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on December 29, 2010
I've had Therm-a-Rest pads for years, and have always loved them. I never thought I'd ever like another pad as much, but yet here I am...

The truth is that I bought this pad for my wife as an add-on item when buying her pack, before her first real wilderness camping outing. I figured if she didn't take to the hobby, I wouldn't be out as much as I would have been had I bought her a comparable Therm-a-Rest, and I wouldn't mind passing this pad on to one of my boys (for Scout trips).

When it arrived, some things that caught my eye right away, namely the stuff sack, the repair kit, and the finish. Let's consider the finish first. One side has a micro-fiber feel, and the other has little rubberized bumps (the kind you often see on slipper socks or some winter gloves). I instantly thought of all the summer trips I had been on where the nylon shell of my Therm-A-Rest pad was simply not comortable in the heat--the micro-fiber finish on the ALPS comfort series pad would make those hot, sweaty days a little more tolerable (and use proved that hypothesis correct). Those little bumps on the bottom also meant I wouldn't need to carry a roll of that non-slip stuff you get on rolls (sometimes used under rugs or in drawers/cabinets)--at least not for my wife's pad.

The accessories, a stuff sack and a repair kit, may seem like no big deal to you, but those items are sold separately for Therm-a-Rest pads (around $15 for the bag and up to $10 for the repair kit--$25 in all), so that made this purchase an even greater bargain! I was actually really shocked to see that they sent the stuff sack and the repair kit with the pad.

I've been very impressed with the quality--no problems during the first year of use, from cabin camping on the floor to a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with much use in between. The valve is solid and it does inflate fast (faster than my other pad), and the non-slip side really does the trick. The only bad part about the pad is that it is still technically my wife's, but since she and I don't often get out together (I'm typically out with the guys or the Scouts), it has become my new favorite pad. Had I not just replaced my own pad just a couple of years ago, I'd buy another one of these to call my own.

Don't get me wrong--Therm-a-Rest pads are still great pads, but this one just far exceeded my expectations. It is of comparable quality, but those little extras (the finish, and the included stuff sack and repair kit) make this pad a much better buy. Sure, you can find lighter pads out there for your most extreme lightweight backpacking trips, but you can't beat this one as an all-around pad. Give it a try--you won't be disappointed!

(P.S. If anyone wants to buy my Therm-a-rest Trail Lite pad, let me know.)
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on April 6, 2011
I bought the regular size pad. Keep in mind the one they display on the video is the comfort series size XL. It sports two valves on either side of the pad. The regular size has only a single valve port. When you receive your air pad it probably will take some time filling due to being stored compactly for some time. Training your pad helps to insure your pad will respond much quicker when you are out on a trail or during a slumber anywhere. If you are new to the self inflatable air pad then these simple facts might help your questions when you first receive your new pad.

Open the valve and wait around 60 minutes give or take. Blow into the valve port a few times to fully expand your pads inner cell membrane and store it a couple of days. Try laying on it a while when your watching TV or taking a nap on the couch, floor, bed and so on. Roll it up and then let it fill up on it's own. If you need you ad a little more air do so and repeat this three or four times. this will insure your air pad is ready to roll with the flow when you want it, and you will know what to expect. Also remember the regular is 20" wide so if you want more than that go with long at 25" wide or the XL's at 30" in width. Keep in mind the weight (Reg is 2 lbs. 14oz. / L 4 lbs. 6oz. / XL 7 lbs. 3oz. / XXL 9 lbs. 14 oz.)

As far as the pad is concerned in regards to it's quality I would give this a strong 4 1/2 stars. The affordability is a big gainer when compared to the other competitions and it's comfort is aligned with the high dollar ones. All in all you cant go wrong with this ALPS Mountaineering sleep pad. It's well worth it and you will enjoy it's qualities.
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on October 31, 2011
I purchased 2 XL pads and 1 regular pad for camping. The XL pads are 3" and nicely sized for a full size adult. I just got back from 2 days of camping where the temps were below 40 each night. The pads were comfy and kept us warm from the cold ground. I bought the regular pad for my 6 year old which at 2" inflated is ok for a child. The width on the regular pad is so small I can't imagine anyone but a child using this pad. Even an older child may find this pad too small. It does pack well and is 1/3 the size of the XL pad rolled up.

