Throwing down hard with the industry's lightest weight new sleeping pad design, Klymit has no doubt firmly placed itself as a company that is not holding back when it comes to possibly re-inventing the wheel er, ah, the sleeping pad.
Weight: 9.1 ounces (258g)
I want to be clear straight away that this pad is the answer to an ultra-lighter's dilemma when it comes to whether or not sacrificing comfort is worth a few extra ounces. Most fanatics will go to such extremes as filing down their gear and removing extra padding or straps from their packs, they push to carry less weight for a number of reasons, but regardless of what drives the individual it is important to know that Klymit has taken notice and worked hard to develop a means to insulate a person from the ground as well as comfort their slumbers. lacking.
The basic idea is that most sleeping pads, like your home mattress is essentially wasted material. Your body only has a few actual contact points to the surface when you are sleeping and Klymit has whittled away all of the unused materials to create this skeleton of a mat. At first glance I thought "what in the heck is this thing" and "it must be another hair brained idea made by lab rats with no real world camping experience". Well I couldn't have been more wrong.
When I laid down on this mat I was actually amazed that it was padded right where I needed it. Sure there will be some folks that it just doesn't feel right especially due to the varying lengths and individual phenotypes of people. But to be honest I think they should bill this as a "one size fits most". If you really think about who the market for this thing is, the ultralight fast packers, it is a godsend insofar as now there is a viable sleeping pad that weighs virtually nothing and allows so much more comfort than most are used to. What is more than that is as folks try it I am sure they will become converts as well, it is too light weight and too practical to ignore.
One of the lesser appreciated features with this pad is that the phrase "less is more" actually applies, you see all of those cut out areas actually allow your sleeping bag to keep it's loft. After all loft is why your bag is able to keep you warm in the first place. Compressed insulation is worthless, but fully lofted insulation has optimal heat retention properties. Aside from the amazing and well thought out channels the Klymit folks decided to provide 2 methods for filling the X Frame, the first is the usual air mat method of blowing into it (took me 3 full breaths) or with an included hand pump which allows you to fill the mat fuller than through lung power alone. And with the highest burst rating of any mat at a full 10psi I have no doubt you can get this thing to support you well enough for it to not be a concern. The Inertia X Frame packs down to the size of a beer can (12oz not the big 24oz ones). Which in turn will no doubt free up some cargo space so you can, well, carry more beer!
So regardless of if you cut off your toothbrush handles or you bring a cast iron dutch oven on your trips, this product is one that you need to take the time out to consider. Bigger folks may want to give it a go in the store first so you know if you are going to hang off of the side. Yes it might take some time to get over the psychological impact of "less is more" but the folks at Klymit did their research. For the record I slept on it on my side, back, and belly and it performed a lot better than my preconceived notions. I can't wait to see what else Klymit has coming out for us in the coming months.