Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad Review
Oct 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm #3613749
“Average use on both is closer to 15 to 20 times or more”
Especially if the synthetic insulation is regularly being compressed!
We don’t get much snow in the SE US but would think a down mat best for sleeping on it. I have been down to 15 F on my XLite and not been cold wearing a down jacket and pants inside a WM MegaLight with all down shifted to the top :)Oct 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm #3613885Nov 22, 2019 at 7:54 am #3619952Jason LivingstonBPL Member
The Thermarest XTherm has a Limited Lifetime Warranty, not a 2 year warranty. Thermarest electronic items (i.e. NeoAir Pump) have a 2-year warranty.Nov 22, 2019 at 7:18 pm #3620002Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Hanz (@tundra-thrasher-ouch-man-2) – so far so good. I haven’t been able to test subzero (F) yet without the pad, but single digits F and direct on snow seem to be OK so far with this pad (Nemo Tensor Insulated).Jan 9, 2020 at 5:59 am #3626217
I see that REI is now listing R-values for the Tensor insulated pads – presumably tested to the new standard. The Tensor insulated is R3.5 and the Tensor Alpine is listed at R4.8. Meanwhile, the X-lite with the new valve design is listed at R4.2. There are also multiple listings for the Sea-to-Summit pads, with lower R-values for what I think are the new listings – the older listings with the previous R-values are on sale,although I don’t think there has been any change to the design.
I have been using a STS Ultralight Insulated (old R-value 3.3 / new R-value is 3.1) and I typically feel cold from below with the temp is near 30 and there is any wind. I had been considering the Regular-Wide Tensor Insulated or a STS Comfort Light Insulated (new R value is 3.7), but now will probably spring for either the Tensor Alpine in Large (I hate the 24oz weight though) or just give up and get a Thermarest X-Therm Max (I see there is a Regular-Wide size in this now). I don’t find the Thermarest X-series all that comfortable, but I need a warmer pad and would like something wider as well.Jan 9, 2020 at 6:39 am #3626219
I wonder if adding a torso length 1/8 inch evazote (or similar) pad might boost your existing pad’s R value to an equal or better than a new pad and for less weight?
Also, given the BPL review of the insulated Tensor (and recommendations by BPL staff for how well it works on snow) I am a bit surprised that the REI published R value of the Tensor is that low…Jan 9, 2020 at 8:02 am #3626227
I was warm sleeping on my Tensor Insulated pad on snow last weekend, although the night-time low was only 31F. I’ve previously taken it down to 25F without issue. Both times were without a supplemental foam pad. Adding a 1/8” foam pad to my old S2S Ultralight Insulated did make it feel much warmer.
Somehow the new R-value standard shows significant benefit to Thermarest pads. The Z-Lite shows an R-value of 2.6 vs the Nemo Switchback’s R-value of 2. Hard to understand how a thicker CCF pad would have a greatly lower R-value.Jan 9, 2020 at 8:31 am #3626232
@johnnyh88 – this is exactly what I was wondering. Yes, REI is now publishing R values for products where previously they did not, but of what use are they? And even assuming the number is “accurate”, in that an identical test performed on each pad returned that number, does that have a direct correlation to individual experience in using the pad? Would you consider posting your gear used, i.e. quilt/bag/shelter used and clothing worn?
IOW, I would assign much more value to your (and others) reports that the Nemo Insulated Tensor was warm under X conditions than on a reported R value.Jan 9, 2020 at 8:53 am #3626234Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
JCH – I think this has been discussed before. So long as the testing methodology is consistent, that’s what matters.
In other words, the points isn’t to be able to state that, “I was warm on an R=3.5 pad and you will be also.”
Rather, I think the point is to be able to say, “I was cold sleeping on an R=3.5 pad X. Pad Y is rated at R=3.2, so I would expect that I would feel colder using it. It’s not for me. Pad Z is rated at R=4.0, so it should be on my short list of of pads to try next.”Jan 9, 2020 at 10:32 am #3626250
JCH – I have tried a 1/8 inch evazote pad under the STS UL Ins. and it just didn’t make a huge difference to me. Some recommend putting the foam pad on top of the air pad, but I have found this to be impractical (it doesn’t stay put). Also, at the end of the day, I just don’t like packing and carrying the extra volume of the foam pad.
Jeff – that’s it exactly, at least with a common standard I can figure out what works for me. Just like I know my low temp for sleeping bags is the EN comfort temp vs the Lower Limit temp. Although maybe that will change a bit with a warmer pad.
Wind seems to make a difference for me. I have wondered if the dimpled design of the STS pads allow cold air to get under the pad. Other factors could also be at play – I know the insulation does not extend to outer edge of the pad.
I would really like the Tensor Insulated to work for me because I like the regular-wide size and I have not found the thermarest x-series pads all that comfortable. I have been waiting on the new R values before pulling the trigger, and now that they are here – R3.5 just isn’t much of a Delta vs what I have. I already have a pad that works for me at 35 F and higher so I probably just need to get a warmer/heavier pad for colder temps. I don’t do winter camping, this is primarily for spring/fall temps at altitude.
The price of these pads (>$200) has gotten to the point where I don’t want to make a mistake.Jan 9, 2020 at 11:18 am #3626261
JCH – I was using a single-wall tent, vestibule-door open, and a MYOG quilt with 16oz of down.
From previous experience, I know I would have been cold from the ground if using my S2S Ultralight Insulated with no 1/8” foam pad underneath.Jan 9, 2020 at 11:39 am #3626273
John – what size Tensor Insulated do you have? Was your primary motivation to upgrade from the S2S pad warmth or comfort?Jan 9, 2020 at 12:13 pm #3626281
I have the Regular length Mummy. I wanted to find a pad that was warmer and more comfortable than the S2S Ultralight Insulated. I first tried the S2S Ether Light Insulated, but that pad was too noisy.
In my half-dozen nights of use so far, the Tensor Insulated is proving to be warmer, more comfortable, and very quiet. I sleep about 50% on my side and 50% on my back. The quietness is really nice – I don’t think I could go back to a loud pad again.Jan 9, 2020 at 1:14 pm #3626285Rex SandersBPL Member
Sleeping Pad R-Values: Not That Useful
Philip Warner discusses the sudden jump in Therm-a-Rest R-values in this review and comments:
— RexJan 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm #3626345
John – for your regular mummy Tensor – do you know if the 20 inch width is for the inflated pad? One of the attractive features of the S2S pads is that their width spec. applies after inflation (vs the Thermarest pads that are definitely not 20 inches wide after inflation). I am thinking maybe the Tensor Alpine in regular mummy might be the way to go for me if it is wide enough.
Rex- Yup, I have read all of that. I get that the R-values don’t necessarily tell you what will be good for you at a given temperature – any more than a manufacturers temperature rating would. But I think if they are tested the same – at least it provides a useful point of comparison – once you have experience with a pad that has been tested to it. And as far as the new Thermarest valve design – I much prefer the valve design used by S2S (and the similar Nemo design), and I have never found the Thermarest X-series pads comfortable.Jan 10, 2020 at 6:34 am #3626393
I’ve never measured the Tensor’s width. It’s not quite as wide as my S2S pad (which was spec’d at 21.5” wide). But it certainly feels wider than the Thermarest X-Lite pads. The edges of the Tensor are also more stable and don’t collapse like the X-Lite. You can always order a regular-width pad, and if it feels too narrow, then exchange it for a wide.
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