Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 83 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.5 stars 
Expert Rating: 3.5 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 176

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Comfortable and lightweight.
  • Compact and easy to pack.
  • 3-4″ thick mattress which provides good cushioning from the hard ground.
  • Wide enough to support the whole back.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate.
  • Insulation provides some warmth on colder night down to approximately freezing temperatures.
  • Sturdy and durable while laying on the pad.
  • Features a one-way valve to control the firmness.
  • The inflation works so that the pad keeps you in the center, instead of rolling you off to the side.
  • The pad features ‘side rails’ which can help to keep the sleeper central during the night.
  • If you’re sitting on the pad, you don’t touch the cold ground.

Expert Reviews

  • There are six size combinations available, which include two wide options.
  • Features I-Beam, which is designed to increase the stability of the pad.
  • Compared to the previous model, the newer version has more precise lamination, aiding in durability.
  • Since there are an even number of vertical baffles, your spine will align between two tubes, which can add to the comfort.
  • Features double rip-stop fabric, which claims to have 25% greater strength.
  • The holes that exist along the length allow air to move freely throughout the pad, aiding in quicker inflation and deflation.
  • Small when packed, coming out to approximately 5×9 inches.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Reports of starting to leak after a few months.
  • Reports of tiny holes appearing near the bottom seam.
  • If you sleep on your side, the mattress can sometimes slide you around.
  • Vertical baffles take a little to get used to.
  • Multiple reports of the material being noisy when sleeping.
  • If inflating manually by mouth, the process can take a long time.

Expert Reviews

  • The pad is vulnerable to sharp objects.
  • Since the pad has two plugs instead of one, there are double the chances of getting a leak.
  • Not very lightweight.


The Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad is a basic pad that is best suited for those wanting to save money, and won’t be sleeping in much weather below freezing. The lack of insulation and potential for micro-holes leave the durability in question, but the pad is more comfortable than many pads, making this a good choice for a backpacker on a budget.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3.