Review of the ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Air Pad – Double
This review of the ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight pad is produced in collaboration with 3beds.com, where James and his team review and rate airbeds and pads.
A few words about the company:
Dennis Brune, who once ran the Kelty backpack company, started ALPS in the early 1990’s.
The company’s mission statement is all about committing to make top-quality hiking and camping gear at lower prices – a claim that we’ll put under scrutiny in this review.
Basic product facts:
The Lightweight Series pad is a part of the trio of their strongest contenders in the arena of sleeping pads (the other two are the Comfort and the Featherlite Series).
- Double wide for two people or maximum width
- Attaches and detaches securely by Velcro
- Folds together for extreme comfort
- Jet stream polyurethane open cell foam
- Faster inflating and deflating
- Durable and abrasion resistant
- Long-term durability
- Stuff sack, compression bands and repair kits included with each bag
Size: 47”x75”x3” (or 23.5”x75”x3” if used separately)
Weight: 9lbs. 7oz.
Stuff sack size: 7.5”x27”
Top fabric: Steel blue, 70D Polyester Ripstop
Bottom fabric: Black, Polyester Taffeta
Valves: Self inflating non-corrosive brass
My first impressions of the ALPS Lightweight Series Double Pads:
I was recently asked to review a sleeping pad for James at 3beds.com. As many of those who are reading this know I spent more than three years traveling full time in a large motorhome so most of my camping would be considered “glamping” these days. Not to say that I don’t find a good excuse to pull my tent out from time to time, but at this stage in my life the ground seems just a little harder every time I do!
Interestingly when James asked me to do this review and gave me a choice of pads to try I’d just returned from a weekend sailing excursion with my boyfriend, John, on his sailboat- Gizmo. John is an avid racer and his 22’ Harmony is an outstanding boat for that, but as we’ve joked about several times since, she’s not set up for comfort. There’s no galley, no standing head-room, and… for that matter… no head! He keeps the boat stripped down to the bare essentials for racing, but for an over-nighter pulls a couple of bulky upholstered foam pads out of the attic to sleep on. Without a doubt the few nights I’ve spent sleeping on Gizmo have been some of the most uncomfortable I can recall. The upholstered pads slide around under the sleeping bags, and although 3” thick, lend little cushioning over the fiberglass berth.
With this as a vivid memory I jumped at the chance to try the ALPS Mountaineering “Self-inflating Jet Stream Foam Air Pads” for review. One feature that led me to choose these particular pads is that they can be purchased in a double set that can be attached to one another using Velcro strips that run along each side of the pads. An added bonus, I think, is that you can attach more than two pads together making them fit whatever sleeping needs you might have. Three pads would fit perfectly in the sleeping space we have on Gizmo, as well as the floor of my tent (as if by design!)
The two pads come packaged together in one box, but in separate stuff bags (each complete with their own patch kit). They are made with open-cell foam and each has dual non-corrosive brass valves so the self-inflation was quick and easy. The Velcro strips keep them snuggly fitted together. They are very light, weighing in at less than five pounds each. The bottom and top fabric both appear to be very durable and easy to clean. When deflated (also easy) they fit nicely in their 7.5” by 25” bags.
When compared to the comfort of our foam pads… well there’s simply no comparison. They are definitely more comfortable and take up a fraction of the storage space! In addition they are lighter in weight and far less bulky than any air mattress I’ve ever slept on, and when compared to the typical foam camping pads they are much more comfortable and take up no more space.
The only drawback I’ve found is that in order to add a third pad it’s necessary to buy another double set since there is no Velcro on the pads purchased individually.
At $219.99 (list price) for the set I’d say these are a great buy. Additionally, the individual pads can be purchased in a variety of sizes making them ideal for not only camping and boating, but backpacking as well. They even come in an 11”x15” 6oz. sit- pad, which I would love to have had during the numerous years I spent sitting on hard bleachers for hours on end at my daughter’s gymnastics meets!
Check them out at ALPS Mountaineering.