Most helpful critical review
34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Sorry, Just average comfort for me...
on June 17, 2012
Either some of the 5-star reviewers here have low expectations from a bulky, expensive portable mattress used "in the wild" or Thermarest has done an excellent job of promoting that "halo" on their brand. I can't give this 5 stars but admittedly, I can't quite figure out how to rationalize the 3 solid stars I think it's worth.
The build quality of this mattress is excellent. It does self inflate and only requires 2-3 good puffs to get it really full if you like things firm. (I have the large which is 30" wide). But even with no puffs I find it just too firm and can't quite find that sweet spot where it's soft enough to be comfortable yet firm enough to handle the pressure points of a side sleeper.
Before using mine I inflated it for a few days. It's a pain in the arse to deflate for packing. (Yeah, I do the "fold" thing as prescribed). Eventually, I get mine into the 30" x 7" stuff sack. This is no surprise and I'm not downgrading it for that. It just makes you wonder what niche market Thermarest is catering to. All of these Luxury Map mattresses regardless of size are way too big for backpacking and If you car camp where size/weight isn't a big issue... why not take something with you that gives you even more comfort? (And I wouldn't want to roll this mattress out at home for a guest. I think I could do better than that).
So, after sleeping on this thing a half dozen times now, I question why the heck I just didn't buy a half a dozen cheap air mattresses that would give me 8" of loft and a felt flocked topper. Much more comfort flexibility, they're wider and mimic your home mattress more so than a 3" pad. (until they leak!). Plus, a twin sized air mattress will pack up much smaller than this even with a pump. (but weigh more of course). Again, the Thermarest mattress is not really that "portable".
I dunno. I look at all the glowing praises here, scratch my head and ask myself if I'm sleeping on it wrong. I don't think so. I know everyone's sleeping habits are different and we all get different results depending on what we sleep on at home. (I come from a normal no frills bed). But everyone else here seems to be subjectively rating it on personal comfort so I'll do the same; it's just too firm for *me*. And before anyone says, "What did you expect, it's only a 3" mattress?" well... I read the reviews. :)
Don't get me wrong... again, the build quality is great, the valves are solid and it *will* keep your arse from scraping the tent floor... you just won't know if this works for your body until you get one.