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Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad: Review And Ratings

The Big Agnes Air Core sleeping pad is an inflatable pad that's available in a mummy shape (for a mummy sleeping bag) and rectangular for a rectangular bag.

The Air Core pad is light and compact enough for backpacking and comfortable for those that have a base camp.

    What's Smart?

  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

    What's Not?

  • Slipping of the pad
Suitable for: Base Camp, Backpacking
Approx price: $49.95 - $69.95
Countries sold: US - Canada

Ease Of Use/Design

The Air core pad is fairly easy to inflate. It takes a few minutes to inflate for the average person with two functional lungs. Deflating is even easier when it's time to pack away.

The Air core is durable enough to last and should not puncture as long as the pad is slept on without any type of sharp objects or abrasive ground underneath. Adding a foam pad underneath when camping on dodgy ground that could possibly cause a puncture, will suffice. Using a foam mat underneath also improves heat insulation.

Note, Big Agnes sleeping bags are designed with a sleeve for slipping a pad inside which works well for all Agnes pads including the Air core. The mummy shaped sleeping pad would be used with the mummy style bag and the same applies for the rectangular pad.

Comfort

The 2.5 inch height provides the right amount of comfort when its inflated. Users reporting that they roll off the pad is a common thread in reports. More about common problems further on!

The Big Agnes Air core has no real deflation or leak issue's. The main problem a user could have is using the pad in cold conditions or when temperatures change. Heat expands air and cold contracts so if I was to inflate the pad during a hot summers day and the temperature drops a lot during the night this will affect the pad but, it does not deflate it. It just looks like it has!

Weight/Packing

The 22oz ( regular and rectangular) is a nice weight for backpacking if a user wants a bit more comfort than a foam pad can give, however, it's not for the super light travellers of the world counting grammes.

For car camping it's ideal and even better if you backpack and car camp as this will be a good overall choice to cover both types of trips if a person switches from car camping to backpacking.

The Air core comes with a stuff sack and can be rolled up to about 4 by 8 inches which fits pretty well into a pack.

Price

The regular sized pad can be picked for $70 or less which is a fair price when considering a decent foam pad will cost between $20-$40.

Any Common Problems?

The main common complaint reported is about users slipping off the pad. Not all people have this issue, however, the problem is there.

Its difficult to fault Big Agnes too much on this one because they sell sleeping bags that have a sleeve attached which will stop slipping and prevent a person from rolling off.

A way to overcome this is to use a type of cover or fitted sheet over the pad, if needed.

An important factor to consider is whether the type of shell material a sleeping bag uses slips against other materials.

Summary - Verdict

Overall the Big Agnes core is a reasonably priced inflatable pad that performs well. For those that need a compact and fairly lightweight pad without compromising comfort it's ideal.

Yes, there is a common complaint about slipping off the pad, however, as mentioned above there could be reasons for this and ways to overcome and avoid the problem.

If you camp out in cold temperatures your able to find other pads that are better suited or use a foam insulated pad underneath the Agnes core..

(# R – Rectangular M - Mummy)
Weight (R): Regular 22oz Long 25oz
Weight (M): Regular 19oz Long 22oz
Size : Regular = 20" width 72" length - Long = 20" width x 78" length
Height inflated: 2.5"
Pack size : Regular 4" width x 8" length - Long 4.5" width 8" length
Stuff Sack: Yes
Repair kit: Yes
Min temperature: 35F
  • Light and compact for packing light and suitable warm weather use.

  • I-beam construction is designed to reduce cold spots and assist quick inflation/deflation and provides a consistent air flow.

  • A non-breakable brass valve with a plastic coated mouthpiece for inflating.

  • The fabric is 70D nylon used for the top and bottom.

  • Rectangular is available in 4 sizes ( most popular regular and long), and the mummy in 2 sizes ( regular and long).

  • Stuff sack and repair kit included.

    Design/Ease of use
    Comfort
    Packing/Weight
    Durable
    Price
    Overall

User Reviews And Ratings

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Other Sleeping Pads

A lightweight closed cell foam pad. Cost's around $40. Lightweight for backpacking and camping.

Manual inflatable pad. Cost's around $159.00 - $189.00. 700 fill down top quality all weather pad. Winter enthusiasts love em!

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