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Rated 4 out of
Good if you like inflatablesI've tried them all. Okay, most of them. I've tried the closed cell foam, I've tried the Thermarest X-Therm, the Pro-lite, the this, that, and the other thing. This is my first Nemo. With permanent back and neck injuries, I have come to a conclusion: I prefer the closed cell foam, specifically the Thermarest Z-Lite. If you want something that packs up small, get the Nemo. If you don't mind the dizzying task of inflating an inflatable over and over, deflating it, rolling it up, and unrolling it, get the Nemo. If you like 25x77 and a nice little pillow area, get the Nemo. However, if you don't mind a larger pad when carrying the thing around, don't mind less padding, like more even padding, and want IMMEDIATE setup, get the Thermarest Z-Lite. As far as inflatables go, what makes Nemo better than Thermarest (at least in these new high packable models), is the Nemo doesn't make the amount of noise the Thermarest makes while you're on it. Thermarests (at least the new highly packable ones) sound like you're sleeping on a bag of potato chips. For me, my back and neck hurt on inflatables. Self-inflating? The only pads I have ever owned that even attempt to self-inflate are ones from big box stores and some of the older Thermarests, like the Pro-Lite. I don't have the lung power to inflate a pad to the max, especially when half the air is coming back out at me and I'm half dizzy and my throat begins to hurt. What's your main priority? Is it padding, packability, ease of setup, etc. That will help you decide which pad is right for you. The Nemo comes with a nice stuff sack, repair kit, and a nice velcro strap to keep the pad wrapped tight when packed up. I also sweat a lot, so not highly insulated in important to me.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 3 out of
Nice Pad, but I would rather use foot pumpLet's be honest, blowing up these new age non self inflating pads is not fun. The good part is they roll up tiny and they roll up with ease. If you're coming to Nemo after using a Therm-a-Rest, know this: The Astro isn't noisy like a bag of potato chips, while a lot of the Therm-a-Rest pads are. Personally, I don't have the lung power to blow up a pad, and I am annoyed by all these inflatables that I have to blow up, get half dizzy, and air flows back into my face. I want the ease of a foam non-inflatable pad, but I want the size of a Nemo. I may try a Cosmo Air with the foot pump. Either that, or I will continue sleeping on a hardwood floor, as much as it hurts my already injured back. Personally, I don't see paying a lot for an inflatable piece of material. It's just one more piece of gear emptying my wallet. If anything, I would choose the Cosmo with the foot pump. The Nemo founder was like some space suit designer, so I'm hoping a foam pad I dream of will one day be created by him. Until then, could you help me up? My back is hurting pretty bad without a pad.
Date published: 2015-11-06
Rated 5 out of
Changed my backpacking lifeI grew up using classic self-inflating foam pads. Those were mostly fine until the last few years, when some knee, back, and hip injuries made backpacking and camping way more difficult and painful in every way. I tried an inflatable backpacking mattress from another well-known brand (let's call it Pad X) and pretty much just bounced around all night on a slick surface. It was awful. I ended up on the ground multiple times, and I'm not even an active sleeper. I decided to give the Nemo Astro a try upon recommendation from a friend. It is incredible. I'm a side sleeper and my hip and shoulders don't bottom out at ALL. I just kind of nestle into it like in my bed at home. While laying on it, I opened the valve to deflate and it was a surprisingly long time before my hip hit the ground! My pillow doesn't wander off the end. Even though it's the same width as my old self-inflating pads it somehow seems like I can curl up on it better so it's more comfortable. I don't bounce around like on the cheaper inflatable Pad X. I haven't used it in much cold yet but I was fine in about 40 degree night with a 45 degree bag. The fabric alone is in a whole other class with a much more appealing feel, less sliding for the sleeping bag, light weight, and it seems to be durable for its weight. Easier to pack than any other pad I've used. Cons: The valve seems a little more difficult to open/close than my older pads, but it does click in more securely once you get it. It does take quite a few breaths to inflate, but the valve makes it easier to close off between breaths so you can take breaks easily. No shorter option is available so I need to pack a few extra inches (but that's fine!). No integrated pump nor any separate external pump that I am aware of (though the valve has threads). I can't even imagine how comfortable this would be with the Pillowtop accessory (sold separately). And check out the wide version for 5 extra inches of width. I'm sure the more expensive pads by Nemo are great too, but I hope my Astro never dies so I don't have to find out :) Thanks Nemo...I've heard about your amazing products for a while and am so happy I took the chance.