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NEMO Tensor Insulated 20S Mummy Sleeping Pad Review

NEMO Tensor Insulated Mummy Sleeping Pad is only 48 long and weighs 10.1 ounces
NEMO Tensor Insulated Mummy Sleeping Pad is only 48 long and weighs 10.1 ounces.

Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad - 20" x 48"

Comfort
Ease of Inflation
Warmth
Weight
Durability
Packed Size

Excellent

The 48" long Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is designed for ultralight backpacking where every ounce counts. Insulated with Primaloft, it will keep your core warm on cold nights.

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The NEMO Tensor Insulated Mummy Sleeping Pad is a short (48″) and ultralight inflatable sleeping pad, only weighing 10.1 ounces (286 grams) on the SectionHiker digital scale (0.6 oz over mfg’s published weight.) Insulated with Primaloft, NEMO rates its comfort zone from 15F to 25F /-9 to -4C. NEMO does not publish R-values for sleeping pads but provides temperature recommendations instead (See Sleeping Pad R-values.)

Why sleep on such a short sleeping pad? Mainly to save weight. Your legs need less insulation from the ground than your torso, so many ultralight backpackers rest their legs on top of other gear like a backpack which provides enough insulation from the ground to keep them warm. NEMO also sells an uninsulated version of this 48″ mummy-sized Tensor pad, which weighs 8.5 ounces (240 grams).

Besides its low weight, the Tensor Insulated Mummy 20S  (20 inches wide, size short)reviewed here is a quiet and comfortable sleeping pad. It’s covered with 20D PU Polyester Ripstop that has a soft hand against your skin. It’s lined with Primaloft insulation and has an internal aluminized reflective liner, but does not make the loud crinkly sound you find with other sleeping pads like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir pads.

When inflated, the Tensor Insulated Mummy 20S is a full 3″ thick, providing lots of cushioning for elbows and knees, with excellent stability. The pad is inflated with a single stick valve and takes between 15-17 breaths to inflate depending on desired firmness.

Deflation is very straightforward. Simply open the valve and roll it up to force the air out. The fabric is pre-scored in thirds, so it’s easy to fold and roll. A small stuff sack is provided.

Comparable Lightweight Sleeping Pads

Sleeping PadTypeSizeWeightR-Value/Temp RatingPrice
Big Agnes AXL AirAir Pad20" x 72" x 3.75"9.6 ozNA$139.95
Big Agnes Insulated AXL AirAir Pad20" x 72" x 3.75"11.6 ozNA$179.95
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XliteAir Pad20" x 72" x 2.5"12 ozR=3.2$169.95
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XThermAir Pad20" x 72" x 2.5"15 ozR=5.7$199.95
Big Agnes Q-Core SLXAir Pad20" x 72" x 4.25"16 oz15 Degrees +$159.95
NEMO Astro Air LiteAir Pad20" x 72" x 3.5"14 ozNA$109.95
NEMO Tensor Aid PadAir Pad20" x 72" x 3.0"13.5 ozNA$119.95
Sea-to-Summit UltralightAir Pad21.5" x 72" x 2"13.9 ozR=0.7$99.95
Exped AirMat HyperliteAir Pad20.5" x 72" x 2.813.4 ozR=1.9/35 Degrees+$100.00
Klymit V Ultralite SLAir Pad20" x 72" x 2.5"11.9 ozR=1.3$99.95

Recommendation

The Tensor Insulated Mummy 20S is a sweet sleeping pad, super comfortable, ultralight, quiet and compact. It’s a great choice if you want one sleeping pad for use in three season weather, including early spring and late autumn when the ground is still cold. NEMO doesn’t believe in publishing sleeping pad R-Values, but rates the pad the pad suitable for use down to 15-25 degrees, which I can indeed confirm is accurate. The Tensor Insulated is also available in longer and wider sizes if you prefer a larger pad, but still want to enjoy its superior construction.

Disclosure: NEMO provided the author with a sample sleeping pad for this review. 

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

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8 comments

  1. I sure wish some company would produce these short pads in a 25″ width. I guess I’ll have to buy a used wide XLite and shorten it.

    • It is not insulated, but I have a Thermarest Trekker pad that is short and 25″ wide. I have used it in my hammock, in a tent and in shelters on the AT and been happy with it. It looks like Cascade Designs has again modified the Trekker’s, but if you are not looking exclusively for a insulated pad, perhaps someone may carry the older model.

      • Should have looked before I replied above, but looks like the older Trekker model is available (at least Campsaver and Campmor). It is referred to as Large Torso (25″ W x 47″ L).

  2. How big is it rolled up ??

    Thanks
    Thom

  3. Another option is a woman’s Neoair xlite. 66 ” long and stays 20″ wide thru to the hips. R value of 3.9. Mine weighs 11 oz without the stuffsack. It has been a great 3 season pad with more than enough leg support for my 5′-9″ frame.

  4. Hey Phillip,
    I’m looking to scoop this up today (online) and found a good deal on Backcountry.com. I’m somewhat concerned that THIS product on their website is the non-insulated version though, due to it being around $20 cheaper and lighter weight, but the reviews seem to be for the insulated version.

    If you find the time to jump over and check it out I’d greatly appreciate it! If it’s not then I’ll plan on just purchasing from Nemo themselves.

    Thanks Phillip, I base a LOT of my purchases on your unbiased reviews!

    Ashley

  5. Comfortable pad. Thin fabric very prone to punctures – never place on Anything but tent floor. Once inflated the pad is comfortable, but – the valve just outright sucks. It just doesn’t function smoothly to open or close. Forget making minor adjustments for comfort. This valve is much worse than the similar valve Thermarest uses (except the NEMO valve head is larger than T-rest, so my Airstream inflator bag hack that works for T-rest valves will not work on NEMO valves).

    If NEMO would remake this pad with a flat valve it would be up there with Thermarest. NEMO temp ratings are pretty close on the mark despite not paying for R Value testing. Certainly more accurate temp range than Big Agnes pads which are not even close to what BA says.

    After the third puncture the pad went to Goodwill and I moved on to the Neoair Xlite (as have 75-80% of all long distance trail hikers). Dependability when backpacking is primary. The Xlite has been delivering that for many years now and no one has topped it.

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