A couple of points I'd like to make from reading other reviews of these.

-The first inflation does take some time. Alps recommends allowing the pad to inflate on its own for 30-minutes the first time. Then blow air into it manually to fully inflate, close the valves and let it sit that way over night. Subsequent inflates/deflates should occur naturally on its own.

-The instructions/ warranty info is in the inside pocket in the stuff sack with the repair kit.

-The pads are meant to be stored fully inflated with the valves open, NOT rolled in the stuff sack. The instructions clearly point this out. If you store these pads rolled, the foam will compress and may not reach full thickness the next time it's unrolled/ inflated.

I researched many options for camping bedding including air beds, open celled foam, closed cell foam. These pads seem the be the best of all worlds providing comfortable thickness, portability, and protection from temperature transfer from the ground.
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on February 18, 2011
Much like the product page for "ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Air pad", it was difficult to determine the various dimensions for this pad. Here's a quick summary from the insert included with my recently purchased ALPS Comfort Series Air Pad:

-Short--20" x 48 x 1.5"; 1 lb. 12 oz
-Regular--20" x 72" x 1.5"; 2 lbs. 14 oz.
-Long--25" x 77" x 2"; 4 lbs. 6 oz.
-XL--30" x 77" x 3"; 7 lbs. 3oz.
-XXL--30" x 77" x 4"; 9 lbs. 14.oz.

I purchased the regular sized pad, and it provides ample space for me (I am a small/average build for a guy, at 5'8", 150 lbs.). The cushioning on the regular pad is probably fine for most back-sleepers. My hip did begin to hurt a little after laying on my side for less than an hour; so I recommend a thicker version than the regular pad, or look at a foam pad if you are predominantly a side-sleeper.

I like the suede-like fabric on top, as it keeps my sleeping bag from sliding around, and the rubber dots on the bottom of the pad work well enough to keep the pad from being too slippery on the floor of a tent (at least when you have the weight of a person on it). My one complaint with this pad is that it's not really self-inflating: as other reviewers have noted, you do have to finish inflating it manually, and it's not exactly easy to close the cap after you're done.

Other than the one minor non-self inflating issue, I am happy with this product and would recommend it for back-sleepers or side-sleepers who don't mind a little hip discomfort when camping.
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on May 26, 2012
I just used this (size large) to sleep on a hard wooden deck of an 1860's sailing ship and boy was I glad I had it! While sleeping was difficult, I don't blame it on the mat (I blame it on the 30 restless 5th graders and a moving ship). I'm a big guy (5'10", 225lbs) and found that I could lay on my back OR side comfortably on this mat. Could it be thicker? Sure, but I think the large size is a nice balance of thickness and portability. I have found that "helping" the mat inflate accelerates your ability to use it. I do this by 1) opening the valve and letting it inflate for less than a minute, 2) closing the valve and "rolling" the air to the far end to aid in expansion, 3) opening the valve again, and after it self inflates for another minute, blowing a couple of lungs full of air into the mat to make it firm. Rolling it up isn't easy and requires strong hands, but the included straps hold the rolled mat well and allow it to be easily put back into the carry bag. This is a great addition to our camping, sleep-over, arsenal for the family. At the moment my old dog is laying comfortably on it in the living room. :)
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on January 31, 2015
I simply love my alps mountaineering air pad. I use it for motorcycle camping down in Baja and it works out great.. Packs compact and self inflates on it own... So comfortable.. Best air pad I have ever used. Highly recommend....
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on November 2, 2010
This thing is ridiculously comfortably.

