For its small size and excellent packability, this is a luxuriously comfortable sleeping pad.
Sides of pads act as rails to keep you from rolling off
Tiny pack size
Slightly narrow (wider versions available)
Inflation sack is heavy
Relatively low R rating
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Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Petite: first impressions
Tough, warm, and thick, Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Petite has all the features of a best sleeping pad you’d use for car camping, but at a weight made for backpacking.
The TPU-laminated ripstop fabric can stand up to use inside a tent, or on the bare ground, or on the beach, and other places for that matter.
Inside, PrimaLoft Silver insulation and a heat-reflective technology increase warmth (it has an R-value of 3.2 – see sleeping pad R-values explained), while a quilted top and I-Beam construction are comfortable and stable.
The inflation sack is both included and upcycled.
I was on the most narrow and lightweight version of this mat, but the Q-core is available in myriad sizes, up to a width of 101cm / 40in and a length of 183cm / 72in.
• RRP: $130 (US)
• Style: Inflatable
• Weight: 430g / 15oz
• Shape: Rectangular
• Dimensions: 51 x 168cm / 20 x 66in
• Thickness: 11.4cm / 4.5in
• Packsize: 10 x 18cm / 4 x 7in
• R-value: 3.2
• Compatibility: 2- to 3-season
• Colors: Green / Red
In the field
When I’m backpacking, I feel like I sometimes have to choose between comfort and weight. (Wondering how to choose a sleeping pad? Check out our guide.) Not with this sleeping pad. It was so thick, the pad kept me off the ground, and it kept me warm, but when I rolled it up to hike it to the next campsite, it was so small it practically disappeared inside my pack.
The pad is insulated with PrimaLoft Silver insulation paired with a heat-reflecting technology. All this tech stays silent while I sleep.
The mat is laminated inside a ripstop exterior that has withstood repeated use night after night, including some nights when my dog decided she was going to sleep on it too.
The pad is narrow, but the side baffles stand proud of the mid-pad baffles to act as side rails so that you don’t roll off, even when my pup is hogging more than her fair share of space.
The only thing I didn’t like about this mat is the inflation sack, which was durable, but heavy, so I pirate the inflation sack from a different pad when I take this sleeping pad backpacking or bikepacking.
Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.