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51 Reviews
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgot I was camping
My Thermarest was about twenty years old and I decided to get a thicker pad. After reading the review in Backpacker I ordered the Q to go with my new Big Agnus bag. I have always found it relaxing to camp but have spent many nights tossing and turning, not with the Q. I have used it six times this year and have forgotten I was camping Each time. It feels like I'm in a...
Published on April 21, 2012 by OskiO

versus
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Not The Best
I tried out a long-wide Big Agnes Q-core, and found it to be comfortable, but ended up exchanging it for the Exped Synmat 9. As far as comfort, I found the two pads to be so similar that I don't think anyone could detect the difference in a blind test. Both are VERY comfortable, and a huge improvement over closed cell foam pads, although there is the weight penalty. The...
Published on November 27, 2012 by Aphrael


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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Not The Best, November 27, 2012
By 
Aphrael (Pacific Coast USA) - See all my reviews
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I tried out a long-wide Big Agnes Q-core, and found it to be comfortable, but ended up exchanging it for the Exped Synmat 9. As far as comfort, I found the two pads to be so similar that I don't think anyone could detect the difference in a blind test. Both are VERY comfortable, and a huge improvement over closed cell foam pads, although there is the weight penalty. The two pads are about the same size, both in use, and when rolled up.

I found the Exped SynMat superior for several reasons. While this Big Agnes pad weighs about five ounces less, neither pad is ideal for light backpacking, and this mat has a notably heavier feeling bottom material for ground contact. For me, the extra durability is well worth the extra five ounces. We have other super-light air pads for serious backpacking.

It is a few refined features that make the Exped pad superior. The integrated air pump in this Exped mat really works, and works without serious effort. The integrated air pump will fill this pad in aboutone quarter of the time needed to blow up the Q-core pad with lung power. The Q-core inflate/deflate valve is very small diameter, and the idea of blowing spit and breath-humidity into the Big Agnes through the tiny mouth piece mat is distasteful. It can't be the best practice to leave the pad full of humid air and saliva. The Big Agnes pad also takes four or five times as long to deflate, since the air must exit the pad through the same tiny mouth piece. This Exped mat has a larger diameter deflation valve that makes fast work of packing up the pad. It is a nice bonus that this Exped SynMat 9 pad was $45 less expensive than the same size of Big Agnes Q-core.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgot I was camping, April 21, 2012
This review is from: Big Agnes Q-Core Insulated Sleeping Pad (Sports)
My Thermarest was about twenty years old and I decided to get a thicker pad. After reading the review in Backpacker I ordered the Q to go with my new Big Agnus bag. I have always found it relaxing to camp but have spent many nights tossing and turning, not with the Q. I have used it six times this year and have forgotten I was camping Each time. It feels like I'm in a bed. I really like the thicker sides, it holds you in the center of your bag and you don't drift. I highly recommend a Big Agnus bag because of the pad sleeve. With this combo I won't go back to a thinner pad or none sleeve bag.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best hiking mattress I have owned!, December 11, 2012
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The title says it all. This is the best hiking mattress I have ever owned.

Pros:
1) 3.5 inches thick.
2) Most comfortable hiking mattress I have slept on.
3)Durable. This is not made out of flimsy material, like the Therm-a-rest Neoair. I believe this mattress will stand the test of time. I can not say the same about the Neoair.
4)Love the beveled edge on this mattress. This really helps you stay on the mattress at night.

Cons:
1)This mattress is not light. I think it weights in at around 2 pounds, which ends up being about 1 pound more than the Neoair. If you are an ultra-light weight backpacker, then stick with the Neoair. I on the other hand do not might carrying an extra pound to sleep better on the trail.
2)This mattress is not easy to blow up. Beware, if you are trying to blow this mattress up at high elevation, then your lungs will sure get a workout. This is the reason I am giving this mattress four stars, rather than five. When you have hiked many miles at high elevation, the last thing you want to do is pass out trying to blow up your mattress.

Overall, this mattress is, in my opinion, the best hiking mattress on the market. This mattress has very few cons, will last a long time, and is not to hard on your wallet. I would buy this product again in a heartbeat!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality., November 21, 2012
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This review is from: Big Agnes Q-Core Insulated Sleeping Pad (Sports)
The pattern makes for a comfortable nights sleep. I am not a fast and light type of backpacker. I love enjoying my time outdoors. So bringing products that are light, sturdy, and comfortable are at the top of my list. This pad is not noisy like the Thermarest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Comfortable, Small and Packable Sleeping Pad, July 1, 2014
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This review is from: Big Agnes Q-Core Insulated Sleeping Pad (Sports)
My last Big Agnes inflatable sleeping pad died on the first night of a seven day Sanguenay Fjord trip last July.  I had used that pad on many multi-day paddling trios for more than five years, but wear and lots of use caused pinhole leaks just below the fill valve that I couldn't fix.  So I gave Big Agnes a respectful send off and recycled her.
That pad was not the first Big Agnes I had.  It was the third.  The first two early models both failed in the same way.  They had brass valves that were easy to cross thread.  This led to slow leaks, and one other seven day trip where I had to re-inflate the thing every two to three hours.  Big Agnes replaced these pads without question, with the late Big Agnes, a pad made from recycled materials.  This pad had a cast aluminum valve which worked well.  It never failed and the pad was reliable for many nights on many trips.  
All of those earlier pads inflated to 2.5 to 3.0 inches and were insulated.  On the last pad, the insulation began to shift and migrate leaving some cold spots as it aged.  But overall I loved the pad.  It was so comfortable and mated well with my Big Agnes sleeping bag.  The pad rolls up small and packs in a tight case which, unlike a self inflating pad, is very easy to stow in a touring kayak.  

