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.
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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