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Massdrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad Review

The MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad is available in multiple sizes including a 60 x 20 inch model, shown here.
The MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad is available in multiple sizes including a short 60″ x 20″ inch, shown here.

The MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad is a lightweight insulated sleeping pad that’s the result of a special design collaboration between MassDrop and sleeping pad maker Klymit. With an R-Value of 4.4, the Ultralight V is ideal for spring or autumn backpacking and camping when the ground temperature is cold and you need a little extra insulation without a huge weight penalty. It also makes a good primary sleeping pad for a winter backpacking sleeping system when coupled with a closed cell foam pad.

If you’re not familiar with MassDrop, they’re a community-based retailer that offer discounts to its members (membership is free) on backpacking gear, much of it from cottage or smaller sized manufacturers like Enlightened Equipment, Zpacks, Luke’s Ultralite, Jack R’ Better, ULA and many others. MassDrop also works with manufacturers to create small lots of customized products exclusively tailored for their community member’s needs. MassDrop’s Ultralight Backpacking Community Manager is a guy named Danny Milks and he’s helped discover and create some really great products with like-minded manufacturers, most notably Fizan’s ultralight aluminum trekking poles, which are as light as many carbon fiber trekking poles with the durability of aluminum ones.

Comparable Sleeping Pads

Priced at just $59.99, the new Ultralight V Sleeping Pad is a great deal if you’re looking for an insulated inflatable sleeping pad to extend your backpacking season into the shoulder season months. It’s lightweight enough that can use it year-round and with a durable design that can stand up to frequent use.

A regular size 72″ x 20″ Ultralight V Sleeping Pad weighs 17.2 ounces with an R-value of 4.4, and comparable to the following inflatable sleeping pads in terms of R-Value and gear weight.

However, each of these pads cost 2X to 3X times what MassDrop is selling the Ultralight V for, something to consider if you’re looking for a low price, but high-quality alternative.

While these weights are kind of heavy compared to a lot of summer sleeping pads, remember that the Ultralight V has an R-Value of 4.4. There are very few sleeping pads available at these weights and dimensions with this high of an R-value. (See Sleeping Pad R-Values)

Note: A short 60″ x 20″ version of the Ultralight V is also available that weighs 14.7 ounces if you want to shave some more weight.

Updated Design

The new Ultralight V Sleeping Pad reviewed below is an upgraded version of the MassDrop Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad (See Review) that I reviewed in September, 2017. The chief differences between the earlier version and this new pad are the use of a flat inflation and deflation valves instead of a stick valve, a new non-slip coating on the bottom of the pad to prevent slippage in a tent, and the availability of multiple sizes including a short 60″ x 20″ size, which I field tested and review below.

The flat inflation and deflation valves on the Ultralight V sleeping pad are faster to use and much less prone to breakage than stick valves
The flat inflation and deflation valves on the Ultralight V sleeping pad are faster to use and much less prone to breakage than stick valves.

Flat Inflation and Deflation Valves

The new Ultralight V sleeping pad has two flat valves, one for inflation and one for deflation. Flat valves are much more durable and harder to damage than stick valves on sleeping pads because they have no moving parts. To inflate, open the valve and blow air in. There’s a flap inside to prevent air from escaping in between your breaths. Deflation is also much faster with a flat valve, since it’s basically a wide hole that air can flow through more easily. If you’ve ever struggled to get the air out of a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite or Xtherm inflatable sleeping pad which have stick valves, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Multiple Sizes Available

The Ultralight V is available in multiple sizes, depending on your needs, including a wide and long size and a short size, which is good for kids and smaller adults.

  • Long and wide: 76″ x 26″ x 2.5″; 24 oz.
  • Regular: 72″ x 20″ x 2.5; 17.2 oz.
  • Short: 60″ x 20″ x 2.5; 14.7 oz.

Given how inexpensive the Ultralight V is, it might be worth shortening it yourself if you want to make a short wide pad or a even shorter torso-length pad to save some more weight. (See Short Length Ultralight Sleeping Pads)  If you’re used to sleeping on a 72″ long pad, switching to a shorter 60″ is pad isn’t that dramatic a change. Your feet and lower legs need less insulation at night, which you can get by laying your backpack and extra clothes under your legs. This is an old ultralight backpacking trick that works most of the year, except in the dead of winter.

The bottom of the Ultralight V Sleeping Pad has a non-slip coating the prevents it from slipping on the floor of your tent.
The bottom of the Ultralight V Sleeping Pad has a non-slip coating the prevents it from slipping on the floor of your tent.

Non-Slip Coating

The Ultralight V comes with a non-slip coating to prevent the pad from slipping around on the floor of your tent or bivy sack. It’s a cool idea and helps prevent your pad from getting away from you at night. Some tent makers, most notably Tarptent, recommend painting stripes of silicone seam sealer on the bathtub floor of your tent to achieve the same effect. But having the non-slip coating on your sleeping pad is a much better option that makes it compatible any tent, regardless of the fabric used to make it. I don’t recall ever seeing this feature on any other sleeping pad, but it works great and is clearly a winner.

