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Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor (Sleeping Pad) Review

Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor Review

The Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor is a 2-person couple’s sleeping pad and not a new type of ground sheet or paw print.  I think the product name is pretty confusing which is a shame because it’s an excellent insulated sleeping pad that will keep you and your honey comfortable and warm all night long. Insulated with Primaloft Silver, this doublewide sleeping pad has an R-value of 4.2 and is also available in numerous smaller sizes, all with a rectangular shape.

Related: 10 Best Sleeping Pads, Sleeping Pad R-Values

Specs at a Glance

  • Mfg Claimed Weight: 47 oz (1.33 kg)
  • Actual Weight: 45 oz pad, 3 oz pump sack, 0.8 oz stuff sack
  • Dimensions: 50″ x 78″ tapering to 40″ / 127 cm x 198cm tapering to 102cm
  • Actual Packed Dimensions: 6″ x 15″
  • Thickness: 3.5″, with 4.25″ side baffles
  • Insulation: Primaloft Silver with internal heat-reflective film
  • R-value: 4.2, suitable for 3-season use
  • Cover: Double Ripstop Nylon

Big Agnes used to make a lot of really great backpacking sleeping pads but lost a huge amount of market share in recent years to other companies that were able to innovate more quickly and offer a wider range of products, including NEMO, Klymit, and Sea-to-Summit. So I was interested to see how the Insulated Rapide SL pads would stack up against companies and pads that had closely aligned themselves with changing user preferences, most notably, thicker inflatable sleeping pads, with more durable cover fabrics, quieter insulation, and ease of inflation. The Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor, as well as its smaller variants, are pretty competitive along those dimensions, with one exception I note below.

The Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor is a 50″ x 78″ tapered sleeping pad that narrows to 40″ at the feet. The pad is 3.5″ thick with 4.25″ outer chambers to keep you centered on the pad and prevent you from rolling off the pad at night. Despite that thickness, your knees will bottom out if you crawl across the inflated pad, which is something to be aware of. The cover has a comfortable and springy surface that conforms well when lain upon but still provides good support, particularly when shared by two adults.

The Rapide SL Tent Floor has flat values with adjustable inflation and rapid deflation.
The Rapide SL Tent Floor has flat values with adjustable inflation and rapid deflation.

The tent floor comes with separate valves for inflation and rapid deflation which is convenient when you want to pack up and get going. But the inflation sack included with the product is really inadequate in terms of volume, and it takes many many tiny sackfuls of air to inflate the pad. In addition, the inflation valve is a non-standard size so you may be hard-pressed to find a larger volume pump sack that is compatible. My hack for this problem is to inflate the Tent Floor with a 44L Exped Schnozzel Pump Bag, by blowing air into the deflation valve instead of the inflation valve, and then topping off the pad by mouth (which incidentally has an antimicrobial treatment to prevent the grown of internal mold.) You’d think, that Big Agnes would understand that a high-volume pad needs a high-volume pump sack for inflation (shaking head).

In terms of comfort, the Rapide SL Tent Floor is a total win when sleeping with a partner because you can cuddle all night long without feeling a chill on your back since the floor is well-insulated. I’ve never understood why couples try to connect two single sleeping pads together with straps when it invariably means you’re going to fall into the gap that opens up in between them. (That’s almost as bad as when you tried to share a twin bed with your significant other in college!) If intimacy or simple togetherness is your goal, you owe it to yourself to get a doublewide sleeping pad, especially if your partner is less outdoorsy than you. They’ll be much more comfortable and gripe less.

The Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor is perfectly sized for use with couple’s sleeping bags, like this Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed
The Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor is perfectly sized for use with couple’s sleeping bags, like this Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 800

While the Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor is 50″-40″ x 78″, Big Agnes also offers the same pad in a non-tapered narrower and shorter 40″ x 72″ version (40 oz) if you still want the benefit of a doublewide couples pad with a lighter weight. I think the longer 78″ insulated tent floor will be more comfortable, particularly when using pillows, but then again I’ve only used it for car camping so far and not had to carry it very far or on my back.


The Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor would probably sell better if it were named the Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated 2-Person Sleeping Pad. Regardless, it’s a very comfortable and warm insulated sleeping pad that’s ideal for couples camping, particularly when using a two-person sleeping bag or quilt. With an R-value of 4.2 and 3.5″ thick when inflated, it provides 3-season warmth and comfort, even in the early spring and into late autumn. While it’s a little on the heavy side for backpacking, particularly when compared to strapping together two lighter-weight single-person sleeping pads, there is something to be said for the added ease of use and closeness you experience sleeping on a single wide pad. My only complaint with this product is the inadequate inflation sack which is too low volume to provide much inflation benefit.

View at Amazon

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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  1. Interesting, been using the Exped Synmat HL Duo and not totally happy with the comfort of it – I’m a side sleeper, and even though I’m fairly light my hip bottoms out, causing pain and disrupting my sleep. Would love to hear how other side sleepers find the comfort of this mat.

    • I’ve been using the single person size of this pad for the last year. I’m also a side sleeper and have been very happy with how comfortable it is. It’s thick enough that it doesn’t bottom out on my hip. Glad I bought it!

  2. Interesting product but it would seem like it’s a fairly narrow market. The weight of it seems a little heavy for backpacking (not absurdly so if you’re balancing out the weight of other items between 2 people) but if using it for “car camping” I’d go with something significantly less expensive though likely much heavier.

    Or maybe I’m just bitter that my wife won’t backpack with me and I don’t want to get that cozy with anyone who will.

    • Not most UL, but I think one of the best for couples (wirght / comfort / quality) + superb option to use when backpacking / camping with a child (and it involves some carrying).

      • Right – it might be the “best option” in a couple of scenario’s but those scenario’s are pretty specific. And while I love the MFG’s are giving more options than ever I can’t imagine BA selling a ton of these.

        If I’m backpacking with my child we’re both carrying our own pads. Even if it’s a small child and I need to carry both pads to lighten their load, 2 individual pads are going to be close to (or less) than the weight of this. YMMV

  3. I figured they went with the name “floor” because it covers almost all of there Copper Spur 2, so it’s a floor for that tent. Sure it works in others as well, but that’s how I took the meaning of the name as well as how they show/sell it on the website.

  4. Big Agnes makes a larger pump sack that inflates with 2 uses and doubles as a dry bag/stuff sack.

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