Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alps Mountaineering Comfort XL Self Inflating Air Pad Review

It seems like with the demands of everyday life, things can just get more and more stressful. With that it’s easy to turn to the outdoors to get away from the stress for some enjoyable relief.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable while doing so. One product often used to help provide a good night’s sleep is a nice air mattress. Up for review today is a great one from Alps Mountaineering. It is their Comfort XL Self-Inflating Air Pad.

Features and specs:
  • Jet Stream Wave Foam
  • Faster Inflating and Deflating
  • Brushed "Suede-like" Top Fabric
  • Extra Comfort and Less Sliding
  • Anti-Slip "PVC Dots" Bottom Fabric
  • Slides Less on Tent Floor
  • Non-corrosive Brass Valves
  • Long-term Durability
  • Additional XL and XXL Features: Thicker Pillow Area, Extra Comfort, 2 Valves and Faster Inflating
Regular715000320" x 72" x 1.5"2 lbs. 10 oz.4.5" x 21"Backpacking$79.99
Long725000325" x 77" x 2"4 lbs. 1 oz.6.5" x 26"Camping$99.99
XL735000330" x 77" x 3"6 lbs. 7 oz.8" x 31"Luxury Camping$149.99
XXL745000330" x 77" x 4"8 lbs. 7 oz.11" x 31"Luxury Camping$189.99

The product came shipped in a standard box. Upon opening the box, I saw the mattress, a nylon stuff bag and instructions. Also included, a rarity with such products, was a repair kit. That was really cool! The nylon stuff bag was a typical stuff bag with a pull cord at the top to cinch closed the bag during storage and a spring loaded plastic holder to keep it closed and secure. The mattress itself had a soft velvety finish on top. The bottom was covered with small rubber dots to help keep it in place while in your tent so you don’t slide around at night. The Valve was made of high quality brass with a round cap that screwed open and closed. Quality of materials was excellent as was quality of construction.

According to the specs, this XL model was 3 inches tall, which I thought was hard to believe. But after getting it, with it being new I opened up the valves and kept it open for a couple of days to fully inflate and was surprised that it actually was right about 3 inches when fully inflated! I also liked having dual brass valves which made for faster inflating and deflating with its larger size. Having done a lot of camping, one thing I don’t like is sleeping on the hard ground, especially if it’s rocky. Having it inflated, I thought I would put it to the ultimate test and just laid it down on my hard tile floor to see how it would do.  I didn’t want to expect too much from the pad, but lying down on it on the floor, I couldn’t feel the tiles of the floor under me. What was even more impressive to me was when I kneeled down on the mattress, to lay down, I had all my weight on just my knees and I couldn’t feel the hard tiles. I was expecting to be comfortable and not feel the ground, especially given its thickness. But to not feel anything when I dropped on my knees was just…WOW. The slightly raised end with a built in pillow was also a nice touch, although it was only slight.  So I still needed a pillow. The inside of the mattress had some type of foam. Depending on how you like your bed, whether it is firm or soft, you could fill the mattress accordingly.

Having had it open for a while to fully inflate and to do an official test, it was now time to deflate it and store it until I had a campout of its test run. Opening up both valves made for an easy deflation and I was able to get it tight enough to where it easily fit into the storage bag. Once deflated, screwing the valves closed easily kept the mattress form self inflating again. I know that tents can sometimes be a nightmare to get it folded exactly right to fit back into the bag, but I had no such problem with this mattress. And after having it in the bag, it was just a matter of closing the draw sting and it was ready for storage until further use. And I kept the repair kit in the bag, just in case it’s ever needed, I’ll know where it is!

Now it was time to put it to the test for a real campout. Setting up the mattress was extremely simple, it was just a matter of pulling it out of the bag, unrolling it where I wanted to sleep and opening the valves. Then once I had my desires firmness, I just closed both the valves. Done. It was that easy. Sleeping that night was really nice. Better than a regular blowup mattress. Plus I don’t need to worry about either manually blowing up the mattress or remembering to pack the pump and making sure the pump had sufficient power. The Alps Mountaineering Comfort XL Air Pad is self inflating. Once it was time to pack up, it was as easy to take down as it was to put up. Just open up both valves and tightly roll up the mattress. It deflated as I did so. Once tightly rolled, close both valves and secure in storage bag.

I’ve reviewed Alps Mountaineering products in the past and given the opportunity to do so again was a no brainer. The Alps Mountaineering Comfort XL Air Pad was a little bulkier and heavier than most self inflating mattresses. But most of my camping is not backpacking, so I would rather have a more comfortable mattress, even if that meant a bit more bulk and weight to an item. If you are looking for a similar product, you can’t go wrong with the Alps Mountaineering Comfort Air Pad. If you are more of a backpacker and size and weight is an issue, they have other products that are worth your consideration. They also have an excellent warranty and stand behind their products. Based on their design, feature, quality and performance, the Alps Mountaineering Comfort XL Air Pad has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at