I go camping in the Mojave Desert a couple times a year. Most of the grounds out there are packed hard as rock. I had a rollout mat that was completely inadequate on my first trip out there and have relied on inflatable air mattresses since then. Even the best inflatable mattresses tend to deflate under me within about 5-6 hours, and never have quite enough support for comfortable sleep.

I devised a lofty plan to build a cot with an integrated tent and generally downsize my camping gear so I bought a solo tent and got this mattress to fit the solo tent until I had time to design and build the cot. After my first trip out, I've lost interest in the cot. I don't need it. With this mattress, I'm able to sleep through the night and wake up more refreshed than I ever have in the desert.

Also worth noting, I am rather large (6'5 and 50-100 pounds more than you would tell me you think I am) and toss and turn at night and this is plenty long and wide.

The only downside I've found so far is that it is recommended that it be stored in laid out rather than rolled up. I stashed it behind a couch so it doesn't matter so much.
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on August 16, 2015
BAD manufacturing process and quality control.

During my test on the first day I received the pad, the outer top felt layer already separated from the inner foam and formed a blister.

I will definitely not buy this brand again.
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on June 7, 2012
***Update 05/29/2013***
Used the pad for outdoor sleeping in NH about 3 weeks ago. Temp dropped down to low 30's overnight. The pad provided a soft platform that was a great cold barrier. Still love it. I will reiterate that the sueded top picks up debris like crazy, but it's not a major deal.

***Update 09/17/2012***
Just got back from a 3 day camping trip to Western MA and was very pleased with the performance. It was warm enough that I slept on the bare pad and used my sleeping bag as a blanket - the sueded top makes sleeping on the pad VERY comfortable - not sticky or slippery at all. Very pleased with the performance. I have a couple more trips in colder weather coming up and will update after those trips.

I have several Alps Mountaineering pads that my family and I use for car camping. We used to use an air mattress, but the durability of the mattresses left a lot to be desired. These self inflating pads are great - they provide a nice amount of padding without taking up a lot of tent space. The important thing to remember with these pads is you have to blow into the valve to top off the air once it has unfolded. Because this is a particularly large pad, I found it took quite a bit of additional inflation to get it topped off, but once I did, it was incredibly comfortable. The manufacturer (as well as other reviewers) say it takes less topping off as time goes on. In retrospect, I would have purchased this in place of my air mattress, cot AND cot pad, saving myself a good $300.00. Here's the pro/con rundown:
VERY comfortable once fully inflated.
Sueded top and internal pillow is a nice touch - prevents slipping off.
"dotted" underside minimizes sliding on tent floor.
Excellent moisture and cold barrier.
Takes up much less headroom in tent than full size air mattress
Much easier to get in and out of tent than air mattress
Rolls up reasonably compactly for car camping

Too large and /or heavy for any kind of camping other than car camping
The comfy sueded top is a magnet for all kinds of debris.
Takes a pretty good lungful to get the mattress fully inflated (at least out of the box)
It takes some muscle to roll the pad up when you're packing it up.
You'll never get it back if you lend it to your neighbor/spouse/brother/sister/dad/mom/etc.

Overall It's a great value for a comfy night's rest.
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on December 28, 2012
I took my wife on a camping trip to the beach this past summer and bought a couple of thick, twin-sized air mattresses but they were way too large and thick for our little pup tent so had to return them and buy a couple of thin camping pads but my wife complained they they were uncomfortable for sleeping on her side. I remembered and bought a couple of XL-sized ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pads and presented them to her Christmas morning to have for next year's trip. I released the valve and they unrolled but they seemed very thin and dense; not much thicker than the generic camping pads we had used. Disappointed, I told her I would exchange them with Amazon for something else and we left the house to visit family that Christmas afternoon. When we returned a couple of hours later we couldn't believe how thick they had gotten! I closed the valves and we laid on them and they were so comfortable! They just needed a little while to inflate themselves from being rolled up so long in Amazon's warehouse and our cold attic where I had stored them 'til Christmas morning. If you buy these and they don't inflate very well when you first unroll them, just wait a little while and you will be pleasantly surprised!
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