increase the R-value of my sleeping pad.

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad

On my next section hike of The Long Trail to the Quebec border, I’ll be taking along the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad, replacing the Big Agnes Clearview Sleeping Pad that I’ve brought on the past several sections. The Air Core is filled with Primaloft, a synthetic insulating fill, with an R-value of 4.1 that is rated down to +35 F. The Clearview, which has no insulation, but is also super-comfortable, has an R-value of 1.0. As a point of comparison, a winter pad, like the Exped Downmat 7 has an R-value of 5.9 and is rated to -22 F. Naturally, there is a weight penalty for added insulation: the Clearview weighs a mere 13.6 oz., compared to the Air Core which weighs 22 oz. and the Downmat which weighs 34 oz.

The Air Core is sinfully comfortable when compared to self-inflating Therm-a-Rest Prolite 3 or foam pads and rolls up to the size of a quart Nalgene bottle making it much easier to pack in a lower volume lightweight backpack.

The Big Agnes Air Core is available in a number of different cuts and sizes depending on your preferences and needs. Mine has a mummy cut and is 20″ x 72″ x 2.5″. Yes, that’s right: this pad is 2.5″ thick which is why it is so warm and comfortable. See my article on how to select a sleeping pad for an explanation on why pad thickness is the most important factor in how to sleep warm in colder weather.

The Insulated Air Core has a heavy duty 70 denier cloth exterior and comes with a patch kit. Big Agnes also provides a lifetime warranty and cost is under $75, which in my opinion is an incredible bargain for such a great piece of gear.


Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. Does it matter a hill of beans which side of this pad faces down? I wouldn't ask the question if the sides weren't apparently different. So, there's the dark ash side and the maroony copper side. My wife tells me to sleep on it both ways and then decide…

  2. Sleep with the insulated side up when you need the insulation. Sleep with the insulated side down when you don't.

  3. I've been shopping around for a pad and this is a great recommendation. I'm amazed at the prices of some of these new-generation pads, and this seems like a real bargain at less than $75. Thanks for the review.

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