Nemo Tensor Ultralight (regular) sleeping pad review: a comfortable mat that won't weigh you down

The Nemo Tensor Ultralight is the perfect backpacking camping pad, for when you want to travel fast and light but sleep comfortably

Nemo Tensor sleeping pad
(Image: © Nemo)

Advnture Verdict

Offering excellent levels of comfort, with very little weight penalty, this is a real go to backpacking pad.


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    Insulated (but quiet)

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    Supportive (not bouncy)

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    Lots of options for people of different heights/requirements


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First impressions

Nemo’s lightest sleeping pad is still extraordinarily luxurious – 3 inches thick and structured with ‘Spaceframe’ baffles, which are both stable and distribute your weight evenly across the mat. 

The zero-profile, multi-functional, micro-adjustable valve doesn’t stand proud of the pad, and it has been placed where it’s easy to let a little air out if the pad feels too hard. 

As well as various lengths, widths and shapes (mummy or rectangular), you can choose insulated or non-insulated to match your adventures and preference. The insulated pads are as silent as the non-insulated while you sleep, because the body-heat reflecting insulation is suspended inside the pad. The pad comes with Nemo’s Vortex pump sack, which helps minimize moisture from your breath getting inside. 


RRP: $180 (US) /£180 (UK) / €190 (EU)
Weight (regular): 540g/1lb 3oz
Variants: Short (122 x 51cm/48 x 20in) / Regular mummy (183 x 51cm/72 x 20in) / Regular (183 x 51cm/72 x 20in) / Regular wide (183 x 64cm/72 x 25in) / Long wide (193 x 64cm/76 x 25in)
Dimensions (regular): 183 x 51cm/72 x 20in
Thickness: 7.6cm /3in
Pack size: 24 x 9cm / 9.5 x 3.5in
R-value: 3.5
Compatibility: Backpacking and fastpacking

In the field

Whether I am car camping or backpacking, this is the pad I most often reach for. While it’s not the absolute lightest mat out there, it is remarkably light for the sleeping space it offers. 

It comes in ten shapes and sizes, five insulated and five not, including short, mummy, and rectangular, wide, and long. In fact, one of our only complaints about this pad is that it is hard to pick which version to get, because there are so many options. (Wondering how to choose a sleeping pad? Check out our guide.)

I like wide because it gives me room to spread out when I’m sleeping on my belly or my back. I never feel cramped or like I might roll off. The surface of the pad feels good when I am sitting or lying on it without my best sleeping bag. It’s soft, and quiet, over a shallow pattern of cells that doesn’t wobble or shift underneath me. 

At 3 inches thick, it’s not the deepest pad, but it is designed so that your elbows, hips, and knees should never hit the ground. The pad’s reflective insulation is suspended inside where it doesn’t crinkle when I roll over at night. 

When I sleep on this pad, I sleep like a log.

Berne Broudy

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.