When we first began our adventure, we knew that our gear was our was our lifeline so we did a lot of research. We needed reliability, durability and a reasonable price tag. This insulated, self inflating sleeping pad met all three of those requirements so I decided to put it to the test. I bought the large size but it also comes in regular and XL. For the purpose of this review we are discussing the large size pad.


When I was looking over this product in the store, comfort was my first concern. Let’s face it. I’m not getting any younger and while many people my age opt for the comforts of campers, I was going to be tenting it and sleeping on the ground. Cots are cumbersome and they take up a lot of space. I needed something more well rounded for any situation.

The THERMAREST Basecamp is only 2 inches thick when inflated. I had serious doubts about the level of comfort it could provide. I was wrong. It was actually pretty amazing! I’m a side sleeper with a cranky hip and the support from this pad was better than the mattress on my bed. You can also make adjustments with the air valve to get the amount of support that is right for you if fully inflated is too firm.

The pad is well insulated. It has an R-value of 6. I’ve used this pad in temperatures ranging from very cold to warm and the ground temperature has never been an issue for me. Ground temps can greatly affect the ability of your sleeping bag to work properly, leaving you too hot or too cold but never just right.


Unrolled and inflated the THERMAREST Basecamp large is 77 inches long, 25 inches wide and 2 inches thick. The pad fits very well inside my tent and stores away easily.

It comes with a handy stuff sack and when packed is only 26×7.5 inches and weighs in at 3lbs. 6oz. Not only is it great for camping but backpacking as well.

THERMAREST Basecamp (L) with The North Face Mummy Bag

Durability and Price

I have been using this pad daily for six months. It is very well built and I’ve experienced no malfunctions or degradation in performance. I am completely happy with my purchase. Since I found the pad to be more comfortable than my bed I sleep on it exclusively. You can find the THERMAREST Basecamp (L) priced around $100.00 which is more than reasonable given the quality of the product and the fact I enjoy it more than my last bed mattress which cost over $900.00.