View Full Version : Big Agnes Sleeping Pads

06-12-2009, 11:02
My wife is using the Big Anges sleep system but currently only has the hinman sleep pad. It is heavy and doesn't really do a great job so we were looking at the other available options and came up with two:

Big Agnes Air Core Mummy Pad - 19ozs

Big Agnes Clearview Air Mummy Pad - 14ozs

As far as I can tell the only differences between the items is that the Air Core seems to have a higher R-value so it would be warmer and the Air Core also packs differently(4x8 vs 2.5x10).

Does anyone have any experience with these and recommends one over the other?

Thank you kindly.

06-12-2009, 11:26
What do you mean as in "doesn't really do a great job" ? Not plush enough, too cold?

06-12-2009, 11:48
I don't have any experience with either of those particular mattresses, but I have a Big Agnes insulated air core mattress. I can say, and most others will probably agree, these are some of the most comfortable sleeping pads available.

Extremely comfortable (especially for side-sleepers)
Packs down smaller than lots of most pads

Can break mid-hike (although they do come with repair kits)
Much heavier than most pads
Cannot be trimmed to smaller lengths (like foam pads)

Overall, I don't regret buying mine, and I sleep like a baby on the trail :)

Take it easy,

06-12-2009, 12:22
Personally I use a small foam pad but this is for her comfort and 2.5" in air seems to exceed her expectations.

She isn't happy with her current pad being way too thin and then not holding air. We got it free with the sleeping bag and always expected to replace it.

So between these two pads does anyone have an opinion as to what the better pad would be?

06-12-2009, 13:04
If she is using it in a BA sleeping bag, I'd reccomend the Clearview. They are basically the same, except the Clearview uses a thinner material which could be more easily punctured. That shouldn't be much of a problem if its in the sleeping bag sleeve all the time though.

06-12-2009, 13:17
Buy the Big Agnus, it's WONDERFUL! I will never regret getting mine.

06-12-2009, 14:36
At The Outfitter at Harpers Ferry we've recently seen a number of Clearviews returned to us because of defects; none of the Air Cores we've sent out have been returned.

May just have been a bad batch, though -- they were returned to us because they leaked before the customers even had a chance to use them. Previously we had not seen this problem. They are flimsier than the Air Cores, but perhaps that won't matter if you're using the whole system together (problems we've heard about regarding short lifespans for Clearviews tended to be from people using one with a non-BA sleeping bag, and putting them down on shelter sleeping decks).

06-12-2009, 14:42
I bought a Big Agnes bag, and the clearview pad this winter. Took it on a trial run a few weeks ago and had the best night sleep I've ever had on the trail.

I went with this system because my mummy bag was too confining and I was not sleeping well on the trail. I think that problem is solved.

Tom Murphy
06-12-2009, 16:13
BA inslauted air core pad. Love it. I let out a tiny bit of air after fullly inflating it. That seems to help too.

Old Hillwalker
06-12-2009, 17:14
Today I returned my BA Clearview to the manufacturer. On my recently completed 25 days and 300 backpacked miles in the wilds of Northwestern Scotland my Clearview developed a leak at the valve bag interface on the very first night. Admittedly I did not test it as throughly as I should have prior to leaving the US. As I was at the start of a 100 mile section with no possibility of finding an outfitter I returned the next day to the starting point in Ft William and spent another night at the Ft William Backpackers' Hostel and lacking a BA dealer, bought a Thermarest that fit the BA sleeping bag. The next day, I caught the train to begin again on the hike to Cape Wrath.

I have no idea what BA will do since I no longer need their "flatulent" mattress. Their seeming lack of QC cost me two train rides, a hostel stay, two days toasted, and about $175 USD.

06-12-2009, 17:53
. . . my Clearview developed a leak at the valve bag interface on the very first night. . .

That's where the ones returned to us were having leaking problems.

06-12-2009, 19:01
Well then, I retract my recommendation. Get the Air Core instead.

06-13-2009, 06:47
Since I don't like to zip up a mummy bag due to the restraints, I went with the zero degree Dual Core BA and love it. Very comfortable. I sleep warm down into the low 20s with my 20* Cat's Meow just draped over me and feet in the box. It's a solution that works very well for me.

06-13-2009, 11:36
Wife and I have two BA Insulated Air Core pads. Love them. Can't recommend them highly enough. :banana

I'm a side sleeper who flip-flops a lot at night. I also like letting my feet hang off the end of the pad to let my ankles relax. A good night's sleep is crucial to me, especially when I'm pounding out 20+ mile days on the PCT. I'll carry the extra weight and accept the sarcasm of my uneducated UL friends. Strange how after they lie down on my pad, they don't want to go back to their blue torso-sized pads.:D

Originally had the mummy pads, but returned them for the rectangular and never looked back.

Don't get influenced by the manufacturer's stated size of a rolled up pad. You can roll most pads in a wide variety of configurations to end up with a different roll size based on what YOU need.

06-13-2009, 12:53
BA inslauted air core pad. Love it. I let out a tiny bit of air after fullly inflating it. That seems to help too.

I agree - I think the key is to NOT inflate it to the max.

06-13-2009, 13:20
Good point.

Let me take that a bit further. Never leave a fully inflated pad - Big Agnes or otherwise - in your shelter during the day. Air expands as it heats up, which puts pressure on the walls and seams of the pad. If there's a weak spot anywhere, this will find it and can easily open it. :datz

Alway deflate your mat (at least halfway) if you insist on leaving it inflated inside your shelter during the day. Personally, I'd much rather blow it up again each night than struggle with a leak that can be real hard to find, let alone seal. Patch kits really only work well on flat areas; not very good on seals and around valves.