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.
- Big Agnes Q-Core SLX (R-value = 5.0/16 oz.)
- Therm-a-Rest All Season (R-value = 4.9/19 oz.)
- Exped Synmat HL (M) (R-value =5.0 /15.2 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
Disclosure: Massdrop provided the author with a sample sleeping pad and sponsored this review.
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