Small Packed Size

The Ultralight V sleeping pads folds up incredibly small with pre-scored folds that let you fold it up in thirds, length wise, before rolling it up. While gear weight is always an important variable when choosing backpacking gear, don’t overlook the value of carrying very compact gear. Carrying a smaller sized sleeping pad can let you carry a lower volume and lighter weight backpack, for instance.

The 60 Ultralight V sleeping pad rolls up small - shown next to a 1 liter water bottle
The 60″ Ultralight V sleeping pad rolls up small – shown next to a 1 liter water bottle

Comfort and Insulation

The Ultralight V sleeping pad contains 60 grams/m2 of synthetic insulation to capture and retain your body heat. I’ve camped 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 get up on my knees, they hit hard ground if positioned in the voids between the pad’s air chambers. It’s not a big issue for me, because I only use my pad for sleeping, 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.

The 60" Ultralight V sleeping pad makes a nice addition to a UL sleep system with a bivy sack and quilt
The 60″ Ultralight V sleeping pad makes a nice addition to a UL sleep system with a bivy sack and quilt

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. The pad is also quite quiet without the crinkly sound you find on some of Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir sleeping pads.

Recommendation

The new and improved MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V insulated sleeping pad, now available in multiple sizes, with more durable flat valves, and a non-slip coating, is an even better value than its predecessor the Insulated Static V.  Priced at just $59.99, you’d have to pay 2 to 3 times as much for a lightweight insulated pad with a comparable weight and R-value from Therm-a-Rest, Exped, or Sea-to-Summit. This is really a steal. Highly Recommended!

See MassDrop for complete specs and product availability. 

MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Insulated Sleeping Pad

Comfort
Ease of Inflation
Warmth
Weight
Durability
Packed Size

Excellent

Priced at just $59.99, the new Ultralight V Sleeping Pad is a great deal if you’re looking for an insulated inflatable sleeping pad to extend your backpacking season into the shoulder season months. It's lightweight enough that can use it year-round and with a durable design that can stand up to frequent use. You'd have to pay 2x to 3x times as much for sleeping pads from other manufacturers to get the same value.

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Disclosure: Massdrop provided the author with a sample sleeping pad and sponsored this review.

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17 comments

  1. Bony as I am, my hips did bottom out through the gaps between air chambers on my Klymit.

  2. Hi Phil. Putting cost aside how do you think this pad compares to the Nemo Tensor 20? I followed 2017 thru hiker Early Riser 71 and he loved the Nemo. I already own the Klymit Static V2. Thanks

  3. I have the non-Massdrop Klymit insulated lite pad, which has the same baffle design, and I like it just ok — if I inflate it enough to keep from bottoming out while side-sleeping, it feels lumpy and hard and not exactly comfortable. If I deflate it quite a bit it becomes very comfortable for back sleeping, but useless for side sleeping. Wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience and found another pad significantly more comfortable? I will say that Klymit pads are impressively well-made for the price — for anyone that finds them as comfortable as Phillip does, they are some of the best values in backpacking gear.

    • For what’s it’s worth, I am a side sleeper and a thrasher.

    • I’m right there with you Jonathan. I have 3 different Klymit pads. They’re amazing pads for what they are. They’re as durable as anything else in my experience, they’re very inexpensive, and they’re just comfortable enough to justify when you account for how much cheaper they are than the competition.

      But when I saw a NeoAir for about $100 last year, I couldn’t help myself so I pulled the trigger and for the most part haven’t looked back. I can sleep in any position on the NeoAir and be comfortable (I alternate between back sleeping and side sleeping).

      However, the Static V UL is still my fave warm-night summer pad. It’s uninsulated, so you stay cool which can be important here in Arizona, and it weighs only about 11 ounces and packs down to the size of a 12 oz soda can.

  4. I bought a Massdrop Klymit Static V last year, as a replacement for my trusty ThermaRest Z-Fold. I avoided inflatables because I liked the fold-and-go of the Z-fold, as well as the fact that it’s essentially bullet proof. I took a chance on the Static V because of the price. I was looking for something to keep me warmer, and I certainly didn’t mind the additional comfort. I am thrilled with the Static V. I’ve used on on several winter weekend trips and I slept much better.

    I did have a deflation problem. It was a very slow leak that would usually have me near, but not on the ground by morning. I couldn’t find the leak no matter despite every trick I know from fixing bike tubes. I contacted Klymit for tips, which they very helpfully provided, but no luck. They offer a lifetime warranty, so I shipped it back and had a repaired pad 10 days later.

    I can highly recommend their product. My only regret is not waiting to pull the trigger and getting the new valve design.

  5. Philip, as a side sleeper do you have a pillow you recommend? I’ve used the Klymit pillow X, but that seems to work best laying on your back. Thanks!

    • I bunch up a down puffy or stuff my clothes is stuff sack and put my head on that. I’ve tried the Klymit X pillow and been unimpressed. When I car camp with my wife (and we drive) I use a Nemo Fillo pillow. It rocks.

  6. What would you think of combining this pad with a second for ultimate warmth?

  7. 30+ years of hiking! This pad is the best thing I have carried in my pack, sleep like the dead. Could not recommend enough, you will be pleased.

    Gretchen

  8. Can I inflate it with one of the bag inflators? The one I have fits over a stick valve.

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