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Paria ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad Review

Pariah ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad Review

Paria Outdoors ReCharge UL Insulated Sleeping Pad

Comfort
Ease of Inflation
Warmth
Weight
Durability
Packed Size

Budget Insulated Sleeping Pad

The Paria ReCharge UL is a low price insulated inflatable sleeping pad suitable for camping and backpacking that's comparable to Therm-a-Rest's NeoAir pads, but far less expensive.

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The Paria Recharge UL Sleeping Pad is an inflatable insulated sleeping pad suitable for backpacking and camping. Weighing 20 ounces, it’s on the heavy side compared to popular three-season sleeping pads, but it is inexpensive, making it a good option for cost-minded backpackers.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight: 20 oz (actual 19 oz, weighed)
  • Insulated: Laminated 90g/m2 synthetic microfiber
  • R-Value: Untested (estimated at 3.5)
  • Dimensions: 72 x 20″ (wide at the head end) and 14″ (wide at the foot end)
  • Thickness: 2.5″ (3″ by my measurement)
  • Number of breaths to inflate: 24
  • Cover: 40 Denier TPU diamond rip-stop nylon

Inflation

The ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad has a flat valve, like those found on Klymit, Exped, and Sea-to-Summit Sleeping Pads. These are more reliable than most stick valves because they’re flush with the surface of the pad and have no moving parts.

Inflation by mouth is more cumbersome though, because you have to press your mouth flat over the valve. It has an inner flap however, which prevents air from escaping when you remove your mouth to take another breath. Blowing up the pad by mouth takes 24 SectionHiker breaths. Paria sells a pump bag separately ($15) which can double as a dry sack and is worth consideration.

Deflation is a little trickier than you’d expect through. Most flat valve caps have an extra long tab that you can use to prop open the inner flap during deflation so air can escape when you roll the pad up. However, the tab on the cap isn’t quite long enough to stay securely in the opening and prop the inner flap open. I discovered a more reliable workaround however. If you reach under the pad behind the valve, you can push the inner flap up inside the valve so that remains open during the entire deflation process.

The ReCharge UL has a single flat value for inflation and deflation
The ReCharge UL has a single flat value for inflation and deflation

Comfort

When fully inflated the ReCharge UL is quite a firm pad to sleep on, much like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite or XTherm which share the same horizontal baffles. It is a quiet pad however, that doesn’t make any crinkly sounds when you move around at night, because it is not insulated with reflective material. If you prefer a softer mattress, the air sprung cells in the Big Agnes AXL Insulated Air Sleeping Pad and Sea-to-Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad are far more comfortable.

The ReCharge UL pad has a mummy shape and is 20″ wide at the head end, tapering gradually to 14″ wide at the foot end. It is spec-ed at 2.5″ (I measure 3″), but your knee will hit the hard ground when you kneel on the pad, even if the pad is fully inflated. The surface of the pad is a lightly textured and durable 40 Denier TPU diamond rip-stop nylon which is not slippery, so you won’t slide off the pad at night.

The pad is pre-scored lengthwise to make it easy to fold into thirds, lengthwise, and rolls up to the size of a 1L Nalgene bottle for each store. A stuff sack is included.

You can accelerate deflation by pushing the inner flap up from the back so air can escape faster.
You can accelerate deflation by pushing the inner flap up from the back so air can escape faster.

Assessment

The Paria ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad is an inflatable insulated sleeping pad that’s comparable to much more expensive sleeping pads, but available at about half of the price ($70). It’s a perfectly good sleeping pad to use, but is probably better for camping rather than backpacking, since it weighs close to a half-pound more than comparable, but more expensive sleeping pads like the market leading Thermarest NeoAir XLite.

If gear weight and cost are important to you, I’d encourage you to take a close look at two other insulated sleeping pads, the MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad which retails for about $60, has an R-vale of 4.4, and weighs 17.7 oz or the REI Flash Air Insulated Sleeping Pad which retails for $100, has an R-value of 3.7, and weighs 15 oz. Both of these pads have dual flat valves, which makes the deflation process much smoother. They also have air sprung cells which I find more comfortable to sleep on than horizontal baffles.

While not reviewed here, the ReCharge UL is also available in a short (48″ x 22″) and double width size (76″ x 48″), with higher R-Values and the same reduced pricing model. The value of those models is actually more interesting and worthy of consideration if you’re shopping for a lower cost, non-standard size insulated sleeping pad.

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Disclosure: The author received a sleeping pad from Paria Outdoors 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. A bit off topic for this specific review, but since you also mention Klymit and REI pads, here goes:

    I own the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite and the Klymit Insulated V UltraLite SL, and a NeoAir XLite.

    My concern with the Klymit pads is the channels between inflated portions. There is NO insulation in those gaps. Is Klymit assuming the sleeper is using a sleeping bag and that the bottom of the bag will loft into those channels?

    I’m a quilt user. I bought the Klymit pads on discount for family members who are still sleeping bag users. I would not expect to be warm using a top quilt in conjunction with any of these Klymit pads.

    I would be interested to hear from top quilt users and their experience with warmth on a Klymit.

  2. Looking to get an insulated pad in order to continue backpacking in the cooler months.

    Phil, rarely comment but I read most of your reviews and articles.

    I appreciate the content and always enjoy seeing that a new article has been posted.

    Thanks for this site and the hard work that you put into it.

  3. Jeff, that’s correct. The Klymit design expects that you’re using a bag to loft up into those gaps. I have a few of them that my kids and scouts use (with sleeping bags) and they seem fine.

    I’m also a quilt user though, so I generally prefer my neoair (and/or a hammock to be honest). Except in summer when you know you’re going to have a warm overnight, then my uninsulated klymit static UL is great. So nice and cool. But I really only use it if I’m not in a hammock.

  4. I don’t know about others, but I absolutely cannot sleep on a pad with horizontal baffles. Yes, I tried, with a NeoAir, for a whole season. Every time I tossed and turned (which I do a lot), I fell off the pad and ended up chasing the pad around the tent trying to get back on (to the great annoyance of the dog I had at the time).

    For me, a pad must have vertical baffles, with the outside ones slightly higher to keep me from rolling off. It also must be comfortable when blown up to the squishy stage (just enough air to keep my hip bones off the ground).

    While I have an Exped Downmat (cozy warm and I have no problems staying on it), my go-to insulated air pad is one I bought back in late 2006, then already discontinued (Pacific Outdoor Equipment “Instamat Max Thermo”), but still holding up just fine. It does get chilly when the temps get to the mid-20s, though, so if I expect frosty nights I take the Downmat.

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