Supremely Comfortable and Lightweight to Boot: A Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

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When I began alpine climbing as a clueless 18-year-old, my best friend and I struggled to outfit ourselves for multi day missions. (And yes, trying overnight objectives while you’re learning the craft is a very bad idea.) As a buffet attendant and janitor respectively, we were operating on a shoestring budget and took any opportunity to “borrow” gear for the longterm, including a particularly haggard snot-green Thermarest from the ’80s.

When that crunchy, rice paper-thin pad finally popped and failed on me for good (and provided a particularly terrible night of sleep) I would have loved to have Nemo’s Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad as an upgrade.

The pad is affordable at $120, lightweight relative to its price point (1 lb 7 oz), and supremely comfortable. Nemo’s engineers essentially built a shell using open-cell foam and then cored out 60% of the material, creating hollow air channels that increase the thickness of the pad by 290% when inflated. Even better, when you inevitably pop your pad at a rocky alpine bivy, the foam innards provide some semblance of comfort while you try to salvage the night.

For those with a working phone, $120 to spare, and a desire for a good night’s sleep—all things I didn’t have, or crave at 18—consider the Flyer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad for your next overnight trip.

–Anthony Walsh

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