This new pad, the Big Agnes Q-Core Inflatable Sleeping Pad appears to have improved substantially over the pad I had.  It has a new, and I hope  improved, inflation valve.  The cover appears to be made of tougher material.  The insulation feels more robust.  The corners of the pad are rounded which makes the pad slip into the Big Agnes sleeping bag sleeve without catching.  The inflated pad has ribs along the sides to prevent roll off and quilted panels in the main section to offer a more comfortable rest.  And the new pad is thicker at 3.5 to 4.0 inches, which has got to make it even more comfortable.
Some folks object to having to inflate and deflate a mattress.  For those folks there are a variety of tools to help with inflation.  I simply puff away, taking 17 - 20 puffs on the old pad to fill the mattress, 20-23 on the new one.  

I have used this pad on three multi-day, hundred mile paddling trips and am very satisfied with it. I find it softer and warmer than the pad it replaces. It is no bigger when deflated and rolled into its bag than the pad it replaces- about the size of a Nalgene bottle. I recommend this pad, especially for extended sea kayaking trips.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!!, November 20, 2012
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I got the wide & long version for backpacking. It is extremely lightweight & folds up to be surprisingly small. I slept so comfortably. No pressure spots, no circulation cut off, nothing ever even touched the ground. This is the most comfortable sleeping pad I've tried.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent!!, October 31, 2013
This review is from: Big Agnes Q-Core Insulated Sleeping Pad (Sports)
I consider this to be the best backpacking purchase I've made in several years. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Comfortable. Let's face it, comfort is the thing you're looking for, and in the Q core you will find it. It keeps your bones off of the ground all night long, and consistently holds air over your trip if you're spending multiple nights in same base camp.

2) Compact. The Q core packs down to a very manageable size. We're talking about the size of nerf football. No longer does your sleeping pad have to take up a bunch of pack space, or be tied on the the outside of the pack.

3) Insulated. This thing is designed to hold heat, and it's very effective. I haven't had it out in winter, but I have had it out at 6,000 feet in late fall when temps were well below freezing and it performed admirably.

There are always cons, here are a few:

1) Narrow. I'm a bigger guy (6'2" and 220 pounds) and when I lay flat on my back, both arms are off the mattress. This can be very annoying if you are not bundled into a mummy bag. I sleep on my side though, so it's pretty much been a non-issue.

2)Inflation. It's not self-inflating, so you'll need about 5 minutes to get it blown up. To me, this is not a big deal at all. I like that you can determine how full to blow it up. The valve is easy to control and has never malfunctioned in the full year that I've been using it.

3)deflation/repacking. One of the drawbacks to an inflatable pad is of course deflating it out on the trail. I've found the very best way is to lay on it and let all the air out with body weight and then refold it (thirds works best) right there in my bivy tent. First outing took some practice, but I have it down now and it takes only 5 minutes.

My bottom line:

The Q-core's benefits FAR outweigh any annoyances. Its small packing size and light weight make it an easy choice for me. I have used it heavily for exactly one year, and it has held up perfectly. No leaks, no valve malfunctions. It stays warm throughout the night and it keeps me comfortable. Anyone who does a lot of backpacking knows how valuable sleep is on about day 3 if you want to have anything left in the tank. The Q-core will help you get those important hours of sleep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best pad on the market!, October 20, 2013
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After spending 30 hours in my tent laying on this Big Agnes pad during the some torrential storms, I can say that this pad has got to be the most comfortable Pad on the market. I am amazed at how much this beat my old therma-rest. I recommend this pad to everyone I know. I sleep better on this than any others that I have tried. Do not hesitate about this pad. You will sleep well. I bought the longest, widest and thickest one. It's worth the extra weight of a larger mattress to have a comfortable nights sleep.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, March 30, 2013
By 
L. Kellogg (Marysville, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this to replace a 30-year-old Original Thermarest. My, how camping pad technology has changed! Doesn't take very long to inflate using the vastly overpriced BA Pumphouse pump, though as the pad gets more full, the air shoots back through the valve and into the pump and I had to complete inflation with breath, which I had been hoping to avoid. 3.5 inches in thickness makes for a very comfortable night, and I never bottomed out. The only downside is that 20 inches in width is very narrow, and I ended up bracing my weight against the ground with a knee to avoid falling off the height. If you're a side sleeper and turn over a lot, as I am and do, be prepared to learn to pivot horizontally.

Insulated = yes indeed. I ended up being too hot and switching from sleeping bag to blankets just to get airflow and cool off. Whatever they use in it to insulate, it works. Very nice change from the cold always seeping through the old, thin Thermarest.

Never lost air for the two nights I used it for. It's a bit on the pricey side, but overall, I'm pretty happy with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfy, although needs an extra puff or two after 1 night, August 8, 2013
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I'm primarily a side-sleeper, and managed to sleep pretty good with the roosters crowing all over Kaua'i for 6 days of camping. Thick air cushion is pretty comfy after a long day of backpacking, Packs down pretty small too, compared to most pads.
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Big Ag. Insul. Q-Core Pad Rect. 20x72"
$139.95
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