Nemo Quasar 3D Insulated ($160)

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Air pad

1 lb. 9 oz.

3.5 in.


A versatile and comfortable pad for backpacking, camping, and more.

Heavier than most air pads here.

It’s possible to call it an “backpacking” sleep pad but we all know that a majority of us use the mats more than night-time hikes whether we’re sleeping in a vehicle, the frontcountry campsite or even on a friend’s lounge floor. If you’re looking for a mattress that is able to do all of the above and more, take a look at Nemo’s Quasar 3D. The product is advertised as an “quiver killer” the Quasar offers a fairly light construction with a large rectangular shape (no option for a mummy) and a remarkable level of comfort. The soft contours of the pad are a perfect fit for your body, keeping your body in the center of the pad and it comes with 3.5 inches of comfort (great for those who sleep on their sides) with an elevated baffle at the end to support your head and keep your mattress in the right spot. In all it’s a great line between the camping mattress and the backpacking pad with more ease than other.

However, as with the majority of the equipment that claims to be the master of all trades The Quasar 3D is a master of none. It weighs 1 pound 9 pounds for the insulated model (3.3 R-value) it is one of the worst warm-to-weight ratios among any air pad on this list. Although it’s a reasonable cost, you can save up to $60 by purchasing it’s Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra which is lighter and more comfortable. However, if you’re looking for comfort to be the primary element in your choice it’s true this Quasar 3D is a step above the majority of backpacking pads. Also, Nemo also offers a non-insulated version (R-value: 1.8) at $140. It isn’t a bad thing to know that both models are bluesign certified and are made from 100% recycled materials.