REI 3.5" Sleeping Pad - Highly Recommend!

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vonfogel

Rank I
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Traveler II

My wife and I recently went to REI to get her some hiking boots, but we wandered into the camping department and noticed they had a XL REI 3.5" Sleeping Pad on display. We each tried it out and were shocked by how comfortable it was! REI has a great return policy, so on a whim we went ahead and purchased two. I felt a little bad about impulse-buying two $140 pieces of gear (I normally do tons of research before any purchase) but later that afternoon, I unrolled one of the pads on our kitchen floor to try inflating it. I grabbed a pillow and tried laying down on it, and suddenly it was an hour and a half later and my wife was waking me up from a very deep sleep! I no longer felt bad about the purchase.

Previously we've explored a few sleeping arrangements (we camp in a large Coleman 8-person instant tent which we also LOVE) but nothing had quite worked. We tried a couple of different air mattresses, a cheap double-wide sleeping pad from Amazon, we considered cots and other options... but last weekend on a trip to the Trona Pinnacles and the Alabama Hills here in CA we gave the REI pads a try, and they were FANTASTIC. Slept soundly all night, no weird aches in the morning, they insulated us from the cold ground very well, and they were easy to inflate and deflate. Paired with a nice cot, these would be seriously luxurious.

I've read some reviews that complain about their durability, which I can't speak to since ours are brand new, but if we run into any issues I'll update this thread. I don't ordinarily write product reviews (which I really should, given how often I rely on reviews that others have written) but I liked this product so much, I wanted to recommend it to my fellow adventurers!

What do you sleep on when overlanding/camping?
 
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vonfogel

Rank I
Member

Traveler II

I have the same pad, but I'm not sure I like it that much. They're comfortable, sure. However, they are a space hog in our Jeep. It has me looking for different sleep arrangements.
That's totally fair, they definitely aren't space-savers. I've got a 4runner with a roof rack so it works for us just fine, but not everyone has as much cargo room. I should also mention I'm 6'1" tall so that kinda limits my options when looking for something to stretch out on.
 

Art

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Member II

829
Woodinville, WA
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Glad you found something that's comfortable for you! That's the biggest hurdle to get over with camping I've found. I'll have to check them out.
 

4xFar Adventures

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Benefactor

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San Francisco,CA
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I've had the same REI 3.5" pad forever. Never had an issue with it. Since I'm not out camping with a broken leg, I actually used the pad under the couch cushions. It's been over 2 months and it's never needed more air added after laying on it all that time.
 

Scout

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Advocate III

1,836
Jamestown,NY
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I have 2 of the Alps Mountaineering 3" mats.. I went with the 2 mainly because they have Velcro on the sides so you can make it a good size "bed" by attaching them {as many as you'd like} together and not having to worry about them coming apart..
 

Contributor I

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I have a 5-inch Klymit lightweight sleeping pad, I am 6 feet 2 inches, which replaces the REI ladies size pad I use for all but extremely cold conditions, so it is longer than the pad, I found it very comfortable, and fit me well. I used a small pillow and an extra jacket as a pillow at the end of the mat, so I could comfortably stick it on the mat.
 

titicaca

Rank 0

Traveler II

106
Calgary
Good choice. I have the equivalent and the original Therm-a-Rest – even more expensive. You don’t need to have buyer’s regrets. With 3.5” thickness they have enough insulation for winter camping. Let them self-inflate as much as possible while you get other stuff set up. I also like to use a small backpacking Therm-a-Rest pump to help the process of self-inflating, with a few final breaths of air to minimize moisture going in. I cringe when my wife gets impatient, skips self-inflating, and starts dumping breath-air into it. I find it takes a while to roll the air out adding to the whole pack up time.

I found it interesting on CheapRVLiving these pads are used in permanent van setups to minimize vertical space and weight.
 

smritte

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Influencer I

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Ontario California
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Ive had mine for around 3+ years. Ive had several thermal rest over the decades, this one seems to be built pretty close in quality.
 

Scout

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Advocate III

1,836
Jamestown,NY
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3609

After reading through this post again, I think I'm going to purchase an insulated Double V double wide 2 person or 2 of the 30" wide insulated static V Luxe pads..I am mainly looking to get full. inside the truck bed, coverage. They will be used on top of my DECKED system and in conjunction with the above mentioned Alps Mountaineering pads.. With only the AM pads and a comforter on top of them, my wife says she would like to sleep more comfortably. Hopefully these will do the trick.