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Alps Mountaineering Comfort Air XXL Pad Review

Alps Mountaineering Comfort Air PadsHaving kids changes your life. Sure there is the stuff that everyone already knows about like less sleep, more stress, constant messes and a DVR full of children's shows. But something else has changed in my life that I hadn't really planned for, and that's the amount of time I have to go backpacking.

Luckily, there'ss a kid friendly solution to the problem and that's car camping. Sure it's not as 'hardcore' as traditional backpacking, but when you have young children, it may be your only option.

I've quickly learned that there are a lot of benefits to car camping, mainly comfort. Now that my car can carry everything I want to bring instead of a backpak, I've been able to let go a bit and focus on making my car camping experience as comfortable as possible. The first thing I did was upgrade my sleeping pad.

I've been using lightweight self-inflating pads from a certain 'therm' manufacturer for a long time, and I love them. But when size and weight no longer matter, you should focus on another characteristic that is often forgotten, comfort. So I decided to bring out the big comfort guns for my wife and I and I bought us a couple of Alps Mountaineering Comfort Air Pads.

The Comfort Air series of pads from Alps come in a variety of sizes from short (20" x 48" x 1.5") all the way up to XXL (30" x 77" x 4"). Not being even slightly concerned about size and weight we went for two XXLs, figuring if someone was going to have a fantastic nights sleep, it might as well be us.

In the stuff sacks the pads are my no means small and are very much NOT meant for backpacking. Stuffed the come in at 31" wide and 10" in diameter and weigh 8 lbs 12 oz. including the stuff sack and repair kit. They are lighter weight than a cot but about the same size stuffed.

First time out of the stuff sack the self-inflating feature sometimes needs a little help with a couple lung-fulls of air from the sleeper or you can plan ahead and just allow them to sit with the valve open for 4 hours or so and that should do the trick. I didn't plan ahead and ended up doing a little heavy breathing into our Comfort Air Pads. Not that big of a deal, but I'd recommend the planning ahead route. After remaining open the entirety of the next day to breath and expand on their own our pads were noticeably thicker and more comfortable the second night.

The Comfort Air pads feature Jet Stream Wave Foam so there's no need to worry about these pads making you cold at night like traditional air mattress. The XL and XXL sizes also feature a thicker 'pillow' section at the top for increased comfort. Brushed "suede like" material on the top of the pad are nice and soft and small PVC gripper dots on the bottom of the pad keep it in place on your tent floor. The dual brass valves were easy to operate and having two make inflating and deflating a little faster. The included repair kit was a nice touch, though I've yet to use it. Knock on wood.

Rolling the Comfort Air pads back up takes a little more time than a traditional self-inflating backpacking pad, but other than that, it is pretty straight forward. Open the valves and start rolling slowly allowing plenty of time for the air to exit. I would roll it up, close the valves, unroll it and then open the valves as pressure built back up. This way I could get the pads nice and empty which meant they would pack flatter. Included are two elastic straps to fit around the pads once it's rolled up and before you slide them back into the included stuff sack.

Our overall impression of the Comfort Air XXL pad from Alps Mountaineering is an awesome one. They're very comfortable, very warm, not over the top too big and easy to maintain and use. I'd highly recommend them for any car camper, trailer owner or even someone who needs a solution for the occasional house guest. Pick your size based on your needs but if space is not an issue, go big and get the XXL, you won't regret it.
 
Specs from Alps Mountaineering:

  • 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

 

Comfort Series Size Weight Stuff Sack General Use
Short 20" x 48" x 1.5" 1 lbs. 12 oz. 4" x 21" Fast Packing
Regular 20" x 72" x 1.5" 2 lbs. 10 oz. 4.5" x 21" Backpacking
Long 25" x 77" x 2" 4 lbs. 1 oz. 6.5" x 26" Camping
XL 30" x 77" x 3" 6 lbs. 7 oz. 8" x 31" Luxury Camping
XXL 30" x 77" x 4" 8 lbs. 7 oz. 11" x 31" Luxury Camping

 

Looking to get a Alps Mountaineering Comfort Air Pad of your own? Check out these awesome deals: (Use coupon code 'summertime' at AlsSports.com and get 20% off!)

 

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