Klymit has introduced an ultralight variant to its Static V line of sleeping pads, co-designed and sold exclusively by MassDrop, called the Insulated Static V Ultra Light. With an R-value of 4.4, it’s an excellent pad to use for sleeping on cold ground in spring and autumn, but you’ll still want to add an extra foam layer underneath it for snow camping in winter (See Sleeping Pad R-Values.)
If you’re not familiar with MassDrop, they’re an online community that sells products to its members by buying up large lots at wholesale prices and offering a portion of the savings back with discount prices. They host a number of purchasing communities, one of them Ultralight Backpacking, and have started working with manufacturers to create new products, unavailable through retail, that cater to their communities’ needs. The Insulated Static V Ultra Light sleeping pad is a good example of a product that MassDrop contracted Klymit to build so it could offer it exclusively to its Ultralight Backpacking customers. It’s a cool business model. Visit MassDrop.com to sign up.
Comparable Sleeping Pads
Priced at just $60, the Klymit Insulated Static V Ultra Light Pad is an incredibly good buy and an affordable option if you’re looking for an insulated inflatable sleeping pad to extend your backpacking season into the shoulder season months.
Weighing 17.4 ounces on the SectionHiker.com digital scale, with an R-value of 4.4, the Insulated Static V Ultra Light is comparable to the following inflatable sleeping pads in terms of R-Value and gear weight:
- Big Agnes Q-Core SLX (R-value = 5.0/16 oz.)
- Therm-a-Rest All Season (R-value = 4.9/19 oz.)
- Exped Synmat Winterlite M (R-value =4.9/14.3 oz.)
- Sea-to-Summit Comfort-Lite Insulated Mat (R-value, 4.2/20.5 oz.)
However, each of these pads cost 2X to 3X times what MassDrop is selling the Insulated Static V Ultra Light for, something to consider if you’re looking for a low price, high-quality alternative product.
Let’s take a closer look at the Klymit Insulated Static V Ultra Light sleeping pad and see what makes it unique.
Lightweight Fabric Covering
Like Klymit’s other Static V sleeping pads, the Insulated Static V Ultra Light Pad has the same V-shaped air chambers to limit air movement and heat loss, together with raised side rails to keep you centered on the pad.
The top of the pad is colored forest green and the bottom is colored black. Both sides are made using a 20 denier nylon fabric, less durable, but also lighter weight than the 75 denier bottom fabric used by Klymit on its other Static V pads. When using the Ultra Light version, take a bit more care in your campsite selection and remove sharp stones and sticks from your sleeping area before you inflate and lie on the pad. (Note: the “top” and “bottom: of the pad are identical and interchangeable, which also helps reduce manufacturing costs.)
Klymit and MassDrop spec the Insulated Static V Ultralight Pad at 16.9 ounces, but my scale shows it at 18 ounces with its stuff sack and 17.4 ounces without, for a half ounce discrepancy. Why the mismatch? It’s pretty typical for companies that outsource their manufacturing overseas because they lose some control over fabric sourcing and quality assurance. Unfortunately, you see it more and more these days, even amongst the smaller cottage manufacturers who offshore their products. While a half ounce discrepancy is relatively small, if you’re obsessed about that sort of thing, be forewarned and weigh your pad when you receive it. You might get lucky and get a pad that’s lighter than what was expected! It happens.
Inflation and Deflation
The Insulated Static V Ultra Light sleeping pad has a single twist valve for inflation and deflation. Inflation takes me 15-16 breaths versus the 8-12 breaths that Klymit and Massdrop claim. Being inflatable, you can fine tune how hard or soft you want the pad to be by blowing in more air or venting it.
The best way to deflate and store the pad requires an easy, three-step process:
- Open the valve and roll up the pad gently forcing the air out.
- Lie the pad on the ground and fold it in quarters, long ways, using the pre-existing creases in the fabric, as shown above. This is cool feature if you’ve ever struggled to pack inflatable pads as small as possible.
- Roll up the pad and stuff it into its stuff sack – it’s actually an easy fit.
The size of the rolled up pad is roughly equivalent to the size of a 1 liter, hard-sided Nalgene bottle. This makes packing for colder weather trips easy, since you’ll want to conserve as much pack space as possible to carry more sleep insulation.
Comfort and Insulation
The Insulated Static V Ultra Light sleeping pad contains 60 grams/m2 of synthetic insulation to capture and retain your body heat. I’ve slept on cold ground using the pad and it is significantly warmer than the less insulated, lower R-value inflatable sleeping pads I own.
As a side sleeper, my hips float on top of the pad without bottoming out in the gaps between the V-shaped air compartments. However, if I prop myself up on an elbow or get up on my knees, they hit hard ground if positioned in the voids between the pad’s air chambers. It’s not a huge issue for me, because I only use my pad for sleeping and not lounging around and socializing, but if you’re more of a social camper and less of a eat-and-sleep backpacker, then this might not be the pad for you.
Otherwise, the surface of the pad is comfortable to sleep against with bare skin, although for cold weather use you’ll probably want to wear long johns anyway to improve the efficiency of your sleep system. The pad is also quite quiet without the crinkly sound you find on some of Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir sleeping pads.
When measured in it’s inflated state, the Insulated Static V Ultra Light is 20 inches wide at the head, tapering to 17 inches at the feet, and 72″ long. The pad is 2 to 2.5 inches thick, depending on where you measure it, with the center of the pad being higher than the sides. This jibes well with the pad’s published specs.
Priced at just $60, the Klymit Insulated Static V Ultra Light Sleeping Pad is a great deal and a very competitively featured inflatable sleeping pad. Sold exclusively by MassDrop, it’s only available periodically when the company has a batch (called a Drop) in stock that they can offer members. The sleeping pad is available this week for example, and with the cooler autumn weather on the horizon, you’ll kick yourself if you miss this opportunity to snatch one up. Of course, given this pad’s popularity, I expect you’ll get another opportunity in the future. This is the second time MassDrop has offered a Drop of this sleeping pad due to high member demand.
- Inexpensive. Tremendous value
- Rolls up small, very packable
- Use of lightweight fabrics to slash weight
- Symmetric design to reduce manufacturing and retail cost
- R-value is not high enough for full 4 season use
- Elbows and knees can feel hard ground under pad when poked between air chambers
Disclosure: This review was sponsored by MassDrop which provided Philip Werner(me) with a free Insulated Static V Ultra Light sample to review, but the views expressed are independent and entirely my own. I sincerely hope you benefit from the in-depth review of this product that I’ve provided.
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