Any experienced outdoor enthusiast has a bevy of stories to offer of extended hikes, extremely heavy packs and horrible sleeping conditions. After spending a day traversing a gorgeous landscape, one of the foremost things on anybody’s mind is a comfortable bed. Thankfully, Kelty’s Backpacker Pad is an affordable way to ensure that a luxurious cushion air and foam separates a tired body from stones and underbrush.
Designed specifically to support effectively, the Backpacker Pad is also insulated – a feature normally exclusive of far more expensive products. Filled with a full inch of open-cell foam, the insulation keeps weary campers warm even on the coldest nights. Solid padding at the head and feet capture precious body heat and prevent it from dissipating to the cold evening.
Open the small valve located at the corner and the pad self-inflates rapidly. A fairly large area of about 20”x72” can accommodate the average sized individual for the evening. As the next day interrupts the serenity of sleep, simply vacate the sleeping mat of air. The Backpacker Pad rolls up neatly and conveniently into the included storage sleeve, which can be slipped into most packs without much trouble whatsoever. Weighing in at about 8 ounces, this necessity is unlikely to over encumber as an addition to anyone’s pack.
The trouble with the majority of sleeping pads on the market today is limited durability. Built to protect from uncomfortable rocks and sticks that may lay scattered at a campsite, a typical pad at this price would stand at the risk of being punctured. Even the smallest hole or tear reduces a convenient air filled surface to dead weight and space for the remainder of a journey, a common occurrence for many outdoors enthusiasts. Thankfully, the Kelty Backpacker Pad was built of durable rip stop nylon: as long as the more abrasive objects are cleared from the sleeping area, the incidence of a puncture is rather low. If disaster strikes, an included repair kit will allow anybody to apply a patch to an ailing sleeping mat without much time or effort.
Kelty is not able to offer such a low price for a comfortable, insulated sleeping mat without some caveats. More expensive models provide a greater amount of insulation for cold sleepers – the perforated open-cell foam does not provide an effective barrier against creeping low temperatures. This drawback can be avoided with warmer sleeping bags without much trouble. Competitors offer far less heavy sleeping pads; this product is certainly lightweight, but lighter is always better on backpacking trips.
Overall, this product is an absolute bargain at its market price and number of features provided. I would rate the Kelty Backpacker Sleeping Pad a 5/5. Every camper worried about a comfortable restful sleep in between days of grueling backpacking should make the effort to invest in one.